6 Shifts to Go from a Hobby to a Coaching Business

Every day I meet talented, brilliant individuals who love to coach, but haven’t generated enough paying coaching clients. I’ve discovered something interesting — only some truly want to have a business. Without that driving desire to build something that’s all yours through your own decisive action and creativity, a thriving coaching business is just a “someday” dream.

What about you? Are you 100% committed and amply motivated to have a successful coaching business? Do you want it enough to do what it takes? If the answer is no, that’s okay. And now that you know that, you can either summon commitment and motivation, or accept that this isn’t the right path for you at this time. There’s no shame in that.

The truth is, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It’s a scenario that requires that you work on your growing edge, continuously learn, refine and innovate, with a bit of coasting here and there. If YOU truly want a thriving coaching business but aren’t there yet and don’t know why, check out these 6 signals that you might be operating more as a hobbyist and make the shift.

Do you get discouraged and stuck easily?

super woman in business

Everyone gets discouraged and stuck sometimes, but if it happens whenever you make a mistake, hear “no”, or are challenged by a learning curve…

MAKE THIS SHIFT: Summon courage to help you on this journey. Courage comes before confidence and you have this inside of you. Chogyam Trungpa, author of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior said that courage is not being afraid of who you are. You are inherently valuable. Be willing to make lots of mistakes without judgment, hear no, and be on steep learning curves. It’s an integral part of building a successful business.

Do you really KNOW who you’re serving?

To connect and build trust with your future clients, you need to understand them and know what they ultimately want. If you’re trying to sell coaching rather than helping a unique group of people get where they want to go with your coaching, you’re missing the mark.

MAKE THIS SHIFT: Target a viable coaching niche and become a champion for a unique target audience. STOP performing and start connecting. That’s how you stand out in the crowd, become well known and in high demand for your services.

Have you done the math?

A sure sign of a hobbyist is someone who always shoots from the hip and hopes for the best. Having a business means planning your work and working your plan. If you want to earn 6 figures this year, how will you accomplish that?

MAKE THIS SHIFT: “Do the math” to understand what you want to earn, and therefore what you will offer, how you’ll price it and how many clients you need to earn what you want. Then create and complete an action plan to make that happen.

Is your business a last priority?

There are times when everyone must put their work aside for something more important. But if your business gets last priority most of the time, you don’t have a business. Think of it this way, when you work for someone else for a paycheck, you show up unless you have a really good reason not to. It should be the same with your business.

MAKE THIS SHIFT: Set office hours and hold them as sacred. Then hold yourself accountable for getting stuff done that will bring you a steady stream of clients and income. If you need help to do this, invest in a business mentor.

Have you set up your business?

You know your business is more of a hobby if you haven’t set up a business checking account and set up systems to track your income and expenses at least quarterly.

MAKE THE SHIFT: Review how you’re business is fairing each month with patience and determination to improve it. Put attention into bringing your income in line with  — and then well beyond — your expenses. That’s profit. What else can you do to legitimize your business and take it seriously?

Do you have good daily business habits?

Are you not sure what to do each day to build your business? Are you producing things that never reach your target audience? High payoff actions are the building blocks. Those are the actions that make you squirm a little bit, such as calling a prospect and inviting them to a consult, calling a center of influence to build a mutually beneficial relationship, networking where your target audience hangs out, taking bold actions to build your list and promote your services.

MAKE THIS SHIFT:  Take a least 3 high payoff actions first thing every day when you get to your office. Do the easy stuff only after you’ve done the things that will bring you closer to clients and income. Have a set of strategies that get you in front of your target audience that you do continuously.


As coaches we know this… transformation happens from the inside out. Your thriving coaching business needs your courage, belief and actions behind it.

Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear how this lands with you and what other signs you’ve noticed that a business is being treated as a hobby and how to shift it. I want to help you make this shift and thrive!