There are plenty of videos out there about how to start a wellness business, and they provide some good ideas. But many of these “how to” videos gloss over the fact that it’s not easy. It’s not smooth. You will struggle – at least we sure have since we started our health & wellness business back in 2007. So instead of launching into the “how” components, we thought it would be more helpful to get you off on the right foot by encouraging you to dig into your why. If you’re already crystal clear on your why, then you may want to skip this one and jump over to some of the videos we have on the coaching channel covering various aspects of that topic.
I’m Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute. Suzanna and I started our health & wellness business centered on coaching back in 2007 and have had the privilege to serve hundreds of thousands of individuals since then. But back in 2007 we – or at least I – was scared and felt a lot of uncertainty about the future and where we were headed. The company I worked for as a Physical Therapist and Regional Vice President of Operations had just sold our division to a competitor, resulting in layoffs of 27 VPs. I was one of those 27 who was told on the weekend of my 40th birthday “we don’t need you anymore.”
Starting a health & wellness business had not been a lifelong dream and we didn’t have a business plan sitting in the filing cabinet waiting for launch. Nope – nothing of the sort. I was at a complete loss. Numbed by the news. We were grateful for the severance package provided, but it required I not manage physical therapy clinics, which had been the focus of my career up to that point. So there we were – entering our 40’s with 3 young kids & a mortgage but no job, no plan, and no going back to what I knew best professionally.
That inability to continue down the current path turned out to be an immense blessing. It pushed us to reflect deeply on the “Why’s” that would drive our next steps. I’ll talk through a couple of those, but where are you right now in your career journey? Are you simply doing what you’ve always done because it’s “ok” or “fine” – even if it’s not all that great? Are you waiting for the perfect moment or that point in time when you can see 3 steps ahead before you launch? It’s easy for me to say this now because we didn’t have any other choice but to move forward back in 2007. Perhaps as you reflect on your own “Why,” it will light a fire that’s hot enough to burn through the excuses for staying with the status quo. We got an extra push through the layoff, but a clear “why” can be exactly what many people need to move forward from “maybe someday” to “let’s do this!”
A big part of our “why” was – and continues to be- our family. Our kids were 7, 9 and 11 and we wanted to be engaged parents in a way traditional corporate life didn’t exactly facilitate. Having a positive influence through our work and the opportunity to nourish our own personal health & wellness were also important aspects that lead us to start our health & wellness business focusing on coaching back in 2007, and we launched our company 28 days after the lay-off. Revisiting those why’s regularly since that time have helped keep us on track when times got tough. And, it made it easy to say “no thank you” when we’re approached regularly by investors or venture capitalists that may have brought significant funding and growth to our business, but not the lifestyle we had identified as part of our “Why.”
It hasn’t been an easy road. Yes – we launched the company 28 days later, which sounds cool. But the reality was it then took 7 months before we earned our first dollar. And yes – I was ready to give up many times during that 7-month period and have had plenty of discouraging moments since that time. If anyone tells you starting your own health and wellness coaching business is easy, run the other way. However, if it’s aligned with your “why” and you’re willing to put in the work, you can do it. And let me tell you – it is SO worth it. We’ll talk about things I wish I would have known at the time and some guidance to help you get off to a solid start in other videos here on the Coaching Channel, but before you jump to those “how’s,” be sure to dial in your “why’s.” You’ll be glad you did.
This is Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute signing off. Thanks for joining us here on the YouTube Coaching Channel. Always feel free to reach out to us with questions at the email on the screen or find additional tools and resources at CatalystCoachingInstitute.com.