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Tips for Starting a Coaching Business for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  • POSTED ON APRIL 17, 2024
Confident businesswoman in a room of aspiring entrepreneurs learning about starting a coaching business

Should I Start a Coaching Business?

Tips and Resources for Aspiring Entrepreneurs 

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a coach who is flirting with taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Congratulations! In my experience, launching a business can be a profoundly rewarding endeavor. Daunting at times, yes, but also wildly fulfilling creatively, intellectually, and soulfully.

Starting a business, even as a side hustle, can be intimidating. It was for me. I didn’t start my business with a robust list of client prospects, and I didn’t know much about sales, marketing, and business development. My formal education was as a musician and actor — something I initially thought would be irrelevant in the realm of entrepreneurship (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). My professional experience was in the performing arts and then, later, in the tech industry as an executive assistant. The tactics I now employ, I learned. Ten years later, I’m still learning. Fortunately, in today’s hyper-connected world, information is more accessible than at any other time in history. What you don’t know and can’t anticipate can be figured out or reimagined.  

A New Paradigm of Prosperity

One of the most exciting aspects of being a founder is the opportunity to build a business that challenges conventional norms and creates new models for wealth and work. Hustle culture has us addicted to busyness and time scarcity. In the United States, burnout and isolation are rampant, and wage gaps by gender, race, and ethnicity persist. The conventional 9 to 5 model is outdated and works for precisely no one. Entrepreneurship offers an alternative path where we have agency over our time and earning potential. Building businesses from the ground up offers us a chance to shape our industry, income, and business models directly.

So what prepares you to start a business? What should you prioritize? In her book Tiny Business, Big Money, Elaine Pofeldt delves into the experiences, habits, and best practices of 49 entrepreneurs across a range of industries, revealing some fascinating insights:

  • It took these businesses an average of almost 4 years to achieve $1 million in annual revenue.
  • They spent an average of 4 years as non-employer businesses.
  • All of them use contractors in their businesses.
  • 90% incorporate automation into their operations.
  • 88% engage in some form of exercise, with popular activities including yoga, gym workouts, strength training, and walking.
  • Many (64%) have a mind-body spiritual or religious practice, such as meditation or prayer.
  • 34% practice meditation.
  • 37% have a business coach.
  • 45% belong to an entrepreneurship group 

What strikes me about these statistics is their departure from the traditional corporate model of success. It illustrates much of what I’ve encountered, anecdotally, in my work with new entrepreneurs. Success relies less on knowing “all the things” and much more on qualities like adaptability and being intentional with time and energy. Things like tending to mind-body well-being, participating in community and peer support groups, recognizing your strengths and outsourcing what isn’t a strength, and viewing learning as an ongoing investment are paramount when playing the long game.

Coaching Business 101: Where to Start

Tip #1: Recognize What You’ve Got

So many of the clients I work with overlook the resources, practices, and knowledge they already have on their side. Knowing your knowledge gaps is important, but it’s not the full story. I used to see my background as an artist as a reason people wouldn’t take me seriously as a businessperson. Now, I see it as my greatest professional asset. I often challenge my clients to make a list of 100 reasons why they are ready and totally qualified to be an entrepreneur — not to minimize the knowledge gap but as an exercise of recognition.

Some questions to get you started:

How does your background uniquely prepare you?

Who/what are your allies?

What are your personal strengths?

How do those qualities prepare you for charting your own path?

Tip #2: Be a Hungry Learner

About those knowledge gaps… be a hungry learner in the realm of business, entrepreneurship, and money. Plan on doing this in parallel with your coach training. Just like in coaching, you will learn by doing. You’ll need to develop both proficiencies.  

Educate yourself on how to start and improve your business, whether it’s through formal methods, like classes, or by reading, listening to podcasts, attending online events, or working with a coach. I’ve adopted a one-to-one system to help me stay accountable. For every book I read for pleasure, I read one to deepen my business knowledge. You’ll find a resource at the end of this blog post that includes a curated list of my favorite books and podcasts. 

Tip #3: Don’t Wait — and Don’t Rush

Real talk: you likely won’t exit CTI’s coach training program with the sense that you are 100% ready to launch your business. And you’ll probably need to start before you feel 100% ready. There is so much to do in a business that, from day 1, you’ll need to dive into doing things outside of your professional skill set. You will never feel completely ready. Instead of waiting for the fear to go away, practice including it. Courage and fear can coexist. When in doubt, take a step back and remember why you are doing this. Then, take the next step forward.

Above all, give yourself and your budding business time to grow into financial sustainability, even if it means holding down a day job for longer than you’d like. Plan on giving yourself between 1 and 3 years to develop a solid revenue foundation. Personally, I started my business as a side hustle to mitigate financial risk. I adopted a slow and steady approach which worked well for me. It took me 2 years to establish a foundation that felt solid enough to make the leap into full time self-employment. A year later, I reached the level of income I had in my full-time tech job. Many of my clients achieve this milestone in less time by dedicating themselves fully to their business from the start. Nobody starts from the same place. Wherever you start is workable.

It’s Okay if It’s Not for You

To be completely honest, running a coaching business isn’t for everyone. And I would argue this is a good thing! I believe we need coaching — or, more precisely, coaching skills — everywhere: in organizations, within teams, at the leadership level, and at home. The proliferation of coaching skills like active listening, leading with curiosity, and asking powerful questions is critical when it comes to addressing the complex and polarizing issues of our time, whether it’s in global politics, in boardrooms, or at our kitchen tables.

Starting a coaching practice isn’t the only way to make an impact as a coach.

Resources for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

If you are launching a business of your own, my deep wish is that it’s transformational for you, for your clients, and for our world. To help support you and provide insight into the journey ahead, I’ve compiled a set of resources you can download for free.

It includes an 8 question self-assessment to help you gauge your readiness for entrepreneurship and a curated list of my favorite books and podcasts on the topic of business-building. I’ve also included links to 2 business-building communities that are free for Co-Active Training Institute students. You can find it all right here. Lastly, I coach first-time entrepreneurs through their work-life revolution. Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in teaming up.

I’m rooting for you.

Gina Restani
Written By

Gina Restani

Gina Restani, CPCC, PCC, is a coach, facilitator, and leadership development consultant. Her clients are executives, entrepreneurs, coaches, creatives, and corporate rebels who are hungry for a work-life revolution. Gina specializes in working with people who are focused on creating not just profitable businesses but also sustainable, fulfilling, purpose-driven livelihoods.With a ten-year background in the tech industry, Gina left corporate life to pursue a path in coaching and leadership development. Since then, she’s built a thriving coaching practice, co-founded a leadership consultancy for women, collaborated with over 30 companies, from global enterprises to budding startups, and joined the esteemed faculty at CTI, where her coaching journey began ten years ago.Gina supports professional coaches at various stages of their journey, from those pursuing ICF certification to seasoned practitioners. She is currently based in her hometown of San Francisco, California.  You can contact her via her website at if you are interested in teaming up.

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