What’s Holding You Back?

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When it comes to starting or growing a business, there will inevitably be pain points. I’m paraphrasing, but there is a quote that I heard once that goes something like this,

“Growth happens on the other side of your comfort level.”

This couldn’t be more true. 

As athletes, we know this to be true as well. Whether it be slogging through a long run, or feeling like your lungs are going to burn up during 800 meter repeats, the only way to get stronger is to stress the body and this generally equates to feeling uncomfortable at best and downright miserable at worst. By stressing the body and allowing it to recover, it gets stronger and more efficient. Again, while we as athletes know this to be true, we often struggle with this in regard to starting and growing our coaching businesses. 


A lot of UESCA coaches purchase a certification, study the materials, successfully pass the exam and then… crickets. 

While there are a million reasons why people are afraid of pulling the trigger and starting a coaching practice, the fact of the matter is that there is never a perfect time. No coach in the history of coaching has ever been 100% prepared for anything and everything that would come their way. 

It’s also easy to get bogged down in the business aspects such as naming your company, what coaching software to use, what price to set, etc… While you do need to figure these things out, they often also serve as delay tactics for coaches that are not confident in hanging out their shingle. 


Perhaps it’s public speaking, making a video to post on the internet, writing a blog post, or networking with like businesses – being uncomfortable (for lack of a better word) can be downright paralyzing.

I personally know this feeling all too well. After I had created all of the material for the UESCA Running Coach certification, my web developer kept hounding me as to why I never got back to them about making it live. I came up with a million excuses as to why it wasn’t ready. The reality is that it will never be perfect and for one main reason. Perfect doesn’t exist. You’ll never have a ‘perfect’ business, or a ‘perfect’ race. You can get damn close – but there is ALWAYS something that can be improved upon. Do I think our UESCA certifications are very good? You bet! Are they perfect? Not at all. 


I can still remember the anxiety I had after pushing the UESCA website live. I couldn’t sleep and was just waiting for the hate mail telling me how much my website/business sucked to come my way. But you know what? That hate mail never came. 

You’re likely your own worst enemy and even more so if you tend to lean toward being a perfectionist. For example, what you see as a major flaw on your website likely goes unnoticed by a visitor to your site. 


Ahhh, the wise words of former NFL great Wayne Gretzky. As noted above, we are often crippled by anxiety and fear when it comes to starting and growing our businesses. But what’s the worst case scenario? You fail. This is the same result if you did nothing. That said, you learn lessons by failing, which you don’t learn by never starting or growing something. 


It’s easy for me to just sit here and type away about how you should just blow off your fears and go for it. The reality is that telling someone to do this, and actually doing it are two very different things. However, once you go for it, you’ll notice that you feel empowered and also that a huge burden has been lifted off of you. Why? Because anticipatory stress/anxiety is almost always worse than the actual stress of an event. 


When it comes to starting/growing a coaching business, or any business for that matter, the biggest obstacle is likely you.

So here’s my advice to you – if you’re obsessing over trivial things, worried that you don’t know enough or that people won’t purchase your coaching product… stop right there.

Take a deep breath, appreciate that your worries are largely unfounded and go for it!

Rick Prince is the founder of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA), a science/evidence-based endurance sports coaching education company that certifies running and triathlon coaches.

To get a $50 discount on the Running Coach Certification, click here!

Rick Prince

Rick Prince

Founder/Director of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA).

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