Ep 61 // How I Make Money as a Full-Time Certified Coach

Ep 61

We're into the fourth quarter of 2022. Do you know where your finances are? If you're a coach or consultant, or just someone self-employed, It's important to check in annually - even quarterly - so you can assess what is working for you and, just as importantly, what isn't. That way, you can pivot your energy as necessary.

In this episode, Akua Nyame-Mensah breaks down her finances in her own quarterly review to help shed some light on how she makes money as a self-employed certified leadership coach and to share her perspective while giving you ideas of offers to add to your portfolio. 

Listen in to learn how you can diversify your revenue streams and discover how to take your coaching beyond 1:1, which Akua loves, but recognizes it's not the only - or even the best - way to generate a living as a coach. You'll receive ideas on what to reflect on to make sure you're working towards your goals as a business coach and leader.

Listen, Follow, Review, and Rate the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Audible | Amazon Music | Spotify

What's Covered in this Episode About Executive Coaching

  • Akua describes the multiple ways she's worked for herself in four years of being self-employed, including affiliate marketing and consulting.
  • Learn to differentiate between where you make your money and where you spend your time. 
  • Find out Akua's four basic ways of making money as a coach.
  • Akua's signature offer, the Proactive Leader, is a process through which she leads her one-on-one clients. This serves as her main source of income. 
  • Though she was once a reluctant speaker, Akua now does a lot of public speaking and workshops around the topic of leadership, self-management, productivity, and others.
  • As a coach, doing group work can be transformational, as participants see that others struggle with similar issues, and they can lean on each other for accountability.
  • Partner projects are a great way to join existing projects without having to do the marketing or business development. But as a kind of subcontractor, these don't make as much money as getting clients yourself.
  • Working with other coaches and learning new skills is a great upside to working on partner projects.
  • Consulting is the fourth way Akua brings in revenue, and unsurprisingly, given its only 11% of her income, it's Akua's least favorite way to make money.
  • Akua breaks down the percentages of each income activity and how she uses the information to make business decisions going forward. 
  • Financial analysis of your business is important to confirm that the assumptions you make about where your money is coming from is correct. You might be surprised!

A note from Akua: Enjoy this podcast content and guests? Do you keep track of your budget, how you're making money, and where your money goes? I'd love to know! These are the kinds of conversations we will have in my new community and container. If you are an action-oriented and accomplished professional who is pivoting into service-based entrepreneurship and are ready to get out of theory and into practice, join my waitlist to cut through the noise and get to the money here: www.akuanm.com/cheatcode

Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "What I share in terms of how I make money does not reflect where I spend the majority of my time." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • " I actually do a lot of free pro bono, what I like to describe as delayed compensation work that really fulfills me. And because I work for myself, and the other work I do is at a particular level  it opens me up to do a lot of  pro bono or delayed compensation things." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "Ideally, what would I like this to look like? Right? So going into 2023? Ideally 50% workshops and speaking that are a little bit more bespoke that I find myself 25%, one on one coaching 25% partner projects." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

Mentioned in How I Make Money as a Full-Time Certified Coach

Podcast Episode #20: Check in With Your Goals Now

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua’s services if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization’s culture.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

Playlists-Wide Rectangle Ad

Here’s the transcript for episode 61 about How I Make Money as a Full-Time Certified Coach

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool.

