The CoachAccountable Blog

Master CoachAccountable and become the best dang coach you can be. Also, news.

Archive for Uncategorized

New Type of Offering Restriction: Per Client Limits

Offering Restrictions have been a thing for quite a while now, they are the ability to restrict folks from signing up or purchasing one of your Offerings.  They’ve come in three flavors:

  1. Limit the number of total sign ups (“sold out!”)
  2. Beginning available date (“coming soon!”)
  3. Ending available date (“now expired!”)

There’s now a fourth: limit the number of sign ups per client (“one per customer!”).

Like the others, this can now be set in the Restrictions area when editing a given Offering:

UI for configuring the per-client Offering Restriction

The [clientFirstName] is a magic tag in this one, for in this situation, that is known!

For the long time I didn’t see much need for that sort of restriction: generally speaking, someone who wants to buy another package of sessions, or redo your course, or similar would be a good and welcome thing!

But oh right, the classic, complimentary Discovery CallTM definitely fits the mold of “one per customer”.

I had earlier thought any sort of abuse to this would be few and far between, and on whatever such rare occasions, it would be easy to spot and politely say, “No, nice try.” to the offending party (with the likely positive side effect of coach being let know that yes, this person is back and keen to engage!).

But as I write this, I imagine myself saying as much during a live press release, and promptly getting heckled with a well-meaning “Yeah, you’d be wrong there, Larson!”  To which I would say “Fair enough!”  And this new ability to restrict Offerings in this way addresses whatever hassle anyone has had amid any sort of abuse to the self-service nature of Offering sign ups.

This restrictions is ultimately based on email address.  If a known client who should be so restricted is already logged in, CA will catch as much and notify them prior to their proceeding, like so:

What a logged in client sees when restricted.

If not, CA will catch any should-be-restricted situation upon their completion of the sign up, and notify accordingly.

Restricted Offering error message at sign up


Coaching Through the Lens of Learning and Performance

Learning and Performance Podcast LogoThe other week I had the delightful experience of riffing with Patrick Healy of The Learning and Performance Podcast.  Patrick comes from a background in a field that was new to me, Learning Design.

Though I’m apt to botch the nuance in my layperson’s description of it, Learning Design means creatively and intentionally crafting a learning experience (including the materials, pacing, presentation and overall delivery method), and do so in a way that best gets the target audience to effectively engage and ultimately learn what there is to learn.

In other words, it’s the stuff of going well beyond throwing a textbook at someone and telling ’em to get cracking.

This perspective that Patrick comes from made for an exploration of coaching from a nuanced lens which is novel to me, namely how coaching maps on to learning and ultimately performance.  We open with a hearty survey of what coaches do and how coaching compares to ostensibly similar activities, like training and mentorship.

Some of my favorite parts:

  • How accountability is often the missing magic in coaching and why execution matters (17:30)
  • A big success of my own self being coached, and why it worked so well (37:02)
  • Advice for coaches starting out: get specific about your pitch (42:38)
  • My leeriness around AI’s growing presence in coaching (featuring reasoning beyond the mere fist shaking of a Luddite!) (47:47)
  • The 3 skills that make one stand out as an exceptional coach (in this definition, competence from training is mere table stakes) (53:15)
  • CoachAccountable as a long form love letter to the practice which has given me so much (1:12:18)
  • Why, if I had to pick, “Baller” would be the one word I’d get tattooed on me (1:16:54)


Happy 11th Birthday, CoachAccountable!

Alright, so CoachAccountable is now entering the tween years, so it might start to get a little awkward celebrating its birthday as it grows up and starts wanting to get more out of the house.

But like any bordering-on-obnoxiously proud parent, I’m gonna enjoy doing so while I still can.

Got a new ribbon this year to go with the Version 5 redesign. #6c9c31 is out, #68a921 is in!

Certainly the primary stride forward of CoachAccountable this past year is Version 5, a full-on aesthetic overhaul and major remix to make things both more beautiful and intuitive.  Judging by the overwhelmingly positive response, I’d say it worked.

I took my sweet time to build, polish, and perfect Version 5 before even mentioning it to anyone (with very few exceptions, one’s first awareness that I was even working on Version 5 came the very day it was launched and fully ready to go).  So while it may have looked from the outside like I was coasting or asleep at the wheel during that year long process, if that was all that got done in CA land this past year I’d call it a rousing success.

But Version 5 WASN’T the only thing to ship!  All told, the release notes reveal 111 entries from the last 365 days, detailing new features, enhancements and UI tweaks.  And that number swells to 168 entries if you include bug fixes1.

