Is your coaching a passion project or a profitable business?
How about both!
As coaches, we are accustomed to focusing on our clients to assist them in achieving their goals or overcoming problems. And yet how often it is us who need to focus on our own goals and outcomes. Invoking the thought that sometimes what we teach, is the very thing we need to learn!
I was recently working with a coaching client who was struggling in his business. He had left his well-paying job to become a coach but was struggling to make any money. He didn’t know what to do – so we got together and unpacked his dilemma. We considered all the things he wanted to do and put them in the context of what he needed to do to make it work – pragmatically and calmly. It gave him great insight and the realisation that his passion had distracted him ahead of his planning. He has now mastered a successful transition to a profitable coaching business.
Coaching Passion + Business Acumen = Success
For a coaching passion to become a sustainable business the secret is to first focus on creating some simple practices that will help guide you to achieving the ‘wants’ that you have in business and in life.
Now, we have all heard the maxim “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, but how many of us really do this in practice – getting our business focused and getting ourselves attuned to where we want to be at any given period. So, what comes first – getting out there working, coaching, and trying to make money or developing a plan to ensure both personal and business success? I would contend that having both passion and business acumen, the expertise to understand the principle of business, will provide the foundations to build your success.
Which Road Do I Take?
There is a great quote from Alice in Wonderland that goes something like “…if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. So, as a coach and entrepreneur, if you don’t know where you are going, your decision-making could lead you to make poor choices – and with many of my clients, it’s into disaster.
If we let our passions get ahead of business pragmatism, we may not see the signs to leading us down the right road to our purpose – and what better way to get us where we are going than to have a road map. But I hear you say,
I know what I want, coaching is my life’s purpose, my passion…I’m here to coach!” That is great, but how many of us sit down and contemplate if what we are doing is a pastime, a hobby, or a bona fide business that will make us money?
Here are some tips to get you started:
Write down – what are my purpose, my vision, and my values using the following suggestions.
- What am I here to do? What is my purpose?
- How can I create more value for less effort?
- What is my vision for the future and how will I know when I get there?
- What is the downside of my dream?
- What do I value most and how does that impact me?
- What won’t I tolerate?
Then consider, and write down again, where is my market, who is my audience/clients, do I have competitors, who are they, and how am I different. By this stage, you should be getting a picture of what business you’re in and how you’re going to service it.
- What industry, group, or segment of society am I wanting to coach in?
- Is there a need for what I am offering?
- Who are the people within this sector – gender, age, location, socio-economic characteristics, and where do they hang out?
- How do I find them – what do they read, listen to, and follow?
- What is going to stop me?
- Who are my direct competitors?
- What else could my potential clients do rather than see me?
- What do I need to do to fully meet my client’s needs?
Now consider the broader expression of your business to the world – what are my business’s key characteristics, its personality, and brand voice? And then its verbal core message, what story are you telling yourself and your market, your business name, and the tagline promise. And then finally, your visual identity and brand presence.
- What is special about my business, how is it different, if at all?
- Does my business have a personality, is it attractive, and how does it speak to my potential client base?
- What does my brand say about me and what I am offering – how does it align with my purpose, vision, and values?
- Is what I am saying serving me and my market?
- Does my business look and sound great?
Many individuals start with building their ‘vehicle’ – the branding, logo, and website without truly considering the road map to their journey. Therefore, some rigor needs to be applied to what they want to achieve. Having your ‘why’ is good, but it is your ‘how’ and ‘what’ that will get you to your goal.
In summary, it’s great as a new or even a seasoned coach to have a passion for what you do but to be pragmatic and transition that passion into a profitable business takes a lot of work. To achieve the shift, we need to ask ourselves some powerful questions and use these and other tools to find the answers that will serve us best. My advice, do your due diligence on your own business and take that first step in embracing your passion into a profitable business. You will be amazed at what you might uncover.