Can I be a Life Coach Without Certification? What Coaching Schools Don’t Want You to Know

Have you been thinking about becoming a life
coach but wonder if you really need to get a life coach certification or is it really
just a waste of time and money? In this video I’m going to teach you the
truth about whether or not a life coach certification matters in the real world so you can decide
if getting a life coach certification is really necessary for your coaching business. We’ll also discuss: How to become a life coach without certification Life coach certification costs and is it worth
the money? What education is needed to become a coach? Legal requirements for life coaching Does a life coach need a business license? How can you be confident or credible if you’re
not certified? Is Coaching A REAL career? And What’s the BEST way to get started as
a life coach If you’re on youtube and you want to skip
forward to any of those topics, the timecodes are in the description. So let’s start RIGHT NOW… Hey, this is Kris Thompson, Designated Accountability
/ Strategy Coach with Master Coach University… And if this is your first time here, and you
want to learn how to change lives and get paid, this channel covers everything from
becoming a life coach to getting certified to
starting and expanding a successful professional coaching business, and you can get started now by subscribing
and clicking the bell so you don’t miss anything. So, You’re wondering… Can I Be a Life Coach Without Certification? Yes, You can be a life coach without a certification. There are currently no existing regulations
that you are required to meet to call yourself a life coach. That doesn’t mean you can just fall out
of bed and automatically be qualified to be a life coach just because you have life experience. Whether you can be a life coach without certification
depends on a couple of key things I will cover in this video. Let’s cover How to Become a Life Coach Without
Certification First let’s draw a distinction between becoming
a life coach and getting a life coaching business started… To run a life coaching business, you need
to be paid as a life coach… I’m going to cover the ‘step by step’
best way to start that business later in this video. Becoming a life coach doesn’t necessarily
mean you’re running a business (perhaps you have a job coaching, or you’re currently
not paid to do it). To become a life coach, you’ve got to ‘do’
and ‘be’ a few things: You’re likely already doing the basics of
it without the formal title. You’ve got to love helping people and you
probably do or you wouldn’t be here. I often say I was the 6 year old the 8 year
olds used to ask for advice. If you’re like me people probably already
seek you out to discuss challenges they are facing in their life. The International Coach Federation says the
skills it takes to become a life coach are communication, compassion, people skills,
creativity, problem-solving, goal-setting and progress management. Listening and asking questions to help someone
discover what they want, what is preventing them from getting it, what they must change
to accomplish it and setting up a structure to support the change is the core responsibility
of a life coach. If you’re that person, then I’d consider
you a life coach (with or without certification). If that’s all you’re doing, people in
general probably wouldn’t consider you a life coach unless you treat it like a profession
rather than just a hobby, of course. What’s the difference between becoming a life
coach with a certification versus without a certification? ANSWER: the certification You can become a life coach who happens to
be certified, or you could become a life coach who isn’t certified… the certification is the only difference… So, Do You Need Certification for Life Coaching? NO “Then, why get certified as a life coach,
Kris?” A lot of new coaches think the biggest reason
they should get certified before they start coaching is because they believe it will make
clients fall out of the sky… I’ve talked to new coaches who are deluded
to the point of thinking that certification is a magic line that if they cross it everyone
will automatically hire the coach because they have it. Many coaching certifications feed into this
incorrect thinking because it fits our culture of “you have to go to college then you can
get a good job” so it’s easy to sell and they want aspiring coaches to buy their certification
programs. What do they care if after they already have
the new coaches money the new coach discovers there is a far greater requirement of learning
sales and marketing skills to make coaching their full time profession and that some coaches
may not be willing to do that and wouldn’t have gotten into the profession at all if
they knew that up front? The reality is saying you need a certification
for life coaching is a disservice to new coaches because it’s a belief that creates an unrealistic
expectation that will disappoint a new coach when they realize a piece of paper or letters
after your name doesn’t convince a human being to trust you enough to give you their
hard earned money and be a catalyst to help them create the future of their dreams. A certification doesn’t change the fact
that life coaching is not something you can show people like a new house or a nice watch
or to take home and put in your driveway like a new car. It requires faith to enter a relationship
they don’t understand (coaching) until they experience it, one they can’t tell their
friends about without appearing like there is something wrong with them (“What’s
wrong with you that you need a coach?”) and face the ugly parts of themselves they
aren’t proud of and do things they don’t want to do when their coach is not around. That takes a deep personal emotional connection
with the client. A connection you can’t achieve by attempting
to appeal to their logic by showing them a piece of paper or the letter after your name. Promoting that a piece of paper or website
can achieve that for a new coach is irresponsible and a disservice to them and it is a common
obstacle that will get in the way of a new coaches success Another myth new coaches often believe is
