Let me begin. Coaching certification programs can be valuable and helpful, depending on who you are. They give structure and offer a framework and a HOW to coach process. If you are someone who does better learning a structured approach, having clear "directions" at the beginning, then this can be invaluable.
There are great people coming through these programs.
HELPFUL (not NECESSARY)
Mind you, this is by no means a requirement. Self-made, highly successful coaches are out there in spades: me, Steve Chandler, Stephen McGhee, Devon Bandison, Amber Krzys. All the faculty at the CFJ Coaching Success School are NOT formally certified in any way, and they are hands down among the top, most successful coaches I know. And our Director, Amy Hruby, is not certified, and she is also a successful coach.
FYI—I love that everyone who is part of the CFJ Coaching Success School faculty and team are all uncertified because we are a truly an unruly bunch … we are unruly, unreasonable, and uncertified.
Lots of coaches coming through my school are certified and many aren't.
I also love that this is an unregulated profession. I stand by this, and I am not interested in seeing it change. Regulating the industry will NOT produce more effective coaches—therapy is regulated and there is no relationship between being licensed and being a good or great therapist. In fact, a large majority of licensed therapists have only done the minimum "requirement" of their own therapy as part of their training, which is something like 40 hrs (not exact)—it's not a lot.
The best therapists I know have done enormous amounts of their own growth work—as is true for coaches. This speaks to what Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, Co-Directors of the University of Santa Monica, say, "We can only assist others to the degree we have assisted ourselves. We cannot take people where we ourselves have not gone."
That's why I am forever grateful to USM for my life-changing education. I went into the uncharted territory of my own consciousness for three years, one full weekend a month for nine months each year. The Master's Degree Program at the University of Santa Monica was not a training program for coaches, although you could use it as such. It doesn't talk about HOW to do a coaching session. It's not designed for that (which is good—it does MUCH more than that by teaching people the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology).
COACHES falling to the WAYSIDE
Hundreds of people are completing coaching certification programs weekly. Certification programs have become a huge business. HUGE.
These programs are missing something—something that makes hundreds of these new coaches fall to the WAYSIDE within one year of completing their certification.
ACS and the CFJ Coaching Success School are dedicated to teaching coaches how to build their businesses in real-time; not in theory, not in a two-day online course, not in one weekend, and not using any marketing, social media, or funnels.
Because we become better coaches when we become effective at building our practice.
Steve's school and mine are the only schools that teach business building through service, one meaningful conversation at a time.
New coaches are leaving coaching certification programs armed with some marketing ideas, some ideas around networking, and not a lot else.
Coaches are walking around in the world thinking that the best they can hope for is maybe making $20-30k a year. This is a conversation happening in the industry, coaches saying to other coaches, "This is a really hard profession to make more than $20-30k a year." Maybe some coaches say $50k.
I CALL BS (a new activity)
That is a lie.
Share this with every coach you know—it's a lie that you can't earn a strong income as a professional coach.
It's a lie that you need a social media presence and strategy.
It's a lie that you need a niche.
It's a lie that you need to have written a book.
It's a lie that you need to do marketing.
It's a lie that you need to go to networking events.
It's a lie that you need to charge by the hour.
It's a lie that there's a "going rate" and a "standard fee" that you should base your fees on.
It's a lie that it's not a good time to become a coach.
It's a lie that "there are too many coaches already."
It's a lie that you can make six figures in six weeks as a brand new coach.
It's a lie that other brand-new coaches are already earning twice as much as you.
It's a lie that this is a really hard profession to earn a living.
It's a lie that it's really easy to earn a living in this profession.
This is a profession where:
If you want to have a financially successful business you can, earning $80k, $90k, $100k, $150k and more.
You need to learn how to connect with people to grow your business.
Effort is required to grow a coaching business. People are not going to refer others to you to such an extent that this will fill your calendar at the beginning or in the middle.
More effort than you think will be required to create a strong coaching business. Your calendar is an indicator of whether your business is growing. If you do not have conversations with live people on your calendar regularly, your business will not grow.
Nobody is going to hire you because of your website or your Instagram feed.
You will be hired by someone because something has occurred for them when being with you, so much so that they become hopeful and see new possibilities in their lives.
You need to learn how to have enrollment conversations and how to invite people into conversations without seeming needy or creepy.
You need to learn how to communicate as a leader. This does not mean you will lose your feminine (if you are a woman), nor does it mean that you will be pushy or aggressive.
You need to learn how to slow down and let go of attachment to "getting a client." This doesn't equal inactivity. This is how you are being with people, not what you are doing.
You need to learn how to communicate your fees and how you work with ease.
You need to practice coaching and leading the close and learn how to not rush when someone seems interested.
You need a coach or a school that will teach you how to grow your business one person at a time or filling groups one group at a time.
Repeat—you need to be coached into growing your business by someone who has what you want.
Your training as a professional coach isn't done until you can say that you have a consistent track record of generating strong clients (not being referred people; you creating clients on your own) and not panicking when your income takes a dip. That your business consistently earns you the level of income you want to live the life you want, and you can turn the flame up or down depending on what you want.
This is the greatest profession on the planet. Don't become the coach who thinks, "This is too hard. It's not possible. Nobody can make a living at this."
It's not true. If you haven't put yourself in the hands of someone who can teach you and show you the ropes, who has a track record of helping coaches become strong business builders, you are cutting yourself off at the knees at not giving yourself a fair shot.
Don't believe the hype about this profession, and don't buy into the narrative that it's impossible and there are too many of us.
As the great Steve Chandler says, "There are 8 billion people on the planet—there are infinite clients."
With enthusiasm for coaches everywhere,