==== ====Questions on coaching? This is a great place to find out more:http://bit.ly/ym3YLX==== ====If you have been searching the internet for something, you will usually end up with a life coach sitepopping up in your results at some point. Life Coaching has evolved over the years and continuesto change and grow - but what is life coaching, how do you choose a life coach, and what shouldyou be aware of?Life Coaching Past:Life Coaching really emerged, noticeably, about 10 years ago. Most life coaching was advertisedas Executive Coaching or Leadership Coaching and they were usually hired by corporations forstaff or individual training. With the onset of in-house corporate training teams, the need forExecutive Coaches diminished and many sought other areas to continue coaching in. Since then,there are now life coaches that coach in every area of life you can think of and then some. Manylife coaches specialize in one or two main life areas but many still coach in multiple life areas.Originally, life coaches were people who had some kind of previous work experience before goinginto coaching. Most Executive Coaches came out of the corporate business world and as anExecutive Coach or Leadership Coach, were able to make great incomes. Many of these pastExecutive Coaches also have become Client Attraction or Marketing Coaches in todays climateand their services are provided to corporations still but mostly to small or solo businesses orindividuals.Life Coaching Now:Now life coaching is common, easy to find and is for businesses and individuals and can be calledjust about anything. Today, there are many life coach training schools but there are hugedisparities between the qualities of education students receive from school to school. In fact, thereare no required educational standards that a life coach school must follow/provide and there is noregulation of the life coach industry. Anyone can call themselves a Life Coach and open a practice- buyer beware becomes a very serious phrase to remember. There are now a couple ofprofessional organizations, such as the International Coaching Federation, which as a professionalmembership organization, is working diligently to establish coaching standards, life coach schoolstandards and looking at types of regulations that could benefit the industry and consumers.There are now between 10,000 and 20,000 life coaches that are providing services to customers.There are an increasing number of people pursuing becoming a life coach. Many people want tohelp others but many think they can earn a tremendous amount of money while being able to workat home in their pjs, part-time. If only it was that easy. Todays world of having a web basedbusiness and all it entails has become very complicated and it isnt as cheap in start-up costseither. Most life coaches are earning much less than $20,000 a year because they dont haveenough clients. Many coaches fail because you have to be a person who can structure their owntime while working from home. When you work in a business, it provides structure that you workwithin. At home, there is no structure except what a person creates and it is all too easy to not be
structured. Marketing has become a huge part of daily life for life coaches, much more than everbefore and many have taken marketing to an incredible level of hard selling. Those coachesproviding marketing or small business start-up coaching have created a huge income basedindustry but it has also gained tremendous competition over the last few years.Niche Is In:Niche in life coaching is the current theme - this means that a life coach specializes in one or afew areas only. There are many life coaches though who still would be considered general lifecoaches and offer a much broader range of coaching services. The market is pushing life coachesto have specific niches quite hard and explain that the public prefers specialists and are willing topay more for them. It is rather like the medical profession, you have generalists, generalists with asmaller focus, specialists with a broad focus and specialists with very specific focus topics. So,everyone entering coaching is told to have a niche; it could be life coaching, client attraction,marketing, public relations, Christian, organization, health, financial and many, many more areasthat coaching is being offered in.Buyer Beware:Throughout my research, I was totally amazed at how few life coaches will post their prices butalso, and perhaps even more importantly, they do not post their educational or work experience! Idont know about you, but Im not really interested in sharing my dreams and goals with someoneunless they are qualified and that means having work, life and educational experience in theirniche or coaching areas. Ive asked many other coaches, and some of them are very well knownand successful, and been told that education and experience are not important! So, I guess fromthat, if someone worked at the local animal shelter and didnt graduate from high school, they arejust as well qualified to provide life coaching services as everyone else. NOT in my book. Wecheck out loads of information before we buy a car, before we choose a doctor, and even beforewe purchase a mattress. Why wouldnt it mean something about what education and work/lifeexperiences a life coach has? So, buyer beware!Marketing and using psychology to sell whether on the web or in real life, is something everybusiness uses. Unfortunately, the web is unregulated and you cannot check things out and besecure that the information you get is honest and truthful. There is no Consumer Reports or BetterBusiness Bureau for the Internet. The science of selling is intense and is geared at: getting visitorsto give e-mail address for a free gift so they have you in the mailing data base; use words andcolors to attract you and make you trust them, offer free material to read and low priced items andthen youll receive e-mails about tele-seminars, videos, guest speakers, and high costproducts/memberships/mentorships and mastermind groups. Many coaches are genuine but howdo you tell the difference without making many painful, expensive and time consuming mistakes.Also read the fine print, many web businesses do not have guarantees or refunds available. Lookfor coaches who belong to national organizations, who post their credentials (experience andeducation), and did they graduate from a life coaching or coaching program or school? You canttrust testimonials often, due to a business may have provided services to hundreds but you willonly see the few who wrote glowing testimonials, a site that has ratings on it is great but can bedoctored, asking to speak to a former client is the best method of checking out a particular coachbusiness, even many former clients is better. I hope there will be some type of review systemdevised someday, as in your community word gets around quickly about a company, but on theinternet you dont have that check and balance system available. So, buyer beware!
