When is the right time to leave your 9-5 and step into the space of a full-time life coaching career?
If the thought of having a full-time life coaching career lights you up but you’re still in the dark and feeling overwhelmed by the decision, then this article might help you see what is possible and the likelihood of making a full-time career of your coaching.
Leaving the 9-5 and starting a full-time life coaching career is something that many newly qualified coaches are curious and a little anxious about. To open up this question and shine more light on the subject, let’s investigate the following:
- Simple versus easy – A choice to apply yourself 100% to something that you’re passionate about is made quite simply, but how easy is the resulting process of making it happen?
- How long might it take to actually have a financially viable coaching business?
- What may hold you back from leaving the 9-5 and taking a leap of faith, and when is the right time to do it?
- Who has done this and what can we learn from them?
- Finally, on a slightly more philosophical side, how do time and space influence your choice.
Many choices are simple. They are made in the space between thoughts and can instantly feel truthful and powerful in your body. What comes after that choice is not so easy. Now come the thoughts like a plague of locusts destroying your initial intuition and creating a famine of reason. You may have to deal with some limiting beliefs or perhaps rein in the desire to be too impulsive, but let’s just take a moment to breathe in the sweet air of unbiased fact and put personal perceptions aside for a moment.
Let’s get curious about what steps we can take and what creating a full-time life coaching career involves…
So, how easy or difficult is it to have a full-time coaching career and leave the 9-5?
The nature of this question is very unique to every individual embarking on such a transformation in their lives. It can depend on issues such as:
Your current financial situation
The level of job satisfaction, motivation, flow, and engagement that you experience in your current employment will obviously influence your choice, but leaving the security of a paid job can be a very difficult decision. Many coaches run their coaching businesses alongside their jobs for some time before taking the plunge, some manage to negotiate part-time hours to enable a smoother transition, and others either make the choice to dive straight in or find themselves without a choice and do the same.
The important thing is to know your numbers, so rather than impulsive action, it’s a good idea to plan and create or use a budget planner so you can make a more informed decision of when you can afford to take the risk. This way you’ll know exactly what you need to earn in order to cover all your financial responsibilities. This is also a great way to work out the number of clients you would need and what you would need to charge for your services too. It can be quite a confidence boost and make the decision and the process easier to be clear about this.
Your experience, and perception of self-worth and what value you provide will have a bearing on the ease of transition and when you will be ready to take the plunge. Some mindset coaching can be very useful because usually, just after qualifying as a coach, your confidence isn’t at its strongest point. Low-cost coaching to build on your skills and gain more confidence can often be a good starting place.
You may be surprised to realise that you already have quite a network of contacts who may be eager to work with you, can refer you or collaborate in some way. People you already have a relationship with will trust you and it can help the flow and your levels of confidence.
The courage to dive in is so much easier when you have support.
You may have made the choice to leave your employment and start a full-time life coaching career but you could also be facing some opposition from members of your family or friends who aren’t quite as convinced about it. It’s not about ignoring their concerns; they may be valid and help you to be more thorough in your planning but you can get some balance by surrounding yourself with, and having the support from, those who have already walked the same path successfully.
It gives you more confidence, feels easier, and can save you costly mistakes too. A good business mentor is also invaluable and may be a cost that you need to factor into your plans. At Animas, there is a sense of community that highly reveres support at every step.
“They welcome you in and support you no matter where your starting point is and where you’re destined to go, or at what stage of your journey or career that you’re at, they really see you through the journey. Before, during, after and beyond!! You will be steaming ahead as there is plenty of onboard support here for sure to get you to where you want to be.”
It’s also worth mentioning that there is quite a stark difference between working in a busy office environment and suddenly working by yourself. Even though you are working with clients, there’s suddenly a lot of space that needs getting used to. This is another reason why a community of coaches or other entrepreneurial colleagues, on or offline, is great support.
How long will it take me to have a full-time coaching career?
This depends on your input, your available time, your energy, your contacts, what business model you choose, and as many variables as life can decide to lay at your feet.
