Through the awesome powers of google search, I tend to get a lot of emails from people looking for help.
Here's the thing: about 50% of people who reach out to me are doing so because they are looking to become a sex coach. It makes sense to me, because my name and company show up 1st on the google rankings. However, the way in which the majority of those who contact me leave much to be desired.
People who contact me about becoming a sex educator are relatively easy to get back with. Most of the times they are just looking for resources, and this is something I am happy to direct them to.
The requests that kind of boggle my mind are people who are looking to start up their own sex coach practice using my business name. I'm not kidding about this. They are looking to add credibility and exposure to their emerging sex coach business.
On one hand, I find it amusing that people are of the impression that I am doing so well that my business would include a franchise. On the other hand, I want to say, "seriously? what? oy!"
Also, anyone who knows me that one of the fastest ways to shut me down is to bring up the conversations about religion, politics, and how they relate to sexuality. Here's a thought: If you want to use my name, check out my site and blog to get a feel for my philosophy. Telling me you are a great public speaker with a compelling story because of being born again and becoming a spiritual person isn't going to win me over or make me consider having a business franchise.
I'm in the strange business of selling me. Catherine Coaches is Catherine Toyooka. This is not the same as Catherine Toyooka being Catherine Coaches. My business has been a culmination of all my work as a professional--not just the work I've done in the sexuality field.
Let me explain.
I've spent years working with people in the criminal justice system (Private investigator, Public Defender Investigator, Halfway House Case Manager, Probation Officer). This means that I have gone through hundreds of hours of training. A lot of it is basic skills that can be used across a variety of employment fields. Trainings like those for active listening, interviewing skills, cognitive behavioral skills, etc. have been super useful to me in my current work. I know how to read a person really well and in a quick amount of time. I'm also really good at spotting those whose m.o. is bullshitting. When it comes to story telling, I've heard enough to know when someone is just plain lying.
When I moved to California I found myself working in HR. My last job (before the dot com bubble burst) was as an executive recruiter for Korn/Ferry International in the emerging technology sector. It is basically a fancy ass word for saying I would head hunt for companies when they were looking to fill positions that fell in the category of VP and up. The general fees my company would charge were usually well more than $145, 000. This means that I am great at figuring out what recruiters look for in a resume, how to make small talk, and how to creatively write employment experience.
From 2002 to 2008 I worked with HIV positive youth (under 27) in San Francisco. I was worked as a sex educator, but I'll be damned if all my prior work experience didn't come in handy! I was particularly pleased to see how, with my help, they were able to come up with a kick ass resume. When it comes to work history, one thing common to people newly diagnosed with HIV is a lack of work after their diagnosis. Being able to creatively (no, not lying) fill that gap in time is not an easy task. By the time I left the agency, I was responsible for almost all the aspect of the non profit except for budget stuff.
My company, Catherine Coaches, offers dating coaching, sex coaching, and sexuality education. All of my work experience has been a crucial part of Catherine Coaches. Knowing how to get a read on people is a skill needed for flirting and dating. Crafting online dating profiles is very similar to putting together a great resume. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Asking to use my name as a franchise opportunity, to me, kind of de-values everything that makes it Catherine Coaches. There aren't many ways one can short-cut success. My business is not a fast food restaurant.