#222: Overcome the 5 Most Common Health Coach Challenges

Simone C. posted in our Facebook group: “Sometimes I feel like I’m on an island….my family thinks I’m mostly nuts for caring about what foods I eat.” She’s not alone! Listen to today’s episodes for help around this, and 4 other common challenges health coaches face. And register for our FREE end-of-year workshop at HealthCoachPower.com/2023.

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5 Common Health Coach Business Challenges – and What To Do About Them

Starting a health coaching business comes with some of the same challenges as starting any other type of business – like maintaining profitability. But it also has some unique challenges specific to being a health enthusiast.

It’s exactly why I started the Health Coach Power Community Facebook group nine years ago, for support and camaraderie.

Here are five common challenges health coaches face – and what to do about them. (I’ve experienced every single one in my own practice!)

1. Imposter syndrome

I don’t know enough. I need more credentials. No one will take me seriously. 

Does this sound familiar?

It’s hard to be a beginner and believe in yourself. It’s hard for your closest friends and family to change how they see you, too.

One solution? Stop trying to get your friends and family to take your new role as a health coach seriously. Meet new people! Talk to strangers. Let them get to know you as the health coach you are today– not as their neighbor or former accountant.

It’s a bit counterintuitive but when someone is introduced to you as a health coach they are more likely to believe you can help them. 

2. Finding clients

One of the keys to attracting clients is to communicate the value of health coaching– yes, in what you say, but also in who you are. We just talked about this on the podcast (Episode 221, Likability– the X factor for client attraction).

You want people to see you as a shining example of what your work can accomplish – not as a hot mess who can’t get her own life together.

When you meet potential clients, are you walking the walk? Putting your best appearance and energy out there? Do they aspire to be like you? That is magnetic– and it will attract more clients. 

Another very important solution to finding clients is to get out there and intentionally promote yourself. (I’ll be teaching all the details of how to do this in my upcoming free workshop Make 2023 Your Most Profitable Year Yet.)

3. Paying the bills

I’ll bet one of your business goals for the next year involves making money, right?  And this is another big struggle for a lot of health coaches.

Even if you have clients – are you earning enough to cover a roof over your head, food on your table, and maybe even a vacation once in a while? Can you live comfortably? Is your income consistent?

If your answer is “not really”…think about alternate income streams. You have private coaching, sure. But how else can you earn? Do you have a group program? Sell a product?

I’ll be sharing about four practical ways to increase your income – including multiple income streams – in my planning workshop this December (sign up at healthcoachpower.com/2023).

4. Tech hangups

Nothing seems to hang up new health coaches faster than a tech glitch. Learning a new tool? Trying to edit a video? You can spend a whole day on this stuff, cursing the fact that you don’t have your own personal IT guy on staff.

When you don’t have the resources of a large organization behind you, the answer is usually to just do it a simpler way and stop banging your head against the wall. 

Can’t figure out the fancy online scheduler? Just suggest some potential meeting times for your client the old fashioned way. You don’t have to make everything perfect, polished, and professional right out of the gate. People did business before the internet – and it worked. 

When you get stuck in a spiral of “I have to figure this out”, ask yourself: 

What if I don’t? 

Find an easier way and keep going.

5. Loneliness

Last week, Simone posted something in the Health Coach Power Community Facebook group that really struck a chord: 

“Sometimes I feel like I’m on an island. My family thinks I’m mostly nuts for caring about what foods I eat, and friends don’t usually wanna talk about my favorite wellness blogs or latest research release. All that to ask if any of you are in Orange County, California and might wanna grab a coffee one day…”

Simone, I feel you! Most of us work at home, alone, with no coworkers and no one to show us the ropes. And we feel like we’re the only one who cares about food, nutrition or living a healthy lifestyle. It can be isolating.

This is why I started the Health Coach Power Community Facebook group nine years ago – and why we have nearly 13,000 members today. It’s why we have the podcast, and the blog, and the events and live workshops I put on. It helps us connect so we don’t feel so alone.
Health coaches, you don’t have to face these challenges by yourself! Register for my free 2023 planning workshop this December at healthcoachpower.com/2023. And thank you so much for being part of this community!


