As we begin the New Year, I wanted to share the most important business advice I have learned from 3 ½ years as a private practice healer.
I hope this supports you, wherever you are at in your work, and whatever field you happen to be in. I say this all the time but it bears repeating: the world needs your magic. Your most inspired gifts are the ones most needed, whatever those may be. Here are 10 things I learned from my 3 years as a business witch.
No one is using your time without your consent.
I have worked with many coaches and practitioners worried about people “using their time” or “trying to get free support from them.” I used to have this same feeling. Remember, it is AN HONOR when someone comes to you seeking support. Them low-balling your rates or expecting free labor isn’t a problem, it’s a compliment. If you have strong boundaries, you can clearly and lovingly protect your worth. No one can use you without your consent.
I do not reply to my dms or random emails because, frankly, I just get too many of them and would prefer to use my energy to communicate with my friends, clients, and family. However, when people ask for support or have questions I am always able to lovingly state my boundaries. I may say something like, “The way I know I could be most supportive to you in this is in a coaching container, which if you’d like I can send you an application and we can have a call to discuss. Otherwise, I don’t have the bandwidth to support in this way.” CEOs don’t apologize for their energy constraints. No is a complete sentence. No one is using you. You are owning yourself.
As a service provider, creating relationships and cultivating trust within your audience and/or community is the best thing you can do for your business. You create trust by GIVING.
Unlike in the last tip, where we explored how it is important to uphold your own boundaries around how you can help people…it is also important to be GENEROUS in how you show up. No, you are not a free advice machine, and you are not obligated to reply to all of your DMs…but generosity will take your business to the next level. I love The Prosperous Coach model for this. Give your best work away. Make free meditations, pdfs, ebooks, newsletters, and social media content. Your best tips are the thing most likely to help prospective clients understand why they want to work with you in the first place.
If you’re more concerned with getting paid $20/person to have people show up for a workshop than to deliver THE MOST IMPACTFUL workshop you can regardless of attendance or how much you make, you are building your business backward. That $200-$500 is nothing in comparison to leaving even just 1 or 2 people truly impacted by your work. You never know, they may end up a client a year later, and the ROI on that is far greater than a quick bit of cash.
Social media is optional.
My coach’s last post on social media is from July. And she makes more money than I do. You know what will get you the most successful business? Being excellent at what you do. There is no shortage of people to work with when you are authentic, clear and committed. I know plenty of word-of-mouth practitioners who are absolutely killing it. Social media IS GREAT if YOU LIKE IT. It can expand your horizons, connect you to cool people doing similar work and find potential leads.
But all of that is only generated from authenticity and connection, which means having a “strategy” only works if it is a strategy based on a desire to impact your audience…not just have an audience in the first place. Also, have you ever seen a reel on the explore feed and been like “That’s the person I am going to give $10k to change my life too!”? I imagine not. That is not how I would make a big and important buying decision, and I imagine it is the same for most people. People learn to trust you by watching your consistency and integrity. There are many ways to illustrate that, the least of which are on Instagram and Tiktok.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
If you want to change your life, you have to change. Change is uncomfortable. I coach a lot of people on fears about money and whether or not coaching will actually work for them. At this point in my business, I don’t work with people who are unclear about their commitment. The first time I paid for a high-end coaching container I thought that I was going to puke. What it actually was was an initiation to having a completely different relationship to money, commitment, and growth. Of course, it is scary to build the thing you’ve always dreamed of…there’s a lot on the line. Saying YES enthusiastically is step one.
Accessibility is important, but most people are doing it in a way that perpetuates inequality.
So many people come to coaching calls like “I can’t afford this.” 99% of the time that is an opinion. I work with people in 20 different states and three different countries from all kinds of backgrounds. They all chose to invest in themselves based on their desire for their future, not their fears about finances. Accessibility is an important part of my business model, so I will share with you how I choose to do a sliding scale with qualifying clients. I say, “Coaching with me costs this much. I want to offer you a sliding scale. This means that you choose how much you pay. What is the amount that you would like to pay to ensure that you show up to this experience with 100% effort?” Most of them elect to pay the full amount. If we are truly being equity-minded, there is not a standard discount price we can offer people based on their race or socio-economic experience.
This actually upholds white supremacist inequity, because it means I (a cishet white lady) am deciding based on how my client presents what is an appropriate discount to offer them. It means I am making up what is going on inside of their bank account based on my preconceived notions of their experiences (of which I can never know and shouldn’t have authority to determine because of my privilege). When I offer people the opportunity to choose their investment, they have the power to take their own context into their hands and choose how they want to show up that is how I want to work with anyone, in a way that empowers them to choose their commitment. If you have 100% commitment, you will get results with a 100% guarantee.
