Past life experiences don’t always drag us down. Sometimes they are the ones that push us forward. We just have to know where we want to go.

One of those who found this confidence is Chasta Piatakovas, an Army brat working in international affairs. She is also a trauma survivor. Life has shown her how important it is to not dwell on the past constantly, but rather look into the future. And now Chasta is teaching others to do the same thing by sharing her story.

Since 2010, she’s been working with singles, helping them have fun and meet new people. And through this experience, she started coaching while working a 9-5 for a large international organization. In 2017 she has finally launched her coaching company and now she’s working hard to build it up.

We decided to find out what keeps driving her along this path of a true female hustler, what it took her to build her business, and what she’s gained on the way.

THIF: What was the turning point for you to start coaching?

CP:

So it’s basically something that I have always done. I actually run a Meetup group for singles. And often I would hire dating and relationship coaches to speak to my group, and a lot of the advice they were giving was something that I knew or had learned. Once I realized “why am I hiring someone else to do something that I have the skillset to do?” And that’s when I decided that I wanted to be a life coach.

How This Female Hustler Became A Life Coach And Made Her Past Boost Her Future

Photo credit: Bozhena Sheremeta

THIF: When did you become the life coach? Was it a hard process to go through?

CP:

I have been coaching since 2010 but didn’t become certified until November 2016. Certification is not required to be a coach. But I just wanted to hone my skills and get a more formal education.

I opened my business in February 2017. And it was relatively easy in a sense that I have been doing this for a while. And I’ve always been marketing myself. I created a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and joined various Facebook groups to market the business.

I’m constantly talking to people. Once, I was at the networking event at the George Washington University, and I was talking to the incoming students, and one of them was like “you should be a life coach”, and I was like “I am”. So it kind of comes across through the conversations.

It’s working smarter, not harder. I’m not hustling and wearing myself out.

Chasta Piatakovas

THIF: How many clients do you usually have per month?

CP:

It varies. There are paying clients, and there are also people that I may just come across and talk to. I talk to a Meetup group so those are also my clients. I’m constantly working on that, so the number varies per month.

THIF: Which way of coaching do you prefer the most? Which way is the best?

CP:

I would say in person, but it also depends on the seriousness of the client. Think about it. You’ve probably experienced the conference calls where you’re in the listening mode. You’re not the active participant. You could easily get distracted by watching TV or do something else. But I want the client to be focused. Doing it in person, you can always catch the body language. Or if it’s not in person, do it on Skype where you can see each other.

THIF: Will you ever need to hire somebody and pay them?

CP:

Right now it’s manageable for me doing business alone. I’m not sure at what point I will be bringing more people to my company. First, it’s going to be about bringing in the clients, before I can bring employees. Eventually, I’d like to get an assistant, maybe a virtual assistant, to help me with the scheduling and marketing so that I can focus on working with the clients.

I’m always looking for collaborations. There may be a topic or an issue that I’m not an expert in, so I’m happy to refer them to someone else. Especially when it gets to the part where the person needs the therapist, I look for specialists I could refer my clients to.

THIF: How do you get certified? Can you explain the basic steps you took?

CP:

There are a lot of different certification programs out there. And everyone is different. You can basically google them. It’s really up to an individual to do the background research to find the right program for their preferred coaching style.

The program that I did through the Integrative Wellness Academy does it from the holistic approach, so it’s really talking about mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. So I look at all the components, mental, physical, and spiritual to figure out what is blocking them and bringing stagnation to their career or relationships.

THIF: How much did it cost you? How long did it take?

CP:

I can’t remember the exact cost but it’s over $1,000. You get six months to complete the program. I completed it online, and because it’s online, you can complete it at your own pace. I could complete it even in a week if I wanted to.

I know that everyone is different, but I kind of know the questions that should be asked, that I wish I was asked. So I feel confident at what I am doing.

Chasta Piatakovas

THIF: Did you get more clients after you got certified?

CP:

It didn’t really make a difference for me. But I will say that when people see that you are certified, it does help. It builds trust. If you think about it, even when it comes to the standard degree, a Bachelors or Masters, that carries more weight. This is what happened to me. I was able to prove that I could help people.

