If you had asked me a few years ago what my business would become, the answer I would have given you would look radically different than what it is today.
In this series post, I thought I would share with you a bit about how I started out as a health coach and what a day in the life of a health coach looks like! Pretend we’re at a cute little coffee shop and we’re chatting over lattes.
The Business Plan
When I decided to leave my corporate job and pursue a career in health coaching, I wrote myself a business plan. I am very much a planner and type A personality, so having tangible goals and a vision on paper was comforting to me.
In this business plan I outlined my mission, ideal client, business objectives, business finance objectives, strategies and action plans. My overall goal was to develop a network of health professionals to support my local health coaching business, as well as create and sustain passive means of income online.
I distinctly remember thinking that my business would be made up of two things: individual health coaching clients and online streams of income through blogging, products and courses. But the truth is, I really didn’t know what my business model was going to look like and how I was going to get there.
It was a little bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it would stick.
Even though I had this plan on paper that was carefully thought out and IIN incorporates business education within the program, I was constantly battling the emotional ups and downs of entrepreneurship. I could feel the success in my bones, but was quick to retreat to self-doubt and not feeling valuable enough to be seen as a respected professional.
The Launch of My Health Coaching Business
At the six-month mark of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition program, I could begin working with clients. I got my first client and was so excited! I started coaching her (and way undervalued myself in the program cost, but I didn’t care) and offered to do some coaching for friends and family for free in exchange for experience. Biggest mistake number one. When you offer things for free, people don’t feel as committed!
Through an existing relationship with a multi-location fitness facility, I also had the opportunity to build out a virtual wellness video program that they could incorporate into their bi-annual fitness challenges offered to members. This was an incredible opportunity to jumpstart my business as it provided the experience of developing an online course, as well as working with hundreds of clients in a virtual setting. Aligning myself with several fitness studios and gyms has been also been my strongest referral source for health coaching clients.
I had already started my food blog a few years back, so the plan there was to continue posting consistent content and build an engaged opportunity. I think the biggest mistake I made here was that I was constantly creating new products, programs and freebies since I was rapidly evolving in my mission and knowledge. More isn’t always better and quality is always better than quantity!
Before I give you glimpse into what my business looks like now, it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey and story is different.
At the time of building a career I was passionate about, my marriage was crumbling, although you might not have known it if you were judging from social media. I often felt like I was living a double life, as the excitement of building a brand from scratch was often too much to contain, but then going home to a toxic environment was too much to bear.
Now, on the other side looking back I realize that all of my energy and efforts were spent just merely trying to survive, both personally and professionally. It was like I was an energizer bunny that just kept going and going, but was numb to the world around me. Trying to figure out who I was and what I stood for as an entrepreneur was incredibly difficult because I didn’t know who I was anymore.
The lesson here is that good things take time and everything happens as it should. In the thick of it, I felt so behind when I compared myself to others in the entrepreneur space. I wasn’t doing enough, I wasn’t clear enough on my mission and I felt like I was piecemealing things together to make it work.
Lesson learned: Don’t measure yourself against someone else’s success and remember that you are right where you need to be.
What a Day in the Life of a Health Coach Looks Like
Fast forward a few years from the time I became an LLC and wowza! My career has grown in so many different ways I could have never expected. We often hear that as an entrepreneur, niche is everything and finding that one thing that you’re good at is the key to success.
I’ve found the opposite to be quite true in my own journey. For me, it’s necessary to try out different things in order to know what I like/don’t like and what works/what doesn’t work.
For example, I thought maybe I would venture into the food prep space, so I took on a catering job. While it was exhilarating, I realized that I would much rather be teaching people how to make healthy foods than actually being the one making it.
Every day is completely different depending on how many coaching clients I have and what projects and events are coming up. My days might be filled with client or networking meetings, meal plan or recipe development, content creation for my blog, or prepping for a cooking class or wellness workshop.
When I start to feel the self-doubt and fear creep in, I often remind myself of the many opportunities I’ve had and incredible experiences that have shaped my career into what it is today.
Here are just a few highlights:
- developing and shooting a holistic wellness video course made up of over 25 videos that can be used for virtual coaching opportunities
- hosting over 70 cooking classes and introducing people to a new way to experience healthy, plant-based foods
- being selected as a Best Kept Self contributor
- the invitation to be interviewed on the She Did It Her Way podcast where I talked about how to do more of what you love
- taking a personal time out and moving to Venice, CA for a month to complete a Plantlab culinary program
- providing personal chef services for We+Be Wellness Retreat and fueling the ladies with energizing, nourishing foods while teaching them how to incorporate more plant-based foods into their day
- co-hosting SOULMADE, a wellness fest in Orlando, with my gal pal Rebecca Lilly to cultivate and inspire a like-minded community
- hosting a wellness workshop at the Southwest Airlines headquarters
What’s even more satisfying than all of these milestones is making a difference in people’s lives by showing them a healthier, more energizing way to go about their day. I love being a part of the “aha” moment where simple lifestyle changes become a seamless part of routine and clients are pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and flavor of nutrient-dense foods.
I’m finally at a place in my life where my time and energy is spent figuring out how to thrive and not just survive, and it feels so good! I’m excited for what’s ahead and incredibly grateful for the journey that has gotten me here today.
Top 5 Things I’ve Learned as an Entrepreneur
- Find your tribe and stick with them. A solid support system is critical to the health of your business and personal wellbeing!
- Emotional ups and downs are inevitable and you have to learn to ride the waves (instead of getting stuck in them).
- Say “yes” even though it makes you want to pee your pants. You might actually find you enjoy something you were once afraid of (like public speaking!).
- Opportunity leads to more opportunities. The more you put yourself out there, meet with people and connect within your community, the more opportunity will come your way.
- Find your lane and stay in it. Consistency is key. Figure out the things that make your heart skip a beat and get really good at them. This comes with time and experience!
Bonus lesson: The power of one. All it takes is one client. One experience. One thing said that makes someone your biggest advocate.
I’m sharing my journey in hopes of inspiring you to pursue what it is that you’re passionate about. Maybe there’s something in here that resonated with you and has you leaning over the edge anticipating a big leap of faith. Wherever you’re at, if you believe in yourself, others will believe in you, too.