Over the last 15 years, I’ve started three six-figure businesses from scratch. Along the way, I’ve made a ton of mistakes, had some major successes, and learned precisely how to build a coaching business that makes a real difference in the world and supports the lifestyle I desire.
Let me share some of my favorite lessons with you.
Lesson 1: If you build it, they won’t come…
My sister charged $10,000 to a zero-interest credit card and lent me every cent so I could launch my first business. It was a marketing service designed to help actors find an agent.
With what felt like 8 million dollars in my pocket, I rented a big office, hired an assistant, and printed up some homemade flyers featuring a photo of me doing the splits (oh, how I wish that was a joke!).
My business idea was brilliant, my desire to serve was strong, and I felt certain the phone would ring off the hook from day one.
Oops. I forgot that a good idea and strong desire wasn’t enough. I couldn’t just hope clients would find me. I had to find them.
After two months of thinking about how to find clients without taking action, worrying about paying my sister back, and waiting around my big, beautiful office, I got real. I let my assistant go, locked the office door and hit the streets – literally.
I took those cheesy postcards of mine and hung outside the entrance to Central Casting. Though most people thought I was crazy and averted their eyes to avoid me, one actor grabbed a card and called me the next day.
I had my first client. Game on.
Lesson 2: Your work is your reputation
I’ve always had a strong work ethic and keep my word and find ways to exceed my clients’ expectations.
The same must be true for you. No matter how fancy your website, how compelling your marketing or how competitive your pricing, if you can’t deliver on your promises, you won’t keep clients and you won’t easily attract new ones.
This isn’t about being a pleaser or ignoring boundaries. But it is about operating from integrity and respecting every lead, like, and prospect as a human being to live the golden rule.
Though this may seem obvious, not every coach out there operates with impeccable integrity. But that’s a non-negotiable for me and I hope it is for you, too.
This work ethic and service-based approach served me back then and after doing my very best for my one and only client, he soon sang my praises to all of his classmates and suddenly, I had 20 clients.
Lesson 3: Marketing doesn’t have to cost money.
This stroke of luck (and hard work) taught me the power of referral marketing. But I couldn’t just expect that to happen. I had to ask for referrals in a structured way. So, with no advertising budget to speak of, I created a simple referral program and over the next two years, my net-zero business was humming along toward that six-figure mark.
I still rely on a version of this referral program today. Last year, it generated nearly $250,000 in revenue – no advertising required.
And I’ll help you model that referral formula to fill your client pipeline and make referrals an automatic part of your marketing system.
Lesson 4: Say no to say yes.
Fast forward four years: the marketing service had 120 monthly subscribers and I had a few private coaching clients to boot, plus some ideas for workshops in the pipeline. My business more than paid the bills, but I knew something wasn’t quite right. Sure, I helped a lot of actors find an agent, but was I really helping them?
When my first book The Tao of Show Business came out, I had my answer. Only three of my 120 marketing service subscribers bought the darn thing. My clients saw me as the marketing lady rather than a resource for inspiration and tools.
Thanks to the marketing service, I’d developed some business strategies that broke the mold for actors and really worked. But instead of teaching those tools with my clients, I did the work for them. I didn’t want to feed actors fish anymore. I wanted to teach them how to fish on their own.
So, I closed that business down.
I didn’t know how I’d make up for it financially, but I knew that if I was really going to make a difference, I had to take the leap.
The next year, my revenue increased by 101%.
Better yet, I got to help dozens, then hundreds, and eventually thousands of actors take dominion over their destinies. I followed my heart and I knew I was making a real and lasting impact on my tribe because of it.
You can do that too. Along your way to six figures, you’ll make a lot of adjustments and you’ll have to take leaps of faith without any net in sight. Exhilarating and terrifying all at once, but when you have a mentor who’s been in your shoes, leaping feels much more possible.
Lesson 5: Hire Before You’re Ready
With my coaching practice in the mid-six figures, it was high time to hire a team – for real. And not another intern or a friend in need of extra cash that I could train. I needed to hire a full-blown assistant who already knew how to manage big projects, master online marketing, and take awesome care of my clients.
For the first time, I stopped looking for an assistant to fill an immediate need in my business and hired one who could take my business to the next level.
I feared I couldn’t afford her, but I knew I couldn’t afford to run things without her either. So, I trusted that by hiring for growth, the business would actually grow.
It did and I became the leading, most sought-after coach in the industry over the next couple of years. Together, my assistant and I took my in-person coaching practice online so I could help even more people, launch new programs, and continue to increase my revenue.
Lesson 6: Eat lots of elephants
You know the saying… How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. And that’s how to build a successful and sustainable coaching business.
I know a lot of coaches who ride the entrepreneurial roller coaster. They hit the six-figure mark only to be in the red the following year.
That’s because they lack the systems to support sustainable and consistent growth. They dream big and start easily, but they don’t follow through. And they’re so excited about the big picture that they forget to build foundations.
Big dreams and hard work matter… a lot. But without clear systems and a measurable plan in place, we all risk burn out. That’s why I’ve always built my coaching businesses out in layers; mastering one offering before jumping to the next idea.
This narrow focus has always helped me avoid overwhelm, resist the fast-money hype, and experience consistent and sustainable growth on my own terms.
So, I’ll be sure to help you be systematic and strategic as you grow your business. That way, you know your business will thrive for the long haul.
Lesson 7: Bigger isn’t always better
As my coaching practice neared the seven-figure mark, my hubby and I decided to start a family. Luckily, I had a great team and lots of systems in place so my business could run pretty much automatically.
Before my daughter was born, my work was my life. My ambition was strong and I had a singular focus. Then, my values changed and I realized that revenue and growth weren’t everything. I wanted a business that reflected my values and supported my lifestyle without dominating my world.
So, we downsized. I automated nearly all of the programs I’d developed for actors. I cut my private practice down to two clients and cut my overhead nearly in half so I could work about 18 hours a week and still enjoy a healthy six-figure income.
I let my life dictate my business rather than the other way around.
Our work together will help you define your own version of success. Then, we’ll build a measurable plan to take you there without compromising what matters most. I won’t lie – there’s work involved. But suffering? Not on my watch.
Lesson 8: Always Evolve
After becoming an industry leader and nailing 19 successful launches, other coaches took notice. They began to ask if I could help them leverage their passion and expertise to launch their next big program.
Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve always listened for clues and taken swift action toward the next phase. If other coaches wanted what I had, I could help them get it. And I could share my creativity and experience in a whole new way.
That’s how Through the Roof was born. It wasn’t part of my plan, but I’m a coach (aka a growth junkie). So when the opportunity to expand presented itself, I said, “Yes, please and thank you very much!”
Today, I’ve got two fun, fulfilling coaching businesses that serve the world and support my life.
I still give actors marketing and mindset tools through my online programs that I fill through automated marketing funnels.
This frees me up to help other coaches become six-figure rockstars in their own right. Through private mentorship and my signature Six Figure Coach Club, we’re helping more people, making more money, and making the world a better place.
I love that work: teaching other coaches how to turn their vision into a compelling and clear brand, fall in love with selling to fill their client rosters with ease, leverage their gifts to create programs, and soar to six figures and beyond.
I’m here to help you too. We’ve got this!
Ready to take your coaching practice through the roof? We can do it together. Get started by checking out my signature program here.