The truth is… There is NEVER a perfect time!
Actually, the worst times in our life may be the best times to start something new. The need to find the perfect time for anything often does not magically appear – It usually requires some reflection, planning and a drive to push us to take the very first imperfect scary step.
⚠ WARNING – LONG POST AHEAD… Grab a cup of tea and your journal – let’s get into some reflections and build ideas!
MY STORY: I spent my 20s waiting for everything… to have the right amount of money, to be qualified enough, to feel like I was ready, to overcome my own health issues at the time, to look a certain way…. the list was endless for “my perfect time to begin“. It never did. I was studying many different areas of health in my 20s (mainly for my personal health) – I just about started seeing some clients with no real plans of creating a solid business. It took the unexpected death of my father in 2007 to finally get me to realise that life is not perfect and the start button can actually be pushed at ANY time – no matter where we are in life. So, I re-branded my business (which was just on the sidelines up until that moment with no real commitment) and started from scratch. In 2009, despite the financial crash, I was now building a client base stronger than ever before. I was still juggling my studies (I went back to university) and working a part-time job to begin with. Luckily, I could see my clients during out-of-office hours when they had free time too. In the process, I also saw many others doing the same – Building their dream business while juggling their day job and slowly starting to see results. And since then, my work is always evolving.
It’s easy to compare our life to others – In today’s social media world, we often get a very one-sided view of people’s lives – especially in business. Even if we have been doing our business for years, the temptation is there to look around and compare our work to others. And if we are just starting out, the picture of starting a new business may be inspiring (or not) but it may also just be revealing only one piece of the wider puzzle.
One of the problems is that we now see so many online business owners claiming that we can make 6-figures quickly – I am not saying this is not possible, but we rarely see the other side of the coin while they are making it… We might only catch the glimpse of people’s wins and their perfect lifestyles on social media. We usually just see the filters of how others make their business grow. We don’t see or have space to acknowledge what it took for them to reach each level.
The reality of getting to that point is often one that many people do not authentically discuss or share. And it leaves the impression that gaining a 6-figure business is easy and fast. Well, for some it can be that too – but then it can also be a rolling hill downwards when things are not going well. I have seen this many times – The key is to have a solid routine and foundation to build on for a long-term sustainable model of business.
Coming back to the topic – Yes, there is never a perfect time. However, there is time to re-evaluate what tools you have now, what skills you can learn and how you can realistically build a business into your daily routine now. It looks different for each person.
I will share many real examples (all names are changed for privacy) and reflection questions so you can see how others started.
Let’s start with 3 examples :
EXAMPLE 1 – Ana is in her mid-40s with no experience in starting a business. She works as a receptionist. She is also a busy mom of 2 school-aged children and she works a part-time job during the week. In the beginning, she would spend one day/week when she was off to study an online life coaching course. When this was completed, she used the same day to create and repurpose content for the whole week. In time, she built a following in her email list and created programs to work with groups of people who could relate to her – Her niche was all about helping busy moms build their own businesses. Within 2 years, she slowly cut down on her part-time hours and slowly built her income until she finally quit her day job.
EXAMPLE 2 – Mark is in his 20’s, a university student who is just about to finish studying for a sports health degree. He found that yoga was something that really helped him overcome his anxiety and stress while he was studying. Just before the pandemic and lockdowns began, he also completed a yoga teacher training that he did during the weekends of his last year at university. When the lockdowns really hit hard, he decided to take his yoga classes online – From 2020 to 2022, he dedicated his time to doing online classes and creating online yoga courses for passive income. To get money, he also worked at the local supermarket delivering orders. The 2 years paid off as he built an online yoga studio with a membership website. He now does classes when it suits him and he is still able to create passive income through the workshops he makes. With a $20 monthly membership price and an average of 400+ yoga students each month (after 2 years of starting), he now runs a complete online yoga studio along with collaborations with other health professionals. He is planning to eventually offer yoga teacher training to his students.
