The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Action Business CoachTerrible experience

E Review updated:

I worked for Bruce Doyle re his phone room re his seminars which were targeted at businesses. The whole idea was to get as many businesses to attend as possible in order to stroke Bruce's massive ego.

I was always shocked and taken back when I knew first hand that the 99% of the coaches in Bruce's employ did not have the ability or credentials to actually coach businesses even if they wanted to. The only factor that a coach needed to become a coach was to be able to have the money upfront.

I found the whole framework very dated and backward. I was expected to run a successful telemarketing room with staff who were never given rewards for good work. There was no functioning data base and there was no way that the data could be handled in accordance with privacy laws on in any way that was in accordance with any sort of organization.

Bruce would tell businesses that they needed to have a customer data base when he did not have one himself.

My job was to overhaul a telemarketing room and bring it up to the times but was not given the tools to be able to do it. I was promised things but they never ever eventuated.

The overall way with which a so called coaching company was run was in short a joke. There were staff on the books who were semi literate who in fact were not capable of producing any sort of quality work. Many of the coaches were also semi literate and when I pointed it out to the then ceo of the company that these people are representing a company that is supposed to at least look professional he replied, ''blokes don't need to know how to spell''.

During my stay at Action there were many instance of sexual harassment, the ceo referred to the younger telemarketing staff as ''eye candy'' and thought nothing of inappropriate touching. Female staff including myself were called, ''sweetie'', ''honey'' and ''darling''. I was told that any objection to that was ridiculous. The ceo also talked about how he was a ''tactile person''. This information was brought to the attention of the owner of the company but he chose to ignore it.

I was expected to hold about 8 seminars a month with about 6 telemarketers, no real data except from what could be garnered from phone books etc. and one admin assistant. Bruce expected about 40 decent business owners to attend these seminars which started at 7am and finished at 10 am. Anything less was considered not good enough.

Many businesses realized they were not getting value for money when they signed up for coaching. I spoke to several businesses who could ill afford coaching fees, $2, 000 for nothing and they were expected to pay regardless of the lack of quality of coaching.

I have read the false resumes of some of the coaches. I read with interest that one coach puts himself down as having worked as an IT consultant when he in fact worked for Amway. I know that a lot of the claims some of the coaches are putting on their coaching resumes are false.

The sad truth I found out about Bruce Doyle's coaching company was that he was taught by Brad Sugars and they understand one thing and one thing only, money. Ethics, professionalism and any understanding of process etc. is lost on them. The frameworks that Action use are cobbled from the 1970's and earlier and not relevant in today's climate but that is not relevant re the way the company is modeled.

I personally am not proud that I was part of such a company. I feel very sorry for people who have paid money to Action Coach or Action International as both coaches or as clients who are not getting what they paid for.

To this day I find it interesting that the likes of Brad Sugars profile themselves as being success stories. If my millions were dependent on the suffering and misery of many people then all I can think is that he is a morally bankrupt individual who will eventually fall.


  • Ny
    nyen Mar 28, 2011

    I also had a cold call from Action coach as they found my CV from Web. Thanks for all the comments above, that really opened my eyes.

    1 Votes
  • Having been in business for 8 years, I could see the construction industry suffering and our profits being squeezed and squeezed. My wife had also become sick over a period of time and I was facing the difficult decision of closing the business if we could not turn thing around (mid 2008).

    For a contacting company I had always been actively marketing our firm with consistent growth of around 14% per year, year on year, over the 8 years. As a company we never used an overdraft and every bill was paid within the agreed terms, but there was less and less left over for me.

    I decided to increase our presence again, increased our networking and one day met a local business coach at a BNI event, we had some interesting conversations and meetings at around £35 per hour, but it seemed that we didnt get anywhere fast and I needed to push harder to turn things around. Desperation set in.

    At a local chamber of commerce exhibition, I met a local business coach from ActionCoach. Within minutes I had been booked for my free consultation worth a stunning £375... where the coach learned about my business, financial troubles, worries etc. and showed me a range of plans where we could work together to improve things. At this stage my head was in a spin and really I was being preyed on as a vunerable character. Knowing that the business was barely breaking even, my coach recommended that I invest heavily in coaching to see greater returns quicker, and signed me up on a coaching program for £1595+vat per month or there abouts... He would push me to sucess and cost me as little as a secretary.

    Off I toddle, wondering where I would find an extra £1600 per month, not really knowing what I would recieve for my money... Surely this master business coach would come into my office, meet my staff, see how we work and diagnose problems... Well, the next step... orientation... pay him £1500 to come into our office for 1/2 day... er... no.

