However, what we can tell you is that no element of the journey to becoming a life coach is wasted. Every element is important and transformative (assuming you choose the right approach) and valuable to you as an individual. It can be important for your growth.
Nonetheless, how can you find out if becoming a life coach is actually the right path for you?
YOU START WITH REALISTIC UNDERSTANDING AND EXPECTATIONS
We cannot stress this enough. Becoming a life coach is not an either or situation. Rarely do people walk in to the profession, qualify, and find themselves paired with the right business acumen to make themselves an overnight business success. This is because, as a business, life coaching requires so many X-factors and so many different elements (not least of which is time and reputation) that simply cannot be borne overnight.
This means that it is far more realistic to embark on your life-coaching journey with far broader expectations. We’re not saying you’re not going to become the next big name globally in life coaching with requests for TED talks and book publications landing in your inbox. What we are saying is that that shouldn’t be your primary goal. Your own journey should be your main focus.
You need to view life coaching as a skill rather than a means to a business end. To take a different example, through teaching qualifications you learn to learn. You acquire a range of capabilities and self-knowledge. All contribute to your success as a teacher. But, having your name on a PGCE doesn’t in fact make you a great teacher. What makes you a great teacher is applying that learning, mixing it with a length of experience, and personal growth.
Life coaching is the same. Becoming a life coach is not the be-all-and-end-all of success. It needs to be embarked upon as part of a broader journey.
THE PROBLEMS PEOPLE ENCOUNTER
The most glaring problem that people tend to encounter when deciding to become a life coach is that they see it as all or nothing. An end to itself. So, in goes the resignation to the day-job and let’s take a left turn on our career. A very risky strategy with life coaching. The vast majority of successful life coaches don’t start out this way. They evolve.
That doesn’t mean there’s not a starting point where you decide upon becoming a life coach: a point at which you begin the professional journey and embark upon gaining the relevant qualifications and experience to get there. You need that decisive moment in becoming a life coach. What it shouldn’t be, however, is an abandonment of the skills and place you are in now.
You need to give yourself time and space to evolve. That’s not a lightning-fast career move. It also means that discovering if becoming a life coach is the right path for you often involves taking the first steps to becoming a life coach, and seeing how it works in practice, and how you grow and develop.
MAKING A BUSINESS OF LIFE COACHING
This is particularly important when considering whether to make life coaching your business. Starting any business is risky. Four in ten businesses don’t make it through the first five years. There aren’t any stats available, but we’d have a guess that life coaching business statistics make even more depressing reading. And it’s not because those individuals didn’t have enough passion. One thing life coach wannabes usually have in spades is passion. It all depends on YOU.
Again, it comes down to needing to evolve as a coach, not just decide to be one. It comes down to pairing your skills and development as a life coach with business acumen: two elements that are often hard to balance. It also comes down to finding your niche; your specialism; your specific offering of X-factors.
SO IS BECOMING A LIFE COACH A BAD IDEA
Obviously, we don’t think so! In fact, we’d go so far as to say it is a transformative idea and one that will become one of life’s defining moments. There’s a tremendous amount to be gained by becoming a life coach: from self-discovery and development, career gains, and lifestyle changes to making a difference, living as you want to live, and inspiring and helping others. The rewards are rich.
We just caution you to be realistic. To evolve as a life coach not simply become one. This isn’t to defeat you in your goals – rather to inspire you to achieve them. It’s about making the decision but looking beyond that to the pathway itself.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF LIFE COACHING IS FOR ME?
Now there’s the big question, and one we’re glad you’re asking. The question needs to be asked, and you need the answers.
There are a few ways to do this. Firstly, you can simply get going on becoming a life coach. Sign up for some courses, get some life coaching for yourself, and pretty soon you’ll be able to self-select and self-qualify whether this is the right path for you. There’s just one snag – that’s going to cost you a fair amount. However, we do come back to asserting that nothing from that process will be wasted.
Secondly, you could take advantage of our Free Introductory Day to Transformational Coaching. Here you’ll get to meet a real life coach who has made a career of it, walked through the pitfalls, and made a success. You’ll also begin to understand some of both the theory and practice of transformational life coaching without signing on the dotted line. It’s an opportunity to test the water, find out more, and see if becoming a life coach truly is the right path for you – without the risk.
To join our next free introductory day to coaching just pick your location here and start your own evolution.