School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

Thomas Leonard and Professional Coaching: Ten Years Later

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thomas Leonard RIP

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Thomas Leonard, the Founder of the Coaching Profession. Nostalgic coaches everywhere are marking this day in whatever ways are meaningful to them. (Here's a Facebook group that's giving away free coaching, today only.)

If you missed knowing Thomas, well you missed the man who inspired a profession that is still one of the highest paid and fastest growing in the world. No small accomplishment for a man who died suddenly of a heart attack at only 47.

Here's what you don't usually hear about Thomas: he was a genius marketer. He could even write a sales page (You know, those awful web pages with yellow highlighting that try get you to buy stuff) that you'd read to the very end, even when you knew you weren't going to buy the product, because his writing inspired and enlightened you instead making you want to commit harakiri.

So the next time you find yourself saying, I wish I could just coach without all the marketing and sales, consider upgrading, instead.

Thomas called coaching, "advanced communication skills", which is what great marketing is, anyway. Today, I don't find many coaches who remind me of Thomas, but some great marketers do. (Here are two marketers who elevate marketing to advanced communication: Seth Godin and Chris Brogan.)

I pay homage to Thomas pretty much everyday, by taking what I learned from him at his two coaching schools and always looking at what the next step needs to be in the profession and if I think I can create it, I do. Such as taking his brilliant Values- and Needs-based coaching and integrating it with Strengths-based coaching to get the full picture.

Years ago, I discovered the rough draft of Thomas' bestselling book, The Portable Coach, on the web via the Wayback Machine, which Thomas offered to the world to use freely. It's a detailed account of his 28 Principles of Attraction (not to be confused with the Law of Attraction). I took what he wrote verbatim, typos and all, and split it into 10 weekly, easy-to-digest ecourse lessons that show up in your inbox. It is, of course, free.

Want to become irresistably attractive to the best people and opportunities? Thomas will teach you for free:

Get Thomas' 28 Principles of Attraction Free eCourse

Topics: professional coaching, Facebook, Thomas Leonard, Law of Attraction, coaching schools

Why Online Coach Training is Better Than In-Person Coach Training

Posted by Julia Stewart

Online Coach TrainingIf you're thinking about becoming a coach, then you're probably wondering whether you should get online coach training or in-person business and life coach training.

It's an incredibly important issue for you, because it impacts your career, your passion and your ability to make a great living. So be sure to get this right.

I may be biased, but I've experienced coach training in virtually every possible format, so I have a useful perspective to share with you and I've concluded that online coach training is best for the following reasons...

REASON #1: MONEY. Most professional coaches-to-be are concerned about the money they spend on coach training and rightly so. However, ultimately you also need to be concerned with your Return On Investment (ROI), which refers to how much more money you'll make as a coach and how soon. Because depending on your training, your life coach salary could range from zero to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. That's huge.

In person coach training almost always involves travel and lodging costs in addition to the training itself. And because hotels and classrooms are expensive for coaching schools, in-person coach training almost always carries higher tuition costs, as well, sometimes as much as $20,000 or more.

Plus, in-person business and life coach training tends to be offered in short workshops and seminars, that last as little as a weekend or even one day. The event itself may be great, but if you've ever gone to a seminar, workshop or conference, learned fabulous new stuff and were certain that it would change your life - only to go home and find yourself living your same old life one week later, then you understand the 'extinction principle' which says that even great training wears off massively if not followed by systems and environments that support change. Which means your $20,000 coach training may leave you inspired, but with no viable coaching business. That's bad ROI.

By contrast, online coach training usually costs less, involves no travel, time off from work, lodging costs, traffic jams or other delays. Just show up for class from where ever you are. And since online coach training is usually ongoing, you'll have supportive systems and structures to help you succeed, built right into the process. You're likely to spend less on training, start making money as a coach sooner and make more money overall. That's great ROI.

REASON #2: TIME. I just touched on time, above, but here are some more time-related issues to think about: While it's important to optimize your training time, your brain will absorb what you learn better and you'll learn to apply what you learn more quickly if you spend a couple of hours per week in class and then apply your lessons to your own coaching business during the week.

