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CoachAccountable in 1 Minute

For the 3rd year in a row, I’m proud to have CoachAccountable sponsoring the Texas Coaches Coalition (TCC) All Texas Retreat and Conference.  This time I thought it would be fun to move on up to the Diamond sponsorship tier, and for it I get to have a 1-minute video featured on their social media.

It’s a interesting challenge to sum up CoachAccountable in only a minute.  After all, it’s effectively 9 apps in one: that’s a lot of ground to cover.

Having only one minute gave me an excuse to focus on the part of CoachAccountable that I think is most magical.  Yes, yes, it does business and administrative automation galore, but for my tastes the real magic of CA lies in what it brings to the experience of being coached, making already-good coaching much more lasting, results-based and difference making.

In one minute, you (or anyone else) can glimpse how and why it pays to make your coaching more than conversations.

And that’s what CoachAccountable does!  Well, that and scheduling, invoicing, contracts, courses, groups, file sharing, team coordinating, engagement managing, program purchases, and bunch of other things.

It’s all good stuff, but to me, the giving clients more part is what enables you to be a stand-out coach.

My thanks to the TCC for prompting this creative work.  I look forward to actually attending this year, it’s good for me to get out now and then! :)

The Chiropractor and the Trainer

Here is a parable of two professionals that work to help people.

These two, both of whom work to promote well-being and performance in the physical realm, afford us an understanding of coaching styles that vary in a seldom-considered way.

I regularly see (and am a raving fan of) both The Chiropractor and The Trainer.  In case you’re wondering, they are real people, but for our purposes their real-world identities aren’t important.  What matters in this exploration is they ways in which they work, and the experience of being on the receiving end of their considerable talents.

To see The Chiropractor is a treat: it’s like a mini vacation.  It’s all about hearing you, observing what’s going on with you, and giving you what you need to walk out of there better than you came in.  Tell The Chiropractor what’s wrong, and they can often make it right.  If you have something tweaked or out of order, they’ll do some sort of magic on your body to adjust things back in place and get you on the road to healing.  Just show up, be in communication, and get taken care of.  Even mere maintenance: if you’re generally good but want to keep it that way, a little crack, twist, and/or realignment of this and that will have you feeling great.

I love seeing The Chiropractor.  It’s easy, it’s pleasant, it makes my body work and feel better.  Time and money well spent.

To see The Trainer, by contrast, is decidedly un-vacation-like.  I’m there to work.  The Trainer, too, will hear you, observe you, and give you what you need to walk out of there better than you came in.  But The Trainer’s form of “giving it to you” is more a matter of guiding you through intentionally challenging exercises, and encouraging you, expecting you, sometimes even chiding you to give if your all to do them.  To receive what The Trainer has to give you is to go beyond your usual norms of exhaustion that will leave you feeling like jello at the end, and really feeling it tomorrow (and possibly the next day or days1).  Speaking of the next days, to get what The Trainer has to give you also means doing the work between those visits, and do so with utmost attention to maintain precisely correct form (which make the work not just physically challenging, but mentally as well).  The Trainer will tell you, unapologetically, that you need to do so in order to build strength, without which you are just spinning your wheels, wasting your time and theirs.

I love seeing The Trainer.  It’s challenging, it kicks my butt and cares nothing for my comfort, and it is building lasting changes in my body that make it less apt to hurt in the first place and more able to show up for life.

Looping Back to Coaching

In these practitioners we see parallels in the ways coaching gets done, and in a way that mercifully sidesteps established definitions for judging coaching competence and holy wars bickering over what is and is not “true” coaching.  Consumers of coaching care not for those things anyway.

What The Chiropractor and The Trainer have in common is power to do genuine good for the people they serve, enabled by deep expertise in their modalities and competent execution.  Both are masterful in their work; in our metaphor here we take that as table stakes for a hire-worthy coach.

