Tough Love

by Anton D. Javier
02 Apr 2018

There is no sweet-talking here. Life and transformation coach, Mr. Michael Serwa, is all about the tough love, no-nonsense approach when it comes to getting his high net-worth clientele back on the right track

Presidential candidates, brilliant CEOs, and NASA engineers – they’re just like us… sort of. While it might seem like they have their lives and career together — and have figured out the formula to a fulfilled, successful, and enjoyable life — that’s not always the case. But what separates these high-ranking individuals from everyone else is that they probably get professional help from Mr. Michael Serwa, one of the UK’s highest paid life and transformation coaches who commands a fee of up to £35,000 a year per client. With a reputation of being the Chuck Norris or “dominatrix” of coaching, you’ll know that he’s going to get the job done and get his clients back on their feet.

Before becoming a sought-after transformation coach, what were you doing and did you somehow know that you had a way with people?
Before becoming a coach, I spent a few years in fashion retail. I didn’t care about fashion or how much merchandise the stores I ran would sell. The only thing I really cared about was keeping my staff and customers happy. I did a lot of coaching with the different teams I was managing, but I just didn’t realize that what I was doing was coaching.

What was your first foray into becoming a transformation coach? Do you still remember the events that led to you deciding to do it full time?
I was into personal development and psychology in general long before I became a coach. I worked on different areas of my own life with great success. My ‘a-ha’ moment came in 2010 when I was watching a YouTube video of one of the biggest names in the industry. It was at this point I made the decision to turn my passion into a career.

Who are your most memorable clients to date and what steps did you take to ensure that they would be the successful and well-rounded people they are today?
I only work with winners who are usually CEOs or high net-worth individuals, have big personalities and are typically rebels of their industry. I have coached two men with their eye on becoming President of their respective countries, a former NASA engineer, several Google executives, an Olympic medalist and other high-achievers.

I love each of my clients and I do whatever it takes to get the job done. They are happy to pay me big bucks because, firstly, I am their life-coaching equivalent. And secondly, I am 100% dedicated to my craft. Clients pick up on both of these when we meet for an initial consultation, if not before from a little online research. I go above and beyond to not only improve their lives, but to transform them.

"Here is a big misconception: Successful doesn't necessarily mean fulfilled. So sometimes the lack of fulfillment is something we work on."

I read that you have a no-nonsense approach to your coaching method. How do you deal with a client’s hesitation in the beginning of the coaching session? And how do you know if the client is a perfect fit for you, and vice versa?
I have around 200 consultations per year, yet I only have the physical capacity to take on approximately 50 clients per year. The consultation is like a two-way interview process. There is rarely hesitation on their side as they already know what I’m about (I advise them to do their homework on me online before the meeting to avoid wasting time). This is usually why they come to me rather than anyone else.

As for me, I typically know within the first 30 seconds whether they are my kind of person. The reason I can ensure a success rate as high as 95% is by only taking on my people. The chemistry between a coach and a client is of paramount importance to the process.

Surely the concerns of your clients are very different from that of the everyday man. What are some of the common concerns your clients have and how do you go about addressing these?
Society thinks that rich people are somehow different. They’re not. Well, they’re different in terms of their attitude, drive, work ethic and so on, but not so much in terms of the challenges they face. They want love and to be loved; they struggle with happiness and fulfillment; and they get fat if they don’t watch their calorie intake, just like everybody else.

Whatever is missing in their life, I put together a bespoke program to create it. I don’t care what it is, almost everything is coachable when you work with high achievers.

What would you say are the things top executives are trying to improve in their lives? Since they are already successful in their careers, would you say it has more to do with their personal lives?
Here is a big misconception: Successful doesn't necessarily mean fulfilled. So sometimes the lack of fulfillment is something we work on. Sometimes it’s about confidence and strategy around transitioning from the corporate career to entrepreneurship, or it could be confidence in any other area of their life. It can be fitness or diet, personal relationships or a lifestyle change. The challenges of the top executives aren’t always as different as you think when you get down to the real crux of the problem.