It would be great if you could just go to a weekend seminar and walk out ready to be a successful coach, but as a smart savvy person, you know transforming your life means changing a myriad of old habits to new ones. That takes time.

A few dedicated learning hours per week, stretched out over a couple of months - or even a couple of years - will allow you to take what you've learned and begin applying it in your life and business, especially when your coaching school includes reinforcing structures, such as study groups, mentor coaching, online forums, and most of all, live online classes with homework. (By the way, that's exactly how effective business and life coaching works: you have a live conversation with a client, who experiences life-changing insights with you. Then they go out and apply those insights to their life or business and report the results to you. Rinse and repeat.)

As Aristotle said, “We are what we habitually do. Excellence then is a habit, not an act.”

REASON #3: LEARNING. I mentioned the learning issue above, but here's a deeper look at that. Most folks assume the they will learn more in in-person training, but that's usually because they haven't experienced high-quality distance learning. I'm not talking about turning in written papers online and I'm not talking about audio CDs and MP3s. While those can be helpful adjunct tools for training, nothing beats live, conversational classes for learning coaching. Let's face it: coaching is live in-the-moment conversations, followed by strategic action. That's what effective coach training is, as well.

I'm also not talking about teleclasses, which are still a popular training format in some of the older coaching schools. And I'm not talking about standard webinars, which usually involved little or no conversation in a class. Today's technology allows us to do everything in what I call a 'tele-webinar' that we can do in person, except shake hands (or get stuck in traffic).

Tele-webinar training is perfect for learning business and life coaching, because it allows you to join from anywhere, using your iPad, computer, and/or telephone; and have a highly interactive conversational class that allows you to learn in whatever learning style works best for you: audio learning, visual (in the form of slides, live demos, co-browsing, videos, etc.), questions and answers, live practice and feedback, downloading materials before, during or after class, move your body, take notes, take an instant test, go out and apply it along with class colleagues, whatever learning strategy works best for you. Little by little, you learn new habits of excellence and get inspired by your own, and your classmates' successes. Together, you succeed.

If you'd like to get started learning to be a successful coach and get life coach certification quickly, using the tele-webinar format, try Coaching Groundwork Advanced.

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Topics: business coach, coach training, life coach salary, ENVIRONMENT, coaching schools, teleclass, Life Coaching, how to become a coach, In-person coach training, online coach training

10% of Coaching Schools Go Out of Business Every Year

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching schoolsThe Sherpa Executive Coaching Summary, a large-scale annual survey on the state of executive, life and business coaching, was just released yesterday, with a startling statistic that 10% of all coaching schools worldwide go out of business every year - every year.

I've heard this statistic tossed about in reference to specific years, but now it's becoming an annual trend? This flies in the face of an old coaching myth, that the real money is in coach training, not coaching. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Why are coaching schools going out of business when the profession of coaching is still growing?

1. One theory is that there are too many coaching schools. As Donna Steinhorn mentioned in her recent The Truth About Coach Training post, 10-12 years ago, there were only a few coach training schools, but now there are well over 100 coaching schools, worldwide. Sherpa says there are actually over 300 coach training schools in the world. In fact, peer.ca, which tries to compile all the coach training schools worldwide, lists 508, as of today.

That means around 50 coaching schools will go out of business this year. Will one of them be yours?

2. Another theory is that many professional coaches, believing the myth that 'the real money is in coach training', started coaching schools when their businesses were challenged recently during Depression 2.0. If that's the case, I'm guessing most of them have/will go out of business, because it is actually much more expensive and time-consuming to run a quality coach training business than it is to run a coaching business.

Personally, I made more money per hour as 'just a coach' than I do running School of Coaching Mastery. Education, done well, is labor-intensive and labor is expensive.

Why do I do it? SCM is a labor of love for me. I have a vision of one million master coaches worldwide and I'm just getting started.

3. Another theory of why 10% of coach training schools go out of business, is that coach training has become a commodity. There is so much competition that schools are competing on price, rather that value. This was further supported by the incredibly high unemployment rates of the past few years, when people were desperately trying to start coaching businesses with little or no money.

