MAKING MONEY AS A COACH: THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN PASSION

MONEY FIRST, THEN PASSION. NO, WAIT, PASSION FIRST, THEN MONEY.

making money as a coach

  80000hours.org

Making money as a coach presents the ultimate cart-before-the-horse conundrum many entrepreneurs (especially coaches!) face.

Making money as a coach requires more than “passion.” In fact, I believe “follow your passion” may be the single most misleading piece of entrepreneurial advice that ever was. Here’s why:

First, you have to figure out what your “passion” is, and that alone is a loaded question that usually backfires because it can potentially leave us spinning in the circles of procrastination and frustration and indecision, for years. Or, worse, it leads us down the entirely wrong path.

On top of that, if you happen to pick a passion (like ice cream), and follow it, there’s a good chance you won’t make enough money to support all your other passions!

So, asking “What’s my passion?” ought not be the first question.

It leaps over this fundamental question:

What is the lifestyle I desire to create for myself?

Once that question is answered, ask yourself this:

How much money do I need to make in order to support the lifestyle I want to grow accustomed to? 

Only then can you ask yourself: 

What are my options when it comes to building a profitable coaching business? 

Now, this is when things get interesting, because you can make money in two different ways:

Whistling while you work, or…

Grunting, groaning, and wailing while you work, which is how I describe life in The Land of WTF. 

Ever been there? Of course you have. Who hasn’t?

WHENEVER WE ARE OUT OF INTEGRITY WE FIND OURSELVES STUCK IN “THE LAND OF WTF” AND THAT’S A REALLY HARD PLACE TO MAKE MONEY AS A COACH

In reality, we always have 4 choices when it comes to making a decision. We think it’s a choice between two options but there really are always 4:

  1. Do something and feel good about it.
  2. Do something and feel bad about it.
  3. Don’t do something and feel good about it.
  4. Don’t do something and feel bad about it.

Only two of those options keep us in INTEGRITY. I’m sure you can spot them easily enough.

It’s the same when it comes to making money as a coach, you also have 4 options:

  1. Make money and feel good about it (because you love what you do and you’ve figured out how to get paid while doing it).
  2. Make money and feel bad about it (because you hate what you do, even though it makes you money).
  3. Don’t make money and feel good about it (because you love what you do and that’s all that matters).
  4. Don’t make money and feel bad about it (because, although you love what you do, you need to make money.)

Options 1 and 3 keep you in Integrity.

Options 2 and 4 lead straight to The Land of WTF.

CONTENT VS. CONTEXT

Research has shown that it’s not about what you’re passionate about (ice cream, books, dogs — i.e., the content) but rather, whether you can develop a passion doing work that you’re good at, (especially if it’s work that helps others–i.e., the context).

Coaching is the ice cream. The kind of coaching you choose to do provides the context (ex., weight loss coaching, fitness coaching, relationship coaching). Can you make money in a way that fuels your passion and drive to help others?

This is what you need to find out, and the answer isn’t necessarily an automatic yes.

First, you’ll have to do some math. You have to know your business numbers. Sticking our heads in the sand to avoid having to deal with the numbers is negligent… it means you’re not “minding your business” in a way that is both responsible and self-caring. It’s no different than knowing the number on the scale.

IF YOU REFUSE TO USE A SCALE TO WEIGH YOURSELF, YOU HAVE A GREATER CHANCE OF GAINING WEIGHT (IF YOU ARE PRONE TO WEIGHT GAIN.)

I’m not making this up. It’s science. The bathroom scale is not your enemy… your mind is.  Likewise, you need to know the financial health of your business by weighing the numbers.

IF YOU REFUSE TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BUSINESS NUMBERS, YOU REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF HITTING YOUR TARGET MONEY GOALS AND YOUR BUSINESS WILL SUFFER.

I often hear women say they don’t weigh themselves because they don’t want to be dictated by a number on the scale. That’s all fine and good if the number on the scale has never been an issue for you as far your weight and health are concerned. But if you have struggled with your weight, then the number is data you need to know. It’s neither good data, nor bad data, but it is an important piece of information that is an indicator of whether you are taking proper care of your body.

Same goes for your business numbers. The amount of money that goes in and comes out of your business tells you if you’re profitable. You want to be profitable, right? (That’s like asking whether you want to be a healthy weight… of course you do.) But not keeping track of the numbers is never going to help, and it will likely hurt you in the long run.

You need to have a business plan that includes a strategy for keeping track of your numbers in order to increase the chances of hitting money goals.

This is more about choosing to be passionate about something you’re good at, that can also help others, AND ALSO make you money in a way that makes you happy.

Follow your integrity — Find a way to make money AND be happy. It is possible.

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