Why people should try Life Coaching:Life Coaching is an awesome way for people to stay motivated, keep their focus, gain self-insightsand strive to achieve their goals. Life Coaching deals with the here and now and goes forwardfrom there, it is an action based co-active coaching style that is not like therapy which deals withpast life events and more psychological issues. A life coach should have the educational/work/lifeexperiences and tools necessary to meet the needs of their customers and if not, then say so andrefer the customer to a life coach that does. I recently tried to get a referral network started at thelife coach school I attended, so that I and others would know where to refer a customer if I felt theirneeds could be better met by another. Only two other coaches felt secure enough to put theirstrengths out there - no one else!In todays busy, fast-paced world, it is often filled with stress, little personal support and difficult toachieve your goals or solve problems. Life Coaching is a great means to help a person withachieving their goals, solving problems, getting the support they need so that life is less difficultand overall, improved.What to look for in a Coach:Tips for you, as a customer in choosing a life coach include: know ahead of time what you want toachieve with a life coach and be able to answer how a coach can best work with you and you withthem. It is also helpful to have an idea on how long you are willing to be in coaching before youexpect to achieve your results and how much you can afford; research different life coachwebsites and read their articles, newsletters and check out their education/work/life experienceand training; interview 3 different coaches - include in the interview all your questions onexperience, prices, examples of accomplishments related to your goal, how long do they think itwould take to achieve your goal, explain how you prefer to work with a coach and ask what theirstyle of coaching is; ask for two references that had goals similar to yours; and most importantly,make sure the life coach you choose is one that you connect with or that feels right to you. Otherpossible questions can be asking what the life coach feels are their strengths and weaknesses.Also be cautious if you get the impression that the life coach may end up telling you what to do orpressuring you into goals or avenues that you do not want and they seem more the agenda of thecoach than yours.Life Coaching is supposed to be about the customer and what they want to achieve and their styleof learning/growing/achieving through the process of reaching their goals. It is not about the lifecoach. In fact, every life coachs goal should be to put themselves out of business. If coachingwere done well, then eventually, fewer people would need it. As the saying goes, teach them tofish rather than feeding them fish and they will never go hungry. Costs for life coaching servicescan typically run $300-$600 a month and some will go to $300 or more an hour. Some coachesactually earn $18,000 hour. If the life coaches you check-out dont publish their costs, ask.What is the future of Life Coaching?Where is Life Coaching going in the future? While the economy and the increasing stress ofeveryday life is severely hurting the quality of peoples lives, life coaching will continue to grow inthe number of people it serves as well as the number of life coaches entering the field. Thenumber of people utilizing the web and becoming web based businesses will continue to increasethe number of coaches who provide marketing, client attraction and who start business types ofservices.
One of the newer life coaching waves coming is Wellness Coaching which is similar to healthcoaching. Of concern to me is that many, who are entering this niche, receive only 20 hrs oftraining. Many life coaches practicing health or wellness coaching have not checked their stateslaws on what they can and cannot coach on in this niche. A life coach cannot treat, diagnose,cure, prescribe or provide counseling. As a Holistic Practitioner, Certified Life Coach and LicensedSocial Worker, I fear for people receiving life coaching services on health related subjects from lifecoaches with so little background in health and thus the potential for harm of the customer mayoccur. This is my concern and opinion which is shared by some and not by others. The pressurefor more specific specialization, niching, will likely increase as well.Will social media change the face of coaching? Thats unknown at this time. There are many blogsand forums now that people can access for support for their specific needs, meet and get to knowother people interested in the same things. The world has gotten smaller and it is much easier tofind people to talk to on the web, yet we are more isolated in our real lives than ever before.I envision the complexities of marketing, which include free give aways, membership groups,increased administrative time (which means less time for coaching), hard selling and heavymarketing will continue to increase, as well. I envision there will be expanded Coaching Schoolsthat provide coaching education that gives core basics for all types of coaching and then givesadditional education in specific areas of specialty types of coaching. These will greatly lead tobetter qualified service providers. I found it amazing, how many coaches actually came out of thecomputer field from computer programming, IT support, web design and such. I do hope thatsomething can be done to make sure the competency, skill, education, and experience of lifecoaches becomes more uniform and is not as much a shooting in a barrel experience forcustomers to find truly skilled and dedicated coaches.In conclusion, life coaching has gone from corporate America to mainstream. The benefits of lifecoaching are becoming better known and there are many gifted life coaches available - but youwill have to do some weeding first. Life Coaching can improve the quality of your life and evenyour physical and mental health and thus, it is hoped, it may be covered by health insurance aspro-active services someday. In the mean time, life coaching is affordable and easy to find. If youare in search of life coaching for a very specific area of your life or goal, there is likely a life coachthat covers it. But the bottom line is that it is up to the consumer to pick the right life coach forthem and if it doesnt work for you, then stop and switch to a life coach that will fit you better. Lifecoaching has evolved considerably and will continue to do so and in 6 years, well write anotherarticle updating you on how things have, yet again, changed.If you have Questions in your life, Tonia Boterf at http://www.thepracticalexpert.com has answers.A multi-tool approach of services and products for you to start getting Answers to your Questionsis just a click away. Check out our series of books on caring for aging parents and decrease yourstress too. Tonia Boterf is your Practical Expert to finding the tools and answers to get what youneed and want out of life.
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