When money is extremely tight, unlikely promises, such as the promise of one coaching school mentioned by Sherpa, that you can 'Become a Certified Professional Life Coach in Just 16 Hours' for $397 or $497, or whatever the price du jour is, become alluringly tempting. If such a school also brags about their 3000 successful graduates, you have to wonder about their criteria for 'success'. I've talked to quite a few 'graduates' of these 2-week wonders (because eventually they realize they need more training and contact me) and not one of them has told me they ever got a single paying client.

So in the race to the bottom, some schools, even the huge schools that were founded in the mid-nineties, have become less profitable. And if you're not in it for love, you'll get out if there's not much profit.

School of Coaching Mastery is about to turn five years old in March. We've weathered Depression 2.0 and our international Ultimate Coach Training coach-students are spreading their masterful coaching skills to thousands of grateful (paying) clients. 

I wouldn't close this coaching school for anything. I've got too much work to do to get those one million master coaches out there changing the world for the better.

What do you think? Do 10% of all coach training schools really go out of business each year? Why or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, below.

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Topics: Coaching, executive coaching, coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, free coach training, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, coach training schools, coaching schools, economic downturn

The Truth About Coach Training

Posted by Donna Steinhorn

Coach TrainingIn 2008 Donna Steinhorn and Julia Stewart led a teleclass series on The Big Fat Lies That Coaches Cling To. The following article, written by Donna, is an adaptation from one of those teleclasses...

When Julia and I started out coaching, it was pretty easy to decide about coaching schools since there were only a few to choose from.  And for the most part, the handful of coach training schools were all ICF accredited and the only certification in town was the ICFs.  So basically the decision came down to live training or teleclass training. 
 
But times have changed.  Today there are over 100 coaching programs.  6 month programs and two year programs.  Accredited programs and programs without accreditation.  Certification programs through universities.  Live training, Teleclass training, hybrid versions, CD versions.  There are programs specifically for therapists transitioning to coaching, Christian Coaches.  Peer coaches.  Corporate coaching training, business coach training, life coaching training….and the list goes on.  The same is true for certifications.  There are the “independent” credentialing bodies of the IAC and the ICF.  The schools who credential their coaches…the certification courses.  
 
Lie: I need to have a coaching certification….Having letters of certification after my name assures potential clients of my expertise.


Truth: Clients have no idea what any of the letters after coaches' names are.  Unlike JD or MD, or PhD, there are hundreds of different designations and other than coaches, not many clients know what an ACC, PCC, MCC or IAC-CC are.  Nor for the most part do they care.  Now that is beginning to change as our profession matures, and a few universities have begun to create degreed curriculum in coaching.  But for now, most of the university programs are certificate programs, and even the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at Penn State is not actually a university accredited program.
 
On the other hand, there are increasingly more corporations and companies that are looking for credentialed coaches.  Some don’t really care what kind of certification that is, while others do actually seek an ICF credentialed coach, so if you are a corporate coach, you will want a credential.  

And the truth is, as the coaching profession continues to mature, I believe credentials will become increasingly more important.  The question remains, which credential will that be?  Right now, the ICF has been around longer, but there are some who point to the fact that in order to become an ICF credentialed coach, you have to attend an ICF accredited school, and be mentored by an ICF credentialed coach.  They question how truly independent that makes the ICF.
 
The IAC is still in it’s infancy, but since they do not accredit schools, they have a greater degree of independence when it comes to their credentialing process.  And of course, as the universities build out their coaching curriculum, there is always the possibility that a uniform credential will come out of that, but only time will tell.
 
Next, let’s address a very popular lie... 

Lie: You need to finish your coach training and be certified before you can coach

Truth:  Not only do you not have to be certified before you begin coaching, but in the case of the ICF, you must verify hours coaching in order to achieve any of the certifications, and in the case of the IAC, you're more likely to pass if you have had a good deal of coaching experience.
 
Now I’m not saying that with no coach training you should hang out your shingle as a coach.  It’s best to have some core training under your belt, to have experienced coaching yourself with a qualified coach --not a buddy coach --(I’m always astonished at people who want to be coaches but don’t see the value of coaching for themselves??) and to have had some practicum experience, coaching and being coached while be observed by a credible mentor coach.
 
