Want to know how to start a personal development business but not sure where to begin?
Look no further.
Because in this post, you’ll learn the steps I took going from being completely stuck choosing a niche, to earning affiliate income and getting my first coaching client.
Let’s get straight to it.
Table of Contents
What is a Personal Development Business?
A personal development business teaches or coaches people to reach the best version of themselves.
Depending on the area of growth, this business model is focused on helping people help themselves.
Through developing better habits, communication skills, productivity, and more, a personal development business offers information through books, podcasts, blogs, or YouTube videos.
More on different niches of personal growth later in this post.
They can also guide a person’s personal growth through coaching sessions and online courses.
What Does a Personal Development Business Look Like? [4 Great Examples]
Here are a few good examples of self-help businesses, all with different business models and monetization strategies.
Develop Good Habits
Develop Good Habits is a blog about achieving long-term success by forming powerful habits.
Founded by Steve Scott, this wildly successful personal development blog has hundreds of articles.
They have an active Facebook group and now publish content on YouTube.
The site makes money primarily through selling books on Amazon, affiliate marketing, and display ads.
Tim Ferriss is an author of the Four Hour Work Week and has published content on his blog since 2007.
Ferriss’ audience is predominantly entrepreneurs who want to get more out of their time by automating most areas of life and business.
By leveraging your mind, habits, and money effectively, you can work less and enjoy a life of early retirement.
His monetization methods include publishing books, podcast sponsorships, and affiliate revenue.
Mindvalley is a membership site, teaching personal development, spirituality, health and fitness, entrepreneurship and more through online courses.
It was founded by Vishen Lakhiani in 2003 who brings together experts to teach the topics we should have learned in school.
The site makes money through their courses, memberships, public events, and festivals.
To learn more, read my list of the best Mindvalley courses.
Yes, this it the site you are on right now. My mission with Grand Habit is to help introverts escape the rat race and become successful entrepreneurs.
If that sounds like you, you can start by reading these business ideas for introverts.
I grew up in a very hostile environment and was heavily conditioned to please people around me. This developed a lot of fear and anxiety when trying to start a business.
So, I created Grand Habit to help other sensitive souls break out of the mould they were forced to fit into, start believing in themselves, grow their confidence, and live life on their own terms.
What are Some Personal Development Niches?
Personal development is a broad area which can be broken into different areas of life. If you want to start a personal development business, you will find more success by choosing a niche to focus on.
Here are some common personal development niches to know about.
Goal setting is the active pursuit of defining, planning, and achieving personal or professional goals.
It’s about managing time and energy to actively prioritize one’s goal and dreams.
Communication skills are essential for maintaining healthy relationships and improving how we communicate with ourselves.
Being able to communicate effectively enables a person to meet their needs, circumvent and resolve conflict, and ultimately get what they want in life, without being passive, manipulative, or aggressive.
Habits are part of everyday life. If we didn’t have habits, we likely wouldn’t have survived this long.
Unfortunately, forming habits that interfere with our health and happiness is all too easy.
They can lower our awareness of what we truly want in life. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to break bad habits and develop healthy ones.
James Clear is the perfect example of a personal development business in the habits niche.
Mindset is the sum of your beliefs and thoughts you have about yourself, which determines how capable you feel when setting and achieving goals.
This will be something I focus on for Grand Habit, because developing a growth mindset has completely changed my life.
The thing I love about mindset is that it covers all areas of growth and transformation.
If you want to start a personal development business and you’re stuck on the niche, mindset is great place to start.
We all want to be more productive, right? Especially ambitious people and entrepreneurs.
It’s also a niche that will likely never get old because it can be used in many areas of life.
If this is the niche for you, try starting out by niching down further. For example, productivity for content creators.
How to Start a Personal Development Business in 7 Steps
Here are the steps you’ll want to take to build solid foundations of a personal development brand.
Step 1. Do you need a business plan?
The short answer is, not necessarily, but it will help you stay on track.
However, it will be essential if you plan to seek capital for your business venture.
It doesn’t need to be complex. A simple document defining key areas of your business, such as the product or service you offer, customer research, competitor analysis, and a sales and marketing strategy.
I highly recommend this course by Chris Haroun, which is hosted on Udemy. He’s an award-winning business school professor, Venture Capitalist, and successful entrepreneur.
