In my seven years as a corporate banking analyst, I was trying to fit into a box that was totally out of alignment with my values.
I always knew there was something deeper within me to share with the world. I longed for connection and meaning. I wanted to be appreciated for exactly who I am.
The corporate banking world felt empty. The more I learned to fit into it, the more money I made. I wasn’t encouraged to be me, but rather who they wanted me to be.
I’m grateful that this felt fundamentally wrong, and that I finally had the courage to break free and start my own business. Once I made the decision that banking couldn’t be my life’s work, I found teachers and coaches who were forging their own way.
It was as if I just needed to decide and put it out there, and then the Universe showed me the way by putting teachers, articles, books, and like-minded souls on my path. Without my teachers and coaches, I wouldn’t have created the lifestyle I live now.
Without their encouragement and example, I wouldn’t have even started. The scariest thing is starting when you still don’t feel SURE about what you’re going to do. But that’s the key above all else, you must just start!
I’ll let you in on a secret: You’ll probably never be 100% sure. Why? Because your mind likes to live in “I don’t know land.” It feels safer there. Even when you’re a successful entrepreneur, most likely you’ll still feel some semblance of I don’t know if this is going to work.
So, the key is to live with that feeling and step through it.
I want to give you the five simple steps that helped me get started in my coaching practice and online business. This business gives me financial freedom and location independence (I live in gorgeous Tulum, Mexico) and provides inner fulfillment, to help others create a dream lifestyle for themselves.
1. Pick your niche.
Are you the one who coaches her friends through breakups, or health crises, or job changes? You feel like you can help with it all. And you can. But I’m going to encourage you to pick one of these areas and become an expert in it. Study it.
Study the marketplace and what people need. Then look at coaches who are already doing it. If there’s a coach already doing it, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, it means there is a market for your service!
2. Create space and resources.
To begin a business, you must be committed to making it work. That means creating time each day to devote to your work. If you’re still working a job to pay the bills, you can still pursue your dream lifestyle on the side. You’ll just have to hustle for a while.
You’ll also need to start putting some funds aside to invest in your business. It doesn’t take much in the beginning, but you’ll need to spend some money before you start making any. Trust it. If you don’t eventually put in 100% of your time, energy, and investment into making it work, it won’t.
3. Create a website, your online platform.
Now is the time to use the internet to share your gifts. Through this, you can help people worldwide.
How to start:
- Pick three websites style designs you love. What are the colors? Is there a lot of white space? Or is it very colorful? Think of your website as your home online. How do you want people to feel when they arrive on your site?
- Hire a site designer and programmer on budget-friendly sites like e-lance.com or odesk.com.
4. Start writing.
Tell your story. If you read my earlier post on this topic, you’ll know that I believe that your unique story is the key to your business.
Have you been through a sad childhood, a stumbled career, a bitter breakup or divorce, or a life-threatening illness? Have you lost a ton of weight, or experienced intense grief? While these stories may not be ones you want to re-live, they are the key to connecting with others.
Once your website is launched, start writing blog posts. Make them personal and instructional. People want to know the real you. They want to know how you’ve gotten where you are. Tell more detailed parts of your story in blog posts. The more vulnerable and open you are, the more you will connect and inspire others.
Know this: You do not need to be a natural born writer to share your story. Believe me. Writing online is a learned skill. And you will learn it the more you do it.
5. Start gathering your tribe.
Make a space on your website to capture the names and emails of the people who love what you’re about. Send them weekly emails about what you care about. Tell them what you did that day and then link them to your latest blog post. Provide value and inspiration.
Your list of followers is actually your growing business. These are the people who will buy your future program. As you’re blogging and building your following, you’ll begin to gather more information about what your tribe wants to learn from you.
You can then work on creating an online private coaching program, a group program, an e-course, an e-book….the sky’s the limit! You can also host in-person events like workshops and retreats in gorgeous places.
I know you feel that you should be really clear about your business before you can do any of this. I’m here to tell you that’s absolutely inaccurate. In fact, if you choose to stay in “I don’t know land” you’ll probably stay there forever.
But if you start, and figure it out as you go, you’ll be light years ahead of all the other dreaming entrepreneurs. Just get started, love. The possibilities are endless. The world is waiting for you.