Advice for Aspiring Coaches

Life Coaching. It attracts people as a profession.

And for good reason.

There are a lot of us out there wondering if we are doing it right.  We question how we can be better. We seek self-help support and we attend classes and events like Leslie Knope seeks waffles (Parks and Rec Reference – watch it if you haven’t, it’s awesome and hilarious).

We are told we offer great advice and people constantly come to us for our wisdom and support.

We think, “I should get paid for this.” When we look at how it’s possible, the easiest path appears to be Life Coaching:

  • Becoming a licensed counselor of any sort requires schooling and there are tons of restrictions.
  • Writing a book feels super hard for reasons from the physical writing to the finding a publisher to the dubious path of self-publishing and rejection.
  • As we cast about for an option, Life Coaching shows up, because it is truly an open field = literally anyone can name themselves a life coach and so it is.

I get approached on this A LOT.  A. LOT.  Emails, coffees, “Quick questions” and clients interested.  Some are interested in how I did it so they can do it too.  I share the same advice over and over, it makes sense to share it here.

Some Facts about the Industry

In 2016 the International Coaches Federation published a Global Coaching Study.  This study shared a few facts like:

  • More than 53,000 Life coaches are working today
  • The average hourly rate for a life coach exceeds $200 and coaches earn an average $51,000 per year
  • 99% had some sort of coach specific training and 81% received accredited training to become certified as a coach

I encourage you to read this brief on the study which shares the highlights.

You can download additional information and/or purchase the full study here .

I share these specific facts because it is easy, super easy, to get caught up on the idea that glamorous lifestyle and coaching are synonymous.  We aren’t all Tony Robbins or Martha Beck.  We aren’t all taking monthly trips to Bali for “retreat” and it isn’t raining $1000s in our living room.  That, my friends, is amazing marketing by business coaches.  It is tough to achieve in 30 days, or even 1 year.  It does take work.

Yes. It is possible to create a successful career as a life coach.

Here is a great satirical look at this phenomenon…good for a giggle ( I LOVE JP Sears work, seriously check out his videos, super awesome):

 

Six Pieces of Advice

Here is the advice I give to people who ask me about being a life coach:

  1. Research:  Put all your questions into the search engine of your choosing and see what kind of answers spew out. You definitely need to read more than just this post – there are tons of experts out there with more than tons of opinions, information caches and expertise to offer.
  2. Ask and Answer these Questions: Why DO I want to be a Life Coach?  What kinds of Problems do I want to solve?
  3. Visit the ICF website and consume all you can about the industry.
  4. Identify how comfortable you are with marketing and sales – you will have to do this as a life coach.
  5. Talk to those closest to you in your life and see what they say.  Take their questions or concerns and research them further.  Figure out how you can make this work – and if you still want to.
  6. Once you have done all of that: engage a life coach.

This last one may seem self-serving.  It’s not.  Having a life coach gives you the exposure to what it feels like to be a client – you need to be a client. Your coach can help you make sense of all the things you researched and discovered in steps 1-5, organize your plan of action and help you move through the process of transforming from where you are to where you want to go.  I won’t advise someone on coaching unless they are willing to be a client themselves.

What?  I need a Coach?

Just like an athlete is coached to improve time, speed, accuracy, strength, skill.  A life coach can help you navigate your improvements to confidence, clarity, and decision making while offering support and accountability.

It is quite possible that even if after spending the time researching all you can, you still have reservations.  A life coach can help you work through those to get the answers right for you.  Life Coaching may not be the answer to your career or calling question.  But following this path can help you discover what is.

A great book to read in this area of calling and sticking to things is Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. I love everything she has to say about goal setting, purpose finding, and sticking with things. I recommend grabbing a copy and a highlighter and get to reading.

The First Conversation with an Aspiring Coach

I love helping people answer this question of “How do I become a life coach?”.  I love it. And I will tell you, the conversation usually starts out like this:

Me:  Soooo tell me why you want to be a life coach!

You (ubiquitous form): 

“I love people and they are always coming to me for advice and telling me I give such good input.”

OR

“I want a job that pays me well and provides tons of freedom. I love helping people so this made sense.”

OR

“I want to help other people do something they love. My life is kind of a mess right now and if I can start a job I love then I think it’ll straighten out and I can help other people do the same”

And my Favorite – this is the answer I want more than anything:

“I want to work with people to realize what they are capable of and help them get it in a specific area of their life.”

