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How To Become A Life Coach

MagicianIf you have a burning desire to become a Life Coach I have some really exciting news for you.

If you follow my two-stage plan to the letter I can have you up and running as a full fledged Life Coach by the time you finish reading this post.

Do not cut corners though. This is a tried and trusted method guaranteed to have you living the life of your dreams and bathing in client supplied cash in no time at all.

Not only that, but I can help you with absolutely no money down and none due on completion. How’s that for the deal of a lifetime?  Certainly worth whipping yourself into a  frenzy for, I think you’ll agree.

Well here’s the lowdown, and remember to tell all your friends because the world needs more websites with pictures of sunrises and star fish as well as crap vision statements and twee taglines about being ‘a better you’ on them.  So here we go:

1. Call Yourself a Life Coach

When anybody asks you what you do for a living you reply, “I’m a life coach” This is very important. Under no circumstances should you say:

“I’m a magician, I’m a cosmologist or I’m the dictator of a small African nation”

Life Coach’s almost never say such things. Partly because they tend not to be true, but mainly because the chances of being hired by a potential client are massively reduced. David Blaine, Steven Hawking and Robert Mugabe have never been hired to life coach anybody to the best of my knowledge.

2. Think Of A Company Name

Think up a company name and register it with whoever you need to register company names with in your, County, State, Country, Constellation etc. Try to incorporate as many of the following words into your company name as possible; Authentic, awaken, vision, inspire, dream and of course Life Coach and/or Life Coaching.

I’ve just checked and unbelievably is still available. Hurry and register it before somebody else snaps it up.  You’d be a fool not to.

There are a couple of drawbacks to all this though.

Officially you are, as I say, a Life Coach, and nobody can take that away from you so don’t fret.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean anybody will hire you even if you’re a coaching genius, which I suspect we both know you are.

I know, I know, life (coaching) just isn’t fair, but worry not because I’m not going to desert you now we’ve come this far together my dolphin-loving friend.

Firstly, we need to ascertain whether life Coaching is absolutely right for you.

I’m sure you are a perfect candidate, but let’s do due diligence anyway, just in case.

Run through the following checklist and make sure at least three of the reasons for becoming a coach apply to you. Three is a bare minimum and five or above would mean you and coaching is a marriage made in heaven.

12 Great Reasons To Become A Life Coach

  1. You once persuaded your friend Susan to kick her husband out after the pig put his socks in her underwear drawer.
  2. You feel a strong urge to convert people to your way of thinking
  3. You like a good gossip
  4. You like wearing sandals and eating tofu sandwiches
  5. It’s easy money and there aren’t many set-up costs
  6. You once attended a Tony Robbins seminar and have a certificate to prove it
  7. You like to shout at people
  8. You get strangely aroused discussing other people problems
  9. You have a copy of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Reading it isn’t absolutely necessary – you showed willing.
  10. You can work on your own anger management issues at the same time
  11. You own a whistle and like wearing baseballs caps back to front
  12. You’ve attended the ‘University of Life’

I’m presuming that as you’re still with me you’re been ticking away with gay abandon. So let’s move on and look at what you need to be super-successful in your chosen field.

Life Coach Training

In the USA and UK there is no legal requirement to undertake any training whatsoever to become a Life Coach. That’s the good news, but the bad news is occasionally pesky clients ask to see some form of proof that you’re qualified to dispense your undoubted worldly wisdom. The bastards!

Anyway, there are several options available to you at this stage because obviously nobody wants to waste time and money training with an ICF accredited training organization and becoming a ‘professional’. Whatever one of those is.

I wasted 7 months and thousands of dollars with initial training and then a load more with ongoing training in NLP, Hypnotherapy and some other airy-fairy stuff the names of which I forget now. As I look back with a heavy heart I realize what a fool I was.

With that money I could have bought an industrial color laser jet printer, set up my own training organization (probably called Tim’s Top Training) and made myself President for life with the honorary title of ‘Supreme Coach of The Universe’. And still had enough money left over to throw a wild drug-fueled orgy.

Alas, I didn’t have access to sound advice like this and listened to do-gooder types that suggested training was the correct route.

