Teresia LaRocque, MCC, is Canada’s first Master Certified Coach and co-founder of ICF Vancouver. Over the past 20 years, she has been a key player in developing the coaching industry in Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.
As a self-employed coach, you have the great opportunity to create your own work schedule and live the lifestyle that you love.
In the Erickson Business Center program, we start with the conversation of blocking in your personal priorities first; i.e., ensuring that your business serves a great life rather than being a servant to your business.
Ask yourself, what are the things you love to do? Do you prefer to work in the wee hours of the morning or are you more productive later in the day or in the evening? Would you like to have every Friday off for a self-care day or a mommy day? Do you like to work out first thing in the morning or at midday? How many holidays do you want to take a year?
Block your personal priorities in your calendar first! As you do your planning and plot your office hours, be sure to consider the entire year. Block out a year’s worth of holidays and vacation time. When it comes to annual planning, take note of this: Three times a year, we get five weeks in our month (often in March, May and August). These months are a great time to take vacations, because you can block out two full weeks of downtime and not miss a beat with your clients.
If you are following the three-week coaching model that we recommend, at the end of each month you will have a week without scheduled coaching sessions. This is a great time to work on your business (e.g. enhance your website, create a keynote presentation, participate in training, meet with your circle of influence) or simply take time off to reenergize.
Do note: If you ever need to take a break from your stated rhythm, be sure to notify your clients well in advance. For example, you might say, “next month, were going to work together the first week and then the third and fourth weeks of the month”. You will find that, with enough notice, your clients will be flexible. See how much breathing room this gives you? When you structure your business with downtime built in, you can work at a sustainable pace that lets you achieve your revenue goals, stay aligned with your ideal lifestyle and keep burnout at bay. Not only is it entirely doable … it’s enormously enjoyable!
Erickson Business Center Challenge: To create your own work schedule, make it a habit to block your personal priorities in your calendar first and have your business serve your ideal life!