A Look Back at My Business Journey
It’s crazy to think that 2006 is my 10 year coaching anniversary. The time has flown by. It seems like it was just a few months ago that I was sitting in an adviser’s office at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. And, ironically, I wasn’t there to become a coach. I was there because I wanted to be an aesthetician.
I had already owned my own business in the beauty industry and I believed I was ready to once again open my own business. Little did I know that a much bigger plan would unfold during this meeting, changing my life drastically.
At this meeting, I was introduced to the coaching program because the adviser saw something in me--my natural curiosity about human nature and the leadership position with the non-profit I was working for at the time--that opened up a new possibility. Coaching. I was offered a scholarship and the rest, as they say, is history.
At the end of the advisory meeting to enroll in an aesthetician program, I was registered for a coaching intensive program instead. This is the start of Coach Erin and my coaching business. Two weekends later, I was putting my coaching training to the test--and the word “intensive” was a very accurate description of that weekend.
I was on a high. The program activated dreams, visions and planning. I knew I couldn’t stop with just one weekend. I needed more. I craved more. I didn’t know how I was going to afford going back to school but I knew I needed to continue on with the full coaching program. I put my nose to the grindstone to figure out where the funding was going to come from and I did it!
I spent the next nine months building my business, raising two step-kids and being a wife. All while working a full time job. It was busy. It was fun. It was nerve-wracking, stressful and chaotic.
I logged hours of coaching, implemented new programs at my day job, attended my kids’ school and sporting events, kept my house as clean as possible and even found a few minutes here and there to kiss and hug on my husband.
During this time, I worked during the day and saw clients in the evenings and on the occasional Saturday morning. Any time I had in between, I dove into learning how to market myself so I could continue to build on what I loved doing--coaching. It was all a roller coaster ride of excitement, anxiousness and fear. And it was all mine.
When I graduated from the coaching program in 2006, I truly believed I was ready. I had many of my own coaching sessions with my peers, had my first five paying clients and had logged 100+ coaching hours. I was crafting client forms, building coaching programs and diving into marketing. How ready was I? Not nearly as ready as I thought.
Fast forward and here I am, 10 years later. Oh, the transformation my business and I have had! To look back at the coach and woman I was 10 years ago is an eye-opener. So much change. So much growth. So much new knowledge gained. I have new friendships, new perspectives on business and life and new opportunities I never knew were possible.
I now own and operate my own business--an income positive and personally fulfilling business. I am once again my own boss. I call the shots. I make all the decisions. I get all the credit. I take all the responsibility. 10 years in and I’m SO happy I took the plunge into self-employment.
Becoming a business owner meant that I had to be persistent in putting one foot in front of the other and be ready to grow as a person. I’ve learned a ton about myself, women and business in general.
It’s been an adventure, to say the least. And it’s an adventure I am truly grateful I decided to take even though I had no idea how rugged the terrain would be. It’s an adventure I wasn’t fully ready for. I learned that you’re never fully ready for a leap like this, but at the same time you are more prepared to start than you think. And the twists, turns and surprises never stop. At one turn, you could be broken down and then, just around the corner, you’re back up and running and gaining momentum again.
While the scenery may be different, I don’t believe the ride has gotten any smoother than it was 10 years ago. But I do believe I’ve become a better driver. The ups and downs, twists and turns are still there. But I’m better at leaning into the curves, accelerating into the turns and coasting on the straightaways.
If you’re considering starting your own business or if you want to be your own boss, I say GO FOR IT! Trust your inner instinct, but know that it might not turn out exactly like you’re currently dreaming. It likely will turn out different. But it will be worth it.