Coaches - A Plea to NOT Quit Your Day

So you love coaching right?

So you know in your heart of hearts this is what you're meant to do with your life? Awesome!

And you want to quit your job and just do this full time.

You've heard that you need to take risks in order to make this work - take the leap and universe will catch you right? Besides, if you're not wasting hours in that life force sucking job, you'll have so much more time and energy for your coaching biz, right? Right?

 

I'm here to beg you not to do that.

 

It breaks my heart when coaches do this. Not because I don't believe in you and I don't think you can make it work.

And certainly not because I don't believe you can make money coaching - I know LOTS of people who earn a really good living from their craft.

I beg you  because I DO believe in you and I desperately want you to make your coaching business work.

And to do that, you need to be able to pay your rent. To not wake up at 2am worrying about how you'll pay for the kid's new school shoes, or the electricity bill.

And coaching isn't likely to do that for you. Not at first anyway.

I don't want your coaching business to be crushed under the weight of expectation and dire need.

I want you to be operating in your best, most creative space. Where you can be there fully for your clients, doing your best work.

And when you're in survival mode (which is where we go to when our basic needs aren't being met) you can't do that.

It's nothing personal. I don't care who you are. When we're in survival mode our brain's don't work the same way.

I hear this all the time. Hell, I did it myself.

12 years ago when I first qualified as a coach I was in a job a despised with a boss I couldn't stand. The decision seemed simple: I hated my job and I loved coaching. I'd just split up with my partner and I was a single mum. I was working long hours and I missed spending time with  my son.

I couldn't have been more determined to make my coaching business work.

I put in the hours. I did the free stuff, I hustled, I partnered. implemented.

After 6 months I was in debt and exhausted. Not only that, I felt like the world's biggest loser.

I felt like I was crawling back to the world of work humiliated and broken. I'd followed my dream. My parents and friends had been right - You couldn't make money out of coaching, and even if you could, I just wasn't cut out for it.

Coaching was placed in the box marked 'failure'

I was lucky. Coaching wouldn't let me go. I started using it as part of my day job. I went on and did my Masters in it - not with any intention of doing it as a business but for the love and passion of it. I learned how to be a really good coach.

Then I decided to learn how to run a business. Because I was able to recognize a simple yet vital fact:

 

Running a business and being a great coach are two very distinct things.

You can be great at one and not the other. And you need to be good at both to make your living as a coach.

 

Whether that is around having enough confidence to charge enough to make a living. Or to step out of your comfort zone and market your services. To have clarity of the outcome your provide (because that's what people buy. NOT the process) or who you work best with and therefore who you will communicate with when marketing said services.

All of that takes time. It's called building a business for a reason. It doesn't happen overnight. Truth is, for most people it takes 2 - 3 years or consistent effort before they're bringing in consistent income.

Are there people who do it right off the bat? Yes of course but they're the exception (and dig a little deeper and you'll usually find they've built businesses before in other areas or are financially secure enough to throw a lot of money at their business -  it's a well known fact in coaching circles that many of the success stories of six figure launches had six figures spent on them to get to that point.) There's a LOT of bullsh*t out there - trust me.

 

Is it worth it?  Hell yes.

But is it easy?  Not usually.

 

I want you to succeed at this.

I want there to be people like you out there in the world coaching and shining your light for others. But in order to shine that light, you gotta be able to stoke your own fire and sustain yourself.

Give yourself a break.

Give yourself the very best chance of this working.

Keep the job (or if that decision's been taken out of your hands, find a bridge job -even if it's part time, to bring in some money in the meantime).

Put money aside into an escape fund. Even when you're bringing in income, work part time until you're sure you can sustain your level of cash flow.

I know this isn't the message you want to hear. You want me to tell you to leap and the universe will catch you. But I've seen way too many brilliant coaches quit because the universe didn't seem to know that's what was expected.

If you'd like a few more of my thoughts on bridge jobs and the bullsh*t that surrounds our industry, check out my guest post over at Elephant Journal called 6 reasons to love your bridge job

Don't let your dreams be crushed under the weight of the pressure you're putting on them to fly before their wings are fully formed. Ultimately your business, your sanity and your clients will thank you for it.

Got questions? Ask me in the comments below - I'll reply personally (pinky promise).