Need advice - coach took my ideas for himself

by gina23
35 replies
Can anyone offer me any advice? I paid for some coaching and gave my coach a list of my ideas for a WSO, took a couple of weeks off over Christmas, and upon return my "coach" took one of my ideas for himself. What can/should I do about this if anything?
#advice #coach #ideas
  • Profile picture of the author artflair
    Originally Posted by gina23 View Post

    Can anyone offer me any advice? I paid for some coaching and gave my coach a list of my ideas for a WSO, took a couple of weeks off over Christmas, and upon return my "coach" took one of my ideas for himself. What can/should I do about this if anything?
    Did you talk with your coach about this?
    Looks like a real Pro...
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    • Profile picture of the author gina23
      No point - he said he already used it - bit late now. I paid $400 for 1 hour mindset session, then I sent him my list of 15 ideas. I was due to pay him more today but now I can't trust him. I just wondered if anyone else has ever had the same problem and what they did if anything. Maybe I should just write if off as an expensive mindset lesson and battle on my myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    It's quite hard to prove he stole your ideas unless you have an evidence trail like an email. Even then proving it in Court would be tricky under intellectual property right and expensive. My suggestion is still run with the idea he stole as it shows that it has some potential but just do it bigger and better!
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    • Profile picture of the author gina23
      Thanks guys. I do have an email trail, but that's not a bad idea. My problem is that I needed some coaching to make it happen. Maybe I need to find a more ethical coach when I get some more money.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Originally Posted by gina23 View Post

        Maybe I need to find a more ethical coach when I get some more money.

        Ya think?

        Chalk this one up to experience because unless you had a non-disclosure agreement or language in your signed contract stating that your ideas were off limits, there's not a lot you can do.

        I would suggest you go with one of your other 14 ideas. But if you want to develop the one your coach "stole" then do what he's doing and do it better and with more depth and quality than he is offering.

        Good luck to you,

        Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author origin
        Originally Posted by gina23 View Post

        Thanks guys. I do have an email trail, but that's not a bad idea. My problem is that I needed some coaching to make it happen. Maybe I need to find a more ethical coach when I get some more money.
        you don't need more coaching, you need more taking action and doing! just do it, you can get coaching until the chickens come home to roost, the best "coaching" is to learn by trial and error.

        create your WSO and launch it. you will learn more from the process than any coaching program.

        for the technical part, there are many "how to launch a wso" wsos at a fraction of the price you are going to pay for coaching, so just do it! don't hesitate!
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    If you already have a list of ideas and including one good enough that your coach wanted it for himself then you might not need as much coaching as you think. I would start taking your own ideas and acting upon them yourself instead of sinking more money into a coach. Obviously coaches can add a lot of value but if you already have some good ideas (which must be the case if the coach took one) then you can get things moving on your own for now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
      Originally Posted by Slade556 View Post

      If you already have a list of ideas and including one good enough that your coach wanted it for himself then you might not need as much coaching as you think.
      If it's true that the coach really stole his idea, then I doubt it was a real coach. Most coaches are people who can't make money other than claiming to know how to teach you how to make money. It's a paradox, but hey, when someone is new to this game has no idea of what to do, any advice passed on as "solid" will impress them.

      And if you think about it, most real coaches don't have time to teach others. In other word, unless you pay them serious money to incentivize them to take time off from their money-making activities, they won't waste their time with you.

      This particular situation is strange because the OP claims to have paid $400 for an hour of coaching. That's quite a lot, so maybe this person really is a good coach and already had that WSO idea in mind. Or maybe he's just an "expensive scammer." Who knows?
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  • Profile picture of the author pilot47
    so who is this guy? Tell us to be weary of him
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    • Profile picture of the author nicoli
      Originally Posted by pilot47 View Post

      so who is this guy? Tell us to be weary of him
      Yeah, who's the coach?
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      • Profile picture of the author Altered State
        Originally Posted by pilot47 View Post

        so who is this guy? Tell us to be weary of him
        Originally Posted by nicoli View Post

        Yeah, who's the coach?
        Yep, in my opinion the best and most ethical thing you could do is make it public so he can't trick anyone else, at least of who read this forum. And hey, maybe if he sees the post he will want to provide us with an "explanation", who knows.

        Like others said, even if you sent it by email, especially when it comes to IM (from each offer you find, there are about 200 more that are very similar), will be hard to legally defend the idea as yours.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    "Ideas" are hard to protect and even to claim as your own. It is said that
    there is nothing new under the sun. Without more detail it's hard to say if
    he stole your "idea". It wasn't an ebook? A software program? How many
    books have been written on how to write Facebook ads? I wonder whose
    idea was that? "Idea" is too general a word to claim that it was stolen.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      "Ideas" are hard to protect and even to claim as your own. It is said that
      there is nothing new under the sun. Without more detail it's hard to say if
      he stole your "idea". It wasn't an ebook? A software program? How many
      books have been written on how to write Facebook ads? I wonder whose
      idea was that? "Idea" is too general a word to claim that it was stolen.

      -Ray Edwards
      All 100% true.

