How A Wake-Up Call Led Me To Start A Life-Coaching Business [$36K/Year]

Published: August 30th, 2023
Jennifer Schwytzer
Kindfulness Coaching
from Rochester, NY, USA
started February 2020
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hello, I am so thrilled to share my journey with you! I am Jen Schwytzer, a Certified Life Coach and social worker with 18 years of experience. Through my endeavor, KINDfulness Coaching, I aim to empower professional women by helping them reduce stress and anxiety, enabling them to lead a calm and productive lifestyle.

With a strong background in social work and mental health, I bring unique expertise to my coaching practice, providing valuable support to busy professional women striving to manage their responsibilities while feeling like they might be falling short or lacking fulfillment.

My coaching programs encompass various options, including personalized one-on-one life coaching, group coaching sessions, and workshops tailored for communities and corporate settings. These workshops and presentations focus on promoting work-life balance and productivity.

Aside from my coaching pursuits, I have received accolades for Excellence in Outstanding Social Work. Additionally, I remain committed to spreading mental health awareness through my collaborations with esteemed organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Cornell University.

KINDfulness Coaching was founded in February of 2022 while I was concurrently managing two other jobs. As the revenue from my coaching business grew steadily, I saw the chance to gradually shift away from my full-time job and devote more time and energy to coaching.

My ultimate objective is to consistently deliver exceptional and valuable coaching services, ensuring that my clients receive the utmost support and benefit from my expertise, even as I transition further into this fulfilling new phase of my career.

The Native Bear Symbol represents Strength, Vitality, Courage, and Health. The primary meaning of the bear spirit animal is strength and confidence. Standing against adversity; taking action and leadership. The spirit of the bear indicates a time for healing abilities to help self or others. This definition is a true depiction of my life and what I want to do for other women.


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

When people hear about my journey from social work to coaching, they often find themselves taken aback and struggling to find the right words. To start, the professional transition from social work to coaching was surprisingly smooth for me. Throughout my career, I've always been passionate about helping and supporting others.

My journey into coaching began amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic (I know, it's a common starting point!). At the time, I was working in social work, content in my role but feeling like something was missing. My husband and I were also going through the emotional rollercoaster of IVF due to infertility and our shared desire to have a baby.

In June 2020, after our first failed IVF cycle, my husband experienced left-side pain and, two days later, had a cardiac arrest that forever changed our lives. He spent 21 days in the hospital, on life support, with the possibility of needing a heart transplant. During this critical time, my work contacted me about paperwork, time off, clients, and workflow – but none of it mattered to me.

It was a wake-up call, a moment of clarity where I realized that my priorities had not been properly aligned. My husband's health became the sole focus, and I was ready to let go of my job if necessary.

Through personal development and self-reflection, I learned the importance of putting my well-being first so that I could be the best support for my husband and family during the most challenging year of our lives.

This realization gave birth to the concept of KINDfulness Coaching. As I took care of myself and discovered my true priorities, my relationship with myself and my husband grew stronger. I shared my vision of becoming a life coach with him, and with his support, I embarked on this new path.

Now, I am a full-time coach, dedicating my energy to empowering others, and I also work part-time as a mental health consultant and therapist, areas that I am passionate about and want to continue to support without taking my focus away from my true passion of coaching.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

I was fortunate to receive support from my coaching certification program when I embarked on developing my first coaching offering, a 12-week one-on-one life coaching program.

To ensure the program's effectiveness and alignment with my coaching style and personality, I initially tested it on two pro-bono clients. This trial period allowed me to gauge my comfort level, identify aspects I enjoyed, and recognize areas that needed improvement.

Valuable feedback from these clients provided insights into what was helpful and what needed refinement within the program. Although I made some adjustments to reflect my individual touch, the program still lacked that personalized and branded touch I desired.

One of my pro-bono clients became my first paying customer and decided to go through the program again. This opportunity challenged me to elevate my offerings and create a "curriculum" tailored to her specific needs. It was a pivotal moment that emphasized the significance of a customized coaching program.