    I tried to cancel and we met again, I am certain that ActionCoach coaches are trained in NeuroLinguistic Programming to mind wash clients into 'needing' coaching. Within a week I was invited to enjoy a day on a luxury yacht with some of his clients... Of course all these other small business owners spoke highly of him and how well he had transformed their business..

    I eventually worked with an actioncoach for 14 months, in which time we increased work, borrowed a significant ammount from the bank to invest in the business, looked at other firms to buy and integrate into the company, took on staff, invested in them, worked harder and longer, burnt myself out then eventually ended up putting the company into liquidation to the tune of £108, 000 in the red.

    My marriage has suffered, with a divorce imminent. My business has folded and now i face personal bankruptcy due to the directors guarentees etc. Of the 8 people on the yacht that day, none are still clients of the coach, 2 have had a nervous breakdown, I know at least 4 of his clients that have gone banktrupt in the last 6 months.

    Ive met Brad Sugars - Mr. B.S - is a flash and false character that may be a millionaire, but neither he, or a lot of his henchmen realise what a hard earned days money is. My coaching consisted of weekly 'coaching sessions' where my coach would cover the same ground, standard information and rarely prepare or do homework on my business, but hand me books to read to educate me. And a training session or two each quarter. He would openly discuss other clients, and our information with others; our ActionCoach even copied the design of our marketing materials to sell to one of their other coaching clients as their own design... hmmmm... as Brad Sugars would say "isnt that interesting..."

    ActionCoach prizes and awards are merely to blow wind up their own Ar*es, and anyone with a good business gifts company locally could knock them up..

    My business coach - master business coach, multi award winner, coach of the year, fsb chairman, blah blah blah, was always certain to get his bucks first each month, and made sure you kept coming back. If you suceed, its because of ActionCoach, if you fail, its because you are weak. ActionCoach taught me the hard way, keep your eyes on the money in your business, trust your instinct first, only gamble what you wish to gamble, and as Brad Sugars says business is a game - like most games there are always cheats and ActionCoach are one of them.

    Its a shame we took part in some marketing videos etc. for them as I now regret this. Happy to answer any questions... Total Investment in working with an ActionCoach around £24, 000 - total debt in business £108, 000 - personal debt £55, 000. Cost of ActionCoach = marriage, business, mental health.

    2 Votes
  • Pr
    PRF Feb 21, 2011

    A few years back when I was running a logistics company, I was approached by one of these action coach guys. To be frank, the content & message of what he was offering was patronising, ridiculously prescriptive, and the coach himself seemed uninterested in anything other than signing me up. I also checked out the Companies House reports for all the local action coaches in my area (Glasgow, UK) and it seemed on the surface of it that none of the limited companies these action coaches used to operate their franchise had healthy balance sheets - in fact the majority looked very poor with small beer trading positions and negative (and / or decreasing) shareholder funds. All seems a bit of a tall-tale, the 'everyone's a winner' actioncoach franchise message. PRF, Glasgow.

    0 Votes
  • Ac
    Active ActionCoach Feb 20, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Wow! I'm shocked at the level of advice people on this thread have to business owners. Go hire a professional. Great. Which one? How do you know they aren't ripping you off? Ever tried to negotiate with a radio station for an ad? A good coach can help you save his fee in no time flat right there. Not to mention having your particular message well thought out and communicated.
    Many of you have businesses that you grew over the years during much better times. Times where you only had to hang a shingle out saying you were open and people started coming through your doors. Believe me, a coach such as myself will not necessarily make you rich, nor will they make you fail. They can help you get to either place quicker.
    I am a coach, an ActionCoach in fact. And believe me, there's a number of things to be desired. However, the best thing I find with their system is that many of the basic documents needed to run a business are already created for you to provide your client.
    Are you seriously suggesting that an outstanding auto mechanic doesn't need these basic documents? "A Franchise in a Box" if you will? How many businesses fail every year? Only 4% of businesses started today will be around 10 years from now. Why is that? You don't think they could make it if they had a little guidance and help? Trust me, I don't need to tell the mechanic how to do a tune-up or how to overhaul and engine in order to get his business hopping and popping.
    The biggest problems with ActionCoach is that the coaches don't set the ground rules from the beginning of the engagement. E.g. I will fire you the client if you are not committed to making this work. I build my business on the success of my clients, period! If they don't get results from me, they can opt out with 30 days written notice and I also reserve that right. Why? Because there are no "get rich quick" schemes.
    The biggest mistake that new coaches make is trying to implement too many strategies too quickly in a company. Strategies require an investment prior to making a profit and if you add too many investments on top of the coaching fee, you will coach a company out of business real quick. Most clients are struggling to begin with, that's why they are hiring a coach. The coach must be an expert in sniffing out the strategy that is going to have the biggest impact in the business and work on that strategy until the maximum benefit is gained out of it. Just as the momentum from that strategy starts to slow, grab the next most beneficial strategy and start working on it. Just like washing your hair in the morning, Wash, rinse, repeat.
    Regarding the purchase of an ActionCoach franchise, if you don't want to pay the $75k it takes to buy a new license go offer the existing coaches a buy out of their license. Give them an offer of a few thousand dollars and take over their monthly fees. This gives you access to all the tools in the tool box but with a much smaller up front cost. Plus you may not be locked into a long term agreement giving you the option to "kick the tires" before renewing an agreement. This should be real easy since so many of you are quick to point out that there's so many coaches not making it and having to pay a buy-out fee. Shoot, you could possibly just take over their agreement if that is the case. Plus they'd probably give you all their inventory and any clients they currently have. Wow, what a concept, huh?