One thing that can free you up from the constrictive and comparative time element, is to feel the space of your decision and step forward into each new X that your choice will unfold before you.
You can get a feel of the varied responses to this question from what these Animas alumnus had to say:
I left 4 months after qualifying, no savings, no slush fund, no partner, single parenting, and pretty terrified! But I had an absolute belief that I could do it! I have built my business for over two and a half years!
Took me 18 months to make the leap although 6 months of it was my notice period. Not much money behind me but I’m loving working for myself.
I just went for it with the Coaching Business, and within 6 months I had the Consistent Income coming in to not have to go back to working in Corporate (yay!)
Perhaps the quickest route to a full-time coaching career is to begin offline by networking and having conversations with the aim to serve your potential clients. Word can spread quickly and you may find that you get introduced to other potential clients. If your geographical location doesn’t support this kind of business model or unprecedented circumstances (such as a pandemic!) are making it impossible, an online business may be your only choice. In some cases they might take a little longer to get going because trust takes time to build online and the nurturing process cannot be rushed.
Whatever your business model may be, building relationships is what it’s all about. People buy from people so you are the most important element.
So what’s stopping you?
just looking at those numbers, 9-5, can make you feel like time is defining and owning you!
Whether you’re motivated to move away from the discomfort of long commutes, office politics, or impersonal environments, or whether you’re inspired by the freedom to work for yourself in something that you love to do, if you believe strongly enough that you’ll succeed, you can feel like you have the power to move mountains and obtain your dream of having a full-time life coaching career.
But what holds you back – and should it?
Some things that hold us back serve us well, and others that inhibit us, don’t serve at all. The trick is to know which is which.
For example, the security of full-time employment is a double-edged sword.
On one side we may have self-doubt, money blocks, limiting beliefs, and a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem that just stop us from receiving the abundance that we can create in our lives…
But on the other side, we have caution and we need to understand the risks involved. Caution can stop us from acting impulsively or irresponsibly and can often keep us out of danger.
It’s a minefield that needs to be traversed.
So, if you’re treading so carefully that you’re not really moving, or if you’re running across hoping that nothing’s going to blow up in your face, let’s just detonate a couple of myths and hear what other Animas qualified life coaches have managed.
Is anything secure right now? According to the Guardian Almost three-quarters of a million jobs have been lost from company payrolls since the start of the Coronavirus crisis. A couple of things come to mind when reading this; a) you could argue that real job security is non-existent and b) there are a lot of people who need support from life coaches right now.
Life coaching isn’t really a business per se
It can become a business but really it’s a skill. We should not be under the illusion that it is an easy sell because many people don’t understand what it actually is. A profitable coaching business requires a combination of your skills, experience, and personality as well as a consistent commitment to building relationships and that’s within your power!
Getting pulled in by bravado and rhetoric that can dominate this kind of question, can easily lead to impulsive decisions that can be detrimental in the long run, so perhaps it’s just as well that there is a hand on your chest that’s holding you back a little.
But be observant about what that hand looks like, what its purpose is and whether it’s really serving you.
There will come a time when you will be able to gently move it to one side and step forward confidently as these coaches did:
I’ve gone full time over a couple of years ago and things picked up very quickly, also because I prepared for it reaching out to the network and letting everyone know what I was about to do so by the time I quit, I already had a few clients lined up and things picked up quickly from there.
You can do it! It’s in the journey you find the reward, not the reward you find in the journey. So like with anything, the more you put in the more you’ll get out.
Finally, what do time and space have to do with anything?
Your time is running out, it’s time to change, time is catching up with you, you won’t have enough time, and…
If you are seriously considering leaving your 9-5 and moving into a full-time life coaching career, you can give yourself permission to take your time just as you can give yourself permission to jump in with both feet, shoes and all!
The most important is the permission to give yourself the space to feel into what feels authentic to you.
Time measures your journey and lovingly corrects your choices whereas space is the unfolding nature of your own true expression.
Are you interested in finding out more about what a coaching career might look like for you?
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