In my pursuit of crafting a coaching experience that was anything but generic, I offered 4-week beta tests to a select group of individuals. This process not only helped me refine my program but also allowed me to build an audience. It was crucial in honing and perfecting my offer while also establishing themes that laid the foundation for my eventual 12-Week Signature Program, "Journey to Your Best Self."

A testimonial from one of my beta clients who continues to work with me!


Describe the process of launching the business.

After completing my coaching certification, I had high expectations that clients would flock to work with me. However, reality proved otherwise, and I soon realized that building a client base required a strategic approach.

Leveraging an established Facebook group that I had previously used for selling clothing through network marketing, I transitioned it into my coaching group, using it to share content and announcements.

My launch was announced on both Facebook and Instagram, the primary platforms I initially focused my efforts on. Later, I expanded to LinkedIn, which has become my main source of referrals and income.

At first, I operated with a "post and pray" mentality, hoping for organic growth, and I joined networking groups to further expand my audience. Nevertheless, I encountered challenges in defining my messaging and identifying my target audience, which, in hindsight, I recognized needed stronger and more refined clarity before venturing further.

Crafting my "elevator pitch" proved especially daunting for me. As a social worker, my natural inclination was to help everyone, making it difficult to narrow down my niche. Recognizing the need for guidance, I decided to invest in a business and sales coach.

This move was pivotal, as the coach supported me in honing my target audience, refining my elevator pitch, and developing messaging that would attract the people I genuinely wanted to work with.

Despite the significant investment of $1500 per month, I faced challenges in generating immediate revenue, leading to financial strain and accumulating credit card expenses month after month.

Throughout this journey, I learned the value of letting go of my need for perfection in everything I put out into the world. Instead, I embraced the power of sharing my personal story and life experiences. I understood that potential clients bought into the entire package of "know, like, and trust" when it came to working with a coach.

Additionally, I came to realize that building a successful coaching practice would be a gradual process, requiring a great deal of patience—something I had always struggled with.

First post on Instagram. No likes, no comments, no theme, no purpose, no call to action, not my branding, I didn’t even introduce myself. I had a lot to learn

There are days you may be putting in a lot of hours and you may not immediately see the benefits - keep going.

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

To retain my customers, I've been committed to constant refinement and improvement. Each day, I strive to make small changes, reflecting my dedication to the hard work and growth required in this process. Though overwhelming at times, the results are entirely worth it.

Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals has been crucial to my success. Working with a team that has experienced similar journeys and challenges has provided invaluable insights. I've learned that rather than reinventing the wheel, it's more effective to embrace proven tools, techniques, and practices to become the best coach possible. Recognizing that I can't do this alone, I am open to collaboration and support.

My Tribe:


My efforts in website development, including paid Google ads and lead magnets, have helped funnel potential clients. Offering free consultations allows me to connect with prospects, and I understand that not every interaction will lead to a sale. Accepting that we may not be the right fit for everyone is part of the process.

My primary target audience is on LinkedIn, where I consistently engage in building relationships and connecting with people. Utilizing podcasts has been an effective way to showcase my personality and values, enabling potential clients to understand who I am authentically.


Recently, I implemented a weekly blog on my website, distributed through a newsletter to my email subscribers. Additionally, I am actively working on improving my website's SEO and experimenting with different CRM platforms to find one that suits my needs.


I have established a flow and rhythm that works well for me while prioritizing my family and personal boundaries. I believe in leading by example and teaching the women I work with to prioritize their boundaries too. Granting myself grace during challenging times is essential, recognizing that struggles are part of the journey.

I pride myself on being genuine and transparent with my clients. By putting my real self forward, clients know exactly what to expect when they choose to work with me. This honesty fosters strong and trusting relationships, contributing to long-lasting customer retention.


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

Thank you for asking! I am incredibly excited about what the future holds for me and my coaching practice. As a solopreneur, I am fortunate to have low overhead costs, and my larger coaching expenses mainly come from yearly subscriptions to various platforms.

