Self-improvement coaches help people live better lives. Sometimes they make an impact on people they have never met.
Coach Jeannette Maw was surprised to receive a marriage proposal from a gentleman who lived across the globe.
“He had just read some of my coaching material online and said his life had improved so dramatically as a result of following some of my suggestions that he thought we would make a great couple. Ha!” says Maw. She kindly declined the offer.
As a coach, she encourages her clients to decide what they want. Then she supports them while they take steps to achieve their goals.
Maw is rewarded daily by her work. “The number one requirement is that you love people. Without that, you wouldn’t find the work rewarding,” she says.
Maw runs her own coaching business called Good Vibe Coaching. She loves being her own boss and working from home. She says running her own business is challenging, however. She had to learn about marketing, accounting and computer technology in addition to her coaching skills. She trained at Coach U and North Star Life Coaching. She has also co-authored two self-help books.
She advises future coaches to follow their hearts. “The wonderful thing about the
coaching profession is that life experience itself leads you to be a good coach. As you live and learn, you’re better able to guide others on their path. So in that respect, every day is training for the job. But pursuing a formal learning path with a reputable coach training program will also serve you well in this industry,” says Maw.
Danny Freedman is a life coach. His specialty is working with young leaders. That includes young families, young professionals and recent university graduates. He says this group is moving up the career ladder faster than previous generations. They are meeting challenges that they are not prepared for. And they feel overwhelmed.
“I help them find out who they want to be. Then I help them create and live that reality,” he says. When he takes on clients to coach, he asks them to commit to at least three months of coaching sessions. He says some coaches ask for a minimum of six months. He says it takes at least this long for people to attempt real change.
He helps clients change habits, holds them to their goals and supports them.
Freedman trained through the Coaches Training Institute. He also joined the International Coach Federation (ICF). There are no rules or regulations for coaching. Freedman believes in the ethics of the ICF, which outlines what it is to be a coach. He says the ICF strives to divide the “real” coaches from people who just call themselves coaches.
Beth Garrish is an ICF associate certified coach. She runs her own coaching business, Life Uncorked, from her home. She got into coaching after working with her own life coach. She had been working in real estate for 17 years. Now she works with her clients to help them move forward in life.
“I really love helping people to move past where they believed they could go and achieve more than they thought they could. I have a particular passion for assisting my clients to strive for greater life balance and personal satisfaction from living every single day to its fullest,” says Garrish. She acts as a sounding board for clients’ new ideas. She provides different perspectives and challenges her clients.
“The toughest part of this job is to remain unattached to the client’s own decisions. The role of the coach is to help the client find their own solutions and it is very difficult not to try to sway the client with your own values or ideas of the ‘right’ way. We all have a natural tendency to give advice, so, self-management is often difficult,” says Garrish.
She encourages “natural helpers” to consider a coaching career. These are people who find they have always provided a sympathetic ear or sound advice to friends and family. But she offers these words of caution: “It is tough to start out in any business, and the income may be hard to come by in the first couple of years. There is a lot of marketing involved, a lot of ‘unpaid’ hours put in.”
Coach Ally Wieser agrees that selling coaching can be difficult.
“Clients do not expect to have to pay $300 or $400 per month for coaching. The closest service they have to compare coaching to is therapy, which is covered by insurance,” she says. She adds that clients who take the plunge never regret it.
“I ask my clients to think of coaching as an investment in their life, or in terms of maintenance for their life like they pay for maintenance on their car, or even in terms of designing their life as they would design their home or wardrobe. My wish is that one day coaching services might be covered by health insurance,” says Wieser. She’s a life coach for personal and professional development. She was voted Best Life Coach 2008 by The Sun Post in Miami, Florida.
Wieser absolutely encourages people to take up coaching as a career. “There is nothing more rewarding than enabling people to be truly happy. Not only that, I personally grow with each and every client,” she says.
She often gets goose bumps from the feedback she receives from her clients.
“Coaching is about enabling a shift. When my clients feel a shift take place, a light bulb appears, an ‘ah-ha’ moment arises, we both know something special has occurred.”