Life Coaching with Ajit Nawalkha: A Go-To Guide On What You Need to Know

9 min read -
Ajit Nawalkha, co-founder of Mindvalley Coach
Table of Contents
Highlights: Life coaching helps people create a pathway towards greater fulfillment in various areas of life. Here’s an ultimate guide on what it takes to be a life coach.

Life is like a football game—what you get out of it all depends on how you play. And like playing football, it helps to improve how you play the game when you have a coach.

This is where life coaching comes in.

This aspect of the coaching game can help people improve their lives on so many levels and in so many different areas of life. And with the whistle blown and the crowds cheering, it’s time to start your game as a life coach.

What Is Life Coaching?

The basis of life coaching services is to help clients clarify goals, identify obstacles, and design a plan to overcome them in order to reach those goals. It’s much like how a sports coach helps an athlete set their target, improve their techniques, and set a strategy to get there.

Life coaching is one of the most booming industries right now. And rightfully so—here are some stats to support it:

  • Globally, there were approximately 71,000 coach practitioners in 2019, an increase of 33% from 2015. In North America alone, there were 23,300 coaching practitioners as of 2020.  And it’s estimated that the number will only increase.
  • When it comes to revenue, 2019 saw a global total of approximately $2.5 billion, which is a 21% increase from 2015.
  • Life coaching, specifically, is a $1 billion industry in the United States.

We all need a little bit more support—with the times that we’ve had and the times that are coming—from somebody who can really help us navigate life,” says Ajit Nawalkha, co-founder of Mindvalley Coach (formerly known as Evercoach by Mindvalley). “Life coaches come in handy.

Types of life coaching

Life is all-encompassing and there are various areas in which coaches can find their niche. For example, there can be:

  • Career coaching
  • Executive or leadership coaching
  • Financial coaching
  • Relationship or divorce coaching
  • Family life coaching
  • Health and wellness coaching
  • Spirituality coaching
  • Men or women’s coaching

Literally, it can be in any aspect of life… You name it; there’s a coach for that.

Is there a difference between a life coach and a therapist?

There’s often confusion when it comes to life coaching and therapy. They’re both very similar in that they aim to help their clients find a better, greater version of themselves so they get to fully enjoy the experience of life. 

However, there are a number of differences between the two:

Life CoachTherapist
Focus is mainly on the present and future.Focus is mainly on the past.
Explores what the client wants by shifting habits and behaviors.Explores what the client wants to fix by focusing on shifting perceptions.
Tries to answer the how.Tries to answer the why.
Coach and client are partners.Therapist is the expert.
Engagement with the client is shorter, like a few months.Engagement with the client is longer, sometimes spanning out for years.

With that being said, coaching techniques and those used by therapists can overlap. But one thing is for sure: a therapist needs a degree, while a coach doesn’t.

It’s imperative for coaches to identify what the client is looking for. And if that want is outside the scope of what the coach can do, they must refer them to a therapist or specialist.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

The job of a life coach is to help create a more beautiful future for their clients, according to Ajit. They do so by asking powerful questions to help their clients paint a vision of their future and what they could be. Then, they’ll help in different areas of their clients’ lives to create progress towards that vision.

The trick lies in the powerful questions, which can include:

  • What are some of the key areas of your life that you’re really focused on right now? Or that you would like to focus on?
  • What stops you from being able to create the outcomes that you want to create in the different areas of your life?
  • What does it mean to you to achieve this goal?
  • What would happen if you don’t achieve it?
  • What’s the smallest step you can take today to get closer to your goal?
  • What do you need to achieve this goal?
  • When you think about the goal, what feelings does it stimulate?
  • What needs does it meet?

[Life coaches] are focused towards creating a new reality based on priorities of the client,” Ajit explains. “There might be behaviors, there might be habits, there might be emotional responses to things that we have to still work on and kind of tackle one at a time. But the focus really lies on the vision.

Is life coaching a good career?

Being a life coach is incredibly versatile. You can choose it as your primary career, helping your clients focus their attention on their desired goals.

Alternatively, you can do life coaching…

  • As a side hustle
  • Within the ecosystem of your job
  • Within your work environment as an entrepreneur
  • To coach groups or workshops
  • To have a better relationship with others

A good by-product of learning life coaching is that you’ll have the ability to self-coach. This is the ability to be attuned to your inner voice—to hear it, listen to it, and trust it. And learning self-coaching can make your coaching experience with your clients much more powerful and impactful.

Life coaching is a study of human psychology, human biology, human spirituality, and human habit creation,” Ajit explains. “Because of that, it is an extremely powerful skill that can be used for good, and like any great skill can be used for bad.

And if you need a bit of convincing, here are what some current life coaches (specifically those who have gone through Mindvalley’s Certified Life Coaching program) are saying about this field:

I feel I found the way, tools, and path to follow my heart to finally achieve my purpose in life.

Maria Paula Gutierrez Vega, business administrator; London, United Kingdom

I became much more productive, procrastinated much less, even finally created my website.

Katharina Wegmann, life coach; Sankt Augustin, Germany

This is going to be an incredible tool and resource for the community I am building.

Patrick Farrell, president/CEO; Miami, United States

How much do life coaches charge?

