How To Create A Joyful, Sustainable Six-Figure Coaching Business

Whether you're just starting or are an established coach, you're looking to create a business that is both profitable and joyful. You'll find plenty of advice on growing client sales and income that will also leave you feeling frustrated, burned out, and wondering why you became a coach in the first place. If that resonates with you, read on to learn another way.

Many coaches arrive in this industry from long careers in which they have developed strong expertise. With nearly 48 million Americans quitting their jobs in 2021 (via CNBC), it's not surprising that many highly qualified professionals have pivoted into coaching to find meaning, help others, and ideally make a great living from their new careers.

From Corporate To Coaching The Stressful Reality

Bringing their knowledge and experience from the corporate world into their coaching business, driven and motivated newbies hit the ground running. It's possible to make upwards of six figures in your first year when you're confident in your knowledge, able to nail your marketing and can handle the pressure of creating client results.
 Sounds good, right? So what's the catch?!
Alas, the ride is not always so smooth, even for the most outwardly successful coaches. Burnout is becoming an epidemic within the industry and appears to be often experienced by the most driven and high-achieving coaches.

Defined as 'physical and mental exhaustion, a sense of dread about work, and frequent feelings of cynicism, anger, or irritability' by Psychology Today, burnout often follows a period of extreme effort driven by extremely high expectations.

As a high-achieving woman pivoting from a 20-year career as an Advertising Agency Director into Business Coaching, I started by transferring my productivity skills and CEO-style strategizing into an offer for struggling new coaches stuck in their workflow processes.

While client sales were growing, my enthusiasm and energy were going in the opposite direction. The clients I served needed my expertise, but I felt drained and de-energized at the end of each session. Combined with a stressful launch that ran right through the holidays (my three daughters and baffled husband were not amused), within eight months of launching my business, I was in tears, burned out, and ready for change.

It feels like you're doing everything right, but simply replicating the person you were in your corporate job can result in:

  • Over-delivering, over-efforting, over-proving

  • Attracting energy-draining clients

  • Experiencing exhaustion, frustration, and burnout

The Experience Trap Most Ex-Corporate Coaches Fall Into

So why do so many ambitious coaches fall into this pattern of extreme effort followed by exhaustion?


I call this the 'Experience Trap,' which stems from an over-reliance on corporate experience as the basis of how you help your clients, creating a business based on a one-dimensional aspect of yourself. And it's exhausting to keep pushing forward when you're not feeling aligned and joyful.


Heart-centered and purpose-driven coaches often find that their personal growth and self-development outstrip their initial coaching specialism. They experience new personal transformations through following mindset or energy modalities but are stuck teaching their original approach. This renders their offers energetically stale, their content uninspired, and their coaching on autopilot. As a result, there's a general malaise in the enthusiasm for their business which manifests as plateaued or stagnated income and an energetic mismatch with clients, which can often go on for more than six months.


How To Avoid The 'Experience Trap'


If your offer is stuck in the past, not reflecting the expansiveness of who you are becoming, you're not alone. As I went through several months of healing from burnout and exploring the divine feminine qualities of intuition and flow, I discovered the two core components which make a coach joyful, profitable, and magnetic to their clients. And this knowledge, once implemented, transformed the energy and results in my business:


Unique Brilliance CLARITY


Unique brilliance is your innate gift, your superpower. It's not necessarily a replica of your corporate work experience but a blend of several personal aspects that make you stand out from the crowd.


I developed my proven Brand EPICS™️ Process, which focuses on five essential pillars so you can align with, express, and activate your gifts.


Experience is the 'E' in the anagram within Brand EPICS™️, also including Pain Points, Interests, Character, and Skills.


The 'joy' in your business, which creates sustainability, is often revealed in the 'Interests' pillar of Brand EPICS, exploring your passions and what lights you up. Unfortunately, so many ex-corporate, high-achieving coaches ignore this pillar ‒ and yet it's the most energizing way to grow your business, incorporating what you love most into your daily work and how you help others.


