One of the most viewed classes in the Life Editor Clubhouse is “So You Want to Be a Life Coach,” and it’s easy to see why life coaching is so popular nowadays.
It looks almost too easy—you toss up a website, take some pretty headshots, do a Facebook post or two, and watch the clients (and money!) roll in.
Well… it’s a little more complicated than that.
In the years I’ve been coaching clients since leaving the book publishing world, I’ve come to realize that appearances don’t always match what’s going on behind the scenes.
I’ve put more blood, sweat, and tears into my business than anything else I’ve ever done. Even more energy than it took to make my over-the-top sparkle-infused scrapbooks. And that’s saying something. 🙂
There’s a desperate need for coaches, and there are far more potential clients in the world than there are talented coaches. Life coaching isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but it can be a rewarding career for both you and your clients.
Allow me to debunk 5 common myths about life coaching.
Myth: You Have to Be Perfect
I hear this one on a daily basis! We think that life coaches are these mythical creatures like unicorns or fairies. They must be perfect and shoot glitter out of their eyes, or else how could they possibly help their clients?
Here’s where it gets interesting. The most popular, dedicated, and caring life coaches are the ones who embrace their flaws.
Being perfect is a self-destructive goal, and your potential clients don’t want to worship you on a pedestal. They want you to be REAL!
By modeling imperfection but still reaching your goals, you’ll teach your clients how to love themselves. This is the very foundation of life editing. No superheroes, just real people making positive changes.
Myth: You Need to Have All the Answers
The twin sister of perfect is Miss Know-It-All. There’s this strange idea that you could ask a life coach anything about your situation and she will magically reveal the answer.
No way! I don’t know about you, but I don’t have all the answers for my own life let alone the lives of my clients.
Being of service isn’t about having all the answers. It’s about guiding your clients to find the right answers for themselves. Sometimes the true answers are deep within themselves, and you can gently pull them to the surface.
You don’t have to be an expert on whatever your clients ask you: how to parent a special needs kid, how to survive a divorce, how to set up a website, how to make a lasagna, how to do a backflip, etc.
Just be yourself and ask probing questions to reveal the correct path.
Myth: You Should Never Give Away Anything for Free
I don’t know where this one started, but there’s a major entitlement problem with some newbie entrepreneurs. I’m all for standing in your power and owning your worth, but not offering freebies is the quickest way to lose potential clients.
Your followers are scared, they have a million questions, and they don’t want to make poor choices. How are they supposed to confidently hire you if you won’t give them a taste of what your coaching style is like?
Think of it this way: you didn’t know you loved rocky road ice cream until you had a nibble off a pink plastic taster spoon. So let them have a lick! Wait, that sounded weird…
I’ve written about how your free blog posts help you earn your followers’ trust, but take it a step further and offer a free resource like my Editor’s Toolkit, or free coaching calls, or free videos on social media.
For me, the more I give away, the more paying clients I get. Cha-ching!
Myth: You Can Help People With Serious Medical Issues
It’s all fun and games until someone ends up in the hospital…or the morgue. Let me be absolutely clear: LIFE COACHES ARE NOT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS!
This is a dangerous myth that can potentially harm your clients. If someone comes to you with a serious medical issue, you must refer them to another professional who has the proper training to help them.
I’ve written about how I survived my suicide attempt and rebuilt my life, but that does not make me qualified to help someone manage their suicidal thoughts. On several occasions, I’ve had to decline potential clients because their situations were far beyond my capabilities.
Don’t fool yourself. Life coaches are amazing supporters who can help their clients achieve their goals. But they can never replace the care of trained medical professionals.
Myth: Life Coaching is Vague and Unhelpful
I once had a call with a women who was new to life coaching, and I wanted to see what she was like. Unfortunately, it was one of the most awkward calls of my life.
Instead of, you know coaching me, she kept asking cyclical questions that led to nowhere.
- “What do you think of that?
- “How does that make you feel?”
- “What would the right answer look like?”
I’m all for asking deep questions, but sooner or later you gotta give ‘em the good stuff!
Consider a football coach: He can’t stand on the sidelines and ask his team, “What do you think the right play is?” He needs to share his playbook and guide them to the choices that have worked for him in the past. If he has insider knowledge about the opposing team, then he must share that information with his team so they can win!
That’s what makes a coach different from a therapist. Your clients aren’t looking to talk about the past for hours and not make any progress. They want clear steps to take to get from point A to point B.
Ready to Coach Like a Pro?
If you need help getting your coaching business off the ground, join the Life Editor Clubhouse membership site for several classes specifically designed for life coaches.
- So You Want to Be a Life Coach will teach you what products and services you need, how to attract the right kinds of clients, and how to get paid for your coaching advice.
- Procrastination Blaster! will teach you what it takes to defeat whatever’s been slowing you down in your life and business.
CLICK HERE to join the Life Editor Clubhouse to watch these classes plus dozens more.
This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.