A huge misconception of life coaches is that they’re like your meddlesome aunt — they have a lot to say, but it’s often unsolicited advice.
“The most important part of being a coach is being able to coach,” explains Ajit Nawalkha, co-founder of Evercoach by Mindvalley. It’s in the name, after all.
As a life coach, your superpower lies in helping people create a life of purpose and fulfillment. And to do so, it’s best to understand how to become a life coach, especially in this day and age.
How to Become a Life Coach
Here’s a fun fact: the life coaching industry is growing more than 6.7% per year. It’s a sure indication that people are investing in their personal growth. And they are looking for coaches to help them reach their goals.
So the question is, how do you become a life coach? Here are five steps to get there:
- Define your ‘why’
- Get a life coach certification
- Identify your niche
- Define your own coaching methodology
- Map out your business plan
Unfortunately, passion alone is not enough to be a successful life coach. If this is your yellow brick road, you need to have a structure to build your coaching business. And these five simple steps will help you to do so:
#1: Define your ‘why’
The road to finding your life’s purpose boils down to answering one question: why?
Why do you want to do it?
Why is it important to you?
And why start now?
When you uncover your purpose, you become aware of your north star. And you consciously make the effort to head towards it. That includes joining coaching webinars and getting a life coach certification.
What’s more, knowing your purpose also makes it easier for you to take the leap and get your foot in the world of life coaching.
#2: Get a life coach certification
Are there any life coaching requirements? Great question. The truth is there are no mandatory prerequisites to becoming a life coach.
With that being said, going through a certification course, like the one Evercoach offers, ensures you’re committed to professionalism, upholding industry standards, and continued learning. It also enables you to:
- Get the relevant knowledge and competencies. Sure, you may have the natural skills and confidence involved in coaching. However, coaching clients often have a variety of issues that require someone with skills and expertise of a higher caliber. It provides new coaches with the right tools and environment to practice their skills and gain confidence. Plus, clients can sense when they’re with a professional versus a novice. And having the experience will result in more clients and longer relationships.
- Evolve professionally and personally. Coaching has shown to help clients improve their relationships, communication skills, interpersonal skills, work performance, work-life balance, and wellness. There are plenty of stories out there that show how effective certification training is. Moreover, it supports personal growth, not only for clients, but for coaches themselves.
- Provides a proven coaching methodology that works. What is it exactly? It’s essentially the coaching techniques you use to deliver transformations for your clients. And often, newbies to the coaching world don’t have their own methodology or don’t know how to create one. So a certification program provides them with an existing methodology that has been proven to work.
- Gain credibility in your work. Certification from an entrusted life coaching program, like Evercoach, is like a stamp of approval. It provides you with validation (albeit an external one) that you’ve been equipped with the knowledge and skills that will help your clients.
How long does it take to become a life coach?
Now, you might ask, “How long does it take to become a life coach?” With the Evercoach program, it’ll take four months to become certified. It’s designed around the four-part life coaching process. So, during this time, you’ll go through every phase, activity, experience, tool, and shift you need to become an effective coach.
What’s more, you’ll find that you can incorporate things you’re passionate about or are good at into your coaching. For example, if you’re a mother with a child with a special ability, like autism, then that can be your niche. You can be a coach for those who are going through the same.
#3: Identify your niche
So you’ve found your ‘why.’ Now it’s on to defining who you want to work with and what you want to focus on. It’s a key part of your life coaching career.
Now, you may have the intention to help everyone. And that is admirable. But, as Ajit explains, “helping everyone is helping no one.”
It’s like a kid in a candy store, who runs around trying as many sweets as possible. But when the little runt does so, they don’t have the focus to actually enjoy them.
So when you’re looking at your niche, keep in mind the following:
- Determine what you’re passionate about.
- Look at what comes naturally to you.
- Figure out what your desired income is.
Having a niche will give you the winning edge over other coaches, according to Ajit. It’ll help position you as the expert and make you unique in your field.
And when you do so, you’ll be able to identify your ideal clients based on your personal experience and interests.
#4: Define your own coaching methodology
You now know that a coaching certification program provides you with a methodology that has proven to work. Most veteran coaches have used it as a foundation and have gone to form one that works for them and their clients.
You can do the same — enroll your first clients and practice by putting your knowledge into action. See what works and what doesn’t.
Like the ebb and flow of life, your methodology will keep evolving the more you coach and learn. Continue to fine-tune your methodology until you figure out what works for you that can create results for your clients.
#5: Map out your business plan
Whether you’ll be taking on life coaching as a career choice or doing it as a side project, having a solid business roadmap is crucial.
It outlines the who, what, where, when, why, and how to successfully meet your strategic goals. And in the bigger scope of things, it helps you visualize what you need in order to transform your life coaching business vision into a reality.
Foundations of your business plan
So what should be included in this master plan of yours? Here are a few foundational things to add:
- Mission. As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” This is where your ‘why’ comes in. Get to the bottom of what the purpose of your work as a life coach is.