Life coaches get paid pretty well, especially those who go down the path of starting a coaching business.

Though the cost and length vary from one coach to another (as well as one situation to another), the average cost in the United States is roughly US$150 per hour.

And according to the International Coaching Federation’s 2020 Global Coaching Study, the annual income is in the ballpark of US$62,500.

That’s pretty decent, if we do say so ourselves.

How to Start a Life Coaching Business

Whether you’re coaching full-time or on the side, here are seven steps on how to start a life coaching business:

  1. Define your “why”
  2. Identify your niche
  3. Define your audience
  4. Craft your offers
  5. Create your clients
  6. Build a personal brand
  7. Cultivate a growth mindset

Life coaching is a calling. And starting a business with it gives you the opportunity to take your passion for helping others and make it into a profitable career. So let’s get started.

1. Define your “why”

When it comes to coaching, what is your “why”? This is such an important question to ask yourself.

When you’re able to identify and define your “why,” you’ll gain clarity on where you’re going, what matters to you in your coaching, and what decisions are aligned with your vision. Plus, anytime you hit those unmotivated moments, your “why” will help you push through.

There are several ways to find it out. But the 5 Whys Technique is quite a simple, yet powerful one to use.

2. Identify your niche

Life has so many aspects to it. So the chances of a niche being overcrowded are more likely to be next to none. 

But how do you figure out your niche? Here are four things to consider:

  1. Choose what you’re good at
  2. Choose what comes naturally to you
  3. Don’t just aim for the big fish
  4. It’s okay to test the water before diving

For example, if you’re a woman who happens to also be a stepmother, then your niche could be coaching on step-parenting.

Remember to pick a niche that aligns with your passion, purpose, and personality. That will help you empathize and build rapport with your clients.

3. Define your audience

Now that you’ve settled on your niche, it’s time to get to know your ideal clients. The question is: who are they exactly?

They are the person who:

  • Needs your expertise to help them navigate through their fears, struggles, and doubts.
  • Wants to work with you (as you with them) to get through the obstacles towards the end zone.

Using the niche example of you as a stepmother, your ideal clients would perhaps be women who are also stepmothers. As their coach, you can help them through the ups and downs of their stepmotherhood journey. 

Now you may not resonate with all stepmothers, so this is where the power of visualization can really help. Let’s try this exercise:

Close your eyes and imagine the type of client you’d love to work with. Be as detailed as possible and then, consider these specifics:

  • Their age range
  • Their income range
  • People who affect or are affected by their decisions
  • Their relationship with their family and friends
  • The lifestyle they live in vs. the one they desire
  • The challenges they face
  • Their likes and dislikes
  • Their hopes, dreams, and desires
  • The goals they’re aiming to achieve
  • Their behavior pattern

Write it all down so that you’ll zero in on exactly the type of clients you’d like to attract and how you’ll be able to help them.

4. Craft your offers

Defining your coaching offers includes:

  • Format
  • Duration
  • Outcome
  • Prices

Setting up a framework will help you with time management, pricing strategies, tweaking your content, and maintaining a work-life balance. This also lowers the chance of burnout.

5. Create your clients

When it comes to creating your clients, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Some are more comfortable with the word-of-mouth approach while others turn to social media. Each coach has a unique offering, so a different strategy to reach out to clients is called for.

If you need some ideas to get the ball rolling, here are a few tried-and-tested:

  • Create content on social media
  • Go to networking events or speak at workshops
  • Look for opportunities to pitch yourself, like at events or social gatherings

The secret sauce here is confidence. As the saying goes, “There is nothing more attractive than confidence, once you see your own beauty, so will everyone else.

6. Build a personal brand

What is the brand ‘you’? Why should clients be interested in you? What do you stand for?

A personal brand will help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s about congruence—the consistency of your tone, messaging, content, voice, and overall image.

A few ways you can build your personal brand:

  • Create a website or a social media presence
  • Build a tribe
  • Market yourself
  • Build trust
  • Don’t be afraid to reinvent

And because this is your business, you are the brand. Learn how to market yourself so you can grow your business.

7. Cultivate a growth mindset

The success of a coaching business depends on your ability, as a life coach, to create results. And to do so, it’s essential to continuously hone your skills and techniques.

The world is constantly changing and new innovations are popping up left, right, and center. So attend workshops, take courses, and acquire new skills. You may just find new angles to approach your coaching methods.

“A growth mindset means focusing more on learning than knowing” as business executive Beth Comstock says. 

Be a Changemaker

There’s no better time than now to be a changemaker. As a life coach, you’ll be helping your clients find that “extra” in the ordinary in order to experience life to the fullest.

So if you are someone who wants to…

… then, life coaching just might be the thing for you. 

And you can start with the Certified Life Coaching program at Mindvalley. Welcome in.

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Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Expertise by

Ajit Nawalkha is the co-founder of Mindvalley Coach (formerly known as Evercoach by Mindvalley) and a world-leading business coach. Ajit’s passion is to make the world a better place and empower entrepreneurs to be the change the world needs. With decades of experience distilled into bestselling books, Ajit now trains new coaches in both skills and entrepreneurship, unlocking the path from passion to profit.

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