7 Key Decisions for Starting Your Consulting or Coaching Business RightAug 26, 2021
Let's be real - you don't want to grow your OWN consulting or coaching business for the money.
If you were in it for the money, you'd stay in corporate...
Your goal is to have a career and business that supports your total life priorities and allows you to use your gifts and passions to make a difference in the world.
So, let's make this happen for you!
Not only is it possible to make great money using your strengths and passion - but it's THE best way to that end.
This article is your first step.
When you make these seven decisions, you will gain CLARITY on what success looks like (to you) and cultivate the CONFIDENCE needed to pursue success without hesitation boldly.
Decision #1: Define Your Why
The first thing your on-purpose business needs is a more significant reason for existence than making money.
If your goal is to grow your consulting or coaching business to a place where it earns passive revenue so you can follow your real passions, I promise you are setting yourself up for years of spin and struggle.
Your heart won't be in it, and your clients will know that you are trying to land them for the sale and not out of a heart of service.
Sure, you need to earn a living and provide for your loved ones, but to stay resilient in the face of the fear of the unknown and the entrepreneurial ups and downs, you need a purpose that goes beyond money.
Therefore, your first and primary decision is whether or not you genuinely want an on-purpose business.
- Why do you REALLY want your own business?
- Why consulting or coaching?
- What difference will your consulting/coaching success make to your career and life?
- Consulting vs. Leading
- 7 Questions to Validate that Consulting/Coaching Business Ownership is Right for You
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Business
Decision #2: Identify Your Who
One of the biggest mistakes that consultants and coaches make is building their business the same way they would a job. They focus on what they do and look for someone who wants to hire them for those skills. You are now an entrepreneur, and if you're going to be a successful one, you need to start your consulting business with WHO you serve.
While I know many people out there can benefit from your consulting and coaching, there's an ideal client that you'd love to work with and who will love working with you.
- Who are the people you want to serve in your business?
- What problem does your consulting or coaching solve?
- What are your clients going to pay you to provide for them?
Decision #3: Create Your Priorities
Many of us choose to start and grow coaching or consulting businesses because we want control over our careers, time, and earning potential. After all, we want something more in our lives.
These questions will push you to get clear about what success looks like on your terms. Ask yourself:
- What bugs you about your work/business situation today? What about your work/life balance, schedule, and work experience that isn't working for you?
- Describe your perfect day, money, and year - from start to finish.
- What difference do you want your business to make to your life and the world? How is it helping you advance your career, become a better parent, etc.?
Decision #4: Identify Your Business Model
Many people start off thinking they want to start a consulting or coaching business and vice versa, so it's essential to take the time to start the RIGHT business. Before I ask you questions to help you figure out your ideal business model, let me give you some definitions for your consideration.
The Difference Between the Role of a Consultant and a Coach Hired by a Leader in an Organization
Consultants and coaches both advise leaders, but they do so in different ways. Consultants are focused on enhancing leadership AND organizational capacity. They help clients by providing an independent point of view on the root causes of organizational challenges, recommending solutions to resolve those challenges, and facilitating leaders to agree on how they will work together to implement those solutions. On the other hand, coaches are focused on the leaders themselves and helping them improve their personal and leadership effectiveness. A coach helps individual leaders develop clarity on what they need to focus on and create action plans to achieve those goals.
The Difference Between B2B and B2C Business Models
A consulting business is a "business to business" (BTB) model where you get paid to improve an organization's results. A coaching business is a "business to consumer" (BTC business) where you get paid to enhance an individual's results.
The easiest way to know the difference between these two models is who will be paying you - the organization or the individual and the expected ROI. If the person hiring you is using company funds and your advice delivered either through a consulting or coaching assignment is designated to help the organization improve, it's a BTB business.
If the person hiring you is designating a part of their personal income to pay you, it's a BTC business.
So, are you a...
- B2B Business (Consulting or Coaching) - Offer your advice and partnership sought out and paid for by a leader tasked with improving an organization's results – company profit, customer satisfaction, process efficiency, employee effectiveness, leadership excellence, work environment, and culture
- B2C Business - Offer advice, inspiration, programs, products, and services sought out and paid for by an individual who is seeking to improve their own life, career, or personally owned boutique business
Related Article: Consulting vs. Coaching
Decision #5: Create Your Mindset
The truth is that it takes the same amount of time and money to build an off-purpose business as an on-purpose one. The struggle of starting an on-purpose business is the incremental cost and vulnerability of moving into your zone of genius and the unknown.
... which is why this journey ALWAYS triggers self-limiting beliefs and fears!
