When I started my coaching practice, there were a lot of things that I didn’t want people to know about me. A lot of stuff that was out of my control that I thought would keep people from working with me. So, I did my best to keep those things a secret. But, in doing so, I actually prevented people from wanting to work with me.
Let me tell you a story.
When I started my life coaching practice, I didn’t want people to know that I grew up not having a lot of money. My mom and dad did the best they could when I was little, but the stress of not having enough money showed in subtle ways.
I used to be really ashamed about it too. We didn’t have the money to do the things other families could do. So much so that when I was young, I imagined what being rich was like. To live in a castle, have people who did everything for me, and have so much money that I could get anything. That was my definition of rich as a kid.
As I grew up, I did a good job of hiding the fact that we were broke. I’d opt out of expensive field trips in school, go last in the lunch line so that none of my friends could see that I had reduced lunch, and avoid having friends over because I was embarrassed about where and how we lived.
This didn’t end when I became a teenager and eventually started college. Nope, my fucked up relationship with money stayed with me well into my late twenties.
Because what I learned as a child was that money is tight. It takes a lot of work to come by. It’s hard to manage. And only certain people have it.
And that, my friend, was the truth I lived by for almost 30 years.
And, boy, oh boy, did my life show it.
I took shit jobs that paid shit money.
I drove a busted Toyota.
I was in debt like mad.
Like belly up.
It got so bad at one point that I had precisely one day to come up with my rent before I was taken to court and evicted. Oh, and they had the papers filed and everything.
It was like this rain cloud from my childhood kept following me. And it sure as shit did as long as I kept believing everything I’d internalized as the truth as a kid.
I had to get to the breaking point before considering alternatives to the situation I created.
And that meant working through my guilt and shame about growing up poor.
I had to face the reality that, yes, I did grow up in a family without a lot of money, but I didn’t have to stay that way.
I could change. I knew it; I just had to figure it out.
I had big ass dreams of being very wealthy. Being able to have whatever I wanted and help others in ways I currently couldn’t.
So, I started reading.
I read everything I could about money.
I started with a rather depressing read written for millennials with shit tons of student debt (that was me, btw). While it had a lot of great ideas, it wasn’t my cup of tea.
I didn’t want to invest or save.
Shit, I didn’t have enough money to pay my bills. Htf was I going to save or invest?
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So, I kept digging and stumbled across a little gem that changed my life. It was Jen Sincero’s You’re a Badass book (yellow cover). And it changed my FUCKING life!
I’m talking like it was the swift kick in the ass I needed.
Because it got me thinking about my life.
I started questioning everything. Considering new things. And taking massive leaps into the unknown, hoping that that shit worked.
That she wasn’t selling me another pipe dream. I could trust her and that my life could turn around too.
And guess what. It DID.
I went from seeing myself as a broke loser who would never have money to someone who made a lot of money.
And, funny enough, I’ve quadrupled my income over the last four years.
And my life has changed because of it.
So, why am I sharing this with you?
Because I had to get over the shame and guilt I had about being poor growing up.
I had to let go of this part of myself. This part of my identity was obsessed with making no money, staying broke, and barely scraping by.
And now, I can share the very same circumstances that kept me stuck, poor, and unhappy with other people without feeling ashamed about it.
To succeed and grow as a life coach, you must be willing to examine the ugly stories you’re holding onto.
You have to be willing to do the work to change your identity, and this is especially true when you’re starting out.
You’ll feel like a fraud, that someone will discover that your life isn’t perfect and not want to work with you.
But that’s normal. You don’t have to be perfect to be a life coach, and you certainly don’t have to have your shit together before you start getting paying clients.
But you do have to start living like a life coach. Doing the things life coaches do, including being mindful of your thoughts, beliefs, and identity.
This included no longer buying into all the shitty beliefs I had about money.
Would a successful life coach who makes six figures a year believe such a thing?
No. So, I had to start believing in something new to reach six figures in my business.
So I started playing around with the idea of being incredibly filthy rich. What if I had lots of money? What would I do with it? Who could I help?
From there, I started doing small things to move me in that direction. I started reading more about money and how to manage it; I worked with a not-for-profit and enrolled in a debt management program to pay off the massive amount of debt I’d amassed. I started working with a coach to identify and work through all the little thoughts and beliefs, like the one I shared with you above, so I could one day be a six-figure coach.
And guess what? Things started to change around here. I took control of my money and coaching business and started growing and saving.
It didn’t happen overnight; things are still a work in progress.
The point here is that to grow as a new coach, you have to be willing to give up the old stories about what’s possible for you. You can’t let your past dictate the trajectory of your life right now.
You have to get in the trenches, do the work to identify all the not-so-great things you believe and think about yourself, and then determine if they’re moving you forward or standing in your way.
Do this enough, and you will see a massive change in your life and business.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep at it, it will change who you are and what you’ll accomplish as a coach and online entrepreneur.