Inspired by the movie, we decided that it was time to take action, and founded a nonprofit project named “Pay it Forward”. The non-profit focused on making personal development tools more accessible for underprivileged adults and youth. Funding was a major concern, so we offered our paying business clients an opportunity to Pay it Forward, and fund also one participant in the project. That way they could spread the wealth. Soon many groups were established all across Israel – groups of youth in need, domestic violence survivors and more… The only thing that we asked from our groups is that they pay it forward, and do something good for 3 other people.
It was a beautiful time, where we drove across all of Israel, and on one of those drives it hit us. No matter who we working with, from executives to youth, the coaching process was always very verbal, logic driven and deductive. We started asking ourselves- “how can we make this process more juicy, more fun? How can we deliver the same content that comes up in every coaching session in a way that will bypass logic and will go deeper?”. We also wanted to make sure that our tools will help people keep on track and not return to old habits and patterns, as would usually happen. And this is when we came with the idea: Let’s create a game!
Then we got to work- we did market research, used focus groups and surveyed over 1000 people. The path was not easy, but we believed in our vision and were devoted to it, so we quit all other work that we were doing. There was only one minor problem- money. We created a very detailed business plan and started visiting banks.
We presented our ideas to several bank managers, how it would be played all over the world, change people’s lives, and pay it forward, and at the end of each presentation there was a loud quiet in the room. The silence was broken when they each said “Efrat and Yaron, you are so enthusiastic and you believe so much in your idea, so here, take a small loan or a small line of credit, start your project. When you have something more concrete come back to us and we’ll see.” We ended up taking small loans – from 6 different banks!
Then, on June 1, 2006, we met on a beautiful beach in Tel Aviv, each one of us came with a bag full of books and games as references, and following our gut, we started to develop the game step by step. Our loans were mounting as time dragged on. Our families and friends didn’t understand our dream, where it was going and what it would lead to. They thought we were crazy and going into debt. We knew that eventually all the dots would connect. 9 months later the game was developed.
The next step was production. Contrary to most of the advice we received, we went on a limb, and decided to produce 2000 games, and 2 weeks later we had sold all the 2000!!! We produced another 2000, and again, after two weeks were sold out! Despite thinking that our game would just be in book shops, professionals from various fields, organizations and companies fell in love with The Coaching Game. It answered their similar challenges that we experienced with the Pay it Forward project.
Before we knew it, we were launching a version in English, which was launched at the 2009 International Coach Federation conference in Montreal. The game started to spread all over the world. Within a year it was launched in German, and soon after in Japanese. Later on it was translated to over 20 different languages and sold in millions of copies.
This is the story of how “The Coaching Game”, our first product began. Soon after we launched it we started getting requests to create workshops that will accompany and help professionals use the game. And so, we created the “Train the Trainer” workshops, which turned into the “Training Certification Program”, and nowadays is part of the Point of You® Academy. We now have thousands of certified trainers in more than 70 countries, and each year this number is growing.
Over the years we also more tools that implement different approaches to personal development including Punctum, Faces, Flow and our Boost Boxes, journals and planners which are sold in thousands of copies worldwide, and can fit any professional need. This year we are working on creating a new website and amazing new digital experiences, workshops and courses on our Points Learning Space, as well as creating a platform for our global Tribe.
This is also the opportunity to say thank you to all the people that helped us along the way, we couldn’t have done it without you. A special thanks go out to our global amazing tribe, we couldn’t be more grateful. And to you! Thank you for joining us on this journey to open hearts & minds worldwide.