3 Simple Ways to Look After You in Your Coaching Business! | By Ruby McGuire

Do you find you're great at dishing out strategies to your clients for how to take care of themselves but when it comes to you it's a whole different matter?

If you're feeling tired in your business, whether it's physically or mentally, today we're going to explore 3 simple ways you can look after you in your coaching business.

1. Set really clear boundaries, share them (with a smile) and stick to them!

What's a boundary? It's essentially a way to respect your time and energy.

Decide on where you need to set clear boundaries. Once you've set your boundary, stick to it. No watering it down, no bending the rules, no giving in. This is about being kind to yourself.

To get started, notice where your time is going and decide how you want things to be different. Let's explore what it might be like in practice:

Issue: Answering emails from clients late into the evening because your clients expect to hear back from you.
Boundary to set: Set a time boundary for when you don't answer emails i.e. I don't email after 6pm or before 10am. Simply tell your clients that you don't answer emails between those times, and that you'll get back to them when you can. Often by the time you reply they have resolved some of the issues on their own, which in turn empowers them.

Issue: A prospect wants to 'pick your brains' for free.
Boundary to set: Here's what I say - "I'm more than happy to share a couple of gems of wisdom, but if you want to get real gems then let's talk about how we can work together. You'll only get a teeny tiny bit of my support by doing it this way. We can get transformational results when we work together 1:1."

Or a bolder version (this took me time to get brave and say) - "Of course, I'm more than happy to have a chat with you. My fee is x per hour for this type of thing. How much time would you like to book with me? Let me know and I’ll send you over some possible dates."

The scary step is sharing your boundaries. People don't always like it when you create boundaries, especially when you've 'trained' them to behave in a certain way and now you have to 'untrain' them to expect different things from you!

For me it felt awkward at first, but it doesn't have to be. More importantly I thought I'd lose clients, but that didn’t happen either. Just say that you're gifting yourself a day off, that you have set strong boundaries because you're a workaholic. People do understand. I even encourage my clients to do the same.

If you've stated a clear boundary and someone is challenging you, simply repeat the same sentence again if you need to, so that you don't cave in. You may think you sound like a broken record but it's a trick that really works! Remember it’s about being assertive, not aggressive.

Action for you: What boundaries do you need to set for your business? How will you make sure that they are non-negotiable?

2. Create a 'maintenance' strategy instead of a 'coping' strategy

You're no good to your clients if you're not feeling tip-top. What I see time and time again with my clients is that people add in a quick bit of self-care when they're feeling tired/overwhelmed - what I call 'crisis mode'. But by that time it's a bit like trying to drink a glass of water to get re-hydrated. It's too late.

What you learn over time is that this 'coping' strategy (of only addressing self-care when you're overwhelmed and tired) won't serve you long-term. You need to look after you every single day.

Here are some ideas of what could be in your 'maintenance strategy':

  1. Daily gratitude journal (writing a list of all of the things you're grateful for – a guaranteed mood shifter)
  2. Alone time (it could be a guided meditation to help you start your day the right way, or it could be sitting looking out the window sipping a lovely hot drink and/or reading a book/magazine)
  3. Pampering time (running yourself a nice hot bath, or getting a massage)
  4. Connecting with friends (having a lovely conversation on the phone or catching up with people over a relaxing meal)

The beauty is this doesn't need to be set in stone. It's a way to pause so you can recharge your battery.

Another important step is to know your warning signs/triggers:

Identify your warning signs (triggers) - those things that make you realise you need to bring your own self-care to the forefront again i.e. not sleeping, heart pounding, snapping at people, burning out. Once you're aware of your warning signs, you'll know when you've hit 'crisis mode' and can add in some self-care right away to get back on track. But ideally you don't want to be here at all, instead you want to focus on your 'maintenance strategy' to keep your self-care in check on a regular basis. And when you are in 'crisis mode' you also need to have some 'coping strategies' in place to ensure you don't have a meltdown!

Actions for you: What are your warning signs? What's your self-care strategy like? Pull together a simple 'maintenance strategy', starting with a list of 10 things that light you up and mix and match them to create your own 'maintenance strategy' - plus some 'coping strategies' too!

3. Stop over-helping!

I know you love your clients, that's why you do what you do. However you're not serving your clients if you make them so dependent on you that they can't think for themselves.

Sometimes we get into the trap of over-helping. Our job as coaches is to help our clients become more able to tap into their own resources over time, not become dependent on us.

Issue: Clients asking you to take notes for them.
Boundary to set: Emma-Louise is a great example for this and kindly said I can share this with you. When she started out coaching, she used to send her clients a beautifully typed up action plan after each session with her. Although this was helpful, this did NOT help her clients take ownership of their actions, and just created an extra headache for her. Instead she shifted to allowing time at the end of the session to ask them to "tell me what actions you have written down". She used those exact words - so she would know they had written it down, and to create a great habit for them.

The win:win of not over-helping is that you don't burn yourself out AND you help your clients become more independent, resilient and confident.

Action for you: Consider where might you be over-helping, and what would be a good first step to change this?


So, when you're feeling tired in your business, whether it's physically or mentally, check out these 3 areas to find out if you can make some improvements:

  1. Boundaries - What one boundary could you set that would have the biggest impact?
  2. Self-care - As Cheryl Richardson would say, "What do you need to do to honour your extreme self-care today?"
  3. Over-helping - What new habits will you create?

If you want to really serve your clients then you have to practice fierce kindness, both for yourself - and them.

Let me know in the comments below which area resonates with you. I'd love to hear from you.


Ruby McGuireContributing Author: Ruby McGuire, Visibility Diva, aka Queen of Connection is a mum, wife, cappuccino lover and introvert. She helps unseen solopreneurs step up and shine on/offline so they can make money doing what they love. She's an Accredited Senior Coach, a Co-Author of Awaken Your True Potential, a Trainer, NLP and EFT Practitioner, writes for International Coaching News and heads up Business Support for IIC&M's Invenio Magazine. If you liked this article you might like her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. Find Ruby at her pretty online home, www.rubymcguire.com on Facebook. Failing that she may be satisfying her pinning obsession on Pinterest!

If you want to rock your visibility and have a life, check out her monthly programme, Rock Your Visibility (with a cherry on top) where she helps you create business growth through being visible.

If you liked this article from Ruby on focusing and having a business that rocks, you may also like:


  1. Heba Fawzy

    Thank you for the tips, I am already doing the 2nd, need to focus more on the 1st and 3rd. I have thinking for a while about not sending a summary after each session as I agree with you when the clients takes notes, this increases their participation and ownership.

    thank you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.