Have you ever felt a pull to make a living helping other people live their best life? Do you find that people tend to naturally confide in you and turn to you when things get hard? Are you wondering if you can make a lucrative living out your gifts?
If you said yes to one or all these questions, I’m writing this article to help you determine how to turn your passion into a paycheck. It is very possible, and your future clients need you!
TIP ONE: Determine Your Direction & Get Trained
I keep seeing some bad advice floating around coaching forums. A person who is considering becoming a professional coach will ask for advice on what training is best. Then someone chimes in eventually and says something to the tune of, “You don’t need training! There is no legal requirement to be licensed or certified, so just hang your hat as a coach and start charging.”
Gulp. First, we should be clear and careful. While this may be true for consultants who are paid advisors, this is not true for life coaching and counselors.
I’ve come across many untrained coaches who aren’t actually coaching people (and many don’t even know what coaching actually is). They are counseling people without proper training or a license, which in most states is illegal.
If you want to give people guidance, advice, and help them heal emotionally from wounds and traumas, then you will want to pursue a degree in counseling and psychology. Therapists diagnose and treat mental and emotional illnesses. Therapists are licensed at the state level.
However, if you want to help people find their own answers, develop their own wisdom, live through their gifts, and reach an empowered state so that they can reach their life goals, then you will want to pursue a PCC level certification in coaching.
Being properly trained also ensures you are: 1) trauma-informed, 2) understand ethical standards, and 3) have been assessed to hold the highest competencies.
A credentialed coach and licensed therapist are able to get a client exactly what they need and understand all of the underlying principles behind growth and healing.
TIP TWO: Learn Business
The only reason I’ve seen well-educated professionals fail to make a decent living in private practice is because they don’t understand business, or they don’t have a business mindset. As my son’s football coach said, “There is no problem education can’t solve”. It is the same with business.
For example, if you cultivate at least 3-5 referral sources that consistently give you referrals, you will be in great shape!
You will also need to learn what effective marketing communication looks and feels like.
There are many excellent marketing and business resources out there! There are also a lot of overpriced options that yield little results. Buyer beware.
When it comes to being a success, as a therapist or a credentialed coach, use a referral-based approach that is based on community and connection! Build relationships, cross refer, and get referrals from your new clients.
We include referral-based business growth strategies in our coach training programs because they are so important for success. Without this education, no matter how good you are at coaching or counseling, a business can flop. With this education, you can flourish!
Even during a recession, there are millions of people who are still investing in services and support. If you understand the power of relationship marketing and how to pivot in business, you can easily switch gears.
As one coach put it when she was in her first year of client building, “I went through a scary moment because I had most of my clients finish their programs all at the same time. Then I realized, I don’t need to be scared. I just need to go out and get more clients.” She did because she understood the power of referral sources and authentic relationship building.
TIP THREE: Give Yourself Space
I’ve found that the coaches and therapists who are successful in their first year of practice are the ones with prior education or experience in business.
If you are completely new to business, give yourself at least 1-2 years to get your business fully engaged. If you are an extrovert and love networking events or speaking, this timeframe may be shorter. If you are an introvert and prefer to write articles, this might take longer. Everyone has their own unique success formula. Honor your timing. Give yourself the space to grow into your practice.