    Bottom line folks, get real. You can't just write a Franchisor a check and expect a huge result. Your client can't just write you a check and expect a result either. It goes both ways. You and the client MUST do the work.

    The only real valid comment in this whole string is the one about ActionCoaches feeding off other ActionCoaches. I have witnessed this first hand and quite frankly, believe that the development and support of the coaches should be included in the $1800 monthly fees paid to the organization. If this bothers you to the point that you don't want to be an ActionCoach, then you should seek out other coaching companies and use their systems and tools.

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    Honesty Pays Nov 05, 2010

    Confirming the last three posts, I recommand that people who get his far also take at good look at a couple of other sites.


    0 Votes
  • Ra
    Randy West Jr. Sep 06, 2010

    This all reminds me of a scam artist (claims to be a freelance business strategist out of the UK names Helmut Welte. He ran a scam business called XQ-Coaching until it floundered like any poorly put together scheme. He's still sleezing around the UK trying to sell his tricks and ripoffs. Found some interesting links below from some of his victims!
    XQ Coaching — Business Coach Scam

    0 Votes
  • Th
    This name is already taken Sep 01, 2010

    Here is my view on Action Business Coach: If you have something to sell, that is legitimate and of value to the public, be upfront about it. I currently sell Franchises for a living, and I am very good at it. But I don't BS people, I present things honorably and my customers never complain about me. But today I posted my resume on Linked In, and I received a call from Byron Whalen with Action Coach @ [protected]. All he said in the message was "I saw you resume, it looks interesting, I'd love to talk with you." Ok. so here's my feeling. The guy said his name, his number, and the name of the company, but I could tell he was either a recruiter or something else. But because he didn't mislead me, I called him back. But Byron didn't know that I am a very successful Franchise Broker. So when he answers, I introduced myself then said "What can I do for you Byron?". He said I saw your resume and it looked interesting." I replied "With regards to what? I'm not sure I understand." He then tap danced a little, and I stopped him. I said "Byron, you're not answering my question, and I'm about to hang up on you." He said in a very puppy dog tone "Aw, why would you do that?" My hand inched towards putting the phone down. I said "What is this about?" He started a fairly well structured but evasive "spiel" where he slid the words "Franchise" and "Business Opportunity" into the equation. I stopped him. I said "Byron, are you trying to sell me a franchise or a business opportunity?" Then he did it. Instead of answering succinctly, he said "ahhh...well...maybe one or even two..." I stopped him mid-sentence. I said "Byron, I am an experienced Franchise professional, and I have no interest in buying a franchise nor a business opportunity - and I know the difference."
    He started to tap dance again, and I had enough. I said "Byron, if you are selling something, be upfront about it. But you have NO CHANCE if you don't respond directly to the questions of the person you are trying to gain rapport with. I'm not interested. Then, he tried an old fashioned technique called "the tag" which is where you ask ANY open-ended question that requires a long winded response. He said "Well, tell me something...what are you looking for?" I said "It doesn't matter does it?" He was saying " depends" as I hung up. Boy this economy is sure creating a bunch of scam artists out there. I put my resume up on Career-Builder (don't EVER do that!) and Monster, and I have had 10 Insurance Agent solicitations and about 4-5 Franchise solicitations. No big deal, but WOW, it is obvious to me that there are a lot of people out there that are scamming. This reminds me of the calm before the storm in the mortgage business. It is a sign folks. Be wary of people who want to talk and don't get to the point. There are short-cut artists out there, trying to part everyone from their money. Now, I use my caller ID. If I don't know them, I don't answer. If I get an email from them, i just look at the name of the company and reply "no thanks". Action Business Coach reminds me of Bernard Haldane. Bunch of losers selling "fluff". But if you aren't smart enough to be aware that there are a bunch of scammers coming out of the woodwork lately, trying "short-cuts" to wealth, then it is your own fault if you get sucked in. Put your armor on. Oh...and Action Business Coach Franchise? YUK. Get real...that is a very weak scam. Criticize me if you want for feeling this way, but I just took 5 minutes to type this in the singular hope that if I can educate a few people out there to the BS scams that have increased DRAMATICALLY over the last year or two, then I feel good. And if you read this and then go to one of their (I am sure this is right) STUPID SEMINARS OF FLUFF and Smoke n Mirrors, then you need to smarten up. Action Business Coach as a Franchise or a Business Opportunity?
    They must be [censor]s, because you can't be both. They are very different, and the FTC will come screaming down on them if someone records them. FWIW.

