7 Steps to a Business You Love 

Do You Have the Right Expectations for Your Phase of Business?

February 8, 2017
Life Coach Business Expectations

If you feel stuck, frustrated or disillusioned with your life coaching business – one of the first questions to ask yourself is: “Am I setting the right goals and expectations for the phase of business I’m in right now?”

Where things often first go wrong for any life coach starting a new business – is THINKING you’re in a more advanced phase of business than you really are – and then setting marketing, business or financial goals that you believe you SHOULD be able to achieve – but are completely unrealistic for the phase of business you’re actually in.

This creates an expectation gap. And then as a new life coach, if you don’t get the number of clients or financial reward you expect, then you can make it mean that no one is interested in your services, your businesses have failed, or even that you have to go back to your soul-sucking career.

But when you identify the phase of business you are really in, you can set realistic goals you can actually achieve. Better yet, you can give yourself permission to BE in this phase of business, to try stuff out, to have some fun – while you start building the right foundation for growing a business you truly love.

So which phase of business are you in?

First Phase of Business:

I define this phase as the “trying stuff out & information gathering” phase. This is the phase where you’re either in the process of learning your craft (for example in your life coach training program), or are in your first year of business after training.

During this phase, you likely:

  • Feel like you want to get your business going – but don’t have any firm financial goals, aside from, “I’d like to get some clients”.
  • Are still in your old career or business or have a “good enough” job to pay the bills while you get started.
  • Know what you want to do and who you want to work with only at a very high level, but you’re not sure whether or not this will stick. You need to find out!

If this is the phase you’re in, then it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • RECOGNIZE that you’re in this phase, and give yourself permission to try stuff out, to gather information, and to learn – without the pressure of unrealistic client or financial goals.
  • This is the time to dream and scheme your ideal client, to test out your services and programs – to gather information and intelligence that will inform your NEXT phase of business.
  • This is also the time to learn about business and marketing – and start building your foundation and learning/implementing best practices at a basic level. This is NOT the time to skip all the basics and sign up for the course that will help you earn six figures in one year.
Second Phase of Business:

I define this phase as the real business launch phase. This is the phase where you know exactly who you are targeting, what you are going to offer, when you are going to offer it, and how.

During this phase, you likely:

  • Have completed your training program, and feel like you’ve tried enough “stuff” out and gathered the information you need.
  • Feel like you’re clear on your ideal client and core offering – and ready to launch your business
  • Are ready to achieve the financial goals you need to eventually leave your old career or “good enough” job behind – but plan to stay in your old career or “good enough” job until you reach these financial goals.

If this is the phase you’re in, then it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • RECOGNIZE that you’re in this phase, and realize that you’re not just trying stuff out anymore.
  • Be REALISTIC about your business and financial goals. Remember that this is really your first true year of running your business in a serious way – so set achievable goals.
  • REALIZE that this is still a year of learning. Take note of what you like and don’t like about running your business, test what works and doesn’t work.
  • This is the time to learn through ACTION.

Business and Financial Goals for Phase 2:

  • Phase 2 is the time to start setting some more specific business AND financial goals – along with understanding exactly what you need to spend and do to achieve those goals.
  • Phase 2 is STILL not the time to set super high unrealistic goals. Remember that you are really in your first year of business launch. But also keep in mind that there is no set limit for YOUR business goals – it all depends on who you are and what you really want. Everyone is unique.
Advanced Phases of Business:

In the more advanced phases of business, you will continue to gather information on what works and doesn’t work and what you love and don’t love doing. You’ll continue to create realistic business and financial goals (similar to Phase 2) that are in line with your ideal day and life.

Next Steps:

In my new eBook, Love Your Business, I outline the seven steps new life coaches need to take to transition from their 9-5 job and design, market & run a life coaching business you love. This eBook gives you a big picture view of what it really means to run a business as a life coach – and is a great first step in getting that information you really need to decide if you want to be an entrepreneur in the first place.

Grab Your Free Guide - Love Your Business