“I want to earn at least 5k a month. I want to generate lots of leads. I want to have a solid strategy for my coaching business for the next 12 months. I want to start a membership. And I want to launch another online marketing course.” Those were the goals I put on my intake-form when I started working with my business coach, six months ago. It was the first time ever that I hired a 1-to-1 coach, and the biggest investment in my business so far. I felt I needed my money’s worth out of this, and I was ready to start building that coaching empire. Six months later, I ended up with something entirely different.
It took a long time for me to say yes to signing up for the 6-month programme with my Canadian coach, even though it was total ‘love at first sight’ for me. I discovered her online, when she did a guest training in another membership, and I instantly liked her vibes. Relaxed, cool, intelligent, and genuine. I want to be like her, I thought.
I started stalking her on social media like a groupie, binging on her content, meanwhile feeling a little sad that I probably would never be able to afford working with her 1-to-1. Months went past, and I kept toying with the idea of booking a free strategy call anyway. When I finally did, I felt all giddy, as if I had just got myself a date with a celebrity. The call was exactly what I expected. I felt she ‘got me’ instantly, she wasn’t pushy for a sale at all, and I knew she was the right coach for me. Then she told me her price. Holy fuck. Yes, I needed time to think about it.
Manifesting money and biting the bullet
Actually, I didn’t need time to think about it at all. I just needed time to find the money. I had to make this work. The following weeks, months even, I manifested myself silly to save up for this big investment. I felt crazy and dizzy even thinking about it, but I had a very strong calling to do this. I did the math, I accepted extra copywriting jobs, and luckily attracted a handful of coaching clients over the summer to add to the funds. I put the money aside, and I figured out that with a little bit of juggling, I could stretch myself. I felt so scared to press ‘send’ on the email, when I finally told her that I was ready to work with her. What had I just done?
After biting that bullet, my mind went into overdrive. I was going to work incredibly hard to get that return on investment. My ambition went through the roof, and I decided that like other business coaches I had seen online, I would become a high earning entrepreneur six months later. Yeah, baby! Bring it on!
And then, something else happened.
My coach, after a few calls, reflected back at me, and said:”Nina, you can totally do this coaching, and you will be successful. We’ll work on that business strategy. But being purely an online coach….I don’t think that is going to make you happy in the long run. You are so creative, you are an artist. We need to give that artist a bigger stage.”
It was the first time in my adult life someone had said this to me. As a child, everyone told me to follow my creative dreams and ‘do something with my art’…but at 18, I put down the paintbrush and went to university instead. Safe, right? I rolled into marketing, because I am a good writer with an eye for design, and ended up supporting and promoting other creatives for the next 20 years. I enjoyed my jobs in the arts, don’t get me wrong, but yes, I often felt a pang of envy, watching someone hang an exhibition, or perform a big show on stage. That could have been me.
Stop being standard, bring out those quirks!
It took a business coach on the other side of the Atlantic to tell me this, and put me on a whole different track than I came to her for. She said:”You have an edge, Nina, you bring so much to the table. You have a wealth of marketing and copywriting experience…but you also have a creative brain. That sets you miles apart from other business coaches and is really something special. You will be able to help entrepreneurs in a unique way. But it is time to honour your inner artist too.”
She encouraged me to start writing much more personal blog posts and be less ‘standard coach-y’ in my social media content. Not publish posts that could have been written by any other coach. She was right. When I first started my coaching business, I thought that was what my audience expected from me: marketing tips. But you can find those anywhere on the internet. It is too bland.
“Bring out that rebel spirit of yours, show people the real Nina. Write about what you find interesting yourself, it doesn’t matter whether it is about marketing. Share what you’re into right now, your own journey, your creativity”. That’s a bit weird, I thought, but I tried it anyway.
Soon after, I got more leads. People booked strategy calls with me because “they loved my content so much, it resonated with them, and they felt I was so easy to connect with, even in my writing”. It clearly worked, this ‘totally being yourself’ thing.
As I implemented more and more things as a result of weekly speaking to my coach, things started to shift in my life. My income increased too, which was a happy side effect. But what was much more profound, was the joy I started feeling in other parts of my life. Without thinking, I signed up for an abstract art class (called ‘Ignite your creativity’ – how apt), and it has become my favourite morning of the week. It is as if my soul finally feels listened to. Hurray, the paint is back out! It only took me 20 years, haha. Also, because of this shift, I naturally became a happier, calmer person at home.
Finding the missing piece of the puzzle
I had my first ever 5k month while working with my coach. But moreover, I am not the same person I was when I started the programme in September. These past six months have meant to me so much more than any business strategy or marketing plan would; it has dug up my soul purpose. I received a deep transformation in a way I never expected, but I obviously needed. My ego and conditioning were just hiding the truth until now. And sometimes it takes an outsider to point the finger at the sore spot. And that sore spot is healing. It was the missing piece in the puzzle of the inner work I have been doing for a while now, and I am so grateful for that. The journey continues, but the foundation has been laid.
With the support of my coach, I have created more balance, more joy, and a clarity and excitement about the second half of my life. Whereas before, I thought I knew what I wanted, I now know that it was my confused ego and old self writing down the initial goals on that intake-form. It would have taken me so much longer to feel this confident, if I hadn’t decided to work with her. I actually feel more grown-up now.
I went from thinking in a very traditional way about running a coaching business, to realising that I want to have the freedom to choose. I want to be a creative business coach supporting others on their journey, but also have multiple artistic activities and streams of income in my life. Create, connect, and inspire, that is what I want to do. No more stressful full-time working weeks, deadlines, or sales targets. My coach gave me permission to take the pressure off and still attract enough clients, by just being myself and sharing my quirks and personality, in the most authentic way possible. And I do!
I attract amazing clients who I absolutely LOVE coaching. You could be the next one.
My biggest return on investment? Being honest with myself and acknowledging the truth.
No more hiding. I see very clear now what my core values are, and what my soul desires. I have learnt so much from working with my coach, and I am already using some of her teachings in my own work with clients. Because what I went through, many other like-minded people are also going through.
You know, sometimes you find people in your life who you are drawn to for some mysterious reason, because the universe it trying to tell you something. It nudges you in the right direction, and if it keeps nudging, you’d better listen. A coach you had never heard of a year ago, can suddenly become the most supportive companion on your personal journey. Tears, laughter, stories, struggles, you share everything with them, and they guide you with genuine care, and help you grow so much, in such a short time.
It happened to me, and I hope I will be that kind of coach for my clients too.