If you haven’t got the cash to splash on the mega-printer I would advise three options.

Firstly, if a client asks to see proof, feign temporary deafness. Say you have a weird painful ringing in your ears and then as he or she shows concern deftly switch the subject to terms of payment.

If that doesn’t work and they still insist, you can choose option two and tell them to *&^% off because you’ve had troublemakers like them before and they’re obviously uncoachable.

I understand some people don’t feel comfortable abusing their clients, but no problem because there’s a third option and it’s called The Law of Attraction.

Law of Attraction

Until that women who wrote The Secret invented the Law of Attraction people had to work for a living. Now things have changed though and as a life coach you can put this to good use to make sacks of cash.

If you’re a law of attraction coach you don’t need any qualifications other than a strategically placed copy of The Secret, a vague knowledge of some guy called Abraham that talks and looks very much like a women and an ability to put a big cheesy smile on your face at a moments notice.

The biggest upside of being a Law of Attraction coach is that if clients don’t get the results they want it’s their fault! It’s quite brilliant.

If they complain that they don’t see any improvement just tell them they’re doing it wrong and they must be dreaming negative thoughts. Then double your rates telling them that they manifested you into doing so.

Niche Markets

I know I said that you could become a LoA coach and I suppose that is a bit of a niche, but be careful you don’t fall into anymore. If you start positioning yourself as one type of coach, people that don’t need you will see you as a very strange fish and won’t phone. That can be bad for business.

Therefore, do what I did and claim to be a life coach, business coach, executive coach, stress management coach and solution coach. If somebody points out that each discipline requires a different skill set and approach, laugh loudly, shake your head slowly and then ask them what medication they are currently taking.

Marketing Your Life Coaching Services

Every Life Coach needs clients. I know they can play havoc with your social schedule, but the reality is they pay the bills. No matter how much you like stroking your chin and pondering the meaning of life, you’re going to have to speak to some of them from time to time.

Where do they come from you may well be wondering?

Seeing as it’s illegal for people to refer clients to you in every country on the planet except Luxembourg, they’ll have to come from marketing yourself.

I know that sounds tiresome and you don’t want to be hanging around Chamber of Commerce meetings with lots of sad-faced realtors eating vol-au-vents, sipping alcohol free wine and bemoaning the economy, but there’s another way.

World Wide Web

It’s called the Internet, it’s free and you don’t even have to get dressed in the morning to use it. How brilliant is that? The starting point is to get yourself an account on Twitter.

Don’t worry this isn’t a place for anorak wearing bird watchers to hang out, but a social media website. Twitter is chock full of guru’s and potential clients.

All you do is spend 12 to 15 hours per day ‘following’ every person you can find and hassling anybody stupid enough to enter ‘Life Coach’ into a tweet.

In return they’ll all love you and want to help you with free advice or by hiring you.

Ok, we’re almost home and dry, just one more thing to do.

Get A Weblog

A weblog or as the young cool kids call them these days, ‘blogs’ are great for encouraging clients to beat a path to your door.

In a matter of minutes after setting up your blog you’ll be sick of answering phone calls from people needing your services. Clients, reporters, TV stations, executive bigwigs and stalkers will all be eager to talk to you. So make sure you have a team of VA’s standing by once you hit that publish button for the first time.

So there you have it. You now have all the information you’ll ever need to become a successful Life Coach. Welcome aboard the gravy train and I look forward to networking with you in the near future.

60 comments to How To Become A Life Coach

  • Did somebody annoy you today, Tim?

    Isabel Joely Blacks last blog post..Amnar Podcast – Amnar – Chapter 9

  • @ Joely – That’s what my wife said, or something similar. I was crushed, I’m in a great mood. Yikes, I didn’t mean to sound like I was ranting.

  • It’s very funny. I was just wondering if you might be reacting to something specific – which wouldn’t surprise me, as there are plenty of candidates out there.

    Oh, and a lot of those things on the 12 point list may also apply to evangelists, vegetarians and Noam Chomsky.

    Isabel Joely Blacks last blog post..Amnar Podcast – Amnar – Chapter 9

  • I need to look for a new career… I only fit 2 of the 12 reasons to become a Life Coach. Still, I’ll try (not) to build a solid foundation in one or more of the areas you suggest.