EXAMPLE 3 – Elena is a woman in her 30s, working in finance in London. She just ended a long-term relationship with her ex-fiance. She loves the security aspect of her job but hates how working in an office banking environment. She also felt extremely unhappy with her London life. After the breakup, she had a few months of working overtime and thinking about her next steps… The banking organization was also making changes and her department was scaled down – she lost her job. Luckily, she still had some savings and she takes up a job in her local vegan food shop to cover extra expenses while she figures out what she will do with her life now – to stay in London or leave back to her hometown of Madrid. During this time, she decided to also dedicate her free time for sharing her love for vegan cooking – She created a website, and her brand while using social media to share almost every day. After 6 months, she took the next step to do an online workshop showing busy people how to make a vegan weekly food meal prep plan (inspired by a Mediterranean diet) – This was perfect for people to create and store meals in the fridge in advance for the whole week. This was something she was used to doing while she had her busy office job. From there, it took off and she started to create passive income through her courses.
MORE EXAMPLES COMING UP…
As you can see from just 3 real examples, there were no perfect timings and no perfect set-ups… Each person had a strong urge to change and define their circumstances, even if it meant juggling other things in their life at the same time. I can give so many other examples from clients and other therapists that I worked with. It is possible to start, it just means that some serious planning and Self-honesty need to be considered. Let’s explore this further!
REFLECTION QUESTIONS TO START YOUR HEALTH AND WELLNESS BUSINESS
What skills and experiences do you already have now?
Nothing is a waste of time and energy – Whatever job and life experience you already have will surely be transferable to your business. It may seem completely unrelated but it could be something that you already are used to doing within your current job and/or something that people tell you that you are naturally good at.
Make a list of transferable skills and experiences that you can use – As a business journal entry, I invite you to write a list of what you already know how to do through your work and life experiences. Think about what other people tell you that you are naturally good at also.
EXAMPLE 4: Amy worked in a call centre making sales for a beauty product company – She decided to start a health coaching business and started studying this. She was able to transfer her valuable communication skills and training at the call centre into confidently talking to her coaching clients. As she was used to sales, she also found it easy to adapt her existing sales experience in her discovery calls with new clients.
What area of health would your business be based on?
There are literally 100s of ways you can create a health and wellness business – At this time, you can be as creative as you want with what you plan to do. Some health and wellness businesses will require less overhead expenses, qualifications and skills than others.
What are you passionate about? My thoughts are, if you are not passionate about what you plan to do – don’t do it. Running a business takes time and energy to build and maintain so if you don’t feel you are passionate about it, you will soon start to see your motivation drop and it will show. Choose an area and business model that you feel passionate about and want to share with others. Especially when it comes to health, your business can change lives. You might also have an inspiring story of your own health journey to share.
I will share some blog posts that will guide you and help you to figure out what inspires you!
Who would be your ideal client? Your niche will help you to narrow down who and what your business is going to be all about. This is a blog post dedicated to asking you reflection questions so that you can figure out who your clients are.
Get clear on your WHY. This will get you through your highs and lows, and keep you focused on your aim and what it is that you really want. It may change over the years but it is something that will help you with clarity. I wrote a whole blog post on this for your business journal. Try this exercise for your Self!
EXAMPLE 5: Helen worked as a many for children under 6. This is a job she knows well and she has already spent all of her 20s doing it. It gave her the opportunity to travel and save money, as the families she worked for also provided accommodation and brought her along on their travels to be with the children.
When she hit 30 years old, she started thinking of new ways to work with her passion (she loves working with children) and her skills (she has good experience with children, families and organization of activities + she already has many family contacts from different families and their friends). The area of health she was interested in was yoga – This was something she did on her days off work. She already knew who her niche was very well – working with families with young children. Her WHY was that she wanted more freedom to travel and work.
She decided to use what she already knew and what she loved together in a health and wellness business by teaching yoga to kids. As she was working, she arranged to have certain days free so that she could attend a yoga teacher training for kids nearby. The family were very supportive as they thought this was something she could do with their children too.
To begin, she started teaching classes to the current family she worked for – This started to turn into an activity that attracted many other families to bring their children. After a year of teaching this way, she decided to take the big step and become a full-time yoga teacher – She invited all of the existing families to come to her classes and started building her work in a nearby yoga studio and nursery school that she already knew. In time, she also started planning retreats for families, which now offered her the freedom to travel and teach the way she wanted.
Would you need to study or learn for this business?
Qualifications do matter – Depending on what health business you want to do, there will be certain qualifications and skills you will need. The legal requirements in your qualifications and skills for setting up a business may differ depending on where you live. Don’t skip this step – Find out what you legally need to do and what qualifications you need to start.