By way of illustration, I’ve taught and mentored hundreds of coaches, and talked with hundreds more.  I’ve conducted practicums, certified coaches, and listened to hundreds or hours of coaches coaching.  And I have to tell you, there’s good coaching, great coaching, and quite a bit of bad coaching out there.  And more often than not the bad coaching came from folks who have not taken any coach training nor experienced coaching themselves.
 
Lie: I don't need coach training to pass IAC certification.   

Truth: Although it's true that a tiny percentage of applicants have passed one or both steps for IAC certification with little or no training, the vast majority of IAC certified coaches have had extensive training or mentoring that enabled them to get certification.
 
The question of whether or not you need coach training also comes up in another way…

Lie: If I have an allied degree, in counseling or social work, or organization development, I don't need coach training.   

Truth: You may or you may not.  Coaching, while using some of the skills you may already have, is a different skill set, and taking specific coach training is the best way to ensure that you are providing coaching and not something else.  I have had several clients who were helping professionals who were transitioning into coaching. They could tell you that there was a definite distinction between coaching and therapy or counseling, and until they took coach training, they often strayed between the two.
 
Lie: All coach training is created equal.  

Truth: Of course, that's not the case.  It's important to check the reputation of the program you want to attend. To know what the curriculum will cover; who will be doing the teaching; whether the school focuses on skills, marketing, spirituality, business or more; how the coursework is delivered, and what is expected of you? Whether the school philosophy is aligned with your own.   

And while we are talking about schools, let’s address a lie that I’m often asked when people are looking at coach training, and particularly looking to find a cheaper alternative to a coaching school….

Lie: You can learn everything you need from recorded or written coach training materials.


Truth:  You can learn a great deal from recordings and written materials, but ultimately it's live coaching skills practice and classes where you interact with the teachers and students who can ask the questions you didn't know to ask, that will benefit you the most.

Coaching is a profession. The definition of a profession is:  "A paid occupation, esp. one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification."  If we are to continue to grow and become part of the mainstream of helping professionals, we must align ourselves with that definition.
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Topics: business coach, mentor coach, ICF, Coach Certification, IAC Certified Coach, IAC Certification, certified coaches, coaching schools, coaching skills, teleclass, Life Coaching, IAC

Why We Decided to Become IAC Licensed AGAIN

Posted by Julia Stewart

IAC Coaching Masteries Authorized LicenseeIf you follow this blog, you know I had a beef last summer with the IAC over a number of changes that they made with the organization. It was looking less and less like the organization that I’ve enthusiastically supported since it was nothing more than a gleam in Thomas Leonard’s eye, nearly ten years ago.

I concluded that IAC Licensing just didn’t offer enough value for my school or my students, for us to associate with it exclusively. And there are so many other organizations doing great work, why align ourselves with just one?

Since there are pros and cons with each organization, I want to give our students clarity and a choice. I’ve been carefully reviewing many organizations that approve or accredit schools and I want to be sure that whatever we offer, will clearly give coaches an edge and not just overwhelm them with conflicting information.

In the meantime, we have an awesome track record helping coaches get certified by the IAC. 100% of our students pass the IAC Step 1 Online Exam. It’s tough, but we’ve cracked the code.

The IAC says they only pass 25% of all applicants for Step 2 of IAC Certification. That’s makes it a killer test. So far, 75% of our students are passing Step 2 on the first try. That means our coaching students have a three times greater chance of passing than others. I’m proud of that and I bet we can do even better.

So why not continue to make our IAC curriculum available? So we’ve signed up for a limited license to teach our IAC curriculum to not more than 20 coaches each year. Coaches have to ‘declare’ their intention to be certified in a given year by the IAC, if they want access to our IAC training.

Another thing that softened my attitude toward the IAC is that they are making changes to their licensing contracts. They will begin screening new schools that apply for licensing. Schools that don’t have IAC-CC’s on staff will only be licensed to train ‘IAC Practitioners’ and the new IAC website will make it clear which schools are qualified to train Certified Coaches.