Full transcript:

Well, hello there, health coaches. I hope you're enjoying this holiday season. I took my boys to see this very cool Christmas lights thing that goes on in our neighborhood last night. That was fun. We've been baking cookies, we've been watching Christmas movies. I was tearing up watching Elf the other night. I don't know why, I've seen the movie like a million times, but I suppose the holidays can be an emotional time of year, and maybe that's why I was drawn to a post in our Facebook group from Simone this week. I'm going to tell you what she wrote. She said, sometimes I feel like I'm on an island. My family thinks I'm mostly nuts for caring about what foods I eat, and friends don't usually wanna talk about my favorite wellness blogs or latest research release. All that to ask if any of you are in Orange County, California and might wanna grab a coffee one day.

Simone, we feel you. If you're here with me live, tell me in the chat, have you felt this way? Like an island, you're the only one of your friends and family who cares about any of this stuff. Nobody else wants to talk about it. Please. I started my first blog. Oh my gosh, it was like 2006 because my boyfriend now ex-husband didn't wanna hear me talk about flaxseed anymore. He really, he was like, why don't you tell somebody who cares? Simone, I totally feel you. Now, typically I find myself talking about marketing and about coaching skills, but truly, I think this is one of the greatest challenges that comes with being a health coach. It's this very specific type of loneliness. So again, if you're here with me, live on Instagram, over on Facebook, tell us, have you experienced this kind of, I'm an island, I'm the only one sort of feeling.

Today I wanna talk about five common challenges that we face as health coaches, including this idea of feeling like we're all alone. But I do have five all challenges and obstacles that I've personally experienced, I assure you, over the past 13 years. But first, I wanna give a big shout out to Abby K Hand, who left this five star review on Apple Podcast. She said, hugely helpful. I've just started listening to Health Coach Power and so many other coaches. I've completely gone down the rabbit hole. The information is incredibly useful. The show is succinct and to the point, and Michelle is fun and engaging. I've been coaching for four years and I wish I'd had this info from the beginning. Abby, we're so glad that you finally found us. What took you so long? We've been around for four years. I have a little thank you gift to send your way just for taking the time for leaving a review. It really helps us to reach more coaches. Please send your mailing address to support@healthcoachpower.com and just reference this episode. And for everybody listening, your reviews on Apple podcasts mean the world. We wanna try to get people before they're four years into their business. And if you take a minute to write one, maybe I'll read yours on the air next week.

Okay. So, what are the common challenges that health coaches are up against? I bet you have a laundry list. Go ahead. Tell me what they are. I asked when I was advertising that we were going to be doing this episode together and I got a whole bunch of comments, all different challenges that you guys are facing.

Here's what I think. Again, this is not like a research-based scientific study. This is just me interacting with health coaches for the past decade plus. I think first and foremost, the challenge that we face is this fear that we aren't enough, that we don't know enough, that we don't have enough knowledge, we don't have enough credentials. Who's going to take me seriously? I'm just a health coach. In other words, imposter syndrome, if that's you, just say me in the chat over on Instagram or here on Facebook if you've been feeling that imposter syndrome. It's funny because when I graduated from college, way back when I got my first job, I don't remember feeling, so self-conscious. I felt new and I was. I understood that I had a lot to learn. But you know what? That just felt normal. It felt expected. And I was thinking that maybe because health coaches tend to be a little bit older.

Typically were not 21, 22 years old just starting out. Maybe it's a second career. Maybe we're not used to thinking of ourselves as being brand new. So it's hard. It's hard to have that mindset of being a newbie. And my suggestion for you is to stop trying to get your friends and family to take you seriously. Start talking to perfect strangers. I'm serious because they don't have any preconceived ideas about who you are. And this is going to make it easier to step into your new role. I became a health coach 13 years ago. I still think to this day, some of my friends and family members think it's a joke, but strangers like legit, perfect strangers will trust you, will hire you, we'll pay you good money and let you help them change their lives. So go meet new people. I think that is the best way to get around this problem.

Tell me in the chat if you've been experiencing imposter syndrome and is it coming very much from the people around you who are like, you're doing what now? You're what kind of coach? Oh, that's cute. Never helpful, never, ever helpful. Okay, Jennifer's over here in the chat. Chat. And Katie's here, she says, absolutely. Jennifer says, totally agree. Oh my gosh, I know we've all been there.

Let's move on to the next one. The next challenge that health coaches face is, and I know because you guys post this in the Facebook group, just every single week we get posts like this. I need help finding clients. I need more clients. This is not unrelated to my previous point. You need to meet people and talk to people who are being introduced to you as a health coach, not as so-and-so who used to be an accountant, not as so-and-so's mom, not as the lady who lived next door for the past 20 years.

