If you are scared, worried or just need a pep talk, you are in the right place!
Honestly, I never thought I’d get this far.
My first full day as a coach was March 31st, 2012.
It was a Friday.
I spent Thursday as a full-time consultant, turning in my badge and signing out.
And Friday I went to a conference with a totally new profession.
I was excited.
But I was also so SO terrified.
I remember sitting alone during a lunch break trying to hold it together, wondering about the future.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to support myself, and it was SCARY.
Well, 11 years later I’ve learned some things! About coaching and business.
And I wish I could go back in time to *cough* young(er) Christie, and tell her things would work out.
But I can’t. But I can tell YOU awesome coach. So maybe this will save you some time and stress.
Ready? Let’s go!
Lesson 1: Do less, but do it better
I spent several years doing all of the things I saw other – much more experienced – coaches doing.
When I launched back in March of 2012, I had SIX coaching packages.
You know how many people bought them?
Why? Because I was trying to do everything! And I was terrible at talking about benefits of each coaching package.
I just thought the more I offered, the more people would want to buy because I wasn’t excluding anyone (even if it was work I didn’t want to do. Like resume reviews).
Once I *finally* figured out I need to be clear and super passionate about the results I was offering, and focused in my package, things took off.
Then, as soon as I got my private coaching nailed down, and started comfortably charging $3500 for 1:1 coaching…
I started to get a bee in my bonnet about creating other offers.
Over the next few years I wrote a book.
I created a group coaching program.
I ran a retreat.
I created a DIY program.
I wish I could go back and shake myself.
If I had only done less, and done it better, I would have been so much more successful more quickly!
Lesson 2: Pricing comes with time, it’s okay to build
I was *so uncomfortable* saying my price out loud.
Which… made my sales consults super sketchy.
I’d never sold myself before in this way, and I felt awkward asking for money.
I wish I had known that if I just practiced saying my price out loud and often, over time it would make me more comfortable with charging *something.*
Eventually I just said it as I was vacuuming the house, over and over, and finally it didn’t feel weird.
And once I got comfortable with one price, got clients, and got even better as a coach seeing greater results, I’d raise it.
Because another lesson? Your pricing isn’t set in stone!
Lesson 3: Don’t compare yourself to coaches who are ahead of you
Doing this is just a recipe to stress eat and feel terrible about yourself.
Just remember: We all started with nothing.
Lesson 4: The more you use a new skill, the easier it gets
This is especially true of sales skills and writing skills.
My first sales consult? Terrible. Total flop sweat.
My first blog? A complete embarrassment.
But selling and writing has now become second nature to me.
It just took practice.
Lesson 5: The longer you wait to begin, the less time you have to see results
I waited for months before I got up the courage to open my doors as a coach.
And years to even think about leaving consulting.
I’m so glad I took the leap when I did. And, I wonder what would have happened if I had done it even earlier?
Something I think about a lot: Life is short – don’t wait too long to try new things.
Lesson 6: It’s okay to take a stand, your people will love you for it!
While vanilla is a fine flavor, it won’t win you clients.
It’s okay to have an opinion, an approach, a belief…and then share it!
It’ll not only make you a better and more interesting writer, speaker, interview guest, and coach…
…your people will recognize themselves in your positions, and that connection will lead to clients.
(And everyone else? Honestly, they weren’t going to hire you anyway).
Want an example? Here’s my very public stand about coaching.
Lesson 7: Your quirks will become an asset. And punctuation is over-rated
I hid my sense of humor in the beginning, but now it’s something I lean on.
To not only set me apart, but let me be myself so my work is more fun.
And in regards to punctuation… I’ve never been on board with a semi-colon. (My teachers tried).
In fact, I thought I couldn’t write because formal writing is so *not my thing.*
But marketing isn’t about being formal, it’s about being human. And 12 years in no one has noticed I never use a semi-colon (except as a wink ;)).
Lesson 8: Hit publish on the stuff that terrifies you the most
That’s when you will see the greatest result.
Each and every time. Seriously.
Lesson 9: You can iterate. It’s okay to start small.
Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress.
I’ve started with cheap and free programs sometimes just to test things and take the pressure off.
Millions of dollars later I’m doing just fine!
Lessons 10 and 11: Learning how to run a business is one of the greatest life skills there is. You will never regret it.
This one is my favorite. If I could give the youths one piece of advice, it would be “start a business, you’ll learn so much!”
But truly. Not only will you learn critical skills that apply to any job (we all need to learn how to sell ourselves better and know our value), but you’ll learn so much about yourself as well.
You’ll get stronger and more resilient no matter what.
Because here’s the thing: I don’t know if your business will succeed or fail.
But I know the skills you will learn are priceless, and your journey will be worth it.
So take the time to learn HOW to run a business. Invest in your skills (don’t just hope you’ll figure it out).
If you do, your chances of success will skyrocket.
So cheers to you!
Want more help with the business stuff?
Awesome! Take my free class on how to find PAYING coaching clients (it’s only 14 minutes long, because who has time these days?). GO HERE.
And if you want ALL of the help and to work with me more closely (and join 1200+ smart coaches), sign up for Build a REAL Business. Let’s make your coaching business REAL.