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How To Become A Certified Life Coach

Transform yourself in the upcoming year. Understand how to become a certified life coach in just 10 steps.

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Are you the kind of person who loves to inspire others to do their best and get better outcomes in life?

If yes, I have a question for you: Have you ever considered becoming a life coach?

A life coach is someone who helps people overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of their goals and take consistent, effective action to make their dreams come true.

Certified life coaches are people who have been trained in effective coaching methods by a professional organization (preferably recognized by a reputable body, such as the International Coaching Federation) and successfully undergone testing to prove they mastered those methods.

Keep reading to learn more about life coach training and how to become a life coach – and discover if the life coaching business is for you.

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What Does a Life Coach Do?

Simply put, a life coach helps their clients become the kind of people who are capable of taking their lives from where they are now to where they want to be.

As a life coach, it’s your job to give your coaching client the tools and support they need to get clear on what they truly want in life and what they must do to make their goals a reality.

It’s also the job of a life coach to hold clients accountable and lovingly call them on their “BS” as they work toward their dreams.

Life coaching is a career that has exploded in recent years – and a small wonder considering the world we currently find ourselves in! So many people are dealing with unanticipated obstacles and challenges these days and are struggling to create lives that actually make them happy. 

Even people who have achieved incredible professional success in their business or careers often feel unfulfilled and wish their lives offered them greater purpose and contentment. 

That’s why the services life coaches offer are so valuable. By helping clients get clear on their goals and supporting them as they work to create their desired experience, a life coach plays an important role in transforming people’s lives.  

Benefits of Becoming a Life Coach

One of the biggest perks of attaining your life coach certification and embarking on a career as a life coach is that it gives you the freedom that comes with owning your business.

Once you have completed your life coach certification and have your own life coaching practice, you can set your own hours, choose the kind of people you most want to work with, and decide how you want to deliver your services.

For example, you may prefer to work one-on-one with people or work with groups. You may choose to offer in-person training or be an online life coach, or a combination of virtual and in-person services.

A successful life coach can make great money working with high-ticket clients or speaking in front of large groups.

Best of all, if you embrace an ethical coaching path, you will get the satisfaction of knowing that your work is helping the people you work with (in person or online) achieve their dreams and experience more happiness and fulfillment in their lives.

If you’re looking for a new career and are passionate about helping others—particularly if you have experience as a leader or a manager within an organization or have worked with others in some other capacity—I encourage you to learn more about the life coaching industry and all the life coach certification programs out there.

A certain amount of research will be necessary to help you determine if starting your own life coaching business is for you.  

Just be aware that most clients expect you to go through some sort of life coach certification program in order to prove that you are qualified to help them achieve their goals. 

This is just as true for people who want to pursue spiritual coaching or wellness coaching as it is for executive coaches and others who want to become a leader in the business coaching industry.

How to Become a Certified Life Coach in 10 Steps

If you want to become a life coach, it’s important for you to recognize that it’s just like any other business.

Whether your plan is to work with your potential clients one-on-one in person or virtually in a group coaching situation, your priority should be to identify the “niche” or target audience you want to serve and get the personal development training and expertise you need to help them solve their challenges and get the outcomes they want in life.

The following steps will put you on the path to a successful life coaching career.

Step 1: Determine Your Area of Expertise

When it comes right down to it, “life coach” is a pretty broad term.

I know life coaches who work with young female professionals who are trying to climb their way up the corporate ladder… 

…recently divorced men who are trying to grow their self-esteem and get back in the “dating game”… 

…seniors who are trying to create meaningful post-retirement lives for themselves… even multimillionaires who are trying to create more joy, ease, and freedom in their lives.

If you are thinking about becoming a professional life coach, I strongly encourage you to give some careful thought to the coaching niche you most want to work with – and how you will help your potential clients achieve their goals.

You may want to become an organizational life coach for young professionals or a mental health coach for women approaching menopause.

Or you may want to offer coaching programs for small business owners or an executive trainer for c-level managers in the insurance industry. It all depends on your interests and your areas of expertise.

Just remember that if you want to be a certified coach, the more you’re able to distinguish yourself from other life coaches and target your services to a clearly defined group of people trying to overcome a specific problem, the easier it will be to find them online and let them know you exist.

Not only that – whether you dream of becoming a career coach or a leader in the health coaching industry, choosing a specific client niche to focus on will make it easier for you to stand out from the crowd and create a life coaching business that plays to your strengths and empowers you to help your clients get results.

Step 2: Get the Right Credentials

Growing an in-demand life coach business requires people to trust that you know what you’re doing and can help them achieve the outcomes they desire.

If you want to inspire people to see you as a life coaching expert and trust that you can help them with their challenges, you will want to enroll in a life coach training program that will give you the coaching skills training you need to help your target clients overcome their limitations and get the results they want in life.

There are countless life coach certification programs out there. I encourage you to do your research and choose a life coach training program that is recognized by the international coaching federation as a reputable program that produces high-quality life coaches who help their clients get results.