You have to be introduced to someone. Their first impression of you is that you are a health coach and they're just going to immediately believe that and not second guess it. Learn how to communicate the value of coaching so you can speak with these people and walk your talk. Nobody wants to hire a coach who looks like a hot mess or who acts like a hot mess. Last week on the podcast, we talked about likability as the X factor to success. You want to be a shining example of what your work can accomplish. That is magnetic. Think about your energy levels. Think about how you look someone in the eye and connect with them and make them feel warm and cozy all over, right? This is magnetism and clients want some of that healthy glow that you have going on. I'm not talking about it mattering exactly what size clothes you wear or how many pounds you can lift at the gym.

I don't mean that in your attitude, in your energy, right? They wanna hire someone that they wanna be like. So, if you need help getting clients, think about that. And the last thing that I'm safer now about this whole getting clients thing is you can't wait for them to come knock on your door. I don't know about you, but no clients have actually knocked on my door this morning. You need to be out there promoting yourself throughout the year. And this is something that I'm going to be teaching in my upcoming workshop. So I wanna remind you that this is coming up. It's called Make 2023, your most profitable year yet. You should definitely register to join us. It is completely free, and you can go get yourself signed up right now with that healthcoachpower.com/2023.

Now, on that note, , what do we wanna do in 2023? Hopefully earn something. Earn more than we did in 2022. Yes, making enough money. Well, that's another big challenge for health coaches. That is right up there. Even if you have clients, right? Do you have enough clients to create a substantial income to put a roof over your head, to put food on the table, to pay the bills to live comfortably so that you can continue health coaching? Do you have enough clients to do that? And do you have enough clients on a consistent basis? Do you have alternate income streams? Anyone? How many income streams do you have right now? Do a quick calculation in your head. You're selling private coaching. Do you have some sort of group program? Boom, boom, boom. Just put a number in the chat. It would be interesting to know this. I'm sure you've done the math at some point. I wanna help you with that math because there are actually four very practical ways to increase your income.

And again, I'm going to be sharing all about those in our workshop at the end of the month. I know it is holiday time, but that week between Christmas and New Year's, it tends to be fairly quiet. So, I hope you will join us again, that's at healthcoachpower.com/2023 and learn how to make 2023 your most profitable year yet. I'm going to share those four practical ways to increase your income. TMdelame over here on Instagram, such as five income streams. Hey, that's great. Sometimes coaches say to me, I don't have any income streams. You have to know that you have at least one if you went to school to become a health coach, you know can sell private coaching. That's the basis. So, if you have one that's that's where you're starting out, that's great. Most health coaches find that it is helpful to have more than one.

Do you need five? Not necessarily do you need 20? No. But you need a handful in order to bring your income up to where you want it. All right, we're going to move on to number four in terms of the challenges that health coaches are facing. I'm just going to say this one comes up an awful lot. Tech skills, oh my God, nothing will hang a health coach up faster than a tech problem. Do you feel me? What is a tech thing that is hanging you up right now? Are you learning a new tool? Are you having trouble editing that video? Just this morning I was like fussing around on Instagram and I remember when I was first starting out, I could spend an entire day trying to figure something out on my website and cursing that I didn't have an IT guy on staff.

I mean, when I used to work in advertising, we had the whole IT department, you had any pro problems at all. You couldn't print something, computer wasn't work, whatever. There was always someone to lean on. And I was so mad that I didn't have that anymore. Cuz when you're a health coach, you're working mostly by yourself, right? You're like me, I work from home, I work by myself. This is it. This is the whole staff. There's nobody behind me. No, I do have people on my team, but none of them are in the same room with me and I certainly do not have an IT department. Now listen, sometimes, oh Taisha says that she has been struggling with YouTube videos. You could probably spend a week of your life trying to figure out some relatively minor thing about YouTube videos. There are bits of technology that are worth learning for sure.

So for example and for those of you that are HPU members inside Healthy Profit University's core curriculum, we teach you how to use an email service. We teach you how to set up a domain email address, right? There are some bits and pieces that you're going to need to learn, but by and large, I'm just going to solve this for you, Keisha, I hope this helps. The solution to tech problems is just do it. Whatever it is, do it in a more simple way. Just don't do it that way. You know what I mean? You can't figure out the videos, you can't figure out your online scheduler and you just make an appointment over email the old-fashioned way. That also works. And so often we just get ourselves into a spin where we're like, I have to figure this out. I have to make this perfect and professional.

