Many people dream of one-day transitioning from their 9-5 to start their own coaching business…perhaps you are one of them. And when, according to FreshBooks, 54% of self-employed entrepreneurs say they make more money now than when they were employed. Added to their finding that 97% of self-employed professionals say they would never go back to traditional employment, it’s clear to see the attraction.
I left my corporate career to start my first consultancy and coaching business in 2007. From my personal experience, I can agree with both these above points. In addition, I also get to do meaningful work that I love, and create my own hours to fit around my family and other passions.
Going from Employee to Entrepreneur is not always an easy transition however. It requires a shift in thinking and comes with a steep learning curve. However, the upside is that you will learn more about yourself and your potential than ever before!Here is some advice to help you successfully launch your business, coaching practice or consultancy.
Your clients are NOT everyone. It’s important to identify and build everything specifically for your DREAM clients. - Melitta Campbell
Don’t Quit Your 9-5 Too Soon
Taking the leap without the finances to sustain yourself for several months, and possibly a year or two, will leave you feeling insecure. This anxiety will in turn prevent you from showing up in your business in ways that will lead to your steady growth. Therefore, it’s a good plan to start small and build your coaching business alongside your 9-to-5.
Once your ‘side-hustle’ is consistently earning around 25% of your desired income, that’s a good time to start transitioning into your new role as full-time coach. It’s at this point that you can assume that once you dedicate all your time to your business, you can take that 25% to 100% fairly quickly.
Have Clarity of Purpose
One of your first steps in your coaching business will be to decide what you want to create and why. This purpose will form part of the foundation of your brand, your marketing, your products and will help you make strong, consistent decisions. I guide my clients through this process in my group business coaching experience for female coaches and consultants, the Dream Clients Blueprint.
Gaining clarity from the beginning not only helps you build a solid foundation for your business, but it also gives you the confidence to start building authentic relationships within the market, and start building a consistent pipeline of leads.
Answer a Problem
A successful and sustainable coaching business is only possible if it answers a clear need. If you don’t solve a problem that people are willing to pay to resolve, then your business will never get off the starting blocks. The number one reason why businesses fail is lack of market need.
Take plenty of time to get clear about who your clients are and what they biggest concerns and pain points are. And just in case you were wondering, no, your clients are NOT everyone. It’s important to identify and build everything specifically for your DREAM clients.
Build your business skills
Throughout your corporate career, you have no doubt built a bank of valuable skills and experiences that you can bring to your coaching business. But you’ll need to start upgrading these and learning new skills if you are to truly succeed. Even if you plan to outsource things like sales and marketing, you’ll still need to understand these. This will help you take a strong leadership role within your coaching business and ensure everything runs just as you want.
Often, at least in the early days, you’ll have to do a lot of this work yourself. This will make building the right skills essential. Without marketing, sales are harder. Without sales, you have no clients. And without clients, you have no business!You can make this process simpler and faster by working with a business coach who can provide you with the framework, tools and support to help you focus on all the right things, and minimise the number of times you have to reassure yourself that ‘Everything is Figureoutable’ (eventually!).
In a Corporate environment you are usually conditioned to think small and achievable. The famous SMART goals encourage this, for example. And when your bonus is dependent on you hitting all your targets, it’s hard to see why you would want to set yourself ambitious goals. As your own boss, however, you want to open your mind to a new realm of possibility. This takes courage, but it’s important to understand that there is little space for innovation or growth within achievable goals!
You need to set yourself stretch goals that will prompt you to try new things, learn new skills, and build new relationships.You already have a big advantage here – you’re a coach! You already have access to many of the tools you need to help expand your creativity and thinking.A word of caution: While you might not need SMART goals, that doesn’t mean you have to wing it! You will still need goals and a clear plan (I’ll come back to this later).
Learn to Embrace Failure
In order to start thinking bigger and push the limits of your comfort zone, you have to get comfortable with the idea that you WILL fail sometimes - often even. In a corporate environment failure is often seen as a bad thing. As a result we develop an employee mindset that encourages us to do the small things well and enjoy the pat on the back that comes with it. But if you are too conservative in your business, or fail to take measured risks for fear of failure, you won’t get very far in your coaching business.
Failure is inevitable as you learn new skills and try your hand at new things. It’s an important part of the process. Our failures are often our biggest teachers. They provide us with vital information and feedback. As long as we learn from these lessons, they will help us to grow stronger and go further. Make failure your friend and get ready to achieve more than you previously thought possible through your coaching business.
Have a Plan
You need to create a clear roadmap for your coaching business before you transition. This will help you consistently take the actions that will lead you to build the profit, impact and lifestyle you seek. Success doesn’t happen by accident. Your plan should clearly state your goals and milestones. It should be clear about how you are going to build the income you need to sustain your desired lifestyle, taking into consideration your desired time boundaries. And it should be aligned with your vision, values and strengths. Most people start their coaching business for greater freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. Yet many fail to achieve this, as they never take the time to plan exactly how they intend to realise their vision.
In fact, a large number of the people I speak to in my Business Coaching Calls who are struggling in business, don’t have a suitable plan in place. This maybe because in a Corporate setting, your plans are often given to you by your boss, but in business you have to create these for yourself. Planning needn’t be complicated; it just requires a clear framework and some focused thinking.
This is time well spent in your business as the right plan will help you confidently and consistently flow in the direction of your goals. My Dream Clients Blueprint business coaching experience has been designed to help you create your ideal plan, while also building your skills and the right mindset.
Get Your Coaching Business Started
To help you confidently take your first steps in your new venture and start attracting your first clients with ease and confidence, I have developed the Dream Clients Blueprint program to help you.It’s perfect for you if you want to:
- avoid the time and frustration of figuring everything out
- feel confident in attracting your dream coaching clients
- learn how to love sales and marketing
- charge your worth from day one
- develop your signature coaching course or experience
- own a coaching business that has an impact
If you answered ‘Heck Yes’ to any or all of the above, then your next step is to book your Complementary Business Coaching call with me, so we can determine if this is the right programme for you, and if we enjoy working together.
Our failures are often our biggest teachers. They provide us with vital information and feedback. As long as we learn from these lessons, they will help us to grow stronger and go further. - Melitta Campbell
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