My best blog in terms of likes and responses was titled “17 things that life coaches do that make you angry.” This was a bitter blog to write as I am a coach myself.

There are people out there – and I have come across them. Who take life coaches with a pinch of salt? They smirk when you tell them what you do, replying with a snarky comment. My reply to them is, “don’t knock it until you have tried it.”

The life coaching industry has exploded in recent years, with coach training company’s telling you it has never been a better time to be a coach; of course, they would say that they are in the business of churning out coaches. Just like a production line, each fresh new one clutching their diploma having reached the summit. Only to find there is a sheer drop on the other side with a hard landing in reality.

Like any industry, there are going to be the ones that have made it big. There are some about 20 per cent making a decent living. Unfortunately, the rest are earning far less than they would like to.

With some life coaches struggling to make a living, one area coaches are making money: is selling courses to other coaches on how to get clients. Not a week goes by on Facebook or Linkedin without another one popping up, explaining with a video and flip chart how they can help you have clients lining up outside your zoom door – Identify a problem and offer a solution is the mantra here.

Usually, this takes the form of sales funnels with tripwire, offering a free course, ebook, download my five top tips; The holy grail you are seeking never revealed, just drip-fed the goal here is to gain your email address; sign up for 1-1 coaching or an expensive course. And even go one step further and reach the zenith by joining the inner mind-set group with limited attendance playing the scarcity card to sign up before it’s gone. I nearly got suckered into one of these to the tune of £14,000. There’s no such thing as a free lunch here without something in return!

I find it amusing the people selling courses on how to provide a sales funnel to sell people a coaching course went on a course themselves to discover how to do it.

Then, of course, coaches struggling for clients think the way to attract more clients is to acquire more knowledge, another book to read –“The prosperous coach” by Rich Litvin seems to be the one doing the rounds. No surprise there.

Or, maybe another course on finding your “niche” – we are told the more specific you are, the more you will become a go-to person, an expert. Maybe more pro-Bonno work to keep your skills up. Unfortunately, after paying for all these courses, the last thing you want to be doing is doing more work for nothing.

There will always be another book to read or someone flogging you a course telling you this will get you to where you want to be. When is enough going to be enough for you to be the coach you want to be?

So why would you need a life coach?

I remember watching an episode of “Meranda.” And she is complaining to her friend that maybe she needs a life coach; her friend replies, “I’m a life coach; I did a weekend course in the Cotswolds.” Does this sum up where our industry is?

With courses available on “Udemy” for £20 on how to “become a life coach”, why would you need to employ one costing four times or more that amount when you can teach yourself? After all, we are constantly reminded it’s not about reaching the summit; it’s all about learning and the journey? And some of these online courses are excellent. I did one years ago and still use some of its content.

But alas, no amount of courses and videos could have instilled in me what my real-life coach did for me. It changed my life back in 2009; I would not be the person I am today without the intervention of one into my life.

So, what is being a life coach all about?

Life coaching is a way of life, You don’t walk out the door in the morning with your coaching hat on, and suddenly you are in coach-mode. Some of my best clients were acquired standing in a cue at a bank and in a coffee shop (make sure you always carry business cards is my top tip).

We are human beings, not doings, and there is no get quick solution. It takes time to build. My advice for what it is worth, keep being the coach you want to be, the one your heart and soul is telling you to be. The one that gets you up in the morning ready to make a difference (sorry for that cliché). However small that may be.


So what does the future hold for coaching?

In the corporate world, it’s firmly set. As, for a private individual, I think there is still some way to go to stop the sniggers and raised eye brows. I believe it can make a huge difference in people lives. But it has to be taken seriously, not mocked on a tv comedy as a weekend plaything.  As professional coaches, we are working with peoples lives, not playing with them.

And to those naysayers, sniggerers and doubters, I say, “don’t knock it until you have tried it; it might just change your life”. It did for me.

Keep safe. Keep coaching. And for the record, when I bring a course out, it will be completely different, I promise.

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