Currently, corporate contracts have been a significant source of revenue for me, allowing me to reach larger audiences within my target population. Expanding the scope of workshops and presentations is part of my plan to further grow this revenue stream.


To enhance my marketing efforts and broaden my reach, I've been actively pitching to more podcasts and have recently joined Podmatch. This platform presents an excellent opportunity to connect with a wider audience and share my expertise.

As I continue my transition away from other responsibilities, I'm fully dedicated to coaching and ensuring the success of my business. Implementing quarterly goals with corresponding action steps and tasks helps me stay on track and maintain accountability.

Recent months have been particularly profitable for my business, allowing me to invest in new courses and expand my skill set. The resources and expertise gained from these endeavors enrich the services I offer to my clients. By adopting the Profit First approach, as introduced by my coach, I ensure that funds are allocated for necessary expenses, and I refrain from unnecessary purchases.

Joining networking groups that align with my values and target audience has been beneficial. I prioritize spending my time and energy on activities that bring the most value to my business. Politely declining opportunities that don't align with my goals allows me to focus on what truly matters.

In summary, I am optimistic about the future and the continued growth of my coaching practice. By staying focused, expanding my reach, and making strategic decisions, I am confident that I will achieve the success I envision for myself and my business.

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

Since starting my business, I've encountered various challenges and obstacles that have shaped my journey. One significant hurdle was attempting to balance my coaching business with a full-time job, plus additional responsibilities. I soon realized that this approach was not realistic, as it prevented me from dedicating the necessary time and energy to foster genuine growth.

The impact of this struggle was evident, and it became clear that a more focused commitment was required. The idea of giving up a consistent income was terrifying and something I still haven’t completed or gotten over!

Networking presented another challenge. While I formed a positive relationship with a successful coach in a large networking group, my experience in a small town in Upstate NY differed significantly from theirs in San Diego, CA.

Despite putting forth considerable effort, I recognized that trying to replicate their success in my unique setting was not feasible. Accepting this reality and deciding to cut my losses was a valuable lesson learned.

In contrast to the popular notion of working 60-80 hours per week, I made a conscious decision not to get lost in the weeds and sacrifice my joy in the pursuit of success. I refuse to adopt a workaholic approach and be part of the “hustle culture”. I prioritize my well-being and family needs, striving to maintain a balance between work and personal life.

Early on, I focused on establishing healthy habits and routines that support both my business's progress and my family's well-being. This approach ensures that I can achieve success in both aspects of life without compromising either.

While I may occasionally work on a Saturday, I also make time for personal activities like spending time at the playground or immersing myself in a good book. By cultivating these habits, I have set a foundation for sustained success and fulfillment in both work and life.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

My website was built as a labor of love with Squarespace, while this was easy to use and has templates and pages that are built-in, this was a very daunting task for me! It took several months to perfect, however, the ability to go into Squarespace and make changes and edits is fairly easy and user-friendly. My blog is housed in Squarespace which makes it easy to market and drives traffic to my website.

Scheduling is done through Acuity which embeds directly into Squarespace and offers an app for easy management. Payment is collected through Stripe which also links to Squarespace!

For email marketing, I recently transitioned to Flodesk and love it. This platform is strictly for email marketing (not a CRM) and integrates smoothly into Squarespace. I can host all of my landing pages as Forms in Flodesk which easily connect to email sequences that I have created using their templates.

Flodesk also hosts my opt-in lead generation magnets and allows many different email sequences to be used at the same time. It’s easy to use and streamlined for easy email marketing.

A code for 50% off your first year at flodesk.

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

My first personal development book that set me on my course to coaching was Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass. Life Changing for me. Allowed me to see the importance of taking care of me, setting boundaries, and ensuring that I was a priority in my own life.

A business podcast that I enjoy is Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Diggers and my coach Jennifer Dawn’s Happy Productive Podcast.

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

Be KIND to yourself, this is hard work and takes a lot of dedication. There are days you may be putting in a lot of hours and you may not immediately see the benefits - keep going.

Where can we go to learn more?