  • Tony

    hehehehe….classic! Thanks for putting a smile on my face Tim!

  • Tim,

    I’m thinking that much of what you say is true for other lines of work as well.

    Like football coach. Though, when it comes to that, you don’t even need the Net and Twitter stuff. Just say you are, and you are. From there, it’s Super Bowl here we come!!

    Dougs last blog post..Orwell’s Vision of We

  • @ Joely – To be fair the idea for this post has been floating around the nether reaches of my mind for some while. Yesterday morning I decided to write a legitimate post on becoming a coach and it all went a bit silly and I changed the slant as I was writing.

    @ Brandon – That’s disappointing bud, only 2? Keep at it and I’m sure you’ll improve.

    @ Tony – You’re welcome!

    @ Doug – Never thought of that, but I think you could be on to something. Jim Haslett is a good case in point ;-)

  • Tim,
    Should I wear body armor to our meeting on thursday?


  • This was hilarious! I have so many updates in my reader that I seldom read all of them right through, but I was hanging on to every word in this post. I’m amazed how you sustain the tone and wit all the way through. Brilliant job, Tim!

    Well, now I’ve left an encouraging comment on your site, which no doubt brightens up your day and makes you want to keep writing and becoming better, does that qualify me to be a life coach? ;)

    Daphnes last blog post..Planning For The Year Ahead (Part 1)

  • Laurie

    OHH Mike gets to meet you Tim? I want to me you too being the big celeb that you are. I mean life coach of the universe and all, meeting you would be THE highlight of my life.

    Personally, I don’t want to be a life coach. I want to be a princess. I think I would be good at that job. Just imagine, Princess Laurie, princess of the universe (I would out rank life coach of the universe and rule over you!)

  • Brilliant Tim. This is a classic for sure and one that everyone should use as reference for life coaching. In particular, I liked the comments on the secret and the blog. Scary to see how much of that there really is… :) I’m still laughing…. haha

  • I love this. Feel free to send me lots of that spare cash you have manifested. I have invited lots of LoA people to send me cash, seeing it is no trouble to them to manifest it (and it seems so hard for me). So far, no takers – rats!

    Evans last blog post..It’s Only Natural

  • I am rolling on the floor and crying and unable to leave a professional comment at this prudent juncture. LOLOLOL

    Oh this is a hot one. Thanks for the laugh and if you want to advertise your special sale on wednesday send me a reminder as we are launching a bunch of special promotions from our sponsors and would be happy to give a shout out for your bookstore.

  • Pure awesomeness. :) And just to clarify, if I’m very interested in wearing sandals but only mildly interested in tofu, can I still make millions in my pajamas as a life coach?

    On a serious note, it’s wonderful to see someone standing up for hard work and earning credibility, even in a tongue-in-cheek format.

  • Your post is hilarious!! I only wish it came out earlier before I spent a ton of money getting certified!! I actually checked with Godaddy on your suggested domain name Oh yes…it is still available!!! I’d have registered it if not for the fact that I already have an ongoing site!!

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Whose Pain Is This?

  • Brilliant post, Tim! :-D

    Should life coaches demonstrate their contempt for passing fashion trends by wearing socks with their sandals, or does that suggest a deplorable lack of being-in-touch with the modern world?


    Ali Hales last blog post..Returning home (and being welcomed back)

  • Best. Rant. Ever.

    Writer Dads last blog post..Flutter Bye

  • @ Michael – Probably because I have you down for tomorrow.

    @ Laurie – Even the princess of the universe needs a coach to help he arrange her tiaras.

    @ Mike – I manifested your nice comment. You weren’t aware that you really hate this post. but I messed with your head. Now get that check written.

    @ Doc Nicole – Who wouldn’t want to advertise on your brilliant and highly informative site at ;-)

    @ Sara – Absolutely you can! I will give you special dispensation to coach away in your pajamas.

    @ Evelyn – You fool! Not just for spending all that money on training, but also for not snapping up that domain. It will be worth millions in a few hours time.

