How do you make money on conducting trainings in a game format?

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Practical experience of a specialist who created a successful training company from scratch.

IS: Good afternoon. My name is Irina Savitskaya , I am a game practitioner, partner of the 1000 Ideas company. Today we decided to do an interview with an experienced game practitioner of the company, strategic coach Elena Kozhina . 

Lena, tell us why you chose the line of business related to consulting and conducting psychological games and programs?

EK: I have been studying psychology for four years, before that I worked as a cell phone salesman, I talked a lot with people. I have a psychological education, but internally I was not ready to go into this area.

At some point, I noticed that all my friends, and not only them, turn to me for advice, and they really have changes in their lives: ex-husbands return, those who did not pay alimony pay, girls flourish … And I decided and I made a very important decision for myself: to go to study more professionally – strategic coaching.

I always knew that psychology was mine, but the internal moral and ethical code did not allow me to do this until I had my own life experience. After the midlife crisis (at 35-36 years old), the brains fall into place, there is a feeling that you have experienced a lot, by that time I became a mother three times, and another 8-year-old child was brought up in our family as a foster child. I realized that I am already a seasoned wolf and I have something to share with people. I heard the call and went.

But when I completed my training as a strategic coach, I received all the tools and techniques, I realized that I had no experience, no cases – nothing. It’s scary to go and start working. Even during my studies, I paid attention to metaphorical maps and began to use them as an auxiliary tool to help structure the counseling process.

Metaphorical cards (or MAK) are specially designed auxiliary cards, discussing which with a client, you can get a slice of the client’s ideas about the current situation, his values, true desires and goals; everything that psychologists and coaches are trying to clarify during the consultation. But thanks to these tools, you can get such information from the client several times faster. And given that the cost of consulting a specialist starts from 1000 rubles. and above, the use of the MAC in work saves the client significant funds and allows you to achieve a noticeable effect from the consultation from the first meeting (while in traditional psychology it is widely believed that there should be at least 10 meetings with the client to get the effect)

But there are hundreds of metaphorical cards, not all of them are developed by specialists and are suitable for serious work. The ones I used were themed, and I thought, “It would be great if there were such transformer cards – I bought one deck, and it is so versatile that it can be used for different methods.” I sent a request to the Universe: “I want such cards!”. And literally after a short time I come across on the Internet with a deck of “1000 roads”. I start to study it – and I understand that this is exactly what I have been looking for for so long! I went to look for information about the company that created it – and found out that the 1000 Ideas company developed 3 decks tailored to a wide variety of requests. It is enough to have only 3 of these sets to cover the entire range of client requests that are addressed for advice. Universal transformer cards! It was just what I needed.

The 1000 Ideas Company at the time offered several training options. Partner, of course, was the most expensive package, but he inspired me as a family business option.

IS: How big was your initial investment to become a partner and game practitioner?

EK: At that time it was 50 thousand. It was 2017, there was no game practice as such. But the company gave so many ready-made trainings – a real invaluable resource for a specialist.

There were courses using maps. I like the format of the courses – it gives the opportunity to work with a small group of participants for quite a long time. But even then I saw a trend for t-games and began to actively buy author’s games from other companies.

Transformational games are games that work with the personal requests of the participants, and the experience, information, knowledge gained during the game can be applied in reality. Transformational, psychological, business games are the result of applying the principle of gamification in consulting and training business. In fact, this is a coaching session or training, dressed in the form of a board game.

What is a good game? For example, a specialist has been dealing with some problem in his professional field for 20 years, for example, the topic of relationships. And he creates an author’s game in which he puts all his experience. And when you buy this game, literally in a short time you absorb all this 20 years of experience.

But what’s the downside – to continue working with the client, you need to buy a new game (or look for new clients for the old game). I began to buy new games, in a year I acquired about 5 author’s games. And she began to ask the management of the company “1000 ideas” to develop the direction of game practice. I think that there is also my merit in the fact that now our company has a course “Igropraktik” .

IS: How much does it cost to become an Igropraktik today and is it easy to recoup these investments?

EK: At the moment, the cost of the Igropraktik basic course is 69,000 rubles. and it’s really easy to “recapture” it.

It includes 10 games (a huge set with fields, maps, cards, guides) and 2 days of live training for these games. Training takes place online on a specially designed platform 1000-cards.ru.

I believe that today there is no alternative to the Igropractice course on the market for those who want to do this business. There are no competitors. I’ll explain why. If we take good author’s games, then on average one game costs from 30 to 100 thousand, sometimes you need to pay extra for training separately. Having bought a game, you very quickly come to the conclusion that either you constantly need to look for more and more new customers for it, or you need to buy new games.