Where they vary is the degree to which their clients need to show up.  In that regard, The Chiropractor and The Trainer represent two endpoints defining a spectrum of coaching styles.

In terms of the degree to which client needs to show up, and the degree to which coach has purchase to direct client and hold them accountable to do the work2, a given coach’s style sits somewhere along the spectrum between The Chiropractor and The Trainer.  No coach would cop to being The Chiropractor, it’s far too close to coaching’s less trendy cousin, therapy.  This is not to knock therapy: it has its place and is capable of good outcomes, just like physical therapy.  It’s simply not the place where people who are well go to get even better.  Likewise, coaching that resembles therapy is a pale imitation of what coaching is capable of.

The services of The Chiropractor are easier to sell.  The results of The Trainer have greater reach.

The Chiropractor works harder on the client’s body doing those adjustments.  The Trainer works harder to gain the client’s trust and buy-in to do the work themselves.

There is space, and indeed demand, for practitioners all along the spectrum.

As an avid consumer of coaching services3 I’ve ben on the receiving end of a broad range of styles.  I have fondness for the coaches who are more like The Chiropractor.  I have eternal gratitude for the lasting, transformative differences I’ve gotten from those who are more like the Trainer.  My report from the field is that the latter is far harder to find.

If you want to differentiate yourself as a coach, be more like The Trainer.

  1. To wit as I write this, my gluts, hamstrings and quads are all, shall we say, “reluctant to move” from a session with The Trainer three days ago.
  2. Up to and including co-created efforts, this is about much more than mere mandates handed down from on high.
  3. The transformative and fast-acting changes in my life that I got out of coaching are largely the reason I’ve dedicated the last decade+ of my life to building a platform to elevate the practice.

Nine Apps Rolled Into One

I did a demo recently.  While conveying the range of all that CA does and is capable of, for fun I took a moment and rattled off on my fingers the various usually-separate apps it plays the part of.

I was surprised to find my two hands were nearly insufficient for the task!

Here are the nine I came up with off the top of my head:

1. Invoicing

CA Invoicing lets you issue invoices to customers (the individuals or companies that hired you), and they can pay those invoices online.  Scheduled, recurring, broad currency support, lock out options for unpaid accounts, overdue notices, exportable reports.

 2. Scheduling

CA Appointments give you full-stack scheduling that can take the place of dedicated scheduling apps, like Calendly and Acuity.  Reminders, invites, rules, calendar sync, plus some niche functionality specific to coaching (like pre- and post-appointment worksheets) that commodity schedulers lack.

3. Contract Signing

CA Agreements let you draft documents ready for read and sign, type your name here, your initials here, check here to confirm you understand, etc.  Plus date and IP-address time stamping for a courtroom-grade, unfudge-able record of who agreed to what and when.

4. Habit Tracking

CA’s Metrics gently nudge your clients to report on a routine basis their follow through and KPIs, building tangible results and lending coachable insights.

 5. To-Do List

Tailored specially towards turning coaching insights into real-life results, CA’s Actions for tracking to-dos lend power and accountability to the coaching relationship.

6. LMS

I never set out to build a Learning Management System, but CA Courses have power and functionality that rate with the best of them.  With CA’s slant towards active participation by way of Actions, Worksheets, Metrics and Whiteboards, CA Courses bring more than the usual focus on mere content consumption.

7. Group Platform

CA Groups have allowed many to ditch their Facebook, Mighty Networks, and other community platforms.  It’s nice to have it all in one place, nicer to move your coaching out of the crosshairs of ad-driven content scraping, and even nicer still to weave in the coach-centric participatory aspects like Group Metrics and Group Worksheets.

8. Contact Manager

CA is DEFINITELY not trying to be a full fledged CRM, but for the clients you’re actually working with it certainly serves as one, and for many is all the CRM you need.