that having a certification will make them confident in their coaching. We will address that feeling more later in
the video. From the client’s standpoint they don’t
care where you went to school. Your clients have no idea what coaching certifications
matter or not. You could make up rsdq instead of icf certification
and they wouldn’t know the difference not because they are ignorant but because they
don’t see it as a sign of competence. They don’t even know what coaching is so
how would they know what some people insist makes a “qualified” one or not? They will have to see it/feel it/experience
it with you for the vast majority of them to believe it. In all my years of coaching, since 2007, I
have NEVER been asked by a potential client in a sample strategy session if I’m certified. I didn’t get ONE single certification until
I had been coaching full time for 3 years. There are a few valid situations where it
may make sense for you to get a certification If you plan on working for a corporation or
coaching executives or government contracting, fortune 100 company. There are certainly some jobs that will highly
value an icf certification. You want to learn a specific skill and as
a side effect of learning that skill you get a certification. It’s a hobby you want to use on friends
or in volunteer work with no intention of financial profit you just like to take courses. You’ve already got a successful coaching
business, you’re committed to being in the profession for a long time and your outcome
is to pair advanced coaching skills with clients in the real world to achieve the outcome of
mastery of all the skills of coaching. What about Life Coach Certification Cost (is
it Worth the Money?) Many coach certification programs cost from
$5000 to anywhere around $10,000 or more for a certification. An aspiring life coach may feel this is a
worthy investment since life coaches can make a significant income if they treat it as a
profession and not just a hobby as we will get into a little bit later. The point of certification is to get a title
after your name and learn a basic coaching method to follow. If you feel the cost of a life coach certification
is worth the money in your case then I’d suggest investing in a coach certification
that is approved by ICF (or International Coach Federation). If that’s of interest to you you can contact
us and we can help you meet the requirements to qualify with a significantly smaller price. ICF offers three levels of coach credentials:
Associate Certified Coach: Achieving this level requires at least 60 hours of training
and 100 hours of coaching experience. Professional Certified Coach: This credential
requires at least 125 hours of training and 500 hours of coaching experience. Master Certified Coach: The highest credential
requires at least 200 hours of training and 2,500 hours of coaching experience. The ICF requires completion of 40 hours of
approved continuing education every three years to maintain certification. The majority of those coaching hours MUST
be paid coaching hours so if you were planning on avoiding learning how to get paying clients
until after you were certified it’s NOT going to happen. In fact, a lot of aspiring coaches pursue
certification because they believe it will help them avoid learning sales and marketing
skill. So there are two other major expenses of time
and money that you’ll need to consider to get to the point where you could even possibly
be a successful life coach The real question is… how important are
these expenses compared to certification? The first one is business education Without the proper sales marketing and business
education, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever become a successful coach, no matter
how skilled a coach you are I’m going to explain the details on business
education for coaches (along with getting mentors) at the end of this video when we
talk about exactly how to get started… The second one is business development You’re going to need to spend thousands of
hours and chances are thousands of dollars on developing your business over time I’ll also explain the details on business
development expenses (along with developing your website) at the end of this video as
well… A lot of coaches because of the misconceptions
we’ve covered so far in this video spend all their money and time getting a certification
thinking it will get them clients. Then they don’t have the money to learn
the business, sales and marketing skills that REALLY matter in a coaching business so they
have to get a “day job”. What a tragedy! Don’t let this happen to you! What Education Is Needed to Become a Coach? All or some of the following is fundamental
education needed to become a coach. 1) understand how to listen and guide someone
through the process of coaching – like a safari tour guide 2) Be an expert or be willing to do the research
to become more of an expert to solve a difficult problem. Really all the education you could need to
become a coach is to read a thorough success book on a key life topic such as a financial,
health, goal setting or relationships and focus on helping your clients execute on the
ideas in that book and it will be enough to help them produce profound results. Coaching is about helping your client execute
on success principles in specific areas of their life. It’s about keeping things simple. At times, filling their head with knowledge
will actually distract them from what they must focus on to improve their results. When it comes to Legal Requirements for Life
Coaching As long as you don’t claim to heal illnesses
like a licensed health care professional does there are no legal requirements for life coaching. If you feel your client may have an illness
then suggest they seek out a licensed professional to address it. In life coaching we don’t diagnose sickness
and treat it. We take already healthy people and we help
them be better. Our focus is today and the future with our
clients, not to focus on the past. Next we’ll cover Does a Life Coach Need a
Business License? Generally no a life coach does not need a
