Starting a life coaching business is like starting any business—there will be hurdles to jump before you start to feel successful. As you begin to build your coaching business, it’s important to remember that success takes time. It starts with a single client. A conversation that leaves you feeling empowered that YOU DID THIS!
And from there, you’ll likely have to try a few different paths and troubleshoot your business strategies (like your coaching offers, your marketing efforts, your session structure) before you get the hang of it. There will be challenges, but what matters most is how you tackle those challenges.
In this post, we’re going to walk you through some of the most common roadblocks to encounter when you’re starting a life coaching business. Whether that’s imposter syndrome or just feeling overwhelmed, we’ve been there, and we’re here to help you handle the fear of starting a business in a productive and growth-oriented way.
5 Common Roadblocks When Starting a Life Coaching Business
Before we dive into the best techniques for facing down common roadblocks when starting out life coaching, it’s important to identify what the roadblocks truly are. You can only start to solve your problems by naming them, so identify whether any of the following common points of resistance for new coaches resonate with you. Here are some we hear about the most from our new coaches.
1. Imposter Syndrome
If it’s your first year in the game, chances are that you’re feeling a bit of imposter syndrome. You know, that voice in your head that’s constantly asking, “why am I so special that I should be offering life advice to people?” Or maybe, “wow… nobody knows that I’m actually just winging it, and I have no idea what I’m really doing.”
That voice is imposter syndrome (and it’s caused by expecting yourself to be perfect), and it’s common for new life coaches and other entrepreneurs to feel it when they are first getting started in the coaching world. But here’s the thing. You already know how to be a life coach! You always have. If you find yourself in this industry, it’s because you’ve spent your life helping people with their problems, supporting them, and coaching them along the way. The main difference is that now you’re getting paid to do it—congrats!
As long as you take things slow, focus on your niche, and learn skills as you go, you’re not an imposter. No one expects you to be perfect. You don’t have to have a perfect life. You don’t have to be the biggest expert in your niche. You don’t have to say every word perfectly. You just need to be the witness and hold the space for another human being to reflect on their life, conjur their dreams, and work through what it takes to get there.
If having a structure to your coaching sessions and programs based on already-proven processes, consider starting with a complete blueprint with one of our niche life coach certification packages.
2. Getting Overwhelmed
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed because of the sheer number of responsibilities they have on their plates. You have the accounting, business development, and marketing puzzles to solve, and on top of that, you have to provide the life coaching service that you set out to! And, that’s after they go through the process of even getting started.
It can sound like a lot of work. But it doesn’t have to be.
Think of it this way: you can’t eat multiple meals at once, and you can’t even eat one meal all in one bite. Like everything in life, the way to get your coaching business work done without getting overwhelmed is to take it one step at a time. Rather than trying to tackle your entire to-do list in one go, or trying to do a little of each thing all at once, pick one task that you can do from start to finish and get it done. Then move down the list.
Not so scary now, is it?
3. Fear of Working with Clients
One of the biggest fears of starting a business is sitting down to work with clients. This is closely related to imposter syndrome—what if they think I’m a fraud?—but it’s also its own fear. Even if you have tackled your imposter syndrome feelings, it’s easy to feel intimidated once there’s a real, flesh-and-blood person sitting in your office or connected to you through video or telephone..
The best solution? Know your stuff. If you’re a trained, licensed life coach, you won’t have to worry about what to say in front of a client. You’ll have all the training you need! A big part of getting that confidence that you know your stuff is focusing on a niche where you thrive. When you know that you’re an expert in entrepreneurship, or a master of mindfulness, or a relationship guru, you won’t just feel confident in front of a client; you’ll feel excited!
4. Limited Clientele
To go off the last point, many life coaches fear that they will have a limited clientele when they are starting a coaching business. One easy way to address that fear is to simply face it head-on: the fact is that, yes, you will have limited clientele when you first start. That’s part of starting up as a new business.
Getting clients as a life coach isn’t impossible, it’s a process you can learn. By getting clear about what you’re offering (aka the transformation your coaching provides in your unique way), demonstrate your value to your clients, and connect yourself to the proper networks in your field (niche), building your client base will happen. It just takes time and tenacity!
5. Time Management
Lastly, mastering time management is often one of the biggest hurdles that many entrepreneurs face as they first start their businesses. It can be easy to get lost in handling one aspect of your business and forgetting to handle all the other parts necessary to keep it running.
The solution? There are tons of time management hacks and techniques that you can use to be more productive. Try out a few, and see what works for you. It’s all a game of trial and error until you find the methods that work best for you and your business.
Here’s what to remember if you’re starting a life coaching business and feeling overwhelmed by roadblocks:
- Imposter syndrome is real, but you can fight it by remembering that life coaching is something that you’ve done your whole life—you’re just putting into practice as your job now! (And, you don’t have to be perfect!)
- It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed. But by biting off little pieces and chewing them slowly, you can work through your to-dos. The key is not trying to tackle it all at once.
- Everyone starts out afraid of working with clients when they are first starting a coaching business. But by focusing on your niche, honing your skills, and building up your base of knowledge, you can feel secure in every session.
- Having a limited clientele is part of starting out in any industry. By sticking at it, mastering your message, and building your network, you can grow to have a wide client base in time.
- Time management is definitely a struggle, but there are tips, tricks, and strategies that are built to keep you productive. This, too, is something you will get better at over time, if you invest in continuing to learn and grow.
The fear of starting a business is real. But so are the solutions that help you overcome these roadblocks. By reading this article, you’ve already shown yourself that you’re committed to growing your life coaching business. Now get out there and put what you’ve learned into practice!
Joeel & Nataile are co-founders of Transformation Academy®, where they train leading-edge entrepreneurs, leaders and life coaches how to master their mindset and create a purpose-driven business. They have started more than a dozen businesses, and trained over 500,000 coaches from 200_ countries and territories. Joeel is a former psychology professor with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Education is currently completing his dissertation on eudaemonic happiness for a Ph.D. in Psychology.