9. e-Commerce

CA Offerings allow you to sell your coaching packages, courses, and group memberships to your clients, new and established.  CA Engagements let you manage the number of sessions a client has coming to them and set an invoicing plan for automatic recurring billing.  This isn’t the platform for slinging products, but is often everything a coaching firm needs to be well and truly open for business.


And those are the nine I could think of.

Is CA’s take on each of those 9 necessarily at full feature parity with respective specialized apps?  Nah.  For some purposes CA will fall short (take the scheduler, for instance: it’s for your coaching clients, so if you need folks to book you for coffee dates, you’ll wanna keep an external one!).

But there’s never been a problem with folks being oversold on CA’s capabilities and being disappointed.  Quite the contrary: CA routinely has the problem of folks being undersold, in that they often don’t realize it very much already does the thing they wish it did.

Sometimes folks say that CoachAccountable is complex, that there’s a lot to learn and figure out.  When viewed through the lens of it doing the job of no fewer than nine distinct apps, I figure we should expect nothing less!

CoachAccountable’s First Decade

Birthday cake with numeral 10 candles

I sprung for the fancy 10 candle that has TWO wicks. Pullin’ out all the stops.

Well now, that’s a milestone that many businesses do not meet.

And what a delight to have done so!  Goodness, how time can fly.  I still quite vividly remember taking a deep breath and clicking the button to officially “launch” CoachAccountable from my kitchen table in Cusco, Peru so long ago, wondering if the 2.0 go around would take.

Oh, how it has.

Today I am as honored and humbled as ever that my creation serves the work of thousands of coaches, and contributes to the experience and results of tens-of-thousands of their clients.

A couple of notable things happened in CA’s tenth year:

Overall the lion’s share of coding I did on CA this year was further refinements that make it that much more elegant, intuitive, user friendly, powerful, and perfect.

What’s strange (but perhaps this is just a great sign) is that after such a long time of listening for what would be useful from our community and evolving CA accordingly, there really weren’t many big new features that stood out as worth adding these past 12 months.

Make no mistake, there are still worthwhile advances to be made.  It’s just that with the maturity and completeness that CA has attained over the years, “new features” is now more a matter of chasing a long tail of increasingly disjointed requests, rather than filling in the obviously beneficial-yet-missing pieces that a comprehensive coaching platform should have.  Gone, it seems, are the days of me having a burning desire to build and release X amid a steady stream of requests for it.  Those X’s are already done, launched, and well polished.

But opportunities for still further polish aplenty.

The new, more modern design was well received.

Further refinement to Appointments that further narrow the gap between CA and commodity appointment schedulers, including email invites to events (for folks who haven’t or can’t sync their calendars), more detailed rules for allowing scheduling, and unlimited splits in ones availability.  With these, CA is now truly poised to be the way to wow your free intro call prospects into paying customers in ways conventional schedulers simply can’t.

This year Jaclyn started the official CoachAccountable user’s group, which has taken off as a hub for coaches to ask questions and share ideas and experiences.  Set up as a CA Group itself, it brought with it some great dog fooding of CA’s own Groups feature1, leading to numerous enhancements like the Group Activity Digest, quick access to group member profiles, and comment replies.

Speaking of Jaclyn, she’s gone off on indefinite maternity leave.  I love that she chose family over work,  but I miss her all the same.  And speaking of team departures, Morgan, my number 2 of four years, went off to start Accountable Hero, a high level consultancy of helping coaching firms setup and better their practices with CA.  I delight in recommending her to folks, knowing they’ll be in very good hands.

Amid those change ups, I found myself in the unexpected position of having no team, and took the opportunity to give myself a break from being a manager of people and instead return to, metaphorically speaking, being an artist rather than art teacher.

My being in no rush to hire again may appear a curious decision2.  For now I’m genuinely pleased to be, paradoxical as it may sound, able to do more of the heads down creative work than I was before.

