“Should I get a life coach certification?” | Getting Started

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Do I need a life coach certification?

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For today’s business blog post, I’m going to share a response to a question I’ve been getting a LOT from business coaching clients: “Do I need to get certified as a life coach or business coach?”

Many of my clients offer some sort of hourly consulting/coaching to folks, as they’re self-employed creatives. We love multiple streams of income, y’all!! So, today I’m going to share my perspective on whether or not you should get certified as a life coach or business coach. [My coaching website is HERE.]

Life Coach Certification Tips & Info

Okay, this is going to be a lengthy post, so here’s where we’re going:

  • My opinion on coaching certification programs
  • Should I get certified to be a life coach?
  • Do I HAVE to be certified to be a life coach?
  • Is a coaching certification program right for me?
  • What’s the difference between a life and business coach?
  • My rec on how to get started

My Opinion on Coaching Certification Programs

Okay, so REAL TALK!

Most people become a life coach or a business coach because they’re *already doing it anyways* for FREE!! If this is you, then you know what I mean. People are showing up in your Facebook chat, email, texts, DMs, etc.

The emotional labor is EXHAUSTING!!!

So, you’ve headed to google to see if you need to get a life coach certification, and you’ve landed here (or you’re a client/longtime reader)!

business coach advice
Hi, I’m Brianne! Thank you for visiting my blog. <3

Life Coaching “Certification” is Misleading

I do NOT think most people need to go through a life coach certification program and here’s why:

A life coaching certification program is usually created by a successful life coach, who wants to teach people her/his/their methods. A certification program for a life coach is not the same thing as say, a plumber being certified by your state or city to fix your pipes.

In most areas, you don’t need a “license” to be a life coach. But when folks brag about having a certification as a life coach – I get pretty dang annoyed. Regular folks with little experience in coaching will hear the word “certified” and think you’re licensed by some governing GOVERNMENT body. In the same way a plumber has a license

It’s totally misleading, in my opinion.

Do I have to be certified to be a life coach?

Okay, now that my cute little rant is over, let’s talk about when someone probably needs to go through a program to get a life coach certfication:

  • Business insurance requires a certification
  • The kind of coaching you offer is going to include coaching around mental health issues, trauma, abuse, etc. (There are coaches who have degrees in psychology or combine coaching with therapy.)
  • Other valid reasons I may not be thinking of that you have

Do I NEED to be certified to be a life coach?

So, overall, no. To my knowledge, there is no law in the USA requiring this. Other countries probably have legislation on this.

I’d argue that you should consider a coaching program if you don’t have a modality or framework that you want to use with clients. Put another way, you may want to go through a program to have “coaching training wheels” for you to use when approaching sessions or creating packages.

Ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable getting on a coaching call with a client?” If yes, there you go! If no, consider a certification program or 1:1 coaching.

What’s the difference between a life coach and business coach?

This is a great question! In my own work, I view them as being pretty much the same. Things in your life effect your business, and vice versa.

Business Coaching Approaches

Some business coaches are also basically longterm consultants. They use their experience to help you grow your business, and you stick to business topics. Their job is to help you level up and make more money – or achieve other metrics.

Life Coaching

If someone focuses on life coaching, then their job is to help you level up in life. This could look like health and wellness, or be more holistic. It’s less defined.

A coach is NOT a therapist

The biggest issue I see in coaching right now is folks offering life coaching as a substitute to therapy or mental health treatment. This is WRONG and UNETHICAL and almost always ILLEGAL.

How should I get started as a coach?

Okay, this is gonna blow your mind – are you ready?

HIRE A coach to help you become a coach. Certification programs are usually self-led or taught to groups. I’d recommend finding a successful coach and having them teach you how to do it. The coach should be in the same space you want to go into, and they should NOT make a bulk of their money from “coaching coaches” in my opinion.

You want someone who works with regular people.

(Yes, i’m going to be self-promotey and put myself forward. My site is here!)

career coach

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