The profession of coaching is evolving. Credible coaches and coaching organizations have to become even more credible just to distinguish themselves from the scammers. Expect more growing pains as coaching moves from the purely entrepreneurial side of the slate to the more professional side.

By the way, in honor of our renewed alliance with the IAC, we’re adding considerably more to our Certified Coach Training Program, including our new Master Coach Training, plus Certification Bootcamp courses and Master What the Certifiers Are Looking For courses. I want to see 100% of our students who apply for IAC Certified, pass Step 2 and become Certified Coaches.

The bad news is that we will also be raising the CCTP tuition to $3995.00 at the end of February.

IAC Certified CoachGo here to check out our IAC Certified Coach resources.

Topics: IAC-CC, IAC Certified Coach, IAC Coaching Masteries, IAC Certification, Become a Certified Coach, Certified Coach Training, certified coaches, coaching schools, IAC

Coaching Trends & the Future of Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Future of Coaching

 

What’s on the horizon for the profession of coaching?

 

 Let’s look at today’s trends and then imagine the implications…

TREND: With high unemployment expected to continue at least throughout this year, thousands continue to enter this high-growth field

TREND: Coaching skills are becoming wide-spread amongst workers who manage others

TREND: Coaching horror stories are on the rise

TREND: Hundreds if not thousands of privately-own training schools are forming

TREND: However, coach training is increasingly found in universities, instead of privately owned coach training schools

TREND: Webinar training tools, video chat and other distance-learning and communications systems are evolving and improving

TREND: Scientific Research on coaching is on the rise, proving a scientific basis for coaching results

TREND: Psychology and psychotherapy industries are encroaching on the field of coaching

TREND: Neuroscience may be over-taking psychology as a primary resource of information on how the mind works

TREND: The number of coaching professional organizations and certifications that claim to be the ‘best’ continues to increase

TREND: Movements are afoot around the world to regulate life coaching and other forms of professional coaching

 

If current trends in coaching continue, what is likely to happen in…

 

10 years:

Coaching Growth: The number of new professional coaches swelling the ranks will continue to balloon until unemployment rates come down. The number of professional coaches will level off over time, with a less-prepared, less-motivated coaches dropping out, due to increased competition.

Coaching reach: Coaching will no longer be considered exotic or only for the rich and famous. It will be as common as personal training is today. In addition, non-professional coaches will exist throughout society and many people will experience the benefits of coaching from childhood onward.

Coaching delivery: Technology will provide coaches with excellent options for coaching their clients internationally, but local in-person connections will continue to be important, as technology continues to integrate online with offline. Coaching in corporate settings may continue to be delivered primarily person-to-person, but elsewhere will be likely to be delivered via computers, smart phones and other mobile devices.

Coaching fees: Coaching fees have traditionally been sky-high since coaching’s inception. Fees will level off, with a furthering split between a relatively small group of elite coaches, who deliver high-end, high-paid coaching, and a much larger group of coaches who offer much lower-paid services to middle- and low-income clients.

Coaching regulation: Professional coaching will be regulated in several countries, with many more in the process of developing regulations. These regulations will require coach-specific training, certification and/or college degrees, as well as adherence to standardized codes of ethics as requirements for coaches who coach for pay.

Coach training: Coach training via teleseminar or teleclass will go the way of the buggy whip. Most privately owned coaching schools will go out of business, leaving a handful of coach training schools that are either accredited as colleges, are aligned with universities, or that have developed outstanding reputations in professional training. The rest won’t be able to attract coaching students. Coach training will be delivered via multi-media distance learning or live and in person in universities and hotel conference rooms. As universities take over the job of educating coaches, the cost of coach training will skyrocket (Ex: Currently Penn State University offers the Master of Applied Positive Psychology for Life Coaches, at a cost of $47,000 for one year of training.)

Certifications and degrees: Consumers will commonly be aware of coaching horror stories and will know not to work with uncertified coaches. There will be no single one certification, whether from a not-for-profit organization, or from a school, that dominates or is preferred – this will lead to further confusion amongst those who hire coaches, as well as those who want to become coaches. Newer coaches will have coaching-related degrees or certificates from accredited colleges and universities. Older coaches, those with 5-25 years of coaching experience, but not the newer certifications and degress, will survive only if they have excellent reputations as effective coaches.

