What is a life coach? A life coach is a trained professional whose goal is to provide and support individuals with guidance and direction through life’s challenges.
These days, it’s easy to lose your way. Even the most motivated, determined individuals find themselves feeling overwhelmed, unfocused and mired in life’s many complexities and challenges.
If you ever felt the desire to keep pushing forward and achieve new goals, but aren’t sure how to get moving in the right direction – then a life coach may be able to help.
A life coach provides clarity and direction
Knowing ‘what is a life coach’ only answers part of the question. The other part if the question is, what can one do for you?
A life coach can help you view your life and situation from a different perspective. Your coach can help you get perspective and direction from a strength pov.
It’s about realizing your potential for greatness and letting someone help you create the roadmap for getting there.
In this article, we’re going to dive deeper into what life coaching is, why it’s important, who benefits from it and even how to become a life coach! And, of course, why you should hire a life coach.
Table of Contents
- What is a life coach?
- What does a life coach do?
- What can a life coach do for you?
- Who needs a life coach?
- What to look for in a life coach?
- How much do life coaches charge?
- How to become a life coach?
- Find a life coach (with bonus tips)
What is a life coach? The definition of a life coach is,
A person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.
But life coaching is often so much more than a one-sentence description can encapsulate. Life coaching is a complex profession because every approach is tailored to the individual.
A good life coach description is someone who gets to know your struggles, so they can help you identify methods to overcome them.
But it’s not always about struggle! Some people just want to do more. Others have a specific goal they want to achieve. Some people hire a life coach to help them do less!
Life coaching involves building a rapport with your life coach, so they can help you focus (or refocus) on reaching your goals.
Maybe you feel like you’re doing the same thing every day, not getting anywhere in your career? Maybe you’re fed up with how your life is going and want to make a big change?
Whatever it is, a life coach gets to know your goals (and struggles) and offers you resources, information, tips, support and accountability, to help you accomplish what you set out to.
A life coach will help you realize your goals and work towards accomplishing them. But there are several specific duties that define the role of a life coach.
Here’s a look at what a life coach can do to empower you:
- Get to know you, including your current situation, obstacles and goals
- Help you assess your position in relation to the goals and aspirations you’ve outlined
- Assist you in mapping the steps between where you are and where you want to be
- Provide information and resources to support you on your journey
- Generate progress reports and updates that help you track your progress
- Keep you accountable by developing new habits and routines
- Deliver ongoing support to help ensure you meet your goals
From goal setting and accountability, to advice-giving and progress check-ins, life coaches help you from being stuck and uncertain to empowered and achieving.
It doesn’t matter what the goal is or what obstacles stand between you and your objective, life coaching is tailored to the individual, because your life is unique.
The bottom line is that a life coach provides clarity and actionable insights. They help you see your goals and take the right steps to achieve them.
Your not alone in thinking, ‘what can a life coach do for me?’
The purpose of a life coach is to empower you to make the changes and progress you want to see in your life!
So, asking what a life coach can do for you actually means taking a moment for introspection.
What do you want a life coach to do for you? Or, more pointedly, what do you want to accomplish that you currently aren’t?
Let’s say for example, you want to write a book. What does a life coach do for you in this situation? They’ll start by talking with you about your goals. They may ask you what’s the book about? When do you want to finish it? What are your expectations after you write it?
You and your coach need to get on the same page about any objectives you have.
Once you have a firmly established goal, your life coach will help you step back and break it down – including how many pages you need to write each month and each week. You will discuss with your coach what milestones separate you from your main goal? Breaking the big goal into smaller, more digestible goals so that you have a roadmap for success.
Your life coach will also help you see what’s preventing you from reaching each milestone or goal.
Do you have time dedicated to writing your book each day? Is someone reviewing your work? By helping you identify what’s holding you back, your life coach empowers you to move forward!
Fix the things preventing you from achieving your goal and the rest is as easy as following the roadmap.
Finally, your life coach inspires accountability. They’ll chat with you every week or even multiple times each week to make sure you’re meeting your goals. If you aren’t, why? If you are, they’ll talk through your progress with you and make sure you’re still clearly focused on the big objective ahead.
This style of coaching applies to everything from writing a book, to learning a new skill, to transitioning into a new job or promotion at work.
The methodology is the same, but the steps and approach are different for every person.
When you ask, “what can a life coach do for me?” you’re really asking, “how can this person teach me to reach my goals?”
Life coaching isn’t something reserved for special people. You don’t need to be a CEO or have a Type A personality to benefit from life coaching!
The truth is, anyone who wants to moderate their own improvement can benefit from a life coach—no matter if you’re an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a single mom or an aspiring artist.
There are, however, specific types of people who readily benefit from a life coach. Some of the most common people likely to hire a life coach include
- CEOs and executives who need help stepping back from micromanaging and furthering their career
- Entrepreneurs benefit from having a mentor and someone to guide them
- Busy professionals use life coaches to stay grounded and focused on their goals
- Athletes and artists work with life coaches to balance their craft and their life
- Investors and managers gain more self-confidence from life coaching
Who benefits most of all from life coaching? People who want to improve their everyday quality of life. And, science says that life coaching is a great way to do it!