Akua Nyame-Mensah 00:07 Welcome to the open door podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah. I also respond to Aqua and I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised facilitator and former sort of leader that loves supporting reluctant buyer fighting and overwhelmed leaders. I've worked with them to help them clarify where they should focus their time and energy each and every day so that they can love themselves, love their work, and ultimately love their life. If you're looking to learn leadership information and hear different perspectives, you are in the right place. My aim in this podcast is to help you see that one of the most productive and profitable things you can do is deeply understand yourself. Understand how you show up, understand how you thrive, and allow yourself to align everything in your work in your life, and in your business to support that think of this podcast as your weekly opportunity to receive leadership support. And remember, there is no one right way to lead yourself or others. Thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to this week's opendoor conversations podcast episode, I'm really excited about this week's topic because I am diving into how I make money. Well, actually, it's more of a review. It's something that I do every single year. And I thought it would be interesting for those of you who listen to my podcast, and might have a service based business, you might be a coach or you might be a consultant. So I just want to say straight off the bat, I will not be sharing specific numbers. But I still do think this is a really interesting way to gain some insight into how other people make money working by themselves. By the end of this episode, you will get a clearer idea of how you can make money as an executive relationship coach, especially if you're looking to do more than one on one coaching. All right. And keep in mind that I do work for myself full time. The reason why right I'm putting together this episode of that's coming up for you is that one selfishly, every single year I do this, I go back over my numbers. And I review it because I decide to shift my focus from year to year, even quarter to quarter. So I always want to check in to see what works, what didn't work, what I can do differently and what I should continue doing moving forward. So it's really a bigger example of that start, stop and continue sort of process that I've shared many, many times, I will also make sure that I link that episode in the show notes. Because I think it's also a really great place to start when you are thinking about your finances and how money is going. The second reason why I put this together is that I want to share my perspective on the different ways you can make money as a coach, I get a lot of coaches who reach out to me about doing one on one. And I actually don't think it's the best way. It's definitely not the only way. But I also don't think it's the best way to generate a living. And you really could be having a greater impact. Enjoy what you do even more. If you think about additional ways, additional things that you could add to your portfolio. So that's kind of how I think about my career and my business. Once again, this is not necessarily for everyone, but it's something that I like to keep in mind. So I have four years of experience working for myself, and I honestly can't believe it because I never thought I would ever work for myself. But I've tried a by rarity, I can't say that word a verity of multiple different types of ways of working for myself approaches, attempts to generate revenue for myself. I've done a tonne of different things, including one on one coaching, consulting, joining coaching and facilitation pools where you're guaranteed a certain number of hours, affiliate marketing, not of necessarily my own stuff, but being part of a larger Academy. I've attended courses, route programmes, I've done some part time work, of course I do my speaking my workshops, join leadership programmes, even building my own leadership programmes. And then last but not least, and this is something that I'm going to be doing a lot more and to 2023 longer term leadership projects. So that's actually back to sort of partnering with others who sort of do the business development and have the relationships and they sort of just pull me in as a facilitator or coach. All right. One of the things I want to emphasise is that when I share a little bit more about how I make money, it does not reflect where I spend the majority of my time. I'm going to repeat that because this is really important. What I share in terms of how I make money does not reflect where I spend the majority of my time, right, so I actually might do a separate episode about where I spend the majority of my time I'm in relation to where I make money because I actually do a lot of free pro bono, what I like to describe as delayed compensation work that really fulfils me. And because I work for myself, and the other work I do is at a particular level or at a particular value, let's say it specifically particular dollar value, it opens me up to do a lot of that free pro bono or delayed compensation things. So they also sometimes indirectly support the ways in which I make money. So I might do another episode about that, if that's something that you want to hear about where I actually spend my time versus where I make my money, let me know, I'm happy to do that. But in this conversation, I'm just going to talk about how I make money. And once again, I'm not going to share specific numbers, I'm actually going to share our percentages. Before I get into the percentages. Let me talk about the four basic ways I generate money, I typically talk about it the three parts of my sort of business model, but it's four basic ways. The first is one on one coaching and I have a signature process a signature service for that. The second is through workshops and speaking that I find myself. The third is through partner projects where I can either do one on one coaching, workshops, speaking Alright, and then the last way I generate my business is consulting. So a quick description of each one on one coaching. As I mentioned before, I have my signature service, which is now known as the proactive leader. It's six sessions. And then I do have ongoing coaching packages or ongoing coaching or executive and leadership retainers that can go along with that if you're interested in continuing to work with me. So that's really the first bit the second bit is my workshops, and