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The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Life Coaching Business

The answers to everything you wanted to know about starting a successful life coaching business that is profitable and fulfilling.


Do you believe in helping others to realize their full potential?

Do you want to be the best life coach to your clients? 

Do you want to know everything about starting a successful life coaching business?

The buck stops here my friend, dive right in!

The catch here? Helping someone to take those first steps. That’s exactly where a life coach comes in.

Life coaching is a relationship between a coach and a client where the job is to give the power back to the client.

As a life coach, you must remember that the client already has the answers to their problems. Just that these answers are presently hidden. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle. YOU are here to guide them – patiently - as they piece it together.

Starting a life coaching business gives you an incredible opportunity to make a profitable career while making a positive difference in others’ lives.

It’s a calling. A unique career that has tremendous growth opportunities and so much learning!

Unlike any other career, as a life coach, you don’t define goals for your clients. Rather, you align your goals with what they want to achieve for themselves.

If you’ve landed on this guidebook, you’ve probably found your calling to be a life coach and you can’t wait to know more about it. So, let’s get started!

Chapter 1

Is life coaching ‘the’ business for you?

Life coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions worldwide. There’s so much to explore as a life coach - leadership, personal improvement, relationship, organizational, career guidance, spiritual coaching, you name it!

A life coach helps individuals dial up the “extraordinary” and experience life to the fullest.

If you are someone:

Then THIS is the career for you!

And this is also a great time to take up life coaching as a profession.

The pandemic has left the world shaken. More and more people are seeking guidance to find their calling, to do work that makes them happy, and to have a stable professional and personal life. Also, as sad as it may sound, it took us a pandemic to realize the importance of maintaining a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. If you have skills that can help people live better, more fulfilled lives, this is the time to use them.

However, being a life coach is not about making a quick buck. If you are thinking of this as an easy career - don’t!

Becoming a life coach is a process. You need to be willing to work at it, to learn and grow, and to be open to failure and rejection. You need to constantly evolve your approach and apply what works while removing what doesn’t.

Not really. Certifications are great, but more than a degree, you need the desire to serve and a method to your coaching.

Before you start out as a life coach, check if you would be able to follow the 5 cardinal rules.

5 Cardinal Rules of Life Coaching

For you to be able to guide your clients towards their goals, you’ll need to understand their inhibitions, challenges, and aspirations. For this, the client needs to trust you and should feel a certain level of comfort to open up to you. So, break that ice, give them that comfort, and leave judgement out the door.

Don’t rush the process. Take your time to understand your client and give them time to trust you with their problems. Don’t promise instant results but work together towards finding a long lasting solution.

It’s easy for the clients to digress and talk about multiple issues they are facing. While that’s expected, and even good sometimes, it shouldn’t be the norm. It’s your responsibility as a coach, to have a coaching session structure to ensure you keep on track and manage expectations effectively and efficiently.

There is a lot to read between the lines and decode from a client’s body language and tone. Keep an eye out for problem areas that the client is hesitant to speak about, notice what they talk passionately about, and use these observations to piece the picture together.

Your clients don’t want a people pleaser but a solution provider. Don’t tell them what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Even if it is unpleasant sometimes. Be honest with them and don’t shy away from calling a spade a spade. There’s always a way to share the truth with compassion and kindness.

Your clients don’t want a people pleaser but a solution provider. Don’t tell them what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Even if it is unpleasant sometimes. Be honest with them and don’t shy away from calling a spade a spade. There’s always a way to share the truth with compassion and kindness.

It’s reflection time! You’ll need about 15 minutes for this activity. Think about each of the 5 rules mentioned above and score yourself on a scale of 1-5 for each (5= exceptionally good, 1=not good at all).

A score of 3-5 means you are fairly strong in a particular domain, whereas a score between 1-2 means you can improve.

For each of the areas that need improvement, list down the actions you’ll take to progress. These can be simple tactics like finding activities to hone the skill, attending a workshop that can help you in your area of focus or reading a book about this topic.

Here’s a template to help you:

Skill

Score

Actions to improve

Being Approachable

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Practicing Patience

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Strategizing and organizing

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Observation skills

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Telling the truth with compassion

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Chapter 2

What is Your Coaching Niche?

