A lot has been said about personal and professional life coaching. Many people think it’s a ridiculous waste of time and money, and that the people who lived through the great depression or the two world wars would slap us upside the head for being a bunch of soft, whining, yellow-bellied pansies who can’t face their own problems, let alone deal with them in a dignified way.

They’re probably right. This coaching business has theoretical origins in sports coaching and psychology going as far back as the 70’s and hit it’s peak at turn of the 21st century, only to slowly fade away again after reaching its tipping point. Now, the coaching profession is enjoying a renaissance, as more and more people seek a life coach to help improve their lives, or become a life coach themselves.

And here lies the problem

Anyone can just put up a sign and become a life coach, because it’s not regulated. Sure, there’s the International Coach Federation with their ethics and regulations, but they’re not a regulating body. With the life coaching business valued at $1 billion, no wonder everyone wants to suddenly become a life coach. It’s a lucrative business and you can be certified in coaching other people, even if your own life sucks. It’s like getting health and fitness advice from an overweight trainer.

There are a lot of coaching universities and groups offering coaching lessons, with a certificate of completion that says you are a certified life coach. Take the three hour online course, get the certificate mailed to you and you have a nifty little business you can operate out of a spare room in your house or small office. Hell, even 20 year old college students can become life coaches!

Shouldn’t Life Coaches be grizzled veterans of Life?

Shouldn’t coaches be more like gurus that have several productive years under their belt, knowledge of how things really work in the real world, wisdom gained not only from past success, but also failures, and a deep understanding of other people that can only be gained through years upon years of experience? A 20 year old can’t possibly have all of this and dispense quality coaching.

Life experience has to matter. It’s as important as really wanting to be an instrument of change for other people. If you have plans of becoming a life coach, think long and hard about it and what you want to get out of it. Reading a book or watching The Secret 10 times doesn’t qualify you to be a life coach. Consider the following:

  • If you don’t really like helping people and you’re in it just for the money, you should not be coaching.
  • If you’re own life is in disarray, you haven’t had any success personally, professionally or in any of your business ventures, you should not be coaching.
  • If you don’t have anything useful to share with your clients, you lack life experience and have zero ideas bouncing around in your head, you have no business being a life coach.

The other side of the coin

Coaching can be a good thing only if the coach you get is an ICF certified, quality coach with years of experience and success stories to prove it. If you think you need to hire a personal or professional coach, practice due diligence and do your research first before hiring one. It wouldn’t hurt if you dig a little deeper, because websites and online testimonials can easily be padded or faked.

Ask to meet personally so you can get a feel for your future coach. If the vibe is negative or off, move on and find another one. Coaching is also good for big and small corporations. Personal life coaching in Central London, Toronto and other major CBD’s is booming, with many companies paying top dollar to get more out of their regular employees and to keep their rockstars motivated to keep doing what they do best – make more money.

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