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What are the Educational Qualifications to Start a Coaching Business?

What are the Educational Qualifications to Start a Coaching Business? start a coaching business /  5th March 2022

A life coach is an individual that is able to motivate and inspire others. They aim to ‘raise up’ people that need help in being able to achieve their goals and aspirations both professionally and personally.  This article will cover the necessary qualifications or training that one might need when becoming a life coach and starting a coaching business.

What are the Educational Qualifications to Start a Coaching Business? start a coaching business

Becoming a life coach surprisingly doesn’t require much in the way of formal education, typically it’s more about what skills the person has that would be beneficial when coaching others.  However, much like any vocation or profession out there, education and training always have the potential to be useful. 

What are the Skills you Need to Start a Coaching Business?

If you are looking to become a life coach and start your own coaching business then there is a number of strong skills and qualities that you are going to need for this venture to be a success.

  • Positive Mental Attitude: If you want others to be more positive, you need to be positive. You will be the person to bring out a positive mental attitude in others, to do that effectively you need to always be in the right frame of mind when working with clients, so as to provide them with the best life coaching possible. 
  • Communication: You need to really listen to the client and then be able to effectively communicate back to them advice that they can then use in their life.
  • Passion and interest: You need to really care about what you do, if the client feels that you are disinterested in any way they are going to shut down and not be able to work on themselves. If you don’t have passion what for you are doing then you won’t be able to inspire passion in others.
  • Discretion: Clients will be coming to you with the inner machinations of their life and mind, you will need to be able to keep that confidential at all times.
  • Empathy and consideration: All interactions with clients and prospective clients need to be completely free of judgement, the clients need to feel like they can trust you before they can work with you and better themselves. 
  • Adaptable: All prospective coaches will need to be able to adapt them-self appropriately to any and all unforeseen challenges that may arise whether these challenges are found in the business and professional aspects of your life or even in your personal life. You also need to be able to adapt to fit the needs of all new clients, everyone you work with will have their own needs, wants, and emotions so you will have to be able to change your style to fit each new client.

There are so many nuanced and individual skills that a prospective life coach might need and will also be able to put to good use when starting their coaching business.

What are the Advantages of having Coaching Training and Certifications to Start a Coaching Business?

There are many advantages that come with going through formal and professional coaching training. That is why many people choose to earn these qualifications so that they are able to make full use of the advantages that come with having the certifications. Coaching training can be useful no matter what stage of your coaching career that you are at, whether you are just starting out or you have been in the coaching industry for many years. 

While having formal training isn’t completely necessary it can be incredibly beneficial when starting and running a coaching business.  The main advantages that come from going through coaching training and earning a certification are as follows…

  • You would gain a greater understanding of tried and accepted methods of coaching within the coaching industry, while there are no absolute methods that all coaches have to follow, being able to learn about and know how to use methodologies that have worked and continue to work with many people can be a very beneficial skill to have. 
  • You might be able to see real-life examples of these coaching methods being used in practice by experienced and certified coaches. 
  • There are many challenges that will arise when working with clients, a training program will help you in being able to identify and deal with these challenges as they come up. 
  • You will have the opportunity to see what areas you are most competent in and what areas you might need to work on when working with experienced mentors and coaches. Thus, giving yourself the chance to work on your coaching ability which will help you be more prepared for working with real clients. 
  • Unfortunately, when you don’t have a certified coaching degree potential clients might have the preconceived notion that you are under-qualified to be coaching, this might then make them reluctant to take you on as a coach, if this issue does come up it will be most prevalent when you are first starting out which is most likely to be your hardest time when working as a coach.

There are more benefits than the ones that are listed here, and potentially you might not need any of them but if you are able to go through formal coaching training then it is definitely something that all prospective coaches should at least consider.

What are Some of the Courses that Can Help You Start a Coaching Business?

There are many courses that boast the same thing and that is to be able to make you a better coach and then be certified as such at the end of the course. If you are going to go on a certified coaching program then it is incredibly important that you choose the one that is most applicable for your goals as you don’t want to waste not only money but time.

There are courses that are done in person, there are some that are done exclusively online, and there are courses that use a mixture of both, it is important that you decide what learning environment will be most beneficial to you as an individual. 

There is also a disparity in price when it comes to the coaching programs so it’s also important to be in a financial position to be able to fully afford the program you decide to undertake. 

Here are some of the best examples of coaching courses that you could go on but if you do decide to go through a course that you fully weigh the pros and cons of all that are available to you. 

  • The Institute for Professional Excellence – An incredibly in-depth life coaching course that will offer you access to a breadth of knowledge that will help you when starting your coaching business. 
  • Coach-U-Core Essentials Program – Their course has two phases: core essentials and professional essentials both specifically designed to help you become a better coach.
  • Certified Life Coach Institute – They offer a course with a short three-day time to complete, this will obviously make it less in depth than the others but it will cover the basics if that is what you are looking for. 

