“What do you do?”
How many times have you been asked what you do? They’re not asking about your hobbies or what you do for fun. It’s always referring to your job, your career, and how you earn a living.
It sounds like an innocent question, but it can be loaded with judgment and expectations.
We expect doctors to be smarter than us regular folks and to have all the cash they would ever need. We expect retail workers to be uneducated and starving on minimum wage.
So when I tell people that I’m a life coach (or more specifically, that I run my own life coaching business), I can imagine the gears turning in their minds as they try to figure out what that means.
- “You coach people on…how to live?”
- “You do something on the internet?”
- “But you’re not a therapist. Isn’t that illegal?”
- “That’s not a real job. Did you make it up?”
It’s a bit of a hippie-dippie profession, sort of like having a personal stylist or gourmet chef.
Does anyone really need a life coach?
Maybe not, and I fully admit that hiring a life coach is a luxury. You need food to eat, but do you need someone to help you navigate life?
My clients would tell you, “YES!”
Having a life coach isn’t as frivolous as you might think.
I’ve helped women bounce back after divorces, abuse, self-doubt, financial struggles, and every mindset block you can think of.
Here’s why I became a life coach…and why I still love it!
To Help Other Women Succeed
This reason is all about my “why.”
You’ve got to have a strong intrinsic motivation for whatever you’re doing in your life and business. Without this inner drive, you’ll crash and burn and lose interest.
(PS, we cover intrinsic motivation and how to find yours in Startup In 60.)
Back when I was still a book editor, I had an advice blog where I shared self-development articles and productivity tips. Blogging helped me reach more people than I could in my little cubicle.
Of course, editing medical textbooks helped health care professionals do their jobs and save lives, but I knew I was playing small and ignoring the thousands of women I could influence online.
An imaginary light bulb turned on over my head when I realized that online entrepreneurs (ie, life coaches) were sharing the same information that I was and making a huge impact, but they were getting paid for it.
Helping other women become the best versions of themselves drives me forward. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed.
To Ditch the Corporate Machine
No offense to those of you doing the corporate 9-to-5 shuffle, but I burned out from that career path.
The 3-hour daily commute, working my butt off for wimpy raises once a year, and the stress from managers looking over my shoulder finally got to me. I couldn’t do it anymore.
True, I like some things about having a corporate job like wearing suits, getting a paycheck even if I half-assed my work, and being around other people. But those perks couldn’t compare to the desire to set my own schedule and choose my own projects.
To Get Rich
OK, I’m kidding! But only a little bit.
Many of my clients have made the same disturbing discovery that I made back in my corporate days: there’s an income ceiling.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t break through the $50,000 per year barrier.
Sooner or later, I’d reach the top of my income bracket for my position, and there’d be nowhere to go. I’d have to quit my job and find work at another company simply to earn more. It was exhausting to job hop just to get a bigger paycheck, and my workload always increased more than my income.
In fact, when I left my final editing job, they divided my responsibilities into 2 separate positions, which just confirmed to me that I was doing way more work than a single employee should be expected to do.
Now that I work for myself, I choose my own prices and have shattered my old income ceiling. There’s no limit when you determine your worth.
To Produce My Own Work
I’ve never felt more proud than when I’m creating my own work from scratch.
There was always a nagging feeling in the back of my mind when I was editing someone else’s book or article. Editing was mostly fun, but I wanted to be the leader!
Creating my own business from the group up has given me creative control that I never experienced when I worked for other companies.
I work harder now than I ever did for someone else, but it’s more fulfilling and joyful too. It’s a beautiful feeling to be able to say, “I did that!”