speaking my main topics typically around leadership, self leadership, self management, time management, productivity, I also do some stuff around soft skills as well. But it typically relates to leaders not feeling like they have enough time and energy to learn how to public speak appropriately, to self promote, right to make the most of their calendar in their team and delegate. Alright, some of these are one off programmes others are series, my favourite actually to do are sort of a series of workshops that include having access to me on a form via email and doing other ways to support leaders really beyond having that initial conversation in a group, right. And I actually really enjoy doing group work because it can be very transformational, to see that other people are struggling with the same thing, and to also be able to lean on each other for accountability as well. The third way I mentioned is partner projects. And that's where I join existing projects. So somebody else has already done the business development, somebody else has the relationship, I typically signed something where I say I can't talk about the project I'm on or the company I'm working with, which is why I can't talk much about when I do these. But it's really exciting because you have the opportunity to work with other coaches, other facilitators, you learn a lot of new skills. And probably most importantly, you were sort of guaranteed a certain amount of money. So it feels like it's more consistent and more stable, right. So for people who are thinking about if they are interested in becoming a one on one coach or do want to work for themselves, working on partner projects, or joining partner platforms is a really great way to have a certain amount of stable or stability in your business. All right. And then the last one is really around consulting. And that's typically where I'll do some research, interviews or report writing. And a lot of the consulting work that I've done has actually been around startups. So for those of you don't know, my background is actually working for high growth startups, specifically in emerging markets, and specifically in West Africa. So I've experienced building a classifieds, or what I like to describe as E classifieds, platforms, which are platforms that actually have two audiences, you can say, to clients a supply and demand side. And so I love sort of diving into projects related to that if they come up, and it makes sense for the time that I have available. Okay, so what does this actually look like in practice? How do I actually make my money and so I'm currently looking at a pie chart right now, because I actually counted up all the numbers. And this is something I actually track on a monthly basis, I have different ways of tracking this. And I just put together all the income and sort of was, yeah, just looking at this. And I actually was not surprised. I wasn't surprised at all at the way these numbers look. So let's just get into them. So the primary way in which I make money, or the primary way in which I made money this year, so far is through one on one coaching. I'm not surprised. So 55% of my revenue so far this year has come from one on one coaching. Once again, I do not spend the majority of my time one on one coaching, but that is where the majority of my revenue comes from where my income comes from. Okay, the second biggest pie or the second biggest chunk of the pie related to how I make money is through workshops and speaking so that was 20.9%. The next is through partner projects. And as I mentioned before partner projects are either I'm on a platform I'm part of a project that another organisation company has organised they've done the business development they own a lot of times the IP, and also the content. And so I learned the content I show up, you know, I hopefully do a good job or most of the time I do a good job in front of the clients, right, so I help to deliver their project. Alright, and that takes up about 13.1% of my income so far this year. And then last but not least, is Consulting at 11%. All right, I will say straight off the bat, this is also probably a reflection of where I love to spend my time, I love doing one on one work, I actually love doing workshops and speaking more. Now, previously, I definitely prefer the one on one work. But now I do love the workshops. And speaking partner projects are always great. As long as you have a partner you're working with an organisation or client that really does resonate and has similar values. And that's something I've been able to find so far. So it's something I'm really grateful for and really enjoyed doing in terms of thinking about those organisations, I interviewed them as much as they interviewed me, right, because it's really important that you're on the same page, and that it makes sense for you financially as well. Because typically, when you join a partner project, you will make less than what you would make yourself because the idea is that by joining a partner project, they're doing all the marketing and business development, you're just kind of showing up. So all that additional energy and time that you would have spent doing business development is cut out because you're working with them, right, they're also sort of lending you their brand as well, right? Because they're saying, Hey, this is a great person, and she's going to do a great job, or he's going to do a great job at that facilitating or coaching. Alright, and then the last one on here is consulting, I'm not gonna lie, I'm not the biggest fan of report writing, I love to interview, I love sharing my perspective. But a lot of times when I've been on consulting projects, they end up being a lot longer than they should, because the timelines are not always directed by me. So that's just sort of what I like to keep in mind in reference to how I make money. Ideally, what would I like this to look like? Right? So going into 2022? Sorry, 2023 messing up my years already? What would I like this to look like? So straight off the bat, I don't want to do any consulting. That's the first thing. That's not to say that no consulting gigs will come my way. That's not to say I won't do any consulting. But I really would like a minimum amount of money to come from consulting. Ideally, I would like 50% of my money to come from workshops or speaking that I find myself, I really enjoy doing this. It's surprising to me, because for the longest time, I was actually really scared of public speaking. I also speak really quickly, if you haven't