The Disastrous Patterns and Mistakes all Struggling Health Coaches Make

The health coaching industry has exploded over the past few years, which can cause a bit of overwhelm for a newly certified coach or a coach that’s hoping to reinvent their business.

As exciting of a time as it is to be in the industry; it can be extremely difficult to differentiate one coach from another (there’s a lot of us)!

I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2013 with my certification as a Holistic Health Coach; I still remember how excited I was to receive my official certification in the mail!  I have it hanging in my office to this day.

As excited as I was, I knew there’d be a long road ahead of me.  I knew I needed to find a way to be different and utilize my unique talents to attract the perfect clients for me.  So that’s exactly what I did.

As I built my business, I kept in touch with many fellow coaches who unfortunately were struggling to attain clients.  They took all the wrong steps (like spending months and months tweaking their website) and continued to delay the process of getting started.

Why is it that we delay exactly what we want?  I’ll get to that in a minute.

I started offering to work with fellow health coaches to help get them over their resistance to “starting” — which soon developed into an almost full-time workload in its self.

While working with struggling coaches, I started to notice a handful of really troublesome patterns that were in fact limiting their success. I’ve listed the 4 most-notable mistakes below:

1. The way they approach coaching

One of the biggest mistakes coaches make is that they come up with their to-do list of activities they “should” do prior to bringing on clients.  This list can be monumental and often includes building a website, having business cards, developing a social media following or working on backfilling 25 gazillion blog posts.

When you look at that list of to-do’s, it’s easy to see why many coaches simply don’t even get started.  My gosh, that’s quite the workload.

What it is, is busy work.  It’s resistance.  It’s coming to the conclusion that in order to “act the part”, they need to be all put together professionally.  I will contend that having a personal brand and professional appearance is important, however health coaches aren’t  being hired because of their ability to design a pretty website or write a crafty blog post.  They are being hired to share their knowledge regarding health and wellness — both of which are topics that they received a certification or some form of credentialing in.

The point – Stop with the busy work, it’s okay to tweak your website and slowly grow your social media while you build out your client base.


2.  The way they try to obtain clients

Most coaches aren’t marketers or sales people.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’d be too far out of line to say that many health coaches are empaths who truly want to help others – which is FANTASTIC.  But fantastic doesn’t make clients appear out of thin air.

Unsuccessful Coaches always have no idea where to look for clients.  As a matter of fact, their friends and family most-likely don’t even know that they are certified health coaches – because unsuccessful coaches tend to be resistant to share the news because it’s typically a step in a different direction than their typical profession has been.

That being said, as I work with coaches trying to build out their client base, we are often at a starting point of no one knowing what they can do as a coach.  In all reality, that’s a  great starting point to be at – although failing coaches never see it that way.

Furthermore, some coaches approach marketing their business WAY too sales-like.  They push and push and push their classes and workshops on everyone they know.  The result; family and friends quickly become disinterested in what the coach truly has to offer.

The point – Be okay with sharing your excitement with friends, family and other potential referral partners – however do it with no expectation of working with those people.  After all, referrals are always our best source of clients.  ATTRACT your clients through proper branding, messaging, and your enthusiasm; NEVER approach coaching as a marketing or sales opportunity.


3.  The way they feel about the coaching industry

I eluded to it in the opening that the coaching industry is booming.  In all fairness, it’s great because I feel like we’re behind the times as it relates to health, wellness and lifestyle initiatives anyway – so the more the merrier…. Right?  Well that’s certainly not what a struggling coach thinks.

I noticed that many struggling coaches feel a bit overwhelmed with “competition” in the marketplace.  Heck, they often follow 10 or more coaches on social media and even try to mimic many of their programs or initiatives, to no avail of course.

The thought of competition can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

One of the most enlightening things I ever read – and then started to understand – was that there is no competition.  WE are our only source of competition.  Once I pondered that statement for a while, I started to truly grasp the concept of it.

We are too unique and too special to think that anyone can be “me” better than I can.  Or better yet, we should know better than to mimic the ideas of others… because to have the passion behind those initiatives; you must have experienced and lived it.

Passion and life experience is something that can’t be faked. Struggling health coaches try to be someone they aren’t– which will land a person on the struggle bus every single time.

The point – You are unique, you are special.  Don’t allow yourself to think that you don’t know enough or have enough to be enough as a Coach.  You are magnificent, you have NO competition.  Go out into the world and be the best version of you – your ideal clients will align with that and start to be attracted to you as a coach.


4.  The way they perceive themselves as coaches

This one pattern is typically the first piece of resistance a struggling coach will bring up.  I’ve heard it all:

“I need to lose weight myself.  How will anyone take me serious as a health coach?”

“My life is chaotic and I don’t feel put together internally.  What gives me the right to tell other people how to organize their lives?”

“I haven’t had any clients yet.  How do I tell a prospective client about my experience”?

When struggling, there is always a feeling of doubt about their abilities as a coach.  I think it this is quite common in any industry, however.  When you start a new job, you’re always a little green and will need to learn things along the way.

Heading into a position where you think you need to know it all on day 1 can and will turn even the most confident of individuals into nervous and resistance-prone coaches.

The Point – we must be willing to learn along our life journey.  No one is expected to know it all, so we must be willing to say, “I’m not sure, let me get back to you.”

Going further; health and wellness goes far beyond physical appearance – so you should never let a few extra pounds deter you from getting started.  After all, clients may relate with you a little more if you admit that health and wellness takes work and effort and note that it’s something you continue to work on daily.


In summary, don’t allow any areas of resistance to hold you back from pursuing a dream.  For many health coaches, their work truly is a dream.  In my case, it’s a calling and a life purpose.

When you step into your zone of genius and focus on your own wants and desires as a business owner and coach, you’ll start to crowd out all the unnecessary steps that keep you from truly harnessing your power and potential as a coach.

For more tips and resources or to schedule a free consultation to revamp your coaching business, send the Get Good coaches an email via our Contact page or sign up to attend our virtual “Uncovering You” MASTERCLASS.