Case Studies

Unmotivated Young Adult Shares his
Path to Success with Ken Rabow



As to the following case studies…while these are examples taken from experiences with our clients, no one client’s story is portrayed. Confidentially is the cornerstone of our mentoring practice and we would never betray the trust put in us. The examples are an amalgam of a number of real-life experiences and difficulties with which we were honored to have been an agent of change. The emails are genuine but names and study/hobby details have been changed.

From “A” Student To Unmotivated Teen Girl

The Parent’s Email:

“I was very interested in your website, as I am beside myself trying to help my 17 year old daughter.

A bit of history: she is the youngest of 3, with two older sisters. She was a very happy girl until about 14 years of age. Through 8th grade, her grades were great – A’s and B’s. Since 9th grade, her grades have been inconsistent.

She proceeded to fail to do her homework in class. She claimed not to know why she stopped trying. Her teachers have never been able to find a way to motivate her. Nor have we, her parents. We have tried asking if she needs help, as in a tutor, we’ve grounded her, taken her phone away, and more recently, at the OK of a counselor, paid her for grades. Even that is now not helping. She wants to handle things herself, but then does not. She gets angry when others try to help her, provide motivation for her, or set her up on a schedule of any type.

She has so much going for her. I don’t want to see her waste her life and her potential. She doesn’t appear to be anxious or stressed out. But she seems to fear success and the pressure she would feel to keep it up. That’s what it seems like to me.

Any words of wisdom you have would be most welcome. Thank you.”

15 Minute Consultation:

We determined that her daughter was a good candidate for Real Life Coaching. Her daughter and I spoke and we found common ground through music and the arts. We booked a first session.

First Session Work:

Please state three things you wish to work on:

Goal 1: Getting things done and organizing my life.

Goal 2: Not being pushed around to do things I don’t want to do (communication).

Goal 3: Finding something to do with my life.

What would you say are some of the challenges you have to making these things be as you want them to be?

Goal 1: I’m lazy. Too much video stuff. FB.

Goal 2: I don’t like confrontation.

Goal 3: I get bored easily. Everyone else does things better than me.

What would be a good indicator that you have made progress in each of these things?

Goal 1: When I can keep to a written schedule.

Goal 2: When I can stop saying yes to things just to get out of a lecture.

Goal 3: When I stick to something for a whole year.

Six Months Later:

X has been making great progress in self-esteem and communication. She has learned to say “Let me think about it” when she is asked to things she doesn’t want to do and then her and I come up with an alternate plan that meets her parents needs and still stays within X’s goals.

X is also keeping to her daily schedule. We found the secret to daily inspiration for her and it is working.

Son Did Well in University But Is Slacking and Jobless

The Parent’s Contact Email:

“My son, “M” just turned 27 years old is a good guy, but a slacker. (No drugs / No ETOH…just poorly self motivated!!) Things recently went from bad to worse…quit his min wage job without having another lined up. Has a certificate in graphic arts, but it got him nowhere. Real love is game programming. I am encouraging him to go back to school for it. A great opp. Need help motivating him for it. I am not trying to define his life, but instead get him on a path! Please help. I have your book…but need to present it to him in a kind way!”

15 Minute Consultation:

After trying several positive ways to encourage “M” to meet with me, we went to “plan D”. All funds cut off unless he was willing to talk to me one time. It worked! “M” was stuck and ashamed of not having figured out how to make it “out there”.

First Session Work:

Please state three things you wish to work on:

Goal 1: Quitting weed.

Goal 2: Figuring out what job I could do well with.

Goal 3: Getting organized.

What would you say are some of the challenges you have to making these things be as you want them to be?

Goal 1: I really like the ritual of it all. Anywhere I go I can easily make friends ‘cuz there are always stoners around.

Goal 2: I’ve lost confidence in my ability to choose a good future.

Goal 3: I tend to start gaming and lose track of time.

What would be a good indicator that you have made progress in each of these things?

Goal 1: Not smoking on weekdays.

Goal 2: Doing a simple job I like preparing for something even better.

Goal 3: Getting something good done each day.

Six Months Later:

“M” succeeded in not smoking during the weekdays for a month but eventually started smoking every day again. He decided to stop completely for a month and see what happens. He is weed-free for 21 weeks and counting! He got a job at an upscale restaurant that trains their staff on business/restaurant skills. He’s been voted “most promising” three months in a row.

“M” is finding the schedule is making it easy to get at least two good things done every day, even with his work schedule. I know what he is going to pick as his long term vocation but we’ll wait and see if that is his “hero’s journey”.

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