And on that note I’ll say what I always say in these annual missives: CA continues to be for me a thrilling labor of love and I continue to work on making it even better.  Can’t wait to show you what I’ve got in store for the coming year. :)

Here’s to the first decade; it’s been (and remains) an honor to serve you!

  1. “Dog fooding” is term of art in the software business: use your own product to see and empathize with what it’s really like, as opposed to just making it for others to use with no sense for how gross it might actually be.
  2. I promise the business is fine.  If you have concerns, I can assure you my accountant does not share them. ;)

On How We Handle Bugs

This is kind of a quirky topic, I admit.

But in the story of how we make the sausage here at CoachAccountable, this a fun aspect that I’m proud to share about.  It’s one that very few of our customers will ever experience firsthand (more on that shortly); PLUS holy moly do we keep hearing about how other companies (including our so-called competitors, ahem) DO NOT operate in this way.

So, bugs in software.  CoachAccountable is software.  Conventional wisdom is starting to hold that all software has ’em, and they’re just a part of life.  The very tracking and cataloging of “known issues” is a class of software unto itself, with vendors vying to create the best tooling for teams to manage their backlog of bugs to be fixed.

We don’t use any such tools, because we don’t track bugs in CoachAccountable.

It’s not that we’re derelict in our responsibility to do so, there’s just nothing to track.

That’s not to say that CoachAccountable doesn’t have any bugs.  There are a few.  I fix about one a week.  With tens of thousands of users, you’re not likely to be the one who finds one this week.  You might be, but it’s not likely.

But it does come up!  Here’s what happens when we get a bug report:

  1. We look into it.  A genuine bug is ALWAYS news to us.  There’s no “Oh yeah, we know; here’s the workaround until we ship a fix in Q4”.  So we check.
  2. If it’s just a matter of confusion, we’ll let ’em know and clarify to get the person back to good.  (Even then, there’s a decent chance we’ll make some small change to the UI or in-app copy to clear that up for everyone.)
  3. If it’s a genuine bug (or could well be), I get tagged on it immediately.

Here’s what DOESN’T happen when we get a bug report:

  1. We don’t assume PEBCAK1.
  2. We don’t advise they clear their cookies, restart Windows, or whatever.
  3. We don’t punt and dodge with gatekeeper-like scripts, hoping the issue goes away and they never get around to escalating beyond “tier 1”.

Once I’m tagged in, it becomes my immediate priority to fix.

“Doesn’t that make for a terrible drain on your time and attention when you’re trying to run the company, John?”

No.  It would if it were common, or if the fixes took a substantial amount of time.  But happily it is neither: the discovery of a bug is rare, and they seldom take over an hour to fully iron out (the median resolution time is probably 5-10 minutes).

Here’s what happens next:

  1. We’ll acknowledge the issue, something to the tune of “You’re right, that’s a bug!”  No mincing words, no excuses.
  2. The issue is actually fixed.  Not noted for a resolution at a later date, fixed NOW.  “Reload the page now and you’ll find things working as they should.” is an instruction we delight in typing.
  3. More often than not, we’ll issue a small credit to their account.  $10, $20, maybe even $50 if it was a genuine nuisance. “Thanks for letting us know!  I’ve put a $X credit on your account as a small token of thanks, for both the heads up and for your bearing with.”  is another sentiment we love to type out to folks when wrapping up these issues.

I just love #3: when people clue us into a bug, it really is a gift that we appreciate.  It’s the chance to make CA slightly better and more perfect for all.  Platitudes are nice, but this for me is a delightfully real expression of owning my mistakes.

“Wow, issuing credits whenever someone discovers something wrong.  Gee John, does that cost you a lot of money?”

Not at all.  It would if, say, 100 users all found the same issue before I could fix it, but… that doesn’t happen.  Any bug found these days is pretty niche, and very seldom is even close to being a showstopper.

Here’s an example that came up just this weekend:

I’m trying to enter the Hex Code for my highlight color and I can’t enter the information because this phone image is blocking the location where I enter it. I am trying to enter #204699. Thank you.

