A note to fellow coaches and small business owners:
Self-Efficacy: A person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation.
I’ve always had self-efficacy. I believed I could accomplish anything. If I didn’t know how to do something I would just take a course or ask for help. I liked learning new things. I worked hard to grow as a leader in my organization. I was constantly striving to become a better person. Looking back I can also see I did all of this from a very safe place. That safe place went away when I quit my job.
But I knew there was something else out there I was meant to do.
So what happens to a 40 something businesswoman who quits her lucrative job to become a full time coach? Nothing for about six months. I created and planned, worked hard to promote myself as a life coach, held seminars that friends and family showed up for (we served wine, they came) and got certified in Life Coaching and Applied Positive Psychology. A few friends even hired me to coach them. Mostly I continued to give away free coaching because I was “practicing”. I would get there; I just needed a few more classes and a few more times hearing someone else’s confirmation of my value. I wasn’t going back to that corporate world. This was my way forward.
Then the six months were over. I wasn’t making money and I was blowing through my savings at an alarming pace. I became a money watcher, and not in a good way. I always had money and hadn’t made the mental shift over to a small business owner. Worry? Yes. Self-Doubt? Yes. Panic? Yes. I wanted to get a job. I wanted to have that safe place back. I looked online for a good fit.
Nothing fit. Not now that I had experienced what making your own hours and driving your own journey felt like. So why wasn’t this working? Well, building a business takes time and hard work. I like the hard work I was just missing the patience and confidence of the past. I started focusing back on the positives. I was lucky to have such a strong background in planning and business systems. I needed to practice all of the things I was teaching other people around goal setting and worry. I made another investment in myself. I hired my own coach and joined a mastermind.
The last ten months have continued to be scary, but I’ve made huge strides. Instead of rejecting my old world to become a life coach I found a way to weave that coaching into my niche business market. I
share ideas, identify ways forward and am held accountable by my coach and mastermind team. I am feeling affective and valued on my coaching calls. I am facilitating leadership and sales confidence training. It’s making me happy and earning me money.
As the points on the board have multiplied so has my self-efficacy as a small business owner.
It’s not easy to go from everything to starting over, but it is truly rewarding. Stick with it fellow coaches. Find your unique value, seek out resources that fit your needs and keep being you. There’s a diverse group of clients out there and a coach that fits each of them perfectly. Don’t hide away in a job if your heart tells you that there’s work out there you were meant to do. I believe in myself. I believe in you.