It doesn’t take long to realize that you’ll have a hard time accumulating any significant wealth by working for someone else. Your check looks kind of puny after taxes take a big bite. Your expenses seem to grow in direct proportion to your salary. Your retirement fund… well, actually, you haven’t gotten around to funding it yet.
You’ve also got to deal with all the other downsides of having a full-time job – a demanding boss, difficult co-workers, a bumper-to-bumper commute. It’s enough to make anyone dream of self-employment, like becoming a life coach. That dream leaves you with lots of questions – and if you don’t answer them wisely, you’ll find yourself crawling back to the world of employment.
In all your years as an employee, you’ve developed some skills that you can use in your own business. It may take some creative thinking to nail down a business that matches your skills. One way to start narrowing the field is to make a list of your skills – list everything, including things you haven’t done in years. Then, ask a few people to make similar lists about you. Finally, compare these lists to see which skills come up most often.
With those skills in mind, brainstorm about businesses that use them and consider how they could help you in your quest to become a life coach.
You’ll probably end up with a list of exciting options. Your best option is one you can start doing while you’re still employed. Your job will serve as training wheels, and help keep you from stressing out while you build your business. Your best bet is one that’s simple, that’s got a fairly short path from startup to profit, and that’s not heavy on initial expenses.
The good news is that life coaching fits the bill in all those counts.
Once you’ve decided on a business, you’ve got a long list of other decisions to tackle. You’ll need a business plan, a name, a tax entity structure, a business bank account, some marketing strategies, goals, and tactics.
As the business owner, you also get to cast the vision for your business. What do you want your business to offer its clients? This question goes way past the actual product or service you’ll provide to the benefit your business will bring to people. Answering this question thoughtfully will lead right into your marketing plan. For example, the teacher who decides to start a life coaching business may want to give families peace of mind, and peace at home.
The marketing materials for the business should reflect this key benefit, meeting prospective clients’ needs as they see them.
Many of the other particulars surrounding the business plan can be handled by professionals – a CPA to advise on business entities, a copywriter to develop marketing materials, and a banker to assist in opening accounts and credit lines.
Part of developing a business plan is revenue modeling. This is determining several different income streams for the business, developing strategies to bring that business in, and projecting how much income will come into the business.
Once your business plan is in place, the next step is taking action. It takes boldness, energy, and dedication to get your new business up and running. You’ll need to learn all the different aspects of business ownership: marketing, sales, customer service, record keeping, budgeting, and management.
As money starts trickling in, it’s pretty exciting. But you may not want to quit your day job just yet!
Wait until your business consistently pulls at least 50% of what you bring home from your job and make sure you have enough savings to make the jump to full time work. You’ll have higher expenses (health insurance, especially), but they’ll come out of your revenue before taxes.
Once your income’s steady and high enough to live on, you can take that long-awaited walk into your bosses office and say, “I quit!”