It’s easy to be seduced by the potential of a life coach business – especially when you see many life coaches making $300-500 per month from a single client.
With a dozen clients, you could be earning good money from home, or anywhere in the world, while transforming people’s lives.
But what does it take to succeed as a life coach?
Life Coach Business Growth
Before we jump into the traits of a successful life coach, let’s look at the status of the coaching industry.
There seems to be a never-ending supply of clients out there. According to IBISWorld, the life coaching industry is now worth $1bn in the US alone.
There has never been a better time to start a life coach business and help a growing number of people improve their lives.
At least, that’s the dream we’ve been sold.
But when you attend the seminars, read the forums, or join the Facebook groups, you discover that most life coaches are struggling to earn a decent living or attract new clients.
To understand why, you need to see the bigger picture.
Life coaching is one of those dream businesses — it requires no start up capital, no formal qualifications or certificates, and in most cases, no physical office space or equipment.
Which also means there’s a low barrier to entry. Everyone from your Auntie to the postman can start a life coach business.
And they are. There are now 18,267 registered life coaches in the US. That’s a ton of competition, before you’ve even begun.
And if that doesn’t discourage you, for many life coaches, the real reason behind their failure isn’t the competition… it’s when they realize, deep down, they’re not cut out to be a life coach.
The Traits Of A Successful Life Coach
Aspiring life coaches are seduced by the money and the lifestyle, and the idea that if you’re passionate, you’re all set.
But like any profession, it’s not enough to be “passionate” about helping people. And it’s not even enough to be well trained in the tactics, methods and principles of coaching people.
Successful life coaches have a unique advantage beyond these basic requirements. They have 7 traits that allow them to truly change their clients’ lives for the better.
Time and time again, I’ve seen these same 7 characteristics in every successful life coach. Do you have them? Let’s see…
Trait # 1 — Be In Love With Helping Others
Running a life coach business is hard work. Besides helping your clients, you must maintain an online presence, market your services, look after administration details, and stay up to date with coaching trends and techniques.
Your passion must be so deep that you can calmly and patiently support your clients, perhaps for months or years. While also seeing to the other parts of your business.
One way to find passion as a life coach is to help people through problems you’ve personally overcome and achieve goals you’ve already achieved. This allows you to resonate with clients on a deeper level — and deliver coaching from a position of passion.
Trait # 2 — Be A World Class Listener
Next, you must master the art of active listening. Whether it’s a subtle facial expression, a certain choice of words, or even something your client isn’t telling you — your ability to listen carefully, read body language and use your intuition will help you transform people’s lives.
Active listening isn’t just about hearing the words. You need to focus 100% on your clients and discover the meaning behind their words. Here’s a hint… if you’re busy thinking about your next question, you’re not actively listening.
Another important part of active listening is to playback what you hear. Let your client know that you understand them and their deepest struggles or dreams. Everyone wants to be heard.
Trait # 3 — Be A Tough Lover
It’s tempting to wrap clients in cotton wool, encourage every idea or dream they have, or gloss over fear and problems. But in the long run, this hurts your client, and your own credibility and results.
Being a good life coach isn’t about becoming a friend who provides unconditional love. It’s about being a trusted guide. And to be the trusted shepherd, you must let your clients know when they’re in danger. Call them out on things which are distracting them from their goals and dreams.
Above all, don’t be afraid to help them confront their deepest fears. Offer the tough love and caring guidance they need in their lives right now.
Trait # 4 — Be A Skill Scout
If you can’t see the strengths and skills your client possesses, how will you enable them to see it for themselves, and then use those assets to get what they want from life?
No two clients are the same. And it’s critical that you’re able to uncover your client’s unique set of skills and strengths to achieve the goals they’ve set. When we tap into our strengths we create great work and fulfil our purpose. It’s your job to help your clients discover and use their super powers.
Trait # 5 — Be A Ray Of Light
Imagine you’re sitting down for a 3-course meal at a Michelin star restaurant. The waiter brings your appetizer out, while gazing into the distance. Not a smile to be seen. He slams the plate of food on the table with a cursory “Enjoy” before he walks away.
Your clients will know if you aren’t passionate about what you do. When a client comes to you as a life coach, they need to know that you’re feeling positive about life — that you walk the walk, and that your smile is real. Don’t be the half-hearted waiter in the upmarket restaurant.
Trait # 6 — Be Understanding
Perhaps the most critical characteristic of a successful life coach is your ability to empathize with your clients. You must understand why they feel the way they feel, why they make the decisions they’ve been making, and how their life looks through their eyes.
A strong bond and complete trust are essential components of the client-coach relationship. And it’s through empathy that you build the kind of deep relationships that lead to life-changing results.
Trait # 7 — Be A Business Person
Far too many life coaches don’t treat this as a real business. They don’t improve their skills, organize their work environment, learn how to market, or treat their clients professionally (often blurring the lines between friendship and client.)
You may be working from home, but you’re a legitimate business, and you need to start thinking and acting like one. This is essential if you want to raise your profile, command respect from potential clients, increase your rates, and succeed among the hoards of other life coaches.
What’s Stopping You?
If you have these 7 traits, and you have a genuine passion to improve people’s lives — no matter what or how long it takes — then life coaching could be your true calling.
And if you’re missing one or two of these characteristics, here’s the good news… these traits can all be learned. It just takes commitment and practice, practice, practice.
So why wait? Now is your chance to start living a more fulfilling life, doing work you love, helping people you care about, and earning money from home.
If you’d like to learn more about how to start a life coach business – including how to pick a profitable niche, where to find your dream clients, and why life coaching is the ideal work-from-home business for you – check out my book Make Money As A Life Coach below.