I’m sharing 10 things I learned from starting my coaching business. When I first started my online coaching business I had no idea what I was doing. Every single thing was new to me. I’ve come a long way since then and I’ve learned so much. So I wanted to share a few things I wish I would have known before starting my coaching business. I hope this helps you move forward in your business faster than I did in mine. Here goes…
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When I first decided to become a coach and begin building my online coaching business I thought I had to do it all immediately. I created a sense of urgency to get it all done now. Instead of creating a simple, solid plan for what really needed to be done, I started consuming everyone’s ideas and trying to do what everyone else said to do. I lost sight of the reasons I started my business in the first place and I wasn’t using my time or energy effectively.
But the truth is, it really doesn’t have to be complicated.
This has always been one of my values, even in my teaching career. Building connections and creating a supportive, safe, and caring classroom community allowed my students to feel safe, seen, and heard. They knew they would be cared about and they knew the goal was for them to feel safe to take learning risks and grow to their fullest potential.
Being a coach is no different. For me, creating connections and building community is key. I want people to know I genuinely care about them, their story matters, and they’re truly capable of living their greatest dreams.
When I first started my coaching business, making connections within the online world seemed so scary, complicated, and superficial. And it can be all of those things if you let it be. But always coming back to the goal of making deep, sincere connections and building my own community with the goal of helping them has been a game changer for me.
Resources: The Importance of Human Connection and How to Feel It (blog post)
2. Focus on that one person instead of yourself.
3. Be yourself.
My coaching business was built while I was in the hustle mode. I was working full time as a teacher, getting my master’s in counseling, and doing all the things as a mom and wife. Sleep wasn’t prioritized and I was neglecting my mental, physical, and emotional health. I thought it was temporary and just a season of my life. But I started to realize that ever since I had my daughter, I had been in hustle mode. And I knew this wasn’t a season. This was the way I was designing my life. I was striving to be the perfect mom, the perfect teacher, the perfect wife, the perfect entrepreneur, the perfect everything to everyone. Everyone but me.
It was then that I decided to recommit to taking care of myself and ditching the hustle. I slowed down and prioritized sleep, movement, journaling, and meditation. And I dug deep into my need to show up perfectly, my fears about failure, and my discomfort with allowing rest.
Here’s what I wish I knew. Entrepreneurship is what you make it. There are no rules that say you have to make $100,000+ your first year. There’s no manual that says hustling and working 100+ hours a week is the only way to succeed. There is no one size fits all.
Instead of doing what you think everyone else is doing or recommending, listen to yourself. Ask yourself what you want your coaching business to look like. Decide how much time you want to devote to taking care of yourself and get clear about what that means for you. Schedule your self care into your calendar first. (And by self care I mean sleep, meal planning, eating, down time, hobbies, movement, journaling, etc.) Get clear about your values so you know what you really want and need to create a business that you love and are able to continually show up for. Because let’s face it, if you took this leap into entrepreneurship, the last thing you want is to end up going back to your 9-5.
If there’s something you don’t know how to do, just Google it. All the behind the scenes technology stuff is just a few clicks away. Don’t get hung up on thinking you have to know how to do it all. Remember, we’re all just making this up as we go.
If you look at all the things the internet tells you you need to do when creating your coaching business, it can be overwhelming. But the only way to start anything is to start small with one simple step at a time. Choose what’s most important first. Then create a simple plan with small actionable steps. Put those on your calendar and do them. Rinse and repeat.
Resources: How to Create Your Weekly Schedule (blog post)
I used to think that all business owners had something I didn’t have and knew something I didn’t have access to. Now I know the only thing you really need is a desire to do something great and the mindset to take action toward achieving it. Nobody has it all figured out. We’re all learning along the way. If you have an idea for something you want to create, decide to go after it and commit to figuring it out little by little as you go.
I truly believe that the inner work is 80% of the entrepreneurship game. Without it we become our own roadblocks. We create more work by second guessing ourselves and we make it harder than it needs to be. We spin in overwhelm and self doubt so it takes us longer. And our impact and success remains small.
Instead, focus on growing your self belief. Intentionally commit to becoming the person you want to be. Then become her.
Commit to learning new things. Invest in a coach to help you along the way. Practice believing the thoughts you want to believe. Take action based on the thoughts you want to think. And keep showing up for yourself and the amazing clients that are waiting for you to help them.
Resources: How to Manage Your Catastrophic Thoughts (blog post)
What makes us unique? Our story. (I was just reminded of this by my coach last week.) There are potentially many people who do what you do, sell what you sell, and promise similar results to the ones you promise. But regardless of those similarities, no one can be you.
No one has your story.
Your ideal clients don’t just want what the results you’re selling, they want you to be the person that delivers those to them.
So take some time to get clear about what your unique story is. How did you get here? What are the results you’ve created for yourself? How is your life journey unique? What are your values? How do you infuse that into your work with clients?
Seriously! People are out there waiting for your help. Remind yourself of this often when you get stuck debating if that thing you’re going to share is good enough. Can it help someone? Then get it out into the world so you can start working your magic.
Most of the people you know in real life likely won’t get what you do. They won’t ask about your business and they’ll possibly be confused, worried, or skeptical until you’re wildly successful. If this is your reality, remember that nothing has gone wrong. There’s nothing wrong with your mother-in-law, grandma, or friend. Regardless of the reason why they’re not asking, this is normal. They’re still good people. And your idea is still worth pursuing.
Instead of focusing on them, focus on creating a network of people who do get you. Look for networking opportunities that connect you with entrepreneurs who have similar values and interests as you. Or create your own if you can’t find what you’re wanting. Find yourself biz bestie and hire a coach.
I have a biz bestie and I can’t imagine being on this journey without her. I love being able to share ideas with her and brainstorm together. And I so appreciate how we support each other and cheer each other on throughout each stage of our businesses. This has been a true gift and has made my experience as a solopreneur so much more fun.
I also have a coach. Having a coach allows me to show up in such a bigger way than I would if I was doing this alone. My coach listens to me with zero distractions. She always has my back and is helping me reach my goals. She sees things with a wider lens than I can when I’m deep in the problem or growth. And she pushes me to reflect, learn, grow, and take massive action. Without my coach there’d be much more confusion and mind drama involved in this whole process.
There is no right way to run your business. While this might seem scary at first, this gives you total freedom to create something that you’re truly passionate about and good at doing. This is your opportunity to really listen to yourself and get clear about what you want to create. Create a simple plan for how to begin. Then take one step after another until you’re able to look back in amazement at how much you’ve learned, grown, and done to get where you are.
So, what are you waiting for?
Keep it simple. Believe in yourself. Decide what you want to create. Commit to going after it. Take action again and again.
Resources: How to Get Whatever You Want (blog post)
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If you’re overwhelmed with all the things you have to juggle as a new entrepreneur, I’d love to help you. Remember that you don’t have to know it all. Everyone started as a beginner. You can figure it all out. You have valuable knowledge to share and teach others. Start by working on your self belief, setting small goals, and taking big action. Then do it all over again. If you want help with this, I have open spots in my 1:1 program. Just email me at email@example.com. Let me help you ditch the overwhelm and feel confident in what you’re doing each day to move your business forward.
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