This is by no means an extensive list but concisely shows some variation between the courses that are available to you. If you do decide to go on a coaching course make sure you do sufficient research before you commit to one.

Educational Qualifications to Start a Coaching Business

While there is no minimum level of education that you need to start a coaching business and many choose to start one with only the qualifications that they gained from school you could also go down the route of going through higher education in coaching so as to be able to gain knowledge that might be useful for you in your coaching journey. 

Going to a college or university and earning a degree in life coaching is something that can be very beneficial to those that are looking to go into a career in coaching though it isn’t entirely necessary.

3 Routes you Can Take to Become a Coach and Start a Coaching Business

There are 3 main routes that can be taken to prepare yourself to become a life coach and will continue to help you through your coaching career. These are… 

  1. Certification programs – 

You gain a certificate in coaching either online or through an in-person program, it is incredibly important that when you make the decision to go on a coaching program that you do the much-needed research so as to pick the right course for you. 

  1. Graduate degrees – 

There is less in the way of graduate degrees that you can achieve before starting a coaching business all though the ones that are available will most certainly be able to equip you for working in the coaching industry. You would gain these by either going to an online university or college, or an in-person campus-style school. 

  1. Professional development courses –

These are courses that you can go on where you won’t gain a certificate or diploma at the end but you should walk away at the end having gained additional levels of knowledge or even just been able to boost your morale which can be incredibly beneficial on its own. 

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to the world of coaching courses but should hopefully be able to give you a foundational level of knowledge before you make that decision to commit to being a life coach and running your own coaching business.

Do you Need a Formal Coaching Qualification to Start a Coaching Business?

No, if you feel that you have the right skills and qualities that are needed to effectively coach and inspire people then you are able to start your coaching journey right away.

Many decide though that to be the best that they can be and to be able to bring out the best in others that they should go through formal training, so as to better their skills and assets.

Is Networking in a Coaching Setting Important to Start a Coaching Business?

Yes, is the short answer; the long answer is, most likely. 

Networking is a useful tool that can be used in any industry including the coaching business. There are a number of reasons why networking can be incredibly useful. 

You are able to learn from experts in the field, when you go to networking events you will be rubbing elbows with potentially hundreds of people that have been in this industry for many years. There you might be able to pick up new skills or learn new and useful ideas that you can then implement in to your own coaching strategies. You might even be able to help others, which is the whole idea behind being a coach in the first place.

The most useful aspect of going to networking events is that you will be able to create a network of other coaches who might then be able to help you grow your business through their contacts. You will be able to connect with people that have been in the business for many years that are well connected within the coaching field. You might even be able to work with these coaches directly through any future projects that they might personally be working on. These networking opportunities can be a great way to pick up work through a client being referred to you through another coach too. 

The reason that the answer is ‘most likely’ is that it really depends on you and your goals. If you feel that you will be able to thrive and grow without going to networking events then maybe you don’t need them. However, it is definitely important to know that they have been and continue to be a very useful asset that many use to their full advantage.

What are the Challenges a Coach May Face while Starting and Running their Own Coaching Business?

There are many challenges that you will face when you first start a coaching business, as well as challenges that you might face while running the business. Many of the challenges that you will face are incredibly similar to the challenges that you would face when running any business but you will still need to look at them from the angle of being a coach. 

  1. Competition: This is the main challenge that is ever-present in all professional walks of life. In the coaching business, there will always be a demand for experienced life coaches, to overcome this you will need to figure out what makes your service unique so as to help you and your business stand out from the crowd. 
  2. Technology: In this ever-changing world being able to keep up with all the new advancements and changes to the technological landscapes is crucial. A very good example of this is; that during the height of the pandemic and lockdowns a lot of the world went online a lot more, your clients will change with the times so you will need to too. 
  3. Marketing: All businesses need effective marketing strategies; this will be most important when you are first starting out as you will be a complete unknown to the highly competitive world of coaching.  This links back to technology as you always need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new avenues of marketing, such as being able to use social media to get yourself out there so as to be able to bring in new clientele. 
  4. Finance: Running and starting any business will require you to continually invest back into the business so as to be able to help it grow and succeed, whether you use outside capital or you invest your own money, the unfortunate truth is that you have to invest to see returns.
  5. Doubts: This is the most insidious challenge that anyone who is starting and running their own business will face especially in the world of coaching.  Everyone in all walks of life might face doubts about what they are doing, you need to be able to understand why you feel this way, so that you don’t allow doubt to hold you back. 

All facets of business come with all sorts of challenges, and this is especially true in the competitive world of coaching. You will need to be able to approach these challenges head on so as to be able to overcome them. No challenge will be truly insurmountable if you put in the time and the energy needed to be able to deal with them appropriately and effectively.

You will no doubt face many more challenges than this but hopefully, this should help you in being prepared for some of the main challenges that you will face when starting your career as a life coach.

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