This was to do with the orientation sequence that occurs immediately after the initial sign up for a new account, specifically the part that lets coaches set their branding.  The part of the color picker pop up that lets you type in a hex code directly was being occluded by the smartphone image to the right.  Whoops!

In the style sheet, I changed the z-index of that pop up from a 1 to a 3 and all was well again.

My reply:

Ah, I see what you mean!  I just changed that phone image and remixed a few things about the design on that screen just yesterday, and indeed I added that flaw in the process of doing so.

I’ve put in the fix and if you reload that page, assuming you’re still logged in and able to access that initial onboarding flow, you’ll find it’s now working as it should.  AND once you’re logged in, you’ll find you can set those branding colors in app as well, under Settings >> System >> Branding.

Thanks for the heads up!  I’ve put a $10 credit on your account as a token of my appreciation. :)

It made me smile to get back:

Woah!  I was NOT expecting such a fast response.

And that was that.

“Is that typical of the sort of bugs that do get found these days?”

I’ll let you be the judge.  Let’s look back at every bug that’s been reported so far in 2022:

1/5 – “Generate a different default avatar” link didn’t work for a coach modifying the user settings for a Personnel (2 minute fix, $10 credit).

1/6 – Button to reopen a past Company Engagement didn’t work (2 minute fix, $10 credit).

1/21 – If you were in a time zone sufficiently ahead of the server timezone, and set an invoice to send out to your client tomorrow at a time that was sufficiently early to make an effective sending time that came before midnight in the server’s timezone, the invoice would send immediately rather than at that time tomorrow (20 minute fix, $30 credit).

1/24 – Someone else’s rogue implementation of the iCal calendar data interchange feed was providing “Opaque” rather than the spec standard of “OPAQUE” to indicate an event time as busy instead of free, and thus CA was interpreting those event times as free instead of busy, leading to scheduling times erroneously showing as available (60 minute fix, $50 credit).

1/31 – The app exploration map, which registers what you have and haven’t already tried in the course of exploring CA’s functionality, was not properly registering the completion of a client agreement that included a signature by the freebie client (5 minute fix, $20 credit).

2/7 – ICS files were not being attached to the “Your appointment request has been accepted” notification emails to clients for those coaches that take client schedulings as requests that need to be approved (10 minute fix, $30 credit).

That’s it!  $150 later we have a CoachAccountable that is slightly better and more perfect for all.  AND we’re proud to have made a point of honoring and thanking everyone who brought even the least consequential of flaws to our attention.

Bottom line: if you find and report a bug in CA, you’re being a blessing, not a nuisance.  It is our joy to make you feel that way AND to get the issue sorted for good.

  1. “Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard.”  Sometimes an issue IS just plain user error, but assuming as much is dismissive, rude, and unhelpful.

A More Modern Design

I wish I’d done this a long time ago.

With the release of Version 4 about 14 months ago I gave the aesthetics of CoachAccountable a spiffy refresh.  It looked pretty good to me and others, and I think it was no doubt a bright, fresh improvement on the look and feel of gray-heavy Version 3.

AND YET, even shortly after that release, we heard feedback to the tune of “Hey, the UI looks a bit dated… any plans to…”

Not often.  I don’t think that was expressed to us even so frequently as once a month.  Yet undeniably the sentiment was out there.

But I resisted it.  We’d just done a remix of the UI, and were well on our way updating screenshots and reshooting videos to match.  How daunting and disappointing, I thought, to restart that process once again.  It was a minority, fickle opinion, I told myself.  When we asked folks to clarify, or name specific elements, or point to examples of what they thought would be a better style guide, we invariably got back little to nothing by which to go on.

So I let the V4 design be while continuing work on myriad other fronts of bettering CA.

