Not to be trite but the answer could depend on what you mean by becoming a coach. Do you wish to obtain coaching credentials so that you can effectively coach in your current employment or ministry situation? Are you hoping to launch a coaching business? There is a marked difference between the two.
Let’s look at what it means to add coaching to your current skillset. Coaching has found its way into almost every industry. There are business coaches, wellness coaches, financial coaches, parenting coaches…and the list goes on. I even have a wonderful friend who is a writing coach.
If you are already an expert in a body of knowledge or have a wealth of experience in a particular industry, adding coaching to your line of services might be just what you need to expand your base.
If you are an employee, adding coaching to your skillset might be the professional development boost you need to convince management of your potential. Today’s managers are forced to make tough personnel choices. The broader your skillset the more likely the company can benefit from what you offer, even in a downsizing situation.
On the other end of the “becoming a coach” spectrum is to launch into your own coaching business. It’s part of the great American dream to be your own boss and set your own hours. Then there is the pull to ministry though coaching. The Lord may be directing you to coaching for His purposes.
I’ll be very transparent–starting a new coaching business is not for the faint at heart. While the logistics of starting a coaching business have low entry barriers, it takes more than filling out paperwork, a fancy phone, and a home office to run a sustainable coaching business. I’ve been in the coaching industry since 2008 and have found that most new coaches operate close to the red for the first three years.
The skillset needed to launch a business is markedly different than the skills needed to coach effectively. Some of the biggest challenges are; how to differentiate from other coaches. Most new coach solopreneurs find they must market themselves as an expert in a particular niche in order to attract a sufficient market. Other challenges include how to build a network, how to “sell” coaching services, and how find affordable technical help.
While times are a bit tough, individuals and companies are still spending discretionary income to give themselves the edge they need to move forward. Clearly, the demographics of coaching clients with discretionary income do not seem to be impacted by our current economic state. According to the 2012 International Coach Federation Global (ICF) Study, coaching commands a respectable hourly fee.
Coaches even report optimism about the further growth of the industry. As reported in the ICF Global Study, 77% of coaches in the U.S. expect their income to increase over the next 12 months.
It seems the coaching industry as a whole has not felt the impact of our slow economic times. So maybe it is time to start your coach education, or at least investigate your options. For more information on the coaching industry, check out these videos and links on the CCN website.
Marcie Thomas is a life and leadership coach and is the director at the Christian Coaches Network.