Can You Actually Have a Career As a Life Coach?

Start with this question first.

Posted Dec 13, 2016

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So this is the giant looming question everyone asks but can’t find the answer to which prevents them from taking the big plunge and living with a big what if over their heads, instead of helping other people with their what ifs. The short answer is yes. But it’s not a simple yes. Let me explain with a step by step process on how.


Step one. Remove the words big plunge. Many believe they have to quit their day jobs to fully dive into coaching in order to make it a career. That is false. Do not do that. You’ll just be setting yourself up for failure and it will roll into a serious stutter when trying to help others. Coaching is something you pursue on the side. No one develops a full practice over night. It takes time. Which makes it the perfect transition career to pursue. 

Step two. 

Take a damn course! So many hang their shingle on their social media door and focus all their energy on branding and trying to build an audience without spending any time on the craft of life coaching. Life coaching is a craft and takes practice and education, like any other profession. You need a foundational know how before you can coach. This means take a course. Or two. But you’re lucky. You don’t have to spend 60K and six years like I did as a therapist. What kind of course should you take? I’ll get back to that.

Start with this question first.

What kind of life coaching do you want to do? Because life is fucking broad. If you say you coach everything, you will turn invisible. Pick something under the umbrella of life that you believe you can coach someone in. For example, relationships, business, creativity, career transitions, etc. Think about your personal story and what you’ve overcome. What are your gifts? What area of life are you the most passionate about? Remember, you can’t just coach life. 

Part two of step two. 

Taking the course.  I think you should take a few courses. But the first one will be the foundation. It will be the primer before you take other specialty courses. Okay, so what kind of course should you take? Here are a few questions to ask.
Does the course offer multiple approaches and instructors so you get a diverse flavor and different concepts? Stay away from courses with one approach and one instructor. They may be amazing but for your first course you should have a pallet to paint from, unless you know exactly what kind of coach you want to be and this person has already been successful in that specialty. But most people who want to life coach figure out what kind of coach they want to be during the process of taking courses and discovering their gifts. 

Is the course live? Watching a video course is not going to give you the real life support you need to push through and build a practice. Video courses turn into things we need to watch but never get around to. Stay away from courses with no live component. 

Does the course have a community? This is key. Life coaching can be a lonely journey. Therefore, you will need a tribe to support you and make you accountable. This can be the one factor that separates the people who are interested from people who actually execute and end up making life coaching a career. 

Do you agree with the message of the course? What is the flag the course is waving? Is it just a course or is there a movement behind it? Find a course with a message that you agree with. You will get the most traction and motivation if you get involved in a movement. Not just a course. 

Once you’ve taken your first course, you can then tighten the vice and take a few speciality courses. By the time you’ve taken your first course, you will have an idea of what kind of coach you want to be. Now take a smaller course or a few workshops that specialize in the field. You’re going from shotgun to sniper.

Step three. 

Start putting yourself out there. Social media is the most powerful and cost effective tool you will have. Now this doesn’t mean you will only see clients online. You can actually coach offline. In coffee shops, yoga studios, hikes, wherever you prefer. But social media is how you will throw your net, getting people to know you, see you, and trust you. Blogs. Videos. Photos. Whatever you’re the most comfortable posting. Not everyone’s a writer. I get it. And not everyone wants to make a video of themselves. That’s okay. Just pick one then master it. By master, I mean make it uniquely you. This is the important piece. It doesn’t matter what platform you use. What matters is how you separate yourself from all the other life coaches out there. Hint: be authentic. There’s no greater turn off than someone who tries to be someone she’s not, especially if you’re trying to coach others to live a better life. 

Producing content tip: Think document over create. If you see producing content as you documenting your journey instead of producing content, you won’t burn out. But more importantly, you won’t be a perfectionist. Perfectionism is what snaps reach. It will be impossible to push out daily content if you analyze every piece of content you post (blog, video, photo). This process is also a great exercise to not care what people think and for you to start owning your story. Imagine that you are making a documentary about yourself and just allow the cameras to roll. Remember, people follow stories. Not cleverness. You have a story. Tell it. It’s the most powerful thing you own. Not for you. For us.

Step four. 

Practice. Practice. Practice. So many want to start charging instantly because they think that will make them legit. What will make you legit is your confidence and how good you are. Not that you have paying clients. Don’t focus on the money right now or how many clients you have. Remember, this is a passionate hobby until it tips and becomes a full time career. You are building. Coach anyone who wants coaching. Do it for a minimal fee or free. The gift in it for you becoming a better coach. 

Step five.

Trust the process, because it’s life changing. Remember that becoming a life coach isn’t just about helping other people. This long journey is about helping yourself. People get into life coaching because they want to help others but if they really lean into the process, they end up helping and changing themselves. 

Life coaching is the ultimate self help journey. 

More about our Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive HERE.