And then it was about a month ago that I read this article, titled Stay Calm and Learn This.  It’s a bit of a meandering essay on the qualities that software should engender in order to make the inevitable process of having to learn it more palatable to new users, and in it there were two assertions that really opened up my eyes to the opportunity of hitting the design drawing board once again.  The first was:

If a product is attractive to a particular audience, it further increases identification and willingness to learn.

Certainly anything that increases the willingness to learn on the part of new users is a huge boon. CoachAccountable does SO. DARN. MUCH.  Folks very much enjoy the power it offers, but only if they can be bothered to get over any initial overwhelm.  We do our best to provide resources and one-on-one time to help with this, and we do a pretty good job!  But getting a leg up on this front by merely having a prettier CA?  That’s like an amazing free lunch that keeps on giving.

The second assertion that hit me was:

Software is not free of fashion and group dynamics. We also want what others like, and gladly accept learning effort and setbacks.

Sigh.  As much distaste as I have to being a slave to fashion, this statement is certainly true.  That fashion applies to software is for me as much a revelation as it is a sheepish “well duh, yes of course” moment.

So, very well then: fashion it is.  The great news about fashion is that one hardly need to be a fashion taste maker in order to show up fashionable: you just need to be cognizant of what’s fashionable and suitably fall in line.

Right around this time, we’d gotten this note from a coach who’d just signed up:

Dear CoachAccountable, I am considering using your Team Edition product for our coaching platform.  I believe it has many of the features we are looking for at a competitive price point but the icons and design seem quite dated.  Do you have plans to refresh the design?  If so, when?

This was the same non-specific, not-terribly-actionable report, but nevertheless seeing it expressed so plainly once again is what tipped it for me: I finally decided the time was right to take the prospect of a redesign seriously, now freshly armed with pivotal perspective that made clear both the why AND how1.

There’s an old saw that goes “If you copy from one book, that™s plagiarism; if you copy from many books, that™s research.”

In that spirit, I say without the slightest shame that to remix the aesthetics of CoachAccountable and bring it up to more modern tastes, I did a lot of research. :)

And goodness, was it fun!  I perused mood boards and a wealth of pithy app screenshots, and came to be bewildering conclusion Good god it’s practically all cut from the same cloth… why was I trying so hard to differentiate in any way on aesthetics?  With every little style rule I updated, with every little piece of UI I revised, in some cases to pixel-perfect renditions of other popular (i.e. familiar and comfortable) instances, CA sure enough transformed into something that JUST LOOKS RIGHT, in step with the style of the times.

Here’s a screenshot that shows a lot going on in the old style:

I mean, it’s not bad, right?

And here it is in the new:

Oh, okay… yeah–that’s way better.

The lion’s share of the work took about 7 full working days, and it was satisfying work wherein the time flew by.  And that brings me back to my wish of having done this a long time ago.  I began this project thinking the current Version 4 aesthetic looked overall just fine and I sincerely didn’t know what those occasional outspoken critics were talking about.

NOW I get it.  As I worked, toggling back and forth between the current and new versions, my eyes quickly adjusted to the new.  By that adjustment, the old indeed now appears to me as… well let’s just say far less than it could be.

Seeing quite clearly now thanks to the comparison point that the new affords me, I humbly apologize to all of the coaches and to all of their clients that I wasn’t quicker on the uptake on this front.  I truly hope this new design will be a very welcome sight for all, and for a good long time.

Dark Mode

I’m told it’s very popular.  And I can see why!  To take this all one step further I did a little extra work and cooked up a dark mode of CoachAccountable’s very own:

Ooh, pretty! I can see what all the fuss is about.

You can quickly toggle in and out of dark mode by typing Alt+Shift+D whenever your cursor is NOT in some input.  This is hard to do on a mobile device, so you can also set your preference under My Account >> User Profile:

Setting this here makes it your default across all devices, and the Shift-D trick overrides it on a given device.


The new look in feel is now in place for all accounts, including for your clients.  It’s a sweeping change but everything is still in its usual place, so you should feel right at home.

