Why You Shouldn't Make $100K in Your First Year as a Coach

Uncategorized Oct 22, 2020

I know this is a bit of a controversial subject. Especially with all those messages out there about how you should be able to make $100k in your first year as a coach.

And I’m not saying it’s not possible. It absolutely is.

Especially if you’ve run a business before, have a background in business & marketing or come from a sales-oriented background.

Especially if your new coaching business is directly related to what you did before in your business or career.

Especially if you’re clear on your purpose – and know right now exactly who you want to help and how.

Especially if you’ve logged many hours coaching & are super comfortable & confident in your abilities.

Even more possible if it’s all four of the above.

But what if you don’t have a background in business & marketing? What if you’ve never run a business before? What if you know you want to be a coach – but aren’t quite sure yet on your niche for all time? What if you’re still gaining confidence in your coaching skills?

Then you likely shouldn’t make $100K in your first year as a coach.

Why? Because it’s too much pressure. It means you’d have to compromise something, you’d have to take some shortcuts. And it means you’re likely to go off track as the goal of making $100K from coaching overtakes your original goal of finally doing what you love and sharing your important gifts with the world.

And then you wake up one day and realize you’ve recreated your soul-sucking job in this new business your supposed to love (I know – I did it once myself).

The reality is that it usually takes around three years for a new coach to really get clear on their business. And by clear I mean really knowing:

  • What your purpose, genius & gifts as a coach really are
  • Who you really want to help & how you want to help them
  • How you want to structure your business, run your marketing & be an entrepreneur

And here’s the clincher – the only way to reach this point of clarity – is to get out into the world. Start coaching, working with volunteers & clients, and honing your craft. Start learning about business & marketing. Start putting the right business & marketing basics in place. Start trying out some marketing to see what works & feels best for you.

Once you get out into the world, you’ll hone your craft, build confidence, learn how to dissolve all those blocks, fears & limiting beliefs (yes – you’ll find some new ones along the way!), and start getting more and more clues to your right direction. Every step you take will feel warmer and warmer. And then suddenly, one day, you’ll know. Everything will be clear.

And you’ll be ready to put your $100K plan in place. If that’s what you still want. You may even realize along the way that being an entreprneur & running a full time business isn’t for you – and you want to share your coaching gifts in another way.

So right now you might be thinking:

But what about all those sales funnels & list building stuff that are working for other coaches?

But how am I going to pay the bills if I’m not making $100K from coaching?

But how am I supposed to get out into the world and start coaching if I don’t know my niche yet – don’t I need to know that first?

Here are my short answers:

Sales Funnels & List Building: There’s some great training out there on list building, funnels & online marketing. In fact, I’ve spent a large part of my career helping business owners install complex inbound marketing systems – I know they work. I also know exactly where they fit into your overall business & marketing big picture. And it’s not at the beginning.

You need to have your business & marketing basics in place FIRST – otherwise there’s nothing to plug these systems into – and then they don’t work. Plus – they take A LOT OF EFFORT to build out, require time (or money) to really get going and start working, have many moving parts, and require dedicated ongoing and consistent effort.

And in order to build all the pieces – you need to first be clear on exactly who you’re targeting, what you’re offering, and how. Otherwise you have no content for the pieces – and they don’t work. So if you’re still getting clear on your business – there’s a LOT to change out if you alter course…

Plus – there are other ways to market your business that work faster, require less effort – and might actually be more fun for you!

Paying the Bills: If you don’t have savings or other financial support, this is where the good-enough job comes in. What can you do to pay the bills that will leave you with enough time & energy to start getting out into the world with your coaching, honing your craft, and building your business basics?

This might be your current job, a part-time job, offering consulting or freelance services on the side, or something else. Whatever it is, it just has to be something that doesn’t suck up all your emotional energy so you have enough left over for your business journey.

Knowing Your Niche: Now this is where so many new coaches get stuck. They feel like they have to figure out their exact niche for all time BEFORE they do any coaching. And that’s a lot of pressure.  Where I see this show up the most is with websites. Half-done websites. Not launched websites.

Because the messaging isn’t right. And the messaging isn’t right because you don’t know what you’re offering. And you don’t know what you’re offering because you don’t know who you’re targeting. And you don’t know who you’re targeting because you can’t decide on a niche.

And then you’re stuck in limbo.

I’m here to tell you that for most new coaches – it’s impossible to figure out your niche for all time right now – because you simply don’t have enough information yet.

And the only way to get that information – is to get out into the world, start coaching & trying some stuff out.

But how do you do that? How do you start finding some clients & coaching without a website? Without messaging? Without anyone to target?

You quick start your business.

This means you let go of all of the pressure, all of the perfectionism – and make your best guess for where you’re at right now. You make your best guess on who you want to work with & what you want to do.

And I can promise you – you do have a best guess. Every single coach I talk to does. It’s just a matter of getting that best guess out of your head – and into the world.

And once you’ve made that best guess, you’re able to:

  • Create an outline for your coaching process or program
  • Craft your core messages
  • Set up a basic website telling people what you do, how you can help, and how to work with you

Best of all you’ll be able to quick start your business.

A business quick start means getting the absolute basics in place so you can start:

  • Telling people about your business, and
  • Working with some clients

And to me, those basics include:

  • Your program outline (so you know who you help & how you help them)
  • Your core messages (so you know how to tell people about your business)
  • A one page website (so you have somewhere to send people & get more information)
  • A way to schedule clients & accept payments (so you can start working with real clients)
  • A way to communicate & work with clients
  • A super-simple marketing strategy (so you can start trying out some marketing)

Here’s the clincher: Getting these basics in place does not have to take long. In fact, it shouldn’t take long. And the faster you can get them in place – the faster you can start your journey. The faster you can start getting out into the world, coaching people, and making a difference.

The faster you can start gathering all that information you need for the rest of your business journey. So you can get closer and closer to knowing exactly what lights you up and build a sustainable business you love THE RIGHT WAY.


Know How to Quick Start Your Business is one of the steps in my Love Your Business eBook.

You can download the free Love Your Business eGuide & Checklist to read more about this – and all seven steps:

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