Starting your coaching business with a 9-5? Here’s how to make it happen

Looking at starting your own business but still working a full-time job to bring in some much-needed cash? Check out my 9 tips to get things happening.

Looking at starting your own business but still working a full-time job to bring in some much-needed cash? Check out my 9 tips to get things happening.


So: You’ve been dreaming about building a coaching business.


(First of all: Awesome! High five, lady.)


Maybe it’s something that’s been on your mind for ages.


Maybe you’ve just finished a coaching academy, or a training certification course.


Maybe you’ve got your website set up, and you’ve been blogging.


And maybe you’ve never had a paying client – yet – but you’re looking for your first!


There’s just one thing that feels like it’s standing in your way: your full time job that pays the bills.


(Womp womp!)


Hey, I get it! It’s hard to start a business while also fitting in everything that goes along with working an 8+ hour day and a deliciously full, fun-loving life.


You may be wondering: “Can I even do this? How can I possibly work full time while setting up my dream business, and still make time for family, staying fit, relaxation, and all kinds of things that make life actually enjoyable?”


Lady, let me assure you: If you want to start a coaching business, and you work full time, it is absolutely possible to get your biz off the ground… without running yourself into the ground.  It takes commitment, dedication, and action, but it’s doable — and today, I’m going to show you how to make it happen.


Read on to learn 9 practical tips I recommend when it comes to starting a coaching business with a full time job. Follow each one carefully, and before you know it, you might just be packing up your office desk, and gearing up to make coaching your full-time gig — for good.


9 practical tips to building your coaching business with a 9-5


Tip 1: Set a date for when you’ll quit your job.


Think it through, set a date and call it something that lights you up; perhaps your “Freedom Date” or “Big Leap Date”, etc.


Along with your big date, set a couple of specific goals too; ones that will make you feel more secure about going full time in your own business: like having a certain number of clients booked, or a certain amount of savings in the bank.  Experience tells me that the more specific I am when I’m setting goals, the more motivated I feel about bringing them to life, which in turn makes me more likely to manifest those bad boys.  So GET DAMN SPECIFIC.


Whatever the date you come up with, mark the day on your calendar. It could be a month, or 12 months or more into the future, but lock it in.  This is an important commitment you’re making with yourself.


Then, get moving.


When you commit to the date, and promise yourself that the big day is coming — it can light an incredible fire under your arse. After all, promises to yourself are by far the most important ones to keep. Every time you make a promise to yourself and follow through, it will fuel your confidence and trust in yourself – both critical ingredients for bringing your business dreams to life.


Tip 2: Map out your master schedule.


This is something that I recommend people do even if they’re working 8 hours a day or more for someone else, because it allows you to see exactly how much time you can dedicate to building your business amongst the time you already spend working, and other existing commitments that are non-negotiables in your life (family time, barre classes, whatever it might be).


Identify the pockets of time when you can work on your business, set some sacred boundaries around them and then make the most of ‘em.


HEADS UP: When you’re mapping out your master schedule, I challenge you to find 7 hours a week you can dedicate to your business – preferably it’ll be in blocks of 1 hour or more at a time.


Think about it. 7 hours a week is 28 hours a month, of focused time working on your business. You could get heaps done in that span of time! I have a feeling the progress you make will amaze you.


Seriously, lady, you don’t need a ton of hours to get your coaching business off the ground. You just need the dedication and focus to make the most of the time you have, so you can form a routine, and start making big moves.


Tip 3: Know that you’ll be doing in advance.


What do I mean by that? Once you know what pockets of time you have to work with (hopefully those 7 hours per week or more to spend building your business), make sure you’re clear on exactly what you’re going to work on the moment your butt hits the chair in front of your laptop.


Knowing exactly what you’re going to do in the time available is the best way to make real action happen. So, if you’ve got a dedicated 1 hour to spend on your coaching business, before you open your MacBook to get to work, I recommend knowing very specifically what you’ll be doing (for example, maybe it’s sending out 5 invitations to discovery sessions, drafting blog post, and following up with two people about discovery sessions.)


When you’re clear what needs to get done before you get to work, you can smash out a whole lot in an hour – heck, even 20 minutes – if you’re super focused.


Tip 4: Stay committed to your vision.


Staying motivated is one of the hardest things when you’re juggling a full time job and your own business. So it’s important to check in every day to remember the ultimate vision you have for your life and coaching business, and the goals you’re working towards right now.


Affirmations, guided meditations, vision boards, journalling: Whatever feels best for you, check in on it every day. It will keep you moving forward.