business license. It’s always a good idea to check with your
local city hall to be sure. Also, you may want to consider speaking to
your CPA to determine what business structure you will use for tax purposes. You do not need a brick and mortar location. Most life coaches start working out of their
homes using their cell phone. You don’t need to meet people for coaching
sessions in person, you can do it over the phone or video conferencing easily and It’s
still very effective and will be easier to grow your business Coaches often ask me How Can I Be Confident
or Credible If I’m Not Certified? Confidence refers to tasks and is based on
how well you believe you have the ability to accomplish a particular task or job. How can you be confident if you’re not certified? You’ll only get confident by practicing
and doing coaching for clients. It’s especially important for your confidence
and credibility to be paid for coaching as soon as possible. Even if your clients are only paying you a
very small fee it’s a critical part of them believing you’re credible and them getting
results which is huge to help you build confidence. I’ve learned through years of helping new
coaches that what they are REALLY wondering when they say they want to feel confident
is they lack self esteem/self love. They really wonder if they are good enough
or worthy to get paid well to lead people bravely forward in their lives. You ARE enough! you’ve ALWAYS been enough,
you can’t DO anything to be MORE enough just like you can’t pour more water in a
glass after it’s full. If you don’t see your worth getting a certification
will only be like chasing your tail. Once you get it you still won’t be confident
because there will always be “one more thing” you’ll need to learn or course you’ll
need to take before you’re “ready.” If you don’t coach then you’ll NEVER be
confident. To become a confident coach you must coach
before you feel ready. That’s what you’ll be helping your clients
do and so that’s what you must do. How can you be credible if you’re not certified? Credibility is in the eye of the buyer. It’s about what trust and ringing the bell
of the inner truth they know in their instincts than it is about what letters are after your
name. They care if you understand them and they
care if you’re able to help them solve the problem. You can show that through testimonials or
by showing you can do what they find difficult to do. Testimonials, for example… Imagine you have a brain tumor, and you have
to have surgery. You have two surgeons to choose from. One surgeon is a fresh graduate from the top
of their class… an ivy league school. There’s no finer education and credentials
available than theirs when it comes to working with brain tumors. The other choice is a surgeon who has an excellent
track record in handling brain tumors. they’re a phenomenal surgeon. Which doctor do you pick? The one that just graduated from the ivy league
school with the best education? Or… The doctor that’s got 5,000 successful brain
surgeries (as proven by those testimonials)? Of course, you’re going to pick the experienced
brain surgeon… the one that has tons of testimonials, and has a track record of success. Coaching is JUST LIKE THAT. Nobody really cares where you went to school. They care that you’ve shown in some way
that you can solve their problem. Maybe you feel that you don’t have a lot
of great ‘coaching techniques’…” We can help you with that, but you’ve got
to coach. You’ve got to start. You’ve got to stay in momentum. I have a saying I often tell new coaches that
i talk to when they are starting, and that is that Coaches COACH. We’re coaches. That’s what we do. We coach. If you’re not COACHING, then you’re NOT
A COACH. We call this a ‘coaching practice’ for
a reason. You’re going to need to continue to practice
to grow your skill set. Keep coaching. Get the help you need. But, whatever you do, don’t stop. Don’t wait. Because you’re less likely to start again. Go out and make a difference for people. They need you. There’s someone out there right now that
is looking to connect with you. You’re the RIGHT COACH with the RIGHT VOICE
that they need to hear RIGHT NOW. The coaching connection that they are going
to have is going to be with YOU. YOU’RE THE ONE that’ll make a difference
FOR THEM. And, they’re the one that’s waiting for
YOU and you’re a great fit together. So, go out there and HELP PEOPLE. You’ll be able to build the rest later as
you go So, you or someone in your life may be asking… Is Life Coaching a Real Career? I can see why you’d ask that. Can you really talk on the phone and get paid
or is it really any different than just being a good friend? A coach is literally the only person that
is NOT trying to get something from You for Them. A recent ICF study, conducted by pricewaterhousecoopers
from a group of 6000 coaches found that the average salary of a full time coach was just
over $82,000 and part time coaches at $26,000. Life coaching over the last 10 years consecutively
has been the second fastest growing industry in the world according to So yes life coaching is a REAL career. Life coaching is a growing industry. You have an opportunity to make a good living
and lifestyle for you and your family while doing something that helps people and is fulfilling
for you IF you’re treat it like a true profession and not just a hobby. So, What Is the Best Way to Get Started as
a Life Coach? coaches ask me all the time… and there’s
no right way to get started, but in my experience these three steps are the most important actions
that you can take to get started as a life coach (and it’s usually best to do them in
this order)… 1) Start talking to real breathing human beings
with problems and help them with one time sample sessions. A lot of coaches will wait to start until
they get certified and only then will they start working with people. The only difference is you’ll start right
away That’s how I started. I started out doing a ton of coaching, right
away, with real warm breathing human beings with problems. It was GREAT for me, because: I got a lot of experience. I got testimonials. I got paying clients. And I got to sharpen my skills of how things
