20 Short and Sweet Life Lessons - From Running My Coaching Business!

Life Lessons over Coffee and CakeThis is a fun post about powerful life lessons learned from running a coaching business. Perfect for a sunny read over coffee - and maybe even a slice of cake! (Yes, you can have your cake - and eat it too!)

So, here are 20 of the best life lessons I've learned from my business so far:

  1. LISTEN to others, but TRUST yourself.
  2. Don't wait for perfection. Learn as much as you can, then let go and DO!
  3. Stay focused on your GOALS! If you're going to get distracted, make sure it is a) a conscious choice and b) financially worthwhile!
  4. It takes LONGER than you think. Have PATIENCE!
  5. But always keep an OPEN mind. There are shortcuts and opportunities that mean great things happen in a flash!
  6. Plan, then REVIEW and adjust the plan often. Life happens - and the only constant is change. So make sure you update your goals and tasks to reflect reality - this way you adjust quicker.
  7. Learn how YOU work best. What times of day are you most and least productive? Set your own guidelines and timetable. AND create your own way of managing your tasks and projects. Keep honing and improving until you get to a way of working that works for you!
  8. Look for the EASY way. Don't make things harder than they need to be. Especially when feeling overwhelmed, ask "What's the EASY way to do this?"
  9. ASK for help.
  10. Don't be afraid to PAY for help. And if they're not working, find someone else.
  11. Be a GOOD BOSS to yourself. It's all too easy to take advantage of our own fears and good nature - after all who knows us better than ourselves? You can always ask, "If I was a great boss, what would I say to myself now?"
  12. Have FUN! If you're not enjoying yourself it will be a hard slog! And that will leave you tired and grumpy, which means you'll find the next day harder and so on…
  13. Remember that YOU come first! When asked to do something for someone else, always assess it against your own priorities before saying yes.
  14. LET IT BE. Sometimes if you leave something for long enough - it disappears on its own. (Don't do this with anything important though!)
  15. Sometimes you need to STOP to move forwards. Feeling stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed? PAUSE and BREATHE. Or take 5-30 minutes and stroll outside or read a book. Take a break, recharge your batteries and you'll be raring to go again in no time.
  16. MANAGE your interruptions. Just because you get interrupted doesn't mean it's important. It might be urgent - but for whom? What happens to YOUR priorities if you respond? Do you need to respond now? Can someone else deal with this?
  17. Choose your own RULES. The fabulous thing is if you work for yourself YOU get to decide. Actually think about what's important to you and work accordingly. Question anything that makes you unhappy - you may need a rule reset!
  18. Remember that YOU are a role model. Whether it's your clients or your kids, how you run your life and business signals not only how important THEY are to you, but how important you think YOU are. We teach people how to treat us, but as a role model, we also teach our clients and children how to treat themselves too!
  19. Learn to say NO. Without guilt. To yourself AND to others.
  20. When you KNOW what you need to do, don't wait, DECIDE. Action can always come later, but without the deciding part you're wasting time, energy, it gets harder and you risk missing out. NB. You may need time to build strength first and this is fine. But that doesn't stop you DECIDING.

So, these are the top life lessons I have collected so far from running my own coaching business. What do you think? What are the life lessons that you've learned from your business?

We'd love you to comment below or share your thoughts with us on Facebook!

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools, resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>


  1. Carol Leek

    Wow! Did I resonate with some of those lessons! Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone and that I am on the right path. Great article.

    • Emma-Louise

      Hey Carol,

      Thanks for your comment! I am so glad you resonated with those lessons - it's certainly hard work to run your own business! Warmly, EL

  2. Tiffany Mason

    Thank you so much, Emma-Louise. This is great pearls of wisdom. One of the reasons why I started my coaching and consulting business is to be a positive role model to others. You nailed it on that one! 🙂

    Thank you again,

  3. Theresa

    Great List Keith! For the 'no' piece I've also had to learn that when I 'm on the receiving end , it's a step closer to a yes.

    • Emma-Louise

      Thanks Tammy! I think number 4 might be one of the most important... This year my theme (after 12 years of coaching and 7 years of The Coaching Tools Company) is Patience!!! So your comment is very timely 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise

  4. abdul waheed

    very well said. its a great lesson for new commers in this field just like me.


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