Small aside: for just a little while you yourself can appreciate the same refreshing contrast by toggling between the version back and forth between the old and the new.  Just type Shift-4 when not focused on an input.  If you’re like me, you’ll find it neat to see what got changed by recalling how it used to look.  It’s a fun way to mark being along on the journey of CoachAccountable’s evolution, and I’m glad to have you here for it.

I hope you and your clients enjoy the new look.  Here’s to a better CA for all!

  1. Speaking of the time being right, it was also that week that Morgan did a demo for a group that was then considering platforms as an alternative to running their coaching operations on an Excel spreadsheet, and apparently on that demo a member of THAT group was rather vocal about berating CA’s design.  Well now, I’d say with that the gauntlet had been thrown down.  Who would I be to trip over the low bar set by the aesthetics of your typical Excel spreadsheet!?

9 Years: Happy Birthday, CoachAccountable

Birthday Cake with a big 9 candle

Easiest switch up from last year’s cake ever: I just changed the 8 to a 9 in a Photoshop text layer.

Goodness me, has it been another year already?  I don’t know about y’all, but this is the longest I’ve ever stayed put at a single job. :)-

As has been the case now 8 times before, I’m again delighted at all that we’ve put out in service of the coaching community during the last 365.

CoachAccountable has progressed on a number of fronts.  Perhaps most popular has been the addition of Course Pages and other course enhancements, which collectively put CoachAccountable Courses very much on the level with popular LMS platforms.

The addition of CoachAccountable Companies enables coaches and coaching organizations to effectively interface with client companies, including company invoices, company-wide engagements, and even allowing company personnel their very own way to log in and keep up to date within CA itself.

The addition of alternate appointment availabilities, schedule nudges, and a other ergonomic enhancements further closed the gap between CA’s Appointment Scheduling and other popular scheduling apps, making it possible for even more folks to drop yet another app.

We added a number of features that enable powerful new ways of interacting with clients, including Client Present Mode to make screensharing during sessions a great idea, and Worksheet Answer Comments to allow easy sharing of laser-focused feedback.

Perhaps most meaningful of all, we mapped out several dimensions of how to be a more powerful coach, including being accountable beyond baseline integrity, how to execute novel ways of wowing prospects into paying clients, and even elevating the pedestrian act of taking session notes to an art form.

These are novel dimensions that are not really taught in typical coach trainings, and we couldn’t be happier to be able to contribute to the delight that your clients’ experience of working with you, and do so in ways that go beyond the conversations themselves.

Speaking of going beyond conversations, one other big thing that got shipped during CoachAccountable’s 9th year is a completely new 8-email course that folks can sign up for when first getting an account.  It’s titled “Beyond Mere Conversations: The Magic of a Platform Supporting Your Coaching”.

It really kinda all falls under these umbrellas, doesn’t it?

This replaces the old course, “Coaching with Software: How to use Technology for Superior Results”, which I originally wrote over about 3 days in the Euro Cafe in Granada, Nicaragua back in October, 2012.  That one held up well, but in the intervening years it would be fair to say that CoachAccountable has gotten much more advanced.  So a new telling of the story of what CA brings and how to use it is very much in order.

All told, doing our thing in service of the coaching community remains very much a labor of love.  In spite of whatever chaos has been unfolding amid world events, Morgan, Jaclyn and I agree that there’s always a sort of calm respite in creating good in our little corner of the world; and we are honored to serve the vital, world-changing work that you all do.

Here’s to another year!


Interview on the Free Your Inner Guru Podcast

Leadership coach Laura Tucker is the host of the Free Your Inner Guru podcast.

What I love about Free Your Inner Guru is that the conversations are broad reaching and touch on so many areas of life: I always find the ideas talked about giving me fresh perspective or insight into whatever challenge I’m dealing with. Between refreshing nuggets of wisdom and the soothing ambiance of each episode (thanks to the music and voice of the host), it’s like a spa visit for your brain.

