Becoming a Life Coach

Do you have a particular skill, employment background, or a specific life experience which you believe could be utilized in the role of a professional Life Coach? 

If you don't know what a Life Coach is, you can find out by reading; What is a Life Coach and Can You Benefit from Hiring One?

If you've thought about becoming a professional Life Coach, but just didn't know how to get started, here are some details that may help:


Ask yourself these questions:

•Are you a people person?
•Are you a superb listener?
•Are you an excellent communicator?
•Do people go to you for advice?
•Do you give advice without judgment?
•Are you a positive motivator?
•Are you organized?
•Do you have a desire to guide and support others?
•Are you an authentic person?
•Do you have counseling or sociology experience?

While not prerequisites, answering yes to these questions would be beneficial in your quest to become a professional Life Coach.

If answering "yes" to the aforementioned questions is not required, what is? There are no specific answers to that question, because there are no current requirements for a degree or formal training and no licensing requirements. The basic job description of a professional Life Coach is to guide and support clients in getting past their issues in order to achieve their goals.

Many coaches come from sociology and counseling backgrounds, however, it is not a precondition to the job, and you will find professional Life Coaches come from a variety of backgrounds. There are groups attempting to regulate the life coaching industry, however, until then, there are no predominate rules.


Although not required, there are groups who offer Life Coach training with certification and/or credential programs. Be aware however, because there are no standards, and no independent supervisory board to evaluate these institutes, there is much confusion with the terms "Certification" and "Credentialed" within the coaching industry.

Obtaining the right training is fundamental but not easy. This is where you must be most diligent and conduct a thorough research. Doing a web-search of Life Coach Schools will produce many websites and you should peruse them all. However, a better way to find a school would be to ask a professional Life Coach that you trust, or that has been successfully coaching for several years, where they received their instruction and training.

Another way to gain some training would be directly from a professional Life Coach. If you know someone who has been successfully working in this field, you should consider seeking an apprenticeship with him or her. Not only will you get one-on-one training, you will have a person that you can go to in the future with questions and/or problems.

Finally, I have read that some people forgo training and just call themselves a professional Life Coach. Unless you have vast amounts of counseling experience or a sociological background, I would not recommend this method.

How do you find clients?

The key is marketing and referrals. Advertise in your local newspaper, phone directory, and community news letter, etc. You can write an article about the benefits of hiring a Life Coach for your local paper or news letter, and include your business phone number in the article. Get to know people in your community, go to professional mixers and give your business card to everyone. Think about teaching an evening course or giving a lecture through your local city - Parks and Recreation program. Your topic could be about how life coaching can help people overcome certain issues. Put together a pamphlet with helpful tips and include your business phone number. Consider offering the first session for free or at half price. If you offer a particular specialty, look to enter into a partnership with an individual or company of a similar specialty, but different business. For example, if you have a background in health and nutrition, look to partner with a personal trainer or gym for referrals, if you both refer to each other, it will be a win/win relationship.

How do you keep your clients?

By being the best Life Coach they will ever find. Get the training, take the courses, read and stay current with the coaching industry. Prepare yourself for future industry regulations. Have enough education and/or experience that you believe would meet future requirements. Be ready to pass any test that may be required. You wouldn't ask anything less of your clients than to do the work, so you must do the work of knowing your craft. If you strive to be the best, your clients will only leave when they have reached their goals.

Don't nickel and dime your clients, give them a break once in awhile, everyone likes to get a freebee or a deal and they will remember you for it. Happy and satisfied clients will most likely refer others to you, unhappy clients will not.

What other requirements should you consider?

Becoming a professional Life Coach is a business. Review the following list and decide what you will need to complete and/or look into prior to starting your business:

•Write-up a business plan
•Determine if you will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation? (Do you know the difference?)
•Apply for a business license
•Register your business name with your state government
•Get a Tax Identification Number: Learn which tax identification number you'll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency
•Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers' compensation, unemployment and disability insurance
•Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business
•Determine what your start-up costs will be
•Will you be working from home or will you rent a space
•Estimate the anticipated phone costs each month
•Determine what other equipment is required
•Estimate the anticipated advertising costs
•Determine whether you will need to apply for a small business loan from the bank or other institution

Federal agencies do not provide grants for starting a home-based business. However, there are a number of low-interest loan programs that help individuals obtain startup financing. For further information, go to the U.S. Government's website to get a full list of grant, loan, and venture capital programs.

If you are a woman, there are a limited number of loans available to specifically help women start and expand their businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration sponsors a national network of Women's Business Centers providing in-person assistance and educational resources to help women start and grow successful small businesses. These centers are located nationwide near major cities and metropolitan areas.

The U.S. Government also offers, through the Minority Business Development Centers (MBDC), assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners in local communities throughout the country to start, grow, and manage their businesses. These centers offer training courses, one-on-one assistance, and other services that help minority business enterprises succeed.

The great thing about becoming a professional Life Coach is that start-up costs can be minimal.

Is this the career for you?

You shouldn’t decide to become a professional Life Coach until you do the difficult work of researching and choosing a school, or other method of acquiring the necessary education. You must also review and know the requirements of small business ownership. After that, if you are still drawn to this career, take the next step of acquiring the education that you need. Finally, when you are ready, go out and market yourself, get those clients and begin your career as a professional Life Coach.

For information on other topics see the following:

The 5 Top Paying Careers in Each of the US Major Occupational Groups

California Workers' Compensation: Permanent Disability Benefits

Texting and Social Network Abbreviations: Part 1