Life coaching encourages personal growth at a fundamental level. Whether you want to write a book or learn to manage your workload better, the end result is measured improvement in your everyday life.
If you write that book, you get the positive feeling that comes from accomplishment.
If you learn to manage your workload, you reduce your stress and get more time to do the things you want to do.
Beyond the individual goal you accomplish, every person benefits from personal growth and achievement.
The positive results of life coaching are truly amazing. People report feeling physically and mentally well. Their outlook shifts from negative and pessimistic to positive and optimistic.
They get excited to wake up and don’t want to go to bed because their life is truly rewarding. In short, life coaching helps people feel validated in their sense of self. And, when you’re happy with who you are and what you’re doing, you’re more likely to lead a positive, rewarding life.
Who needs a life coach? The simple answer is this: anyone who feels at all unfulfilled in their everyday life.
Picking out a life coach isn’t as simple as picking out a new pair of jeans or deciding what you want to eat for dinner.
There’s a lot that goes into choosing a coach! You need to find someone whose methods resonate with you, and who you feel comfortable communicating with.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you search to find a life coach:
- Find someone who you respect as an expert and an authority. You’re more likely to stay accountable to and take advice from someone you respect professionally.
- Make sure you feel comfortable talking candidly and openly with a life coach. You need to maintain clear and honest communication with your coach at all times.
- Work with someone who takes the time to understand you and your situation, and who empathizes. Your life coach should push you to succeed, but not blindly.
- Make sure your personalities mesh. If you develop resentment for your life coach or begin to dismiss them because your personalities clash, you won’t benefit.
- Find someone well educated, who has a proven record of helping people and an established methodology for approaching life coaching.
This list is hardly exhaustive, but the basic premise is clear: don’t just work with the first life coach who shows up in a Google search!
As soon as you hire them, your life coach becomes your partner and support system on your path to success. You’ll need to make sure you mesh with them on many levels, and that working together is a good fit for both you and them.
It’s good practice to look at the top life coach or coaches in your area to get a sense for what to expect when you schedule a consultation. Many life coaches have a similar approach to meeting clients and you can learn a lot about how a consultation will go by understanding their approach.
The best advice? Schedule a few meetings, keep an open mind and don’t rush into things. Most life coaches will want to consult over a cup of coffee to learn more about you.
Remember, you have the power to choose the coach you like best!
Working with a life coach comes with a fee, as they’re providing you a valuable service. That fee is usually in the form of an hourly rate or a monthly flat fee, depending on the type of coaching you need and the length of time you’ll be working with your coach.
As for cost, that depends on where you reside in the United States!
Life coaching is typically more expensive in bigger cities, where for an executive life coach will work with a more affluent clientele. That said, many life coaches have different specialties and demographics that they work with, and their fees reflect the groups of people they’re likely to coach.
For example, a stay at home mom won’t need the same level of coaching as the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, so they won’t pay as much.
Typically, you can expect to pay between $200 and $1,000 per month for life coaching, depending on the variables mentioned above.
Want to make sure the life coach you’re hiring is legit? Thinking about becoming a coach yourself? There are several ways life coaches distinguish themselves professionally.
First is through a life coach certification. Many universities and training institutions offer life coaching certificates or credentials specific to the field. These help a life coach distinguish themselves from others who may not be as well-qualified. Some examples include a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) certificate or any certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Other life coach requirements include Bachelors or Masters Degrees from universities and institutions in fields adjacent to coaching. For example, executive life coaches usually have a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) so they can consult at a high level with other business professionals.
Everyday life coaches might have a Bachelor’s in Communication, Business, Education or anything else that helps them communicate with clients in a meaningful way.
The main thing any successful coach needs to do is obtain a coaching certificate from the ICF. This certification takes any education or background a coach has and gives them the experience they need to channel it into a structured, assistive program for clients.
Now that your more comfortable with, “what is a life coach”, what life coaches do and what to look for – here are a few more tips that will help when you are ready to find a life coach.
Your prospective coach should have these traits
- A good listener
- Aligns with your values and goals
- Is passionate about helping you
- Will challenge you in a positive and constructive manner
- Is non-judgmental
- Will keep you accountable
- Specializes in the area you wish to focus on
- Is recommended to you, has good reviews or passes your own vetting requirements
Most people don’t realize how beneficial a life coach is for them until they experience it firsthand.
Meet with a life coach or two to get a feel for the process, and keep an open mind about what life coaching can help you accomplish. Like many, you’re likely to realize the benefits of having a coach very quickly!
Coaching is a wonderful way to put yourself on the path to becoming the best version of you!
If you are a life coach or worked with one, please share your tips and recommendations in the comments below. They will inspire others to find the same positivity you’re working toward!