    2 Votes
  • Se
    se72 Jul 08, 2010

    The action coach business model sells franchises not coachings and works as follows:

    - target corporate professionals who are looking for a job through cold calls

    - sell the sizzle of "the freedom of being self employed while having the support of the action coach framework", i.e. action coach is supposed to provide them a short cut to independence

    - make it sound elitist and hard to "get in" through interviews and the high entry cost

    - put them in touch with supposedly successful coaches who claim they will make 160 000 USD in the second year

    - approve anyone who has the money and sign them in for long term contracts, usually 5-7 years with additional costs of 1500 USD a month plus 5% of their turnover

    - never disclose or discuss how many clients are actually being coached by action coaches or what their success rate is. Only show testimonials on action coach websites

    - never provide hands on training with coaching (like working as an assistant for another coach for a year)

    The action coach website does not target small business owners, there is no information on there that will encourage them  to sign up. 

    The franchise is the product they sell, not the training 

    (75000 USD plus another 18k a year for 5 years = 165000 USD). 

    For the price of their "training" you can buy an established business with employees, customers, multi year market presence.

    - action coach has very few coaching customers. This is easy to see when you look at the internet. 

    If it is true that they have over 1000 coaches and every coach has just 10 clients a year, this would mean 10 000 client projects every year. For every client that signs with action coach, there would be at least another 30 or 40 who are seriously considering it. since the company has been around since the mid 1990s action coach should have had over 100 000 clients and maybe several hundred thousands people interested. 

    These people would leave traces all over the internet. 

    In discussion forums, blogs, local magazine interviews, fact there would by now be a large "action coach" community of successful entrepreneurs. 

    Just think about how many blog entries and discussions you will find about a tiny high school rock band that only performs three times a year. action coach supposedly holds seminars/events world wide all the time...??? Where are all those people on the net??? small business owners are extremely active in forums etc..because it saves them a lot of time and money. There should be discussions records that go back to 1998 at least.

    You only find a few testimonials on action coach websites, their videos on you tube have extremely few views and no comments, they never show up in disucssion groups or mailing lists. You cannot "create" this kind of internet background chatter.

    The internet is empty (apart from their own websites that dominate the first pages of a google search). So...they have extremely few clients.

    Their website only boasts "We have over 1100 coaches worldwide" not "We have successfully coached over 100 000 small businesses" - didn´t you notice that??

    - The coaches on their website mostly have the same standard text to hide that they are rookies who have never been self employed before. Their long corporate history is usually not mentioned.

    - stevie awards are one of many awards you can buy to boast your business reputation.  

    This doesn´t mean that the coaches themselves are not genuinly interested in being coaches or don´t have the skils to be successful. They are victims of the action coach franchise.

    A small business owner is targeted every day by scammers so after a while you recognize them quickly. 

    We get cold calls all the time trying to get us to invest in a new "internet business portal", participate in expensive "contests", learn new "superhuman mental power skills in a resort in Thailand" etc...etc...not to mention all the Nairobi princesses who want us to inherit their millions for a small transaction fee...

    But people in cooperations have never been exposed to this. Large companies perform background checks with specialists and lawyers for any prospective business partner, so if you are somewhere in middle management you will probaly never be in touch with scammers. Lazy team members, slow paying customers, yes - but daily contact with fraud - no. 

    People from large cooperations are also used to very high marketing costs, they probably have dealt with or decided over budgets of millions of dollars. They do not realize that when you are a small business owner it is NOT normal to pay 75 000 USD upfront and a further 1500 USD every month. These are huge amounts of money in the small business world.

    There are many, many schools and colleges that train coaches, most offer classes for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. many are free. You can also get a degree in psychology/human resource and then work with experienced coaches as a freelancer or employee before striking out on your own.

    You can also work with a "business angel", very often retired executives who coach start ups in their spare time, often free of charge.


    There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    There is no "shortcut" to being self employed. If you want an easy life - stay employed...

    Being a small business owner is VERY hard. ALWAYS. Even after 10 years. 