are in the real world with people and it made me a much better coach So i really encourage you to Stay in momentum
and Coach people. 2) Hire a mentor, learn sales and marketing
skills, While getting certified may help you get certain
types of clients, nothing you do will help you become successful as a life coach if you
don’t know how to run the business. business education is absolutely required
if you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to marketing, selling, and delivering
Professional Services to others in a way that allows your business to succeed. this kind of education can be quite expensive,
requiring Investments in the multiple thousands of dollars if you want the most effective
education, but you may be able to get away with reading a few of the right books to help
you get your coaching business ball rolling before you perfect your business development
process so when it comes to MENTORS AND COACHES: It’s likely way more valuable to invest in
a mentor, or Apprentice with another coach, so you can really learn the business From
the Inside Out versus getting a certificate. There’s lots of certified coaches who don’t
know what they’re doing because they missed this step. I’d invest many times over in my mentors and
coaches before I’d ever get my first certification in order to be successful in this business. When you can see exactly how the already successful
coach is producing their results, it’s priceless, because you can copy their methods and reap
many of the same rewards. A mentor will also help you to perform at
the level necessary to reach the success a new coach will want to experience but there’s
no way they will know the nuances of how to reach it on their own. A mentor will help a new coach know how much
energy is required to put out to be successful and what strategy a new coach ought to put
that energy into to reach their coaching business goal and will save the new coach a lot of
time and mistakes trying to figure it out on their own or watching a bunch of conflicting
information on the internet videos not knowing what is the correct guidance to believe. Next, you must sell and market – pick a
niche, seek out people that know they already have the problem you want to solve, schedule
one time free sample sessions, invite them to hire you to coach them and then deliver
your coaching. execute daily discipline like a professional
business owner As Gary vaynerchuck likes to say “Cash is
oxygen”. So you want to spend your time on activities
that directly lead to getting paying clients. You’ll be doing networking, on your website. You’re going to be doing social media. You’ll be connecting with people that are
real people and expanding and getting referrals and adding value to everyone that you have
a chance to come into contact with… and putting in the day-to-day work involved in
starting, building, and growing your business to a six figure coaching business. Now, I get asked a lot about Building a COACHING
WEBSITE: If you choose to build your coaching Business
Online, you’ll have to build a website, which likely includes some level of investment in
hosting, Design, Tech education, Etc. These costs will likely range between $500
on the low end to tens of thousands of dollars on the high end. Next, you’ll Learn the discipline of coaching
skills/certification – Some say get certified “in case” the industry becomes regulated
so you can be grandfathered in. One problem with that thinking is that if
you don’t have any clients you’ll go out of business before you get certified. Another problem is that it insinuates there
is only one “proper” way to coach people to help them. The first rule of coaching is there are no
rules. It’s called a “practice” for a reason. This industry is constantly evolving and every
situation has nuances that will require you to adapt to each client situation. Booksmarts are great but there will always
be a level of street smarts that you will need to help that client in front of you that
no certification will be able to teach you that only experience can. I Hope you took some great value out of this
video. So what is your opinion? Do YOU think you can be a successful life
coach that makes a good living AND makes a difference for clients without having a certification? I’d love to hear your feedback, so make
sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Thanks for watching this video! Like it if you thought it was cool and SUBSCRIBE
for even more of these videos. By the way, if you want my help with starting
or growing your own money making coaching business, I’m holding a webinar in a few
days called “How to Make Money Coaching” (imagine that) that you can attend for FREE. Just go to the link I give you HERE and in
the description. In the webinar, you’ll learn: What Stops New Coaches From Getting Their
First Paying Clients Just go to
right now to sign up for the webinar and access lots of other advanced coaching and practice
building techniques. Just go to the link I give you HERE and in
the description for free access.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I’m holding a webinar in a few days called “How to Make Money Coaching” (imagine that) that you can attend for FREE. Just go HERE to attend:

  2. I started with something I called Life Mentoring and did this for a number of years in the 1970's and 80's, and again in the early 2000's. I have business, marketing ans sales knowledge from 4 family businesses- both service and products, and a non-profit association that I started. Would these skills get me started??
    I stumbled upon NLP Coaching in Dec 2019, found out about the other types of Coaching being done, and fell in love with the ideas I was learning. While I am working on several certifications, but next month will be out meeting people and talking up what I do. I made some copies of info I put together, which briefly describes what a Coach is, is not, and how coaches help people in different scenarios.
    I am interested in both Life and Business Coaching? Where can I find some good info on choosing niches in these areas?

Related Post