How My Prison Experience Fueled Me To Build A 8-Figure Coaching Business

Published: February 13th, 2023
Lewis Raymond Taylor
The Coaching Masters
from London
started January 2019
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Hi! I’m Lewis Raymond Taylor, and I’m the Founder of The Coaching Masters, a tech-driven online coaching business for aspiring life coaches.

A rapidly growing platform, The Coaching Masters has seen 100% year-on-year growth with over $5.7m in revenue, a thriving online and offline community, and 5,000+ customers from 81 countries. Recently, the business was valued at $25 million.

I split my time between the UK and Bali, which I’ve found has a great community of digital entrepreneurs. I’m also a motivational speaker, speaking on stage worldwide.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Looking at where I’m now compared to where I was a few years ago, I still can’t believe how much my life has changed. I lived through an incredible amount of adversity in my earlier years, and just seven years ago, when I was 24, I was serving my third prison sentence. The person I was, and the situation I was in, have hugely shaped where I am today.

It was during the third prison sentence that I had my defining moment. I had an abusive childhood, resulting in years of violence and destructive self-sabotage. I had no direction and was making bad decisions. I was sitting on the edge of my bed in prison and realized I couldn’t continue life like I was.

I decided to start making changes. I invested a lot of time in rediscovering myself. I worked with counselors and read every self-help book I could find. I went into rehab for six months and attended 12-step drug and alcohol meetings daily. I also began volunteering with charities and realized how much I enjoy helping others, which led me to become interested in becoming a Life Coach and helping give back to others.

The adversity I went through in my earlier years and the healing journey I went on inspired me to help others find their happiness. This, along with my charity work, led me to become a Life Coach, and it spiraled from there.

You must be resourceful to find opportunities, make connections, and leverage what you have.

Fast forward three years in business, and I’m now a senior accredited coaching trainer and the founder and CEO of The Coaching Masters. I have big ambitions for the company, and there isn’t an end goal as such - we’re focused purely on growing, helping more people fulfill their dreams of becoming coaches, and expanding across the globe.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

This is where we’re pretty different - we take immediate and imperfect action. With our first coaching course, we simply asked a group of people what they wanted to learn about coach training.

We then took their feedback to create an outline of a course and delivered it live on social media. We then used the recordings to create an online course that people could purchase.

We’ve used this approach repeatedly, and it works well for us. It means we’re delivering exactly what people want - in a live, engaging, and authentic way. It also means that if people have any questions or other angles come up through the live session, they can be answered there and then, resulting in much richer content.


Describe the process of launching the business.

It was very organic at the beginning. Once I became a Life Coach, I started connecting with people on social media and built a solid client base within six months. Within eight months, I was earning a six-figure income. By the time I hit my first year in business, I was fully booked, with a dedicated online community of thousands of people and a monthly membership service designed to fulfill the demands of multiple clients.

I started to become inundated with requests from other coaches asking about my secrets and how I could rise so quickly, so I shared my learnings with them, and they also saw some amazing results with their businesses. This was how The Coaching Masters started.


As it all grew organically at the beginning, there weren’t any start-up costs. The build of The Coaching Masters was funded through the money I earned coaching. It wasn’t until April 2022 that any outside investment came into the business.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Currently, we’re experiencing 100% growth year-on-year. It’s an exciting time for us, with lots in the pipeline.

We’ve found most of our customers mainly through content marketing ie posting on social media, and sharing valuable, story-based, inspiring, and relatable content. We share in both written form and video across all channels.

Adverts have also worked well for us, and we run these across youtube, google, and Facebook. People seem to think there is some magic formula to social media, but it’s just a matter of trial and error and being painfully consistent until you find what works best for your business.

Strategic partnerships have also worked well for us. We’ve found them mutually beneficial, where you link up with communities, forge relationships, and cross-sell into each other’s audiences.

We also put a lot of time and energy into going the extra mile for our customers. I know it sounds a bit cliche but showing you care is something that so many businesses don’t do, and it counts for a lot.

For example, sending a message between coaching sessions to check in or sharing extra information or knowledge adds a lot to their experience. Coaching is often quite a personal relationship, so showing it’s not simply transactional, but runs more profound than that, is essential.

Start a Coaching Business From Scratch

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Currently, we’re experiencing 100% growth year-on-year. It’s an exciting time for us, with lots in the pipeline.

We’ve just completed a raise that allowed savvy investors to become shareholders in our platform. This saw us raise $ 1 million and means we can hire more talented team members, help scale and innovate new technologies to help serve our customers more efficiently, and accelerate our marketing efforts to expand our user base internationally.

The funds will also help launch CoachApp - our new interactive app. It connects coaches and coachees, enables users to grow with e-learning products, including accredited qualifications, cutting-edge virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, and enables coaches to exchange services and earn directly into their secure online wallet.

Our online community is incredibly strong, and many people who participate in our courses form close connections. The vast majority of the business is still purely online. However, we recently launched ‘Café Coach’ – an offline hub for the coaching community - which allows people to connect face-to-face. Café Coach is an inspiring place for other coaches to work, learn and meet. Our first branch is based in Bali. We have plans to scale this and launch more Café Coach hubs in 2023.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Taking action - even if it’s messy action - is far better than waiting for the perfect moment. I’ve seen many coaches wait for everything to be perfect before launching their business – and that time rarely comes. I’ve met people who have doctorates – they are doctors in their field - who feel they are underqualified to coach people. You’ve got to start somewhere and take action; otherwise, your business won’t ever get going.

As a Founder, you also need to understand things you’re good at and things that aren’t your strengths and outsource them. At the very start, I found hiring the right people difficult. I made a few wrong hires, put people in roles that weren’t suited to their abilities, and caused headaches for everyone.

I mentioned strategic partnerships earlier, which helped us accelerate our growth, which was incredibly helpful when we were starting out. Through these partnerships, we accessed other communities and were able to advertise our courses. We launched a course using this method and made $250k in one launch. Of course, those people who joined the course then went on to do other training with us, so the value was amazing.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We once wrote down all the different platforms and tools we use and it was over 60! I won’t list all of them but social media is key for our business - so Facebook, Instagram, and youtube. We use Stripe for payments, ActiveCampaign for emails, Pipedrive for CRM, Monday for project management and Slack for communication.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco and Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson are both brilliant books.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Firstly – and most importantly – is having belief in yourself. If you have belief, then you will have the confidence to put yourself out there, empower your team (if you have one), and charge for your services.

Being resourceful is also key, particularly when you’re setting up. When you start, you may not have funds, many contacts, or any customers – but you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got. You must be resourceful to find opportunities, make connections, and leverage what you have. This will help you grow as fast as you possibly can.

Having a good money mindset is also essential. This is linked closely to having belief in yourself. If you don’t feel confident in what you do and feel embarrassed or ashamed about charging for your services, you will very likely give things away for free, undercharge and ultimately end up with no business. I’m not saying to charge extortionate amounts of money for your services, but you need to know your worth and charge appropriately.

Lastly, don’t be scared to fail. I encourage people to fail, fail fast, fail often, and fail forward. You have to get out there and learn what works and doesn’t. You can learn from your mistakes and adapt to become the person you want to be.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yes, we are - we often have new roles come up. All our available roles are in the ‘careers section on the website.

Where can we go to learn more?

Coaching Masters:

My personal:

Lewis Raymond Taylor, Founder of The Coaching Masters
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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