    Even if you are a millionaire (for instance you will be sued often by fraudsters who are hoping to cash in through settlemets)

    If you really want to do it, then read books, network, attend events and seminars from several different schools or universities. try to do freelance work or find business that will train you. 

    Stay Healthy. Stay Safe. Be very careful before you give money to people.  Don´t sign contracts that your lawyer didn´t approve. Never work with someone elses lawyer.

    If it doesn´t feel right, it usually isn´t.

    Be Flexible. Running a business is like surfing - while you ride a wave you always have to look for the next one. 

    Good luck!!

    1 Votes
  • Te
    Telem Jul 04, 2010

    The discussion has veered from what Eldar originally posted, bad experience with Bruce Doyle as an employee leading to him/her accusing all of actioncoach as nothing better than a scam.

    Now to be honest, let me state upfront I was an ActionCoach myself, my experience with Bruce Doyle isn't exactly positive but I think Eldar has to look into his/her own performance before raising other issues.

    This was the figures given:

    "I was expected to hold about 8 seminars a month with about 6 telemarketers, no real data except from what could be garnered from phone books etc. and one admin assistant. Bruce expected about 40 decent business owners to attend these seminars"

    So Eldar has a team of 6 telemarketers and one admin assistant, a full setup, I would say.

    The target was 8 seminars of 40 attendees, a grand total of 8 X 40 = 320.

    Telemarketing conversion rate is about 1 out of 25 on average, so the team need to make a total of 320 X 25 calls per month on average, i.e., 8000.

    8000 calls divided over 6 telemarketers and 20 working days (assuming Eldar do not get involved) means each telemarketer has to make an average of 67 dials per day.

    This is assuming the admin assistant and Eldar himself/herself are not participating in dials.

    So... it is impossible for a team of 8 to compile a list, fax/dial 67 prospects each per day?

    Seems to me like Eldar has personal beef with Bruce Dolye.

    And this is coming from a person with no love for Bruce Doyle and ActionCoach.

    0 Votes
  • Mn
    mnmachineshop May 22, 2010

    Having had George s may in for the 3 day hard sell, and now having been working with action coach for a little while, I have to say they are nothing alike. Action coach is a franchise, and I don't doubt that some of them are lousy, it does seem relatively easy to get an action coach franchise up and running. But I am actually really happy with the help my action coach has provided for my business here in MN. The tools that sugars has set up are sound, as long as used correctly. Some franchise owners may try to scam, but some actually can help. I like mine very much so far.

    I haven't been working with my coach for very long, but already I have learned a lot about myself and my business. I expect this to continue. Time will tell.

    0 Votes
  • Ac
    actioncoachblogs Mar 14, 2010

    I have no opinion on business coaching but I have researched ActionCoach and agree with BCoaching that it does not look like a good story. There is a lot of relatively recent material available on these sites

    /URL removed/

    /URL removed/

    Anyone thinking about investing in this franchise should look at this stuff before taking the leap.

    2 Votes
  • Ha
    Handsome30 Mar 11, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer


    I understand where you are coming from. Not to belabor the point but in what ways do you believe experts or specialists present a handicap and in what ways do experts
    hink of quick fix solutions? How do coaches actually help the owner/client think
    through the options available? Now, let me add a qualifier that I am speaking just
    from experience here.

    If a coach is not from within a specific industry e.g. real estate, which is my background and my basis for my comments, how can they know the dynamics and about the
    issue of local independents vs corporate/franchise brands? Can they articulate
    and explain the pros and cons of each and which direction the owner should try and
    take, given all circumstances and available resources?

    Or, the tax preparation industry. Do coaches understand the nature of that industry and
    the advantages affiliation with name brands like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt have
    vs being Moe's Tax Service? And, the cons as well (have to charge higher fees to cover
    corporate or franchise fees)?

    If a coach has at least come out of some management position, hey, that is great. But,
    the coaches I've met, interacted with and worked with, no one can vouch for their
    credentials. I did not see them on their websites, so if a coach is not even willing to
    list their credentials, that already means there is something amiss.

    I am just skeptical of the value proposition. Maybe it is just the bad experience I've had.
    In your work, do you take into account what subject experts say on a particular matter?
    I just feel that as that company's subject matter expert, my views and efforts were
    undermined because the corporation we were talking with offered to develop an action and
    business plan and incorporate it into the contract and their internal quality control
    people would more or less serve as the coaches in terms of that specific aspect,
    commercial real estate. If the company's quality control managers set up the
    plan, there would be no more need for the coach. He would be just dead weight
    on the corporation's budget and the corporation would probably tell him he was
    no longer needed and that the owner would have contracts that would have
    forced him to prioritize; delegate residential and property management to
    other brokers and continue to receive profits from that business but be able to
    focus full time on his burgeoning commercial clientele.

