When you’re a newer life coach, some days are up, and some days are down. Some days you get so engaged working on a new project, you lose track of time. While other days you wonder why you started the project in the first place. And then there’s the nagging worry:
Is my business successful?
I was talking a friend who recently started her own her own design business. She told me she’d just run into a former colleague, who asked “How’s it going with your business? Have you replicated your income from your former job yet?”
What a question!
My friend laughed. If starting her own business was just about reproducing her old salary, she said she would’ve stayed in her old role! It sure would’ve been a lot easier to make big money when she already was…making big money.
Income Is Just One Gage
As a newer coach, you have a lot of things on your mind – Will I have enough clients? Will I really be able to help people? Will I make it?
All these are just different ways of asking yourself the same thing: “How’s it going?”
This time of year, everyone is setting business goals.
“Forecast and Set Goals to Win! The Full 2019 Business Plan!”
“Four Steps for Growing Your Coaching Business to $1 Million This Year!”
Or how about this one?
“2019 Vision Boarding for Multiple Income Goals”
I’m not knocking goal-setting. But remember income is only one way of measuring your business’ success.
Use the Right Measurement
Doctors use a different scale to measure blood pressure in children. As kids grow, their blood pressure increases, eventually reaching adult levels when they become teenagers. But when they’re young, it’s much lower than that of adults. Evaluating a child’s blood pressure using the same chart developed for adults could cause all kinds of misdiagnoses and lead to treating problems that don’t exist.
If making money is not the primary reason you became a life coach in the first place, assessing your success by that standard alone isn’t going to feel right. And, depending on how you’re tracking at any given moment, it might create a lot of unnecessary self-doubt.
Create Your Own Chart for Success
What matters more is figuring out how to measure success for you. How you define it will be unique to you and should reflect your deeper, essential self. It may – or may not - match what others think success looks like.
Figuring out exactly what success means to you is a deep exercise. I won’t lead you through it here, but you can get started by asking yourself this one simple, yet powerful ,question:
How do I want to feel when my business is successful?
Maybe you want to feel like you are connecting deeply with your clients, on a heart level. Maybe you want to feel free – free to take time during the day for your family or to have regular lunches with your girlfriends. Maybe you want to feel adventurous and have opportunities to travel as part of your business.
If you’re having trouble coming up with something right away, it might be easier to start with the opposite. In other words, ask yourself:
How do I NOT want to feel when my business is successful?
And from there you can gain insight into what you do want to feel.
For example, when I started my coaching business, one thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to feel as if my days were being swallowed whole, like I was rushing from thing to thing. I wanted to have breathing space in my day. That’s what success felt like to me.
Knowing Your Answer
Take a minute to jot down what comes to mind when you ask yourself the questions above. From there, you can set goals that support that vision, whatever it is, and not be stuck measuring your or your business’ success on with a chart that doesn’t fit. You can then track your business’ progress and celebrate along the way.
Taking time to figure out what feels like success ensure you’ll be measuring your progress in a way that matters to the only person that really matters - you.
And, you’ll have an answer ready anytime anyone, including yourself, asks “How’s it going?”