Somewhere along the way, having a life coach has become a symbol of success. All the successful entrepreneurs have one. Up and coming business people have them. Unemployed, aspiring job seekers have them. In fact, life coaches probably have their own coach.
On top of that, it seems that in order to be viewed as a "guru" you also have to run your own coaching program. Who hasn't seen the many services offered around the web that promise to coach you through earning $10K a month in the next year? Or worse, the ones that guarantee you can make $10K a day? However, there are just as many that are excellent programs run by people that can truly make a difference in a person's life.
If you are looking to start a new business, learning how to become a life coach is definitely one of the more lucrative options. There's a hungry market of people who are either dissatisfied with their life or who want to take their businesses to the next level. Working with a good coach, many of them end up discovering dreams they didn't even know they had.
What is a life coach?
A life coach is a hybrid of a mentor and a business coach. You might be helping people on anything from assessing their current lifestyle to advising them on how they can diversify their business.
The most important aspects of being a life coach involve assessing the client's current situation, helping them create an action plan, and guiding them through how to implement that plan and overcome any obstacles. It's not as simple as throwing up a few videos on a website and providing a little email support.
So, before you leap at this tremendously profitable opportunity, consider these three mistakes that people commonly make:
Mistake #1. Thinking you can coach anyone
Unless you are a true Renaissance man (or woman), it's impossible to know enough about any one topic to be able to coach someone else on it. Identify your own strengths first. What do you have the most experience in? Where have you been most successful? Which types of people do you work best with? Find out about your potential clients in advance, before you take on their business and discover that you can't help them.
In addition, just because you were successful in achieving your own goals doesn't mean you have to skills to coach others. Consider some of the life coaching certification programs if you are truly looking to make this a career. One of the most important skills you'll learn is the art of asking high-impact questions and listening for the answers. Not as easy as it sounds. You'll also acquire some of the tools you'll need for conducting assessments and personal coaching sessions.
Mistake #2. Planning to run it through a forum
The whole point of being a life coach is to help an individual improve their life and their performance. That requires one-on-one time. A forum is just a place to exchange ideas, get some feedback, and perhaps network a little. Even email is limiting when it comes to coaching one person. Plan on some regularly scheduled personal time with your clients, even if it's just via Skype.
Mistake #3. Making promises you can't keep
Now here's an area where you can truly get yourself into trouble. There are no guarantees when it comes to coaching. You don't know whether the other person will act on your advice or follow through on his or her own action plan. You can't possibly guarantee that they'll get specific results. Those kinds of promises may make for some great sales copy, but they can mean long-term damage to your reputation when the results don't pan out.
When done well, and ethically, coaching can be a career option in which you benefit almost as much as your clients. You can learn from their actions while they are learning from your experience and guidance. By avoiding the most common mistakes, you can build a profitable business of your own while helping people change their lives. What could be more rewarding?
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