    Thank you for your insights.

    0 Votes
  • Bc
    BCoaching Mar 11, 2010

    Handsome30. Sorry, I did see you had some indirect dealings with a business coach and I agree, what you describe would put anyone off. That being said I wouldn't judge a whole profession on my experience with one person and most business coaches do come into this activity after years of significant business experience, frequently in senior management positions.
    Furthermore, you don't have to be an expert in a given field to be able to help people move forward. On the contrary, being an expert can be a serious handicap as you will tend to think in terms of "quick fix" solutions rather than helping the person think through the options available which is what a good business coach will do.
    Having said all of that, happily most people can survive perfectly well without a business coach. Where they are most useful is when you are consistently failing to achieve the results you are looking for which means you have to change and change starts with you. This is not an area that most CPA's, Lawyers etc will get into but it is what business coaching and coaching in general is all about - helping people make the changes they need to make to get where they want to be.
    It would be interesting to pusue the exchange over a beer but I think I'll leave it that with this forum.

    P.S. Looking around the internet there is an amazing amount of internally generated hype about ActionCoach but also quite a lot of very negative materiel from other sources. In particular, it looks like franchisee turnover is massive.

    1 Votes
  • Ha
    Handsome30 Mar 10, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer


    If you read my post, yes, I have had experience, albeit indirectly, with a coach. What real business skills do they bring to the table? I agree they may have people skills but that
    can only go so far before we start talking about real tangible value.

    I can see bringing in a "coach" or advisor or consultant based on industry specialization e.g an accountant or tax preparation business owner may bring in someone with that
    type of experience when starting out on their own. Or, a real estate agent who opts
    to go solo may bring on board a person who has worked as either an owner or manager
    and ask them for guidance in starting out.

    Most coaches I've met or in the case above, dealt with, have NO industry expertise
    whatsoever, can only speak in platitudes and generalities and cannot appreciate
    the unique dynamics of each industry or company.

    Furthermore, this "coach" got in my way and deliberately undermined what I
    was hired to do, which was to come up with a way for a local real estate brokerage
    that was endeavoring into commercial real estate to be able to compete
    effectively with some of the name brands e.g. CBRE or NAI. I did exactly that and
    one better: I found a company willing to actually INCORPORATE the local
    brokerage into a true blue corporate store and front the start up costs.

    Before we even had the conference call, the "coach" was trying to sabotage the
    effort and negotiations, telling the owner it would be a waste of time to even
    communicate with the executives in California. The executives in California had
    no such prejudices and were willing to come out to the local market and do
    training and set up; just wanted to audit the listings and create separation from
    residential brokerage.

    The "coach" also at times answered the company phone as though he was an
    employee and actually answered "coach speaking." How polished and
    professional is that? Not at all.

    Now, I also have met other coaches, including the owner of the local Action Coach
    branch. To me, they are like the Mafia, the Camorra, the N'dranghetta, the
    Yakuza, the Outfit, the Westies, Amway, Equinox, etc: Slight variations
    among each group but more or less same or similar premise: Huff, puff and fluff.

    Give me a good partner or underboss any day; one who's actually lived it.

    2 Votes
  • Bc
    BCoaching Mar 10, 2010

    Handsome30 You seem to have a real issue with business coaches. Have you ever actually worked with one? I believe that if you did you might think differently. Contrary to the the professionals you mention - Auditor, CPA or Lawyer a good business coach is a generalist who combines real business skills with highly developed people skills. With all of this he is capable of helping clients to better understand their own motivations and limiting beliefs ie. all the things that are holding them back and also provide practical assistance on how to move forward in many areas. This is what makes business coaching unique and why it can be invaluable for people who simply do not know how to move forward from where they are. However, like other professions, the quality will depend very much on the individual you hire and most people would agree that it takes at least 5 years for someone to become a really good coach. This is no doubt where the ActionCoach model is debatable.

    -1 Votes
  • Ha
    Handsome30 Mar 07, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am of the belief that all coaching is a scam. What talents or value do coaches actually bring to the table? What can they do that a salaried or profit sharing partner or
    associate cannot do? As far as an objective observation, an auditor, CPA or lawyer
    can provide an independent and grounded opinion for a lot less.

    I applied to an ad for an Action Coach interview. Turned out to be a "group interview, "
    which was more like an Amway or MLM scam meeting. They never called me back and
    I am actually quite glad because the whole thing felt like snake oil.

    I went to work for a company that had a "coach." My job was to develop a platform
    to enhance the company's commercial real estate endeavors and goals. The "coach"
    obstructed me, saying we did not need a national/global reach to do commercial
    real estate. I provided evidence for my position; set up a conference call
    between th owner, myself and an exec for a major company that is not at this
    time represented in our market. The exec said that if we proceeded and agreed,
    we would be incorporated into the larger company, which would save our side
    LOTS of cash in terms of franchise fees, etc. The coach told the owner we did not
    have the polish or professionalism needed for that type of platform.

