I recently put out a tweet asking what people would like to see posts on and one good suggestion from Lee Cho was “why do you want to be a full time coach?” Today I’ll go through my thinking, hopes, dreams, fears and plans, but if you want a little more background then check out my posts on being time rich, cash poor here and here.
I’d like to start by trying to explain why I want to leave my current job. While my work life right now is comforting and well paid it’s not fulfilling me at a higher level. Though I have made (and maintain) a specific list of reasons why I don’t like it the main reason is subjective and based on feelings: I get a sense of grossness from the corporate world (which doesn’t come from the profit motive by the way). It’s that whenever I look through the windows of an office I’m reminded of the staleness of that life: the cycle of day to day, quarter to quarter, year to year, where the only thing you’re really looking forward to is either making it through the current cycle, the weekend, or the few weeks of holiday you can take.
On a more metaphorical level we all play games (and that’s lower case games, not Game as in pick-up). Unless you’re religious there’s no real point or higher meaning in anything we do unless we ourselves imbue it with meaning. And so each part of our life is a fun game which we voluntarily join in with. The thing is that I don’t want to play the “put on a shirt, trousers and shoes, go to work for 8:30, work at a computer for nine hours a day, Monday to Friday, five weeks holiday, etc.” game anymore. One particular thing that bugs me about my current work is where a colleague starts to instant message and call me ostensibly to make their problem my problem. The thing is that I just don’t care. I don’t want to play their game. I want to play a game where I make more of the rules.
Now we move onto the positive reasons why I want to go into being a full time coach. Specifically I’ve chosen coaching – and I call it coaching but there will be multiple products – because that’s something where I have expertise which is hard to acquire. That’s a natural barrier to entry and people are normally willing to pay for this kind of expertise.
On a deeper level I’ve never enjoyed following other people’s orders. In fact as a child I’d shout “you’re not the boss” to my parents (who at the time clearly were, and decided to half-mock me by getting me a mug which had “The Boss” written on it) and it rankles me on some deep level to follow other people. I obviously understand that your bottom line is dependent on the market and so you’ll never be in complete control of your life but I see this course of action as providing more control than what I have now. The silver lining of actually being exposed to customer dependency is the fact that my input has a much stronger relation to the bottom line compared to taking home a salary no matter what.
Lastly there’s the simple logistical benefits of deciding more about what time I work, where, when, with who, etc. FYI I will be staying in London if you were going to ask.
My plan is to quit my job in Feb 2022 which means I’ll be working full time as a coach from March of that year for at least two years. I’ve been building up savings and made a full list of my expenses so that I know I could pay them for two years. That money will function as the start-up costs for my business and if it doesn’t break even by then then I will change my course.
I’ve decided to make this move now because I’m in a sweet spot in terms of age, expenses and liabilities. If I do this later on in life I’ll have kids and I don’t think trying to balance those two would be a good idea. Kids are expensive, too, and so it would put me under pressure to make the business more profitable quicker than I’d like. My current hope is to make the business break even within the first two years – that’s my first main goal – but in the long term it could branch out into lifestyle design, life coaching, health and fitness, etc: essentially anything that gets derided as being purple pill. That route is clearly more profitable and that’s what would be required to support a family but rest assured this will remain a red pill pick-up enterprise for many years to come.
In terms of business philosophy, I really don’t like doing sales, and so I want to try and build a business where there’s so much value in the product that buying is a no-brainer.
And where would I be without some fears for the future? Of course I’ve thought about what might go wrong. What if people don’t want to buy my products? Or if they do but not in enough quantity to support my bare minimum expenses? How will I feel if I put myself out there and get rejected? If I don’t make it?
When I talk to people about this topic they are typically apprehensive. I think it’s because they’re feeling the fear that I’m feeling and want to dissuade me vicariously. That’s not a character flaw, they’re just empathising.
The important thing – just like experiencing AA – is to feel the fear but do it anyway.