Becoming a Life Coach: The Facts

I get asked a lot of questions about becoming a Life Coach and I welcome them because there are many misconceptions about the profession and what it’s about. Let me start by saying what it’s not. Life Coaching is not therapy, it is not counseling and it is not consulting although many physiologists, consultants and counselors are becoming trained and using coaching skills and technologies as a compliment to their practice.

Here are some things to consider when becoming a Life Coach.

  • What kind of life coach training do I need?

You need to be trained through a qualified organization. There are the major players that are credentialed by the ICF (International Coaches Federation)  or CTI but there are also many companies such as JTS Advisors who offer excellent training in strategy, accountability and assessment coaching.  Becoming a life coach is a true transition and there are serious skills sets to learn, so don’t skimp on getting the training and real coaching experience you need.  Why is training and coaching experience important?  Because you usually lack coaching skills when you are first considering becoming a coach, even if you think you’re a natural… professional coaches use their coaching skills every day and they’ve been honed after thousands of hours in varying situations.  You’ve got some work to do!

  • Do I need to be certified to become a life coach?

Ultimately the answer is no but it is absolutely recommended. Life coaching is a relatively new industry and credibility is often questioned. Certification adds credibility and believability.  Also, getting coaching certification will no doubt help improve your coaching skills even if only from having the logical and theoretical grounding to perform the basics.

  • So what is Life Coaching about anyway?

Life coaching or any kind of coaching for that manner is about bridging the gap and sustainable change. What that means is that often people want something different but are stuck in patterns or behaviors that are preventing them from getting to the next level. A great coach can get them unstuck like nothing I’ve ever seen

  • Are there any age barriers to becoming a Life Coach?

In short – No. As an adult any age is appropriate. I’ve known coaches as young as 22 and others well over 60. Each one brings something unique particularly when they settle on their particular niche.  Even if you are lacking the coaching skills at first, learning a few coaching frameworks (step by step instructions for coaching processes), you’ll have something to do with your clients that will help to a certain extent.

  • How much money can I make as a Life Coach?

This is a very broad question and is tied directly to your business model, your marketing, and the level of your coaching skills. There are coaches who are six figure coaches and there are those who barely scrape by. I encourage anyone entering the field to get assistance in these two areas. JTS offers excellent mentoring and training in these areas. Their partnership with Eric Lofholm (sales and marketing specialist), and other notable business partners provides an excellent framework  Remember that even having the best coaching skills in no way assures success as a life coach!  You’ve got to get your butt out the door and talk to people every day to gather enough relationships to support a thriving coaching practice.

  • How do I get clients when becoming a Life Coach?

You have more potential clients than you know starting with your friends, family and business associates. Don’t be afraid to approach them and offer them a free session. I used this when I first started with success. People felt great because of the experience they could see that the change they wanted was not only possible but doable. Develop a referral strategy through your client base and seek help with our sales and marketing strategy if you are uncertain what to do next

Hopefully I’ve provided some answers to your questions on becoming a Life Coach. If you have more, let us know by adding a comment on this blog. We’ll do our best to give you the answers you need.

Ellen Smith
Accountability Coach, Strategy Coach, JTS Advisors
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