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I remember the exact day I was working away at my website and reading about no-follow links. What they are and how to use them on my website. It felt like I was in over my head. One of the things that I realized in building my own online business is that I had a lot of days where I felt that I couldn’t cut it. I wanted to throw in the towel and quit but I had invested so much time and money… Here is the truth about starting an online health coaching business from my perspective.
Can you relate? The truth is that a lot of people will tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t be doing what you are. That you aren’t a professional, you aren’t an IT specialist, you don’t have a business degree and so on…
There were so many times that I would be between clients and researching how to set up the next part of my website. I wanted to just head back to my 9-5 job on countless occasions.
Honestly, I would be lying to you if I pretend that it is all bells and whistles. This is my truth about starting an online health coaching business.
At night, I would search for entrepreneurs online. Part of me wanted to read about how lovely it was all going to be and that shortly I would be running a business, making my own hours, working by a beach while sipping red wine. Taking countless vacations because there is so much money coming.
What Is Not The Truth About Starting An Online Health Coaching Business
You know what… It is all BS… I am not saying that there aren’t people that start out and hit success immediately and lucratively. What I am saying is those are few and far between and I don’t know anyone that has done this successfully. Neither in the health field or any other business.
The ones that have been able to become financially successful quickly usually had the money to invest in ads and marketing. Of course, not always but I am here to tell you what I have found to be the truth.
My journey didn’t start with a financial investment. I didn’t have a bank account to pull money from to make it work.
Should You Quit Your 9-5 When starting Your Own Business
Wouldn’t it be lovely to just up and quit your 9-5 today? Pack up your desk, let your boss know you have had it. Head home in your own little happy bubble. Shockingly, this is typical advice from some gurus.
Let me tell you, I have read so many posts where gurus suggest that if you really want it you will dive in headfirst OR manifest it and it will come… yikes…
Truthfully, I didn’t leave my 9-5 job until I was confident that my business was going to work out.
In my opinion, it is not a good idea for you to up and leave your paying job. What I do suggest is that you look at your options.
- How much money do you need to bring in each month?
- Are you the only person working in your household.
- Would it be possible for you to go down part-time?
For myself, working full time was the only option. We have 2 small kids, a house, 2 cars and so on. Yes, I had a passion and working 9-5 for someone else was not a part of it. I am also realistic.
How to Find Time To Become A Health Coach
This is one of the biggest questions that I get asked. How to find the time?
Because working full time was my only option, I began my search for a Health curriculum that would suit my schedule. To my surprise there were several. I spent a couple of months researching the various schools and asking around for references.
Having spent the last decade teaching holistic and conventional health as well as developing curriculum, I had high standards and expectations.
My ultimate decision came down to an online program with Nutraphoria. Although I am personally not a fan of the name, I was intrigued by all the courses offered.
My favorite relaxation time is in the bath after a long day. I would read my text during that time and found I was able to absorb a great deal because I was so relaxed. After school, I found myself studying aside my children and that brought us closer together. They loved that mom had homework too. The nice part about the course was that it allowed you to work at your own pace.
Starting a Health Business
Once I finished the course work, I was so excited to start working with clients. That was when the overwhelmed began to really kick in. School felt like a lot at the time but now that I was done, I realized I had NO clients.
My intention was to leave my 9-5 the minute that I was done schooling. I had in my mind that clients would be seeking me and all of my new-found knowledge and skill set.
The courses gave me profound knowledge but what it didn’t give me was:
- Business insight
- Marketing awareness
- Website knowledge
- Legal guidance
- Niche refining
- Clarity on my ideal client
- What to charge
- How to find clients
Don’t get me wrong. The school certainly touched on most if not all of these areas. However, they did not cover them to the necessary degree that is needed to run a successful business.
This one makes me laugh a bit as I write. The reason is that, although I am intelligent and thought that I had business insight; I did not. I had no clue what it takes to run a business.
Just because your business is online or part-time even, doesn’t mean it is not a business. My very first issue was that I didn’t see my business as a business until I was almost 2 years in.
I didn’t know about lawyers, insurance, taxes, invoicing or scaling for example.
