How I Started A $132K/Year Tech-Enabled Career Coaching Company

Published: December 24th, 2022
Danica Octa
Metamorphosis Group
from Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
started July 2022
Discover what tools Danica recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Danica recommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Metamorphosis Group? Check out these stories:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Danica Octa, and I am a Filipino career and life coach, HR practitioner, sustainability advocate, and startup entrepreneur.

Growing up not feeling the social, emotional, and psychological support needed throughout my academic life, I grew to resent myself, becoming insecure and depressed, which I carried with me in the early stages of my career — until I encountered life coaching.

Since then, these experiences gave birth to Metamorphosis Group (MG), which started just helping job seekers build the confidence and skill set needed to write great resumes and win job interviews.

As I dove deep into the industry, my mission grew more into wanting to help the universe build The Next Industrial Revolution.

We offer these solutions via our main product – CHECKPOINT for Job Seekers, a 3-month cohort-based career coaching program inclusive of interactive group workshops, 1-on-1 coaching sessions, a career development tool kit, and career placement support.

This business believes that sales metrics translate to impact metrics. We are committed to continuing the life of the business so we can continue to see the value it brings to the world and beyond. We aim to grow this business and form a community of people that believes in this vision for the world.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out what the world would look like?

Through our efforts, we’ve built an ecosystem of talents, coaches, and employers of 15,000+ individuals.


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

I witnessed the challenging life of trying to fit in the status quo on expectations for educational attainment and career development. I would experiment with doing things in school that other people said would increase my chances of getting job security or even a great-paying job.

One day, it just clicked: What if “I” decide what life I want for myself?


I ventured into becoming a freelance career coach. I saw how just coaching people to become more confident in themselves and their resumes, plus interview skills were groundbreaking enough to get them higher-level opportunities.

That’s when I saw that if only people understood themselves better and believed in themselves more, they would aspire for opportunities that will enhance their potential.


Then I took a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) project to provide end-to-end recruitment for contact center roles. I spoke to hundreds of candidates. More and more, I saw that even employers get affected by the candidates not knowing how to fully show their value.

If the right person doesn’t get hired on time, companies could potentially lose millions! What if the right one was there all along but just didn’t know how to show that they were?

As I grew in my startup journey as a CEO, I was able to see even more than career coaching doesn’t just help people believe in themselves and help employers sustain their businesses. Career coaching can awaken a person’s highest potential so they can provide the world with the talent and solutions it needs.

I started this business entirely from scratch. There was no initial capital and no financial capital support from my parents. Most of the funding came straight from the revenues themselves and I made this possible by starting with an established reputation to offer quality services. The rest came from angel investing funding from people who trusted the brand we built. That would be a very daunting situation if you’re a young entrepreneur born and raised in the Philippine lands and its culture.

At first, I was disappointed, but I eventually respected it and was thankful that they didn’t hold back on their conservative risk-taking attitude because it pushed me to find the answers to my questions and the solutions to my problems all by myself.

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

I honestly started with just taking online life coaching courses on Udemy at PHP 600 per course. My life has changed forever since then.

As I was offering this for the first time via a freelance arrangement, the best teacher to validate and improve the product was always customer feedback.

They already knew that it was just a starting venture, and they were very generous in providing the feedback my business needed.

Organic social media marketing is the best way to begin the go-to-market strategy for a homegrown business.

When I decided to turn it into an organization, it was challenging trying to educate my newly formed team about the business, its practices, and the philosophy behind it. Little did I know that when a business grows to that point, it would take around 12 months for new members to be completely onboarded to the vision of the business.


My struggles lead to a lot of internal problems. At some point, we entered the Arise Ye! Boost Accelerator Program hosted by the International Trade Centre, the European Union, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, and QBO Innovation Hub Philippines.

The structure of how that program was built seemed familiar to what I envisioned a coaching program would look like and more. It would include an interactive group workshop where best practices are being shared and top-tier business insights and content are being discussed. Alongside that would be 1-on-1 mentorship sessions, an online database of learning sources, as well as a demo day or what I would call a networking opportunity or a platform to acquire or be placed in opportunities. All startup accelerators are like this. It served as an inspiration for me to develop a coaching program with a similar setup.