    When I left, I analyzed the situation and concluded this: ALL business coaches'
    bottom lines depend on a business never reaching full functionality. Something
    ALWAYS has to be wrong. If the owner accepted the proposal, that large
    company offering to take us in would send in their super lawyers and
    CPAs and deep six the coach. They would have created and imposed
    a business plan, priorities, objectives, budgets, etc. The coach simply
    protected his pocketbook. An opportunity was missed and that is all she

    Coaching as a whole is another scam, just like Amway, PrePaid Legal, Equinox; populated
    by people who have no other value to offer; nothing tangible or clear cut but
    rather opaque. For example, I know what I get when I have a CPA or tax
    preparer do my taxes; an attorney write a letter for me or review a contract and
    when I buy a hammer at Home Depot. What does anyone get with "business coaching?"
    In my view, it's a bunch of smoke and mirrors; coaches who have not been in
    any one industry and developed any expertise yet are going to tell an owner
    or executive what do do. What a joke!

    2 Votes
  • Si
    Simon Gekas Nov 17, 2020
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @Handsome30 Your experiance sounds like that of a business advisor or business consultant. There prerogative is to continue the engagement for as long as possible to become a preverbale crutch so to speak. Business coaches are not there to tell the owner or management staff how to run their business, that is an immediate red flag . The role of a business coach is to align the employees and employers to that of the business objectives based on the vision and mission of the business.
    What that may look like is ensuring that the right people are in fact put into teams to make the project successful, just because you might hire a lawyer to write you a legal letter or tax preparer to do your taxes, does not in any way guarantee that those people filling that role will execute the task to the best of their ability or go above and beyond, in fact they could easily be failing or barely be doing the bare minimum and are there to collect their pay cheque at the end of the day!

    A business coach would ensure that those types of business cultures be identified and measures taken to change it, because it will quickly devolve into a very toxic and unproductive state of affairs where finger pointing and blame becomes the culture of the business.

    Why do people leave their current places of employment? majority of the time it is because of management!! When managers lead through fear and lack of communication, relationships break down and trust disintegrates. From your experience that is exactly what this "coach" was doing, creating a toxic environment and pushing their own agenda by convincing the owner to not follow through with the projects you proposed.

    It is saddening that this one experience of a so called coach has made you generalize the entire field of coaching, yes there are bad business coaches out there, however there are exceptional business coaches out there who are there weight in gold.
    Alternatively expecting a coach to have years of experience and developed expertise in one field of industry actually would potentially undermine the coaching engagement because that coach would have already preconceived opinions and come with there own bias on how to "coach" the business in there field of expertise and with their years of experience. What's really happening there in that case is the "Coach" is actually doing business advising or consulting.

    0 Votes
  • Ev
    evercynical Mar 06, 2010

    My Doyle's ability to run rip off businesses is not limited to Action Coaching (which he has now lost the Australian master licence for). He has an uncanny ability to re-incarnate himself and every time he is the world's best, biggest or most prolific at whatever it is. For a man that really acquired his prowess as a sandwich bar operator he has done very well simply out of milking everyone around him and most particularly his coaches of which many have left him for more ethical business operations.

    My own experiences with Doyle were not related to coaching but another business operation he has set up and I can tell you I walked away because there was only one person who was ever going to make money and that was him and whatever was made went into his back pocket very quickly. Doyle uses other people preys on their vulnerabilities and surrounds himself with fledglings who will do his bidding because they themselves are too weak to stand up to him. I personally know 3 people who have stood up to him questioning his business practices and ethics and chose to not be involved any further.

    I know for a fact that Bruce Doyle does not trust any of his staff and in fact I would suggest he is somewhat paranoid as he personally locks himself in his office and scans the emails of his staff and coaches checking on what they are doing and saying.

    Whilst staff and coaches have gone without money and not been paid wages My Doyle has made sure that his multi-million dollar home renovation in Brighton proceeds and that his Porsche get serviced.

    You are correct - clients sign up on coaching plans for several thousand dollars a month to be coached by someone who has no or little business experience. Don't get me wrong - there are a couple of his coaches who have excellent experience and are quite good and I suggest that most have the best of intentions but for this money you need to see real results and this is difficult to find. There is no evidence of accountability with the coaching model these guys role out. One of his clients has said that the only value they really got was from the individual coach and not from Action Coaching and really they were not in the best position to pay what they did. A real business advisor would have directed them to spend that sort of money in far more effective ways.

