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Life Coaching Frequently Asked Questions

To illustrate general information about coaching, we'll use a specific coach's practice as an example.

Following are the questions the author is often asked about coaching. Just click on the question you want answered, or scroll through the answers below.



How does it work?

The base coaching is three 25 minute phone sessions per month. On the fourth week we rest! Phone charges are included in your coaching fee, regardless of where you live in the world). This is supplemented by email coaching at no extra charge, plus the occasional "power coaching call" (5 minutes) as required. You take on as much homework/homeplay as you choose, and most of the learning/growth/action/results happens between the calls. Once we have developed momentum, you may choose between three, two, or even one phone session a month (with email and "power calls" still included).

You'll actually coach yourself prior to each session - using a Self Coaching Form I supply with your Welcome Pack. I'm not interested in replacing what you would do on your own. I want to add to what you would do on your own.

Who are your clients?

Basically, people ready to make changes in their life, and/or to really go for what they want. My clients are normally successful in many areas of their life, but there might be one or two that are not up to scratch. Or - they are ready for more awareness - can you ever be too aware?

I find I'm coaching some men, but more women in the 30 to 45 age range. Mainly professionals. And a lot of people wanting to become a coach, or at least explore the possibility. Some small business owners whose businesses are expanding, and executives looking to create a bigger game to play.

What does coaching provide?

This is different for each client. Most often I hear words like: challenge, accountability, direction, inspiration, focus, sounding board, support and validation. Some people want someone else to share the wins with. Others request a firm kick up the butt<grin>. But the bottom line is, we're normally after a specific result that makes a ~difference~ in your life. If you are still unclear on whether coaching is for you, click here to read one explanation of coaching.

Do you have any specialties?

I mostly work with:

a) Entrepreneurs wanting to improve, or start, their own small business.

b) People who want to get their own coaching business started.

c) People ready to find the career they were made for, and

d) Executives and managers ready to make changes in their business or personal life.

Other Coaching Areas

Who are you?

I'm a coach: passionate about personal development, and in awe of the courage my clients continually draw upon to step beyond their comfort zones. I'm also a raving entrepreneur who loves creating businesses - with a particular passion for excellent marketing, creative products/services, fun, and massive leverage.

In the past - I've been a management consultant in New York, professional entertainer in Sydney, and have played with many hobbies from acting, to snow board instructing, to hang gliding. Now I live and coach from Byron Bay, and occasionally in Sydney and New York. I most enjoy my partner Bronwyn, friendships, really high energy coaching sessions, developing new coaching products, and watching the West Wing!

I began coaching in 1997, and normally work with ten to twenty clients, who to date have been based in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Japan. I'm privileged to be a founder and Director of the International Coach Academy, a global coach training company. And - in 2002 I got my Professional Coach Certification (PCC) with the International Coach Federation.

How long would we work together?

Some people are done in 3 months, and others are looking for 1-2 year partnerships. We'll normally start with a 3-6 month time frame. I simply suggest my clients stay with me as long as they love the coaching, and are getting much MORE value than the money they're paying.

 

What are your fees?

Personal Coaching and Business Coaching is in 3 month blocks, and includes cyber coaching and interim "power" calls as required. The coaching fee is US$2,495 for 3 months. You may terminate coaching at the end of any four week cycle (receiving a refund for the unused portion being prorata of the full amount less a $395 set up fee).

What if I decide not to finish the coaching term?

If at some point during the coaching you're not getting value, we'll both know it. You may cease coaching at the end of any four week cycle, and get a full refund for the unused portion. You would then be charged at the normal monthly rate for the coaching you have used, rather than the discounted rate.

How Do I Become A Coach?

Following is an extract from The CoachStart™ Manual.

So, you're considering a career as a life, business or corporate coach? But wondering what's the best way to enter the field?
Do I need to do a training course? Do I need to get accredited? Where will I get clients, and do I have what it takes?

Most coaches agree on the best way to begin a coaching career: Work with someone who already is a coach! Simple, eh?

In other words, do a month or two with a Coach. Someone who has already built the type of business or career you want to have, and who can then help you do the same. Only faster, and more efficiently.

Here are the key steps:

Step 1
Interview 2-3 coaches to find out more about the career and lifestyle you would be getting into. They can tell you the good and the bad; How easy, or difficult it is; And ...... how they got started.

