From the 9-5 Grind to Becoming a Coach Working Part Time From Home

In 2019, I was one year sober and between jobs.

I was interviewing for new positions and about to get offers from some companies for similar roles that I had in the past. I sold HR solutions for most of my adult life. I was qualified for roles like this. Although I could do these jobs and I often do them very well, even receiving awards as a top performer of all time and achieving the highest status as a director for the highest producing team, they were not roles that made my heart sing. I was also laid off more than once, and even if it wasn't personal, the feeling of rejection sure felt traumatic to me. 

I always felt like something was missing. Was this it? My husband used to say going to work was never going to be as good as going on vacation, and although my jobs were mostly fine, I just had a hunch there was something better out there for me. These roles were good for my ego, my resume, and my bank account, but not so good for my soul. I never got so happy that I wanted to fall to my knees after closing a deal. I often thought to myself, "If I ran the company, I would do it differently." I was good at taking orders but I really felt I would be better at running the company. Maybe that's the firstborn daughter in me. I am not sure if everyone feels that way, but I always did. I never considered actually running a company unless I got promoted into it.  

Getting sober changed everything. Sobriety taught me so much about myself.  My drinking wasn't that bad, but by letting it go, "not that bad"  was no longer good enough for me. I didn't want to be "not that bad." anymore. I wanted to be great.  The same applied to my job. I couldn't do a job that was fine and merely "not that bad.". I had to find something I loved. With what I learned through sobriety, I found my calling. I wanted to do something different with my life. I had to help high achieving women, like me, ditch the drink. So, with no previous experience with running a business, I opened my doors.

Here’s how you can do it too:


  • Defining Your Offer: Identify your areas of expertise and passion that you can offer coaching services in. Reflect on your strengths, experiences, and what you can offer potential clients. Do your research on competition. Who is already doing this? Who is successful at this? You want to make sure you can be successful. I say look at the Venn diagram of what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for. You can get paid for most things you are good at. For instance, my degree is in social work, a historically low paying field, but look at Dr Brene Brown.  She's a perfect example of getting paid for something you are good at. It makes it easier if there is a need for your offering, and you can see others who have been successful at it. Coaching, in general, is a growing field. I was trained by the Best Overall Coach Certification Program by Life Coach Magazine.


  • Develop Your Coaching Niche: Determine your target audience and niche within the coaching industry. This could be career coaching, life coaching, health coaching, business coaching, etc. Define what sets you apart from others in your niche and define your ideal client. You want to be specific. For example, I went from helping people quit drinking to helping high-achieving professional women drink less or none at all. I don’t coach everyone with everything. I help a specific demographic of people. This will help you. You won’t be for everyone, no one is. Take some time to figure out who you can truly help. It helps if you have life experience to get there. For instance, I help coaches start a business because that is something I have successfully done. I do not help coaches raise capital. That is not something I have done myself. I want to learn from people who have lived experience. I have gotten sober, and I have started a business. I help people do the things I have successfully done. It would be hard for me, for instance, to purchase digital social media marketing from someone who has a smaller audience than I've been able to grow for myself without training. 


  • Gain Certification or Training: Obtaining coaching certification or relevant training can enhance your credibility and provide you with valuable skills and techniques. Look for reputable coaching programs or certifications that align with your niche. My Coach Certification Program is accredited by the International Coach Federation. It is important to have accreditation, credentials, and training. Coaching is a system of supporting people through change and not giving advice, like I originally thought it was. Without the knowledge I received from my Coach Certification Program, I would have no business calling myself a coach. Especially when it comes to something as serious and important as addiction and recovery. There are many folks out there who have no education in the area but call themselves sober coaches. They could be helping people, but they could also be doing harm, whether intentional or not, and that could be dangerous. I suggest getting trained and certified in your area of interest to build your credibility as well as receive necessary training for the work you want to do.   


  • Build Your Online Presence: Create a professional website that showcases your coaching services, experience, testimonials, and contact information. Utilize social media platforms to connect with your target audience and share valuable content related to your coaching niche. I know coaches who struggle to get clients, and they do not have a website. I think in this day and age, it will be  pretty hard to be taken seriously without one. That being said, social media is a wonderful marketing tool, but it is not the only way. Don’t be fooled, the number of followers a person has does not correlate to revenue. This is a huge misconception. I have a few modules on this in my Launch Your Coaching Practice course if you are interested in learning more.  