What does our company offer? At the moment, 55 thousand – the cost of ten games! And these are 10 games of completely different directions , from which you can create a powerful program and work with one client in all areas: relationships, business, internal settings. Plus, this is an opportunity for a novice gaming practitioner, having received the right to host all ten games, to understand which topic is closer to him. Maybe you will have 2-3 favorite games, and you will specialize in them and earn money.

IS: Yes, this is a huge advantage that you can not constantly look for new clients, but keep one from game to game.

EK: Moreover, when you lead a client, you already know his story. It turns out work in the program and a deeper transformation.

IS: During the pandemic, the whole world sank in terms of finances. Many are looking for new ways to make money, mostly online. Are you ready to talk about the earnings of a gamer?

EK: I can definitely say one thing: as far as we are ready to work actively, we will earn so well. For example, you can actively look for clients and hold 2 group games “Snow Queen” per month and earn 40 thousand, then hold, for example, “Hidden Factor” – already earning 60 thousand, well, and some other shorter games. You will receive earnings of 70-80 thousand. And next month you will sit and do nothing, wait for clients to find you themselves, and earn nothing. Everything depends on you.

IS: Do you work mainly through social networks?

EK: Lately I have been focusing more on training game practitioners, and the clients for the games came mainly from the old ones. But this is how I spent only the last year, being a bit of a hermit. Of course, it is a plus that our company has a gaming platform – I had game participants from Israel, Germany, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, from all over Russia.

IS: How do you feel, do people abroad know such a direction as transformational games?

EK: Those players who came to me were just testing the ground in terms of working in this area. Especially given the hard lockdown that has been and is in many countries. Now this direction is actively developing. Many take this into the work of their companies, including for HR. Many business skills are excellently mastered with the help of a game format.

IS: Lena, where can I find clients? Here, for example, those who are ready to become the first participants in your games?

EK: I’ll tell you how I was looking for clients 4 years ago, when I was just planning training in strategic coaching. Then I worked at a school and received about 15 thousand. Training cost 130 thousand. It was an unreal amount. I wanted to study, but I had three children and didn’t have that kind of money. The enrollment for the course is over, it started without me. Six months have passed, people have unlearned and now – again a set. I sat again and thought that I had no money. And then she asked herself: “Len, what is your focus on? In the absence of money. If you don’t change something, the situation will remain that way.” And then I asked myself: “Yes, I have no money, but I want to study, what can I do for this?” I came up with this trick: I printed certificates in denominations of 1, 3, 5 and 10 thousand. And she went to her friends. I told them that I was going to study in a very cool company. That, what I will master there is the most advanced technologies. Now you have the opportunity to pay for consultations – 3 for the price of one. Yes, of course, then I had to give them a lot of sessions, but it was practice.

You can also do the same by purchasing the Igropraktik package. In addition, going to training, we invest in our development, everything that I invested has already been justified so many times! I don’t even count the money I’ve earned, I’m talking about knowledge. My partner, a psychologist, tells me: “You have achieved more in 3 years than others in 10-15 years.” And I understand that this is precisely the strength of such games, in them in 2-3 hours we sometimes get the experience that people get in 3-5 years of life.

And when such people come to your games, as happens to me – candidates of economic, medical, philosophical sciences, top-ranking leaders – you, like a sponge, absorb their life strategies, watch how they build communications, rebuild their boundaries, pump their strengths. And you understand that you are not only doing what you love, but you are also enriched with knowledge from customers, and you are also paid money for it. Therefore, game practice is so cool!

IS: I thought that games are a clear algorithm. In this sense, it is easier for a game practitioner to start working with people than, for example, for a psychologist.

EC: Yes, I agree. I often say to beginner gamers that you have a clear route in every game. And if the client deviates from it, and you do not have enough competencies, you can always tell the client: it is better for you to work out this moment separately, with a psychologist. You can refer the client to a psychologist with whom you are collaborating. I myself, as a psychologist, also do not work with all topics and can refer a person to my colleague who specializes in the desired area.

IS: And who comes more often – men or women?

EK: Studies show that at the moment about 80% of participants in transformational games are women and only 20% are men. Perhaps this is because it is important for a woman to communicate, to look into her inner world, while men are more closed. Although there are more and more male participants over time. It is more comfortable for me to communicate with women, because my theme is the disclosure of femininity, relationships. This does not mean that I do not work with men, I have men in coaching who are in business, they are interested in breakthrough requests. They want more in business, and games just help to find blind spots, to understand what slows them down, how to move to a new level. That is, it is more of a coaching format, rather than a psychological one. Our games simulate different business situations and are very helpful.

IS: It turns out that with the help of our players we go through our universities and communicate with interesting people. I want to ask a tricky question: what difficulties do you face in your work?

EK: The difficulty for me, rather, is when there is an overabundance of communication. Usually I always work with pleasure and give a lot, I don’t always stop in time and sometimes I can be so exhausted that I suddenly feel that I can’t do it anymore. 