 

20 years:

Coaching will be a mature profession that continues to evolve. Virtually all professional coaches will be university trained and coaching regulation will be the norm. People will expect much more of professional coaches, partly because amateur coaches will be everywhere and partly because the dramatic transformations that occur with expensive, high-quality coaching will be expected, not just hoped for.

More dramatically, as a result of coaching's growth, society will evolve, with more people living values-driven lives. People will upgrade their expectations of life and will find creative ways to satisfy their new standards. Non-professional coaches will exist everywhere in society and many people will relate to one another with a ‘coach approach’. It will become common for people to be coached at every stage of life. What is considered masterful coaching today will be considered average professional coaching.

 

30 years:

Society will continue to transform due to the effects of coaching and coaching will be a highly respected profession. Excellent professional coaches will continue to earn high fees, but professional coaching will be regulated virtually everywhere. In addition, people throughout society will be coaching for free. Since coaching can be used for ‘evil’, there will be both positive and negative effects, but the awareness that comes from coaching and being coached will make it harder to manipulate groups of people. Far more will be expected and required from politicians, business leaders, teachers and other leaders. Individuals will live their lives more courageously and having a coach to partner through important transitions, will be considered an absolute necessity, which means virtually everyone will have a coach.

 

What do these coaching trends mean to you, the new coach?

 

  1. The future looks extremely bright for the cream of the crop. If you plan to be a professional coach and you want to be well paid, do whatever it takes to distinguish yourself as one of the best.
  2. If you want to stand out quickly, take advantage of this small window of time to study with a privately-held school that will help put you head and shoulders above this increasingly crowded field. If you can afford to spend $50,000 on your training and there is a good-quality university coach training program that will actually teach you to coach consider it. Because currently most universities teach about positive psychology, leadership and other related fields, but neglect the skills and philosophies that make for great coaching and for coaching success.
  3. Get at least one coach certification from a not-for-profit organization, such as the ICF or IAC. Consider getting more than one such certification, since that may soon be a requirement for practicing coaching where you live and it’s impossible to predict which current organization, if any, will prevail.
  4. Continue to upgrade your knowledge and skills throughout your career. It will help you succeed, earn high fees, and it’ll help you stay in business when regulations occurs.
 

School of Coaching Mastery helps coaches get the skills and certifications they need to prevail now and well into the future.

Check out coach training now

 

Check out the Ultimate Coach Training Program now.

Topics: coach training, coaching success, ICF, Coach Certification, coaching schools, get certified, coach training program, coaching career, IAC, coach training school, experienced coaches

How to Become a Certified Coach Free Course

Posted by Julia Stewart

Certified CoachIf you're a professional business or life coach who is considering coach certification, you're not alone.

One of the biggest trends in coaching, in 2009, is that veteran coaches are finding for the first time that they need coach certification. For years, prospective clients and employers didn't even ask about it, but that has changed. However, if you've been coaching professionally for a while, you don't want to go back to the very beginning and start your coach training at an accredited coaching school.

And you really don't want one of those embarrassing fly-by-night certifications

So what are your options? That's what our free 4-hour mini-course on how to become a certified coach is all about. It's led by SCM President, Julia Stewart, IAC-CC. It'll cover some of the pros and cons of various certifications, plus it'll hook you up with some valuable resources that can help you get there faster. 

The 'How to Become a Certified Coach' course is taught live via webinar (or you can just access it by phone) on two separate days. Each class is a total of 2-hours long, broken down into 90 minutes of instruction, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.

You'll come away with clarity, tools and a path to success. It may not take you as long as you might think to qualify for a respected coach certification.

Click here to register for the next free, "How to Become a Certified Coach" mini-course

Topics: ICF, becoming a certified coach, IAC Certified Coach, Become a Certified Coach, How to Become a Certified Coach, Life coaching school accreditation, coaching schools, get certified, IAC, certified coach

How to Become a Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Confident CoachThere's never been a better time to become a business or life coach.

