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Group C. About Being a Coach
Group C. About Being a Coach

How do I know if coaching is right for me?

Most people feel a tug or just know that coaching -- whether full or part-time -- is something they want to do. Here are the questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I care enough about others that I am willing to positively influence them?
  • Am I willing to hang out my shingle and be a coach?
  • Do I have a special sensitivity or spark that I know makes me a natural coach?
  • Am I coachable?
  • Am I willing to be trained?

So, what's the real scoop on becoming a coach and being successful at it?

We'll give it to you straight -- straight from experience, not hope or fantasyland. Here's what we've learned about the coaching profession in the seven years we've been training coaches. Ready? Here goes:

  • The requirement for coaching and coaches has at least doubled in the last 12 months.
  • People who hire a well-trained coach tend to keep that coach for years.
  • The average coach, after 2 years, earns between $50,000 - $100,000.
  • It's nearly impossible to be a successful and happy coach without great training.
  • There is no other profession as rewarding, convenient, flexible and profitable.
  • Virtually anyone who truly cares about people can be trained to coach well.
  • You will not have problems getting coachees if you follow our direction.
    Surprised? What we're seeing is that properly trained coaches get up and running in one-fourth the time it takes those who are out there trying to figure it out on their own
    -- the Lone Ranger coaches. We feel that it is not okay to call yourself a coach unless you are a professional. And to be a professional means that you're being trained, are a part of a national community of coaches and are preparing for the International Coach Federation (ICF) Certification.

What qualities do I need to be a successful coach?

Obviously, becoming a coach is not for everyone. In fact, we feel that only about one-tenth of one percent of the U.S. adult population (approx. 125,000 people) will make good coaches. Here are the qualities we look for in a person before we recommend they start training with Coach U and become a coach:

  • The Spark. You know -- the bright eyes, the open ears and an active mind.
  • The Touch. Able to encourage, care about and attract people.
  • Willingness. Open to being coached, learning new things and experimenting.
  • Awareness. Has a sense of who they are, what they want and what they need.
  • Can "Dance." Relates well and easily, and can have two-way conversations.
  • Intuitive. Able to hear what's being said and not being said; understands the spirit of a situation.
  • Committed. Knows that becoming a coach is an investment, not a seminar.
    If you have most of these qualities, consider yourself lucky, and don't assume that everyone does. In fact, few people do. And many of those people become coaches or clients of coaches. Coaches attract people who are ready to have it all and still be themselves.

Can these qualities be taught and learned?

The coaching skills can be taught and learned. But we can't make somebody be a caring, alive, wonderful person. Coaches bring these qualities with them into the profession.

What are the benefits of becoming a coach?

There are many:

Coaching is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice.

Coaches enjoy the freedom to live and work anywhere they wish.

Being a coach accelerates your personal and professional development.

A coaching business has the potential to quickly bring in a high income.

You will flourish in an expanded professional network and community.

New coaches enter the profession easily and proceed at their own pace.

You can truly earn while you learn.

Coaching is a way to make a difference in others' lives.

Their chosen profession brings coaches great joy.

Coaching is a platform from which to launch yourself, if desired.

Everyone has his or her own reasons for becoming a coach, but almost every coach enjoys the ten benefits outlined above. The question to ask yourself is how you would benefit by becoming a coach.

Welcome to coaching!

Can you coach part time?

Yes. Most coaches do, at least initially. If you already have a job, business or are freelancing, we suggest that you set aside one or two evenings a week to coach. As you attract more coachees, you'll feel more confident about making the transition to full-time coaching. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to setting up your practice.

Can you really make a living doing this?

Yes, you can. It usually takes between six months and four years to create a full-time coaching practice. The more people you know, the faster you can build your practice. offers many classes and marketing tools on finding and retaining coachees. Thousands of coaches have built successful practices; many of the same coaches who feared they couldn't. How much you earn depends on your marketing efforts, your are of specialty and the size and strength of your network. After several yars of coaching, most coaches earn between $50,000 and $100,000. Some earn $250,000 and more.

Where does one find their coachees?

Potential coachees are everywhere. We all know at least 50 people, including vendors, friends, family, colleagues, customers and neighbors. Let all of these people know what you now do and invite them to work with you for a month or two gratis. Finding coachees is more of an emotional concern than a practical one.

How do you know how much to charge when you are starting?

It varies. Anything from zero to $200 per month for a weekly coaching session is common. Charge what the client will pay. You don't want to be a free or underpaid coach forever, but you do need to get the "engine" of your business started, and priming it with clients almost always works. There is a TeleClass that covers this topic in detail.


How long does it take to start a coaching practice?

You could realistically have 5 to 25 coachees in the first three months, but you would probably have to give away some of your services to develop your skills and create a reputation. To have a financially viable coaching practice takes one to two years. To reach six figures ($100,000+) takes between two and five years; sooner, if you already make good money in a related field. These numbers assume that you're getting properly trained, have your own coach, are growing quickly, and are willing to deliver lots of service to your coachees.

What kind of background does a person need to be an effective coach?

We are asked this question a lot. It's nice to have a degree (majority of our students have), but that's not required. There are many bright and effective coaches working without a college degree. Socially, coaches come from every background, given coaching is cross-cultural. You don't need to be an expert in everything, but you should have a personal spark, some life experience and a huge willingness to learn the craft of coaching. Your coachees want YOU as their coach; they don't want a coaching service. Use the training a to improve your personal and professional skill set.

What licensing is required to be a coach?

Currently, there are virtually no governmental licensing requirements in any state or country. However, in some U.S. states, a coach needs to register with the state if they present themselves as a career counselor. Students at who are also ICF Members receive up-to-the minute updates on local registration or licensing requirements. It is now becoming more and more important to become an ICF Certified Coach since coachees and organizations are becoming more educated and are more likely to ask for your credentials.

How long would a coachee work with an independent coach?

Anywhere from three months to five years. As you become more skillful, you’ll notice that your coachees stay with you longer. They’ll continue getting better results because you’re doing a terrific job. Also, as you become a stronger coach, you’ll start attracting stronger, more compatible coachees, who stay with you longer.

What are some of the problems one faces as a coach?

The good news is that, as a coach, you will grow leaps and bounds -- emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and professionally. But this growth of course requires extra energy, time and focus. We recommend that coaches simplify their lives to have more room (space) to both learn the coaching skills and to fully grow during the experience. You needn't drop everything, but most volunteer opportunities may need to be scaled back.

Return to Master FAQ Index
Go on to Group A FAQs: What is coaching all about?
Go on to Group B FAQs: About the beginnings of the Coaching Profession

Go on to Group D FAQs: About the Training Programs
Go on to Group E FAQs: More Questions About Becoming a Coach


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