    @ Ali – Absolutely, socks would be great. There are a lot of Brits (some undoubtedly life coaches) around here and there are various ways that you can spot them from 20 paces. Football shirts with heavily tattooed arms and socks with sandals are the best assurances.

  • Er. Wednesday, the 10th! I really should look at a calendar rather than trying to guess days and dates together. Unfortunately in my line of work, Days are meaningless, Dates run my schedule. I had the right date, just not the right day. Today is Friday, right? See you Tomorrow!

  • I *heart* this post! This is every thought, rant, frustration, annoyance and eye-rolling *grrr* I’ve ever had on the subject of life coaching, in one great post. Your honesty is absolutely hilarious. Thanks!

    Jennifer Ryan @ I Choose Changes last blog post..100 Natural Ways to Overcome Anxiety

  • It’s a GREAT post that can make a reader laugh out loud, grimace at recognising some naive ideas that had been milling around (but are not routed), and cut to the chase on the whole training treadmill. Thank you for the fun.

  • @ Jennifer – You’re welcome and thanks a lot for commenting.

    @ Leona – You’re welcome too. The fact is we all make mistakes and have misconceptions and as I said, I’m guilty of some of the stuff on that list!

    I do wish they would regulate coaching though because I have followed some terrible coaches and that isn’t good for the credibility of the industry.

  • Tim wrote: I do wish they would regulate coaching though because I have followed some terrible coaches and that isn’t good for the credibility of the industry.

    On a serious note, I second that. It is far to easy to call yourself a coach and then “help” people.

    Your post is great :-)

  • Lotsa chuckles Tim!

    You forgot to mention that you need to do a lot of networking with other life coaches so that you can tell each other how lovely you all are for being so enlightened as to dedicate your life to selling your wisdom.

    Being in a room of ‘life coaches’ makes my heart warm.

  • @ Bengt – Agreed and I doubt anything will ever be done about it, certainly here in the US

    @ Steve – Good point! We are wonderful human beings though, aren’t we ;-)

  • Tim – good one mate.
    And as you well know – find a hungry market and fill their need – hence, a ton of top coaches busy selling/teaching newbie coaches “how to get clients” etc etc.

    Nothing wrong in that – ace marketing, that’s what it is.
    Just like those folks who made a fortune in the Klondyke gold rush way back when – selling pots and pans and jeans to the manic miners.

    (When’s your licensed program coming out? – I’ll flog it for you)

    Disclaimer – this comment written after following the embedded hypnotic instructions buried within the words (I am) at your command ;-)

    Hang loose (and send me your cash)

    Mark “Eat Our Young” McClures last blog post..Subject: Pre Great Depression 2 Party

  • @ Mark – It’s a bit like all those internet marketing people selling programs telling people how to sell programs to people that want programs about selling more programs to people about marketing. Or something like that.

    If you could cluck like a chicken that would be cool now. Thanks.

  • Hilarious! I love how the snarky funny you emerged as you tried to write a serious how-to on becoming a coach. The Muse strikes and saves hundreds from heading into the coaching herd!

  • @ Cynthia – Actually that is bang on. I did start off with the intent of writing a semi-serious post and I started laughing over something and it kind of snowballed from there! Thanks for your comment.

  • Tim…
    Thanks for this. I was looking to read something entertaining and witty tonight and thought of you and your blog. As usual, you did not disappoint. In fact, you hit it all right on. Well done.

  • @ Katie – Hey stranger, where have you been?

  • Hubby and I had a terrific laugh over this one. We were talking earlier today about how non-mentally ill people might benefit from a type of therapy (but wouldn’t go because it was therapy) and whether life coaching could fill that void. I pointed to your site as an example of how it might work.

    But then there are all the people who’ve followed your plan and don’t give life coaching a very good name.

    You know, we enjoyed this post so much…I wonder if I retroactively manifested it? :-D ;)

    Ruths last blog post..Baby Steps and New Year’s Resolutions

  • Tim,
    I got overwhelmed by business after some rigorous-not online marketing. (am not complaining!!!)
    Also started second business New England Laughter.
    I am making my way back into the blog world and fully embracing all that web 2.0 has to offer. Call me a slow learner…
    ps nice to be in touch again.