      However, if the "coach" was planning to do something that closely mimicked one of the ideas a student was paying him to help her develop, at the very least I think he has an ethical obligation to disclose that to her at the moment he became aware it was on her agenda.

      Assuming the observable facts here are relayed accurately, an unforgivable breach of trust has occurred.

      To OP: I'm sorry this happened to you, but it is a valuable learning experience. Next time you choose to trust someone with your valuables, try to be a better judge of character. Do some due diligence, get an NDA in place, sign a contract, etc. Depending solely on the good nature of strangers is not a good business practice.

      P.S. Do not name the "coach" here as I believe that would be against the forum rules. If he has a WSO you purchased his services through, you can certainly leave a review there though. Otherwise, there is nothing keeping you from outing him publicly elsewhere (scam sites, blogs, facebook, etc)

      And it is tough to advise you on what to do next without knowing the subject matter of the idea. I would probably move on and pick the next best idea to develop.

      Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I am not sure if this is an idea that he already had in his mind. You can't really tell.

    What I would do after this happened is to never share any of your ideas with anyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author fatcitygirl
    Ugh on that coach! I've spent good money on a bad coach in the past as well and find that taking the time to learn with free resources, such as the WF, is better, IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author C G
    You can't really do anything about it apart from warning other Warriors not to trust this coach.

    Just take it as a lesson learnt Move on. Like Stephan said. Start taking action. A coach is just here for accountability.

    Cheers,

    C.G.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      a list of my ideas for a WSO
      How big was the list? If you told a coach you were working on AN 'idea' to launch your WSO I'd have a huge problem with this.

      However, if you talked about multiple ideas of "maybe this or maybe that or what if I did this...." - and then you didn't do anything for a while...that might be expected. Not acceptable - but not surprising, either.

      I'm not one who tells people "get a coach" because I think it's overdone here but you've learned a valuable lesson. As for the "idea" that was stolen - come up with another idea and run with it.

      NEVER tell anyone exactly what your ideas are - because ideas cannot be copyrighted or protected. Learn not to spill the beans to anyone until you are ready to launch your WSO or your product.

      Just call it a business lesson - dump the coach - and keep going!
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      • Profile picture of the author Tyler Pratt
        Use this experience as motivation.

        Tell you yourself "I will show that coach a thing or 2 when I create my next product"

        Mistakes happen, learn from them, and be better tomorrow.
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Before doing any business whether with a coach, programmer, whoever. ALWAYS use a non disclosure agreement. This is not only for you but also for them. One of the people I worked with a couple of years ago, had an idea for a software, we had an nda and I wasn't even allowed as you can see to say what it was, what niche etc. That nda still stands and I adhere to it.

    You don't need a coach for mindset that is hogwash. What you need to do is
    make a plan, where are you, where do you want to be, what is it going to take to get there, shut everything off and focus. You have to discipline yourself and if you don't have that no coaching in the world will help you. You have got to stop thinking you need more and execute what you have.

    Have a great year.
    -WD
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

      You don't need a coach for mindset that is hogwash. What you need to do is
      make a plan, where are you, where do you want to be, what is it going to take to get there, shut everything off and focus. You have to discipline yourself and if you don't have that no coaching in the world will help you. You have got to stop thinking you need more and execute what you have.

      Have a great year.
      -WD
      Do you offer mindset coaching? Because you sound like a coach to me.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
        Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

        Do you offer mindset coaching? Because you sound like a coach to me.

        -Ray Edwards
        No I do not offer that Currently I focus on programming and other stuff.
        have a great day
        -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author cianci1129
    Sorry to hear that happened to you. Coaches market themselves as authority figures, being "all knowing" in their field, especially to the people who hire them. So you did what you thought was right and ran your ideas by him to see if he believed they would be a good choice for the marketplace.

    I did the same thing with my first "coach", though none of my ideas were that good so even if he ran with them he wouldn't have had success

    That being said, the benefit here is that you learned not to quickly trust everyone, even a "coach". We could sit here talking all day about how it's hard to prove whose idea was whose, hell, even Samsung and Apple had legal issues over one claiming the other "stole their phone design". It doesn't matter. The point is you have to be careful who you trust. And it is true that almost every product out there can from a different product or idea, in every industry.

    I'm lucky that 4/5 of the people I've had mentor me have been honest and helped me further my business. Remember when choosing a coach to do some research first. Testimonials, reaching out personally to other claimed students, feeling them out personally, seeing if there's any actual proof of their success, what others think of them, etc.

    It's true that you don't need a coach to succeed, but I personally wouldn't have without help. It's part confidence but also part implementing exactly what they tell you to do. $7 WSO's are effective to an extent, but you don't get every little detail of what someone does until you work with them 1 on 1.

    If you're interested, PM me and I'll give you some people I can vouch for that would really be able to help you.

    Best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author BDazzler
    Dude wants you to keep paying him after he admits he stole your idea? That's a new definition of chutzpa.

    Yeah, don't pay him any more, and if you used a credit card or paypal to pay for the $400, you might want to file a payment dispute. Basically he used information you provided (i.e. your WSO ideas) for purposes other than what you provided it for. That's fraud. If it's a check, tell your bank it was a scam - because it was. It may not do any good, but it can't hurt, and he will have to deal with the investigation.

