7 Top Mistakes Business Coaches and Consultants Make

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Top Seven Mistakes Coaches and Consultants Make {+ how to course correct your coaching business with a touch of Feminine Magic}

Building a coaching or consulting business will throw up challenges that are akin to spiritual initiations. If you’re building a business, expect to be thrown up against your deepest limiting beliefs, self-esteem challenges and come face to face with your level of faith and self-belief. It’s the most effective spiritual growth path you could ever undertake. I’m not a huge fan of the word ‘mistake’ but I’m using it in this context to support you to take the easy way forward. Here are the top seven mistakes coaches and consultants make and some ways to course correct so that you can experience greater flow and ease in your coaching and consulting business.

1.Changing your Mind about your Niche

For a multi-passionate woman, the thought of niching down your coaching business to one particular specialty can be agonising. However, the term general life coach, health coach or even business coach these days isn’t enough to attract your ideal client. Choosing your niche is one of the most valuable steps towards attracting paying clients. Are you a life coach who specialises in supporting someone to find their life purpose? Are you a spiritual business coach or a pragmatic business coach? Once you have paying coaching clients, you can then identify where your greatest strengths are. Everything is difficult until it becomes easy so stick with your niche until you’ve gained some valuable experience. If you’re worried about your niche not giving you enough room for growth, think of it as your ‘front door’ and remember that you can offer your other passions and gifts once your client has grown to know, like and trust you. Changing niches can be a self-sabotaging program and it can also be a convenient way of distracting yourself from getting clients and having sales conversations. Sometimes, a change in niche is necessary to move your business forward and sometimes it’s a big energy drain that distracts you from doing what you came into your business to do – change lives.

2. Not focusing enough on multiple streams of income

Creating several ways of bringing income into your business, is not only desirable, it’s actually essential. If you’re relying on your primary income coming from one-to-one clients then I highly recommend supplementing your one-to-one income with other offerings such as workshops, speaking gigs, groups or courses. Most successful coaching and consulting businesses are leveraged to include a variety of sources of income. This way, you never have to rely on one-to-one clients being your only source of income and you never have to take on a client who really doesn’t fit your ideal client criteria. I’m also a firm believer in the power of a regular gig that complements your coaching business, such as working in sales and marketing or offering your services through a not-for-profit or business that shares your value system. One of the biggest mistakes many coaches make is that they think there’s only one way to build their business (usually it’s to start with one on one clients and leverage to groups). The best way to build a coaching business is the way that best fits with your personal needs – whether you’re a parent, a sole provider (like me), a traveler or a stay at home mum.

3. Not using both offline and online strategies to get clients

In the early days of creating and building a coaching business, it’s a common desire to want to build everything online and then to wonder why there’s no ease and flow of clients and opportunity. I’m a big believer in showing up in your local community, contributing to people in your everyday life, generating a sense of place and personability with the people in your world and engaging in a variety of life experiences so that your online presence is infused with real-life goodness, variety, and vitality. Creating a 100% online business is entirely possible but if you’re sitting behind a computer all day every day, it can have the effect of reducing your joy and vitality (unless you’re massively introverted and don’t mind being holed up in an office all day – there’s nothing wrong with this if it works for you). Go out into the world and add value and be of service (even in unspoken and unacknowledged ways) and watch this dial up the good karma in the form of increased opportunities and increased client enquiries.

4. Not defining your ideal client.

When you’re writing blog posts and sharing your marketing for your business, the question is always – ‘how will this content serve my ideal client?’ Yet, not defining, or changing your ideal client and her demographics can lead to a confused message about your service and what you actually provide. Be as specific as possible about your ideal client – her age, likes, dislikes, pain-points and specific tastes – and give him/or her a name, which allows you to speak to her directly. The content you write will resonate because it speaks directly to the heart of a person. Helping him or her to solve a problem is where the true magic in marketing enters. What’s personal is universal. Don’t worry that this approach might eliminate a large portion of potential people. So many coaches and consultants worry that if they focus on an ideal client avatar then they’ll miss out on other business. In my experience, the more focused you are, the more likely your message will land deeply in the hearts of your ideal people. Expect an influx of clients of all different ages and demographics who will all say the same thing, ‘something about your message really touched me.’

5. Failing to plan your income and set desired targets.

Failing to plan and set goals for income will create a haphazard approach to cash flow, which never works well for a business to stay in ease and flow. Understanding how many coaching packages you need to sell in order to reach your desired target income is an essential step towards predicting the seemingly unpredictable. Understanding the cycles of flow of income means tracking and paying attention to your numbers. Being able to predict the ebbs and flows means that you have a greater level of awareness about which months of the year will be slower and possibly quieter (in Oz, December/Jan is typically quieter for service based business).  You can plan your holidays for the quieter times and save for a rainy day when the months are full and abundant. You can ensure you don’t try and hold workshops when people are typically saving for Christmas or recovering from it. And you can plan to dial up your other income sources when the one-to-one is quiet.

Business Coaches

6. Not understanding how to make a sale

Once of the ickiest, most challenging aspects for heart-centred women in coaching and consulting businesses is making sales. Selling is an art-form and forces you to come face to face with any self-esteem and self-belief limitations you might have. One of the most important things to remember about the sales process is that it is actually a service to your client. If your sales process is designed around serving your client to make a decision about their best way forward, then you’ve actually supported them and given them something highly valuable – whether they ever sign up to coach with you or not.  I see many heart-centred women creating business cards, designing websites, writing articles and then wondering why they don’t have clients. You need to focus on having valuable sales conversations in order to have a full practice of clients. I’m a big believer in focussing on getting really, really competent at selling – which means creating a coaching program or process which you can sincerely ‘hand on heart’ say is worth every cent (and more) than what your client pays for. Having an amazing product or service combined with learning the art-form of sales is the key to a thriving coaching and consulting business. If you love your coaching packages and you’ve seen the power of your coaching or services at work transforming lives, it becomes so much easier to engage in sales. So get extraordinary at what you do and learn the art of sales to go with it. It’s a magical combination.

7. Not balancing your feminine and masculine energies

Masculine energy is all about being outward focussed – on getting visible, giving value and making things happen. I write a lot about this in my book ‘Healing the Heart of Your Business – sustainable success for heart-centred women’. If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a coach or consultant, it usually means that your masculine and feminine energies are out of balance. It can mean that you’ve been pushing out into the world with too much masculine energy, and that you need to lean back, recline, be, and allow your magnetism to work. It can also mean that you’ve been too much in your feminine, which is a very cyclic and internally focussed energy. It can also mean a lot of procrastination and navel gazing without progress. Many spiritual coaches can spend a lot of time in their feminine, not building the pragmatic, masculine structures that are required to hold a strong presence in the marketplace. To course correct, with a touch of feminine magic, I recommend you write up a schedule sprinkled with self-care time. Schedule your sales and marketing, your client care and your ‘doing’ time. Then make sure that when your self-care is scheduled, you work on the fine art of ‘beingness.’ Another way to honour the feminine is to get help. Reclining and receiving support is powerful, just make sure you choose the right person and the best coach for you and your particular business.

Building a coaching and service-based business is one of the most fulfilling and exciting endeavours you’ll ever be called to. Become the spiritual warrior and stare down the limitations like a true lady boss!



Lisa Fitzpatrick

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spiritual business coach


A spiritual business and women's leadership coach. Here I discuss the art of feminine leadership and sacred success.

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