For me, it was the world of energetics and self-development that had me enthralled. From the moment I stood next to Tony Robbins in 2019 and made the barefoot walk across burning coals, I was hooked. Over the next two years, I was certified in Pranic Healing and breathwork facilitation, excited by spiritual approaches to business that were creating exceptional results. I followed these practices and dived into the Law Of Attraction and Kabbalah. My unique brilliance blended my corporate knowledge of branding and marketing with my passion for spirituality and energetic approaches, creating ease in my business growth.


Unique Brilliance COURAGE


Although I had clarity on how I could add value to the business growth for my clients, going public with my woo-woo messaging took a leap of faith.


"What will my corporate bosses think of me talking about energetics in business?! They'll think I've lost my mind" was one of the kinder things I imagined. In truth, I thought that I would come over as unprofessional. The world of advertising and media I inhabited for nearly two decades valued strong rationale and steely action ‒ the same traits that wore me down. I was risking standing out, and the fear of judgment was palpable. It took me four long months before I even changed my LinkedIn profile to reflect my calling. Finally, I pressed the Enter Key and allowed my truth to be shared online, no matter what the consequences (note: nothing terrible happened, and in reality, I got an outpouring of support for following my own path!).


When I got the courage to be ME online, I started to attract my ideal clients, resonating with those clients that I describe as 'soul-aligned.'


Like me, they are driven and motivated but also deeply spiritual and experimental about energetic approaches to business. Suddenly I was full of energy after every coaching session, and instead of feeling burned out, I was brimming with excitement and enthusiastically creating new offers and content in a flow state.


I infuse my messaging with authenticity and share my truth. From vulnerable shares on my Goals With Soul podcast to each email I send, my unique brilliance IS my messaging and vice versa. And I am finding that more and more established coaches I'm working with are ready to uplevel their joy by finding new levels of clarity in their messaging and courageously including their interests, passions and other Brand EPICS™️ elements into their content and offers.


Are you ready to elevate your messaging?


Your business joy and sustainability depend on your CLARITY and COURAGE in who you are and what you're meant for in this inspiring but crowded coaching world of service, value, and impact.


Take the best of your corporate or work experience into your coaching business, and blend that with your passion and interests to boost your joy levels and attract the clients with whom you most want to work.


The enticing promise of PROFIT AND JOY is available to us when we are ready to stand out in the crowd and make a difference in the world by being authentically ourselves.


Are you interested in exploring YOUR unique brilliance to create authentic brand messaging and elevate your coaching business energy and results? Click here to apply for your FREE Messaging Consultation.


Want to learn more about magnetic brand messaging?


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Read more from Joanna!


Joanna Ingram, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine


Joanna Ingram is a former Advertising Agency Director turned Brand Messaging Activator and Business Coach from London, host of the leading podcast, Goals With Soul, and mum to 3 spirited girls.


She helps visionary coaches find their true voice, embrace their unique brilliance and clarify their authentic messaging so they can sign soul clients, raise their prices and stand out from the crowd in their industry.


Joanna's the trusted leader in activating unique messaging and blends proven brand strategy with energetics (she's a Breathwork Facilitator & Pranic Healer).


As the creator of The Messaging Edge™️ Method, Joanna elevates messaging to magnetize your soul clients. This industry-defining program has been called "Business Therapy" and "Heart-Articulation" by clients who have overcome their fear of judgment and perfectionism to express their truth, increase their visibility and accelerate their impact and income growth.


Joanna's group program, Time To Rise®️, supports female coaches to go from unseen to fully expressed messaging (and making money doing what they love!) within 30-90 days.


Having helped over 200 coaches this year, Joanna is celebrating the joy of sharing her message, and Goals With Soul is now ranked in the top 3% of global podcasts, with listeners from over 55 countries!


Her mission is to champion bold women to break the mold with their individuality and express their uniqueness in business. Joanna's here to guide and inspire you to join the dots between your unique brilliance, content and offers so you can be paid for being yourself.


Right now Joanna is enjoying the freedom to choose how she spends her days (forest walks and creating TikToks with her twins), frequent travel and retreats in Portugal, supercharging her impact, speaking her truth, and coaching her high-vibe clients.


Meet Joanna on Instagram here.


Check out Joanna's Free Messaging Checklist For Coaches here.


Listen To Goals With Soul here.