Working online is a whole other world. I knew all about marketing in person and zero about marketing online. When I researched, I found that I became defeated. Gurus suggest that you should be hiring out for all areas that you don’t specialize in.
This honestly makes perfect sense, the only issue was I didn’t have the funds to hire 4 different people or one rock-solid VA to run my business while I worked with clients. I had to find a way to do both or go back to my cozy 9-5 job.
Starting a Wix or Weebly website was so easy… I thought that I was well underway. Then, I realized that I spent hours and hours creating my gorgeous website that had countless limitations. I needed something robust, something that said professional, and most importantly a website that would get recognized by Google.
It took me two times to get set up with WordPress. Beyond overwhelming, to say the least. I needed a professional but yet again, I didn’t have the funds. I needed to figure it out.
Eventually, I did. I am happy to report that I absolutely love WordPress and have created several step by step tutorials in my course so that you can set it up yourself.
Yikes… I had no idea. First off, do not even start work with clients until this part is looked after. You need liability insurance. Be careful with your wording. There are words that you cannot say such as heal. You cannot heal as a health coach. In most areas, you can say the word health as that is a word used routinely in various ways.
Meet with a local lawyer or a credible online lawyer that has experience in health. Each State and Province has different guidelines.
Online you need to make sure that your website is properly protected. That includes things like disclaimers etc.
All of this was enough to make me so fearful that I didn’t even want to work with clients for a while.
Starting out I was fairly certain that I could and was going to help everyone. I had so much knowledge around gut health, brain/gut connection. Plus, I was adamant that if only everyone could hear me and follow my guidance, they could all find homeostasis.
I ended up starting wanting to help everyone in changing my niche 4 different times. This was extremely time consuming and unnecessary. If I had been guided more deeply into the thought process of what niche I was passionate about I may have only switched it up once.
Life experience is key and therefore even with all the proper guidance, there are changes required. That said, I still would have not needed to start over 4 times.
Clarity on my ideal client
Having no clue what an ideal client was, I started out wanting to help everyone. My knowledge base is expensive and I know the mind/body connection so does it really matter if my client is male or female 22 or 72?
In short, yes, it matters very much. Not so much in a brick and mortar shop but in the online space it sure does. Think of how people search online and therefore how they will ultimately find you.
They will essentially sit down and their computer or phone and type in their specific symptom. That means that a 50-year-old woman who types in menopause relief is looking specifically for that.
She will simply scroll by your lovely holistic site if it doesn’t catch her eye for what she is looking for. On top of that, she may never even see your site because google likely will not even see it as your sie it merely to broad.
What to charge
This one was so hard for me. You don’t want to charge too much nor too little. How do you figure out where you fall and what is even considered normal to charge as a health provider/coach?
I have written a whole other post on most of these topics, including this one. The main factor I believe that you need to consider is what problem can you solve for your ideal client and what can you offer that is different than someone else in the same field.
How to find clients
I started out on Facebook. Able to grow my business through just my private group and going into other groups that were similar and answering questions. Although time-consuming, I didn’t need to spend money on ads or on any other platform so for me this worked very well.
I was fully booked just by offering free guidance one or two times a week in my private group. That is how I developed like/know/trust by answering questions.
Related Post: Finding Clients
In my opinion, it is more about being consistent and providing free value so that people can get to know you than it is about being on several platforms.
That said, once you are comfortable on one platform I do think it is important to add diversity.
Balancing Home and Work
The hardest area. For any entrepreneur or person in general. How do you accomplish home and work balance when you are trying to make sure you can buy food this month.
Honestly, sometimes you can’t…
I get it. Family comes first. I have had a long and painful health journey that respects that statement. However, I also respect that to start something and expect it to be successful, it does require time.
My solution to this is communication. As long as you are communicating with your loved ones what your plan is, that your business does not mean more than them and what your goals are, you will see they will be much more understanding. In my case, as long as I am communicating, my husband is extremely proud of what I do and the hours that I put in when needed!
Conclusion: Truth About Starting An Online Health Coaching Business
There is no right or wrong way to start and build your business. Surround yourself with those that support you and uplift you. Believe in yourself. Except failure is a port of success!
I would love to hear how you are doing in your own business. What did you find the most difficult starting out? Feel free to drop a comment and share it!