I have a t-shirt stored away in the back of my wardrobe. On the front (in Wham! 80’s style font) is emblazoned “Failed Life Coach”.
When I first started my own business, I was an accredited Life Coach. I had big ambitions to building my practice. You know, the usual stuff … a 6 figure business after two years, regular column in Red magazine and an appearance or two on the BBC breakfast sofa.
The problem was that it didn’t work out like this. My training to be a Life Coach covered everything there was to know about coaching. But training me to be a business owner was shoved in to a one hour teleclass and a short session in day 2 of the weekend training.
I was trained to be a great Life Coach. But after 5 months of struggling to get enough 1-2-1 clients through the door, it was apparent that I sucked as a business owner!
Things had to change!
The first business book to really rock my world was Michael Gerber’s “The E-Myth Revisited”. The poignant story of a woman, who was on the verge of closing down her pie shop business, started my journey in to changing my mindset.
Followed closely by Andrea J Lee’s “Multiple Streams of Coaching”, it didn’t take me long to realise my mistakes.
You see, I had considered myself to be a Life Coach. I did everything I could do to go out and find clients who wanted to be coached. I think I was on the verge of being reported as a stalker to a couple! But this just wasn’t working.
The day I decided to change my way of thinking and become a business owner who happened to offer coaching, was the day things started changing.
I began to take the time to look at the few clients who I was seeing results with and work out why they were coming to me and what it was I doing for them.
I began to realise that it wasn’t coaching they were buying from me – it was the results and outcomes they were getting.
I began to package up my offers – creating programmes and charging more for my time.
And I began to get my head around marketing – building a database, getting known as an expert in my field and creating marketing systems that helped turn strangers in to clients.
I stopped calling myself a Life Coach every time someone asked me what I did and started explaining that I specialised in helping women start up in business (my niche back in 2005).
I began to be a Business Owner. Now I know not all of you are Life Coaches. Some of you are Trainers, Consultants, Virtual Assistants, Website Designers and Online Retailers. But all of you are Business Owners.
Whether you like or not, you are here to make a profit from your passions.
And the sooner you change your mindset and considered yourself to be a Business Owner first and foremost, the quicker you will see results. And the quicker you will attract the right clients.
Have you had a similar story? When did you start to believe you were a business owner? Love to read your comments, too