I Want To Be A Life Coach

When I was growing up I wanted to be an astronaut.

I wanted it so bad that my parents bought me a white all-in-one suit with the NASA logo printed on it, some big clunky boots, a broad blue belt and a really cool bubble helmet that looked just like one the real astronauts wore.

In retrospect, I doubt it would have kept me alive under zero oxygen conditions, but for a 5 year-old more intent on defeating evil lunar-dwelling creatures than reality, it did the job.

As I got older I realized that becoming an astronaut may technically be possible, but it was highly unlikely. And I really shouldn’t base my future on its likelihood, no matter how cool the helmets were. 

After all, I couldn’t really afford to build my own spacecraft. At least not one that would withstand the rigors of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

And as a Brit, the likelihood that NASA were going to admit me to their space program after leaving school at 15 without coming within the same zip code of a degree, were slimmer than a quark on a diet.

I Want To Be A Life Coach

Lats weekend I received an e-mail asking for free Life Coach training.

This is not unusual. I had 4 in the space of that particular 72 hour period, and I probably get on average 5 per week if you include requests for free Life Coaching too.

I even say yes on occasions and have even mentored people for months on end, although my criteria are so strict and so precise (as well as being secret!) that most requests get turned down fairly easily.

This one struck me as unusual however because of one line in the e-mail saying something along the lines that the person didn’t even have $5 to invest in training.

I responded by asking if they didn’t have $5 to invest in training, how could they run a Life Coaching business?

It was a genuine question, but alas, one that as of now I haven’t had a response to.

Talk Is Cheap – Unless You’re A Late Night TV Host

It’s dead easy to shoot off a few e-mails to coaches who you’d like free help from saying Life Coaching is your calling and it’s what you were put on this earth for.

It’s quite another to demonstrate that.

Two or three years ago I put up some free Life Coaching over at A Daring Adventure.

In the original post I told a story about the author of ‘Nothing Down’, Robert G Allen, who offered free help in real estate to anybody who turned up at a room he’d hired in St Louis. 

A load of people turned up. He then promptly told them all he’d changed his mind and it was cancelled. 

But this was a cunning plan to see who were the people who weren’t prepared to accept defeat, and thus were made of the right stuff, a bit like astronauts.

A handful refused to leave demanding he honor his promise and they were the people he worked with. And by the way, he made some of them very wealthy.

Free Life Coaching Is Cancelled

In my next post I cancelled the offer saying nobody had blown me away.

I took a LOT of abuse via e-mail, even though I’d effectively told people what I was going to do.

Of course some saw through a pretty thin veil and the person I choose to work with for 9 months came from that small group.

Note: This is most definitely NOT a cute way of saying I’m looking for a mentee because I honestly have that covered for at least the next 12 months.

To Be A Successful Life Coach

You don’t have to want to be a Life Coach to be successful.

You don’t have to really want to be a Life Coach and believe it’s your calling to be successful.

You have to want it so bad that are prepared to do whatever is necessary, when it’s necessary and as often as it’s necessary until you achieve the success you desire.

Then you have to keep doing it because if you don’t, there will be a host of eager coaches just chomping at the bit and waiting to take your clients off you when you relax.

Part of that is having the money to devote to building an established practice.

And not just money for training either. You have a business to run that requires ongoing investment if you’re to succeed.

Some of the large training companies have done a marketing job par excellence in fooling people into thinking that all they need to succeed is certification, a phone and a computer.

It’s All A Giant Con

But it’s a con.

You need a lot, lot, lot more than that and one of those things is money.

So are you up for that challenge? 

Are you up for long days, lonely working conditions, taking a crappy part time job, rejection, ignored blog posts, low income and an uphill struggle that would make most Tour de France cyclists vomit with fear?

If not, you’re most likely going to fail.

If you are, then good for you because you’re truly made of the right stuff and success is on the horizon.

If you want to know whether you can afford to be a Life Coach, check out this post that details my running costs and then make a sensible decision.