Even if you don’t have plans to get funding due to bootstrapping yourself, creating a business plan will boost confidence and motivation in your new venture.
Step 2. Stuck on your niche?
You’re not alone. This is where most people get stuck. It certainly was the case for me. Heck, it still is!
I spent the first 6 years of my business journey with chronic shiny object syndrome, switching from one thing to the next.
The simple answer?
No matter what type of business you want to start, the niche you decide on doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
As long as there is market potential, meaning there are already brands that exist in this niche and you have some interest in it, that’s enough.
If you’re trying to find the “perfect” niche, you’re already overthinking it. This got me wasting years of my life, when I could have been helping people.
You don’t need to be an expert in your niche or the best to succeed. You just need to be passionate about helping others achieve success in a specific area of interest.
Of course, if you have an area of expertise, that’s great. Just don’t get too hung up on competing with other experts and focus on differentiating yourself authentically.
Step 3. The importance of a business name
This step can either be super straightforward or downright difficult.
First you have to decide between a personal brand or a business brand, weighing up the pros and cons of each.
Choosing a business brand is where things can be tricky. Whereas using your name for your business takes no effort.
However, it will be significantly harder to exit a personal brand if that is something you wish to do.
Starting, growing, and selling a business brand will be much easier, for obvious reasons.
So if you opt for a business brand, how do you choose a great name?
I seem to be skilled in this area, because I have close to 20 blogs with excellent brand names I made up myself, Grand Habit being one of them.
You can learn how I do this in my other post on how to start a personal development blog. Just scroll down to the section on choosing your blog name.
Defining a blog name and checking its availability is how I would go about choosing a business name for a self-help brand.
Step 4. Launch your website and blog
Once you know what niche you’re going into and you have a business name and domain registered, you can launch your website.
For a step-by-step guide, read my article titled how to start a personal development blog.
In summary, all you need to do is install WordPress on a web hosting account (I recommend Namecheap).
Then design your site with a WordPress theme (I use GeneratePress), then add pages with content about your business.
- Coaching (if applicable)
- Legal pages
If you’re starting a blog, then I recommend reading the article above.
Step 5. Know how you’ll monetize
There are plenty of ways to monetize a personal development business and blog.
Here are the most common ways I’ve seen:
- Publishing books
- Digital products
- Affiliate marketing
- Display ads
The current methods used on Grand Habit are affiliate marketing and coaching. I soon plan to offer digital products and possibly self-published books on Amazon.
The quickest way to earn is through coaching. The other methods require time to create the content and build an audience to market to.
Finding your first coaching clients could take as little as a couple of months if you’re confident enough to put yourself out there on social media.
I take the approach of growing blog traffic through content marketing to earn affiliate revenue in the long run, taking on coaching clients in the short term, and slowly developing courses based on my audience’s struggles and goals.
Step 6. Develop a marketing strategy
Depending on the business model you decide on will depend on the type of marketing strategy you use.
For example, if you offer coaching and you want to find clients ASAP, focusing on social media or YouTube will typically have a faster response rate than blog content.
However, if your business model is focusing on affiliate marketing and ad revenue, then content marketing on a blog is a better marketing strategy.
It also depends on your target audience. In the early days, it’s best to do some research to see what other business are doing.
Then learn by doing. Publish 30 articles in 30 days, 60 Instagram posts in 30 days, 30 YouTube videos in 30 days, and see which one yields the best results.
Step 7. Define your business goals
Defining goals is essential for long-term growth. Without them, you’ll get lost.
Start by defining a big picture goal of where you want to be in three years. Make it big enough to excite you, but small enough to be attainable.
Then, working with that outcome, where will you need to be in one year from now to make your three-year goal possible?
Make this your one year goal, then break it down into quarters.
Eventually, you’ll have a clear and specific short term goal to work towards for the next 90 days.
To reach this 90 day outcome, break it into 12 weeks with specific tasks that need to be achieved each week.
Get yourself a productivity planner to keep yourself organized and on track. The Panda Planner Pro is a great option.
That concludes my post on how to start a personal development business. I hope you found it helpful.
To summarize, choose a niche you’re interested in, focus on understanding your audience, and develop a strategy to publish content on a blog or social media.
Once you build a following, it will become clearer about how you can serve your clients or readers.