These are the 5 brutally honest business lessons I wish I knew when I started my first venture back in college in 2007.
Learn it now so you feel confident growing your coaching business. Read the infographic here.
Don’t ignore the build-up phase
Here’s the thing before you jump you have you’ve to bend your knees to be able to push yourself higher. Nobody ever jumped without going down first. That buildup phase can last from 3 months, 6 months, to 2 years. For larger companies, it can last up to 20 years.
This has been beautifully explained in Good to Great by Harvard Researcher Jim Collins. But this is a very personal process. Tell me in the comments what do you feel about your buildup phase.
The irony is whenever I talk to entrepreneurs especially marketers most of them talk about the money they were able to milk quickly. And passive income is alluring. But if the build-up phase is wrong, sooner or later it’s going to evaporate. And that’s exactly how my previous ventures folded.
Aim for passionate consistency
I’m not talking about creating one more job for yourself. Service-based businesses have this tendency… I’m talking about more passion where you feel you can do it all day long, you know this is your mission. And you love it.
And for this to happen you’ve to go through a proper build-up phase.
People give up – way too easily. And it’s not their mistake. They just didn’t know better.
The truth is dreams are one of the most easily abandoned things. Consistency however is one of the toughest things to do.
I had many ventures, more failed ones than successful ones. And the good news is when you leave what’s not working, you finally end up with what’s working.
Permission to fail
Truth is your coaching brand is different than your competition because you’re a unique coach.
Here’s an example, some people say Facebook is dead. And they’ve been saying this since 2012. But unless you discover what works for you how would you know whether it’s the truth or not?
You’d only know by actually testing the waters. And failing is a crucial part.
Here I agree, having a coach or mentor yourself can shorten your learning curve. A coach can help you see blind spots and things that you don’t know that you don’t even know.
Never judge a book by its cover
This is a huge lesson I learned in the bank. As you know I was a probationary officer in the bank working in the loans department. And when you deal with huge sums of money – a lot of people and fraudsters come over to impress you and take advantage of you.
Similarly, I see marketers peddling software and stuff promising you’ll get rich quick. Seriously, don’t believe everything you see.
TIP: According to ICF 2009 survey- your website is the second top source for your clients. Ignore it at your own risk.
Find a mission which can breathe life in a dead entity
Guess what? Your business is a dead entity. Your mission decides how long it lives.
You know money motivation doesn’t last. In 2007, I was earning almost 100 times my pocket money – the money I used to get from my parents. But because my motivation was just money – I wasn’t consistent with the ventures.
The only persistent thing that lasts is – your mission, your passion… and this brings back to the first lesson – your build-up phase.
In your build-up phase, you should end up with something that’s fulfilling.
BONUS TIP: Business is marketing and innovation
I see many coaches who are great at coaching. Probably you’re good at it and you know you can change lives. You’re passionate about it and you know it works. But the problem is how to get clients and make a profit in the process.
I’ve been telling people that traditional marketing and selling doesn’t work for coaches. Coaching isn’t coke. you know this. Because coaching is hard, If you sell it then you’ll get refund requests. They must commit not just financially but also emotionally and physically too.
Here’re more tips on marketing for coaches.
Brutal business lessons infographic
Now your turn.
What advice would you like to give to your young self?