I have to do this the way I've seen other people do it. You don't figure out how to register people for an event, just have them email you or use invite . Use something that you're familiar with. It's so easy to get caught up in wanting everything to look perfectly polished all the time. And this has to do, I believe with this online world that we live in of filters and everything is perfectly edited and we rehearse taking a selfie 47 times before we actually post anything. You can't let that perfectionism stand in your way cuz then you end up doing nothing at all. So my advice and Taisha saying, oh, it's getting real simple over here. Keep it simple like Taisha. Yes. Remember, people have been doing business on this planet since long before the internet and long before social media. Have any of you ever run a business pre-internet?

Any anybody old like me, anybody , maybe even before computers? Certainly before social media. When I started my health coaching business, social media just barely existed. So, I definitely remember doing business without all of this tech. The point is, even if you can't remember it, even if you weren't there, businesses have been going on for hundreds and hundreds of years and making money and doing just fine. You don't need any of that stuff to be out there doing the work of a health coach and changing lives. So whenever you get caught up in a web of, I gotta figure this out, just remember, maybe you don't. What if I didn't figure this out? What if I just didn't spend the time here? Sue is saying yes, old . No biz pre-internet though. Yeah, we have to go back pretty darn far to be pre-internet. But there was when we still had a phone, like a real phone on the desk that wasn't a cell phone. Anybody remember those days? You had to press like star nine to get out. Some of you remember business was going on. So just how could, what if I didn't do it this way? What if I just did it in a much more simple way and got over this hump and kept going?

So again, this is important because we're working alone. We can't possibly know everything. And it's very hard sometimes to hire out for a very specific little tech problem. We're usually at home, usually buy ourselves. We don't have peers, we don't have anybody else to show us the ropes or a coworker in the cubicle next door, and I'm just going to put this out there. We do tend to be different. Are you different? I think I am different than a lot of my friends and family and certainly acquaintances around town. We are people with ideals. We wanna feel a certain way. We have a vision for how we want our life to be, how we want the world to be. We have standards for ourselves, for our health, for the food that we buy, for the products that we buy for our families. I wanna tell you this, I have not won any popularity contests for repeatedly asking my kids elementary school to get rid of cupcakes for birthdays.

I just don't think they have to have cupcakes in the classroom every couple weeks, somebody's birthday throughout the entire year. I just don't think they need to be there. Anybody? But at the school, nobody wants to hear that . It's really not winning me any friends, when I'm at the grocery store, running into friends that can be awkward, they immediately start apologizing for what's in their cart. I'm like, I don't care how much Gatorade you drink Kate. And this kind of loneliness. I'm joking about it, but it is the main reason that I started the health coach power community many years ago now. It began with just me and a handful of my health coach friends. But soon so many health coaches were begging to join. I obviously opened it up. We now have nearly 13,000 members because we need peers. We need community. Just like Simone, who by the way, if anybody is in Orange County, California, you gotta get in touch with Simone.

You can find her in our Facebook group. We need friends that understand why we don't put plastic in the dishwasher. I don't think single person in my life gets that. We need friends that know the horror of accidentally hitting send on an email to your entire list before it was ready. And we need friends that know what it's like to work with a client who just isn't making progress. So that's why we're here. That's why we are all here together. That's why I, I'm, if I think back, it's gotta be about nine years that our Facebook group has been in existence. This podcast has been going for, oh, I'm going to say five years now and this is why I also run events throughout the year to connect with you and allow you to connect with each other. Like this upcoming workshop that we're doing.

Again, I know it's the holidays. So you're going to get this workshop in five easy to watch parts. They're not going to be live. You don't have to show up anywhere because I know there's travel and things like that. But I am going to be with you in the Facebook group that week every day to digest the content of that day's workshop segment and put it into practice with my guidance. So you're going to join us cuz this is one of these ways that we can connect. We cannot feel so alone. That's why I do a lot of live stuff with you throughout the year. It is always more fun when we're together. Erica says, 100% agree. I was sick and tired of working by myself. That's why this whole community came into existence. Yes, I know some things about business and marketing. Yes, I have a background in advertising. Yes, I've been doing this work for so long, I have a lot to share with you. But really this all started because I missed having a water cooler to shoot the shit and hang out and gossip a little and share knowledge and make friends. It is, like I said, always more fun when we do this work together.

So, register for free for our end of the year workshop at healthcoachpower.com/2023. I wanna thank you so much for being part of this community and I will see you next week. Take care everybody. Bye-bye.