I remember when I landed my first real paying client. I was in New York and just finished getting off a call with her after she had agreed YES – she wanted to be coached by ME! I was literally jumping for joy, I couldn’t get enough of the euphoria in that ‘I’m a real coach’ moment.
What I didn’t realise though – is that I already had my first client. I had just been not paying attention to her. I had been so focused on signing that elusive first client and getting paid for my services that I had not realised: I was my first client.
Yes all the meditation, journaling and morning routine stuff was important but as soon as the business started ramping up, my self-care started to dwindle.
I banged on about self-care to my ‘first’ client and gave her all the tools and resources I possibly could – I overextended myself, made myself available a ridiculous amount (co-dependency anyone?) and checked in on her regularly.
It should have been no surprise to me as a newbie coach that my client was showing up in the same way – over-giving and under-receiving and feeling like she was never doing enough.
What was wrong, I thought? She has all the checklists, tools, guides, schedules meditations?? What more can I do?
That’s when it hit me: how I treat myself is how my clients will eventually show up.
In order to be of service to my client, I needed to BE my first client. It all starts with this principle. I had heard this of course and my own mentor had talked about the importance of self-care.
But I found out that when you really see yourself in this way (a valuable commodity that deserves to be taken care of) it’s so much easier to treat yourself with self-love that you need as a business owner.
I looked at my energy leaks and realised where I was giving too much and where I needed to be filled up. I changed my schedule according to my needs. I took care of myself in the mornings before opening up emails and stopped being in ‘react’ mode all the time, which was leaving me drained and edgy.
Then I had the same talk with my client. I lovingly but firmly gave her a reality check about how she was showing up in life and with those around her and gave her the opportunity to change this dynamic so she could show up as her best self. And she did.
If you are new to the coaching world, here are some tips on showing up as your best self:
- Make your business calls when you are in your best energy zone: I have clients in the US, UK, Canada and Australia – so finding the right time zone for appointments is tricky to say the least! You can’t cater for everyone, so just pick the times that are better for your schedule. Open up one or two ‘un-friendly- slots per week that you can manage.
- Be present. I struggled with this at first: As soon I got another client, or had another sale, I just wanted the next one. Your business is not a sprint and you’ll get face a quick burnout if you don’t learn to breathe in the early season of your business. Remember, clients are attracted to FLOW and FUN – so make sure you are experiencing this on a regular basis! Practice saying thank you for every part of this new journey you are in – because it really is an extraordinary time.
- Say no when you aren’t feeling it: At first its so easy to say yes to anything that is attached to money. But you started your biz for a reason, to do something you love and work with people who excite you. Make sure you have a clear ideal client and collaboration checklist and stick to it. God will send you the resources you need in the form of people and projects that feel right. Trust your instincts and know that more is available for you!
Looking back at that time now, I’m so grateful for the learning opportunity this client allowed me to have – she taught me how to serve myself so I could show up best to serve others.
The art of giving and receiving isn’t just a feminine principle to me now. It’s how I do business and how I do life – and I invite you to do the same.
Rachel Reva is a success coach, PR Strategist and Founder of ‘Life On Her Terms’. She worked in the media industry for ten years as a news publicist and PR manager. Her career has spanned television, health policy and election campaigns, both in Australia and the United Kingdom. When she isn’t coaching, writing for the Huffington Post or stalking Oprah, she is planning her next European holiday.You can join her mailing list here and follow her on Instagram.