One week in, and I’m still a white belt. This could be a bit tougher than I thought! Just kidding. Today I want to talk about getting to white belt - how I got to the starting line.
My practice started 10 years ago. I was working at Accenture as a business consultant, and was rising up through the ranks. Got to travel a bit, and work on some pretty cool projects, but at the end of the day was unfulfilled. I was working on big projects that didn’t really matter - if Citipower didn’t get a new billing system, or Dulux didn’t get a new sales channel to their trade painters, so what.
I decided to leave, and was working with a business coach to work out what I wanted to be when I grew up. At that time I ran into an old friend who was telling me about his business. I made a couple of suggestions, and told him he needed a business coach. You’re right - do you know anyone he asked. He became my first client.
The first six months were really tough. I had never trained as a coach, had never run a business, was 27 years old and had one client. I was calling people out of the phone book, knocking on doors, and getting lots of no’s. I remember making $400 in the sixth month of my practice.
Luckily my second six months went a lot better, and I started to get some referrals from the couple of clients I did have, and it started to snowball. By the end of my first year I was up to a six figure income. Doesn’t sound much in the context of black belt to white belt, but was better than 91% of coaches in the market according to the stats.
I was coaching people to grow their businesses, so of course that’s what I did myself - grow my business. My own practice, (my coaching), stayed at white belt, but I started to add other people into the business.
I tried franchising, and spent a lot of money and a lot of time working out that franchising was definitely not the model I wanted to use to grow. I then employed other coaches, and grew the team to ten people. We had a beautiful office, full time admin support, lots of over heads ... and lots of stress.
The business was called Love Your Business (www.loveyourbusiness.com). A little over a year ago, I was sitting on a beach, in Bali on a 10 day holiday (because that was about the most time the business could survive without me). I realised I wasn’t loving my own business. I was working 6 days a week, stressed, and constantly running around making sure there was enough work and enough money for everyone.
I decided to go back from a business to a practice. I gave up the office, my PA, let the team all go and find their own path, kept the half a dozen clients I wanted to work with, and came full circle back to my own practice. Although this time around it was set up so that I can run it from anywhere. Here I am in Hawaii:
And I just got back from two months in Bali in February. My coaching practice now only takes a day a week, which gives me time for the other activities and modalities that will take me to black belt.
So that’s how I came full circle back to my practice, and how I got to white belt ready to launch to black belt in 365 days.