It’s a hard balance to figure out: How many financial coaching clients can you take on before you feel overworked and spread too thin? There’s no magic number that works for everyone. At the height of my coaching, I was doing 40+ hours of just coaching sessions in a week (so 40 1-hour sessions probably), but I do not recommend that. I was pretty burnt out, and my business at that time was not scaled properly. Chalk it up to growing pains.
But looking back now, I can say there are ways to help you figure out how many clients is the right amount of clients for you. Here are three questions to ask yourself as you think about how many you should work with on a given day/week.
1) What Systems Do You Have in Place?
Efficiency matters. If you have to spend a lot of time manually scheduling folks, reminding them of their appointments, processing payments, and managing other parts of the business, you have less time to meet with clients. If you need 10 hours every week just to keep your business running smoothly, you probably don’t want to schedule 40 hours worth of coaching. You’ll essentially be working overtime every week. As your business grows, you’ll likely find processes that help speed things up or you may even bring on an assistant to help you clear some time on your schedule. But until then, be mindful of how much time you need to spend doing non-coaching activities and factor that into your schedule.
2) How Do You Get Your Energy?
If you get your energy from people (like me!) you can meet with a lot more people than someone who is an introvert. Introverts expend a lot of energy when they meet with others. It’s usually not an activity that fills up their cup. But if you’re an extrovert and thrive on face-to-face meetings or one-on-one interactions, each coaching session you have gives you more energy. It’s normal that at my peak, I would have 10, 1-hour sessions in a day and would end the day with energy left. My cup was being replenished throughout the day with each coaching session. If you need alone time to rejuvenate and recharge, take that into consideration when thinking about how many clients you should add to your schedule.
3) Who Are You Meeting With?
The more of your ideal clients you’re working with, the easier the sessions feel, and the more excited you are for these sessions. Generally, they just feel more fun and not at all like work. If you are meeting with people who are not your ideal client, even if you’re extroverted, your energy will likely be drained. You’ll expend more mental energy in these sessions, so cramming a ton of them back-to-back is a sure-fire way to feel overwhelmed really quickly.
Things Will Change
Since your business will grow and shift over time, your answers to this question will change. While at one time, I was doing 40+ hours of just coaching sessions in a week, now I see clients two days per week for 6-8 hours on those days. My other time is spent on more creative endeavors (writing a book, podcasting, creating content and exercises, etc). I love my schedule now, but a long time ago, I also loved meeting with clients all-day every-day.