There's also never been a more confusing time to become a coach! It used to be that you could rely on the better coaching schools and professional associations to provide solid information on how to become a coach and that is still true.

But these days, "black hat coaching schools" are buying website addresses that sound like well-known coach training schools and coach certifying organizations and passing themselves off as the the real thing. How do you know who to believe?

Add that to competitive marketing among the hundreds of legitimate coach training schools, plus the lack of universal standards in the coaching profession and the new coach is often confused, at best, and paralyzed with uncertainty, at worst. Confusion and paralysis are the enemies of success!

Get clarity, confidence and the information you need, without all the hype and distractions.

I designed the "How to Become a Coach" mini-course for people who are considering becoming professional business or life coaches and need clarity in order to make the best decision. If that's you, then I invite you to join us. (Don't worry, School of Coaching Mastery isn't a fit for every coach, so I won't twist your arm to become a member.)

This 4-hour "How to Become a Coach" course is free and meets in two 2-hour virtual classes. You'll attend our unique eClass system, which combines the best of teleconference classes with the best of webinar training. You can do everything in our virtual classes that you can do in a live class (except get stuck in traffic on the way).

Get answers to questions like these:

  • How can I start attracting clients quickly?
  • What do I really need to get started as a coach?
  • What can I charge?
  • How soon can I make a living?
  • How do I know what niche or specialty to offer?
  • Do I really need coach training?
  • How long will it take me to become a masterful coach?
  • How do I know which coaching websites are legitimate?
  • Do I need coach certification? Which one?
  • Should I have my own coach?
  • What are my next steps?

You'll leave with clarity, a plan of action, a path and your next steps.

Find out when the next course is and register for How to Become a Coach.

Topics: coach training, become a life coach, become a coach, become a business coach, webinar, becoming a certified coach, coach training schools, coaching schools, how to become a coach

6 Reasons to Run Screaming From a Coach Training School

Posted by Julia Stewart

Red Flag Coaching schools are businesses and sometimes over-state what you, the coaching student will experience, if you join them.

And although most coaching schools are honorable, there is probably no school that can give you everything you want exactly how and when you want it.

Coaching is all about personal responsibility, so if you look at getting what you want as your responsibility (Or at least your shared responsibility), you can always find ways to work with a good coaching school that will leave you saying, I'm so glad I started my coaching career by attending XYZ Coaching School. 

That said, there are some big red flags to watch for when choosing the school where you get your coach training and it's your responsibility to check them out. Here are a few:



 
Red FlagDon’t think for a minute that you can learn everything you need to succeed as a coach in one weekend or in a few hours or days, or even two weeks, no matter how intensive the program. Shy away from promises like these. Short training programs rely on 'systems', 'formulas' or 'templates' that only work in very limited circumstances and are useless in the real world of coaching. Most comprehensive coach training programs take about 2 years to complete. However, you can start attracting paying clients even before you graduate or get certified.

Red Flag

      Think twice about a coaching school that paints a too-good-to-be-true picture of what your coaching business will be like in the first few months. If you want to work part time, make hundreds of dollars per hour, take several weeks of vacation per year, only work when you want to and still make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, this is indeed possible, but you must work up to it and it doesn’t happen for every coach. Expect to develop your ideal coaching business over time and commit yourself to actively creating it. The best school for you will assist you in succeeding with comprehensive tools that meet your needs.

                                                                                                                                                                 Red FlagMoney-back guarantees sound great, but they can be a bad deal for the coach/student, because they give a false impression that you have nothing to lose. The wrong school for you will get in the way of your success and can cost you far more than the price of tuition. Most reputable schools will expect a strong commitment from you to your own success, which you demonstrate with your willingness to invest in yourself. Because nobody really wants their money back from their coaching school. What they want is a successful coaching business, as quickly as possible. Look for a school that will give you a “value back” promise, which simply states that they will do everything they can to assist your success, as long as you are committed and trying your best.

     Red Flag Coaching SchoolRun away fast from any coaching school that promises you'll make a six figure income in a year or less. What you earn as a coach is ultimately up to you, so any school that offers a dollar amount it pulling that number out of thin air.

