I've been through many stages of starting a business... doing freelance projects while working a day job, gaining experience as a new coach, up-leveling after those initial trying years... One thing I wish I'd had more guidance on was how to manage and maximize the income I was making at each of the different stages.
Today’s post on managing income is from Salma El-Shurafa, founder of The Pathway Project. She helps empower executives and professionals to lead effectively, grow businesses, achieve ambitious results and leverage limitless potential through her coaching practice.
Salma's sharing five expert tips on managing and maximizing freelance income, but don't be too sure you've got it under control even if you're a seasoned business owner!
Coaching is an admirable profession for its main goal is to assist someone toward her optimally better self and life.
But you know what? Coaching is a great source of income too.
Over the years, the demand for life and business coaches has grown as people became more stressed with work, family, relationships and other concerns.
Many people have realized that they can’t always work through their issues alone because of their myopic view of their situation. In order to get a full understanding of what they’re dealing with, they require somebody who can assess them from the outside, without judgment, and teach them what needs to be done — and basically, that’s what a coach does.
Despite being an in-demand career, freelance coaching is not as steady as other more conventional jobs. Freelance income may be particularly unstable for new coaches who are still getting things off the ground.
Therefore, if you’re a new coach and demand for your services are still just trickling in, properly managing your coaching freelance income is a must.
5 Expert Tips to Manage Your Freelance Income
1 | Invest in a Business Coach
One of the most important things to consider if you want to manage your freelance coaching income wisely (amidst the rising costs of daily living and operating a business) is to improve your business acumen. Find a business coach; invest in somebody’s business management expertise.
No matter the cost, you can trust that all the knowledge you'll derive from being a “student” will work to your advantage in the long run. A business coach is abundant with advice for entrepreneurs that can help you manage not just your income but also the finances of your coaching business.
2 | Track Where You're Spending Your Money
Another crucial thing you should learn to do is to write down all of your expenses as a coach and individual since it’s your career that’s supporting your life. It’s good to have a visual representation of your cash outflow and see the unnecessary expenses you paid for.
Once you see all of your expenses on paper, coming up with solutions to eliminate unnecessary spending will become easier.
3 | Create More Ways of Making Money from Your Coaching Knowledge
Look for other sources of income if you’re not making enough just yet from what you normally do as a coach. See how you can further transfer your knowledge and skills to augment your finances (if you need to).
If you normally hold classes or wait for clients to find you, consider creating a blog or pitching an article to publications that focus on personal improvement. Spending time on outreach and content creation can help you generate additional income.
Perhaps even consider offering free services to certain organizations; for while these gigs don’t pay, the experience may lead you to clients who will.
4 | Use a Savings-First Approach to Income
Learn the smart way to save money. Take out your savings from your income right away before using the rest for your expenses. Financial experts recommend this method because you pay yourself first – you work hard, so you deserve to have something tucked away for your future.
A savings-first approach to income management will teach you to only spend within your means. Most people learn that it’s actually easier to make do or do without after they’ve taken out their savings first.
Since they’re usually left with an amount they initially feel is less than convenient, the desire to spend is controlled. And when the desire to spend is controlled, they discover that a lot of the items they spend on, be they for personal use or for the business, can either wait or are things they can actually do without.
There’s an important benefit to saving first – over time, you’ll stop thinking that you don’t have enough money; rather, you have enough and it’s just a matter of figuring out how to make it work.
If you really think about it, you do have more than enough because you have money tucked away and money to cover your true needs.
5 | Consider Investments to Grow Your Freelance Income
And lastly, consider time deposits, or investments – it’s important to have money that actually works for you.
While you’re still building your career as a coach, being smart with your income is a must. With these important lessons, you’ll be able to make your current pay work, and you’ll stress less when more money starts coming in.
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.