THIF: How competitive is life coaching business in the US in your observations?

CP:

I don’t really find it competitive to be honest. There are many coaches, but there are a lot of potential clients out there. Demand is higher or at least equal to the supply. You can always find somebody. But because there are so many coaches out there, you do have to find your niche. You do have to market yourself as to how you are different from other people. Everyone’s expertise is different.

THIF: How do you promote yourself? Which instruments do you use and what does it cost you?

CP:

So I had somebody to build my website for like over $500. It’s a website where I am able to update myself.
I also have the Facebook page. I have a Twitter account. And then there are Facebook groups that I’ve joined, also Craigslist ads, and other places where I am able to promote myself for free, business cards. And word of mouth is what helps to promote the most.

THIF: What is the top digital instrument that helps promoting your business?

CP:

How This Female Hustler Became A Life Coach And Made Her Past Boost Her Future

 think Facebook helps the most. I’m constantly posting on my Facebook page, this helps to spread the word and also directs them to my website. One of the most important pages on my website is the page of resources, where people can find books that they can read. Participating in Facebook groups really helps as well.

THIF: As a life coach you help people to get their life together, but there are also psychologists, doctors. So who would you recommend to go to if a person needs to solve a problem in his/her life. Is it better to go to the life coach first or to the psychologist?

CP:

As a life coach I offer a free consultation. But with a psychologist you still pay even for the first appointment. So this is an opportunity you can use, you can go to the life coach, you can discuss your issues. But at the point when you dwell back in the past, where life coach can’t handle, then you can always refer to the psychologist. Because a life coach does not necessarily deal so much with the past. You know, we are not doing those therapy sessions where we’re stuck in the past. We’re looking at the future and how we can move forward.

… the most challenging thing is to get people trust themselves.

Chasta Piatakovas

THIF:What was the most challenging part in terms of influencing people’s lives?

CP:

The way that I do life coaching is not about me giving advice, people already have the answers to their questions. They just need someone to guide them. Or maybe they don’t trust what they are feeling. So I think the most challenging thing is to get people trust themselves.

I don’t think that I ever had doubt. In some way, what brought me in this role is that I’m a trauma survivor and I’ve gone through this therapy. And so a lot of what I coached from, I’ve experienced myself.

I know that everyone is different, but I kind of know the questions that should be asked, that I wish I was asked. So I feel confident at what I am doing.

THIF:What inspires you in coaching?

CP:

People finally finding their confidence. When I see that in the beginning they were kind of closed off, and then they are more open and confident, that’s what keeps me motivated.

THIF: Which advice can you give to people who are looking for a coach?

CP:

See how much research you can do on this person. Not every person has a blog, but look at their blog, look at their Facebook page. Take them up on the offer if they offer one free consultation. And also look for more than one coach. You don’t have to go with the first one that you find.

Do as much research as you can. Come with the list of questions. See if they have testimonials, if they have reviews posted. Are they hosting an event where you can see them performing live?

Have an idea what you want to be coached on. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But don’t come with “I need a life coach to help with my life” because you only have 30 minutes.

THIF: What does “hustle” mean to you as a female entrepreneur?

CP:

For me as a life coach, it’s about having a work-life balance, I can’t coach someone if my own life isn’t in order. So I’m constantly hustling, working, meeting with people, but I also do self-care. Sometimes I have to have an early bedtime. I won’t leave my client. If somebody needs to talk even if it’s late, that’s fine. But I have to have a cut off time. I have to take care of me as well.

It’s working smarter, not harder. I’m not hustling and wearing myself out.

Read how This Female Entrepreneur Risked Her 9-To-5 To Start A Startup Accelerator

Posted by:Bozhena Sheremeta

Bozhena Sheremeta is the founder and the chief editor of TheHustleIsFemale. She has launched the online magazine when she was 24 to promote financial freedom, ambition, and financial literacy among women around the world. Previously, Bozhena worked as a tech journalist, tech media CEO, and a digital marketing consultant for tech startups.

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