A Fool-Proof Guide to Business Success?

A reader asked me for “a fool-proof guide to transition from a non-business career, into a coaching business.”

I appreciate the question. It’s financially wise to stay in a job until you can be somewhat certain that your business will support you.

If you haven’t yet, I recommend my recent blog post which offers a somewhat clear path to coaching business success… although I would never claim it as “fool-proof”.

It’s called The 4 Layers of Authentic Business.

What I can say with “fool-proof” certainty, having had 10 years experience in growing a coaching type of business, is this:

Anyone who claims to give you a “fool-proof” guide to succeed in business is using hype.

They are playing to your natural, human desire for certainty, to not want to make mistakes, to want a clear and totally predictable path.

I understand. I used to seek passionately after certainty as well.

When I was in college I had a professor that I was trying to convert to my religion. I was so certain that if he didn’t believe as I did, that he would go to hell. With one idea, he changed my life:

In your passionate search for Truth, you must be willing to swim in uncertainty. Otherwise, how will you ever grow beyond limited, existing beliefs?

Today, I am a seeker with only one certainty: there is always more beyond my current knowledge.

From coaching hundreds of entrepreneurs and interacting with thousands, I’ve learned one truth:

The path to sustainable business success is one of the most unpredictable and uncertain endeavors in life.

Even with millions of blog posts professing to give you a clear, certain path to business success, and many business consultants and coaches, there are still more business failures than successes.


  • Marketers use hype to sell us on a clear and direct path. They show us only the tiny percentage of their clients who have succeeded wildly, saying it’s because of their prescribed path. The marketers might even believe it themselves, denying the evidence of their own experience, that there are more failures than successes.
  • The stories we see in the news are mostly celebrated successes, not failures, which are mostly hidden, so we come to believe that the path must be clear, if we’re seeing a bunch of success stories.
  • There are dozens of other factors that we cannot predict when we start our business, from unexpected changes in technology, to ups and downs of the markets, to the unpredictable events of our family life, to our own desires and interests suddenly shifting without notice.

You probably already know what those principles are.

Because they’re timeless, they’re the same for success in life as they are in business…

General & Timeless Principles:

  1. Treat others as you want to be treated.
  2. Keep learning and developing, especially by taking action.
  3. Reframe mistakes & unexpected change as gifts in disguise.
  4. Persistence creates success. Practice makes new habits.
  5. Keep coming back to Principle #1.

Are you willing to keep applying these principles, every day that you work?

If so, you have a better chance of succeeding in business than most people, because most people in business don’t apply most of these principles.

As for the specifics? How to define your ideal client? How to package your services? What exact marketing strategies should you use?

Principles for Business Success:

  1. Keep applying the Timeless Principles.
  2. For the strategies and tactics, learn from a variety of experts.
  3. Try any strategy that resonates deeply with your style & values.
  4. Keep doing what works. Scale it, until it no longer works.
  5. Keep coming back to Principle #1.

Most business owners don’t do most of these things.

If you do all of these things, you are likely to succeed.

If you’re looking for specific tactics, here again is my blog post on that:

Let me know if that helps, and if you have other questions you’d love for me to cover in a future post.

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity" https://www.GeorgeKao.com

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