Avoid False Starts in Your Coaching Business

by | Jul 25, 2013 | Coach Mindset | 9 comments

Did you know that since working with my very first coaching client seven years ago, I’ve reinvented my coaching business several times?

Each new attempt began well enough but as I got into it something just didn’t feel right and unconsciously, my clients sensed it too (never helpful in a sales situation!).

Deep down I knew that coaching was in my future but I just couldn’t grasp my place within the vast domain of ‘coaching’.


I was determined to I stick with it and as any good NLP practitioner should do, I kept my chin up (at least most days) and kept trying different things until I found what felt right – what felt congruent. It took a lot of attempts and major soul searching but I can say with confidence that I have made it through to the other side.

I can look back now and admire my resiliency. And being the self-reflective, systems-thinker type I’ve asked myself,

“What could I have done differently from day one to get to where I am now a whole lot faster?”

By answering that question I now know:

  • The essential steps needed to build a strong coaching niche with a passive income stream
  • How to save precious time, money and energy and become a leader in your niche in 1-2 years
  • And more importantly,  that I actually HAD all the resources I needed to back then to be on fairly solid track from day one, but I missed the opportunity (Bugger!)

To save you the time AND the pain I went through, over the next two articles I’m offering some support and advice. My hope is that by understanding my pitfalls and the subsequent tips I’ve come up with, you and your coaching business will be in a better position to survive and thrive from the beginning.

There is always time for a new beginning.


A Chronicle of False Starts

I put this section in here because I thought my story might give you even more strength. It’s good to remember that we all get it wrong sometimes.

Here’s my story:

Initially my coaching business was going to be a powerhouse, global, coaching franchise (providing career coaching, teen coaching, relationship coaching, team building and almost any other type of coaching you can imagine). Guess what? That dream was based on what I thought people would think was successful and not on what I truly needed/wanted to be happy. I wound up being excessively busy, bored, uninspired and able to help everyone just a little.

False start number one.

Next, I decided to focus on career coaching but deep down, it clashes with some of my core values. My company got some great coaching gigs but I still wasn’t happy, I was a glorified manager and contract negotiator, not my dream lifestyle at all.

False start number two.

Then I did my NLP training. In short – it blew my mind!

I changed my business name, stopped trying to be so ‘corporate’ and focused more on just being me. That was all good. Definitely a step in the right direction.

I got really good at Time-line Therapy and Parts Integration but that was not really enough to build my dream business on. I had always wanted a passive income stream so I didn’t HAVE to work unless I wanted to and I could coach when I chose to.

False start number three, but getting closer; I was discovering my own unique coaching system and starting to trust myself more and more.

Eventually, I started asking myself better questions about my skills, talents, experience and passions. I also got really clear on what I wanted my business to do for me. With those foundations in place, it was totally obvious what I needed to do with my business. And suddenly the whole job of running the business became easier, more inspired and more fun. I was FINALLY on to the winner!


But, You Know What?

After all of that, I can now see that there were plenty of signs telling me the right way to go from day one…seven years ago.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about how I would do things differently if I were to set up a coaching business today (e.g. leveraging technology, keeping expenses low, establishing myself as an expert much sooner).

I’m currently documenting my process in my new eBook, and am teaching it in my exclusive group program. But, the book will not be ready until next year (I know, what a tease!) and I only I can only run so many groups per year…

So, in the meantime, I’ve nutted out the basics of my failure points – and some recommended antidotes here and here. 🙂



  1. Zandra Ross

    Can’t wait for your article and e-book Benay. Your posts are so informative and useful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge in such a relatable way with us new(er) to the game!

  2. Deirdre Griffin

    Hi Benay,

    Thank you for another very informative blog post. The thing that struck me the most was when you said that you had all the resources from the beginning but missed the opportunity. I know I have had all the resources aswell but because of my mindset I didn’t feel I would be good enough as a coach so I went about getting more training. I am thinking of getting the NLP training which I was glad to see “Blew Your Mind”.

    I too cannot wait for your book.

  3. benay

    Thank you Zandra – So happy you found the article helpful!

    Deirdre – You DO have all the resources you need within you RIGHT NOW to build a kick ass coaching business. Your website shows it!

  4. Milena

    Hi Benay, another insighful and honest post. I’ve moving past my third false start so a timely and relevant post. Looking forward to the ebook in the new year.

  5. Shandra

    Benay, sounds great to hear you found your niche! Im sure you learned so much from those experiences. Unfortunately I am mirroring your earlier steps and am really struggling to bring it all together in a neatly wrapped package. I cant wait to read your book and learn from a Master. Thanks for all the great posts!

  6. Roberto Suarez

    I’m looking forward to your new book and coaching…

  7. Julie Davis

    Hi Benay,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I really admire your raw honesty and your passion to help other coaches succeed in their business. I am very grateful to have you as my mentor I especially respect the integrity you operate from.

    Thank you for making the journey prosperous and enjoyable!


  8. Debbie Kessler

    Oh thank you so much for letting us in to feel your pain and struggle. Your heart is so approachable and your heart and soul resonates in your products and articles. You have encouraged me as I have felt and experiences the pains of creating a successful marriage coaching business for the last 3 years. I have had to prop myself up many times. I love your creating an online coaching tool. I am just now seeing all the possibilities. Thank you so much.

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