Over the last 3.5 years, I've been extremely consistent in my coaching business, offering group programs every single month, and putting those programs in front of enough potential customers to connect with people who want, need, and can benefit from my programs.
I don't always show the ups and downs of the business, although I do have friends (and my husband) to talk with about them on the back end—but that doesn't mean the ups and downs aren't there.
Being an entrepreneur can be a tough journey at times, but I love how strong and resourceful it has made me, and I wouldn't trade those traits for anything. I usually refuse to even let myself venture into the headspace of "I want to quit," because I know that mental energy I pour into the "should I stay or should I go" decision is energy I could be investing into revitalizing my business instead—but I can say for sure that there have been many frustrations along the way.
That being said, there are days that feel easier and days that feel harder in the business. Over the years I've developed a "grab bag" of strategies that I use during the hard times, to bring me back to a place of being excited about this business rather than just grudgingly sticking with it another day. (And for any of my clients who read this post, please know that seeing you share your successes and struggles is one of THE biggest motivators for me! It's an instant pick-me-up to see you guys making changes that have an impact on your health!)
GO BACK TO YOUR WHY. Each of us has a reason why we got into coaching in the first place. For me, it's a combination of personal financial goals, and a vision I had for helping women reconnect with their bodies through movement and intuitive eating. So when I start to feel like I've lost my way, I picture very clearly what the income for this business will make possible for my family (so far, it has paid for fertility treatments in the multiple five-figure price range that were not covered by insurance). I also go back to my original vision for how my business would help people—and this is often when inspiration strikes and I come up with dynamite ideas for new programs. Perhaps there is a purpose to those "rock bottom" moments...
FOCUS ON THE FOUNDATION. There have been times when I was preoccupied with a project at work or something happening in my personal life, and I'd take a break from doing my workouts and sharing them on social media, or I'd let go of trying to feed my body healthy food. My clients take their cues from me, and when I became less engaged, so did they. When I get back into it and discover all over again how awesome my body feels on a nutrient-dense diet with daily movement—like magic, my clients have an easier time following through on their intentions too, and more people reach out to me saying they are ready for a change and ready to work together.
Along the same lines, SHARE OPENLY about what's going on with you—within reason, of course. I wouldn't spill every detail of my personal life, but if I'm having trouble sticking to my workout schedule, I'll say that. If I'm having trouble laying off the sugar, I'll say that. If I'm dealing with something real tough emotionally, I'll share about it without divulging all the details. People don't want a perfect brand; they want a real person. I know that I connect with people so much more when I am candid, and that's what allows me to help them.
In dealing with my demons, from time to time I've had to get real honest about what's going on, and I've had to CONSIDER SELF-SABOTAGE as an explanation. This showed up for me in relationships—if things were going well, I'd do something to mess it up because deep down, I didn't believe I deserved to be happy. It showed up with reference to my eating disorder—for years it was one step forward, two steps back. I felt like a kid who finally gets the training wheels taken off, rides solo for one glorious moment, then gives in to fear, topples over, and has to put the training wheels back on for a good long while. I had glimpses of how my life could be without compulsive overeating, but it took many years of therapy and work of various sorts before I could leave behind that old familiar habit of numbing myself with food. And honestly, fear of success has held me back quite a bit in my business too. I've noticed that I have a pattern of slacking on the essentials right after things start to "fly" and feel easy. What's the result of that? I lose momentum and backslide a bit, to where things feel more comfortable because my reality matches with my vision of myself as "not successful."
MAKE A CONFIDENCE LIST. This sounds silly but it really works! The human brain is wired to focus on eliminating threats in our environment to keep us safe. This is the survival instinct—but if we don't counteract this tendency during the times when we aren't in physical danger, we'll be stuck focusing on the negative all day long (which turns into all life long). To get my brain away from focusing on all the ways people have wronged me and disappointed me, and all the things I wish I had done differently, I make a list in my head at the end of each day as I'm drifting off to sleep (but of course you could do this anytime, including right now). My list is usually just 12 reasons I'm proud of myself based on the events of the day (so small items such as speaking my mind instead of staying silent during a difficult conversation with my husband, or just simple things like cooking myself a healthy dinner), but you could also make it specific to your business (and many of my items relate to that because it's such a big part of my life). This has helped me focus on my strengths as a coach and focus on what I do well instead of what is lacking. Added bonus: positive thinking relaxes the mind and this is my tried and true cure for insomnia! I almost never make it to the end of the list with 12 items!
NOTICE WHERE YOUR ENERGY IS GOING. Sometimes we can't change situations that preoccupy us, but just as often we can make a choice not to let things consume us. I used to get extremely upset and spend days stewing when a dissatisfied customer would send me a nasty message. I had to realize that all businesses have dissatisfied customers, and it often says more about the customer than it does about the business. I put my heart into every program and I try my best to wow my customers with excellent service—but you'll never be able to please everyone. I had to realize that by spending days feeling awful about myself after these interactions, I was taking my attention away from my current and future customers who needed me to be present for them. Now, I do my best to address problems quickly, own my part in the situation, and then get on to helping more people.
DIG INTO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. During times when I doubted I had anything valuable to offer my clients, I realized it was because I wasn't prioritizing personal growth. By spending a few minutes a day digging into a book or video or podcast, then taking it to heart and really trying to internalize it and envision how I'll put it into practice in my life (or even put it into practice that very day if possible), I'm always growing and always learning—and always finding tidbits I can share with my followers about what I am learning. If a certain book wasn't connecting, I've had to move on to one that was—and during times when nothing was connecting, I had to go back and consider #4 on this list.
MAKE TIME FOR TRAINING. It's when I discover a brand-new way of doing some aspect of my business, or a new tool I haven't tried yet, or a small tweak that I know will freshen things up for my clients—that's when I am most excited about my business. So I try to make those moments come to me by soaking in training on a daily basis. Pretty much every day, you can count on me watching at least one 20-30 minute training—and usually it's several, while I am cooking, washing dishes, folding laundry, cleaning, or pretty much anything else around the house that doesn't require my brain to be engaged!
FOCUS ON THE PARTS OF THE BUSINESS YOU REALLY ENJOY. Know that just like with any job, there are parts of it you'll love and parts you won't love as much—the difference being that in this case, your efforts (both the enjoyable and not so enjoyable parts) are going to build your own dream, not someone else's. Make a list of the things you don't love as much; those can be the tasks you assign to your virtual assistant once you're able to hire one. Then rock the heck out of the parts you love, while still doing the parts you don't love, and use that list can be your motivator to boost your income to a level where you can afford that VA!
FALL IN LOVE WITH WHAT WE OFFER ALL OVER AGAIN. It's kinda similar to point #2 of focusing on the foundation in my own journey—but refocusing on our products and programs themselves has helped me a lot too. I was really skeptical of this company when I first got involved, but without fail, the more I learn, the more impressed I am with their corporate responsibility—choosing high-quality, beneficial ingredients for all their supplements, making top-notch exercise videos with well-designed routines, and nutrition plans that promote a healthy lifestyle rather than just rapid weight loss. On occasion I've started to feel a bit bored and if I delve into the product catalog and read up on the Ultimate Reset or pull up the program guides for some of the programs I haven't done myself, I start to get so excited about how these products can help my clients and potential clients. It's our responsibility as coaches to learn the product catalog as best we can, so we can make the best possible recommendations for our clients—but then the programs are so well designed that all our clients need to do is follow them (with our guidance). At the end of the day, I just think that's awesome.
Interested in coaching with Team Lives on Fire and being part of our supportive community as you build your business? Fill out an application here and I'll be in touch to chat!