This last person is clear on what they are looking for in seeking coaching as a career.  The previous 3 answers aren’t horrible entry points because they all possess a sincere desire to figure out how to help someone live optimally. An awesome starting position and in many cases help is only needed in getting specific.

These answers create different starting points into becoming a life coach:

  • You may need to do some work in your life first.
  • You may need to do some work getting clear on what you want to do and how.
  • You may need to clarify your own vision.

Being a Good Listener isn’t All there is to Being a Life Coach

Wait. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

Giving advice is very little of what we do – we are here to help others discover their strengths and what optimal living looks like for them.  That isn’t advice based on our personal experience, it is expertise based on research, experience and training.

Yes, you must be able to listen.  Then you translate what you have heard into insight for the client – actionable insight: a question, an observation, a clarifying point to validate.  You guide them through self-discovery exercises and exploratory experiences.  The focus is 100% on what the client can discover through the lens you can share with them.

You must be able to set ego aside and be fully present – this may be the first time this person has ever been truly heard.  It’s life changing.

Again, another giggle worthy take on this: Shit Life Coaches Say

It’s funny, cuz it’s true.

Your Next Steps

If you are ready to do your research on this as a career, follow the 5 steps I outlined above then contact a coach.  I’d be happy to do a free 1-hour session with you to follow up on your learning and help you find a coach whether it is me or someone in my network based on what you want to do.

We may also find you are a good fit for my Coach’s Collective Membership Group where we explore coaching from multiple dimensions and share expertise among professional coaches across the globe.

Email at jennifer@nolimitslife.guru and we will get something set up.

And in case you haven’t yet caught on, I do view coaching a serious business.  These are people’s lives. And yet…life is funny.  Look for the giggle worthy.

Best of luck on your exploration!

P.S.  You may have noticed I didn’t talk about business plans, technology, websites, blog presence or networking.  I advise getting clear inside on what you want and how, first.  Once you get clear, you’ll be able to whip that stuff out much easier. Your web designer will thank you.

 

 

 

photo jun 20, 8 27 31 am

Jennifer Murphy – Certified Personal and Executive Coach

I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created.

My background is 10 years in the US Army as an officer, 10 years in Corporate America and then the last 6 running my own business. I have deployed twice in combat scenarios, worked with foreign governments and militaries and worked extensively in international business.  I have an undergraduate in Criminology, an MBA and certification in Positive Psychology. I have led organizations from 3-400 and love developing people and helping them create their next steps in life and work. 

I am founder of No Limits Life Empowerment Institute as well we a working glass artist, Reiki Master,  Partner in Shaman Grocer in Iowa City, and Co-founder of the Midwest Reiki Festival.    My favorite time is spent doing anything soccer related with my aspiring world cup soccer player, 10 year old Alexander.  I am also a pretty big fan of gaming (PS4) with my partner Craig while solving the world’s social problems. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Announcement!

Moving on (again)

I strategize. I plan. I take action.    

This is my process.  This is how I lead, how I execute and how I live.

No Limits Life Empowerment Institute is moving! (and so is shaman grocer and my glass studio!)

We’ve been planning for this move for at least a year and it is happening right now! I’m very excited.  Beyond excited and it’s been a super weird crazy experience, as it usually is when you level up your life and people around you…well, don’t.

I’ve been through this a few times and I’ve seen it with others.  When people decide to make a change that has them departing from a group or institution, the group or institution has a choice how it will react: be excited and supportive or take offense.  I’ve somehow ended up with some pretty low vibration associations which have taken the offense path and I am currently writing up some information and analysis on how to deal with that if it happens to you…because it happened to me.

Bottom line: low vibration atmospheres suck – literally suck the life out of you.  High vibration is the way to go – they empower and support and require more from the best of you while growing you.  Be high vibe.

BACK TO THE EXCITEMENT PART!

Here is the scoop:

No Limits Life Coaching became No Limits Life Empowerment Institute a few months ago.  You may have noticed that, or you may need to wake up….seriously, pay attention people! We have moved primarily online and are working on building our online home right now. (It’s like we are living in our RV on the property and are watching construction.)

We are also available locally and totally willing to travel to your home state or city for workshops or events.  Especially if you live near the beach or are anywhere in Washington State, California or Colorado.  I, Jennifer will personally be working out of the co-working space in Cedar Rapids – The Vault, for a while and I’m super excited! Our mission at No Limits Life Empowerment Institute is to help you move forward with your life using your strengths.

