As a long-time business owner and Health Coach, a lot of students and clients ask me how to grow their coaching business when going through hard times and dealing with personal matters.

If we haven’t connected or met yet, I’m Stacey Morgenstern, co-founder at Health Coach Institute—an avid health and wellness advocate, a new single mother and divorcee, and passionate heart warrior driven by leaving this world a better place than when I came. 

I know it’s been a hard couple years for many of us. 2020 was definitely a weird year for me. I ended my marriage and lost my brother to suicide. Both of these events were devastating. 

On the other hand, Health Coach Institute grew stronger than ever. Carey Peters and I even celebrated our 11th workiversary as co-founders and business partners. 

Trying to build a triumphant business while simultaneously experiencing really hard personal things is a familiar paradox. The truth is it isn’t always smooth, but I also believe this is how we build character. 

5 Key Things Business Owners & Coaches Should Do During Hard Times

Here are 5 key lessons I’ve learned while dancing this paradox of running and growing my health and life coaching business and having to deal with some really difficult personal matters:

  1. Be Compassionate with Your Pace

Give yourself permission to not have it all together. If you can take a step back and focus on healing. Do it. Really do it.

But, don’t stay in bed with the covers pulled up to your chin feeling sorry for yourself — get out in nature everyday. Take baths and long showers. Put a lot of moisturizer on your skin. Write in a journal.

And know this, you are enough. You have always been enough. You will always be enough. You are worthy. You are human. You are love. Love yourself enough to go slower. 

Know that your healing and working through difficult personal matters will only help your coaching business grow long term. Most people are taught to work through it and “be strong” and end up suppressing their feelings and becoming resentful.

This is a great time to practice compassion with yourself and recognize you may need to take a step back and build your business slower, and that’s okay.

  1. Get Professional Support for You and Your Business if You Need It 

Friends can be helpful when we’re going through hard times, but should not replace ongoing professional help. You must protect your mental health and your spirit like your life depends on it. Tight on money? Look up free resources from your health insurance or online. There are many free or reasonably priced resources you can seek out. 

If you have coaching clients to attend to and things you need to keep running in your business, get some part time help with a virtual assistant or let your clients know you are taking a week or two off and you need to push out your session. People are usually always understanding as long as you communicate with them. 

Do what it takes to take care of your mental health. Your future self will thank you.

  1. Double Down on Your Physical Health.

When we’re going through personal hardship, it takes an enormous amount of energy so you’ve got to build your reserves. Take 100% responsibility for this. I got a puppy in 2020. If you knew me, you’d know that I was not a dog person! It turns out, it was the best thing I ever did for my mental and physical health. I don’t take Lulu for walks, she takes me for walks, daily. I’m in better physical shape at 46 than I was at 36. 

When you are emotionally down, you may not feel like moving your body, do it anyway, get your blood circulating, it is vital for getting out from the undertow of woe. 

If you feel inclined to, share your journey through social media. The highs and lows. This can be a good outlet for people and can actually often draw the right coaching clients to you since it shows that you’re human and not “perfect”. 

Use your story and hardship as a time to share what’s happening in your life as a health and life coach or entrepreneur and what tools you are using to cope and get through it.

  1. Lean Into Community

It’s vulnerable to let ourselves be seen, witnessed and held through our personal challenges. We don’t want to burden people with our problems, but to be witnessed is to be loved. Surround yourself with people who will lovingly hold you through your mess,  and see you anew when you’re ready to reinvent yourself. This is why so many of us are drawn to health coaching. We get to be in the conversation of transformation and reinvention, first for ourselves, then for others. One key lesson I’ve learned is that transformation happens in community, not isolation. Lean in. 

If you’re already a health and life coach with Health Coach Institute then you know the power of the community and support you get as a student from thousands of others working to grow their business too…

If you don’t have a community you can go to, join an online group through Facebook (there are tons of free ones if you search) or look for events in your area to get the support you need. You usually don’t have to look far to find others who are going through the same thing as you or have been there, and who want to help.

  1. When Things Are Hard, Focus on Service

When we’re faced with really hard personal things, most of us feel like we have nothing to give. With some experimentation, I had a surprising revelation that I have since shared with many of my clients: 

When you feel lost, focus on service, and you’ll find missing pieces of yourself. 

How? Coach people whether you are being paid or not. Yes, you may want and need to make money and guess what? Money is a natural consequence of being of service. 

Pour into the people around you. Countless times I wanted to cancel coaching sessions with clients because I was emotionally overwhelmed by my own life. What I’ve learned by showing up is that from the humbling hard times, you have more to give than you realize. 

Plus, we often attract clients who need the very thing we are also healing within ourselves. This is not an accident! Focus on service and you will find yourself giving insights to others that you also need for your own healing. 

Keep serving and you will experience a triumph in your giving that will give you strength to face the hard things.

Lastly, when you are in the burn of rupture in your life, start to see it as an initiation rather than just hardship. You are building character. Let that fuel your business. This is how we dance the paradox of growing a triumphant coaching business while handling really hard personal pain. 

In the words of Glennon Doyle, “We can do hard things.” 

Love, 

Stacey

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