Avoid Burnout in Health Coaching: Design Your Business to Support the Lifestyle You Want
Chances are you started your health coaching or wellness business for two big reasons: you want to help people and you want the freedom to live life on your terms.
Being in business for yourself is challenging, especially in the beginning. Too many health coaches and wellness pros give up and end up back in their old jobs. Why does that happen so often?
It’s NOT because there aren’t enough people who want help getting healthy, losing weight, reducing stress and avoiding illness. It’s because building a business all on your own, without the knowledge or support you need, is a recipe for burnout.
It’s time to stop what you’re doing and take a good hard look at the business you’re trying to build.
First question to ask yourself: am I building a business or am I trying to get a few people to pay me for my advice?
If your answer isn’t “I am building a business”, then health coaching is a hobby for you. There’s nothing wrong with that. It can be a side pursuit in addition to your regular job or family responsibilities.
The hobby approach is very different from the business approach.
If you are ready to step up and look at your passion for helping people as a business endeavor, then read on.
The key to building a business that won’t lead to burnout is clarity. Don’t rush into things without a clear idea of what you want to create. This kind of clarity will inform all of the decisions you make about your business.
The best place to start is getting clear on the lifestyle you want as a small business owner.
What kind of lifestyle do you want?
The kind of business you build is very much related to the lifestyle you desire. Never forget how closely linked these are.
Consider the income you need to maintain the lifestyle you desire. Set a clear income goal for your first (or next) year in business. With that figure in mind, set an income goal for the next month, and so on.
Do you want to travel? Do you want to live a mobile lifestyle? Do you want to buy a new house?
Do you have other hobbies and interests you want time to pursue?
One of my clients told me clearly that she wanted more time in the evenings to spend with her family. It was an important value for her, and a big reason she hired me as her coach and tech developer.
However, she repeatedly offered her clients initial consultations and private coaching sessions on weekday evenings.
She was caught in the story of “I should offer evening appointments because that’s what everyone else does”.
If you want to allow someone else to dictate your working hours, you might as well go get a regular job. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget who’s in charge – YOU. It’s a habit of thought that you can change.
You’re the CEO of your business, and you get to make all of the decisions. Get clear on the lifestyle you want (that’s what’s most important at the end of the day anyway) and design your business to support it.
Making business decisions “because that’s what everyone else does” is a big step on the road towards burnout.
What kind of business do you want?
With clarity about the kind of lifestyle you want, ask yourself “what kind of business do I want?” Dream big. Don’t focus on “how” you’ll create the business of your dreams right now, just start by getting clear what it will look like.
Do you want to work with dozens of private clients in platinum-level programs? Do you see yourself on stage in front of hundreds of clients in large live events with copies of your books and CDs on sale at the back of the room? Would you prefer to live in the woods and run your business entirely online and by phone, or do you want to run a wellness center in a big city?
Your business is entirely your creation. If you don’t want to work with private clients, don’t. If you don’t like to write, then design your marketing efforts around speaking instead. If you prefer working by phone in your pj’s, stop seeing clients in person.
Getting clear on the business model you want now (and allowing it to evolve with you over time) will help you make lots of important decisions as you build your business.
If you don’t know what you ultimately want, you will always be distracted by what everyone else is doing, and you’ll waste so much time being indecisiveness.
Check in with your lifestyle desires and the business decisions you’re making on a regular basis – at least quarterly – so you can adjust as necessary.
If you find yourself falling back into the habits of making decisions based on what everyone else is doing, or not making business decisions at all, stop and get clear again on what YOU really want.
To your awesome biz,
About the author: My name is Heather Cottrell and I show health coaches, wellness pros and other creative entrepreneurs how the right tech can grow your business and simplify your life. Start moving your business forward today: schedule an Awesome Tech Breakthrough Session now.