5 Tough lessons from a fancy business coach

The second half of 2022 was a doozy for my career/business/wellbeing.

The tldr; In October I gathered the courage to quit a toxic (but very well paying) job as a fancy pants content director. I had to make a decision to start applying for other jobs, or re-invest in YOU.

I choose you. Every time.

I’ve had enough life experience and job experience now to know that I serve the world best when working directly with people and creating things that help them solve their biggest pain points – in this case – learning how to communicate who you are and what you do in a way that attracts your ideal customers and convinces them to smash that BUY button!

I’ve also been around long enough now to know:

Hiring an expert (someone who has already gotten to where you want to go) is THE fastest shortcut to success!

October was spent soothing my nervous system in Burnout triage…

November was spent digging deep and getting INTENTIONAL about what kind of work and legacy I want to create…

And December was spent in a creativity cucoon, with me taking action behind the scenes, gathering the puzzle pieces with which to re-build my life.

At theĀ startĀ of December, I bit the bullet and hired a (very expensive but VERY highly recommended) business coach. Here are 5 things I learned almost immediately in my first two calls with them:

1. Hybrid programs (Course + Support + Done-For-You option) are the future.

Having a great digital course isn’t enough by itself anymore. There’s only so much we can do by ourselves, even if it’s a FANTASTIC course! People want extra support, especially when it comes to implementing what they learned in a course or program in real life. I’ve taken this to heart (along with student feedback & two years of data), and have COMPLETELY re-worked my signature course, Copy Class…more on that later.

2. The numbers don’t lie, for better or worse. Look at them. OFTEN.

Numbers feel scary AF. Why? Because it’s a slippery slope from measuring our success to measuring our worth. You can’t make a solid plan for getting where you want to go if you don’t know where you’re starting from.

For me personally, looking at my numbers was EXTREMELY humbling in more ways than one. On one hand, it was absolutely BONKERS to see that there are now over 8 THOUSAND PEOPLE enrolled in Copy Class. It actually makes me cry tears of gratitude and joy almost every time I say that. It was also very jarring to see that for the first time since opening my business, I spent more money than I made…which brings me to…

3. I lost a TON of money on my podcast and was gonna quit, BUT, my coach said ‘no way’ – here’s why… 

Now, to be totally clear, I’ve never spent a dollar on marketing and I’ve still spent ZERO dollars on ads – my marketing is 100% organic (ahem- the power of good copywriting!). This keeps my business “overhead” extremely low. Like, less than $200/month low.

Until…the podcast. First I wanna say I’m SO HAPPY I DID IT. Find Your Magic has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and it 100% kept me sane during an insane period of my life.

But DAMN IT WAS EXPENSIVE when I added up how much I spent on it by the end of the year. To be fair I had a very cushy set up where all the editing, publishing, and show notes were taken care of by a producer. It was worth it for SURE, but it was also expensive.

I expected my coach to look at the 10K I spent on the pod and tell me to get rid of it immediately. The opposite was true! They told me to resume the podcast BUT, with an actual strategy…more on that soon.

(If you want to hit reply and ask, I’m happy to tell you more about how podcasts are uniquely amazing for growing an engaged audience who (eventually) feed your marketing funnels.)

4. Strategize how to get recurring revenue (not just a bunch of “buy it once and you’re done” products)

Turns out, I backed myself in a corner by switching from 100% one-on-one client work (burnout city) to 100% digital courses and products. Yes, I successfully brought in over 8,000 students to Copy Class through various partnerships and organic marketing tactics (HOLY SH*T), BUT once those students were done with my signature course, there weren’t many options for them to re-invest in my business. They could choose to buy additional pre-written email templates, but that was it.

In other words, I really only had one profitable offer: my signature course.

I’m finalizing the details of what my new offer is going to be, but essentially it solves two problems:

  1. My Copy Class students have been asking for over a year if they can hire me to help them implement their learnings. Previously there was no way to do that, and that will be changing.
  2. In giving my students more, ongoing access to me and my help, I’ll open the door for recurring revenue.

5. Plan ahead for burnout (& do all you can to prevent it in the first place)

Tell me if this sounds familiar…after a period of not doing much of anything, you suddenly decide to GET YOUR SH*T TOGETHER. You get all the color coded notecards and calendars and pens and proceed to dive head first into making a crapload of plans. You have so many directions you could go and you’re excited about ALL OF THEM. You feel inspired! You work on your ideas for a frenzied few days until…

The wind goes out of your sails. You’re tired AF. Your plans go from “inspiring” to overwhelming.

When I brought my (hilarious) list of everything I wanted to build and create to my coach, they very smartly told me I HAD to choose one place to focus. I could have loose ideas about where I wanted to take the business, but I had to first focus on ONE IRRESISTABLE OFFER before I could think about running five programs in tandem with no support.

In short, they helped me avoid burnout by making my short term plans totally and completely do-able.

Us creative types love, well, BEING CREATIVE! We have visions of what “could” be and we measure ourselves up to an (often impossible) standard of success. We see someone else who has taken years to build their brand and we want that level of success immediately. This way of thinking is a surefire way to burn out, and when we do that, we rob the world of gifts and we rob ourselves of our full potential.

Did anything on this list surprise you? Have you ever worked with a business coach? Let me know at hello@kelseyformost.com!