Starting a business is a big achievement, and it can be exciting, liberating and terrifying, all at once. But if you’re operating your business from a place of fear, it can really hurt your growth, progress and success. So how can you switch that and operate from a position of faith, optimism, and hope, making it a totally different (and successful) ball game?
Are You Running a Fear-Based Business?
If you’re a new coach, if you have just graduated with your qualification, and you are getting ready to start your coaching business or practice, it’s a really exciting time. You have so much opportunity ahead of you!
You have so much enthusiasm about making a difference in the world!
But for a lot of people starting out as a coach in business, there is this challenge around self-confidence self-worth and self-value.
Impostor syndrome is incredibly common (check out the School of Life’s great video) and it has a huge impact on your ability as a coach, and on your business.
From a business perspective, a fear-based approach reduces your ability to make money, attract clients, and get ahead.
A fear-based mentality is a little bit like a circular reference. It might start with impostor syndrome – who am I to coach? I’ve never run a business before – how will I ever succeed?
You might be comparing yourself to others who have spent 10 years of blood, sweat and tears to build their business.
And as a result, you feel like you won’t get things right, or you’ll fail or you won’t be able to find enough clients, or you won’t be good enough.
That puts you into this repeating cycle of not taking action and worrying about the action that you do take – giving your brain the proof it needs that you’re not good enough.
There is a confounding factor in this cycle that I want to alert you to.
Here is a pro tip – If you start working with practice or paid clients who are ready, willing and able to change – even desperate to change – chances are they will love coaching with you and get great results.
A lot of coaches starting out with this fear-based mentality want to find anyone with a pulse!!
But, if the client is not ready, willing and able, they’ll probably be resistant, disinterested, unfocused and uncommitted.
The kicker is that YOU will feel like the failure, but it’s actually probably not you!
See how this fear-based ‘I need any clients I can get!’ mentality is hurting your self-value and self-efficacy – and your business?
The fear-based approach sets you up to start looking for – and finding – evidence of failure. In other words, if focus on your fear of failing, then all you will see is the evidence that this is true.
How does this kind of mindset affect your ability to start marketing your business?
What happens to your ability to proactively go out to meet new people, talk about what you do with confidence, or become a specialist in a particular niche area if your head is full of this negative stuff?
I know that when I started my own coaching business, even though I had been incredibly successful in other businesses, I had that same mindset.
I kept asking myself questions like, where will I find clients, and what if they don’t get very good results, and what if I can’t make a living out of this, and what if I’m no good at this, how would I ever know?
What happened is that I started to get more and more agitated and wound up about not succeeding, and I started to doubt myself, and feel threatened and judged by everybody around me who knew what I was trying to do.
I felt disheartened. For the most part what was going on for me was that I didn’t have a specific enough niche, so people didn’t understand my messaging, and I wasn’t going to the right places therefore to find the people who I wanted to work with.
If this sounds like you, then stick with me because now I’m going to talk about flipping the switch and having a more faith in yourself and having a more positive attitude to your business so that you can start attracting clients more easily and becoming a better coach more quickly, and make more money.
Now, if you have identified yourself as operating from a place of fear – even a little bit – here are some practical tips and tools to help you come from a better place, so that you can build your coaching business easily more quickly and to be more successful.
Flipping the Switch
A turning point for me was doing some research to find out that there was not just a need but also a want in my community. Identifying a need isn’t enough. After all, lots of people need help, but not many are ready, willing, and able to seek and pay for help. So, I had to find those people who were ready to change, had a big enough problem they needed help with, and were willing to pay to get my help.
As soon as I did this, everything changed. And it’s a story I have seen time and time again with other coaches who have been successful.
As soon as they identified (and committed to solving) a big problem that people desperately wanted to change, and were willing to pay for, everything changed.
If you do that, you create an upward spiral of thinking and acting positively – and this is how that can play out for you.
My second pro-tip is to create a little roadmap of how to beat the imposter and get started. Here’s how.
- Find some practice clients to work with who REALLY want to change and are ready to do so.
- Invite interest to be part of a pilot program, which is a safe, confidential environment for you to be imperfect, for them not to expect the world, and to get their honest feedback without too many expectations upfront.
- Be vulnerable and let them know it is a test for both of you, and that their opinion and feedback will really help you to help others in exactly the right way.
If you get that combination right – the right people and a test environment – then invariably those first pilot clients will stick with your program and finish it, and then, they will more likely to succeed.
And THEN, they will refer others to you!
Imagine how you would feel having coached a handful of people who really wanted to change, and then were able to succeed and feel and look amazing?
What would your mind be telling you in that situation?
Would it be telling you that you were a failure or that you weren’t any good or that your results weren’t worth the money or anything like that?
Of course not. And that’s the whole point.
Once you start working with the right people and getting some initial results and focusing on them rather than your fears and inadequacies – a totally different region of your brain lights up.
It’s the region associated with positive emotions, optimism, and hope.
What a Faith-based Business Looks Like
For me when I started my coaching business, as soon as I got those clients that were successful initially, I started wondering where can I find more of those people, and how can I share those wonderful results, and how can I help those people to continue to succeed?
The initial results that my first successful clients got totally shifted the language in my head. And instead of focusing on me and my supposed shortcomings, I started to focus on the possibilities of change in my business.
And pretty soon, most of my language was very different.
Instead of asking why can’t I? I started asking how can I?
I had the confidence that what I was doing was working. And I started to look for more opportunities. Everything just unfolded as it was meant to because I was moving forward in my mind.
I was believing in what was possible based on some initial results. And I was totally focused on pursuing opportunities knowing that I had something of value to offer, rather than being frightened of speaking to anybody in case I couldn’t figure out the words to describe what I was doing or in case I couldn’t prove my results.
This is such an important point. It takes courage and a bit of confidence to take those first steps into your profession, once you get those couple of important wins on the board it gives you the confidence to gain momentum to keep going and getting traction and continue taking action in the right direction.
Your brain will switch from how will I ever do it, into where do I go next?
Of course, you will probably need support to face and work on your fears, and probably your own personal and/or business coach.
But please know this – as Henry Ford said – If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.
The difference between a fear-based versus a faith-based coaching business is pretty clear. Are You Running a Fear-Based Business?
One involves getting bogged down in everything you can’t possibly do or succeed in, and keeps you stuck there. And unless things change, you’ll probably fail in your business and as a coach.
But, if you commit to a more faith-based approach, where you develop faith in your method and in your ability to succeed, and you put your clients first and find the right people, it will flick the switch in your brain and reveal a positive path of traction, momentum and success.
We walked through a simple plan to develop a faith-based coaching business.
What are you waiting for? Go out and get started.
You Can Listen to the Podcast Here
Melanie White; Trainer and Assessor / Business Coach Wellness Coaching Australia