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Building a coaching business you love with Karen Kissane


We caught up with the wonderful Karen Kissane, Small Business Coach of the Year, to get a glimpse into the life and award-winning coach. We attended the Smart Women's Business Facebook group meetup that Karen hosts in London and we also spent a whole day with the fantastic women in her Group Coaching meeting.

Karen Kissane is a qualified coach and accredited in DISC personality profiling with The Coaching Academy. Karen works with many clients in service-based businesses, such as fellow coaches, consultants and therapist, to meet their business objectives and thrive. She also Mentors students of The Coaching Academy. Through her business, Karen empowers others to strategize, market and find the breakthroughs they’re looking for. 

We talked about all things business, mindset, how a coaching business can evolve and what success looks like for Karen. We hope you enjoy her inspiring story! 

Karen graduated from The Coaching Academy only three years ago and used her background in business, sales & marketing to build a successful coaching business. Today she works one on one with clients but she aims to meet people where they are at and has implemented group coaching elements into her business. 

But this successful business has been a long time in the making so we wanted to see what role coaching plays in Karen’s life. 

Before I became a coach… it would have been very very different of course. You think of the professions that people have, the careers that people have, it’s just that - a profession or a career. But coaching is so different. 

In its simplest terms, it’s how I live my life, it completely transformed my life. It completely made me look at who I am as a person, things I want to achieve, it not only completely springboarded a business for me that I absolutely love and created so many opportunities, but it’s changed everything about my personal relationships and the people around me. 

It’s been life-changing, it really has.

Watch the video below to listen to how Karen discovered The Coaching Academy, how she came along because she noticed a difference within her clients when she asked different questions and hear how she deals with people who judge her on their own terms of success. 

Building a successful business takes time and success doesn’t come overnight. Seeing as Karen had a business background before, we were curious to see how much of a difference that made in her success. 

Did she have a clear vision of the business she wanted to build as soon as qualifying? Did Karen’s business always look like it does today? 

I really try to give people what they need in their business. Not everyone who comes to me is ready to invest in one on one coaching. Lots of people don’t even really know if they need or want coaching, they’re still at that stage of "well, is it for me? I want to learn a little bit about it before I decide". 

And so I try to meet people where they’re at. And if that’s an introduction to coaching through a group training programme, at an event or a day then that's what my business looks like. So it's across the spectrum, it’s composed of different parts, different elements that help people with things that they need help with at any given moment in time. 

I knew I wanted to run a business with [the diploma]. (…) But I didn’t have a clear picture on how that would look like, that’s definitely evolved over time. I’ve invested a lot in my own learning and development since I became a coach as well.

It might (not) surprise you to hear that the biggest impact on her success was taking the steps forward every day, stretching her comfort zone and simply doing the work. Hear all the details of Karen’s business from where it started to where it is by watching the video below! 

As a Mentor with The Coaching Academy, Karen hears from TCA students who are about to open or have already started their own coaching business. Drawing on this experience, we asked her to share the first three steps coaches need to take to start a successful coaching business. 

1. I’m always pf the viewpoint that a coach needs to have a coach. So, get a coach, that’s my first tip. that if we expect our clients to invest in coaching, why would we not invest ourselves? (…)

2. Be prepared to do the things you don’t want to do because they’re the things where the magic lies. That’s where the greatest growth and leaps forward you will find in your business. (…)

3. Get really clear on how you help people because at the end of the day people don’t buy coaching. It’s not the coaching that people buy, it’s what coaching will bring them or give to them or help them to achieve. So, as business owners, we have to be really good at communicating what that value is and what that benefit is. (…)

Listen to all the tips Karen shares about starting and running a successful coaching business in the video below! 

By the end of the day, we talked so much about how to help others build their business that we wanted to get the story behind the business.
Running a successful business can be challenging alone so we were curious who supports Karen as a coach and business owner and what are her favourite parts about running her business. 

There are several strands to this and this is why the evolution of my coaching programmes ended up as it is. I love helping my clients one to one because that’s where the greatest transformations and breakthroughs can happen (…).
But at the same time for anyone who wants to achieve great things in their business, there is one of you potentially, there is only one of m,e so there is a limit to how many one on one clients I can work with at one time. (…)
So what I love doing is bringing together a fusion of one on one coaching with group coaching, like today. This is what I have found to be a great model, a great approach in my coaching. 

Watch the end of our interview with Karen in the video below where we dive into the story of a successful business coach! 

Karen’s story shines a light on the freedom running your coaching business can give you, not just in terms of your freedom of time but in terms of creating your own measure of success. Coaches are free to build their businesses in whatever way it serves their clients but also their own aspirations. 

If you are a student of The Coaching Academy, let us know – what are your business aspirations? Who would you like to help with coaching? 

And if you would like to find out more about coaching and how it can change your life, just like it changed Karen’s and many other’s journeys in life, start by joining us for a free live training. Choose available dates here.