Step 2
Hire a coach, and experience coaching for yourself. But don't get coached on Becoming a Coach. Not just yet. Get coached on something else you want to achieve, or something you want to alter in your life. This will give you the best feel for whether or not this is the career for you. AND, it's actually the best training you can get. Training from a live course, teleclass, book or online environment is great. But there's no substitute for the experience of personally being coached, and seeing how an experienced coach moves you forward.

Step 3
Once you've decided to go ahead, consider professional coach training. This will give you resources, insights, tools and support. It will also help you to build your coach network - other coaches you can call on for help and advice. You should pick a school which has happy, successful coaches. Do you require face-to-face training, want the flexibility of teleclass (phone conference calls) training, the multidimensional impact of online learning, or a combination of these? And shop around - prices vary. For a list of training schools, visit http://www.becomeacoach.com, or see the Appendix.

Step 4
Work with a coach to build your practice. Some people skip Step 3 and jump straight to working with a coach to enter the industry. People in this category are usually those with existing transferable skills (e.g. counseling, or a lot of personal development training). Or, they are people short on cash, and want to generate some revenue from coaching before they invest in a proper training course. A coach can
help you avoid common mistakes, and build your practice faster, and with less effort than you would on your own. What business systems do you need in place? Where will you find clients? How will you keep your clients? And how do you keep your chin up if you lose three in one day!?

Some new coaches like to combine Steps 3 and 4 by finding a training program which supplies them with a coach.

Is it actually possible to build a career and make a good living from coaching?

There are now 4000 members of the International Coach Federation, and an estimated 12,000 coaches worldwide. It's been billed as the second fastest growing profession behind IT. Coaching is very rewarding personally. And financially, the coaches who know how to market are making money. As one example, it took me 3.5 years to reach the 6 figure income mark from coaching. And that's without my full attention - during that time I created two other businesses. And - that's before I received my certification from the ICF (that takes time). And I'm just getting started!<smile>

Can I coach part time?

Yes - in fact I recommend it. Create a couple of slots for your coaching clients, but keep your day job. It takes the pressure off. A great way to do it is cut back to 3 days a week (or find a new job that lets you do this) in six months time once you've proven to yourself you can attract clients and revenue. Then you can spend more time expanding your coaching business.

Can I really make a difference with my clients now, or does that take time?

This may surprise you. Many coaches report results from the very first sessions they hold with clients, and find it a very rewarding experience. Actually, it's very difficult for someone to spend 30 minutes a week with you focusing on what's important on their life, and NOT move forward.

Do I have to market this to my friends?

No. But they might be willing to do some practice sessions with you to help you train and develop, and some may beg you for coaching. Let's not turn them down, hmm?<smile>. Whether you charge them or not is another conversation - and doesn't really matter.

Where will I get my first clients?

You can choose from advertising, leveraging your current network of friends/associates, using an existing client base, public speaking, simple seminars, affiliations, web marketing, and working with the media. ONE easy place to start, is to practice with your existing network. They'll get a lot out of it, some of them will want you to coach them, and all of them become referral sources. However, as mentioned above, there's no need to 'sell' coaching to anyone, and you don't have to coach anyone you know if you don't want to. (But as I said, it's an easier start point).

I don't have related qualifications. Where does this leave me regarding professional credibility?

Current Situation:
Bear in mind this is still a new profession. The vast majority of coaches are not yet certified, and the industry is self-regulated (not government regulated). I reached the income mark above without any formal qualification. I relied on good testimonials from people I helped, and the connection we felt in a trial session/consultation. It was over three years before I obtained a formal certification, and as yet, I haven't noticed any difference in my practice now that I have a piece of paper. In three years I remember one person asking me if I was certified, and that was a corporate client.

Future Situation:
I believe, and hope the situation will change. As the public becomes more educated, they will begin to look for a formal certification. I would say that in about three years time it will become more important to have a formal certification, but still not critical from a marketing point of view. (For example, Tony Robbins built his career by guaranteeing people twice their money back, and producing results.) However, I recommend ALL participants of this program seek formal certification within the first year of their coaching career. It's not just about credibility - don't you want to be the best coach you possibly can?

I'm still not sure if I should join a coaching school now...

Definitely you should at some point. Coaching schools can offer great value . Only you can choose if this is the best option for you at this time.

 

More information on becoming a life or business coach may be found in The CoachStart™ Manual.