Crying, Credibility, and Becoming A Coach: A Growth Story

The first month that I launched my coaching business, I received an email from a "subscriber" saying something along these lines:

Dear Lena,

I joined your email list a few weeks ago, and I have a question: Who are you to be teaching this information? I've never even heard your name before. You clearly don't have any followers, so I'm curious why you keep doing this if it isn't successful?

Let me know. Thanks.


I would show you a screenshot from the actual email, but I was so horrified by the aggressiveness of it that I immediately hit 'delete'. Why are people so damn mean?

As soon as I got home, I fell straight onto my bed and cried.

Like, uncontrollably type sobbing. It was intense.

The truth is that, even though his email was awful and so unnecessarily cruel, he wasn't wrong. I didn't have any "followers". No one knew my name in the online marketing / coaching space. No one trusted me (yet). I was a nobody.

But after I was done drooling all over my pillow, I got up, ate some left-over Thai food, and decided that I was going to figure out how become a somebody. Screw you, Raul!

I began studying other online influencers with tons of followers and dedicated buyers.

I started watching viral YouTube and Facebook videos to identify who created them and what made them special.

I committed to reading books by various marketing thought leaders, listening to podcasts that were getting millions of downloads, and reviewing the websites of popular coaches.

And little by little, I started implementing the strategies that I saw working for others. Some stuff worked for me, others didn't. But eventually, as I saw more and more subscribers and dedicated fans come in, I realized: Maybe I'm getting this whole thought leader thing down.