Burning Out As a New (And Old) Coach

This week I wanted to talk about business burnout.

Business burnout is common whether you are a new coach, or an old hand like me.

Newbies often burn out because they can’t get traction in their business – they are working really hard and not getting clients or paying the bills.

Old hands burn out because they haven’t figured out how to leverage their time, and because well – sometimes you get tired of the repetition.  We as clients like to think our problems are unique, but they aren’t really.  And after you’ve answered the same question for the 1,000th time, you start to feel a little tired.

And when you do that, your business suffers.

The thing that we all have to remember, whether we are new or old coaches, is that WE are the business.  So our #1 asset is our health and sanity.  You’ve got to protect it!

Given that, here’s how to stave off some of the burnout so that you always have a thriving coaching business.

Burnout tip #1: Your business is a plant. Don’t over-water it.

Stick with me on this one – because I am legitimately going somewhere.

So, take the houseplant.  You water it regularly, right?

But, you don’t water it all the time.  And you don’t pour tons of excess water in it all at once.

Because doing that would kill it.

The way to keep the plant alive is to water it regularly, and not drown it.

The same is true of your business.

You can’t work on your business all the time.

You can’t overwhelm yourself with trying to learn 10 things at once hoping that you’ll manage to absorb some of it.

You’ve got to have focused, productive business hours.  And you’ve also got to have downtime and vacation.


Don’t be afraid to give yourself some structure! Set some hours that work for you.  Have learning time, coaching time, and admin time bucketed out each week.  (I talk about how I spend my week over here).

Don’t be afraid to turn off the computer.

And definitely don’t be afraid to walk away for a few days.

I’m terrible at taking vacations – but every time that I do, even if it’s just a long weekend at home, I come back feeling so much better.  And because of that, my income goes up.

I know – it’s hard to do and it feels counter-intuitive, but please protect yourself.  You are the business!

Burnout tip #2: You are the expert. But your clients are new.

So many new coaches exhaust themselves by worrying about if they really have the expertise to charge money for their services.

You’ve invested in your coaching training and in your learning.  And, as a coach you don’t have to have all of the answers – that’s not your job.

So please remember that you are an expert already – in coaching – and your clients are new.

They don’t know the process, they don’t know the questions to ask, and they need someone who can show them the way.

YOU are that person. You’ve got this.

For old-hand coaches, we burnout because we answer the same questions and coach on the same situations again and again and again.

I know, when I’ve answered a passion question for the 2587th time, I’m tired.

Sometimes even cranky.

It’s easy for me to forget that while this is something I do all the time – for my clients and customers, this is a 100% NEW experience.

It’s not their fault.

In fact, my grumpiness is a clear sign that I’m the one who needs a break.

I’ve been over-watering that plant and it’s time to step away for a few days and really unplug.

I find that it’s important for me to recognize the times when I might feel the closest to burn-out (often at the end of a big launch) and plan downtime immediately after. Having some vacation scheduled makes it easy for me to stay present with my clients when they need me the most.

I’ve also found that sometimes you’ve just got to call it a day or take a few hours off – and that’s okay too.

Whatever you do, take care of yourself.  Give yourself a break from the stress, worry, or anxiety, and just do some things you enjoy.

And if you want some help to get started, make sure you sign up for our Marketing Masterclass, it’s our super quick training all about how to find paying clients…without killing yourself.

Sign up here!