Lessons I’ve learned this year in my coaching business

As 2019 comes to a close I’ve been starting to reflect on the year and plan ahead to 2020! It’s quite exciting to think we have a whole next decade ahead of us – it’s such a good time to dream and create plans for your coaching business going forward.

Something I have learned over the years is that the process of looking back and reflecting on what you’ve learned is just as important as what comes next. We need to be able to look at what we’ve experienced and heal or integrate the lessons from it going forward.

I feel like this year has been a massive for me in terms of what I’ve learned so I thought I’d share a few key things in the hope they might get you thinking about how they might apply to your business too!

Lesson 1: Simple and sustainable is key

I went into this year knowing that we would be trying for another baby. I also knew that some parts of my business just weren’t feeling good any more. Both of these things led me to let go of a couple of streams of income so I could simplify things and it was really hard!

I stopped a paid wellbeing mastermind group I’d been running, stopped creating my wholehearted journals and stopped actively pursuing brand work.

There was a lot of fear with letting these things go, I didn’t want to let people down, I was worried about what would replace these income streams and I wondered what it would mean for the long term of my business.

But I knew that trying to keep up with these things was not sustainable in the long term, especially with a baby on the way! It’s all about doubling down on what’s working and what feels good and being brave enough to let go of everything else.

Plus letting things go is the only way to make space for new things to come through.

This is a lesson I want to take forward into 2020. I’ll be taking maternity leave for a few months but I’d still like my business to be operational plus I’ll be back down to working 2-3 days a week when she gets older. I need to be able to keep things simple so I can get more done in less time!

Lesson 2: Engagement is so important

I kind of already knew this, but it’s been really made apparent to me this year! Engaging with your audience is so important, those conversations and connections not only make business way more enjoyable for me, they also result in more clients and more sales.

This is one of the reasons I started a free facebook group for coaches – the Wholehearted Coaches Collective. I really enjoy having that space to connect with and support others in lots of ways and it’s something I’m excited to focus on and grow in 2020.

Lesson 3: Follow the joy

I’ve always wanted my business to be enjoyable but when you’re in the midst of it, it can be easy to lose sight of that. There’s been times I’ve started things I’ve enjoyed but then the enjoyment goes, or I’ve gotten caught up in doing something ‘because so and so does it and they’re successful’.

What I’ve really learned this year is that if it’s not enjoyable it’s not going to work. Yes, all businesses need a strategy (as you’ll see in a moment!), but if that strategy is doing things you really don’t enjoy then it’s much more of an uphill slog! When I enjoy my work, I’m more productive and my energy is in a much better place.

Yes there’s a time to be disciplined and push through, especially if you recognise you’re stuck in your comfort zone, but I do think that when things are enjoyable you just get so much more done!

Lesson 4: Strategy, strategy, strategy!

I know strategy can sound like a bit of a dry, boring topic, but honestly this stuff can make or break a business. This is the first year I’ve really focused on strategy (basically I think a strategy is having a specific game plan) and it’s helped me really be able to see how my business is going to grow for the future, it’s helped all the other stuff I’ve learned around simplifying and sustainability be embedded and it’s helped me adopt a process of ‘testing’ which I think is so important too because not everything is going to work and that’s ok!

When I didn’t have much of a strategy, the things I was trying to do didn’t really add up to get the results I wanted. I wasted a lot of time ‘throwing spaghetti against the wall hoping something would stick’ but once I got a strategy in place I could actually see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

This is one of the reasons I wanted to run the Superstar Strategy challenge (now part of the Wholehearted Planning Framework) because I think it’s something so many of us coaches are missing.

Lesson 5: I need a plan to pull everything together

This links in with lesson 4 but goes a little further, I need a plan! I’m someone who really enjoys the process of planning for getting my thoughts organised. My plans take the strategy and mix that up with other elements like what I actually enjoy, what’s going on in my non business life, what I need to learn or invest in etc.

This is the first year I’ve sat down and made a proper quarterly plan each season, and even though things haven’t always gone exactly to the plan, the process has been incredibly valuable. Planning has helped me simplify, let things go, see what I enjoy and don’t enjoy and make those tweaks to how I work. It’s also helped me create a proper strategy for my business that I can test and tweak so I’m always moving things forward in the direction of my version of success!

Having a plan and a strategy also helps me avoid FOMO and comparison with other business owners because I’m much more able to stay in my own lane.

Speaking of planning, if you want help planning for your business for 2020, check out my Wholehearted Planning Framework which I’ve got on special offer until 22nd December!

I’d love to know what lessons you’ve learned in your business this year, tell me in the comments below!

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