Become a Professional Coach

© Diane M. Aull

Do you find helping people reach their full potential to be incredibly rewarding?

You may have the makings of a professional coach! Whether you choose to concentrate on assisting people to advance their careers, improve their personal relationships, or simply attain greater joy in their everyday lives, as a professional coach you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping people grow and develop to their full potential.

What does a professional coach do?

Well, there are a lot of different specialties that fall out under the general category of "professional coach." What, specifically, you do will depend on your own experience and interests. You can choose to specialize in one or more of these:

Relationship/Life Coach
Relationship coaches can work one-on-one with individuals to aid them in developing healthier, more productive professional and/or personal relationships. A relationship coach can also work with business clients to identify the causes and cures for interpersonal and interdepartmental friction, to insure a more productive workplace.
Career/Business Coach
A career coach assists people in determining where their interests lie and in devising ways to incorporate their interests into their worklife, so that their businesses or jobs will be rewarding personally as well as financially. A career coach can also be hired by a company to work with employees who are being downsized.
Corporate/Executive Coach
Corporate coaches put on seminars and offer one-on-one company-sponsored coaching to help valuable corporate employees avoid burnout, improve customer service or get along better with their co-workers. Executive coaches generally work one-on-one with executives who are already successful, but are looking for that extra "push" to take themselves and their career to the next level.
Motivational Speaker
You could pursue this as an adjunct to your coaching business, or make motivational speaking your primary business. Rather than coaching one-on-one or in small groups, a motivational speaker inspires and motivates usually through seminars and workshops presented to larger groups
Fill in the blank…
Make up your own specialty. If you see a need that’s not being met, fill it!

Is there any special training or education necessary?

No, there are no formal requirements for hanging out your shingle as a coach, although you may find it useful to become certified in one or more specialties. Membership in one or another of the certifiying organizations can open up new networking possiblities, and the training you get in preparation for the certification exam can greatly boost your skill level. The certification itself goes a long way toward establishing your credentials as a professional.

How can I learn more?

The first thing you might want to do is check out various certifying organizations to learn what’s involved in becoming certified as a coach. Visit these websites for more information:

There are also a number of other resources that you might find helpful:

Coachville offers a "community center", teleclasses and personal and business development resources in addition to their certification programs through the Thomas Leonard School of Coaching and the Schools of CoachVille. Free to join.
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Become a Life Coach
This e-book will not only give you ideas about various coaching specialties you can pursue, it will also give you practical information about building a business as a coach. Among other things, it includes suggestions for getting and retaining clients, sample coaching exercises, tips for assessing prospective clients and evaluating the results of coaching, marketing ideas, and tips on pricing your services.
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Become a Motivational Speaker
Inspire people to set goals and follow their dreams. Like coaches, motivational speakers help people to succeed in business, improve their relationships, develop a positive attitude, become healthy, achieve financial prosperity, and have more fun in life. This e-book will help you come up with great topics and compelling speech titles, point you to resources for getting the speeches written (even if you’re not a great speechwriter yourself!), help you get hired and learn how to maximize your profits.
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