I’ve had so many people contact me lately about becoming a coach, so I thought I’d write up a list of things to consider as you make the leap to your dream career. Keep in mind, this is just the list of things I’ve done – and there are many paths to success in this profession.

Here is a list of things I recommend doing in order to become a successful Life and Business coach:

1. Hire a coach

You’ll need to experience, first hand, what coaching is like, what the benefits are, what you like and don’t like about working with a coach, and whether or not this profession is something you really DO want to pursue based on your personal experience. Work with a coach BEFORE investing in any other training. For me, this was a key step. I hired my first coach at age 22. There are many coaches out there. Find a coach you trust, who you resonate with, and who shares similar values. Interview at least 3 coaches before making your selection. And make sure you work with your coach for a minimum of 3 months to really experience the benefits. (If you are interested in interviewing a coach on my team, visit www.growingforsuccess.com)

2. Invest in some training

Most coaching schools offer an introductory course or foundational course that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and that will give you a real taste for what it’s like to be a coach. I loved the courses through CTI. They have an introductory weekend course that I attended waaaaay back when it was called something completely different than it is now. When I got into that room and learned from trained coaches I KNEW that I was meant to be a coach. You’ll know, too. Sign up for a course and check it out.

3. Learn about the business

Do whatever you can to expose yourself to coaches, to work with coaches, to work for a coaching company, and to immerse yourself in personal growth. I have been involved with a few different companies along the way, and over the past 8 years I’ve learned more than I ever could have learned from any one course or workshop. You have to walk it. You have to learn it. You have to BE it. Building a successful coaching practice doesn’t happen over night.

4. Start practicing

When I started coaching back in 2002, I worked with clients 3 times a month (one hour calls) for $99/month! And it was completely worth it to me. I learned so much and I told my clients that I was a ‘coach in training’. They loved it – we all learned together. That seems like such a long time ago now, and even though I had to maintain another job to support myself for the first few years, gradually I became a better coach, I completed further training, I became more experienced, I gathered testimonials, and I could increase my rates. Start small until you earn the right (ETR) to provide enough VALUE to your clients that they choose to work with you in exchange for a rate you both feel good about. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

5. When you discover that this is ‘it’ for you, invest in further training

Of course, having professional training from an accredited school will give you more credibility and confidence to continue marketing yourself. It’s always a good idea to keep learning. Learn the practical ins and outs of coaching, as well as earning the practical training and experience in the niche of your choice.

6. READ LOTS OF BOOKS (or listen to podcasts, whatever you fancy)

I don’t know how many books I’ve read and audios I’ve listened to, but it’s probably close to a bazillion (is that a real number?), from personal growth to spiritual growth to business building to specific coaching resources. Read them. Learn from them. Apply what you learn.

7. Create a product or program to sell

This is what really helped my business to take off. Once I had something tangible to show my clients, they understood that I was a professional coach and I earned their trust more quickly. Especially once my program started earning testimonials and proven results. Again, it all takes time. (If you’re interested, you can license my program to use with your clients. It’s all part of my mission and vision to support coaches worldwide.)

8. Keep learning from others who know

Yes, there are so many programs to choose from when it comes to building your business, and they all have great benefits. Do your due diligence, ask questions, and then sign up for a few of them. Learn how to build a business, write a blog, use social media networking, communicate with your audience, and sell your product. These are all good things to learn. And worth the investment. One step at at time…

9. Find like-minded partners

Building a coaching practice is one thing; building a sustainable, community-oriented, value-giving, profit-making enterprise is another. One way I’ve found to greatly enhance the awareness of my brand, and also to attract clients, is to create joint-ventures (JVs) or strategic alliances with other partners. There are many things to consider when creating these kinds of partnerships and many experts out there who can help you figure out what to do. You’ll need to become savvy with regards to how to approach the partners, what to offer, what you should consider, and when to sign on the dotted line. I personally love this tactic because I can both give and receive, and it’s a win all around. Last but not least…

10. Stay connected

The moment you ‘check out’, is when your business will suffer. To be successful as a coach, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone, do what’s hard, take risks, keep learning, and be willing to give. It takes time to earn credibility and to feel confident that you really CAN coach and you really ARE making a difference. If your heart and soul wants this of you, keep coaching every opportunity you can. You can do it. I believe in you.
Annette Sharpe
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