For the particularly intuitive, it’s not uncommon to be told that you’re full of wisdom and knowledge. Being a good listener and adviser will make you popular and can even be an occupation in and of itself. If your friends and colleagues have always found you to be exceptionally wise and perceptive, a career as a life coach might be in the cards. While the term “life coach” might come off as overly vague to some, you can help others improve their lives if you develop the necessary skills.
The Life Coach Industry at a Glance
Basically, a life coach is someone that helps others achieve their goals. Whether those goals are personal, professional or both, a life coach guides their clients along the path to fulfillment. There are nearly 20,000 life coaches in the United States at present and the industry is growing at a rapid pace. Your job as a life coach will be to mentor your clients by giving them the confidence, motivation and direction they need to get what they want out of life.
Get Credentialed and Certified
While there’s no official organization that regulates the life coach profession, it can’t hurt to complete a training course to boost credibility. Contact either the International Coaching Federation (ICF) or the International Association of Coaching (IAC) and register for a program. The ICF offers Associate Certified Coach, Professional Certified Coach and Master Certified Coach degrees. An MCC requires up to 2,500 hours of experience but can help you to quickly acquire clients. In addition, attend a few coaching seminars to round out your education.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Take stock of your own strengths and weaknesses to determine which coaching niche you’ll pursue. Perhaps you’re better at coaching people on personal issues rather than professional challenges. Next, figure out how you’ll coach your clients. Many coaches do their work over the phone, while others prefer to meet in person. Regardless, you’ll need to get a business license and set up a home office. As an independent entrepreneur, you’ll have to pay self-employment taxes and so forth. Register an LLC or subchapter S corporation to minimize potential liabilities and taxes.
Attract Your First Few Clients
As with many other independent entrepreneurial pursuits, the hardest thing about starting a life-coaching business is getting the ball rolling. Try coaching a few of your friends, colleagues and acquaintances for free to get your name out there and gain valuable on-the-ground experience. While you’re doing so, you can gauge the local demand for your services and settle on the right prices to charge. The average life coach can earn anywhere from $300 to $500 per month per client and roughly $65,000 per year if they’re experienced and reputable.
Market Yourself & Expand Your Operation
After you’ve completed a preliminary break-in period and tested the life-coaching waters, you can worry about building your business. That means getting serious, long-term professional clients that are willing to pay good money for your services. Once you’ve established credibility and have a proven track record to refer prospective clients to, you can market yourself via the usual social media channels like Google+. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Networking will be integral to your success, so be sure to join both formal and informal life coach organizations.
A Lifetime of Guidance
Truthfully, there’s little difference between professional life coaching and just providing actionable tips to your peers. For savvy entrepreneurs, the most important distinction between the two is how one goes about delivering said advice. You can easily meld your everyday know-how and experience with a regimented course of instruction to improve the lives of both yourself and your clients. By enriching the lives of others, you enrich your own. Though it may be an unorthodox career path, life coaching can be the ticket to lifelong wealth and contentment.