The clearer you are on what you want to do as a health business, the easier it is to find out what you need to start. Having an online health business selling yoga mats and equipment will be different from being a CBT therapist in private practice – Both of them are health businesses but will need different legal requirements, qualifications and skills to start. If you know what health and wellness business you want to set up, it’s important to research this.
We are always learning new skills in business – This is also something worth remembering. As health and wellness entrepreneurs, we will always be learning new skills along the way. This could be in many different areas of business and health – so it never ends. Many times, this applies to qualifications too – In my journey and sharing with others, there is a pattern that happens… we may start in one area and over the years, we naturally want to learn and grow more in our skills and qualifications. So, if you are starting out now, keep it simple and start with the most important foundations for your health business.
How much time each week can you realistically dedicate to your business?
Think about your weekly schedule as it is NOW – how can you make time to start and build a business? It may mean that at the moment, you can only do a limited amount of hours each week. That’s OK. Maybe it means being creative and thinking about your own energy management at the same time to re-arrange your schedule where possible. Where can you create and block off some time just for your business?
EXAMPLE 6: Jasmine works as a copywriter for a big company. She has a fixed contract with them and works at their office during the week. She loves her job but she feels that she wants to start her own health business and eventually have her own clients.
She uses her passion and skills for writing as a base for starting a health business as a copywriter for therapists and health entrepreneurs. She already had the skills and portfolio in place from her existing job. However, her office job meant that she had to create her own schedule around her existing job.
As a morning person, she knew that this was the time when she felt most inspired during the day – To make the most of it, she decided to wake up 1 hour earlier to dedicate it to building her business. Instead of her usual morning routines, she simplified them and made a point of using her peak energy time to do her writing for her business. She wanted to focus on creating content, passive income streams (through creating short ebooks about copywriting for health professionals) and reaching out to potential new clients in the first 3 months of her business. After the first 3 months, she had picked up a handful of clients and had a short 3-part ebook series selling on amazon. This gave her the confidence to continue.
Some points to remember when you are wondering what the perfect time is to start anything…
Imposter syndrome is real. Oh yes! I still get it – Many people I know who have been doing their work for years and have many experiences in their field still feel it sometimes – especially when it comes to starting anything new.
Feeling anxious about a new start is normal – Just like imposter syndrome, this is another thing that will come up often. It’s normal because if we start something new, we are entering a space outside of our comfort zone. This brings up a lot! I remember one client who was a musician and singer for many years – He told me about how he still feels his heart race and stomach churn before he goes on stage. An inspirational thing that someone else told me when I was going through this is – “Starting anything new in life is scary. The key is to get comfortable with your discomfort and turn that energy into excitement, not fear.”. What if anxiety and all the emotions that are coming up are the same as excitement? I love this article…
Everyone started somewhere – The person you look up to and who has “made it” in anything (especially in business), had to start somewhere. They also had to face their own fears, doubts etc. and figure out what they were doing along the way. Who inspires you? Find out about their journey and what they went through for inspiration.
You will never stop learning and starting new things in business – Most businesses that stay the same and don’t evolve over time will struggle and slump. Just look at the pandemic and how it affected a lot of businesses… many of us were pushed into making new choices to adapt and evolve to survive. As individuals, we also change our needs and inspirations about what we want from our business, so we may naturally want to change things along the way too. There is no end/final point when we start our business. There are mainly imperfect small actions and plenty of lessons for improvement along the way!
The first step to something new is the hardest – Once you take the first step and make a commitment, you just have to go for it. The rest follows… you will learn to figure things out along the way, you might fail and it’s OK – Get over that first step and take each step as it comes from there.
How can you plan the next 3 months ahead to take the first steps?
Now, it’s your turn! You have read the examples and reflection points… Where can YOU start? To keep it simple, I recommend breaking goals down into 3 months. Here are some practical steps for getting started.
So far, we have looked at these areas for reflection and to gain clarity:
✔️ Your current qualifications, skills and experiences that may come in useful for your business
✔️ Your vision of your health and wellness business – What you want to create, what skills and qualifications you will need, your niche, your WHY.
✔️ A weekly schedule where you already have time slots dedicated only on your business.
Moving forward – For the next 3 months:
► Write down what your overall goal would be for these 3 months. The first solid baby step to creating a foundation for your business.
► Now break it down into 3 parts of action steps, one for each month – Write down what step you want to achieve each month to achieve your overall goal.