Laura herself has been a longtime user of CoachAccountable, and a savvy one at that.  (Indeed, how she weaves CA into her website with a client login and prospective client scheduling is a model specimen of doing it right!)

So I was deeply honored to be invited on to be a guest to talk about CoachAccountable, the entrepreneurial journey thereof, and the impact we’re looking to make on coaching through it.

Among other things, we riff on my initiation into the coaching world via programs with Landmark Education, the meandering path of getting CA from version 1 to something actually good, why Facebook is garbage (at least as a platform for coaching groups), and how staying oblivious to your “competitors” helps you do your best work.

Give it a listen!

CoachAccountable Turns 8 Today!

Like Version 4, this year’s cake embodies more contemporary tastes by eschewing gradients and rounded corners.

What a lovely year it’s been in CoachAccountable land!

And not just because it marks another year of not having any sort of bug database.  (I’m proud to report that the policy of just fixing whatever’s amiss, within minutes of me learning about it, continues to work swimmingly.)

CA’s 8th year saw a number of strides forward in service of the coaching industry.

The biggest, most widely-affecting change is certainly the release of Version 4, a bright new look for the entire app AND unifying of Basic and Team Edition (i.e. Team Edition is now available to all at the same, lower price of single-coach accounts).  Both aspects have been very well received.

We’ve added a few new integrations with other systems: Zoom, Apple Calendar, and PayPal.  CoachAccountable is now published as a ready-to-go integration on Zapier, opening up integration possibilities even further.

We’ve added more features to really flesh out existing functionality, like Group Whiteboards, Group Action Plans, access for inactive clients, support for multiple currencies, and the usual smattering of other enhancements sprinkled about.

We’ve added a third to our team, Jaclyn, and thus further established our ability to serve an ever growing segment of the coaching industry.  And by adding her charismatic and caring expertise to that of Morgan’s, we’ve been reaching out and having one-on-one sessions with the community like never before.

But perhaps the thing I’m most proud of in year 8 is the Webinar Series, which has really started to take on a significance not originally imagined.

At first, I envisioned a sort of “how to” series: clicking around the app and narrating the ins and outs of how to set things up and get things done.  But over this last year in particular it’s taken on a rather different character.

The Webinar Series

I still delight in folks wondering after which program I use I do those drawings. Answer: by hand, and with my daughter’s colored pencils. :)

They’ve evolved into lessons where I illustrate and make arguments for ideas to genuinely run a better coaching business and give clients more.  These ideas are powered by what CoachAccountable makes possible, but I spend very little time in-app showing nuts-and-bolts.

Doing that is itself fun, but the real joy is in the difference we’re hearing it make.  During the most recent one, Designing Your Coaching Business Model, one attendee said:

…That graphic?  Wow.  You’ve just made the roadmap clearer…  Thank you: you’ve just move the whole coaching profession forward…

You can find the Webinar Series here.

Looking Ahead

As I have said in this space most other years, we still have a lot up our sleeves to forward CA in service to the community.  And consistent with my penchant for secrecy around future app development, we ain’t sayin’ nothin’ about what that is. :)

BUT, just as you might gather from similar missives marking year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, you can rest assured it will continued to be powered by the insights and perspectives that we collectively get from all of you.

From me, Morgan and Jaclyn, we thank you all for sharing what would allow you to do your work better, and for letting us be of service to that work.


Coaching Gone Viral

As the entire world feels the impact of COVID-19, social distancing becomes more important by the day. During this time many businesses are shutting down or scaling down operations, which makes some coaches wonder: what can I do with my coaching business during this time?

We’re keeping a finger on the pulse of the coaching industry, and here are CoachAccountable’s suggestions for the era of Coronavirus (as well as what we’re doing at this time).

» Continue reading “Coaching Gone Viral”