After a couple of intense psychology-driven posts last week, I’ve decided to lighten things up a bit. I’m currently finishing the last leg of my European coaching trip and I’m often asked what kind of guys usually sign up for coaching. Are there specific types of guys? Do their personalities and problems fall into distinguishable patterns?
The answer is absolutely. I don’t mean to demean the uniqueness of some of the guys I work with, obviously they’re all unique individuals, but pretty much all of them fall into one of a few types. I think these types and categories could be extended to the entire industry at large to some degree, although I think there are certain demographics of men who are more drawn to coaching than others. But my guess is that the vast majority of people reading this are going to see themselves in at least one of these categories.
I’d say 95% of the men who come to me could be divided up into three typical demographics. They’re the following:
1. The College Kid – I’d say that about 20-30% of the guys I work with are college-aged guys, either in school or just recently graduated. Usually they’re normal, smart guys who are just incredibly shy, inexperienced and are really frustrated that the period of their life that’s supposed to be the most social and fun, they’re spending it worried and anxious all the time. Typically these guys save up money from a summer job or something and want to work on some of the really fundamental skills. The best part about young guys is they improve very, very quickly. It’s easier for them to start/drop habits, and often once they experience a little bit of success, they’re well on their way.
2. The Young Professional – These are the majority of coaching clients. They’re in the 25-40 year age range usually. These are typically the hard-workers and over-achievers: lawyers, software engineers, programmers, entrepreneurs, finance guys, etc. They spent all of their time in school studying, and later spent all of their time working and advancing their career. Now, suddenly they wake up one day, they’re 32, have tons of money and success, and no girlfriend and aren’t quite sure how to meet one. These guys typically have a little to moderate amount of past experience. Usually a couple former relationships and a one night stand or two. Usually these guys are fun to work with, mainly because they’re very professional and take the process seriously. They know what they want and they work towards it consciously.
3. The Divorcee – These are the older guys. Usually over 40 and fresh out of a marriage. These guys have other concerns that most of my clients don’t have — they’re typically far more advanced in their careers and they also often have kids to worry about. These men are getting back into the dating scene after 10-20 years out of it and really want a primer on how to go about it. Usually they’re interested in meeting another girlfriend and eventually wife. Working with these guys varies. Older men require more time and effort to change habits, and obviously the fact that they have age gaps and are often not in the best physical condition (marriage will do that to you) can make the early going rough for these guys.
Categories of Problems
Like demographics, at least 95% of the guys who come to me for coaching are looking to resolve the same three or four issues.
1. Approaching. A lot of guys are just crippled by approach anxiety, have trouble motivating themselves and for whatever reason are unable to find other guys to go out with and push them to approach. Usually these guys want a massive push through a lot of their mental and emotional barriers. Although coaching doesn’t ever eliminate approach anxiety, it can go a long way to making it easier for guys and give them confidence in the future to continue it on their own. These are typically quick and easy sessions. And after the very painful first few approaches, we often end up having a lot of fun.
2. Conversation and Flirting. These tend to be the Type II guys mentioned in my guide. They have trouble with social norms and communicating effectively and being calibrated to the behavior for those around them. These are some of the hardest clients to work with in that it takes the most effort both for me and for them. I also think coaching is the most useful for these guys than anybody else. They definitely get their money’s worth assuming they put the effort in. The reason is that what these guys need most is someone to explain and help them reason through the actions and behavior of people around them, help them to see how what they say and do affects others around them, and help them learn how to read other people’s emotions and body language. These skills are absolutely integral to ever be successful with women (or just about anybody), and it’s more or less impossible to do this in any other way but in person with someone pointing out social cues and explaining them.
3. Sexuality and Escalation. This group is probably the most fun for me to work with, although it’s also the most hit and miss. It’s the most fun because usually these guys are a bit more advanced — they have no trouble approaching, they can get women attracted, they just don’t know how to seal the deal. But the fun part is that these are the guys that I get to approach with them and hit on girls along side them. The hit and miss aspect of this is that some nights you’re just not going to find decent opportunities to escalate very far. So if we happen to go out on a bad night, sometimes we just have to make due. But if we hit a good night, we get to have a lot of fun. I’ve often pulled girls with students working on escalation and sexuality.
4. Day Game. Day game is very, very straightforward and pretty easy to teach. It usually takes no more than an afternoon or two to get any guy getting phone numbers (assuming he presents himself decently). Lots of younger guys often want to learn day game.
5. Lifestyle and Looks. I give everyone I work with a lifestyle and looks inventory whether they want it or not. In many cases, guys think they need to work on their game when they actually have glaring holes in their lifestyle/looks that is holding them back more than anything else. On top of that, lifestyle and looks literally make everything else easier, every step of the way. So it’s important to have them in order. More recently I’ve been focusing more on looks because I think guys really over-estimate how hard it is to change how they look. Also, men tend to be terrible judges of how good they already look. I recommend haircuts, wardrobe changes, glasses/contacts, joining gyms, etc. to a lot of guys. In extreme cases, I’ll take them to the mall myself and make them do it in front of me. As far as lifestyle goes, I usually sit down for an hour or two and kind of go through a guy’s lifestyle and maybe some ways in which he can enrich it and use it to meet more interesting women. Focus on hobbies, enjoying their free-time and networking comes up a lot.
6. PUA Detoxing. This one is becoming more and more common and is usually unsuspected by guys when they hire me. But these days, if I show up and the guy I’m working with either has a bunch of bizarre and unhealthy PUA-based beliefs (i.e., if I don’t approach every girl I’m a pussy) then I take some time and try to undo a lot of them. Also, guys who are driven by being a top PUA more than actually meeting cool and sexy girls, well… I sit down and have a very long conversation with them. Or sometimes I won’t even work with them. Luckily, these days, I’m running into fewer and fewer PUA casualties.