You want to become a life coach and maybe you've been shopping around for a life coach training program. At some point, you may have decided that training programs are too expensive and that you'd like to become a life coach without getting a certification. Is there anything stopping from becoming a life coach without taking a training and if not, how do you become a life coach without certification?
First, let's clarify the difference between the certification given by a life coach training program and the certification awarded by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). The ICF is a widely recognized standards body in the coaching industry. The ICF has their own certification which life coaches can acquire. For our discussion though, when most people ask, "How to become a life coach without certification?", they aren't thinking about ICF. They are really asking about becoming a life coach without taking a training course.
Is "How to become a life coach without certification?" even the right question?
There's certainly nothing stopping you from becoming a life coach without certification. The coaching industry is generally unregulated which means that there's no legal requirement to take a training course to become a life coach. But maybe "how to become a life coach without certification?" isn't the right question. Instead, maybe you should be asking, "Should I become a life coach without certification?". Let's explore some reasons that you may want rethink becoming a life coach without certification.
Are you clear on what coaches do (and don't do)?
There are a lot of misconceptions out there around what coaches actually do and don't do. One common example is someone calling themselves a coach when what they do is teach a marketing system. Technically, this is a consultant as coaches typically do give advice or tell clients what they should do. Getting this wrong isn't that big of a deal overall and a lot of consultants seem to be calling themselves coaches these days.
However, there is one area that can land you in hot water. Do you know where the line between coaching and therapy lies? This can be a little tricky even for trained coaches. But it's really important. Providing therapy is heavily regulated and requires specialized licensing. Accidentally wandering into therapy in your sessions or appearing to offer therapy in your marketing can land you in legal trouble.
Do you have the right skills and tools to help your clients?
Nobody intends to let a client down. But often, this is what happens with life coaches who haven't been trained in the various skills used by professional coaches. They may end up over promising and under delivering for their clients. There are many core skills required of a life coach. In addition, to the core skills, life coach training programs teach specialized coaching tools to address a variety of client problems. You may find that you don't have the tools you need. After all, being a good coach requires more than just being a good listener.
How will you market your life coaching?
Life coach training programs often include material on marketing in their curriculum. This can really help you jumpstart your life coaching business. Even if you're an excellent marketer of other products or services, you may find yourself struggling to market your life coaching without the proper training.
To successfully market your coaching, you'll want to already have some client wins you can share. As a new untrained coach, you'll need to do some coaching to gather this social proof. In a coach training program, you'll have done practice coaching with your peers and with actual clients. That means that life coaches who attend a life coach training program will already have social proof of their abilities as a coach.
Shift your thinking around "How to become a life coach without certification"
When thinking about how to become a life coach without certification, most people mean without training. We've looked at just a handful of areas where this can be trickier than it seems at first. In the long run, maybe "how to become a life coach without certification?" isn't the right question. Perhaps instead, you should be thinking about "How can I become the best life coach I can be?" In general, the answer to that question includes attending a high-quality life coach training program such as Starseed Academy Coach Certification Program where you learn high-level coaching skills, market your coaching business, and personal support to overcome personal blocks that arise when starting a business and gaining clients.