  • Hi Tim,

    This was an entertaining and clever post. It made me chuckle, especially at the Abraham remark.

    At the same time, I felt a little disappointed when I got to the end… hoping to find some link to a legitimate article on the topic – which was why I had read this article word-for-word in the first place. :)

    Perhaps you’d be generous and share your experiences in becoming a life coach. The pros and cons. And your suggestions and recommendations on related training. (Feel free to email)


  • @ Tina – I set off intending to write something serious and then got sidetracked by my own stupidity ;-)

    I’m starting a twice monthly ustream feed next week and one of the topics I’m going to cover will be becoming a life coach. It will probably the one next Monday at 4.00pm. Th eonly slight issue is that my coach training was undertaken in the UK and it’s slightly different to here in the US.

    Anyway if you care to drop to by it’s

  • *purchases domain name* muahahahahaa I will be the next coach of the universe!!! *finds shackles to hide Tim in a cave*

    Melissas last blog post..Prayers Needed!!!!

  • I didn’t undertake any training at all for life coaching, in fact, my academic life was focused on engineering, so quite a turn hehe. The most important skills in my opinion are patience and a vast amount of general knowledge and experience with a wide variety of things.

    Having a blog for this is a great way to build a community and possible attract people into paying for your services. It would make it easier for you to ‘cos you may have already chatted to that person via the blog, so its easy to kick off a session.

  • Pjotr

    I do not like the article. It was attempted to be funny, but I find the jokes to be nothing special.

    What is wrong with people creating life coach sites? If it is their desire, let them do so. I do not understand why You should also need a particular education or spend courses on it.

    Just do it. Maybe You will help people with it. Or maybe You will fail.

    And no, I am not a life coach, and I do not have a blog.

  • @ Sharron – I’m not sure about that general knowledge bit and I do think training is important to get the fundamentals in place. It’s very easy to do harm with coaching and that’s what proper training can help avoid imho.

    @ Pjotr – It’s interesting to me that you finished reading a post that you didn’t find funny and then took the time to leave a comment saying it wasn’t funny. Now that IS funny!

    I never said there was anything wrong in people creating life coaching sites, this is one you know, but the further education thing is a matter of opinion. I have cleared up after coaches that have screwed things up for clients because they didn’t understand the basics. If you think that’s ok, then so be it.

  • NOW you tell me that I wasted all that money and time in ICF approved training, NLP courses and other courses? Geez…. LOLOL!

    It really, really peeves me when people tell me that anyone can coach, because it shows a total lack of understanding of what Coaching is and the Coaching process.

    It’s not telling someone what to do. It’s not counselling. It’s not mentoring (and the next time my Pastor says coaching when he means mentoring I’m going to tell him off – nicely) It’s nothing at all like they showed on Neighbours. Grrrrrrr…..

    Mind you, the first year I was coaching my mother sent out a Christmas letter to all her friends and relatives telling that that I was “teaching life skills”. LOLOLOL!

    Melindas last blog post..Monthly Book Giveaway – Win in Business by Peter Irvine

  • I agree with the responsibility bit. Most people need to understand that their coaching may have dire consequences if it is bad coaching. What needs to be understood is what works for you may not work for someone else, it needs to be general good advice.
    So yes, not everyone and their mom should be a life coach. You need a good understanding of people and a good education would help.

  • @ Melinda – It’s something we are constantly up against and that’s cool, it comes with the territory. That’s why I often encourage people to move into coaching (with the training that is), even clients. There are no shortage of clients, there are just a shortage of clients that understand what coaching can do for them.

    @ Jen – I think if a person is patient, doesn’t have severe homicidal tendencies and is prepared to work, then they can become a coach. As long as they don’t think it’s easy or training is a waste of time.

  • People need to realize that this job can be just as stressful and hard work as being a psychiatrist. But its easy to just say I don’t want to do this anymore and drop it, problem is, if you are in the thick of it, a lot of people who depend on you are going to be negatively effected.

  • You should only get involved in something that effects peoples health (both mental and physical) if you are 100% serious and realize it wont all be how you expect it. Like with most jobs, yes, its a job even if you just start out as a hobby, there will be ups and downs. You may find yourself in difficult situations with customers and even the law.

