Integrative Nutrition Blog

The Irony of Creating a Successful Health Coaching Business

November 3, 2014

In any industry, creating a successful business takes hard work. Health coaching is no exception. 

I often I meet Health Coaches who are stress eating chocolate kale chips with one hand and furiously trying to learn Pinterest with the other. They worry about closing the deal and if they should rent office space. Their home life is a bit of a mess. They may have lost weight as part of their health journey, but it’s slowly creeping back. 

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone. When I started my business, I put my Type A self into overdrive in order to achieve success. I worked long hours and stressed out constantly. The only thing I nurtured was my adrenal fatigue. My husband didn’t understand. He said, “I thought you got into this business because it made you happy.” 

Ah, the irony. 

He was right. 

Entrepreneurs are notorious for pushing self-care under the rug. It doesn’t work well for anyone, and it definitely doesn’t work well for Health Coaches! 

Six years later, I can tell you that the most important change I’ve made is walking my talk and finding ease and enjoyment in my business and life. Here are some steps I took, and recommend for every entrepreneur: 

Do the work you love

As my husband reminded me, I got into health coaching because I loved it. As soon as you don’t love your work, it shows. So even though it feels like you need to jump on every single opportunity, please don’t. Be choosy. Do the work you are most passionate about. Work with people you adore. 

Have a source of steady income

You can absolutely earn a living as a Health Coach. But in the beginning, you will need another source of income for your daily living expenses. This will allow you to relax and breathe life into your business instead of fear. 

Realize you don’t need ALL the things

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, websites, business cards, flyers, brochures...there are more ways to market yourself than there are ways to make a green smoothie. And you definitely do not need them all. Typically, your email newsletter is the most important. Choose one social media site you love and use it well. I swear I don’t even have business cards. Did you hear that? It’s possible to have a successful business with no business cards. Kind of shocking, right? 

Take vacations

Being your own boss means giving yourself vacation time. And sick days. And maternity leave! You deserve and need time off to stay balanced and effective as an entrepreneur.

Michelle Pfennighaus, IIN Class of 2009 and star of the movie “Lemonade,” has been seen on ABC, CBS and NPR with her inspiring story of reinvention. As a Health Coach and business mentor, she has worked with clients around the world. Connect with Michelle on her website and on Facebook and Twitter.

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