Ep 142 – How Long Will It Take to Reach Coaching Business Success?

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Show Notes

I was having the last session of my signature program with a favorite client the other day. This short episode is inspired by that conversation. Find the show notes at prosperouscoach.com/143

It’s bittersweet having a final session with a client. For them, they’re losing an accountability partner and the structure that helps them stay inspired and make things happen. From here on out they’ll have to hold themselves accountable.

For me, I lose their unique presence in my life session-to-session. I’ve been holding space for their growth. I’ve been responsive to emails and getting comfortable with their learning style, their work style.

All my clients are truly brilliant in their own way. And I come to feel a kinship with them.

My signature program is 5 months long so I have the honor of seeing my clients transform – not only the nuts and bolts of their niche, business model, website and program but also in mindset and approach.

There’s a lot of teaching and learning. That goes both ways.

For most of my clients there’s enough room in my program for at least one pick-my-brain session. You know, they ask me a bunch of questions about little things related to client management and the like. Little details from an experienced coach that help them avoid pitfalls or shorten more learning curves.

And sometimes it’s the big questions that get asked. The ones on every coach’s mind but they are afraid to ask until the last minute. Not because they are intimidated but because we’re busy work-shopping their business from the ground up.

So this client, a smart man with a family, full time job and the chutzpah to start a business of his dreams asked me the ubiquitous question that has no satisfying answer.

It goes something like this … how long will it take me to be successful? He said with humor in voice. Is it three months, six months, two years?

Here’s more or less what I said:

Yes. All of that and more. At three months and before you’ll have a slice of success. At six months if you’re consistent and congruent, leveraging what we’ve created, you’ll have bigger successes.

Success comes moment to moment and you must celebrate those moments. Because if you do not, the long-term success you crave won’t arrive.

Your business is your baby. It’s like a living entity – a part of you. And you need to nurture that baby every day so you can attract good things – a following, social proof, Discovery Calls, ideal clients and of course the income comes with that.

If you neglect that baby it won’t thrive.

And here my client said something like “Yeah but with a kid don’t they eventually grow up?” And we laughed about that.

It gets easier but they are always your child. And with each phase you need to learn how to parent differently, right? You adjust as they grow.

With a business as with a child they grow as you grow,  you grow as they grow. You calibrate to the new phase. You learn what works and what doesn’t. You learn to live with limitations.

Successes happen. Then things change and you have to figure out the new way. Test and tweak. Incremental improvement.

There is no magic number. Could I say it takes about 18 months? I could, but that might not be true for every coach with every target audience, with every skillset. All coaches are different. And just like happiness success is transitory.

It took me years to find my sweet spot — I mean the combination of everything that works best for me. Do I get that all the time? No.

And I’m probably on version 8 or 10 of my business after 24 years. I’m not talking about major do-overs here. I’m talking about stretching and innovating, trying and failing, adjusting and finding a better way.

This is what we do in life. This is what every business is like. Whether it’s a solo coach or a big corporation, a boutique business or a mid-sized empire. Every business grows at the pace of its founder or teams. Every business grows according to the ability to adapt.

The most important thing right now is to do something everyday to grow your business. It might be as small as a social post or as big as doing a TED Talk. Find the way to attract your audience. Dedicate yourself like you wish you dedicated yourself to being healthy.

You have a solid business foundation now with a niche that’s uniquely yours. It’s your baby. Celebrate the baby steps. That will condition you to succeed in a bigger way.

So then my client told me that he truly gets my podcast episode sign off now — Stay inspired and make things happen.

He said: “It’s not stay inspired OR make things happen. I need to do both.” That’s right!