"The start-up period often requires a lot of long hours and financial investment. You have to be really internally motivated to pull yourself through the challenging periods." - Connie Chapman, International Life Coach & Mentor

Can you give us a brief overview of what you do as an international life coach and mentor?

I am an international life coach and mentor to women (and some men) where I guide them to move through fears, inner blocks and limitations, so they can drop into deeper connection with their authentic self. I also host a program called The 90 Day Transformation Project, which is a 3 month journey. It guides people through a comprehensive curriculum of transformative inner work that moves them from a space of struggle, limitation and fear to freedom, inner peace and happy glow. On top of that, I share soulful and inspiring articles and video blogs on my website and also host a weekly online radio show called Awaken Radio.

Tell me more about your career before starting your business?

I always loved helping people and teaching others. In my former career, I spent 10 years working in the field of special education where I would support children and adults with disabilities. I worked in schools, therapy centres and I also worked closely with families to support them.

The shift for me came when I realised I no longer just wanted to care for people, but I wanted to empower them and play a more positive and constructive role in their life, and that is what lead me to life coaching.

What inspired you to start?

When I was 28 I reached a really low point in my life. I had been reading self-help books, meditation and doing yoga since I was 18 but I was no happier. I was in a job I hated and I woke up every daw wracked with anxiety. I was miserable and depressed and quite honestly hated myself.

I decided it was time to get support so I started working with a life coach, and she supported me to heal my relationship with myself and reconnect with my true heart-driven passions. Our work impacted me so much that I started writing on a blog and sharing my own personal journey of applying powerful personal development and spirituality principles. The response was incredible and I started to build a strong following of loyal readers and received a constant flow of emails from people telling me that my writing was changing their life.

This is when I began to realise that maybe I could turn this in to a career. So I looked in to life coach training, signed myself up and then began working with clients.

How did you manage building it alongside your full time career?

I started coaching clients for free a few months after beginning my training. As my confidence grew I knew it was time to start charging money, so I put a note on my blog and inserted an image in my sidebar telling people I was now offering coaching services. I had clients sign up right away and I spent the next 6 months still working in my full time job while coaching clients in the evenings and on weekends.

After a while I was getting completely burnt out and I knew it was time to leave my job. I only had $1000 in my savings account and a part time load of clients, but I knew I had to do it. So I lined up some casual work that I could fall back on if I needed and put in my resignation at my full time job.

The first couple of months were terrifying, but I really believed that I could do this and I gave it everything. I shared so much of my personal journey on my blog that it really inspired my audience, and I think my authenticity really helped them form a trust in me. I continued promoting my coaching services through my blog and social media, and within 2 months I was coaching full time.

What’s been the biggest highlight?

Oh there are so many! Probably doing my first online program launch and making $30K from it. That was pretty special.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge has been just knowing how to run a business! When I started I had no business experience or training and so I’ve had to learn on the job, which has meant a lot of trial and error and making lots of mistakes along the way!

You’ve been featured on some very high profile magazines and blogs such as Cleo Magazine, Dolly Magazine, The Wellness Warrior and Wild Sister Magazine. What’s your secret?

It takes time, perseverance and patience to get recognised as an expert in your industry. I made the commitment to keep showing up creating really high quality content and forming relationships with like-minded people in my community. Building authentic relationships is absolutely key, and it’s important to not be cunning or sleazy about it, as people can smell that a mile away.

Each of the magazines or blogs I have been featured in haven’t come from me chasing them down or even approaching them. Rather they have come to me. I don’t believe in pushing yourself on to people. Rather you just keep doing your thing and make sure you do it really well and eventually people will pay attention. I have naturally been recommended to magazines or blogs because people know and trust my work. Ultimately, I think that is what it is about and how you begin to get recognised and featured.

What advice would you give to other women who dream of starting their own business?

I would absolutely say go for it, but I would also add in a word of caution and encourage people to be sure that what they are wanting to do feels really authentic to them and is something they are deeply passionate about. Being an entrepreneur looks glamorous on the outside, but behind the scenes it is a lot of hard work. The start-up period often requires a lot of long hours and financial investment. You have to be really internally motivated to pull yourself through the challenging periods. But if you love what you do, then it won’t bother you at all as you will be revelling in the experience of getting to show up everyday and do what you are deeply passionate about. So, if they are ready, then dive right in. Don’t let that little fear voice in your head stop you. Anything you truly love is possible for you.

What’s your favourite quote?

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” Rumi

You can find out more about Connie’s work over at her website here.

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