I have had the extreme privilege of talking to 1000’s of health coaches about their businesses over the last few years.
You all have one thing in common, that is that you want to make positive changes in the world and help the people you work with to live a better life. The other thing they have in common, many, well – most struggle financially.
It is a constant struggle to get customers and to stay positive and motivated doing so. Building a business can be a struggle…if you love business it can be fun – if you love coaching only – not so much.
So what stops most coaches?
1. Many coaches don’t ever make a plan. They know lots of bits and pieces and they just get started, but they never really put all the pieces together. You need to spend some time building your business.
You make decisions like:
- how and where to do business
- your niche
- your plan to stand apart from the others
- what you need to do to build your business and sustain it
- what you can and can’t do
- how you are going to reach and engage your clients
- what your streams of income are
- how you can add to your community
- what your client’s experience will be
- what kind of systems you will put in place
Sign up for Building Abundance, The Business Plan for Health Coaches. We can help you get the plan set up. If you need accountability and encouragement to follow through, sign up for Building Abundance Plus for a small group and special coaching/mentoring.
2. Some coaches don’t feel like they are good enough. It is a particularly tricky situation for health coaches. You need to live what you teach.
It doesn’t really matter what it is that you feel you are not good enough for, you could weigh too little, too much, get cold sores, have allergies, cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems, have bad habits like smoking or drinking. The thing is, regardless or your perceived shortcoming…that is all it is – a perception.
The best way to make sure you are living up to what you consider “practicing what you preach,” is to be very clear on what you see as living a healthy lifestyle and then doing it.
Make a list. Are you doing those things? If not, and if you don’t want to do those things, then you need to change your vision and values of what living a healthy lifestyle is. Either expand it or change it…but one way or another, you need to fit into your concept of healthy living or you will not be able to coach it.
Change what you do or change your perception.
3. Okay, this is an important one, both for your business and your coaching. You put yourself first.
Don’t do that! Once you know your niche…everything you decide for your business should be about your client…not you.
Your client is looking to solve their problems….they are not looking for you. It is important you are straight forward and honest and that your brand conveys you…but it needs to speak to your client first and if it doesn’t…then you can have the best “you” brand ever and no one is listening. For health coaches, this is a twice as important. When you are coaching…it is all about your client. You are there for them.
As long as what is important to your client comes first in coaching, marketing, branding and speaking…then your business will be speaking the language your client will understand – before, during and after the appointment.
4. You must be consistent. I you want to see constant growth in any business, you must consistently implement your business plan. Advertise…consistently. Blog….consistently. Email your newsletter….consistently. Consistence grows trust and your list. The thing I notice in a group of health coaches …or an other business people, is that the people who are consistent… are the people who flourish. The people who stop when things slow down and start following another shiny object…do not.
It is hard to be consistent sometimes. When you first start out, it is even harder because there are a lot of times that the efforts seem futile. You need to keep at it.
Well, this is my list and I hope that you will take it to heart, because if you make sure you do what is needed, you will succeed. Ours is an industry where there is an endless supply of customers in need and you are the person to help them.
I asked some health coaches why they thought health coaches fail, they had some great responses:
– Organizing your time effectively on the computer, clients, family, friends and healthy living.
– Don’t have a target group & if they don’t market to them effectively
– Lack of a clear plan and the ability to work the plan with patience and persistence.
– Fear of being visible and really being seen by others. Difficulty finding the courage to feel the fear and do it anyway. Not having courage and/or support.
– Putting my reply in a positive perspective. Successful health coaches have a system and understand leverage. And they have more than one but synergistic ways to earn a viable income. Earning a viable income allows one to feel successful and then be able to attract more clients and more income.
– Frustration learning new things and lack of follow through
– Not living their brand or not having a brand/focus. Living their brand would fulfill most of heir advertising needs. Follow up once you get a lead is important too.
– Lack of self confidence, marketing, not having business mind, and good organization!
– Fear of financial stability starting out.
– People who own McDonald’s don’t love hamburgers they love business.
If you want to be a health coach and work for yourself you have to know and love business not just coaching.
– Fear of trying something new like learning how to write a blog, trying a webinar, hosting a online workshop etc…
– lack of money to hire business, marketing etc help
fear of failure or success
not putting themselves out there
Not having a good social network: living remote or working online without knowing about the online world
I think the biggest is the lack of marketing knowledge
– Dave Ramsey says that most small businesses fail due to poor advertising and not paying taxes correctly.
– Lack of clarity as to where they want to go with their coaching
– Way more business work involved vs actual coaching
– Fear of failure or success
Normally I like to take a more positive approach to things. I think though that this is important enough that we need to be frank. It is not enough to tell you what you should do…it is important that you are aware of the things you don’t do that might be keeping you from succeeding.
What can you add to this list? Have you run into problems with any of these and how do you work around it? This will help others who are reading.