I work with many clients, who are on the edge of jumping into the scary deep end of starting their own business, or have already jumped and are now trying to swim. They dreamed for years about doing this, dabbled a bit in it as a hobby, dipped a toe into it with the odd paid job. And then the moment arrived to walk through that door, and become the free, creative business owner they desire to be. 99% of my clients will recognise themselves in this description, and all the big feelings that come with it. “I will fail”, “I won’t make enough money”, “people will think I’m stupid”, “I should just stick with my old job`’. It is normal to have those feelings, but they are not helpful. How can you break through that first wobbly phase of business?
Some business coaches are all straight-talking money-focused 6-figure-earning gurus. Others grow their business in a more gentle, organic and authentic way. I fall in the last category. I am a go-getter, and a practical, solution-focused business owner, for sure, but at the same time, I am an empathic human and I believe there is more to life than just earning the cold hard cash. I have always been interested in spirituality, and I try daily to find ways to utilise my intuition to improve my work and private life. I practice Reiki. I always carry a rose quartz crystal. I am also great at helping clients with their marketing strategy. Yep. It’s all me. How about you? How ‘woo’ are you?
I have only launched my business The Creative Business Coach late 2020. I never thought I would go into coaching, and even thought I couldn’t possibly call myself a coach without qualifications. I knew of other people being coaches, and thought that was a total different world than my own. But looking back at my career, I have always coached people. Helped them start their businesses, apply for grants, grow their audiences. In many of my jobs I have been taking on the role of coach, without being called a coach. Does 20 years of coaching without knowing it, qualify me as a coach?
I have just finished a 12-week programme with a lovely client, working 1-to-1 with her on her business goals. She recently set herself up as a life coach for teachers. And although she went through a major transformation, in clarity, mindset and skills, she sign any new clients yet during our work together. So was this a failed coaching programme? No, it wasn’t. Because, although getting more clients and increasing their income is ultimately what my clients want, you cannot expect this to happen when the building blocks are not in place. What did she get out of working with me, then?
Investing in yourself is never a bad idea. Training, workshops, a retreat, or investing in a coach. And I just did exactly that. I hired a business coach. Wait, what, a coach, hiring…a coach? What is that all about? Shouldn’t I know what I’m doing?! Oh, I definitely know what I’m doing, and I know how to help my clients get results, but… I also have my own business goals and dreams. And I know what working with a coach can do for me. But how do you know which coach to hire? And what should you look out for?
Yes, I get it. Spending a few grand on a business coach is not something you do everyday. Most likely, it’s something you’ve never done, or even thought of doing. Because, how do you know what you will get in return? What results will you get after working with a coach for 90 days, or even 6 months? Is it all worth it? Although I can tell you now that no investment is ever a guarantee that you will win the lottery (or double your income), I will explain a little in this post about the ROI, or Return on Investment, my clients have told me they got from working with me.
What will my ex-colleagues think of me when I post this on LinkedIn? What will my family say when they see me talk about my business on Facebook? What will my friends think of me when I do a Live video? Will they think I am showing off? “Who does she think she is?” Will they laugh at me? Will they talk behind my back? Do you recognise these feelings? Have you ever felt exposed, vulnerable, or not brave enough to post something, because you had the image of your sarcastic uncle John in your head, laughing at your business attempts? You are extraordinary. Start behaving like it.
What does it look like to work with me? I work with creative and soulful entrepreneurs in their first few years of business, who are ambitious and want to attract more clients. Previous clients have been artists, life coaches, therapists, photographers, graphic designers, language teachers and musicians. Each client is different, so I always adapt my coaching programme to their individual needs and situation. Weekly 1-hour coaching calls and action lists are standard. What else can you expect?
Running a business is not easy. Whether you are offering online services and programmes, or you are a photographer or designer looking for clients, the competition is fierce, and it is not easy to constantly be seen by your ideal audience. Some days you wonder whether it is all worth it! I go through these wobbles too at times, like every self-employed person. I love my work, and I feel very driven to help other entrepreneurs succeed. But building a business takes time, practice and patience, and when you are a parent as well, life is full on. Today I am going to talk about the importance of doing the inner work.
How do I work with my clients on getting more clients for their business? All of my followers and clients are looking for help in growing their audience, making marketing easier for them – and, of course, earning more money doing what they love. As a coach, I support them with these goals. But what does this look like in real life?