How Platform Launchers launched meApr 15, 2023
A guest post from Colleen Law, a member of the Platform Launchers Members' Club
When I joined Platform Launchers, I had no idea I was building a platform. I simply thought I was building my business one well-thought-out step at a time. These well-thought-out steps turned out to be the key right decisions I made that would allow me to enhance the services I provided as an academic coach. The first key decision I made was to bootstrap my business using my savings rather than going into debt. This allowed my business to start lean and stay lean. I wasn’t dependent on anyone else’s money, and I could reinvest all profits back into the business.
The second key decision I made was to publish imperfect content rather than waiting for it to be perfect (as you know, nothing is ever perfect). This was something I had learned from both my coach, Marianne Renner, and members of Dan Miller’s 48 Days Eagles (the group I joined when I decided to build a business).
My third right decision was leveraging my contacts with University retention officers to develop and grow my clientele. Now, ABD Coaching Solutions is an academic coaching business where dissertation students who are struggling to write their dissertations are coached through writing the dissertation. As part of the coaching, we focus on habits, mindset, and personality. Not knowing how to get my name out in the world, I started contacting retention officers and letting them know I could help their struggling PhD students to complete their programs. This was a win-win because I got clients, and their University graduation rates increased.
A few weeks after joining Platform Launchers, I made another right decision. I added life coaching to my business. I did this because, increasingly, PhDs do not want to go into academia, and academics are leaving academia at increasing rates.
To do this right, I had to let potential clients know what I was doing. Holding a live webinar was completely out of my comfort zone, but I did it anyway. By the end of the Friday on which I held the webinar, I had more than 20 people from the webinar sign up for my life coaching services!
At that webinar, I had several academic coaching students provide testimonials for my academic coaching and state why they needed life coaching. Hannah said she never realized focusing for short periods would help her think and write so fast. Christopher liked how I helped him recognize how he had been sabotaging himself, and Lillian realized how the dissertation was a jigsaw puzzle she could put together from day one of university. These testimonials helped launch the life coaching aspect of ABD Coaching Solutions, and now I have just hired three life coaches to help move my clients forward.
It has been a fun ride! Officially, ABD Coaching Solutions has helped 201 PhD candidates become graduates; many of them are now life coaching clients.
Who knew this kind of platform growth was possible when I decided I would use my prior experience in graduate school to help those who were like me?!
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