  • I think you should need a license for this kind of thing, if you don’t have a license, you shouldn’t be allowed to do it and should be liable for any mistakes you make. Should it be the fault of those people who go to the amateurs? I am not so sure, but it is like any service or product, you should thoroughly check it out before you get into it.

  • People who are in a rut can become desperate and may not think clearly, so they shouldn’t b blamed if they get sucked in by a cowboy. So I think the fly by night life coaches should be liable for the advice they give.

  • Gareth, a properly trained Life Coach won’t be giving advice. That’s part of being a Coach, we don’t advise clients.

    Melindas last blog post..Do You Have Blogger’s Block? Coming up With New Content Continuously

  • We should give them a lot of things, advice is one of them. We cant make them live their lives a certain way, but we can provide them with inspiration, consistency and a safe place (mentally) to go. Trust is very important in this business so that our work is as effective as it can be.

  • Tim, the idea is to give them what they need to get their own inspiration and confidence, we should not let them rely on us for it. We need to give them the tools they need to find what really is the best source of inspiration and role models that best suits them.

  • I know this is an old post, but I have to say, you are hilarious! I’m working on my life coaching certification right now and can appreciate ever dolphin-loving word you wrote. See you on twitter and feel free to send any of your clients my way.

    Stacey / Create a Balances last blog post..Authentic Happiness Series – Part One

  • @ Mary – I almost never get stressed with my job, am I doing something wrong? ;-)

    @ Melinda – Agree to a large extent, although as we spoke about on Twitter there can be occasions when that shifts.

    @ Timothy – That doesn’t sound like you’re describing life coaching to me, more like counseling.

    @ Jen – Agree 100%

    @ Stacey – Feel free to comment on any post you want, I sometimes miss comments on older posts, but I still like getting them. I’ll check to see if I have any spare clienst lying around and mail them to you.

  • Maureen

    Ah now write something about all those coaches who make a living coaching coaches. Marketing coaches to coach coaches on marketing. Business coaches to coach coaches on how to run their business AND not to forget the mentor coaches who coach coaches on how to coach!

  • Very interesting, and I love the wit and humor that goes with it. Call me a lifecoach then. Maybe I could make a good living from it these days. Who knows? Maybe I could even make some people smile :-)

    Jocelyn at I TAKE OFF THE MASKs last blog post..On Good Deeds – Inspirational Quote

  • haha… Im a lifecoach too! I really loved your article! Looking forward to more humerous articles on that area!
    /Personlig coach Kasper ;)

  • Brilliant. You’ve captured the cheesy under side of coaching perfectly. It’s definitely NOT for everyone.

    One thing you got wrong though and I speak from an expert’s position on this: You really don’t need to invest in a super fancy printer to start a coach training company, so be extra careful which coach training school you register with. Some are completely fly-by-nighty-night.

  • Bob Whitney

    While scrolling through your numerous posts I came upon ‘How To Become A Life Coach’. I have always thought that I would make an excellent Life/Business Coach since, in both instances, I have made almost every mistake one can make, so who better to coach than one who knows all the ways to screw up and what not to do. I got very excited when I learned that all a person had to do was 1) Call Yourself a Life Coach and 2) Think Of a Company Name. I still have some credit with iStockphoto so getting a sunset or dolphin picture would be no problem. However, when I came to the qualification test, I only got 2 out of 12. Not enough to make the grade. I guess I’ll go into real estate sales where the entry requirements are not so high.

  • Cathy

    I am new to Twitter and so glad I stumbled onto you. I am an LPC licensed in TX and AR and as soon as I change my profile will magically become a “Life Coach”. You have made me smile today. Saturdays are reserved for recharging!
    Must be happy juice in the water in Orlando. My son works at Disney and is way too happy………..
    Cathy Cox Lee MS LPC Life Coach

  • I love this. Feel free to send me lots of that spare cash you have manifested. I have invited lots of LoA people to send me cash, seeing it is no trouble to them to manifest it (and it seems so hard for me). So far, no takers – rats!

  • I just wanted to comment on the art. I love it.


  • Tim,
    I found that what you have shared are so useful for me, would you mind recommending me some books about coaching??