Thinking of starting a life coaching practice? There is no time like the present to get started on a new career. Whether you are already a coach in a different field, or still on the sidelines, this is a great time to take the plunge!
The economy stinks, but the coaching business continues to grow and provide opportunities for qualified people to start a coaching practice. According to one an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, personal life coaching in the United States was the second fastest growth industry after IT.
There are an estimated 40,000 practicing coaches in 70 countries and the coaching industry continues to grow at a rate of 20% per year. Sound like an industry you want to join?
Though the field is rife with opportunities, starting a life coaching practice is just like starting any other business – it takes hard work, patience, persistence, and a high tolerance for frustration. But, it can also be rewarding and profitable. Before you take the plunge, here are a few helpful hints.
5 Secrets to Starting a Life Coaching Practice
- Don’t believe the hype! You’ve probably seen seductive ads or articles about the coaching profession. How you can earn big money by helping people. Well, the truth is…you can earn big money while helping people. However, it takes time and effort. Plenty of time and effort. The ads make it seem as if you can start calling yourself a coach and the money will begin to flow. Some coaches make good money, some coaches are broke. Some who get trained, do very well, others should probably find another career. It is what you make of it!
- Coaching is a business and you are an entrepreneur. Starting a life coaching practice is basically the same as opening a restaurant or any small business. You need to think and act like an entrepreneur. You have to create a business plan, determine cash flow, research, create and implement marketing strategies, and organize all legal aspects of your business. Just like any other business.
- Be committed. Some people start out their coaching careers as a side venture; it is possible to do that. However, the best path to success is to devote yourself to the coaching profession and your coaching practice. Though the coaching industry is still a growing field, and the demand for coaches continues to increase, the competition is becoming fierce as more and more people enter the field. Passion, devotion, and commitment are the ways to stay ahead of the competition when starting a life coaching practice.
- Get the best coaching and training. Yes, it counts. In a competitive field, you need the credentials to sell yourself to potential clients. When deciding on training and certification programs, do NOT cut corners. The most expensive programs are not necessarily the best, but the cheapest are almost always not worth it! Do diligent research on a program’s competency standards, get feedback from former students, and search the Internet for testimonials and reviews. A good place to start your search is on the ICF (International Coach Federation) website at www.coachfederation.org. Master Coach University has been approved by ICF for most of our coach trainings because they are the most respected and world-recognized standard in credentialing and standardization for the coaching industry.
- Look for a niche. Specializing in a specific field within the coaching industry may be one of the most important keys to success. There are literally hundreds of different niches within the coaching industry. Don’t just be a life coach – be a working mom’s life coach. Don’t just be a weight loss coach – be a weight loss coach for people with diabetes. Don’t just be a business coach – be a business coach for small online businesses. Find a niche with which you have knowledge and then become an expert in that niche. Being that proverbial big fish in the small pond is much better than trying to convince a skeptical audience that you have the ability to help them with everything.
If you are starting a life coaching practice, use these secrets to get started on the right foot. And let me be the first to welcome you to the coaching profession!
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