By motivating your clients to take control of their relationships, careers, confidence and more, you'll be able to make a major contribution to their overall well-being as a life coach. Life coaching is currently an unregulated industry, though clients tend to hire coaches who are certified through recognized organizations such as the International Coach Federation. Still, it's likely you'll need resources to improve your services and make you the best professional life coach you can be.
Take Courses for Professional Life Coaches
Courses endorsed by major coaching professional organizations will be your best bet. Still, you'll want to do your research before selecting a course. Aside from the cost, make sure that the course offers advice on how to start a business, supervised work with an established life coach, training that includes seminars and workshops, contact with other coaching bodies, skill development and opportunities for further career development. The International Coach Federation and Coach.Inc. provide a list of endorsed training programs by country and region. If you already have an undergraduate degree, some universities offer postgraduate degrees in coaching, often with a business angle.
Join a Professional Coaching Organization
Although accreditation will up your shelf appeal to clients, it also comes with added benefits, such as access to resources. For example, membership with the International Coach Federation offers reciprocal peer coaching, networking events, access to coaching research, free publicity of your services, a referral service to potential clients and discounts on conferences that will help with your continued professional development. By joining a network of other coaches, you'll gain access to a bank of potential clients and existing knowledge that will push your career in the right direction.
Delve Into Life Coaching Literature
There are life coaching treatises aplenty out there, so grab a stack and read up to improve your craft. Coaching-specific books abound, so look into titles like "Becoming A Professional Life Coach," "Co-Active Coaching" or "The Life Coaching Handbook" for specific career advice. You will also want to delve into more general psychology literature -- check out "The Power of Habit," "Think And Grow Rich" and "The Power of Positive Thinking," among others. Check out the business section of your local bookstore as well -- small business handbooks will help guide you through the process of successfully working as a life coach.
Check Out Small Business Resources
You're going to be running a business, not just a personal empowerment center so make sure you have the necessary skills. Inquire at your local community college as to whether they provide small business classes on marketing or accounting. The U.S. Small Business Administration is also a gold mine of advice and resources on starting up and running a small business. You'll find advice on everything from paying taxes to applying for loans to business law. Educate yourself so that your coaching business has the best chance of thriving.
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