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14 July 2008


This may be an impossible question because who is really going to have experience with more than 2 or 3 coaches? Once you find one that works you run with him or her. So you have one or two A/B tests with which to respond.

And of course the guys with the biggest mentions may be the best public speakers (not coaching) or authors (not coaching) which increases their fame but has no bearing on their coaching skill.

So with those qualifications I vote for Paul Lemberg. I have worked with Paul on a couple of occasions and both times I have benefited from the experience both personally and professionally. And because coaching is intimate work, I am proud to call Paul my friend and colleague as well (although I don't have to pay my other friends.)

Paul's success as a coach is rooted in who he is, which has made it difficult for him to scale his service with Axcelus. I think this is actually further proof of how good he is and why he is effective. He is personally committed to the success of every client, and they do succeed.

Thanks for your comment.

You are right that it is an "impossible question" but it's only meant as a bit of fun.

You are also right about definitions of a coach being an issue.

My dictionary defines a coach as a tutor or trainer and a mentor as an experienced and trusted adviser.

I suspect that many coaches would have problems with these definitions.

So what do I think of as a coach - someone who inspires you to take purposeful action to move towards your definition of success and then guides you on your journey.

Most of the famous people will no longer work one-to-one with clients but rely on inspiring through books, audios, videos and courses with the hands-on guidance and accountability coming from lower down in the organisation.


Hi Paul, Great list and interesting observations. I am a big Brian Tracy fan, so I am not surprised my his commanding lead in the ranks. What I find it interesting to note is that he started out as a sales guru, and was actually niched to 1 or 2 industries in the beginning, then he was able to transcend the industries and become the ubiquitous sales guru, and from there was able to transcend sales and become a business guru. Similarly, Rich Schefren was more of an internet guru with some of his initial writings, but was then able to expand his expertise out to where it was applicable to all businesses.

This is a valuable lesson for anyone who is hesitant to pick a well defined niche. While counterintuitive, narrowing early on, allows you to build a solid foundation on which to expand out later. Whereas going too broad early, makes it more difficult to build enough ground swell beneath you to expand to business guru status.

Lastly, I can't help but add, where are the women business gurus?

Women business gurus? I hadn't noticed but even after you said,. I can't think of one who would challenge the top three yet.

It looks like there is a space ready and waiting for you Elizabeth to be the pre-eminent female business guru.

Good point of the Most Infamous Business Coach, Adviser & Guru. Good blogs.

Hey Paul,

Nice work! But of course I would say that as I'm high on your list of "world famous business coaches." It's an intriguing list as many of the folks on it are not really in the "business coaching" arena.

I'm not sure if you've heard about my upcoming business coach training program, but perhaps we should speak about it. Planning to launch in the late fall - early winter - I'm going to be licensing the Axcelus business coaching material and training people how to develop six-figure coaching practices.

Best regards,

Paul Lemberg

Vanessa J. Bonnette seems to be one of the highest ranking 'inspiring entrepreneurs' in business today. Google her and find out how many people watch and follow her ideas and actions!

Many of the most famous business advisors have joined forces in what is called ...

The League Of Extraordinary Minds

The brain child of Jay Abraham and Rich Schefren, the League will also include

Tony Robbins
Brian Tracy
Michael Gerber
Jay Conrad Levinson

In total I have been told that more than 50 of the most famous business experts are involved

Learn more at my blog


Or the sign up page (affiliate link although a lot of free content is promised)


Hi Paul. Great website and very interesting post. I had never heard of Jay Abraham before reading this but had heard of quite a few of the others.
Regarding the most infamous "guru", the number of mentions on Google is an interesting way to get at it but so is content and, having had a look around since reading your item, Brad Sugars must lead the running. This site, which seems to be under pretty constant attack from someone who doesn't like the content,tells a pretty amazing story: http://www.soulcast.com/post/show/248750/Brad-Action-Coach

Derek, thanks for the comment and the complement about my blog.

I can't say much about Brad Sugars because I have such limited personal experience of him but there have been several exposes about him on the Internet and I've heard tales of woe from unhappy franchisees.

He has however created ActionCoach, the world's biggest business coaching franchise which is one heck of an achievement and more than I've done.

I thought it was interesting to present the ying and the yang of fame.

When I update it I will add Chris Cardell to the list as searches for "Chris Cardell scam" which land on


are one of the biggest traffic generators to my blog.

Hi again Paul.
I had a look at the Chris Cardell story and just found it depressing. The stuff about ActionCoach and Brad Sugars plus Chris Cardell's very dodgy practises are more than enough to turn anyone off business coaching gurus.
Still, it's reassuring to know that there are still some nice people like you in the business.
Keep up the great work!

I heard Chet Holmes' advertisement on the radio, called the toll-free phone number, left a message with my e-mail address and requested a free report concerning five steps to Internet marketing success. Even though I did not leave my phone number in the message, the company got my number through Caller ID. As a result, I soon received multiple phone calls from very rude and pushy salesmen who tried to get my credit card information and as much money out of me as they possibly could.

Because I did not take the bait, I NEVER received the free report the company promises in their advertisements. However, I obtained a copy of the report from a friend. Not surprisingly, the report is 100 percent sales propaganda that offers absolutely no useful information whatsoever. For example, Step One literally is entitled, "Get on the First Page of Google." Duh? Imagine that. Unfortunately, there is no useful information concerning this Step--or any other Step--you can use to accomplish the task. In a nutshell, the report is merely a sales pitch for the company's expensive consulting services.

Hopefully the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will get the word and crack down on this firm.

Very interesting and amusing article Paul. It's probably even worth updating because researching the business coaching world is a quite an experience. I have just been doing that and have to say I'm totally lost.
I looked up some of the people you mention and also found some people you don't. Do you know anything about businesscoach an operation running out of the U.S. which has one of the better websites? It was created by a guy called Gary Henson. I did a search on his name and found nothing negative. However some of the others were fairly unbelieveable. Brad Sugars and ActionCoach have to come out on top when using the words scam and fraud and the figures for coach failure I found on this site http://www.bluemaumau.org/brad_sugars_come_down_0

really stand out. Have you any idea how many people in the U.K. are actually making a decent living from business coaching?

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