The Squirrel Syndrome is having your eye caught by every shiny object that comes along. Deciding to invest in all the shiny objects and learn everything at once.

Before you know it, you have a nest full of shiny objects that you didn’t even need. When starting a new journey, it’s easy to get distracted if there are too many options.

Before you know it, you have a nest full of shiny objects that you didn’t even need. When starting a new journey, it’s easy to get distracted if there are too many options.

Think of the 5-year-old you in the candy store. How tough was it to decide what you wanted to buy! Everything was so colorful. Everything looked so delicious. But you could only take one or two. Such agonizing choice!

A coaching business is no different. There are multiple domains you can explore as a life coach and each looks like something you could be great at – and lucrative!

Here are some niches you could focus on:

-Leadership Coach

-Health Coach

-Parenting Coach

-Personality development Coach

-Transitional Coach

-Mindfulness Coach

-Relationship Coach

-Financial Coach

-Fitness Coach

-Life Skills Coach

-Motivation Coach

-Mindset Coach

-Spiritual Coach

-Mental health Coach

-Career Coach

-Leadership Coach

-Health Coach

-Parenting Coach

-Personality development Coach

-Transitional Coach

-Mindfulness Coach

-Relationship Coach

-Financial Coach

-Fitness Coach

-Life Skills Coach

-Motivation Coach

-Mindset Coach

-Spiritual Coach

-Mental health Coach

-Career Coach

Choice overload?
Feel the squirrel coming out?

STOP.

It’s time to decide the one thing you want to do and be the absolute best at it!

Look at your experience in totality - from that summer workshop you attended, to the courses you took, to the hobby you love. Do some soul searching and find what you love to do. Figure out what people come to you for your advice. Analyze what are the skills you can monetize and coach others in.

Pick a niche that aligns with your passion, purpose, and personality. It could be a subset of a larger theme. For example, if you love the idea of coaching people on fitness, is there something that you can give specialized advice on? Would your niche be workouts, mindfulness, or diet?

Every market has its potential. Most life coaches dream of having large businesses and executives as their clients. But there are also so many successful coaches who reached the 6-figure mark coaching people on relationships, or mindful eating, or personality development. The idea is to find a niche and be really good at it.

Once you have a fair idea of what you want to do, start out as a side hustle. Get honest feedback from people in your close circuit.

Here’s a quick video to help you arrive at a decision.
Ready to meet your clients? More on defining your potential clients in the next chapter.

Here’s a template you can use to find your niche. Narrow down your choice to your top 3 skills and then evaluate each of them.


Here’s an interesting example.

Existing skill: Career guidance

Can it be monetized? Yes.

How can I monetize it? By offering my service as a career counselor or a career coach

Who are my clients? Fresh graduates, high school students, Job seekers, Young HRs.

Chapter 3

 Define Your Audience

Alright, you’ve done your homework on finding a niche offering and are ready to deliver.

The next step is to go deeper and get to know your ideal client.

Who exactly is an ideal client?

This is the person who needs your skills and knowledge to help them through their fears, struggles, and doubts. This is the person who wants to work with you to overcome obstacles towards their goal. This is the person who wants to take action and is willing to commit to it

You want to get to the core of understanding your ideal client’s profile in terms of their wants, needs, and desires to effectively market to them and get qualified leads. Let’s detail out your ideal client.

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine your ideal client. Think about them in as much detail as possible and then answer these questions:

  • What is their behavior pattern?
  • What is their lifestyle like?
  • What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What are their hopes, dreams, and desires?
  • What are the challenges they face?
  • What are their goals?
  • How can you help them?
  • What age group do they fall in?
  • What income range do they fall in?
  • What kind of education did they get?
  • What is their family structure like?
  • Who are the people who affect or are affected by their decisions?

That’s some epic detailing you did and your job is done, right? WRONG! You need to make an offer; your clients can’t refuse. More on this, in the next chapter.

Activity

Here’s a quick task for you. List down 10 clients you wish to work with, it could be individuals, organizations or teams. Use the demographic and psychographic factors you just listed for guidance. Mention how you can get in touch with them (common network, social media, referrals, any upcoming event)

Now, taking it a notch higher, prepare a 5-minute pitch for them. You can use the template below.

Client Name

How do I get in touch?

My Pitch

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Dive deeper into this topic with this video: