Essential Guide To Building A Coaching Business: Should I Tell My Boss I'm Starting A Business?


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Because you are excited about your new business and how awesome it’s going to be, you want to share it with everyone! But before you dive in and spread the word, consider whether this is the time to be discrete.

Depending on the size of the company, the size of your team and how close you are with your boss and co-workers, it may be difficult to keep it entirely under wraps.

What you want to avoid is making your boss or the company nervous.

Put yourself in your boss’ shoes.

If you knew someone was building a business, you might think they were not as loyal and committed to their job, the team and the company.

So be careful, ensure that when you are at work you are fully dedicated to your employer. Don’t work on your business, take calls, or do research while you’re on the clock.

Once your boss knows you have a side hustle, they might think twice before offering you a promotion or any other interesting assignments.

Is there any potential conflict between your business and your job?

Start by reviewing your employment contract. What does it say? Every employer has standard terms and conditions around you and your role and you have agreed to them.

You may know many co-workers and clients who you would potentially love to talk to about your coaching business. My advice is do not use company or client information that is rightfully owned by your employer and do not try to engage any of these people as clients, not even for pro-bono work.

I recommend you err on the side of caution. You don’t, in any way, want your boss to think you are using the company for your personal benefit, or that you are in a potential conflict of interest.

If you are in a less formal company, and you feel it's appropriate to speak up about your new sideline, speak with your manager before talking to anyone else. You may need to wait until you have left the company before you speak with any of these people. Depending on your employment agreement you may have to wait for a longer period.

Be careful. Starting a business is hard work, you don’t want to add any legal complications to the mix.

Now is the time to make sure you are not using company equipment or supplies for anything related to your business. Get and use a personal computer, mobile phone and any other equipment and supplies you might need. Don’t store files on your work computer or server, don’t do internet research, social media posts, print jobs or any email on your employer’s equipment.

This will help you to maintain good strong boundaries and if, in the future, it is time to reveal your side hustle to your employer you can show how it has not negatively impacted your work or the company.

Every circumstance is different but an excellent question you can ask yourself,

“How would I feel if my manager was standing next to me?”

If  you’re doing anything that would make you feel uncomfortable then you’re probably stepping over the line.

If you plan on keeping it as a side hustle, then you want to ensure you continue to be a top contributor in your job.

If you are dreaming of growing your business so you can eventually quit your day job and go from employee to entrepreneur, then you should begin planning an exit strategy, now. 

Consider whether you want to be able to quit outright or if you would like to have a more gradual transition. You may want to include a plan for a shift to part time at your job. Fair warning though, if you would like to do this, build an excellent business plan that shows how it will benefit your employer. At the same time, be prepared for them to reject your proposal which may result in you being without a job earlier than you like. Consider all potential results, and be prepared for all eventualities.

Finally, if you have any concerns, especially around conflict of interest, make sure you get, and use, good legal advice.

My goal is to help you, have your dream coaching practice. How’s it going? Is it everything you hoped it would be? If you’re looking for my clarity, confidence and focus, schedule a complimentary 20-minute private Clarity Session with me through this link https://bit.ly/2qVMn9j. I can’t wait to hear from you.


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