Scarcity and abundance mindsets are too binary to be supportive.
If you choose to BE abundant, what’s going on in your bank account is not a reflection of your life. BE abundant in love, community, friendship, generosity, joy. Whenever I buy a coffee, I tip $1 and say “And this is coming back to me 1,000,000 times.” When we commit to making all small moments feel abundant (this is a choice) we start to see that scarcity is a mindset and it is also an illusion. Even if you have debt (I do!), unforeseen expenses (I do!), or uncertainty of the future (I do!) abundance is NOT a mindset, it is a way of being. They don’t exist on polarities, they are fluid representations of things you have learned, meaning you can always unlearn and shift them. Doing this is a prerequisite for having a material abundance, not the other way around.
Healing is non-linear…so loving ALL parts of you is necessary.
Many clients, and I, can get into the habit of being unkind to ourselves when we feel what we perceive as a “backslide” into an old pattern. I have had anxious attachment my entire life. Sometimes, if something is triggered in my life or relationship, my anxiety comes in like a bomb to my nervous system. I haven’t lost the 10+ years I have spent learning how to mitigate this…even if I am crying on my bathroom floor going “WHYYYYYYY.” The wounded part of me never went away…I just learned how to take care of her. When we have complex trauma, that can live in our nervous system. The goal is not to erase it we cannot get rid of our lungs or our hearts or our femurs. Our stories are part of us. They inform how we see the world…AND we have the agency to build beyond our stories and learn how to hold them. We are not victims of our experiences, we are architects of our futures.
You create your results.
The clients I see getting the best results to show up to coaching with commitment. They may need to work on confidence or clarity, but commitment is imperative. When I started my business I remember saying “This is the only work I could ever be doing, for the rest of my life.” Because I knew this, it really wasn’t about HOW I made it work or WHEN. It essentially was already true, and then I just had to let my results manifest in the physical reality. I decided I would be a world-class coach. So I thought, “What would a world-class coach do?” They would get world-class support, a study from experts, and trust in their difficulties. Consider: How would you write an email to a potential client as a World Class Coach vs. someone uncertain of their work and practice? They would sound very different. Embody the knowing and the results follow.
This work is inherently political.
I went to a coaching retreat in early 2021 where the guest speaker, who was teaching on boundaries, said, “For example, I have a boundary that I don’t talk about politics because, well, frankly, it isn’t that interesting to me, and I don’t know enough about it.” I subsequently dropped out of the program and got a refund. If you don’t think this work is inherently political…you are spiritually bypassing. If you believe we are all one human race, yet feel disinclined to educate yourself on the disparities within that race, you are blatantly ignoring things that impact your clients’ well-being, as well as your own. If you are in this work to heal the world (which you should be, because otherwise, it is really inauthentic to be a healer) you need to understand what is happening in the world…not just in your meditations or plant medicine ceremonies.
Coaches need coaches.
To anyone who thinks coaching is a pyramid scheme of coaches selling coaching to other coaches, DON’T get a coach. 🙂 To quote Simone Seol “That’s like saying therapists should not see therapists and physicians shouldn’t see physicians.” Before I had a coach I had anxious attachment issues that prevented me from trusting any partner I let into my life, and led me to self-sabotage every relationship I would acquire. Before coaching, the upper limit I had set for my value and my earning ability was capped by a gross and suffocating example laid out by capitalist patriarchy. Before coaching I was addicted to hustling. Before coaching I was so attached to my story that I felt I was a victim to my life. After coaching I have my ideal schedule, home, partner, salary, clients, free time, and most importantly, relationship with myself. All of that is priceless, and that priceless honor is the work I get to do with others. It is invaluable.
I hope these insights support you in making the most of your own businesses in 2022! In an effort to further support you, I am hosting three classes free workshops this month. Sign up below!
More about Cara:
Cara Kovacs is an intersectional feminist, trauma-informed empowerment coach who radically transforms the lives of her clients through a powerful combination of inherited and studied spiritual and clinical practices. With a background in psychotherapy, Reiki, astrology, feminism, and intuitive healing, she specializes in uncovering and healing the unconscious blocks that keep people from claiming and living in their divine personal power. She facilitates workshops worldwide and coaches private clients who are powerful and passionate about being the change they wish to see in the world.
Website: Cara Kovacs