When I started my business 32 years ago, I sent out a postcard in the mail and people called – and I had a business.  I just kept telling people what I had that they wanted.  They would then tell their friends about my business and it was like a giant snow ball.  We grew and grew and business was good.

When we start out as health coaches, it is a little slower...and we are in a different situation than I was then.  We are really doing a trade – our hours for their money.  So, how much money can you make starting out?  Well, if you work with clients 4 hours a day and spend the other 4 hours preparing, working on getting new clients and doing general business tasks…and charge $50 an hour starting out …and you fill all your time up (without a vacation), the maximum amount you can earn (gross) is $52,000 annually.  You will then need to subtract the costs of doing business.  This will reduce it and prevent you from being able to expand by hiring assistants.

That is why we set up supplemental streams of income.  You see all those health coaches out there selling supplements, gardening supplies, essential oils, affiliating for other health coaches.  They have decided that they do not want to only trade their time for money.  The other income streams frees them up to take the clients they want and gradually and organically grow their business.

Some of you are not in it for the money.  The following still applies to you.  You are just lucky enough not to have the added pressure of producing an income.

So, what, you ask, is the big mistake you are supposed to avoid?  Simply put, it is expecting your business to grow in a month, or six months or a year.  Unless you are very lucky, your business is going to grow slowly.  You must not let this stop you.  Don’t give up. 


The secret to succeeding as a health coach is to:

  1. make sure you have enough income coming from somewhere to keep working on your business (sometimes that means getting a job)
  2. make a business plan (try Business Plans for Health Coaches)
  3. create a system to bring in new business
  4. create a system to grow new business from your existing business
  5. follow through
  6. join an organization where you support each other
  7. don’t give up

Business Principles really aren’t any different than they were 32 years ago, you just have to keep working at it…even when it feels like nothing is happening.

This business was a lot different.  First I started blogging, because I wanted to share health information.  I did this, even before I went to IIN.  I wanted to document and share the nutrition information I was accumulating.  Then, I went to IIN.  I blogged and blogged…no one ever read them, but I knew I would do something with the blogs someday.  I had a business plan.  It was a good business plan.  Everyone I showed it to was very impressed.

I started working toward my goal and in the direction my business plans pointed me.

I worked and worked and worked and worked.

I would walk through the living room – where my husband was watching hockey, football or golf, depending on the season.  He would say “I sure wish you were getting something for all this work you are putting in.”  I just kept on working.  I had already put in so much time that I couldn’t stop now.

I was working 2 businesses at a time.  I worked from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.  (I know there are many of you in the same shoes now.)  The thing is I loved what I was doing.  I liked my other business…but I wanted a business that made a difference in the world.  I want to help to change the lives of others.

I liked my old business too.  I flip flopped a little….knowing that I could make good, easy money in my old established business.  I still kept working.  I wanted to be an instrument in health change….I also wanted to help other people to create their own businesses in the health coaching industry – plus, I wanted to be location independent.  My son is in England and my Mom is in Florida…and my old business tied me to my corner in the world.  So, besides loving what I did, I was highly motivated.

So I kept working.  I made minor adjustments here and there.  I made very slow and incremental moves forward.  I gathered a team…and it was no longer just me, it was we.  We are still working hard.  My old business is still there.  I haven’t taken the time to sell it…but, I am ready.  We surpassed the original monetary goals that I set for the business.  We have shifted gears a few times.  We were fluid and went with the flow and I am very pleased with the way it has turned out.  We ended up being able to make large contributions in many ways.  That was the plan.

I have learned a lot and I am changing the world.  I get to wake up in the morning and decide what I am going to do today.  Because I endured, there are other people on my team who get to do the same thing.  No one else decides for me and I am still working hard because, that is what I want to do.

So this is what I want to say, it is going to take a while to build your business.  If you keep at it, it will grow.  Get up every day and work toward building your practice.  Build your income streams.  Clarify your niche.  Build your tribes.

Then it happens, the thing you were starting to think…might never come to be.  Your business is a thriving entity.  It is bound to happen.  With a plan and follow through…and E-N-D-U-R-A-N-C-E.    It WILL happen.


With a plan and follow through…and


It WILL happen.


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  1. Dawn

    Thanks Cathy,
    Definitely needed to read this. Great words of wisdom and keeps me going! I think I will keep this handy and read when those tough times are happening!

    Great job thanks again!

  2. Paris Golec

    Thank you Cathy ! Words of Wisdom and encouragement! I was wondering how I would get through IIN and to work on the Inner Circle as well. I started with a plan to do this part time and I have been so motivated I don’t know how I am not going to do it full time now.

    thank you so much


    • Cathy

      You are welcome Paris. Keep at it, you will be fine. You have all the right tools.

  3. Hayley Hobson

    Cathy, one of the things I find most inspiring about your posts is how well thought out they are. I work my butt off. I work too much sometimes. It feels like I am always on. Always open for business, 7 days a friggin week. Any business insight among our fellow health coaches or tips are so welcome. Thanks for sharing your story and insights.

    • Cathy

      Hi Hayley, I think you have to set boundaries. I am sure you are at a point where you should start doing that. I don’t talk on the phone on the weekend or after 5p.m. CST. That helps me alot. I should -not- work on the weekends, but I do. Soon, I will stop that. I kind of have to force myself not to work because I enjoy it so much. I hope that helps.

  4. Kristen

    Thanks Cathy:) Just what I needed this morning!

  5. Shohre

    Hello Cathy,
    It is 4 am and I can not sleep. I decided to check the inner circle and started reading your blog. I needed to read this. I believe in endurance and never giving up. That’s the way I have always been. I have made success in my business before, but every thing changed and now I am starting all over again. I want to be successful again, although I am feeling kind of lost and overwhelmed, but I will not give up. I find my way again. Thanks for the great work you do.

  6. Wendy Cuba-Danca

    I believe “If you build it – they will come” -Field of Dreams (like who doesn’t know that) – I am counting on it!!!

  7. Dina Delicce

    Hi Cathy!

    Thank you for this article. I really needed to hear this now, especially since my business is evolving … again. So far, many of the things I have done did not feel great. They felt good, but not great. Now … with my new business plan, and my new vision … things finally feel GREAT!! I have realized that I am a learner, and a teacher. And, so through my writings and blogs, I plan on spreading the wisdom I have gathered. This, I believe is the purpose and passion of learners. But, in the meantime I plan on returning to work … and I fully appreciate your comment of making sure you have enough income to keep working on your business. Because, I know that my income from my job will allow me to think and blog and inspire which is my passion. And when I am fully living in my passion, I believe the universe will respond with great financial success. … and then I can leave my job! 🙂

  8. Janet Bernstein

    I love the way you put it into words.

  9. Thom

    Awesome and well put

  10. Tammy Tuey

    That was great information and encouragement. Thank you


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