  • Create a Business Plan: This sounds more serious than it is. I didn’t call it a business plan when I was starting out, but I did see that I needed a strategy. I had many competing priorities, and they’ve grown over time. Outline your business goals, target market, pricing structure, marketing strategies, and financial projections. Having a clear plan will guide your actions and help you stay focused on growing your coaching business. Again, I teach all of this in depth in my Launch Your Coaching Practice. Determining a pricing structure is more than throwing something against the wall. A common misconception regarding pricing is to determine how much money you want to make and then divide that by your number of clients. That’s great in theory and on paper. For example, I want to make $10K a month, so I’ll have 10 clients and charge them $1,000 per month. That doesn’t even make sense. What are they going to pay $1,000 for? What value are you offering? How often do you meet with them? For what duration? There’s a better strategy than this. I’ve seen coaches disappointed that their equations are not adding up in real life like they seemed to in a desired scenario. Be realistic about income, revenue, and growth. Understand taxes and operating costs. I spend a whole module on this in my course, because it is so important. 


  • Option to Start Part-Time: Consider starting your coaching business part-time while still working your current job. This allows you to test the waters, gain experience, and build a client base before making the leap to full-time entrepreneurship. You might find out that entrepreneurship is not for you. You might need some time to build a business and an income. You will want to consider your benefits package when you exit. Again, you can learn more in my course, but these are all things to consider when leaving a full time job to work for yourself. 


  • Save Money: Prepare financially for the transition by saving enough money to cover your living expenses for several months. It may take time to establish a steady income as a coach, so having financial stability is crucial during the initial stages of your business. I paid for training, a new computer, and expensive software before I ever made a dime. You need to consider start-up costs. You might need to invest money before you make money, so having a plan is key. 


  • Network and Collaborate: I didn’t get sober alone, and I don’t run my business alone either. I have worked hard to build mutually beneficial relationships by attending networking events, joining online communities, and collaborating with other coaches or professionals in my industry. Building relationships can lead to referrals and opportunities for growth. It also provides support in the sometimes lonely world of solopreneurship. Authenticity is important in building long lasting affiliate relationships. There are many benefits and not all of them are finanicial.  


  • Offer Free Sessions or Workshops: This might feel disheartening at first, but you need practice. Provide free or discounted coaching sessions or workshops to showcase your expertise and attract potential clients. Collect testimonials and feedback from these sessions to build credibility and trust with your audience. You will build upon this, but you have to start somewhere. I am offering a Free Launch Your Coaching Practice Webinar right now. Even as an experienced coach, I like to offer value before making a purchase. You can register for this webinar now to learn more for free.    


  • Set Boundaries and Manage Your Time: As you transition to working full-time as a coach, it’s important to set boundaries and manage your time effectively. Prioritize tasks, establish a schedule, and practice self-care to avoid burnout. This is one of my biggest challenges. I can be as compulsive about work as I was about alcohol. When you work online from home, work is always there. It is up to you to set boundaries to protect yourself from overwhelm. Preparing our nervous systems for success, prioritizing rest, and preventing burnout are all lessons I teach in my course. These might be topics you haven't considered yet. That is why you want to find a mentor who is a step ahead of you so they know the pitfalls further down the path and can prepare you ahead of time.


  • Get a Guide, Evaluate, and Adjust: Continuously evaluate your progress, adjust your strategies as needed, and be open to feedback from clients and peers. Adaptability and a willingness to learn are essential for long-term success as a coach. I think it is important to have a mentor or coach yourself. You want to look for someone who has been where you are and has what you want. Things change over time and I have come to embrace that aspect. What worked last year, might not be the key to success this year. I love the challenge of continuously learning and improving.  Set Up a Call with me if you’d like to learn more. 

Remember that transitioning to full-time coaching requires dedication, perseverance, and patience. Stay committed to your goals, continuously refine your skills, and embrace the journey of building a thriving online coaching business. It's truly the best career and life moved I've ever made! 


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