How to Become a Life Coach - Thinking about becoming a life coach?
Life coaching is a lucrative and rewarding career field that is growing by the year. There is a lot of information out there about the life coaching profession, and it can be difficult to know where to start. If you are wondering how to become a life coach, take these 5 steps as you explore if it’s the right career for you.
5 Steps on How to Become a Life Coach
Step 1: Assess Your Personality Traits and Skills to learn How to Become a Life Coach
Before you make the leap into life coaching, it’s smart to assess if your personality traits and skills match those necessary for the job. Although coaches can come from all different backgrounds, there are some qualities and abilities that most possess or develop before entering the career.
Top Qualities and Skills you will need in order to learn how to Become a Life Coach
- Adept listeners
- Good verbal and written communicators
- Extreme care and love for helping others
- Skilled questioners
You can delve further into the self-assessment by asking yourself a number of key questions. Although not an exhaustive list, the questions below hit on critical issues that are important to explore before embarking on your new career. They help you assess your aptitude for coaching as well as your ability to manage the business-building aspect of starting your coaching practice.
Self-Assessment Questions for Prospective Life Coaches
- What is motivating me to want to start a career as a life coach?
- What are the benefits of me becoming a Life Coach?
- What qualities do I possess that would make me a good Life Coach?
- How excited am I to be starting my own business?
- What is my commitment level to growing a business from the ground up?
- Am I comfortable doing the marketing, networking and other business development activities that will be required to make this a success?
- How much money do I need to make ends meet?
- Do I have the support of family, friends, mentors or other coaches to help me through this process?
- Where do I see myself 5 years from now as a Life Coach? Is that inspiring to me?
Step 2: Explore Your Personal Goals
One of the biggest challenges of starting any business is the unknown. While some businesses explode right from the start, many others take persistent time, energy and money to grow over time. As a prospective coach, it is important to get very clear on your personal and financial goals. When you know what you’re striving for, it becomes easier to create a plan and to achieve it.
Review your financials. Get clear on how much money you need and how much money you would like to earn each year. Are you wanting a part-time job or a side hustle? Is your goal to create a full-time life coaching empire?
Being clear about your goals will be key as you begin to identify the education and skills you need to achieve success. It will also help as you plan how to grow and market your business in the future.
Step 3: Determine Your Niche
Most people niche who become Life Coaches. Some people have contacts already so it’s not as necessary for them to pick a niche.
Establishing a niche for your coaching practice allows you to become highly specialized in helping the kinds of clients you really want to work with, as well as having a strong marketing message that will attract paying clients. While this might seem premature at this point, it is helpful to think about the kinds of clients that really light you up.
When you have a clear understanding of your coaching niche, you can more effectively research life coaching training and certification programs as well as other educational opportunities. Find out if the program provides direct training, resources or mentors related to your chosen niche. This will ensure that you are getting the training and networking opportunities you need after completing your program.
There are so many coaching niches out there! Some popular options you may consider include:
- Relationship Coach
- Health and Wellness Coach
- Spiritual Coach
- Life Purpose Coach
- Career Coach
- Executive Coach
- Leadership Coach
- Small business Coach
- Teen Coach
- Divorce Coach
- Parent Coach
- Academic Coach
- Creativity Coach
- Dating Coach
- Grief Coach
- Success Coach
Step 4: Research Certification Programs
If you haven’t already realized, research is key on your journey to becoming a life coach. Although there are coaches who haven’t received formal training, life coaching certification programs are critical if you wish to create a career out of coaching.
There are many programs out there and some are better than others. It is vital that you research a variety of programs to determine which is the best fit for you. It is recommended that you choose a program that is accredited by the International Coach Federation, so you can feel confident that the program is of a high quality.
Life Coach Certifications vary in length of time averaging 3 months and going as long as 2 years.
In picking a school for training, think about what’s important to you:
- Do you learn best in a small group setting?
- Would you like comprehensive and step-by-step processes to follow?
- Would you like to have extensive practice and expert feedback in order to develop your skills?
- Is receiving personal support and attention important you?
- Would you like to schedule a training class at a time that works for you?
At Life Purpose Institute, training is done in a small group with personal attention and support and gives ongoing feedback from an expert instructor. You also receive step-by-step processes, skills and extensive tools that you can use with clients.
What is your budget? Schools range in price from less than a $100 up to thousands of dollars. Alhtough cheaper programs are available, if coaching is your life work, it may be worth a larger investment to get a more extensive training and become highly proficient as a coach to prepare you for the future. People that attend a more in-depth training also tend to earn a higher salary as a Life Coach.
Contact the programs you are interested in and speak to one of their program coordinators to learn more about the curriculum, the time commitment, requirements, online or distance learning options, networking opportunities, cost and marketing training.
Step 5: Prepare for Starting Your Business
The final step is to plan and prepare for starting your own business. Identify other professional educational opportunities that would complement your coaching training such as accounting, online marketing or entrepreneurship. Identify any networking groups that may benefit you as you build your business. If you’ve considered a niche, identify where you may be able to find these clients and how you may be able to connect with them.
Consider financial concerns that may present themselves during the business-building process. Do you intend to work full-time and take courses in the evenings? Will you keep your day job while going through the certification program? Creating a plan, whether that means keeping your day job for a time or saving up a nest egg so you can focus completely on your program, will help you organize yourself around your new venture.