If you’ve been following my work for more than a second, you know I’m a no-nonsense straight shooter. I try to be as honest as I can about what I’ve been through in growing my business. Today I’m talking about the not-so-glamorous side of having a Coaching business (or any service business where you are a Solopreneur).
Yes, you have complete freedom to do whatever you want with your business. Yes, your only income ceiling is the one you set for yourself. And yes, don’t have to deal with the commute, office politics and scrounging for a 3% raise. But as with everything in this Universe, there is a positive and negative aspect to having an online business. Here are a few and how I’ve dealt with them…
1.) You Are Your Own Boss – You can wake up when you want, you can take off when you want and you can work in your pajamas if you want. You’re living the dream. On the other hand, you are your own boss. All of the discipline, follow-through, decision making and responsibility falls on your shoulders. We all have areas where we can improve and you will become intimately familiar with these areas when you become your own boss. Having an off week and want to coast a little bit? You can, but that paycheck won’t be waiting for you at the end of the week. As a business owner, you are responsible for producing revenue so you can have a legit business rather than a hobby.
Remedy: Take great care of yourself and plan your marketing strategy in advance. When you’re an entrepreneur, your business is you. If you’re feeling great and your mind is in the right space, your business will likely follow your lead. If you’re not, then it may suffer. Work on your mindset daily, take great care of yourself and maintain a high vibe so you can do great work. Also, planning your marketing strategy in advance will allow you to keep things flowing if you have an off week or something unexpected happens that takes you attention away from your business.
2.) Feeling Isolated – When I started my business, I was so excited by the prospect of working from home and no longer having to deal with office gossip and politics. But I never took into consideration that I’d feel lonely and miss the social interaction and family atmosphere that is created in the workplace. Being alone all day can take its toll. Unless you’re an introvert that has no desire for social interaction, you may really miss the office potlucks or after-work happy hours.
Remedy: Make business friends and meet with them in person. Join a mastermind. If you feel like you’re more productive actually putting on pants everyday, consider renting a spot at a communal workspace. Focus on live networking and speaking (also a faster way to build your business).
3.) Getting over the “If you build it, they will come” fallacy – This one is a hard one to swallow. Many people who start coaching businesses don’t realize that a large part of your time will be dedicated to marketing your business rather than coaching (at least in the beginning when you’re building your biz). You will need to become as proficient a marketer as you are a coach. Most of us would rather do what we do best and love most, which is coaching and helping people transform their lives. But if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.
Remedy: Put that booty to work. Having a business is not as easy as being an employee and collecting a paycheck. If it were, everyone would do it. Who doesn’t want the freedom, lack of earning ceiling and no-boss-having lifestyle? If you don’t know how to market your business, invest in learning how. If you have some idea of how to do it and are just not doing it, get some accountability. But make peace with the fact that being an entrepreneur means you’re now required to be a great marketer as well – or you don’t have a business.
Even with all of the not-so-glamorous parts of having a coaching business, I wouldn’t trade it for being employed again. I liken it to raising a child. It can be bumpy, but it’s also totally worth it. Your business is your baby. It’s an extension of you, your essence, your creativity. Learn to manage the not-so-great parts of business ownership and don’t ever stop pursuing your dreams.