Speaking of which, one of those releases was Release Notes themselves: a detailed, publicly visible account of CA’s continued progression that can be seen in-app from the top right user menu under About >> Release Notes.  You can even subscribe to email updates, if you’d like to follow along.

This past year saw a growing both interest in and availability of what I affectionately call CoachAccountable experts, folks independently available for hire to help you go as far down the “do it for me” route as you like when it comes to setting up and even managing things in your CA account.  It has been nice on sales calls, especially with larger organizations having more complex needs, to be able to point to the existence of these CA experts to give comfort and a clear path to getting going fast.  You can find those experts here.

I only did one webinar this past year, but it might be my favorite.  “Sessions Where Things Get Created” is the distillation of LOTS of experience around the difference having a platform makes, namely making coaching more impactful.  If you’re already using CoachAccountable but haven’t seen this one yet, 30 minutes spent watching it might have you get a LOT more bang for your buck.

Drawing of the difference between sessions where things get created or not

Oh man: the difference between sessions where things get created versus not? Formidable.

Now that Version 5 is out and done and I’ve had a good rest, I’m excited to circle back to projects that AREN’T months-long affairs.  Last week I launched an enhancement to Appointments, and I’ve got another spiffy new feature that’s nearly done (one that I’d hoped to get out before CA’s 11th, but it’ll have to wait a few days more!).  All of which is to say it’s nice to be back on a more regular clip.

And there you have it!  A shiny new version, a burgeoning community of experts, and a whole lot of polish towards my aim of making some coaches’ definition of the Perfect.  Coaching.  Platform.

Eleven years in, it remains an honor and delight to help you coaches do the difference-making work that you do.  Here’s to the year and road ahead!

  1. 57 bug fixes might seem like a lot, but man, they are generally pretty darn low impact!  But don’t take my word for it: read through ’em yourself and imagine how many you might have encountered over the last year. :)

Interview on the ANBRWY Podcast

Another fun thing about being done with Version 5 is coming up for air and circling back to invitations I had previously declined on grounds of the need to focus.  To that end, it was my pleasure recently to sit with and be interviewed by Jaclyn Stripling, CoachAccountable staff alum, for the ANBRWY Podcast.

It was a fun recap of the long arc of CoachAccountable’s existence and way of doing things, doubly so as mediated and probed by a third party who herself was there for two years of it.  If you’re curious about what motivates the way and workings of CoachAccountable as a business, including why I run it the way I do and the ostensibly curious decision to run solo of late, you’ll find that and more.

Specific to the CA story, this includes:

  • Going from contract work to making a product
  • Humble beginnings of growing one customer at a time
  • The slow, relaxed pace by which I made Version 5
  • CA’s destiny if I die or get bored or otherwise go away
  • Experiences of being coached that led to CA as a way to make those better

We also covered more universal themes of entrepreneurship, including:

  • Letting customer interactions be the guide
  • Empowerment through betting on yourself as able to figure things out
  • Overcoming “should” and the tyranny of goals
  • Sidestepping the hustle by favoring and focusing on creative output


Appointment Cancel & Reschedule Links

Now that Version 5 is done and launched, I’ve been having fun getting down with programming projects that AREN’T a massive, under-wraps operation!  To that end, earlier this week I got a support question asking:

A pet peeve of mine is clients cancel an appointment by deleting the calendar invite you send via

Is there a configuration I’m overlooking to integrate a “cancel / reschedule” link into the calendar invite?

A fine question!  Because all parties to an Appointment in CoachAccountable have their own login (which is not typically the case while a general purpose scheduler), the usual way to cancel or reschedule is from within the app, while logged in.

But by that very same token, general purpose schedulers offer, out of necessity, something like “Need to cancel this?  Click here.  Need to reschedule this?  Click here.

These allow easy to access to modify an already-scheduled Appointment, and though they’re certainly not needed with CA (wherein everyone can log in to handle all their business, including appointment modifications), I figure that’s a nice addition for two reasons:

  1. This will indeed make it more likely that clients will cancel or reschedule in a way that will be picked up by CA for all the beyond-mere-event setting functionality that that entails1 (meaning coach won’t have to do it as a separate step).
  2. This makes it possible for a client’s assistant, who may be charged with managing their appointments, to make those changes (and WITHOUT requiring the full login credentials of that client, which would reveal potentially sensitive information about the coaching itself).

