Ready to Get started as a Life Coach?
Don’t let these common mistakes stand in your way
6 Major Reasons People Quit Coaching
1. They believed the promise one short DIY class would be all they needed.
When starting a business turned out to be harder than promised, they assumed they weren’t good enough and quit.
Social media is full of offers for life coach training programs.
The vast majority of them offer incomplete, quick, 3 workbooks and a video, programs. Buy the program and they will send you a certificate that declares you are an “Associate Certified Professional Life Coach” or something similar. The certificate is meaningless. There are no regulatory agencies, no national standards for becoming a life coach. The certificate is worth the paper you print it on. Anyone can design a certificate, write your name on it, and charge you money to get it.
You don’t get any help with the practical side of a life coaching career:
- No live mentoring
- No practice with other students
- No training on how to run a business
- No help finding actual clients
It can be so discouraging to do the training, screw up the courage to put yourself out there as a coach, only to discover clients are few and far between. In those fragile early days of first identifying yourself a Life coach, the lack of clients is a blow to your confidence.
The natural assumption is “I’m just not good enough”
Not true! You can be a great life coach. You were sold a lie
Successful coaches start with the best life coach training
2. They didn’t know exactly what type of coaching business model to pursue or have a plan in place to get there.
Do not become a life coach. Just. Don’t. No one in the world is looking for a life coach. Advertising yourself as a life coach is a guaranteed road to mediocrity. Coaching is the just type of work you do to help someone grow. People aren’t looking for what you do, they are looking for help with their specific problem. This is basic Marketing 101.
What problem do you solve?
Can you help people with disabilities maximize their exercise routine?
Become a Functional Wellness Coach
Can you help newly divorced women over 50 start over?
Become a Fabulous After 50 Coach
Decide exactly who you can help and what their biggest need is. Become that coach.
Then figure out exactly how your ideal client wants your services delivered. Do you need to go to their home? Are they so busy that a group 30 min. zoom call once a month will work best? Maybe they are fiercely independent DIY’ers and want you to provide videos and workbooks they can do at their own pace.
Create a business model that meets their unique needs and you’ll stand out in the crowd.
3. They weren’t confident they had what it takes to be a great coach.
How do you find confidence as a new coach? You practice. This is why a full, professional, credible life coach training program is so important. It gives you the opportunity to practice with other students. You are encouraged to find friends and family to coach for free while you are still learning. You practice and then get together with your cohorts and evaluate your progress. You get great feedback and lots of encouragement.
A second key to confidence relates to number 2 above – coach around what you know. The specific problem you can help with is something you already know about, something you have experienced.
That does not mean you have to have all your ducks in a row. I coach people around becoming mentally stronger. That does not mean I don’t ever have bad days. I flounder, get overwhelmed, frustrated and discouraged just like anyone else. However, I have the tools to work through those times quickly and in a way that helps me grow. That’s what I share with others.
4. They weren’t prepared for the obstacles and didn’t have a plan for getting over them.
Ah, the rose colored glasses of ignorance. Only a few people have a personality that naturally plans for problems before they start a project. The rest of us prefer to plunge ahead and just assume everything will work out.
If you’ve been alive for more than 10 minutes you know in your heart that things rarely work out perfectly. Things come up. Life happens. If you are just heading out to the beach for the afternoon, that probably doesn’t take much forethought beyond making sure you pack the sunscreen and some great drinks.
When you are talking about a passionate dream in your heart, you need to think about the potential roadblocks and come up with ideas for circumventing those roadblocks.
It’s one thing to have a beach trip cut short because you ran out of margueritas. Having your life long passion derailed because you didn’t know it would take a year or more to show a profit is devastating.
How will you schedule your time so you can take classes?
Can you coach on the side and still keep the job that pays the bills while you build your business?
Are you prone to be distractable or to jumping from one great idea to another? How will you stay focused?
5. They don’t have long term support, mentoring or accountability.
No one succeeds alone. Even innovators and entrepreneurs who seemed to make it on their own, have people in the background. Financial backers, experts who contributed to their product development in some way, family and friends who encouraged them through the tough spots.
A great life coaching school will include opportunities to network with teachers and other students. Its a perfect chance to develop a professional network of connections.
Every successful person has a team, a brain trust, a mastermind group or other network of support.
There are online groups, local business groups and your own acquaintances you can call on to create your own team.
Believing you somehow “should” be able to make it on your own is a myth. Start now to build relationships with the primary intent of being helpful. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said “help enough people get what they want and you’ll get what you want”
6. They believed the hype that coaching is a quick and easy way to make a 6 figure income this year.
Are there people who walk out of their corporate job, start a coaching business and make over $100,000 their first year? Yes. Are they as rare as snowfall in the desert? Yup. They already have a huge contact list of potential clients and highly sought-after expertise.
What about all those gurus online who promise to show you how they became wealthy working just a few hours a week? Guess what? Their income (if it is even real) typically comes from selling you their program, not from coaching.
Life coaching income is determined by two things:
A. The economic class of people you coach.
B. The number of hours you can work in a week
Someone like Tony Robbins or Martha Beck coaches high performing, C-suite professionals and athletes. They can charge $10,000 a month for their services. If you have the experience and credibility to move in those circles, you can make a six figure income coaching just a handful of people.
If your target market has lower incomes, you have to charge a lower rate. That’s just the realities of economics.
To find a realistic idea of your income potential, you’ll have to do some research. Who else is coaching the same type of clients you can attract? What is their average hourly or monthly rate? How many clients can you realistically work with in a month?
Most coaches find they burn out if they work with more than 3 to 4 people in a day. 4 hours a day x 5 days a week x 4 weeks a month. That’s 80 client hours per month. You typically meet with each client on average 3x a month, but some only do 2 times a month. 80 hours, giving each client 3 hours (80/3=26.6) You could, potentially, work with up to 27 clients.
Sounds okay, right? Especially if you charge the average life coach hourly rate of around $130 per hour for newer coaches. That would be a hefty $10,400 monthly income.
It’s also totally unrealistic. The most experienced coaches with at least a decade of practice work with 15 people at a time. Newcomers average 8 to 10 clients and a much lower hourly rate. Sometimes as low as $35 an hour, again, depending on your target audience. 10 clients, 3 hours a month each at $35/hour is $1,050 a month. One tenth of the amount needed to earn 6 figures a year.
But that is reality. If you start off, knowing the facts, you are far less likely to get discouraged and quit, thinking you are a loser, because you don’t make $100,000 your first year.
How do top earning coaches make their money? They diversify. There are only so many hours in a week. To make a full time living as a life coach means doing more than just one on one coaching. Some options include:
- Group coaching
- Selling a packaged course
- Create your own digital self help ebooks
- Run a podcast or YouTube channel for ad revenue
- Work in-house as a consultant offering employee development coaching in a large corporation
You can be a successful life coach. It starts with separating facts from hype.