Our team had to validate the idea by undergoing an internship program that would replace the program we envisioned. These interns weren’t paying us, but in exchange for letting them undergo a coaching program, they would render services for the company.


As we saw the value of our ideas and program plans, we finally launched CHECKPOINT for Job Seekers. As of writing, the first cohort is ongoing. The next one is set to start on April 1, 2023!

Describe the process of launching the business.

When the business began becoming an organization in 2020, I explored LinkedIn Thought Leadership to attract leads.

Our belief in developing our products and services is based on the concept that business solutions are created to solve problems.

One of my earliest strategies was to use the hashtag #findapro on LinkedIn to help me find warm leads proactively looking for a coach to help them.

I initially attracted foreign clients, which was a good way to test the strategy as well as to significantly increase the business’ income through dollar payments and a thorough understanding of different behaviors among cultures.

I also habitually post insights from my entrepreneurial and coaching practice for LinkedIn connections to engage with.

Another strategy employed was subscribing to LinkedIn Premium for Business and using the power of InMails to attract leads and invite them to discovery calls to convert them to actual sales. There is documented success in this strategy. However, with the recent changes in the environment, a more innovative approach will be necessary to continue this.

See my profile here

Another one of the early strategies to grow the business’ reach was to build community partnerships. This is practiced because of the belief that if partners feel ownership over the projects, initiatives, and vision that this business advocate, they will begin to behave like actual business partners.

The early-stage executive board did not find real value in paid ads and press releases if the business has yet to understand the real behaviors of its desired target audience. Hence, the perceived value that community partnerships can provide this business.

This was a more targeted approach to marketing and a more productive attempt to receive feedback and test the validity of the business solutions. The idea is to borrow the community partner’s audience and effectively convert them into our audience almost instantaneously should the community partner agree to the terms of the relationship.

Organic social media marketing is the best way to begin the go-to-market strategy for a homegrown business. Some of the methods included:

Facebook Selling Groups:

In the earlier stages of the business, we targeted posting the programs and services on Facebook groups such as Ateneo Trade and Katipunan Trade to attract qualified leads to avail of the program.

There is a track record of success for this method. However, as the business grew, the brand became more commercial. This prompted other FB group admins to delete our posts to follow the community standards of lessening branded spam. Different social media strategies were needed to offset the loss of this existing strategy afterward.

Organic Facebook Page Posting:

The business’ Facebook page underwent multiple series of revisions and brand identity changes. However, with the right approach to content marketing, these posts still attracted qualified leads to engage and stay in our pool of potential clients.

We also ran two virtual career fairs last 2021 and early 2022. It provided the opportunity to make career coaching more accessible to people in need while providing an end-to-end employability and employment process from figuring out their career path to landing a job.

Participants who went experienced practice interviews, resume workshops, virtual job booths, career talks, and an online raffle.

This first-ever run had Microsoft Philippines and Go Philippines as the co-presenters and boasted an outcome of 17 industry speakers, 600+ participants, 115,000+ people reached, 15,000+ engagements, 17+ companies and employers, and 100+ job openings. This initiative became an opportunity to grow our warm leads database to 1,500+.

As mentioned earlier, the internship program became a product development opportunity and go-to-market strategy. It strives to be the premier career development program for interns from different industries.

The company’s program utilizes a holistic approach, providing the interns with the opportunity to gain soft and hard skills in their chosen departments and fields while also undergoing an overarching personal and career development plan.

Such a setup has proven to be attractive to young professionals as the company has seen more interest and investment in aspiring, current, and alumni interns.

I tried everything. A lot of times I’d get frustrated. But unlike in my younger years when I’d hate feeling like I didn’t know the answers to people’s questions, I make it a habit to always ask myself what I don’t know yet because that might just be the missing piece to learning how to solve my problems at hand.

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

Our belief in developing our products and services is based on the concept that business solutions are created to solve problems. We’ve seen through the results that it is an effective strategy to attract customers. The way to market our products better for people to understand is to:

1) Explicitly mention the pain points that our products are solving.