For example, you can stay connected to your vision by spending a few minutes each day journaling, getting specific about your perfect day when you’re working for yourself helping clients transform their own lives, and how your days will be set up once you’re running your business full time. Remind yourself about how you’ll impact the world, and how your clients will feel working with you.


Tip 5: Think about what’s essential and start small.


To get started you only need 1 paying client.

You only need to solve 1 problem, and to offer 1 solution.

You only need 1 bite-sized offer.

You only need 1 opt-in gift and to apply 1 lead generation strategy.


I’ve seen it work for my clients over and over again, so I know that with these small goals, it’s possible to rake in thousands in revenue, while still managing to keep things really manageable, and realistic.


To be clear, I’m not telling you to stop dreaming big. Big dreams are the BEST! But they can also be completely overwhelming if you’re trying to build out an entire empire right from the get-go. That’s when your ambition becomes a burden.


So I recommend keeping things simple for now.


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Tip 6: Take one baby step a day.


For example, maybe your baby step today is to make a call, or send some follow up emails, or invite 1 person to a discovery session, or write a blog post.


You don’t need to overload yourself. As long as you keep taking action every single day that will drive your business forward you’re definitely going to get there.


Just one teeny tiny action each day; doesn’t that feel easy and doable? It is. When you concentrate on taking action towards your dreams each day, no matter how small, you can build up some seriously incredible momentum.


Tip 7: Focus on the fastest path to your ideal client.


I’ve noticed that many women coaches starting out will spend time working on tasks that AREN’T directly related to winning clients.  I get it.  It’s way less intimidating to spend time coding your website than it is inviting a potential client into a discovery session…  BUT how you invest your time is critical when you’re serious about starting your coaching business while working full time.  For example, do you need to work with a high-end designer for 6 months to create a perfect website to attract your first client? No lady, you don’t.  Do you need to spend 6 weeks perfecting your opt-in gift before putting it out there? No, you really don’t.


But: Do you need to be actually connecting and talking with potential clients? Absolutely.  Should you be inviting people into discovery sessions/complimentary consults with you each week? 100% yes!


Think about what’s likely to be the fastest path to your ideal client, and prioritise those activities every day.


I can’t emphasize enough how strongly I recommend focusing on getting your first client and really thinking about them over everything. Don’t worry about your first 10 or 20 clients — they don’t matter right now. All you need is one. Then, worry about the next one.


Tip 8: Get help, but don’t pay too much for it.


If you’re in a day job now, that’s great, because that means you have cash coming in.


So, ask yourself where you might need a little support to keep your business dreams chugging along. Remember, I recommend you invest your own time mostly in the essentials that will help you quickly attract and win coaching clients.  If activities like coding, designing your site, etc. are on your to do list, consider getting a good resource for that at an affordable price. Try Elance, Odesk, and Fiber, and by all means get that help so you can stay focused on what’s most important.


I know I’ve said it before, but just so we’re super clear: when you’re starting your business, time is one of your most precious resources. So how you choose to spend that time is critical! Try to focus as much time as possible on winning clients, instead of all the peripheral work.


Tip 9: Set up some accountability for yourself.


Woman, when you’re trying to start your coaching business while rocking a 9 to 5, accountability is game changing!  Perhaps that means you’re working with a coach, or a part of a mastermind crew, or you’ve got an accountability buddy. But find a system that works for you!


For me, making a commitment to a coach, or someone I’m working or masterminding with, makes a massive difference to my commitment and productivity. I’ll do whatever it takes to meet that commitment and report back on what I did — because for some reason the idea of coming back and telling people I didn’t complete the task asked of me is my nightmare!


Public accountability like this is powerful. If you’re just starting your business journey, prioritise setting up an accountability system to keep you motivated (for example, joining group coaching programs, and/or setting up accountability partnerships with buddies who get it).


I hope you found these tips on how to start your coaching business when you’re working full time really helpful!


If you’re slogging it out and taking baby steps to build your coaching business right now, lady I BELIEVE IN YOU.  Keep going, you’ve got this!


Know someone else who’s dreaming of starting their coaching business this year?  I’d love you to hit one of the social share buttons below, help a sister out and please share this post with her.  It lights me up to think that, thanks to you, this post could inspire her to keep going for her dreams today.


Love you guys!


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Kate xo
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About Kate

Through her passion-fuelled coaching, consulting and writing, Dr Kate Byrne helps women coaches and consultants intentionally engineer success so they can shine neon bright in business. She is an advocate for being all in, charging what you’re really worth and premium pricing.

Connect with Kate now at Betty Means Business, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.