How should I approach starting a coaching business when I am still job hunting?

I would love to have your opinions on this. I took a career break sometime in 2014 for my MBA, upon finishing I tried to find a job but nothing was coming up so I decided to start a growing online retailing business while at it in 2015. I was at the same time volunteering for a non profit organisation to help coach SME's which I am still doing on the side for free. I now have a 17 month old baby with no support so I'm having to look after my child alone and cannot afford full-time day care for her nor afford to hire a nanny as hubby has taken time off work for study abroad so financially things are down. I'm looking to get back into work, but numerous applications have failed, my side business is not generating profit yet enough to take care of needs, part of it is because I'm not promoting it as I should due to fear of potential employers finding out as I still want to go back to paid employment. I'm considering starting a coaching service to sme's & startups to earn some money. My question is how will recruiters and employers view this? Should I continue to wait to get a job which I don't know when? Hopefully by the end of next year when hubby is done we can get a nanny or have baby go to full time nursery. The coaching service will still require me to go online since most businesses success now depends on the internet to grow. Recruiters ask me about the gap in my CV and I explain but some are not willing to go forward due to this - I never mention my side business, I talk about my voluntary service to the non-profit organisation. Please I need advice from anyone who has run a business and went back to work or from HR managers, hiring managers and recruiters. Will my side business and coaching service hinder me from getting the job I want? Should I promote my business online that will require my personal brand to be active to support the business as well.


Catch 22? Not at all...You need to project your weakness ( according to you) as a strength. Be open and bold about your online business. It is work experience and not a career break! You take that experience to the companies who are in the same line of business and you are very exciting for them.

Please dont waste your time with recruiters. They have fixated ideas and mandates and can rarely identify or appreciate real talent.

You need to get rid off your baggage you are carrying in your head. Your non-profit work would never become a business as your target customers cant afford to pay. Keep it that way and continue doing good karma.

Join relevant LinkedIn groups based on your business and connect with like minded people. Target businesses in the same domain and directly contact them seeking appointments with hiring managers. Go as an entrepreneur and explore synergies.

There is no shame in saying that your business did not work. But analyze why. If you feel that it is only because you did not promote it actively, then please go ahead and promote the hell out of it. Being an entrepreneur is the best work experience any employer can get as you would know the entire business cycle.

You never know, your promotion, done in the right way may actually create more jobs!

Answered 2 years ago

There are quite a few things to consider here. I am both a recruiter, and I have taken time off work to start a business and then gone back to work.

I think I can definitely be of help. Now have you been on a break for 4 years? If your resume is indicative of that, I can tell you right now no recruiter will move forward with your application. It makes their job more difficult trying to sell their client someone who has not worked for long. It will not matter what you say they will look for someone easier to pitch.

Now you say you only have your volunteer exp on your resume. That is a signal to recruiters that you may not be employable. That is clearly not the truth, but because you are not being transparent as to ALL what you have really been up to, they will make their assumptions. I say put everything on your resume. Headhunters use key word searches and you may be reached out to about SME opportunities, even if their junior at least your back in right? Not only that, it’s clear you want to provide. Put faith in yourself and go all in! You can’t sit around and wait.

Now from a non recruiter POV, I can tell you that the easiest way to get back to work is to speak to past employers, or professors. They know your skill and work ethic, because they know you personally (huge advantage) . You can have a real conversation and they can potentially offer you a comeback. That’s what I did and it worked out perfectly. But this is bc I left on good terms.

I hope this helps. I am available if you want to talk more strategy. I have been there and I know it isn’t easy, and I didn’t have a young one. I can tell your passionate about a solution. Everything will work out when you believe in yourself.

Good luck!

Answered 2 years ago

You're going to have to make a decision to commit and make one of your business work and or go back to work. I'm not making that statement from an employer won't or will hire you; I'm saying it from you only have so much time standpoint. As for is it ok? That's honestly going to depend on your employer. I also don't think there is a problem with saying you took time off to start a business and it didn't work out, in recognition of your gap in employment.

Answered 2 years ago

1) Get a domain with your name
2) Start a blog (I would recommend - DIY
3) Read this:
Un abrazo ;)

Answered 2 years ago

Why tell recruiters anything?

Guideline: Avoid oversharing.

Just do what serves you best + follow each day's best opportunity.

Answered 2 years ago

Hi. A lot of information about if we start to break down into small pieces?

1) You have a baby at home with no one to take care of it
2) You have a 4 year experience gap
3) You are not sure if you want to be an entrepreneur or an employee
4) You need/want a certain amount of income

Is this so? Out of all 4, the least of your problems is the 4 year experience gap...I am being serious here. I could tell you to start working part-time, but I am not sure if this will cover whatever financial expectations you might have (although it will solve your baby issue). I could advise you to start working as a temp somewhere, but you may not make as much money as you need/want. Those 2 options will get you a job in no time...but then it comes the question: are you ok with having someone bossing you around? Or do you enjoy your current freedom as a business owner? If you love your freedom, if being with your child as much as possible is something you are not willing to give up, then being an employee will bring nothing but frustration down the road...

