3 Steps To Build a 6-figure Coaching Business While Working 9-5

coaching business Feb 10, 2020

Building a 6-figure coaching business while working a 9-5 may seem impossible, but let me fill you in on a little secret; it isn’t impossible. 

In fact, it is 100% doable, and I recently got the chance to connect with Luisa Zhou who did exactly that. 

While I often discuss building an online coaching business almost daily on the SweetLife Podcast, I don’t always hit on how to do it while still working full time. 

Since I’ve never worked a 9-5 a day in my life, I felt that Louisa Zhou’s perspective on this subject would be invaluable.

About 6 years ago, Luisa took her skills from her then 9-5 and she transitioned those same skills into an insanely profitable online coaching business.

We chatted about the simple steps that you can take to start a coaching business, how to price your first services, and how to scale with a course. 

We also got into what not to do in the process.

The takeaways from my conversation with Luisa are powerful, and you definitely should be taking notes if the following points describe you:

  • You have a dream of becoming an entrepreneur 
  • You’re working 9-5 want to launch your own business and you want to break free but you don’t know how. 
  • You want your own thriving 6 figure coaching business
  • You plan to keep working until your new company takes off
  • You plan on leaving your 9-5

Here are Luisa’s 3 steps to take in order to get out of your job faster than you ever thought possible all while on the path of least resistance


Step 1 - Do something you’re already good at. 

While many new businesses start by offering a new skill, the fastest way to build your business is coaching on something you know. 

Louisa juggled her full time job at a digital advertising tech start-up while building her first online coaching business to 6-figures (in 4 months) before turning in her notice. 

Her biggest tip: “Set your prices right the first time.”   If you want to leave your job, position yourself as valuable from the very beginning. 

Just because you’re new, doesn’t mean you need to make shit money. You’re already good at what you do if you’re building your business with existing skills. 

So, set your rates based on the value and outcome you can provide and where you want to be. Do not set your rates based on the fact that you’re “new” to online business or to online coaching.

Note - The beauty of working a 9-5 while launching your business is that you have nothing to lose if someone balks at your fees: “Next In line please!”  


Step 2 - Leverage through group programs or courses.

Beginning your  coaching business with a handful of one-on-one clients will help you develop your process of communication and delivery. 

This is a super important step, and this will be a learning experience for you just as much as your clients.

Once you have met with a few clients and you see the pattern of what they want, need, and how people respond to your coaching techniques and helping them get results it’s time to launch a mini group coaching offer.

(Luisa stated this was after about three 1-on-1 clients for her.)

Transitioning to group coaching enables you to serve more people and scale your time.

As this grows, scale your business even more through the offer of advanced courses, signature programs and more intense-offers. 

Rest assured that courses and membership sites are not saturated, and these are amazing ways to scale your business.  

Another bit of advice is to incorporate an ongoing enrollment strategy for a foundational, first-launch course to avoid the stress of making a certain number of sales by a certain date.  

Louisa grew her first coaching business to $1.1 million in sales in her first 11 months with the majority of sales coming from her courses. 

Now while you may not yet have your sites set on 1 million...yet...I say all this to let you know the possibilities that exist with courses.


Step 3 - Be visible.

So at this point in the game, you should have content, a course, you’re making sales, and you have social proof. 

Now it’s time to get in front of more people.

Maybe you have an existing network to market to reach.  Luisa says she didn’t have this option and many people don’t.  That’s okay.

If this is you, too, Luisa suggests tapping into social media to form connections and drive those sales.

Organic traffic and sweat equity are always reliable ways to make sales, but you may not have the time, especially if you are still in a 9-5.

The alternative is paid ads. It's the fastest way to build your audience, and when you’re still at your full time job, this provides the funding for your campaigns.  

Leveraging paid advertising will speed up the process to move your business from an idea to a reality as qualified leads start filling your sales funnel. 

And this doesn’t require much money.  Start with a small ad budget, and test the data you’ve gathered at this point before investing a lot of money. 

Are you ready for your very own 9-5 exit strategy? 

So many women are out there feeling stuck in a 9-5, yet knowing deep down that they are meant to be serving others with their skills and their knowledge.  

We live in an age where owning an online business and having a laptop lifestyle are possible for anyone who has the determination plus the correct process.

This is why I love Luisa’s brave story of doing what she wanted, when she wanted, and not being afraid to make mistakes along the way. 

Know that you can do this, too. Sometimes what so many of us need is simply the example of success to motivate us to take action. 

So start with these steps listed above, continue with forward motion, and the momentum will follow.

However, if you feel like you need the extra accountability and the fine tuning that comes from working with someone in order to really take things to the next level, go to https://www.sweetlifeco.com and let’s connect.  

I would love to hear about your own journey, where you are in your business, where you want to be, and if you have made the leap from employee to entrepreneur. 


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