Change and The Reluctant Coach

Time for change. New year, new image as an ontological adversity coach.


You might have noticed some slight changes to the header and front page of this website.

For some time I have felt the blue on blue header a bit bland and bigger than necessary, so I have changed it to black lettering on a smaller, simpler header.

I have kept the light blue background because 90% of websites use a white background and my contrarian nature drives me to be different.

You might also have noticed a new description in the tagline – ontological adversity coach.

I have resisted calling myself a coach because the term is used and abused by too many aspiring entrepreneurs seduced by other, smarter entrepreneurs into believing that calling themselves coaches is an instant recipe for on-line success and riches.

Recently, I have told a few of the people I work with that they should be more aggressive in promoting themselves (you know who you are). You are good and give good value in all you do on-line and off.

We laugh at the story of the mechanic driving a wreck of a car and the doctor who never goes for a medical check up. Many of us in other fields fall into the same trap. I am as guilty as most.

When introducing myself I am often asked how I help people. Explaining that I write and speak about overcoming and thriving on adversity, often gets the response “So you are a sort of coach or consultant”.

Yes and no.

It’s more complicated than that, sometimes I am a coach, sometimes a consultant and sometimes a mentor.

But it was only after reading this newsletter from Richard Bliss Brooke that I realised I help people overcome adversity and thrive by helping them to become who they need to be to achieve their goals. I don’t attempt to tell people what to do to become successful.

I share stories about my experiences in the hope that you might find inspiration to become the person you want to be. I ask questions and suggest that you can overcome anything if you choose to do so.

I do not tell you to create a website, design a specific product or write a particular type of book. I might ask you if you have considered doing those things, but it must be your decision not mine.

My goal is always to get you to change your thinking, take responsibility for your thoughts, choices and actions. Stop blaming outside factors. Tough childhoods, bad relationships, are history, move on. Lack of money, skills or good looks are facts not excuses. The first two can be improved by work and study, the third by surgery if necessary but there are plenty of successful, happy, wealthy people who do not have film star looks.

Reading Richard’s article, I had to accept that “coach” is an accurate description, but not a conventional “business” or “life coach”.

In his article, he uses the long forgotten term (for me) ontological. I had to refer to the dictionary to refresh my memory for its meaning. It is the nature of being as opposed to doing.

That is exactly what I do, help you become who you want to be.

I am borrowing the word.

Leave a comment with your thoughts on the new look, my new tagline.

graphic by Stuart Miles /


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  4 comments for “Change and The Reluctant Coach

  1. Roberta
    January 23, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Keep on keeping on, Peter. No matter what you call yourself, you help me think and live a better life.

  2. January 23, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Peter, I see the changes as improvements and I thank you for introducing me to a word I was previously unfamiliar with. You challenge me to become a better person and I encourage you to continue.

    The title “coach” reminds me of sports and when I think of it, life is like a grand sporting event, we are athletes, better at certain games and positions, weaker in others. When we win at life it is a marvelous sensation that has lasting ramifications like endorsements and greater opportunities to play at a higher level with more advanced contenders. Losing at life has serious consequences.

    Adversity enables us to build the muscle, dexterity and skill sets required to enhance our experience and positively influence our outcomes.

  3. Tim Gibney
    January 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I can understand why you are adverse to calling yourself a ‘coach’. There are too many people calling themselves this terminology and are far from being what they proclaim. All the best Peter.

  4. Peter
    January 26, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Thank you Roberta, Philip and Tim for your comments. As you will see, after further consideration, I have removed “ontological” from the header.

    I have done it for 2 reasons, a) for simplicity, b) a verbal comment that it sounds like a medical term – change one consonant and you have a cancer specialist. That is not what I want to portray.

    However I will use the word in the revised content for the front page where I can explain it adequately.

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