The presence of fear, while disruptive, isn't an indicator that you're not on the right path. How you keep fear from controlling your destiny is not overcoming it or getting rid of it, but how you engage it compassionately and productively. Listen deeply to what fear wants and partner with it to empower you to achieve your new career vision.
- As you embark on your business/career and life transformation journey, why might you block or sabotage yourself?
- Which of the five most common fears do you feel the most susceptible to:
- Money: Not having enough income to provide for your loved ones?
- Worth/Imposter Syndrome: Not being enough/not having what it takes?
- Being seen: Discomfort and vulnerability in the spotlight (no longer having a company to hide behind)?
- Belonging: Fears of rejection or being alone?
- Success: Not deserving it or losing it once you achieve it?
Related Articles/Podcast Episode:
- Face the Five Fears of Working for Yourself
- How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
- Podcast: Questioning Your Worth? 4 Reasons Why ALL Consultants & Coaches Struggle with Imposter Syndrome
Decision #6: Acknowledge Your Mindful Approach
There are two aspects of building an "ON PURPOSE" business:
"On Purpose" aligns with your gifts, strengths, passions, and experience.
"On Purpose" means with intentional focus.
Before deciding on what you need to "do" with your business, take a beat and focus on the "being" side of the equation by grounding your actions in deliberate thought, discernment, and contemplation. This is key to design with intention.
Clarity and focus for your business purpose are not achieved through grit and will. Instead, assurance is revealed to you as you create the space in your mind and heart for your soul to show up.
As Parker Palmer explains, "The soul is like a wild animal – tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, self-sufficient. It knows how to survive in hard places. But it is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods, yelling for it to come out. But if we walk quietly in the woods, sit patiently by the base of the tree, and fade into our surroundings, the wild animal we seek might put in an appearance."
- First, slow down. The pace of this world is breakneck and overwhelming. Being busy isn't the same as being productive, and the inner work we're going to engage in requires the first challenging step of slowing down. Slowing down doesn't mean shutting off work to be on social media. It means slowing down and taking a beat through meditative practices and activities that ground and center us into the present moment.
- Seek solitude. Solitude isn't the same as being alone. It's creating dedicated time and spaces where you can unplug from anyone else's curious gaze, constant noise, and stimulation from the company of others and your inner critic.
- Prioritize self-care and play. Self-care in this context isn't about glasses of wine in a bubble bath. It's about making sure that your foundation is in good health. Make sure no matter how intense this business development work can get that you do things like:
- Eat and drink healthfully.
- Get enough rest.
- Practice your spiritual disciplines.
- Exercise to increase stamina, burn off steam, and enhance well-being.
- Nurture your friendships and close connections.
- Take time for activities that refresh and rejuvenate you.
- Avoid toxic situations as much as possible.
Also, make sure you have ample time to recharge in a way that is meaningful for you. You are working for yourself (or want to work for yourself) because it provides control over your calendar. Take advantage of that control now. Not when you have achieved some revenue target.
Live that life now.
I promise you - sitting at your computer punishing yourself for not doing enough or worrying about money isn't going to make the clarity and focus you want come any faster. Instead, it'll push you in the opposite direction of scattered tactics and doing what you think will make money but ultimately will not because your heart isn't in it because you haven't taken the time to be intentional and strategic
Enjoy the benefits of business ownership now. Without guilt. Because in play and self-care, your creativity will be enhanced.
Remember, growing your own business is a process and not a destination.
The business you will ultimately create is influenced by the approach you use to build your business. If you prioritize contemplative practices now, you'll create a lifestyle that has the balance – from the inside out – you need.
- Are you willing to embrace the beginner's mind?
- Are you open to going slow to go fast? Going deeper to grow higher?
Decision #7: Set Your Commitment
The one thing that separates successful consultants and coaches from their peers isn't talent, credentials, vision, or even luck. It's all about having a rock-solid commitment to their success.
This commitment keeps successful consultants and coaches taking action to keep their business moving forward even if the fears or doubts pop up. They still have fears and act anyway.
- On a scale of 1-5, how committed are you to your success?
- If you're anything less than a five, what's holding you back?
- What support do you need to be a five and stay at a five?
If you're struggling with answering these questions - get the Start right course!
If you're ready to rock and roll and get your business ideas out of your head and into profitable reality - check out Purpose to Profits.
I'm Betsy Jordyn, and my business development firm builds strong and powerful brands for remarkable consultants and coaches and their unique strengths. Simply put, we design consulting and coaching practices that position you as a thought leader and sought-after expert by helping you find the words to describe the value of what you do and use them on your website and in your marketing. Check out our marketing agency services, mentoring programs, and courses at https://www.betsyjordyn.com.
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