- My #1 mindset tweak for coaches: you’re an entrepreneur 1st, a coach 2nd.
- Entrepreneurs always think about ROI, they don’t sell their time for money, they collaborate with others, and they take risks that pay off.
- Be bold. Take risks. You never know what’ll work until you try.
In the 10+ years of running CoachNow and the ConnectedCoach Academy, I have analyzed thousands of businesses and coached hundreds of business-owners.
I have seen it all. The successes, the failures, and everything in between.
And in all these conversations with all of these coaches, there is one single mindset tweak that seems to make a huge difference when it comes to framing the ups and downs of the coaching experience:
You’re an entrepreneur 1st, a coach 2nd.
Yes you are a coach, yes you are a trainer. I get it, the love of your sport and the desire to teach others is incredibly motivating on its own.
But thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur first will radically change the decisions you make for your athletes and your business.
Because when you start making your decisions from an entrepreneur’s mindset, rather than a coach’s, you put your growth first and your ego second.
So, this week, let’s dive into the main reasons why shifting your mindset is crucial for your long-term success.
Here’s 4 common mistakes I’ve seen coaches make that entrepreneurs don’t.
1. Entrepreneurs Always Think About ROI
More knowledge about your sport doesn’t translate to more money for your coaching business. Full stop.
Over the years, I have seen so many coaches focus on acquiring technical certifications purely so they can point to them on their website.
But the vast majority of the time, these certifications/ classes only inflate your ego and don’t actually translate to a better business .
In my opinion, certifications have their purpose if they differentiate you from your competition or if they are required to train in a specific style. But, if they don’t help you package and sell your expertise in a systematic way, they are simply a waste of time.
So, when thinking about doing another certification or taking an online course, think like a scrappy entrepreneur:
How will this impact my business roadmap? What is the ROI on this certification (whether that’s time or money)? Is this additional knowledge going to help me save more time? Hire people? Expand my business?
Ask these questions before you invest your time anywhere in your business.
Every decision should come back to your bottom line. That means, for example, that if a certification or course promises vague improvements that may improve one element of your coaching practice, it’d skip it.
2. Entrepreneurs Don’t Sell Their Time For Money
Every entrepreneur will tell you that exchanging time for money is a bad idea.
The most successful businesses in the world master the art of selling their product or service 24/7. Why should your coaching business be any different?
Now as coaches, it’s probably impossible to escape the time for money equation entirely. But I encourage you to set up your business so you don’t need to depend on it exclusively.
And, when you do need to sell time for money, think about how you can leverage that session to bring a bigger return down the line.
In fancy marketing lingo, this is known as “Evergreen Content” – something you can automate to bring new attention and potential clients to your business. In my business, I’m always thinking about how I can leverage my time to create new products that don’t require my constant attention to bring revenue in.
When meeting your athletes, get into the habit of asking yourself how your teaching can benefit you after the live lesson is over. Tons of you sell lessons and don’t use any component of them as leverage for future revenue. And, as I’ve said before, I think you’re putting your business at risk by doing so.
I won’t hammer on this point any longer, but it's always worth reiterating. Make your time work for you; don’t chase the endless cycle of exchanging your time for money.
3. Entrepreneurs Collaborate With Others
It bums me out how many coaches come asking for my advice, but are resistant to sharing too much information about how their business operates.
Often it's over some concern over “IP” or “giving away too many secrets”.
But here’s a harsh truth: what you are doing is probably not unique and I doubt your IP is something that really needs protecting.
In fact, the unwillingness to collaborate with others and be vulnerable about your business struggles is probably holding you back more than it’s helping you. Open collaboration is crucial in the early days of any business.
You need people in your court looking over your work to make efficient use of your time and put bad ideas to rest early.
Plus, the best coaches bring in other coaches to make the athlete better. This could be done in a myriad of ways. E.g. If you’re a technical baseball coach for batting, you may bring in a mental trainer or physical trainer or somebody else who can help round out your athlete.
Whatever it might be, there are a ton of opportunities for collaboration that can help improve the athlete and help you build a more successful business. (For more on this topic, as well as a few personal anecdotes, check out our recent blog, The Surprising Power of Collaboration)
Entrepreneurs have mentors. They look for advice constantly and exchange ideas to create better products. I promise that if you do the same, your business will thank you for it.
4. Entrepreneurs Invest In and Bet On Themselves
NO, I don’t mean investing in the latest hardware that costs you thousands of dollars just so you can look like you’re on the “cutting edge”.
I mean invest your time and money into ideas, projects, and people that you believe in.
If you want your business to really, truly scale, you need to be bold. And be ok with a little failure along the way.
Not to go too deep into my own past, but when I first founded CoachNow (formerly Edufii), I literally quit my job as a 6-figure coach. One year later, I was on food stamps.
But I kept going, and was ultimately able to make my business what it is today, because I was convinced of the vision. Even when the days were dark, I could see the upside.
Now, I’m not promoting the idea of going on food stamps to see your idea through.
What I am promoting is the idea of stretching a little out of your comfort zone and being bold with your convictions.
Because the biggest businesses of today are the ones that took risks and were ahead of the curve.
Failure is growth. If you aren’t experimenting with new ideas and strategies constantly, you will never see your full potential.
I could go on and on for each of these points, but we gotta end it somewhere.
In short: be bold. It’s ok to fail. Experiment, iterate, adapt, and enjoy the journey.
We’ve got some exciting things cooking in the background that we can’t wait to show you.
Stay tuned, and have a great weekend.
Here’s to an entrepreneurial mindset!