In general, as I see the process taking place in the game. There is a person, a personality. Each life situation “hangs” on him, figuratively speaking, a husk, or, say, cabbage leaves, which refract, distort his perception, his vision of life. During the game, even watching how another person goes through it, you gain experience, correlate it, sometimes unconsciously, with your experience and get insights, clear yourself of extra cabbage leaves. Therefore, energy starts to work incredibly quickly – it is worth thinking about something, and it begins to come into your life. 

Or, for example, you worked in the game for a moment – and some destructive person leaves your life. Why? Because he no longer needs to give you a lesson, and what he says or does no longer clings to you – you have worked out this energy charge and become neutral. Sometimes people do not leave your life, but they themselves begin to change, transform.

And returning to the difficulties, yes, the main thing for me is not to plow.

By the way, about one more difficulty. I am both a game practitioner and a game coach. And now I have a dilemma – which of these directions to choose. If only to teach, it’s a little boring. And when you play games, you constantly go through different situations with different people, and this is very cool and interesting, but at the same time more energy-consuming. Most likely, in order to compensate, you need to increase the price tag for your services. By the way, I noticed that the higher the status, the level of a person, the more effort is spent on working with him, because he is stronger in energy.

IS: Do you think that game practice needs the education of a psychologist or a coach?

EK: I think that an internal code of ethics, a kind of empathy, is important in the activities of a game practice, it is much more important than psychological education. Sometimes the host of a t-game can “dig” a player too deep, people are not ready for this. Perhaps this happens because the leading psychologist wants to show his expertise, his knowledge. The format of the game does not imply such deep immersion. When I play a game and a participant and I hit a painful moment, I always say: you can work it out later in consultation with me or with another psychologist. And now we will not dive so deep. In any game, a person goes as deep as he is now ready.

And vice versa, it happens that a person who does not have a psychological education behaves very carefully and carefully. The task of the game practitioner is to create a game space where there is a plot that we follow with the player for reflection.

Of course, it happens that by playing a game in an individual format with a player, I can go deeper. But it always comes from a request. The request is always a red thread and I always return to it, asking how what was discussed at the game is connected with the request.

IS: Tell us about your favorites in the end! What are your favorite games?

EK: I love all the games of our company. But now, perhaps, more often than others, I lead Thumbelina , perhaps because I deal a lot with the topic of relationships. It is not only about finding a partner, but also about your inner man and woman. When a person is built harmoniously, then he naturally attracts the same partner. Universal, very deep game. After it, you can “close” the client to the game “The Snow Queen ”, work with self-worth. Then – on the “ Space of Variants ”, to talk about where a person is now, where his goal is and how to reach it. Then – ” The Hidden Factor “, to see which areas of life are active, which are not very active. We worked – you can switch to a business format, to “ I want something, I don’t know what ” or “Startup “.

And I also really love the courses developed by the company, partners have access to them, so for those who have already purchased the Igropraktik package, I always recommend not to stop, go further, into a partnership. Each course lasts 2-3 months, meaning you can work with a small group of 4-5 people, for example 2 times a week for quite some time.

For example, a wonderful course “The Magic of Relationships” – a group of women gathers, and we consider all the stories that can happen with relationships. Then they say, for example: “Lena, the topic of leadership is interesting!”, and I give them a course on leadership. Moreover, the reviews of a business woman, my clients from the leadership course from the company “1000 Ideas” are interesting. They say that they took similar courses from their companies for a lot of money, and here is given about the same information, but even in a more understandable context. After all, our leadership course was created on the basis of the fairy tale about Mowgli, familiar to all of us from childhood.

That is, our company provides a huge number of courses. And each of them is like a concentrate of knowledge. That is why the partners of the company are developing so quickly, and our customers have such results.

Sometimes I take partner courses for myself and after such a study, life really starts to change.

IS: That is, having come to you for the “Game Practice 1000 Ideas” course, a person not only immediately receives a “Fishing Rod” in his hands – the opportunity to immediately start playing 10 games and earn money. He also gets the prospect of development in the profession to a partner of the company.

EK: Yes, this is the best investment I have ever made in my professional training and development. I have been with the company for 4 years and I am eternally grateful. A prime example is the situation with the pandemic. The company launched a platform for online work and at a time when many people lost the opportunity to work, on the contrary, we got even more opportunities. My income even increased during the pandemic.

IS: Lena, tell us what are your plans? Where do you want to develop?

EK: At the moment I am actively involved in training game practitioners. I really like it, because I give people a ready-made fishing rod with which you can immediately start earning.

IS: Lena, so you can be contacted directly to get training?

Oh sure. I conduct training programs for game practitioners on a regular basis, several times a month. Write a private message to find out the next dates. I am always open for communication, if you are still not sure if this line of business is right for you, you can ask your questions, I will be happy to share my experience in doing business in this area with beginners.

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