You should also be prepared to those "tricky" questions about your 4 year employment attention, it was an employment, not experience gap...being an entrepreneur gave you a whole new set of skills and competencies you wouldn´t have when asked about that, be ready to answer back with everything you experienced and learned during that time...

But right now, you need to focus on what you really want so your energy flows in the right direction.

Feel free to contact me if you need some support with the decision making process. I have a few exercises that might help you

All the best!

Answered 2 years ago

Speaking from purely an HR lens, much depends on the jobs you're applying to and the relevancy of your side business(es).

Many people have gaps in their resume. If it is relevant to the job you apply to, no one bats an eye. For instance, taking time for your MBA for some jobs is a win, yet for others not so much. Taking time to raise a family is a reasonable gap, I would just call it out. The only fear they will have is whether you're 'current' with skills so if you have been volunteering in your chosen field, all good, put both - you can explain in the interview focusing on your awesome skills in time management, juggling competing demands and dealing with ambiguity :)

I took 9 years to raise my family! I know....9!! In that time I also started my own HR consulting business and then when I was ready I applied to do the very work I did on my own in HR. So I showed the business AND home maker in my resume. That is some years back now but I've seen many do the same quite successfully.

Your side business COULD be seen as detrimental if the employer perceives you still will continue to work on the side while gainfully employed - you're likely to get passed over then. Unless the job you're applying to is in the same field and the work has been keeping you current, it is all in how you write it up.

Last thing I would say is if you're promoting your side business online, expect a future employer will find it. Find a way to incorporate it...don't try to hide it. We really don't like fabrications and I have terminated people for misrepresentation.

At the end of the day, your resume is the data they have to figure out whether you "can do the job" they are at search for. Ask yourself how relevant is your information for the job? Stick with being honest or it will bite you down the line.
Hope that helps, happy to chat further.

Answered 2 years ago

On your resume, you can always put self-employed to discuss your "gap" in employment. Here's an example from mine:

Writing/editing coach currently Lexington, KY
Self-employed 1997-present
 Guide people through the process of becoming successful freelance writers and editors.
 Led one client through the entire process of writing and self-publishing his book, “The Blessings of My Storms,” which has become successful in Kentucky and beyond.

I have been successful in both self-employment and the traditional workplace as well as explaining gaps in traditional employment on my resume, in my cover letter, and during interviews.

We can chat on a brief call to discuss your situation further.

Good luck!


Answered 2 years ago

Great question! Here's your #1 issue - FOCUS. Doing 2 things (job/coaching business) at the same time is pulling you in opposite ways.

Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths. WHAT IS THE ONE THING WOULD YOU LOVE DOING ALL DAY EVERY DAY? If you're not passionate about who you serve a coaching biz will burn you out before it gets off the ground.

Check out James Altucher's book Choose Yourself This explains everything you need to hear right now.

You've already found out that if you are waiting for a "job" to choose you you may be waiting a very very very long time. So why not choose yourself, especially in the mean time?

Polish up your personal brand so that resume gaps are explained by working in your coaching biz which includes non-profit consulting as a way to give back, which is clearly important to you and should be to any future employer worth you.

Change your mind, change your future starting today.

There's only one of you in the whole world - any employer will be lucky if YOU CHOOSE them to work "with" (not for).

Position yourself as "the chooser" and make employers/clients apply to work with you. Can't hurt if you are getting only a few nibbles on your resume anyway right? All it takes is attracting one big fish with the right bait.

Every smart person has multiple streams of income these days (aka side hustle) - position this as a benefit to a future employer because of your drive and lessons learned that you can bring to their biz.

That's it for now - got to get back to helping clients do less, better! Talk soon.
- Daniel

Answered 2 years ago

This is a situation that is hard to see over when you are knee deep in it. I have been in a similar situation. There are 3 separate questions you seem to have.

Situation 1: Updating your CV
1. Take a step back and look at what you have been up to.
2. Re-look at what you have been up to from the lens of what you want to do next (your next position) including running your own own business.
3. Translate that to work experience / skills. Experience and adding value to someone / an organization even when done at no cost is valuable experience.
4. Craft your CV from that point of view.

Situation 2: Starting your own business.
1. Apart from the usual you will need to do to get the business up and running like your list of services and fees, request key person you helped to write you a testimonial. If Linkedin is big where you are, get it uploaded on Linkedin.
2. Ask each and everyone for a referral
3. Jump in 1000%

There is a possible 3rd area you may wish to explore. Starting your own business while looking for full-time employment.

Call me if you think I can be of service to you.

Answered 2 years ago

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