Image’: ‘Final NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch’ Courtesy of Kim Seng


  1. You were definitely not being too harsh and I found it inspiring. I started my business in March and I knew it was going to be hard, but I had no idea how hard it would be. But I finally got my first paying client this morning! It’s a start…
    By the way, I saw your post a bit ago about how only about 10 out of 300 or whatever people were actively engaged in the discussions. I want to be involved but am overwhelmed. I haven’t been able to find the time to fully figure out how to navigate Google+ and Linked In, let alone keep up with them. And I need to, not just to network and market but also to improve my own profiles and postings. My question is- how do you find time for everything and stay on top of marketing, blogging/posting/discourse, paperwork, continuing education, etc. not to mention seeing clients and teaching classes?!?

    • Tim Brownson

      Firstly congrats on the paying client, the first is usually the hardest!

      It’s really prioritizing Hobit.

      I read very few blogs/newsletters, but the ones I do read are of a very high quality.

      I never see more than 3 clients per day.

      Also, not having kids allows me to do what I want to do when I want to do it. As such I work almost every day (such as now July 4th) because I LOVE it!

  2. Dave Ryersee

    Great response. I had to put my career on hold for a year because of a stroke. I have still kept up with your blog and e-mails because I like your honesty. Don’t tell me all the fluffy stuff, or sugar coat it. I might gag or vomit. There is no quick fixit for life, or get rich quick scheme that works for everyone. It takes some hard work and patience.
    Oh I don’t think I mentioned that I work as a Reg. Nurse at present.
    I get the same questions all the time. Why not become a Dr?
    Similar answer (except the pay) I like the front line, even having to do the shift work for a while. Getting my hands dirty, and still have a life away from work. I am looking at retiring in the next couple of yrs. I already do a lot of coaching. why not getting paid a little to suppliment my retirement. Iknow I am not going to get rich, however it is something that I know I will enjoy. In that I will feel fulfilled. That’s more important!

    • Tim Brownson

      Good attitude Dave!

      My wife is just starting her Phd in nursing to become a NP, but she’d never move into admin as she likes the patient care too much. It’s why she started nursing after all.

  3. Ted I think you handled the question with tack and honesty and for that the person should thank you. There are too many people out there who want to be successful without costing them something time and $. Unfortunately there are also a bunch of vultures waiting to lure those people in with a false sense of reality.
    Reminds me that anything of value does cost something.

  4. Tim my coaching success story would have been so different if I had had access to your advice in the early days! It wouldn’t have changed my mind about coaching at all – but it would have saved me from learning the game back to front (the hard way) i.e. getting the financial side properly teed up FIRST. You are so right that so many of us go into it for idealistic reasons with hardly a thought about how we are actually going to make it into a viable living….

    Since I GOT the importance of this my priorities have shifted in a big way – putting my coaching business on a firm financial footing is my first priority now. Your ongoing super sensible advice is invaluable – thank you.

    • Tim Brownson

      I’m only partly joking when I say mine would have too.

      I’m amazed when I look back at how little I knew and I’m honestly not sure how I even survived. I was veeeeery lucky in my early days, and that is most definitely not being modest.

  5. Laura

    Tim, After reading your blogs and advice, you definitely took the glitz out of it, didn’t you. But, if one wants to be a life coach for the glitz, then they surely are in the wrong occupation. What I love about you is that you bring the reality of the business to its purest level of wanting to help others bring out their best in the bluntest of ways. And you want to show others how to avoid the early mistakes of doing so. If I never made a dime off of my life coach training, I would still feel blessed as it changed me as a person within. Of course, that is not my intent, to never make a dime. My hope is to make many dimes and to have fun doing it. To date, I have only bartered for services rendered, but I still get tears in my eyes when I see how my influence turns Davids into Goliaths. Thanks for sharing your wealth. Laura

    • Tim Brownson

      You’re welcome Laura!

      Although to be honest Goliath got his ass kicked for being too inflexible, slow-witted with double vision, so maybe turn them into David’s! 😉

      Best of luck with making many dimes.

  6. We have the strangest belief programs installed about this don’t we? Nobody thinks twice about paying for all kinds of goods and services – so why should the rules be different when you are making a massive impact on the quality of people’s lives – and in many cases, (for me certainly) saving lives, marriages, careers etc?