The Making of a Coach [Part 3] – Leaving NYC + Blowing up a Broken Business Model

The Making of a Coach [Part 3]

** This is a continuation of a multi-part series on how I’ve built my coaching business. If you missed part 2, check it out here. If you missed part 1, check it out here. **

Our couples retreat at Kripalu for our 5 year wedding anniversary in 2010 gave us the idea to leave New York City.


Within days of the retreat ending, we had made our decision to move.

Three months later we bid farewell to our castle in the sky on the Hudson River.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts became our new home in the cultured country in the Berkshires.

We knew about 5 people total in our new community, but it felt totally right and adventurous.

People often ask me how Steven and I BOTH left NYC for the country. (Many couples who make a move tend to have one person who still commutes into the city.)

How did we make the work thing work?

You know how? We were both self-employed.

For him, he was and still is a sports television producer. He didn’t need to be in NYC for his financial livelihood. He simply needed to be willing to travel to football and basketball games in the Northeast.

For me, I was growing my business as a COACH to women.

My business was still in its infancy in 2010, having completed my coach training certification program in late 2008.

I was in the midst of a year-long mastermind, training and coaching program led by entrepreneur superstar Ali Brown. And my mind was EXPLODING with possibilities of how to grow my mission and do it on my terms.


And I had clients … plenty of them. Almost more than I wanted with my 1-year-old son and another baby on the way.

I had no desire to work with clients every waking hour of the day or have a telephone attached to my ear.

Sure, I loved working from home in my PJs if I wanted to, but I craved freedom and space in my schedule, and I was realizing that the business model I was taught in my coach training program simply wouldn’t work for me.

I had to shake things up to save my business so I could touch the lives I’m here to touch.

First up was offering up VIP Days to women who wanted to spend the day with me strategizing about their career, business and life goals.

I hosted these at my home and LOVED the terrain we’d cover in these deep-dive sessions. We made so much progress in one day – it made me see the power of focused connection with clients who were heavily invested in their growth.

I also got the idea when I moved from NYC to the Berkshires to host a women’s retreat in the country for my clients and tribe. A getaway of sorts.

In a flash of insight, I called it:

The Retreat for Goddesses.

I birthed the website within weeks of birthing my second son Luke.

A few months later, I hosted that retreat with 16 women from around the country while I pumped my boobs on breaks (nursing mama’s gotta do what she’s gotta do!).

It was one of the most magical and mystical experiences of my career.

Retreat2011 - #1

From there, I launched a 9-month coaching program and started the journey of building various income streams with consistent cash flow into my business.

I found my clients had much stronger results when they had training curriculum and cohorts along on the journey, in addition to my coaching.

This was a huge light-bulb moment for me and one that I’ll forever be grateful to my private coach at the time Angelique Rewers for DRILLING in my head.

I was on the way to massive growth, but was crushed at the end of 2011 when I realized that my revenues were the lowest they had ever been in the history of me being out on my own – $30,000 – and my profits were almost non-existent.

I vowed to turn things around in 2012 and take the business past the 6-figure mark.

So, I hustled like a wild woman and went on a creation spree!

I hosted a series of live workshops called “Goddesses, Guts and Glory” (often I’d host these at yoga studios) and launched my 8-week group coaching program called the Live Your Dream Challenge.

Vision boarding is a huge tool in my life and I love teaching gals how to use this tool. After having led SO many vision boarding workshops in person, I decided to create a video workshop that we could sell online!


I hosted more VIP Days for clients and continued serving my clients in my mastermind program called the Gutsy Goddess Society.

Free teleclasses were my thing! I used them to spread the word about my offerings, grow my list and enroll prospects into my courses and events!

Experimentation was the name of the game!

I sponsored a webinar with Ladies Who Launch.

I campaigned to win a global entrepreneur contest and won 2nd place (and a new Apple computer!).

I traveled to business meetings and joined a high-level mastermind led by Fabienne Fredrickson.

I grew my team by hiring an Online Business Manager to work alongside my Virtual Assistant. I invested in Infusionsoft as my CRM platform (and spent the next few months freaking out about that decision, but am so glad I took the plunge!).


And I did it all while working about 20 – 25 hours a week and spending lots of sweet time with Steven and 2 sons Sean and Luke.

My yoga practice continued serving me in huge ways during this growth period.

And of course I hosted the 2nd annual Retreat for Goddesses, this time doubling our numbers with 30+ women attending. The retreat was held at a Tibetan Buddhism-based retreat center called Menla Mountain that was so, so sacred.

mandala (hi-res)

We went deep. Tears were shed. Leaps were made. Connections solidified.

In addition to my talks on my areas of expertise, the gals heard from a tarot card reader and intuitive; as well as a shaman and yoga teacher.

I even had a firewalking guide come and lead some of the women through a firewalking ceremony. I’ll never forget this!

hot coals

I always want to bring my unique brand of medicine and my “voice” into all I do. That has been a key to my growth and to withstanding the test of time online when a lot of coaches come and go.

Knowing HOW to coach has also been crucial in growing a business that lasts.

I would NEVER have been able to create all of these different offerings – workshops, retreats, private coaching packages, masterminds, VIP Days, teleclasses – if I didn’t have the necessary SKILLS and TOOLS of a master coach.

Coaching is an art and a science – one that can be learned, but not faked.

And I did what I set out to do: 2012 was the year my business broke 6 figures in revenue. I was thrilled!

But with each new year brings a fresh slate and a chance to start over.

Could I repeat my success as a coach, mom, wife and business owner in 2013 without burning out like I had so often done in the past?

And that is where we will pick up with the next post in our series on “The Making of a Coach” …


If you feel you’re being called to the COACHING industry as your career or a supplement to what you’re doing now, but aren’t sure how to actually BE a COACH …

(You’ve got questions like:

How do you hold the space during your client sessions?

How do you onboard clients?

What do you charge?

How do you work with clients?

What technology do you need?

What policies and procedures will keep you in business?

How do you actually get clients?)

… then you’ll want to check out Get Gutsy Coach Training School (enrolling for our amazing January 2017 class now!).

I also invite you to come to my upcoming free webinar where you will see what’s possible when you say YES to packaging your magic + fully stepping into coaching.

Click here to grab your spot now.

I’m looking for a gutsy crew of leaders who are ready to transform into CONFIDENT COACHES who are changing the world with their GIFTS.

Is that you?


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