Most life coaches do not have any official experience in a field that is directly related to life coaching. Instead, they bring with them both their life experience and their unique work experience. Often coaches coach in a specific niche, in-which they have unique knowledge and experience. For example, entrepreneurs coach business start-ups, personal trainers become health coaches,
teachers coach others on public speaking, etc. In most cases, coaches enroll in training programs before beginning their coaching
practice. This gives them a foundation of understand about what coaching is, the psychology behind it, and methodologies and
processes used. There are a variety of programs out there. Some are basic, some advanced. Some are about coaching in general, while others focus on specific niches. Ultimately, what training you need in order to coach is up to you.
The better question is, what does it take to be a successful and effective life coach?
Is there a life coaching degree, license or accreditation required?
Life coaching is a non-regulated industry, so there is no license or degree required. There exists no official accrediting institution or governing body in the life coaching industry. There may be organizations that claim to be an official or legal accrediting body, however this is false. Therefore, anyone can coach based on their own level of comfort with their chosen training and/or past relevant experience. As long as you are not going outside the scope of coaching, such as practicing therapy (for mental health, for instance) you are free to coach as you wish! It is recommended that any coach who is concerned regarding this matter seek advice from his/her state.
Life coaches must be aware of and strictly adhere to the appropriate role of a life coach. Life coaches are not licensed mental health care providers or therapists and must not provide medical advice, engage in patient diagnosis, or treat mental illness or trauma. Also, former therapists may receive legal consequences for practicing as a “life coach” while conducting therapy. See our video on the differences between therapy, coaching and consulting for additional information.
What are life coaching “certifications”?
Life coaching certifications are educational programs that train life coaches in various aspects of coaching and offer a certificate (offered by that organization) endorsing the coach who has completed the training program. There are many organizations that offer certification programs, and there are many types of coaching certifications.
Having a coach certification simply means that you have completed a program offered by a Coach Training Organization and have acquired the knowledge that organization teaches. There are organizations that claim to be an accrediting or governing body for the life coaching industry, however no organizations currently hold any legal authority over the field or other organizations.
Are you associated with ICF?
No, we are NOT affiliated with ICF (International Coach Federation) or any other life coaching association. We are an independent Life Coach Training Organization. ICF does not hold authority over the life coaching industry and being “approved” or “accredited” by them is in no way required for any life coach or training program. The reason we choose not to seek association with ICF is because in order for a coach certification to meet their requirements, it is required to include a certain number of contact hours, meaning live interactions between an instructor coach and the student. We do not wish to include contact hours in our programs because we believe our students enjoy the self-paced, virtual nature of our training programs and the opportunity to receive high quality education at a great price. Requiring contact hours with our students would greatly increase the fees we would need to charge for our programs, making them out of reach for many of our students around the world.
We believe in the democratization of education, not creating unnecessary red tape and costs.
What does it take to be a successful life coach?
After over a decade in the life coaching industry and coaching and training over 100,000 life coaches, we have come to realize there is a simple formula for life coaching success:
COMPETENCY (aka, being an effective coach)
+ MARKETING (aka, reaching the right clients)
= Great RESULTS for your clients and PROFITABILITY for you
There are 4 keys to all successful life coach training. The first two keys develop the first component of life coaching success: COMPETENCY. The second two keys develop the second component of life coaching success: MARKETING.
1. HOW: Learn proven strategies and techniques that give you the skills to be an effective life coach
2. WHAT: Learn and create step-by-step processes that guide your clients to achieve the specific results they want
3. WHO & WHERE: Identify who your ideal clients are, what problems they have, how you can solve their problems, and where you can connect with them
4. MARKET: Structure your coaching in a way that packages your unique gifts into a results-oriented program you can offer clients, and learn marketing strategies that have been proven to work for life coaches, such as joint ventures, speaking and free sessions.
Most importantly, GET STARTED (don’t wait for everything to be perfect) and KEEP GOING (by continuing to learn and grow as you go)!
Find out more about the 4 keys to success! CLICK HERE
What is the difference between life coaching and therapy?
A life coach helps clients:
• Change their thinking
• Increase their emotional wellbeing
• Change limited belief systems
• Reframe past experiences
• Set and achieve goals
• Make life changes
• Increase motivation
• Learn a new skill
• Change their self-identity
A therapist helps clients with these areas of their life, but they also help their patients:
• Diagnose and/or treat mental illness or clinical anxiety or depression
• Heal past trauma
• Cope with traumatic loss
• Cope with abuse
• Treat addiction or substance abuse
• Cope with relationship turmoil or violence
For additional detail about the boundaries between life coaching and therapy or related fields, click here
What is niche life coaching and why is it important?
Niche coaching utilizes core coaching principles along with highly specialized processes focused on a particular area that assist clients toward achieving their goal. Popular coaching niches include: health, career, life purpose, happiness, goal attainment, executive, fitness, dating, spiritual and business. There are dozens of other, more specialized niches. Many coaches narrow their focus by working exclusively with a specific age group or population which they can uniquely relate to, such as empty-nesters, retirees, recent graduates, or people rebuilding their lives after illness. Other coaches offer services in which their lifetime’s worth of career experience can serve as a catalyst for their clients’ careers, such as entrepreneurs coaching budding entrepreneurs, seasoned sales professionals coaching budding salespeople, or anyone with expertise that someone else would want access to.
In the rapidly growing field of life coaching, focusing on a targetable, highly motivated niche market has become a key to success because it:
• Helps you stand out from the crowd because your clients are coming to you for specific results that you are offering, rather than simply general “coaching”
• Takes the guesswork out of coaching because your coaching process is structured around a specific outcome
• Increases your confidence because you’re coaching based what you know and have experienced yourself
• Makes marketing EASY because you are a) promoting a specific RESULT and b) know exactly who your ideal clients are
Because of this, focusing your life coaching around a specific niche area is the most profitable AND fulfilling type of coaching.
Find out more about how to choose the right niche! CLICK HERE