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How to Grow Your Positive Psychology Business

written by Margaret Greenberg and Senia Maymin 27 September 2019

Margaret Greenberg and Senia Maymin are the authors of the book Profit From the Positive. Articles written jointly by Margaret and Senia are here.

Margaret Greenberg, MAPP '06, founded The Greenberg Group, an organizational effectiveness consulting practice, in 1997. Margaret specializes in coaching executives and their teams using a strengths-based approach. Full bio. Her solo articles are here.

Senia Maymin, MAPP '06 is an executive coach to entrepreneurs and CEOs. Her PhD is in organizational behavior from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Full bio. Her solo articles are here, and her articles with Kathryn Britton are here.

If you are a Positive Psychology News reader, then you likely not only have an interest in positive psychology, but you might also be growing a business that has to do with positive psychology.

Here we talk about how we have started working with large organizations in bringing positive psychology to them through coaching, workshops, and other content. We’d love to hear what methods you have tried to expand the reach of positive psychology.

Here are seven pieces of advice we have accumulated over the last thirteen years since graduating from the inaugural Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. We spoke in great depth about this advice recently during our Quarterly Learning Community for the graduates of our PROFIT FROM THE POSITIVE Certificate Program.

  1. Think big, but start small. Coaching engagements are a good way to introduce organizations to positive psychology concepts, frameworks, and tools. Whether it is using exercises like the Hope Letter, the Gratitude Letter, or identification of strengths, coaching individual leaders is an effective way to acquire new corporate clients.
  2. For seedling businesses

  3. Take a consultative approach. Help a potential client identify a pain point or solve a problem. Now that may not sound very much like positive psychology, but it is the way many business leaders think. Most see their role as solving problems, not necessarily envisioning something positive. Help them solve a pressing problem such as preparing employees for a large-scale change by introducing them to resilience and growth mindset training. Ask questions such as “What would happen over the next six months if you did nothing to address this issue?”
  4. Partner, don’t compete. We’ve had great success partnering with the internal Human Resources department to introduce the Shift Positive 360 process designed by Pete Berridge and Jen Ostrich. We have also helped HR departments redesign their performance review processes. This requires cultivating a robust network by being an active member of relevant virtual groups (think LinkedIn Groups) and associations (think SHRM or ICF).
  5. Pilot a program. Although positive psychology is a rapidly growing field, many businesses are still unfamiliar with it, and unfamiliarity breeds skepticism. If the leader is not ready to commit fully, suggest a pilot of a small team before introducing your work to the whole organization. People love pilots!
  6. Be persistent. It takes, on average, twelve to fifteen touchpoints before a client buys anything, including your services. Send emails with articles or fun ideas that are relevant to their business. Think content marketing. You can be a thought leader in this space. Pick-up the phone. Yes, don’t be afraid to actually talk to a client or leave a message. If you have exchanged mobile numbers, a text message can be effective, too.
  7. Work with an intact team. You may want to start at the top and cascade your work throughout a large organization, but starting with the sales or R&D team or a specific Employee Resource Group such as female professionals can be a highly effective way to get your foot in the door.
  8. Do a freebie. Introduce your content to the Learning & Development or Human Resources department or a professional organization such as the local chapter of the International Coach Federation. You will expand your network and expand their appetite to hire you.

What have you found to be an effective way to get your foot in the door at businesses large and small? Please let us know in the comments below.

NOTE: Our next article will address how to get a client to say “Yes.”

There are a few virtual seats left in the Fall 2019 PROFIT FROM THE POSITIVE Certificate Program in which we train coaches, managers, and HR professionals to deliver the 31 tools described in the Profit from the Positive book. LiveHappy rates this course among the top 12 positive psychology courses you can take online.

Readers of PPND receive 20% off registration. Use promo code PPND2019 on the Registration Page. REGISTRATION CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT ET ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2.



Greenberg, M. & Maymin, S. (2013). Profit from the positive: Proven leadership strategies to boost productivity and transform your business.. McGraw-Hill.

Picture credit:
Seedling Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash

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