No matter which aspect of personal development coaching you choose to focus on, be aware that life coaching is a serious business, and acquiring the necessary life coaching skills involves extensive training and coaching experience.

(In other words, more than you’ll get in just a weekend workshop!)

The best training programs for life coaches involve at least 8-12 months of study and coaching experience.

Reputable life coach training courses also require students to demonstrate proficiency before granting life coach certification and allowing their graduates to promote themselves as professional certified coach.

Step 3: Build Your Life Coaching Business

Once you have achieved your life coach certification, your next step is to get clients.

Just like any business owner, your success as a certified life coach will depend on your ability to let people know you exist and convince them to sign up for your workshops or training sessions. 

(And yes, that means developing a solid marketing strategy.)

Your goal should be for clients or workshop attendees to leave your training saying, “That was the best thing I’ve ever attended! I’m going to tell everyone about it!” 

That means becoming a transformational trainer that inspires people to achieve results they never dreamed of – so that they become lifelong loyal fans of your coaching business and persuade others to do the same. 

 Step 4: Inspire People to Take Action

Most people are “action adverse.” They spend their lives reacting to their existing circumstances instead of taking strategic action to create their ideal circumstances.

When they do make an effort but don’t get the results they want, they give up too easily and tell themselves to settle with whatever fate has handed them. 

When you are a life coach, this is one of the biggest problems that you will have to help other people solve.

become a certified life coach

You must learn how to motivate your life-coaching clients to consistently show up for themselves and take determined action toward their dreams.

Not only that… you must also help them unlock their own desire and ability to continue taking action outside of your coaching sessions even in the face of obstacles – and even long after they have stopped working with you.

Being a life coach requires you to help your coaching clients understand that action isn’t a series of “one-offs” but a sustained pattern of behavior that should be cultivated throughout one’s entire life.

Step 5: Identify Emotional Blocks

The Universe WANTS you to achieve your goals and will readily provide you with the resources and opportunities you need to make it happen.

But all too often there is an obstacle on your path that prevents you from recognizing these resources and opportunities. 

And that obstacle is… YOU! 

Emotional blocks created by your past experiences and traumas often stand in the way of your progress. These blocks need to be addressed and healed if you want to become the kind of person who is capable of achieving your goals. 

And the same is true of your clients.

Most people are afraid to deal with their emotions. These blocks prevent them from learning the proper lessons or acquiring the skills and experience needed to create the life of their dreams. 

During your coaching sessions with clients, you will need to help them address and heal those blocks if you want to help them accomplish their goals.

That’s what makes great life coaches so valuable.

Their life coach training empowers them to help their clients overcome their emotional blocks so they can achieve real and lasting results.

Step 6: Create A-HA Moments

For a lesson to “stick,” the student must absorb it at a soul-deep level.

As a life coach (or health coach, executive coach, etc.), the best way for you to help your clients isn’t to “talk at them” – it’s to facilitate breakthrough epiphanies that allow them to experience and understand the lesson for themselves. 

So if you want to become a life coach who is a leader worth following, you must know how to create these breakthrough moments for the people you work with.

It’s not enough to simply know the information and present it to others. 

Effective life coaches are able to create a learning environment that allows their clients to experience instant comprehension of the lesson in the form of an epiphany.

So if you want to grow a successful coaching business, be sure to choose a life coaching certification program that will teach you how to deliver these game-changing “a-ha” moments. 

Step 7: Speak to All 8 Dimensions of Being

To become an effective life coach, it’s important to recognize that people learn and absorb information in different ways.

Any life coach who wants to create lasting change in a person’s mindset and behavior, must learn how to speak to all dimensions of a person’s being, including: 

  • Intellect
  • Imagination
  • Emotion
  • Intuition
  • Physical Body
  • Awareness 
  • Will/Choice
  • Higher Self

When you speak to all 8 of these personal dimensions, you will be able to impact the people who seek out your life coaching services in a much deeper and more profound way. 

Step 8: Create Transformational Experiences

Most life coaches aim to only teach people – and as a result, most people who listen to their workshops or presentations will forget at least 80% of what they’ve learned within just a few days. 

Truly successful life coaches, on the other hand, aim to transform people. 

They don’t just deliver information — they create powerful experiences that lead to life-changing results for their clients.

How do they do this?

By imparting their wisdom through engaging stories and interactive exercises that allow people to absorb the lessons on a deep emotional, physical, and spiritual level. 

Step 9: Give People a Proven System

Transformative life coaches understand that there is a huge difference between giving people excess information and advice — and teaching them a proven system that walks them step-by-step through a process that is guaranteed to help them achieve their results. 

As a life coach, you are responsible for teaching people to do the right things in the right way at the right time if you want their actions to build on each other and generate life-changing outcomes. 

