‘Figure It Out Friday’ is a new weekly blog series where you submit your questions and struggles about designing your Uncaged career – and I give you my straight up advice. Because sometimes you just want someone to tell you what to do.
I’m just getting started out with my new coaching business, and it feels so scary to be starting from scratch. I was in a corporate job for 9 years and I always knew what I was doing, but this is totally new and it’s like I’m at the very beginning again! My husband wants me to have a plan to know how much money I will be making, but I have no idea what to tell him! How long will it take me to actually be making money as a new coach?? What kind of progress can I expect?
Ok, I’ll admit. I may have saved this question to be sneakily timed with the launch of the self-study version of Coaching Business Jumpstart. But hey, I have to promote my stuff somehow yo!
Self-promotion aside, my answer to this question is totally legit.
You are NEVER starting from scratch. If that were true, it would mean that all your past life experiences mean absolutely nothing and that all those years of hard won lessons were for nothing.
And that’s not how life works.
Your experience now is a sum total of all of your past life shit – jobs, skills, traumas, travel, grief, joy, mistakes, regrets, lessons learned and experiences had.
And those things are going to be what you build your business around.
Here’s the sneaky thing about building a coaching business – it’s not really about the coaching. What I mean is, it’s your expertise and your bigger picture message (and the tangible results associated with it) that people are going to pay you for. Coaching is simply a skill that you use to bring your expertise out into the world. Your expertise is NOT coaching. It’s something else. Something you’re already good at. Something you care about like, a LOT, because you already have so much experience with it.
There we go. I said it. I don’t believe “coaching” is a viable business model unless it’s centered around your unique expertise.
Yes, this kind of means you have to choose a niche. But it’s so much more than that. It means you get to use EVERYTHING you have learned in your past and center your business around something you actually give a shit about, and then use your new skill of coaching on top of all that expertise.
Which means that instead of starting at the bottom like Drizzy, you’re starting at the top and simply adding more value to what you do with your new skill of coaching.
So you should never think of yourself as a “new” coach, you should think of yourself as a seasoned expert in _________, and know that you already have all the experience you need to get your clients results.
Of course, you have to have a clear sense of what your expertise is and who you want to work with, and then you have to learn to build your business around it (which is exactly what Coaching Business Jumpstart teaches you to do).
Ok, so all that being said…
How long will it take you to start making money? I mean it when I say that it seriously depends on how fast you can get known as the expert at what you do.
On average I would say it takes about 1.5-2 years to get to the place where you feel really solid in your business (and those first few years are usually spent playing around with different projects). It doesn’t mean you won’t make any money before that. It just means that it might take that long to really hone in on your sweet spot, have a sustainable client flow, and learn to leverage your time so you’re not continually exchanging time for money. BUT – if you learn how to center your business around your specific uniqueness right from the beginning and avoid the generic “I help empower people to live from their values and be their best selves” kind of coaching jargon (which NO ONE in the real world really understands anyway), it will happen much much faster for you.
It also depends, of course, on how much hustle you have in you. How excited are you about learning sales and marketing (hint: you’ll do much better if your answer is “SO EFFING EXCITED!”). How willing are you to work your ass off and continue to invest in business training, learn, refine, learn, refine, repeat, until it’s working for you (hint: you’ll do much better if you’re really ready to go all-in in your business).
The honest truth is that you will spend more than 80% of your time in your new business learning how to run a business, rather than actually doing the thing that is your business. So the faster you can get on board with the nuts and bolts of how to actually get clients and make money, the faster it will happen for you (what a redundant statement, right!? But so many people neglect to actually learn that part)
In short, if you want clients to come to you (instead of having to hunt them down), learn how to market your expertise in a way that gets you known FAST.
We teach you how in our Jumpstart program. And this doesn’t just go for coaches. ANY service based business that is kind of obscure or generic or saturated, you will need to learn to market yourself so that you stand out from the crowd with a compelling message and clear expertise.
And it’s when you do that that your business will really start to take off.
So in essence, your success rate is up to you.
Pretty cool, right?
I’d love to hear what you think about marketing your expertise. Have you tried this approach? Do you still feel stuck in figuring out what makes you stand out from the sea of other coaches/health coaches/designers/horse whisperers? Tell us in the comments.