So, these sorts of links for managing appointments are now a thing!

» Continue reading “Appointment Cancel & Reschedule Links”

  1. By this I’m talking about pre- and post-Appointment Worksheets, notification texts and emails, allocation management, Zoom meeting setting, and more.

Impressions of Version 5

CoachAccountable Version 5 has now been out for a few weeks, and it’s been quite heartening how overwhelmingly positive the response has been.

A lot of folks have kindly shared their feedback in the comments of the announcement, and I’ve had the delight of getting even more through other channels.

For anyone feeling still on the fence around making the switch, I’d like to share a few of my favorites:

It’s so great! The searchable library files have already saved me so much time today!! Thank you for all the continued improvements. I’ve recommended CA to about a million other coaches, and this is why.

I love it, John! I can’t wait to mess around with it and get acquainted with this new beautiful version. Well done!

Version 5 looks really great John. Clean and much easier to see the big picture, having items intuitively grouped together. LOVE the widgets! Nice to see and experience the fruits of your refocused creativity.

It seems as though the intention of beauty has really come through:

It’s so beautiful and intuitive.

Absolutely beautiful!!!!

Love the new look/feel/vibe of v5.

Version 5 looks beautiful – congratulations on all your hard work. Love CA!

I’m definitely tickled to see the “L” word thrown around, in all caps no less!

Thanks a million, John! I’ve been slammed with new client season activity and having this simplified was fantastic! BTW – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new GUI!

I can only imagine the work you put into these changes. Looking forward to exploring and making the conversion. LOVE the business dashboard by the way. 🙏🏽

Hey, John, the updated style is fantastic and I LOVE that the appointment scheduling isn’t buried any more. Great Job!!!!

One theme that is especially meaningful to me is the implications for giving clients a better experience:

Wow! Congratulations 🎉 This looks amazing. I have just signed a new client and look forward to providing an upgraded experience.

Wow, well done, well done! This is such an incredible enhancement for us coaches and for our clients. Glad we all get to benefit from your creative journey in the studio!!!

I love it! It’s way more intuitive, elegant, and easy to use. I can’t wait for my clients to experience this!

This one in particular I’m touched by…

Now that I’ve started to use Version 5.0, I’m very impressed. :) I usually take a while to adapt to a new interface, but this one felt even more intuitive, streamlined, and efficient than before. It works well with my brain immediately, without any adjustment period.

…for it captures the more subtle level of what I was going for: a system that is just plain easier to use through a combination of right layout and appealing aesthetics.

This one tickled me with it’s nod to my aforementioned return to my studio:

I LOVE the new update. Great job. You should have gone back to creating art a long time ago. :)

Perhaps I should have.  It’s unconventional business advice, but focusing on creative output is a tack I’d happily recommend to any business owner over the more common “hustle” side of running things.

And finally, a play in two acts that really brings home the dilemma of migration.  One longtime user commented within MINUTES of Version 5’s launch:

“Ah! I’m scared!  LOL  I’m so used to this version.”

And that’s quite understandable, change can be scary!  Especially for the prevalence of botched launches of new versions to be found out in the wild, wherein it’s (far too often) safer to sit back and wait a few weeks while significant kinks and other artifacts of sloppiness and rushing get worked out.  So I was very glad when, 16 days later and from said user, I got this:

I did it. I pulled the trigger finally.  My jaw hit the floor.  It’s GORGEOUS!!!!

All of which is to say:

  1. Thank you all for the kind words, it is delightful to be of service to you in making art, and
  2. If you haven’t yet pulled the trigger to experience the new, you might find yourself well rewarded for your bravery in doing so. :)

2020 Transform Coaching VSummit

Starting today is ICF Australasia’s 2020 Transform virtual summit, a 4-week long conference for coaches spanning 40 events, and we are proud to be a sponsor of it.

Spread out on the calendar as it is, it’s not too late to get tickets and there are plenty of great talks coming up (among others, Morgan and I are excited for tomorrow’s talk by Benjamin Harvey on effective ways to package your coaching services1).

As part of being a sponsor, we were invited to make a presentation to share with the attendees.  I had fun making a little on-camera riff introducing who we are and what we’re about with our ultimate end game goal, making coaching mainstream.

To date, it’s the most poignant survey of what CoachAccountable has to offer members of the ICF, and it’s nice to have finally put something together that directly talks to that community.


  1. Update: Since the publishing of this post, Morgan and I have now very much enjoyed this presentation, the recording of which will be available to all attendees. :)