Career as a Life Coach

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2008

I have been curious about becoming a life/relationship coach for a long time now, and I am wondering if there are any life coaches out there who can tell me about what this looks like logistically in their life i.e. How hard is it to get clients in Berkeley, how much do you charge, how long did it take to feel established in it?, etc. Also, can you recommend a good training/certification program? It seems like there are some out there that reek of scam and others that may be more legit. Are there different schools of thought on techniques used? (I imagine so..) and what are some popular ones? Thanks so much! inspired mom

I am not a life coach but I worked with some. No license is needed. All you need to do is hang a shingle and you're in business. If you want to make yourself look more trustworthy, I'd advise you to get a certificate from a coaching institute. There are several out there. Go on google and you'll find them. Also, I'd buy a book called Get Clients Now. My coaches said everyone was reading it and recommended I read it too. My coaches were supported by their spouses, owned homes, and coached only a few hours each week. They said it was a hobby for them, but that it was very difficult to find clients. Most of the time they were referrals from friends and family. In my case, however, I picked their names out of a directory. Hope that helps. Anon
I think it's good that you are exploring this before diving in. I was a life coach for a couple years back in 2000-2003. I went through the entire program at CTI in San Rafael. It's a really wonderful program, and I think it trains you well on how to be a coach. However, the biggest hurdle that I found was building and retaining a large enough client base to continue to coach. I really loved the work...the actual coaching. But I did not love the sales part and the need to constantly try to find new clients. It's a lot of work, and at the time I did the program at CTI, I felt they did not prepare me for that reality. So...if you are good at sales, you may not find this same hurdle. Good luck. Coaching is a wonderful profession if you can make it work for you! Jenny
Becoming a great life coach takes several years of study, practice and then certification. The International Coach Federation has listings of all the certified schools. I received certification through the Coaches Training Institute in Marin. It's a very good program and I learned lots. Being in the business of coaching is a different world from being a great coach. Like anyone who is self-employed you must spend time with a business plan and ongoing marketing. If you'd like to talk about my experience and thoughts I'd be happy to have a conversation with you. Sydney Metrick 223 3882 sym
Dear Inspired Mom, For me, becoming a life coach was an inspired move that has proven to bless me in many, many ways. However, the journey (and it still continues) has been more challenging and has stretched me more then I ever imagined.

I have ''officially'' been a life coach for the past four years. I jumped right into a coaching certification program as I started my business. The six month program I did was through Coach Training Alliance. It's a program done over the phone and internet. This was a good program for me, but I know there are many, many good programs. What matters is that you choose one that is the right match for you based on time, schedule, cost, location, etc. I worked with my own coach during this time for help in selecting a program and getting my business started. During the past four years the amount of time I've focused on coaching has gone up and down based on other career opportunities and starting a family. However, now I feel like I have the perfect fit for what my personal and professional goals are at this time in my life.

I work between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm four days a week. My ideal schedule is 6 full-time individual clients and working one to two days in the corporate setting providing in-house life coaching. My fees have also changed over time as my business, experience and confidence has grown. Initially my rate was less then $300 per month for 3 session per month, then they went up to $350 per month and now, as I am working with more professional and executive clients my monthly fee is between $450 and $850 per month depending on the package.

Because the coaching profession is growing by leaps and bounds and there are so many coaches in the Bay Area, I strongly recommend the following:
- Hire your own coach to help you get where you want to go faster; - Become a member of a coaching business growth organization such as Coach & Grow Rich or Prosperous - Choose a niche (who you will market your coaching to) as soon as you can...this will make all the difference in becoming established and making a good living a coaching (versus it just being a hobby of sorts).
Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss in more detail. Nicola