From time to time I receive requests for tips from people who are thinking of becoming a life coach.

Here are my top 12 tips:

  1. Hire a coach and experience coaching as a client. This will help you:
  2. Gain experience of what it is like to be coached and an appreciation of the power of the coaching process.
    • Gain experience of what it is like to be coached and an appreciation of the power of the coaching process.
    • Get clarity on whether this profession is for you and if so, how you can move forward and take the necessary steps towards becoming a coach.
    • Identify what it is that you want to bring to the world as a coach. Coaching is merely a tool. It is important to clarify your bigger vision is, so you may have assurance that life coaching fits precisely into that vision, if in fact it does.
    • Having experienced coaching as a client will make it much easier and more natural for you to learn the coaching tools and apply them as a coach. It will give you more appreciation for what your potential future clients might experience.
  3. Research coaching online. A great place to start your research is the International Coach Federation (ICF).
  4. As you are doing your research, keep a log of all of the important questions that arise.
  5. If you are thinking of creating your own business as a coach, research what is involved with owning and operating a small business. There are lots of resources online and most cities have small business centres that provide information and support.
  6. Many of the answers to your questions may be found online. Use the power of the Internet to efficiently find the information you seek.
  7. Identify 10-15 coaches who inspire you. Read their websites and learn about what they do.
  8. Create 5-10 questions that you can ask these coaches (refer to your log of questions from your online research) and schedule informational interviews with them, or send your questions via e-mail. The more specific the questions, the easier it is for the coaches to quickly answer them for you.
  9. Find out if there is a local ICF chapter in your city and if so, find out when and where the monthly meeting takes place and attend as a guest.
  10. Research the ICF accredited schools of coaching. They can all be found on the ICF website. Review the websites of coaching schools  and call them to ask your specific questions.
  11. Enroll in the coaching program that best aligns with your style of learning and the kind of coaching you prefer.
  12. Once in the coaching program, take the extra step and initiate a coaching circle, where you get together with your classmates on the phone and coach each other. You will get more experience and feedback from this process and it will deepen your learning.
  13. During this entire process, stay in touch with the level of excitement, passion and energy you feel. If your energy increases, this is a good indication that you are on your path; if your energy drains, coaching might not be for you.

All the best on your journey!