I received this contact form submission from my website last week:
Hey Emily! My name is Meaghan and I've been following your blog and instagram for the past few months. I'm very inspired and touched by your genuine, personable nature. I'm a relatively new integrative wellness coach myself, so it's been really nice to follow how you so wonderfully, creatively, and passionately approach the whole thing.
I just moved and am currently trying to establish myself in Brooklyn! Which is where I could use your help...
I'm wondering if you'd be willing to meet up so I could ask you a few questions about how you got your coaching practice up and running. I am happy to meet you wherever you are - your favorite cafe or your work space!
I SO appreciate any amount of time that you have to offer. Let me know :)
Meaghan’s message immediately brought me back to 3.5 years ago when I myself was just starting out as a new health coach.
I wrote similar emails to a few coaches and bloggers I admired and I was so, so SO grateful for the ones that responded with kind words and an openness to meeting with me.
And so while life is really full right now with travel and work and personal projects, I knew I would make the time to meet with Meaghan.
I responded “Of course, I’m happy to meet up and chat with you.”
I get a lot of emails and messages from new or aspiring health coaches. And while I’d LOVE to meet up or get on the phone with each and every one of them (and you! I love talking to people!) I know that’s not possible or practical.
Today I’m passing along few of the tips I shared with Meaghan when we met up on Monday morning. Yes, these are specific to my experience and geared towards individuals getting started with a career in the health and wellness world, but they definitely can apply to ANYONE starting a new career or passion project.
Here's my best advice for new coaches:
Try out a LOT - When I first left my corporate accounting job to pursue a career in health and wellness, I said YES to almost every opportunity that came my way. I taught at 4 different yoga studios, served sample smoothies at Whole Foods and even rainbow dyed my hair for Refinery29, an online beauty website. I volunteered to teach classes, give talks and participate in health fairs. I tried a lot on and from there was able to better discern what I actually wanted to do within the health and wellness field (and what I definitely DIDN’T want to do). Plus, I made some amazing connections and friends along the way.
Don’t be above the bridge job - Straight up it can be tough transitioning from a full time corporate job (with a full time corporate salary) to the freelance or entrepreneur life. Don’t be above getting a “bridge” job - something that helps pay the bills that may (or may not) be in alignment with your passion or vision. Two months after I left my corporate job my health coaching practice was going well (as in I was getting clients and they were seeing success) BUT it wasn’t growing big or fast enough to pay my NYC rent and health insurance bill. So I decided to pursue a bridge job… which just so happened to turn into one of the BEST jobs ever.. more on that next.
Find a mentor or hire a coach - This is probably my biggest tip of all. Find a mentor. Join a mastermind group. Hire a coach. I know it can be scary investing in yourself this way especially if you’re already taking a financial risk starting a new career or project, but I strongly, STRONGLY believe that everyone needs a coach, especially during times of change or transition. ESPECIALLY if you’re looking to be a coach or leader yourself. I speak from my personal experience with myself but also with the experiences of the coaches and entrepreneurs I’ve coached - the expense is worth it. If you have the resources, I recommend working with a coach 1:1 for an extended period of time - not just one meeting or shorter program, but months if you can. Having someone that you know is there to support you, guide you and ultimately remind you of your goals and dreams is priceless.
Are you an entrepreneur or coach? What was YOUR biggest challenge when starting out? Leave a comment below and let me know!