                                                                                                                                                           Red Flag            

Watch out for the coaching school that feels overly “slick” or commercial. Some of them are. Look for a commitment to quality and a willingness to give you what you need, not a prefab learning structure that forces you into a model or mold that may not fit for you.

Black Hat

Run like crazy from "Black Hat" coaching schools. These "fly by night" companies may have internet addresses that look and sound like reputable coach training schools or professional coach certifying organizations. In some cases, they may use "black hat" practices, such as buying links or email lists (SPAM) to promote their companies quickly. Google often identifies and shuts down black hatters on the internet in a matter of months, so a "red flag" that you're dealing with a "black hat" is that their URL (online address) is less than a year old and/or it's set to expire in a year or less.

The internet empowers those who use it.

 

Look up the URL of your school at a domain registrar, like GoDaddy.com and check the "Who Is" info for it, to find out how long the domain is registered. You can investigate further by Googling the name of the contact person in the registration. Look for evidence that they have been in the coaching business at least for several years. Note whether they are mentioned in lawsuits on the internet.

Use the "search" functions at Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and look for the profiles of the school, the owner, or the contact person associated with the domain registration. Also look for current and former students on social networking sites, such as these, and find out if they are happy with their schools. Even a few minutes' investigation can be very enlightening.

Last but not least, check the school's own site for evidence that the owners and instructors are qualified to teach professional coaching skills. Just because they have experience teaching something else, doesn't mean they know how to teach you to be a successful professional business or life coach. 

There are plenty of good coach-training schools, so you can avoid the both the red flags and the black hats. If you'd like more informations, plus a table that compares several of the better schools...

Become a Coach eBook  Download the free Become a Coach! eBook. 

Red Flag photo by archeoastronomia. Black Hat graphic by Joe Shlabotnik. Both from Flickr Creative Commons.

 

 

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Topics: coaching business, coach training, Coach Training Programs, coach training schools, coaching schools, coach training school, money-back guarantee, black hat

How to Get Coaching from the Universe in Three Steps

Posted by Julia Stewart

LabyrinthEach year, on Good Friday, The Center for Spiritual Living in St. Louis, spreads a huge canvas with a labyrinth printed on it (See photo at right, by Aperte at Flickr Commons) on the floor of their hall.

Last year, I walked it for the first time, and followed The Center's directions by setting an intention before I began. I didn't know I needed an intention before hand, so I hastily scribbled a quick intention on a slip of paper.

My intention was that my then, one-year old coaching school, would introduce coaching skills to at least 100 people within the year. That might not sound like a big goal, but we are not one of those giant coaching schools. In fact, I was still our only coaching instructor, at that time (now we have two more).

Walking the labyrinth has three distinct steps:

  1. Enter the sacred space with a question in mind.
  2. Open your mind to the infinite to receive instructions.
  3. Feel gratitude for the divine gift downloaded to you.

My question in that sacred space way, 'How could I introduce coaching to 100 more people this year?' The answer came immediately: Offer our new coach training course for free. No problem; I was ready to do it.

Then a more nuanced instruction came: "Why not ask each participant to make a contribution to a good charity?" I could immediately see the added value. "Free" is ubiquitous on the internet, but as attractive as free stuff is, the added fulfillment of giving was both unique and a huge upgrade. 

As a result of that inspiration, I've offered our signature coaching skills course, Coaching Groundwork three times, each for the different charity including,  The Campaign for Tibet, The Hunger Site, and Habitat for Humanity. I've also tithed back to the Center for Spiritual Living.

This year, I set a much larger and more detailed intention: 250 new students, 100 Certified Mastery Coaches, more instructors and a rather large amount of money earned by the school. 

As I drove away from the Center today, it occurred to me that I more than reached last year's goal, despite the economy. It didn't always show up the way I thought it should or when I thought it should, but it absolutely manifested. I'm equally certain that my intentions for this year are already coming true. 

The Universe is a wonderful coach. To find a labyrinth in your community, do an online search for New Thought Churches, such as Science of Mind and Unity.

 

Topics: Coaching, coaching school, coach training, Coaching Groundwork, coach, coaching schools, Center for Spiritual Living

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