works with business people up and down the East Coast and as far
away as California. Up to 30% of his practice is business
coaching. On top of that, word-of-mouth in the business community
helps bring in new therapy clients.
"I like to deal with fairly high level entrepreneurs,"
he tells us. "They have to have at least a moderate six-figure
income--$250,000 and up. They want to increase their income, and
to have balance in their lives."
When he started business coaching a dozen years ago, boosting
his clients’ income was the primary goal. "But I got tired of just
helping people make more money. They weren’t really working on
their emotional and spiritual issues. Now, I’m interested in
helping people come to a center in their life experience. If that
means making a lot of money, too, that’s great."
Selman had 10 years experience in sales and marketing before
getting his psychotherapy credentials. So moving into business
coaching "was just common sense. I had a lot of good sales
training; I’ve done sales training seminars; and I’ve had a lot of
training in leadership development. So it was just a natural
outcome of the work I was doing."
Clients come to him with specific business problems. But what
it usually comes down to, Selman says, is a lack of focus. How
many phone calls are they making that don’t lead to appointments?
How many appointments do they go out on that don’t lead to a
"A lot of these people tend toward ADD. They’re unfocused and
they need someone to hold them accountable." One of
Selman’s counseling specialties is addictions--which he says are
pervasive in the business community, particularly among the highly
And most have more than one addiction. "Obviously, if
there’s any kind of addictive behavior taking place, it’s taking
you away from your game plan in terms of your business. And if
they’re unfocused, there’s a lot of wasting time calling on
potential customers who aren’t ever going to buy. It’s about time
Sometimes, he adds, the addiction is work itself. In any
case, they need to achieve a balance in their personal and work
"One of the things I do is create a game plan with goals way
beyond what they’ve imagined before...I’d like to have someone
who says, ‘I’m making $200,000, and I want to make $350,000.’ And
I say, ‘What would it take to make $750,000?’ Suddenly they
have to start thinking very differently. They’re not going to
come anywhere near numbers like that if they keep doing what
"If we’re looking at $750,000, I’d rather they fail and make
$450,000, or $500,000 than succeed at the $350,000 and only
His coaching contracts run three months. Services include a
weekly one-hour phone conversation, plus emails, for $250 an hour.
That’s the minimum. "If someone’s making $5 million a year, I’m
not going to work with them for $250 an hour."
Naturally, Selman’s first business clients came to him as the
result of contacts he had from his days in sales. Now he tells us
that his Web site, www.barryselman.com, is his top marketing tool.
He’s given it an extra push by hiring a consultant to optimize his
standing in search engines. Plus, he spends $200 a month on Google
He had been paying for a listing on PsychologyToday.com, but
dropped it--finding it unhelpful in promoting this niche.
In his therapy practice, Selman has at least one group going
all the time, sometimes on addiction, sometimes on relationship
issues. The groups meet once a week for 90 minutes and members pay
$250 per month to participate. There are 7-10 members per group.
When it comes to individual therapy, he charges $125 for a
Occasionally, he’ll do a combination with clients--therapy and
coaching. "But usually when it’s a combination like that, the
therapy that’s taking place is more supportive counseling, rather
than deep emotional work.
"I might have a client who is a big earner, and we might focus
a little bit on his business. But in that case I’d rather focus on
the emotional part. I don’t want to mix the two if it’s deep
You can contact Barry Selman at 1709 Legion Rd., Ste. 112,
Chapel Hill, NC 27517, (919)824-8880,