The two things every entrepreneur wants more of: Clients and Money… and yes, as a life coach, you by definition are also an entrepreneur!
One of our Instructors, Christine Wilborn has some powerful things to share with you about clients and money in regards to your business.
In the beginning of running a new business or coaching practice, you need cash, no doubt. But one thing new entrepreneurs, coaches, and practitioners focus too much on is the short-game approach, which prevents you from seeing your business as an investment vehicle (…and not a JOB).
People will start taking your business seriously as soon as you do. When you start treating your business like a legitimate business and start thinking like a business owner.
I’m going to give it to you straight today. I am guilty of making some of these ‘rookie’ mistakes myself and don’t want you to head down a path that leaves you broke, exhausted, and wondering why you got yourself into this with no returns to show for it. Am I right?
The biggest problem is not your business.
It’s how you see yourself IN your business and moving from working on your passion projects to seeing yourself as a viable business owner who has an investment to grow.
When you can start to view your business as a long-game approach, as an investor, you start to make different decisions, ones that allow you to have the wealth, lifestyle, and freedom you desire as a business owner.
Taking on the identity of an owner and investor, and treating your business like a business, means managing your key resources and assets. When you add value to and prioritize these assets your return on investment (ROI) dramatically increases.
Key Asset #1: Your Energy
That’s right…the first asset we must protect, is YOU! At this stage of your business, you’re probably doing it all, which means you have many roles to fulfill in your business. If you don’t have the energy to do it all, how is your business going to survive?
If you don’t look out for yourself now, how do you expect to protect your energy when your business gets bigger? If you’re burned out and overwhelmed, who’s going to run the company and take care of your business?
Energy is finite and limited. Successful people understand that the goal is to conserve your energy, not spend it. Hustling is trying to expend all your energy as fast as you can!
If you’re constantly sick, overweight, and never feel like you have enough energy throughout the day, you may be in trouble and need this more than any business strategy right now. If you’re not healthy who cares how much money you make… you could have all the money in the world and have loads of free time, but energy can be zapped in a second, by internal and external forces, and you won’t be able to enjoy any of it.
I made this mistake in the beginning. I ran myself into the ground and had zero energy for anything outside of my business. I was a blob. Don’t forget about the other things in your life that need your high energy too (family, partners, animals, hobbies, etc.).
Looking after yourself, protecting your energy, and taking care of your health is the fastest way to yield better results in your business. When you have energy, you can make things happen. When you’re healthy you have more capacity for handling adversity. When you take care of yourself it sends the message that you value yourself and that you deem yourself important.
Key Asset #2: Your Time
‘Hustling’ might make you feel busy…but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re being productive.
It’s better to work smart than hard.
Working smart means doing the activities that bring in revenue and increase valuable relationships. I can’t tell you how much time I spent on things that didn’t matter when I first opened my business. I thought I was doing the right things, but I was actually busy being busy.
We all have the same amount of time during each day, making it count matters. You will only be able to take your business so far with hustle and brute force. You have to be smart and disciplined with your time.
As you move through the key stages of business you will begin to delegate tasks to other team members to leverage your time. Successful people understand how to leverage their time and create LESS work for themselves.
You can’t get back your time. Are spending it on things that are meaningful to you or do you feel like you’re constantly wasting time or don’t even know how to efficiently spend your time that gets you returns?
Protecting your time isn’t all about business either. Do you have plenty of time for your family, taking care of yourself, seeing your friends, traveling (because this is what really matters, right?).
Key Asset #3: Your Cash Flow
You’ve heard the phrase that “cash is king” in business. Well, it is! Unfortunately, most new entrepreneurs, coaches, and practitioners are terrible at managing their finances or knowing how much cash they have on hand at any given moment.
Even worse, most don’t know at what point they will run out of cash.
It’s great when you experience months of high revenue coming in…yet you mistake your revenue for income and suddenly you’re back at square one scrapping for cash again. You can’t live your life out of your business’s bank account, that’s just not sound business practices and it will get you into trouble in the long-run.
If you can’t talk about money, look at your finances, set terms and boundaries with confidence around money…how far do you expect your business to go?
And I say this with love…
If you are running a business and you don’t know all your numbers and what they mean you are destined to fail. Full stop.
Numbers indicate the reality of what’s going on in your business. And we try to avoid reality.
- How is the cash moving in your business?
- Where are you spending your money?
- How much you have and what can you afford to spend if you need a team in the future?
It’s not enough to have a bookkeeper and an accountant. Never leave your business up to someone else. You have to understand what the numbers mean. The numbers inform you as to how to make intelligent business decisions and projections.
“Well Christine, I’m just not a numbers person.”
Reality is that you have to used use to them if you’re going to run a business. Tracking numbers is not a tactic, it’s the backbone to doing business and being a responsible business owner.
I recently did a consult with a business owner who is doing amazing by anyone’s standards. I walked her through her numbers (something she had been avoiding) and found $60,000 in her business that she couldn’t see, that should could add to her bottom line.
She was thrilled and couldn’t believe that was right in front of her, but she was too afraid to look at the numbers. She thought she had to scrap her program and that wasn’t the problem. Nobody had ever walked her through an experience like that for her business that helped her gain confidence around her numbers.
You don’t have to like them, but you have to do them and know them. Numbers are the lifeblood of the business. Cash flow is the oxygen of your business. There’s no working around it.
It’s not an excuse. Take advantage of this now or come back in 5 years and realize you should have done this sooner. Nobody wants to talk about it or do it, you pretend it’s not there…well, except for me – I love numbers more than someone should.
As long as you understand what’s going on financially within your business you’re 10x more likely to be successful with your business. You will feel so empowered once you do!
If money makes you uncomfortable then you have to work that out before you go any further with your business, or it will always suffer and stall.
Educate yourself on how to manage your finances. How you manage $1 and how you manage $1 Million is no different. You need to protect your cash flow so that you always have money to re-invest back into your business. Growth requires cash.
Plus, it never hurts to have peace of mind when you have extra cash in the bank for a ‘rainy day’.
Your reality will always revert to the thermostat of your current self-worth, finances, and unhealthy business habits. If you don’t take care of these assets your business can come crumbling down in a heartbeat.