    1 Votes
  • He
    helmutwelteisasissyboy Nov 11, 2009

    This all sounds very similar to XQ-Coaching out of Dartford, UK. Shady business practices, taking clients money and providing no valuable service in return, not to mention that the Principle Coach gladly takes clients money and laughs (openly in the office) when clients call upset and wanting a refund.

    Working there was surely the scummiest thing I have ever done and in my time there I saw companies paying thousands of Euros and really getting nothing in return...its shameful and I feel ashamed that I even worked there.

    0 Votes
  • Ze
    Zenotron Oct 19, 2009

    Yeah I worked for Action coach and Bruce Doyle and I can honestly say they were very dodgy, my job was to appoint coaches to go in and visit the owners. I received alot feedback from disgruntled owners who were ripped off by action coach. As employees we were meant to be paid bonuses which we were never paid. They allso employed a staff member to spy on our activities. And they treated staff in a contemptuous fashion, confining them to a small stuffy work place. As employees we had very few rights and could be sacked on a matter of wimsy. I allso set up a million dollar deal for the company and my contribution was never acknowleged or rewarded.

    1 Votes
  • Br
    Brad Martin Oct 09, 2009

    Check the 300+ comments thats been going on for years about these tricksters. Seems like lots of people have been ripped off by these scam artists

    1 Votes
  • Ha
    Handsome30 Jul 10, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Traditionally, a business set up would be an individual with an idea but knowing his/her weaknesses and
    seeking out partners or people willing to contribute their skills and know-how for a portion of the
    profits or a decent salary.

    The whole coaching thing is a relatively recent concept. Traditionally, people would partner and then
    hire or contract accountants, lawyers, etc, to deal with the legal and financial portions of the business.

    Now, businesspeople hire coaches, who often are generalists and not really specialists within any given field. This is the biggest problem I have observed with coaching. Often, a coach comes in, gives platitudes
    and motivation and gives the business a plan to follow. Yet, without having any expertise in
    a core area, how can they be sure their plan will work to that specific business or industry?

    Furthermore, how much money do coaches get paid from an operations budget that could be
    allocated to a decent tax person, financial advisor and marketing/sales expert? A coach is
    not responsible for any end result because that is the job of the owner(s). Therefore, would not
    a better approach be to assess operating capital and then find specialists like marketing,
    legal and financial. If a business is going to bring in an outside trainer or coach, it is only
    logical that the coach have some background with the industry or specific business. Anyone
    can give a good platitude or a good motivational pep talk. The greater question is, do they
    have the specific skills or knowledge of the business to help drive it to profitability?

    1 Votes
  • St
    still looking Jul 06, 2009

    Thank you for sharing your experience about Action Coach.

    I have been looking for a job in business management consulting or program/project management, with my specialization being in process improvements and efficiencies, so when I was offered a job as business analyst with IPA (International Profit Associates), and I later realized is a 'spin off' of George S May, I hesitantly accepted. It was my shortest employment by far; I stayed 3 days and it was 3 days longer than I felt comfortable staying.

    Having gone through the training and a run-through with a begrudging client at IPA, it sounds like it works much the same as George S May and Action Coach. It is all about making money by preying on business owners and using high pressure tactics to scam them out of as much money as possible.

    A friend of mine whose brother in law works for or owns an Action Coach franchise. He wants to know if I would consider consulting for him. Hmmmm...

    It is amazing to me that these organizations manage to stay in business, but the Illinois Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against IPA for deceptive practices.

    0 Votes
  • ok I can understand your point with this company I do agree with sounds like a rip off but on the other hand I am over ppl thinking cause u are called honey, sweetie, babe, darling thinking ur being sexual harrissed...geez I can tell u this I say those words alot out of southern hosptitality... I can assure u that by no means am I trying to hit on anyone...I am a happily married mother of 3... and I havent seen one man that could hold grounds likemy husband or work as hard as him so when u think its sexual harrisment maybe ppl like me say it to be nice...

    0 Votes
  • Co
    Consultant Gym Apr 06, 2009

    I do not know anything about ActionCoach but in looking for employment I ran across their name on Cooridor Careers. My experience was working for a consulting company out of the Chicago area. George S May, International Company. Their focus was to increase the project assigned and billed at $140.00 per hour. These fees were collected daily and the field executive was pressured to keep the project running as long as possible. The client paid incoming airfare, per diem, hotel/motel and car rental. The staff executive received a percentage starting at 5% and growing at the length of the project. Most of the work was confirming the client had money enough to pay the fees. The stuff given was basically common sense gingerbread that one could google. I did not like their ethics and left after one year that had me traveling over 60, 000 air miles and being home 16 weekends. I quit and got a real job.

    0 Votes

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