    Depending on the details, it may be criminal fraud:
    StopFraud.gov - Report Fraud
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  • Profile picture of the author sanj1110
    he launched a wso ..how was the success of wso .. if it was a success then good that u can come up with good ideas ..otherwise it was good that somebody else launched.. a win win for u
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Your Coach may not have stolen the idea. Many people have many ideas and some happen to be the same.

      That being said as someone here stated he should have least stated that he had had this idea to you so as to clarify


      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        You still have 14 ideas left - right? If what you are saying is that you can't use any of those ideas for a WSO without hiring another coach...I don't think a WSO is the best thing for you to do.

        Take one of your ideas - develop it - and run with it. Make a plan to make it profitable and do it whether it's a WSO or a site/blog or whatever. You don't need a "coach" telling you every step to take. The worst that happens is you make a mistake and have to do something over...couldn't be much worse a mistake than trusting this coach, could it?
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  • Profile picture of the author AmanD
    Name and shame the scoundrel
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Originally Posted by gina23 View Post

    my "coach" took one of my ideas for himself.
    Very common.

    Anytime you are dealing with a coach/consultant you need to be selective of which information you give up. You might be paying them, but at the end of the day they are also your competition (either directly or in affiliation with their other clients).

    A lot of these guys do not work down in the trenches and instead rely on you to essentially provide them with an education that they then pass along to their next client. So they are telling you what previous clients told them and they will tell their future clients what you told them. That's generally how the consulting game is played (not just around here, but also among Fortune 500 companies). You can use that to your advantage, but you've also got to recognize what's going on and protect yourself.

    It sounds like you found someone who is working directly in the same areas that you are seeking information on, which is great, but don't feed them trade secrets in the future. Remain vague where necessary and let them do most of the talking.

    And if you ever find success with something, downplay it. There was a popular "challenge" type program among MMO info products some years ago that was provided free of charge. The creator made money by asking users about their PPC campaign results and he then stole the successful campaigns and ran them himself.
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    • Profile picture of the author kilgore
      If it were me here's what I'd do:
      1. Dump the coach (obviously).
      2. Buy his WSO. Yes, it would probably pain me to give this guy any more money, but I'd also want to make the most of this "learning experience". How does he sell/promote/package his WSO? What did he include in it? How well was it done? How does he use it to upsell or cross-sell? Since you had the same idea, hopefully you've already done some thinking about these things and it would be interesting to see how he implemented the idea versus how you would have done so. I certainly wouldn't assume that he's doing anything the best way -- he sounds like a bottom-feeder, so he probably isn't -- but that doesn't mean you can't learn from him. In fact, if you work it right you may actually learn more from him -- both what to do and what not to do (such as "Don't be an unethical jerk or you'll lose your customers") than you would have through his coaching. And at a price significantly cheaper than $400, too.
      3. Work on it and release it anyway (assuming that you still like the idea and you think you could do a better job than he did). Most likely, it will take you some time to put it all together by which time his WSO will be long forgotten anyway. Regardless, ideas are easy; it's the implementation that counts. For instance there are thousands and thousands of e-commerce sites, but only one Amazon.com. Why? It's not because Amazon is so good at coming up with ideas, but it's because they're so good at executing them. So if you can execute your idea better than your competition (including your sleazy coach who you've hopefully learned from), your idea is most likely still viable (assuming it was a good idea in the first place).
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
    I would find a way for this to benefit me. Hmmmm...

    Maybe work what happened into a story on your sales page. This is so good... blah blah blah... It was even stolen by a colleague,,, Who if course is no longer one. etc, etc, etc.

    Use it as additional proof of concept.

    Re's
    Rob Whisonant
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I would find a way for this to benefit me. Hmmmm...

    Maybe work what happened into a story on your sales page. This is so good... blah blah blah... It was even stolen by a colleague,,, Who if course is no longer one. etc, etc, etc.
    I was thinking almost the same thing...great minds and all.

    IMO this is a result of the whole, "I 'care' deeply about everyone and 'money is just a by-product' nonsense."

    Industrial espionage, economic espionage or corporate espionage is a form of espionage conducted for commercial purposes instead of purely national security.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_espionage
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      I was thinking almost the same thing...great minds and all.
      You stole his idea? I don't believe this.

      -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Sorry about the betrayal Gina. This is almost the worst that could happen when hiring a coach. But in your case you hired a fraud, but you didn't know. Come back stronger now.

    Now you *know* that your ideas and concepts aren't just "rookie" thoughts. They are REAL money-making ideas that can end 97% of your worries in life. If possible, utilize some of the ideas in a different niche (if applicable). And be more cautious the next time you plan on hiring another consultant.
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  • Profile picture of the author wfletch24
    How long had you known of this coach before doing business with him? I see coaching offers all the time but before I ever sign up for anyone I would buy their products first, get on their email list, and watch their actions before ever joining their coaching program. I like to really try to get a feel for someone before joining a program like that. However, its still unacceptable but I guess that's the world we live in.
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