So if you want to know how to become a life coach that gets results, that means you must either create this kind of proven system yourself (which will involve a lot of trial and error) or go through a certified life coach training program that will teach you a proven system you can then share with your clients. 

The good news is, there are effective coaching programs out there that allow you to achieve your life coach certification and learn everything you need to know to facilitate profound and lasting change in the people you work with. 

Just be sure to confirm that their “proven life coaching system” actually works by reading their client case studies and testimonials to learn more about the kind of results people are getting using their life coaching system.

Step 10: Always Continue to Learn

As a professional certified coach, your goal should be to model successful behavior to your clients. That means embracing a life of never-ending learning.

When it comes down to it, life coaching is still a fairly young industry – and psychologists, neuroscientists, and leaders in the personal development field are discovering new ways of helping people unlock their full human potential all the time.

Just as doctors are required to continue their education to maintain competence and learn about new practices, as a life coach you should commit yourself to seeking out regular skill-building opportunities to ensure you stay at the peak of your power and deliver the best possible life coaching services to your clients.

life coach

Qualities of a Successful Life Coach Career

Right now you may be wondering, “Do I have what it takes to create a successful life coaching practice?”

Let’s find out!

Here are the top 6 personal qualities you should have (or be willing to develop) if you want to become a life coach who changes the lives of the people you work with.

1. Effective Communication

Life coaching involves a lot of thoughtful and empathetic communication.

For this reason, it’s important that you know how to successfully communicate your thoughts and ideas in a way that inspires and uplifts, rather than criticizes or demoralizes, the people you work with.

Please note that this doesn’t mean being an expert writer or orator but simply being able to get your ideas across in a way that the people in your desired coaching niche can easily understand.

2. Solution-Oriented Mindset

Successful life coaches focus on possibilities and solutions rather than roadblocks or challenges.

They recognize the fact that the path to any goal will require the goal seeker to overcome obstacles and learn new skills that might push them out of their comfort zone – and they embrace such opportunities for growth.

That’s because they realize that it’s only by overcoming challenges and discovering workable solutions that you are able to build up a track record as a proven problem-solver!

3. Leadership

As a life coach, you must be comfortable stepping into a leadership role with your clients and the people you work with.

Your clients must have confidence in your ability to help them navigate life’s challenges as they work toward their goals, which means you have to first prove that any confidence they place in you is well-deserved.

So as you research potential life coaching certification programs, be sure to choose one that will help you cultivate the skills of a true leader who is able to inspire and empower others to show up their best selves and manifest their full potential.

4. Patience

Becoming the kind of person who is capable of achieving big goals takes time and effort.

Your clients will experience obstacles and setbacks – and so will you as you work on growing your coaching business.

And that’s okay because it’s only by overcoming obstacles that you can become someone who is skilled at tackling challenges and resolving them.

That’s why, if you want to be a great life coach, it is imperative that you cultivate patience – both with others and yourself.

Because the key to success in life is focusing not on how many times you stumble and fall – but by how often you pick yourself up and keep going.

5. Motivation

All the life coach training in the world won’t matter very much if you aren’t able to motivate people to take action on your suggestions.

That’s why it’s so important for you to be able to inspire people to take brave action even when they may be uncertain or uncomfortable or even scared.

Your goal as a life coach is to inspire others to grow beyond their current situation and become the kind of person who is capable of achieving their goals.

This will require them to move beyond their comfort zone and take brave leaps into the unknown.

So as you ponder the idea of joining a life coach certification program, be sure to ask yourself, “do I have what it takes to motivate others to overcome their limitations and show up as their best selves?”

If your answer isn’t an enthusiastic YES, you may want to invest in your own personal development before dedicating your life to helping others.

6. Organization

Finally, if you want to become a life coach, you will find it much easier to help your clients and grow your business if you have strong organizational skills.

That’s because the vast majority of life coaches are their own bosses – and running your own business requires you to be organized and stay on top of many necessary daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to ensure your coaching practice continues to grow and run smoothly.

So if you often struggle to keep your work and/or living space organized or keep on track of your daily tasks, this is a personal growth skill I recommend you develop before you pursue a career as a life coach.

Become a Life Coach Today

Now that you know more about how to become a life coach, I have one final question: are you ready to go for it? 

If you feel like you have what it takes to become a master-certified coach, I encourage you to take the next step in learning more about the coach training opportunities that are available to you. 

I have created a free guide, 7 Steps to Become a Transformational Trainer, that covers the process of becoming a powerfully effective life coach in much more detail.

Plus, you’ll understand what requirements you need as well as the types of life coaches out there so you can decide if becoming a certified life coach is right for you.

Become a Transformational Trainer 

Claim Your Free Life Coaching Guide Today.

Meet Jack Canfield

For over 40 years, he has been teaching entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, and people from all walks of life how to create the life they desire.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul(r) series, he's taught millions of individuals his modernized formulas for success, and has trained and certified over 2,700 students to teach his content and methodology in 107 countries around the world.