Becoming a certified life coach can help many people lead a fulfilled life. After all, thanks to your coaching, many individuals can turn their life around and become a better version of themselves. You're getting paid to do good, so what's better than that?
So, how do you become a certified life coach? What are the steps you'll have to go through? If you are ready to go down this path of personal growth, we are here to help you.
Note: if you are running or planning on starting a life coaching business, try Bonsai. Bonsai is an all-in-one small business tool hub. From task management, time tracking, tax, contract, proposal, and invoice templates for life coaches--our software has you covered. Claim your 14-day free trial today.
Life coaches use their people and organization skills to help clients identify their goals, along with any potential obstacles. Rather than focusing on the present, a life coach will focus on the future.
One thing to keep in mind is that life coaches aren't therapists. They simply make the connection between where you are now and where you want to be, helping you build a bridge. They will come up with a detailed plan for you to reach your goal, such as getting promoted or entering a relationship.
Technically speaking, life coaches aren't regulated by federal or state agencies, so they don't need a business license - not unless they plan on starting an LLC. However, they may need the training courses and a document that proves they meet the ICF core competencies.
Becoming a professional certified coach is not that difficult, but there are certain steps that you have to go through. Here is what you need to do to make sure everything plays by the book.
Life coaching is a fairly vast field, so you cannot expect to be able to teach it all. You need to pick a niche.
Do you want to keep your focus on mental health and spirituality? Do you want to go for the standard business coaching? Or perhaps you prefer wellness coaching.
Regardless, you must narrow it down to niche coaching. This way, you will be able to master your coaching skills and market yourself better.
As a life coach, you will be teaching 'life' to all of your clients. And to teach, you need to prove that you are qualified to do so. You can't expect others to take your word for it if you don't have any formal education.
You should at least have your bachelor's degree, but if you want to coach high-profile people, you should get a master's degree as well. A doctorate wouldn't hurt either if you have the option. It will offer you a well-rounded curriculum.
Now that you have your education handled, you need to look into a good accredited coach training program. Some programs work just with credits, whereas others will offer a degree at the end of the program.
During this training, you will learn many things such as positive psychology, coaching ethics, and how to properly communicate with your client. Depending on the course that you go for, you might spend up to two years in training.
Once you complete your coaching certification program and are over with your training, you may apply for the actual certification. To get your credentials from the International Coaching Federation (ICF), you need to prove that you have coaching experience and expertise in your niche.
For instance, to become a certified professional coach, the ICF may require you to have 500 hours of experience in coaching. You also need to show you had at least 25 clients. Last, but not least, you must pass the test they will ask you to take.
If you are planning to run a coaching business, having life coach certifications will not be enough: you need to establish yourself as a legal business owner, with your own business license and documentation.
Depending on your preferences, you may go for a sole proprietorship or an LLC. Sole proprietorships are a good structure type when you are starting your life coach business, but they offer you limited liability protection. If your business goes through any issues, your personal assets and accounts may be accessed for recovery.
On the other hand, if you go for a Limited Liability Company or Corporation (LLC), then you will receive liability protection. You will be able to open a business account on platforms such as Bonsai Cash to store your business funds while protecting your personal assets.
Make sure to clear your tax issues with the IRS as well. Bonsai Tax can help you in this matter, as it puts aside the money that you owe for taxes.
As a life coach, there is a good chance that you will not need any insurance - but it won't hurt to have it either. In the off case that something goes south with your business, that insurance plan will be there to protect you.
Plus, an insurance plan for your life coach business only costs around $60 per month. It's a small price for the peace of mind of your client. Plus, when they see that you are insured, they will feel more comfortable paying you for your coaching services.
Note: If you are a life coach who needs help streamlining your business (in one place), try Bonsai. We have task management, time tracking tools as well as invoice, proposal and contract templates for life coaches. Claim your 14-day free trial here.
You have your credentials, and you have your business set. The foundation is there, so now you have to build on your coaching practice - in other words, start your career.
Try to get as many clients as you can. You can use the Bonsai life coach proposal template to present your value proposition to your clients, and then use the contract templates to seal the deal. The more clients you get, the more exposure you will gain.
In order to get the best life coach certifications, you need to find a program that resonates with your skills and calling. No certified life coach program is the same, and there are certain things you need to make sure of:
Life coaches that are looking for a good coaching program should focus on programs that teach coaching, not helping. At this point, you already know how to be emphatic and help people. But you also need to learn how to coach. Always begin by asking the correct life coaching questions.
There are many certified life coaching courses out there that you may take, but not all of them are ICF-accredited programs. Life coaches will only be taken seriously if they are accredited by a higher authority, and not having the ICF label may cause your clients to look elsewhere.
Depending on the program that you go for, you'll spend at least 6 months on specialized training. This is why you need to go for a program that meets your values and speaks to you in general. This way, you will have the motivation to keep going.
Life coaches should know that coaching is more than trying to sell a dream for a better future. As a result, the coaching program that you go for should be able to make the difference between marketing and coaching.
When you become a life coach, you may have a couple of questions. Here are some of the most common questions, together with their answers.
Life coach certification programs are different, and while one course may take up to 6 months to complete, others will take even more. Some programs can allow up to 18 months to practice your coaching skills. On average, you should be able to get your life coaching certification within half a year.
One thing that you must know is that these coaching programs are not free - especially if they come from a certified life coach institute. Since life coach training programs are different, so are their prices. Life coach certification costs range from $3,000 to $12,000. Cheaper ones may be available as well, but there is a good chance that they may not be accredited by the International Coach Federation.
As a life coach, your earnings are based mostly on your clients and your services. On average, a certified life coach's salary can be up to $42,000 per year. That sum can easily increase if you work with a professional. For instance, if you are coaching a CEO, you may expect to get a higher payment.
Pretty much anything can be done online, including applications to life coaching certification programs. There are thousands of programs out there for you to pick from, all of which may be completed from the comfort of your home.
Becoming a certified life coach is not that different from starting a business. You just need to take the training course, apply for the certification, and then start coaching your clients. Once your career starts growing, you may easily win a few thousand dollars per month.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?