Life coaching is one-on-one counseling that helps people set personal goals and accomplish more in their lives. There are two phases to life coaching. The first phase helps people to identify personal issues that might be preventing them from achieving their aims in life. During the second phase, the life coach counsels the client to help her overcome her obstacles and work toward specified goals. You do not need special licensing to start a life coaching business, but you might want to experience life coaching as a client to see exactly how it works before you start a life coaching business.
Meet with a qualified mentor/coach. Choose someone who you feel comfortable working with and can relate to well. The first step to starting a life coaching business is to experience successful coaching for yourself.
Pursue training from your mentor on how to be a life coach. Consider a life coaching course. These courses are sometimes available through a school or other program, sometimes in a group setting. Continue training until you are prepared and ready to begin coaching other people. Some coaching programs offer certification, which might be useful when you start your business. There are no governmental standards for life coaches, so you can start taking on clients when you are ready. Some organizations that offer certification are the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Coach Training Alliance (CTA).
Get a business license if it is required in your locality. Consult your local municipality and inquire about the laws in your town and state. Search for life coaching associations and groups that operate in your town. Join a group with other professional life coaches to help you learn "tricks of the trade." You also should consider operating as a limited liability corporation (LLC) as opposed to a sole proprietor. This status will limit your liability if you are ever sued by a client. You'll also need to pick up an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes.
Secure office space. You can set up a home office or rent space where you can see clients. The space should be clean and private without the distraction of children, pets or loud noise. You should have a comfortable chair for your clients. Reclining chairs work best.
Research various types of advertising to attract clients to your business. Word of mouth is the most effective advertisement for life coaches. Give people a free session when you’re getting started. This will help you get clients and build up a portfolio. Once you have a few success stories, you can use their testimonials to draw other clients to your life coaching business.
Go to the unemployment office in your town and hand out flyers. Many of these people are in need of the tips and encouragement that can be gained through working with a life coach. You can offer unemployed clients a reduced rate.
You might confront opposition from those who think that because you do not have an academic counseling degree, you are not qualified to be offering personal counseling.