noticed, especially when I get passionate, for some reason, that's probably through practice, I've gotten a lot slower. Having this podcast has also really helped as well. Doing my lives really helps doing things, my workshops, and speaking definitely helps as well. But I really would love to have about 50% of my income next year come from workshops and speaking and I'm tailoring right where my time and energy will go next year and the support I get next year to that. The second thing I put on here is my one on one coaching, I love doing my one on one coaching. But it's not scalable, there's only a certain number of clients that I can take every single month because of time. And because they have access to my calendar, I can't have too many people on my roster at a point in time. So I'd like about 25% of my income to come from that. The last bit is with the partner projects this year, I have spent a lot of time and energy, you know, applying for places being technically scouted or recruited to join pools and platforms. And I'm super, super excited about all the organisations and companies I've been able to join. And so it's great because it's a little bit more consistent. But as I mentioned that con is that I don't know my timeline, and I will make a little bit less that that's okay, because I'm not doing the business development. And I can plan a little bit more because I have an idea of how much should be coming in at specific intervals, right. And as someone who likes to plan that's incredibly helpful for me. Alright, so I also put partner projects at 25%. Alright, so just a recap, ideally next year. And what I'm trying to do, right so far, and I'll be going actually into my yearly planning process very soon, probably will put together a podcast episode about that. But ideally 50% workshops and speaking that are a little bit more bespoke that I find myself 25%, one on one coaching 25% partner projects. All right, so to give you a little bit of context, and a little bit more, I guess, clarity about what this looks like for me moving forward for the rest of this year. So we have about three months left this year, so about a quarter left this year. And I'm going to go into a period in my business where about 75% of my revenue will come for partner projects, which is once again, not ideal, but it's something I'm just looking to try to sort of see what it's like. And I'm super excited to be partnering with amazing companies around the world that is going to actually take me from just doing virtual stuff to testing out again, some in person stuff. So whenever I try and do something new in my business, I always love to find partners that you know I can join big Has this is a really great way to test out whether or not I want to do in person stuff. If you've ever listened to any of my content or been following me for any point in time, you know that I tend to prefer doing things virtually. But because of some opportunities that have come my way I've decided, why not, why not just try it and see what it's like. And doing it through partner projects is a really great safe way to see whether or not I do enjoy doing in person work, because a bit of in person work that I've done so far, has not necessarily been ideal. So I'm really looking forward to seeing whether or not that's true, especially now that things have changed with a pandemic. So I'd love to know, how do you make money, right? What does this sound like to you? Am I doing something wrong? Let me know. So even if you're not, you know, interested in service based work, you're not a coach, you're not a consultant? Do you keep track of sort of your budget, how you're making money and where your money goes? If not, I'd really recommend that you take a look at it, because it'd be really interesting for you to see whether or not some of the assumptions you're making about where you think your money is coming from, and where it's going, is really in that order. And just once again, to reiterate, I've mentioned this before, when I mentioned this, again, where I make money or how I make money does not actually reflect where I spend the majority of my time. And so if that's something that you're looking to also get a better grasp of as well, I'd really recommend that you do a simple time audit to sort of see where your time is going versus where you're making your money. And that also might provide some clarity on where you should focus your time and energy. Alright, so I think I'm going to stop here, because that's all I really wanted to share for this podcast episode, give you a little insight into how I make money, some thoughts on how you can make money beyond one on one coaching as a executive and leadership coach, and also give you some thoughts on things that you can reflect on to make sure that you're working towards whatever vision whatever goals you have financially. So if this conversation was of interest to you, and these are the types of conversations you'd like to have, I really would love for you to sign up to learn a little bit more about a community I'm looking to build with executive and leadership coaches. These are the types of things I would love to discuss with people who are maybe struggling with trying to make money or trying to figure out where they want to spend their time and energy. So please make sure that you check out the show notes. And join my mailing list to learn a little bit more about my community when I have more information available. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen, and stay safe and stay sane. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to today's episode. If you enjoyed what you heard today, please share it with your friends. We can continue this conversation on social media the links to my socials so that is LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. You can find them in the show notes. If you tagged me in a story and include the hashtag hashtag ask Akua I will share a special little gift with you. Thank you so much once again for your time and I cannot wait to share my next episode with you stay safe and sane.


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!

Leave a comment


 Untitled design (7)  Untitled design (8)  Untitled design (1)



               CASE STUDIES

               PEOPLE ROUNDTABLE


Leaders aren't born; they're made.

This 5-minute assessment will help you understand what leadership stage you're currently in so you can determine your next steps.


© Copyright 2023, Akua Nyame-Mensah | Terms & Conditions  | Website by Rachelle Deem