- Vision. Identify how you’d like to help your client go through a life-changing transformation. And don’t forget to add what you’d like to contribute to the world.
- Sales and marketing. There are a number of ways to get your coaching services known. Whether it’s social media, word of mouth, advertising, building a website, or handing out your business card, find what works for you. And if this is unfamiliar territory to you, look for sales or marketing training that you can attend to upskill.
- Offers. How frequently do you want to do one-on-one coaching sessions each month? What about virtual sessions? Would you consider doing coaching groups? Determine what offers work for you and your clientele.
- Pricing and income goals. Set your charge for your sessions. What price point do you feel comfortable with? What’s your dream monthly or annual income? Make sure to keep in mind your necessities as well as things like savings, retirement, loans, and taxes. And one little tip: find your ‘comfortable’ number and add a little more.
Your roadmap should be as comprehensive as possible. More than likely, you may be itching to make adjustments here and there over time. And that’s okay if it’s aligned with your vision. But if it’s not, then it can be difficult to stay the course.
So the more detailed your roadmap is, the more difficult it will be to deter you away from your north star.
What Makes a Great Life Coach?
There are so many factors that can get in the way of a person being truly authentic with themselves. Trauma, triggers, distractions, and so many other things can create a barrier to full potential.
Life coaching, when done right, can break down those barriers and shift the trajectory of a person’s life. And what makes a life coach great is just truly seeing people — acknowledging the right that they (and each and all of us) have to choose their own experiences and behaviors.
Sure, each life coach is unique in the way they present themselves and their approach to helping their clients. However, there are common traits that the greatest life coaches share that make them the rockstars that they are. Here are seven of them:
As they say, “you can only take others as deep as you’ve gone yourself.” A lot of coaches use self-coaching methods to be better versions of themselves. But if you’d like a little help from an outsider’s point of view, it’s always advisable to go through the coaching journey yourself.
“I think we are out of integrity as coaches if we [ourselves] don’t have a coach,” says master life coach Christine Hassler at the Evercoach Summit in 2018. “You’d never be a personal trainer and never work out.”
The more self-aware you are, the more you’re able to really understand your clients and coach them powerfully.
#2: Listening skills
Coaching is less about advising and more about listening. But there’s a difference between active listening and deep listening.
One study distinguishes between the two. With active listening, we make the conscious decision to focus on what the person is saying. It often goes hand-in-hand with listening to respond.
Deep listening, on the other hand, takes it a step further — listening to acquire information, understand a person or a situation, and authentically connect with them. It’s one of the greatest skills you can develop as a coach.
With deep listening, you’re fully present in the conversation and open to insights, aha moments, and transformation.
#3: Focused learning
Just like any other skill, coaching requires consistent practice. You need to continuously learn about new tools and techniques that can help your clients and your skills as a coach.
In the wise words of musician Mike Hawkins, “You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the action that produces results.”
So research online, read new books, attend seminars, or even chat with other coaches. Whichever learning method you prefer as long as you keep improving yourself as a coach.
#4: Share compassionate truth
As hard as it may be sometimes, your clients need to hear constructive feedback. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re giving supportive comments and tips:
- Honesty goes a long way when you speak about their progress and goals.
- Be kind, as Ellen Degeneres always says.
- Different people absorb information differently. So be mindful of how you communicate to avoid any negative reactions that might affect the relationship with your client.
Use your coaching skills to be compassionate in the way you relay your feedback. As the saying goes, “Speak to others in the same way you want them to speak to you.”
#5: Be committed to getting results
Sure, you’re helping to navigate your clients to their purpose and predestined goals. However, it’s also about empowering your clients to find the confidence, courage, and clarity inside themselves.
Be willing to work intensively with your clients to get the results desired even if you end up creating your own coaching techniques. See this trait as a way to use your creativity, curiosity, and life experiences, and channel them through trying new tools to create the impact you want to create.
#6: Define your boundaries
Have you ever had a coaching client calling you outside working hours for your support? One time could be urgent, but more than that is a big no-no.
If you want to give your clients your best investment of time and energy, you need some time for yourself. Make sure you establish boundaries with your clients from the get-go to avoid blurring the lines between your work and your personal life.
#7: Be consistent
Consistency is a commitment to yourself and to your clients. And there are quite a number of benefits to it:
- Develops discipline and self-control
- Builds a higher level of trust
- Fast track your own transformational growth
- Create accountability
- Help you stand out
It’s consistent with not only you but your business success as well. And as Ajit states, “As you start to get better and more consistent results when you coach, you’ll see you will not only become a life coach, you will become a successful one.”
Step Into Your Coaching Greatness
Life coaching can truly help someone get from where they’re at to where they’ve always dreamt to be. Now, this may just be the ‘why’ to join a life coaching webinar, like the one at Mindvalley, or the push to be a certified life coach.
And all the guidance you’ll be providing for your clients, you can always apply to yourself. As you support others as they step into their greatness, you inadvertently step into yours too.
So it’s time, friend. It’s time to be ambitious, to be a dreamer, and believe that you can do anything, even become a world-class life coach.