Shaman Grocer, our store is relocating to Iowa City, Iowa – home of the University of Iowa a big ten school you may have noticed on ESPN, the BIG10 network or anywhere college football is spoken of in loud bawdy cheers.  Or your doctor may have a diploma from there on her wall.  We will be at 114 ½ College Street in suite 5 in an area with a seedy reputation that is part of its charm for us and is slowly shifting from seedy to centered – the Hall Mall.

Shaman Grocer is our physical extension of the energy we cultivate daily.  As a minimalist it may seem a little weird that I own a store but here is how that works: we want you to buy things that you both love and that have function.  We sell our glass work but also things like sage, palo santo, resins, and local made soaps.  We cultivate relationships with local artists to find functional pottery, fabric items and woodworked pieces.  We offer incense, incense burners, and buy only what we can link to the source – we try our best to be responsible!! Our mission is to help you “Find your piece to find your Peace.”

(We’ll be online roughly 3 months after I wanted to be, later next week and I will share that link with you.)

Our glass studio is moving home with us.  We’ll be back up and running later this summer after we get into our new home and we will offer lessons again.  We may just be a little more selective since we are inviting you into our home.

So yes!  We are moving 3 currently co-located businesses into 3 separate locations.  Yes, it is chaotic as it sounds.  But we planned for this: we strategized, we planned and now we are acting.

….and it feels so good!

Keep up by making sure you follow up online:  

No Limits Life Empowerment Institute Instagram or Facebook @nolimitslifeempowerment

Shaman Grocer on Instagram @shamangrocer

Glass on Instagram @gatheringelements and @j.mo_dab

 

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, help captive in Iowa, but willing to stay because her son anchors her in place and he is so totally worth it!  An expert in helping people across the globe prioritize their values to create a life centered on what they value most, allowing them to shed stress, overwhelm and the BS that can suck the soul from daily living.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru 

 

So Over “New Year, New You”

Seriously, screw it.  Why do you need to be a new you?

If you feel the compulsion to be different, maybe it’s because you aren’t being the REAL you right now.  Ouch.

Every single time I hear a phrase like that – which admittedly I haven’t heard as much as we close out 2016 – I want to puke.  There is nothing wrong with the REAL YOU.  The problem may be that you aren’t being the REAL YOU.  Okay, I will stop capitalizing it – you don’t need to be yelled at anymore…you heard me right?

The Real You is that energy within that is absolutely BEGGING to be let out to play.  It is the energy that craves something different that what you are doing with your life.  This energy wants to: 

  • start a business
  • go back to school
  • create art
  • write
  • find a true partner
  • love waking up for their life every day
  • shed the feeling of overwhelm every single day as they race around trying to please everyone but themselves
  • go on a spiritual retreat
  • connect with an animal
  • and on and on….

What is your spirit calling you to explore? 

As I shake off the stifling energies of the past time period I feel called to be the wild, sensuous, adventurous woman I truly am.  I feel called to stop hiding, to get exposed and to be unrepentant in my call to arms to the battle for the life you deserve, not the one you are subjugated into living.   My REAL ME (this is a passion yell) is a warrior, adventure and explorer.  I advocate when you are unsure of how to do it yourself.  And I teach you how.

This amazing TED video a friend shared last night on Facebook called to these energies within – it is a bit graphic at times, so I will warn those of you with more delicate constitutions.

You don’t have to be me, and your call isn’t the same.  But you have one.

If your life feels like pants one size too small then chances are you are not being Real You.

I beg you to invite Real You out to play tonight, tomorrow and all the days that follow.  

I recognize this isn’t easy.  If it were easy you’d have never succumbed to expectations in the first place.  YOU are worth the battle, the investment, the shift – whatever you want to call it.   

Your Challenge: 

Grab your journal and spend some time writing about your absolute ideal life – free of any limitations you feel in  your current life.  Write until you feel that buzz of anticipation, like you can’t wait to taste it.

Review what you wrote, make additions.

Pick one thing from that vision and do it now.  Bring it into your life.  One tiny thing.

dfcaxbf-p4g-morre-christopheThis might feel scary – when I did this, I was terrified because what I wanted was so incredibly different than what I had, I could hardly imagine how it was possible.  But I started with the purchase of white sheets and within 24 months my life was my ideal and then I got to keep stretching myself.

Find your white sheets. Invite them into your world, then the next thing and keep taking action to build the life you crave.

REAL YOU will thank you.  

 

 

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with the closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave.  To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit www.nolimitslife.guru