The Truth About Free Coaching and Why I Offer Gift Sessions

Stephanie Wasylyk
5 min readJun 28, 2022

Hand up if you’ve spent a ton of non-refundable money on a service, only to find a pit in your stomach because you really didn’t align with the practitioner…

Other hand up if you’ve been on a “discovery call” with a coach or practitioner only to be sold to by them the whole time…

Well, that’s why I do gift coaching sessions.

When I tell other coaches I do free coaching, there is visible shock on their faces. Often there’s a judgmental “Why?” that follows, and I can hear their minds saying things like “she must not value herself or coaching, and she certainly isn’t charging what she’s worth”. This is because, in the coaching industry, we’re taught NEVER to give free coaching. We’re taught people only value what they pay for. And we’re taught that results take a long time, so one session won’t be enough for change anyway.


This mindset is rooted in scarcity (of money and time, especially) and infantilizes the client, making them seem incapable of change without external investment or pressure. What I know to be true is that someone will change when it’s important to them, whether they pay for it or not. What I also know to be true is that my work transforms lives, and people deserve to experience it regardless of their financial circumstances if they want to. If the coaching is done professionally and treated powerfully (not just a casual chat over drinks where you’re giving your friend some advice) real value is possible.

I’d be lying if I said these sessions weren’t a little bit selfish, though. To demystify what a gift session is, who it’s for, and why you might want one, I put together a little guide for you.

What is a gift coaching session?

These 45-minute calls are powerful coaching conversations, not chats or sales calls. I treat you like a client fully respecting confidentiality, consent, and safety in the space, and we dive into a topic that feels important to you. We’ll explore the context of that situation, and make sure you leave with some actions or reflections to continue your work. It’s as “simple” as that.

Before the call you’ll answer some questions to get you thinking and to give me some background on you and your business. That said, you might be surprised how little backstory I need to be effective in my work.

If after the call you’d like to explore working together, I’ll suggest we book a separate call so we don’t muddy the experience for you. I will not sell to you during the call so you can feel relaxed instead of waiting anxiously for a pitch.

Who are they for?

My sweet spot is working with entrepreneurs who need a little permission to do business on their own terms. The fun stuff (for me) is when you’ve already got a reasonable flow of clients, but then you need to address all the other things in your business, like time management, profitability, hiring help, taking time off, preventing burnout, improving customer experience, getting more referrals and repeat clients, among other logistical things. Also, at this point in business entrepreneurs can experience a lot of self-doubt as they step into this new level of leadership and presence. Procrastination, perfectionism, and people-pleasing are some biggies, but there’s also imposter syndrome, keeping yourself small, and not having the confidence to do what you really want to do.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked with me before or not, you’re welcome to have a call if there’s something on your mind. These sessions are not for you if everything seems great and you don’t have a particular need you want to talk about, or you just want to complain and moan without any desire to shift something.

What’s in it for you?

· A supportive set of ears and my big old coaching brain to help you work through whatever the next hurdle is in your business

· Access to a coach with 10 years of experience rather than a beginner coach, which is where you usually find free coaching

· If you’ve never worked with a coach before, you’ll get to experience what that’s like without any of the pressure of having to make a buying decision

· You’ll make some progress on your goals! Isn’t that what this is all really about?!

What’s in it for me?

· I LOVE coaching. It is, and will continue to be, my life’s work. My desire is to be masterful, and I’m constantly learning and refining my craft. I know that to get better at something, I need to do LOTS of it. I need to meet many different people from all types of businesses and backgrounds to get a true sense of mastery.

· It’s a way to get introduced to someone who might not have found me otherwise. It’s easy for people to refer their colleagues to me because they know I’ll take great care of them.

· More coaching means more ideas for content, programs, or anything else I may decide to create. Talking to people about their actual problems makes what I write about more useful.

· When I have time to do gift sessions it means my practice isn’t full, so it’s a way for me to give back in my free time instead of doing useless things like scrolling social media. Of course, sometimes gift sessions turn into paying clients, so it’s a self-regulating system and I’ll never be overwhelmed with coaching.

· It’s a great way to see if I work well with someone and how they respond to my work before they make a longer-term commitment to me. Even if someone knows they want to hire me, I’ll do a gift session with them first. Then I’ll know if I can actually help them, and I’ll have more confidence in my work with them.

· Gifting coaching calls is in alignment with ethical and accessible business practices. I certainly advocate that you earn a solid living and not give everything away for free, but when you have various options for serving people you contribute to a fairer system for everyone.

How do you get one?

You can book directly with me right here. Please don’t feel like you’re bothering me, or like you should save the spots for someone else. If this is calling to you, make this be the first little step you take towards your goals. If you’ve been curious about how coaching can help you in your business, maybe now is the time to give it a try. If you’re an introvert and don’t like meeting new people, know that I am too so I completely get it and I promise to make you feel welcome and safe.

I look forward to meeting you!