In doing so, people needing these solutions will feel “seen” and “understood,” which are two of their major wants and needs in the ongoing struggle for career development.

2) Package it as a product instead of just a service.

This should be packaged with clearly defined objectives and features, physical products, and well-written and formatted content for clients to respect the actual value of these solutions.

Our business promotes discussing the products as a “solution” to “pain points.” This promotes a culture of selling to help instead of the usual and traditional sales attempt to just plainly earn more money.


To make the barriers of entry much lesser, we explored different payment schemes for different personality types:

  • UPFRONT PAYMENT: For Checkpoint clients, upfront payments are usually ideal for clients who can pay upfront. While it requires immediate liquidity to pay, eventually encouraging clients to prefer the other schemes over this one, it is the most financially cost-effective option once the lump sum of all schemes is computed. For clients who are conscious about the lump sum and already have liquidity on hand, it is highly recommended to encourage them to choose this option.
  • INSTALLMENT PLAN: This scheme aims to help clients who have satisfactory cash flow but are in need to manage their finances better. Paying in installments can be an option in this case but there will be corresponding interests depending on the term of their installment plan.

  • LEARN NOW, PAY LATER: This learn now, pay later scheme (or income sharing agreement) is aimed at clients who cannot pay anything upfront, whether fully or partially. How it works is that once the client is hired, they are required to pay the company 15% of their monthly net income for the next 24 months. Due to its nature of treating the client like an investment instrument as well as the high risk involved in the beginning, strict guidelines for the application process and retention requirements for the program itself will be implemented to ensure that only high-quality and diligent clients will be granted this opportunity. Otherwise, Checkpoint can still be availed by these clients, just not this particular payment scheme.

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

As of now, we are gradually announcing our strategic 5-year goals and objectives to the public. We envision a bigger ecosystem of talents, coaches, and employers; stronger, relevant, and deeper market intelligence to support our intellectual property; and more visible thought leadership in our space.

We aim to reach a bigger market as we expand in our home country and hope to reach the Filipino diasporic communities overseas.


Our website has recently been updated, and we are improving our customer journey and user experience to increase our sales significantly.

The changes lately are a huge difference from just a few months ago this year. We expect people to be in awe and disbelief because of the wide disparity between the expectations and reality of the state of our business.

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

I am always up for learning new things. I guess my biggest learning would be how to transition from just a people-pleasing business development practitioner to a full-fledged corporate leader.

Being a CEO is a balancing act. It was a hard transition. I was a headhunter for an executive search firm. Of course, I operated by means of sales rallies. I also got used to working with consultants and vendors that already knew what they were doing. It’s a different scenario when you’re growing a team of people who just count on you to set the direction.


Lots of internal problems happened this year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Early this year, I wished that I would find the opportunity to learn how to become a better business leader.

It turns out that problems are the best teachers for me. I learned this the hard way when people, despite their expertise, would give up on me thinking it would be too risky or difficult to help someone with a problem the size of what I’m dealing with now.


I was resentful and felt short-changed to see people I thought I could trust not help me at all. But when I got tired of being angry, sad, and upset, I decided to take charge of my life. And fix my problems on my own. Now I get to fix problems that they couldn’t even solve themselves. I find value in that, and I am thankful I got the opportunity to reach this point.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I use Nextpay Philippines’ platform for disbursing and receiving payments. I think that’s the best no-code tool we ever integrated into our operations. I’m also a fan of Google Sheets. I would create a variety of systems and templates around it that would be useful organization-wide.


Wix has also helped build our website and of course who could forget social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn?


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

It would be the Startup PH Podcast as well as the Startup PH Facebook group. I learn the best right from the source — people. And I love learning from them directly by having the opportunity to spend valuable time with them to learn.

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

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. It requires a whole different kind of grit, resilience, and a strong mindset. If you think you’re cut out for that or are interested in getting the benefits of the experience, be prepared for what you need to give up just to gain that. It can be soul-crushing and life-threatening, but if you find the right support and opportunities you need to get through it, it is a very rewarding experience.

Where can we go to learn more

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!