How to Start a Career Coaching Side Business and Earn Extra Money

How to Start a Career Coaching Side Business and Earn Extra Money

  • Aneri Desai started her career coaching business as a side job before taking it on full time this year.
  • It aimed to pay off hundreds of thousands of debts while helping immigrant women find jobs.
  • Here are his tips on building a business while in debt, including how to invest your time.

When Aneri Desai started her job search after college in 2013, she faced many obstacles. She received nearly 300 job rejections and struggled to find a company that would sponsor her visa as a first-generation immigrant, she says.

Simultaneously, Desai’s arranged marriage failed and she had racked up hundreds of thousands of debts, she said.

“I found myself in a situation where I was so dependent on others running my life, making the decisions, making the decisions,” she said. “I just felt like I wasn’t good enough.”

After rising through the ranks for almost 10 years land a position as a senior project manager within the insurance company UnumShe decided to help other immigrant women who may have similar difficulties finding work.

In 2021, she launched a parallel career coaching activity, Aneri Desai Coaching, which aims to help immigrant women write resumes and find networking opportunities. So far, Desai has coached more than 100 women and quit her corporate job to run her business full-time, she said.

She earned $68,000 in earnings last year, which Insider verified with documentation. Plus, she’s on track to record more than $250,000 in revenue this year, quadrupling her earnings from her corporate work, she said.

Desai shared her tips for building a business while in debt. This is a story told based on an interview with Desai. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Take charge of the situation you find yourself in

Desai and his daughter

Desai helps women perfect their applications and connect to her network.

courtesy of Desai



Anyone in dire financial straits should take a deep look at their job and lifestyle. If a new business is going to help you get out of debt or straighten out your finances, you need to find the strength to go further.

I never intended to become an entrepreneur, but when I noticed the number of women losing their jobs at the start of the pandemic or looking for extra income, I knew I could help them .

At the same time, I knew that my husband and I had debts that we needed to get rid of. With this opportunity before me, I refused to continue doing my bare minimum by making my company paycheck and waiting for a promotion that might not come.

I started helping friends improve their CVs or LinkedIn profiles and connected them with people in my network. Then my mentor introduced my career coaching services to someone in his community and suggested I charge $900 for 10 coaching calls.

Having my first paying customer was really exciting and nerve-wracking, but it showed me there was business potential.

Invest in what moves the needle

It’s important to invest money in the aspects of your business that can help it grow.

For example, my time as CEO or coach is extremely valuable, and no one else on my team can do those things. On the other hand, I’m not the only one who can respond to emails or direct messages from Instagram. As a founder, it is your responsibility to come up with innovative ideas to dramatically increase your company’s revenue. Delegate anything that takes away from that growth.

I looked at every task in my business to determine what moved the needle – like increasing the number of customers, strengthening the brand, or planning the business strategy.

For other founders looking to get the most out of their money, play with your numbers: decide what your time is worth, set your expected net income, and then figure out what tasks to invest in to get there.

Know your numbers

Aneri Desai, career coach

Knowing your numbers is Desai’s number one financial tip.

courtesy of Desai



Before deciding to take my coaching full-time, I reviewed the historical data and revenue trends of my side business. After defining the minimum I would earn as a full-time coach, as well as estimates of how much more I could earn with extra time, I had a lot of confidence to get started.

When you learn your numbers, figure out how much you need to earn to maintain your lifestyle, cover your monthly bills, and pay off your debts. In terms of debt repayment, it is important to book more than the recommended amount. Especially with compound interest adding up, try to pay it off before the due date.

Once you have those numbers, work back to figure out how much you charge per client and how many clients you want to support at a time. Set yourself these financial goals and re-evaluate them constantly.

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