How Much Do I Need to Make to Go From Part-Time to Full-Time Financial Coach?

I was recently asked this question by a member of our Financial Coaches Unite group. A part-time financial coach who is currently helping friends and family members asked: 

At some point down the road I’d love to make it a full time gig, but I’m wondering what I should expect to make per year in terms of revenue? I know every area of the country is different, but I’m trying to get a ballpark idea for planning purposes.

As someone who started her coaching business by helping family and friends, it’s a completely natural question to ask. I am proof positive that if you have a passion for coaching, this is absolutely something you can turn into a full-time career. 

But as for how much money you need to make to do so, it’s definitely a hard question to answer because there are so many factors that go into it. You need to consider a lot of things. Most people would start by coming up with a monthly income goal they need to hit. And while that goal is an important part of the puzzle, I want to challenge you to think about more than dollars and cents. In addition to monthly income goal, you need to ask:

  • Who is your ideal client? Are you serving high income earners or will you clients generally have less disposable income?
  • How confident are you in quoting your own prices? It’s great to charge thousands of dollars but can you covert leads to sales with those numbers and confidently sell your services?
  • Will you be able to effectively market your services and talk about what you do to more than friends and family members? 
  • How much effort are you willing to put in to step outside your comfort zone and current reach of family and friends? 

Like I said, it’s about more than a straight income determination. That number is important, but how you get to that number will depend how you answer the questions above.

How I Went From Part-Time to Full-Time Financial Coach

My goal when I first left job was to make $2,000/month. That was the monthly figure I needed to hit to make my own financial ends meet. I was working a full time corporate job at the time in a managerial position and my husband was working full-time in physical therapy. We had no kids and some debt, so $2,000 was what I knew I needed to make. If I were making that same calculation today, it would be different. Two kids, no debt, and a rental income later, our numbers would look different.

At the time I was looking to make the leap to full-time coaching, I also was charging very little to coaching clients. I think my financial coaching rate was around $100/month per client, so I knew I needed to have around 20 clients consistently. 

I knew NOTHING about running a business at the time, so it took me probably a year to hit that ideal client number on a regular basis. I had some months where I hit 20 clients, but then the next month I wouldn’t. It took a while before 20 was the norm. 

Growing My Financial Coaching Business and Team to Avoid Burnout

Over the years, I took on more clients, raised my prices, created coaching programs, and got to the point where I was making around $20,000 per month. I had a group program for all my “veteran” clients and then I had private coaching clients on top of that PLUS I had a corporate wellness contract that was monthly. I was so incredibly exhausted and feeling pretty burned out. I was a full-time financial coach in a very big way, but being full-time and making way more than my initial $2,000/month goal presented a new set of challenges. 

If You’re Ready to Make the Leap to Full-Time Coaching

If you have determined you are ready to make the leap to full time coaching, then that’s wonderful. But in my experience, here are 7 things that will set you up for success beyond just knowing your numbers:

  1. Go lean on expenses now. Now is not the time to plan elaborate vacations or get into an expensive hobby. If anything, you want to pare back and scale down as much as possible when it comes to your expenses.
  2. Save as much money as possible. The more of a financial cushion you have, the better. You’ll be able to operate more from a place of yes and less from a place of desperation.
  3. Do uncomfortable things. Step outside your comfort zone. Now is not the time to play it safe.
  4. Tell everyone you talk to about what you’re doing. You’ll be surprised how much people want to cheer you on and what unexpected connections might pop up.
  5. About 3 months before you leave your full-time job, send an email to every family member, friend, and non-work acquaintance you know telling them about your new venture. Let them know you are officially taking on more clients and would love if they helped you to spread the word. When I did this, I got a bunch of referrals right out of the gate.
  6. Write a letter to yourself – one that you can read on the hard days – that reminds you of your excitement for starting your business and taking this leap. Because trust me, there will be days where you question what you’ve done.
  7. Surround yourself with like-minded financial coaches who can support and encourage you. Our free Facebook group, Financial Coaches Unite, is a great one. The best, in our opinion.

And if I can say one last thing, it’s this: You have to start somewhere. If I’ve learned anything over my more than a decade of starting and growing my financial coaching business is that’s nothing is a guarantee. You have to take leaps of faith and calculated risks at some point if you want to reach and expand. But trust me, when you do, it’s so worth it.

For free financial coaching training on setting and raising your prices, check out this video on our Financial Coaching YouTube Channel. 

 

And if you’re looking for guidance as well as the step-by-step process for starting and running a financial coaching business, check out the Financial Coach Academy. Our signature online course will walk you through how to start a financial coaching business, whether it’s full or part time.