359: Should I be a life coach?

359: Should I be a life coach?

We’re answering the question, “Should YOU be a life coach?” this week.  Why?  Well, according to a recent study, almost half of employees in the US are looking for a new job or plan to soon.  

Which suggests that the curious pandemic-era phenomenon known as the “Great Resignation” is continuing into 2022. Specifically, 44% of employees now consider themselves “job seekers,” according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey.  

Wow.  That blew me away.  How about you?  As a part of all of this, I’ve had more and more people ask me whether they should and/or could become a life coach.  So, I wanted to dig into that.  Now, I’ll be the first to say that every once and a while… I do a deep dive on a subject that might not be for everyone.  BUT this one is for more people than you might expect.

If you listen to DREAM THINK DO, I’m guessing you may have thought about it.  If you’re wanting to dream bigger, think better and do more of what you’re put on the planet to do… then… there’s a really good chance you’d like to see others do that too!  So, if you’ve had that feeling… it’s possible you’d make an amazing coach.  AND… many should become coaches… BUT… not all.

That’s why I’m doing this episode. I’m going to take you behind the scenes of the coaching industry and I’m going to be straight up with you as I answer some common questions I get about who should become a life coach, business coach or success coach.  

I’ll shoot straight with you about the industry and WHO would be a good fit… and have a chance to really make an IMPACT and… quite possibly… some serious INCOME from it.  

And…. who I’ll also share who I think shouldn’t try to become a life coach too.  It’s going to be a fun… eye-opening… truth filled conversation and I can’t wait to get started.  So, let’s do this!!!


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Why are we talking about whether you should/could become a life coach… NOW?  

Well… like I said, in the introduction, LOTS of people are wanting a change. 

There are a LOT of things contributing to this… but if 44% of the workforce are now considering themselves “job seekers,” there’s a very good chance that MANY of them are wanting to do something more meaningful.  Something that’s more true to their purpose

And if YOU are wanting more purpose from your work… there’s a chance that you’d love to help OTHER PEOPLE find more purpose and fulfillment too.  

So, one of the things that pops to some people’s lists is life coaching.  

They might think about hiring their own life coach, but they might also be asking, “I wonder if I should become a life coach?”

But let’s be honest… right from the start!  Some might wonder if it’s a scam or a get-rich-quick scheme?

  • NOTE: You can make a LOT of money as a coach but that’s NOT the reason to get into it.
  • There are a few BAD coaches out there… BUT what industry do you know that doesn’t include a few bad apples who screw things up for everyone?  
  • That’s why I like to set the record straight… and try to do our part to make things right!

If you wonder whether being a life coach or a success coach is legitimate:

  • You can now get your Masters and your Ph.D in coaching… 
    • NOTE: Although I don’t recommend that and I’ll tell you why more in a bit.
  • BUT just the fact that you can get advanced degrees in coaching proves it’s needed and that a LOT of people are seeking help!


We have some new training coming up… because I really do want to help people feeling called to become a life coach to keep moving forward with confidence.  

BUT I really do want to scare the wrong people away from becoming a coach… 

So let’s get started!

“Should I Become a Life Coach?”

I often get asked, “SHOULD I BECOME A LIFE COACH?”

Good question but a better question is: “Is becoming a life coach ideal for you?”

More specifically, here are some of the most common questions I get around the idea of becoming a life coach:

  • What does a life coach actually do?
  • Should I get certified as a life coach and/or do certifications matter?
  • Are there too many life coaches and/or is the coaching market saturated?
  • What are some of the things that keeps people from becoming successful life coaches?
  • What do you need to have in place if you want to be a life coach?

Question 1: What does a Life Coach actually do?

The question seems to be, “What do SUCCESSFUL life coaches actually do?”

Because we’ve all seen those people who seem to be all talk in regards to being a coach, but you’re just not sure what they actually do.

When someone is curious about this and they’re asking about what a success coach actually does… I ask THEM a question that usually shocks them:

“Are you willing to shut up?”

Yup.  That sets people back a bit… but it’s important to ask… especially if someone is wanting to be an EFFECTIVE and SUCCESSFUL Life Coach.

Here’s why: As a coach… it’s good to have systems and processes in place. BUT as a foundation, I believe in a “question-based approach.”

What I mean is… I’m going to bring a VAST MAJORITY of my value to my clients by ASKING QUESTIONS… as opposed to TELLING them what to do.

The main reason for this approach is something I call:

 “The Intellectual Immune System ™

This is based on the idea that we tend to reject things/ideas that come from outside us and we tend to embrace things that come from within.

Think of a time when you got advice… and you eventually rejected it… because it came from outside you.  Maybe it was advice from a parent, a manager, a friend, a mother-in-law or a complete stranger.  You knew it was good advice… but you just couldn’t move forward… because it just wasn’t YOU!  Been there?  I sure have!

For me… as a Coach… I work with talented… successful people… and most of the time… they know 90% of what they need to do… they just need a safe place to acknowledge that. 

Plus, they need a safe place to talk through the ideas… vet those ideas… and vent… and bitch and moan a bit!  We’re human.  It’s needed! 

And for the other 10%… I always say, “We’ll figure it out together.”

As a life coach, my job is to ask questions and create an environment where we can get to their genius.  Now… a key here is: You need/have to:

 “Hold people as capable.”

Some people get into coaching because they can’t wait to tell everyone THEIR answers.  BUT… we all know how THAT goes over.  That’s why they’re not often very successful.

People will feel it… if you believe in them… if you believe they can do it… and they often RISE to that.

SIDE NOTE: This applies to LEADERSHIP and PARENTING too!!!

So… are you willing to ask some questions and then shut up?  

If so… there’s a very good chance you could be an awesome coach!

QUESTION 2: Should I get certified as a life coach and/or do certifications matter?

The big question behind the question here is: “What is a life coaching certification for and what is it NOT for?

IDEALLY: A well-designed life coaching certification is something that’s going to make you more confident and more effective as a coach.  Helping you… so you can help your clients achieve CLARITY… and help them get to their GOALS more quickly.

IT IS NOT: A marketing tool or strategy.  Meaning… don’t get a life coaching certification to sell your coaching.  Nope.  

Here’s the straight scoop.  I’m not “anti-coaching certification.”  Heck… I actually created coaching certification called “The Coach Mindset” and it’s helped thousands of coaches around the world.  So, I believe in getting you the training and the tools you need to be a confident and a competent coach!

BUT… I’ll be the first one to say that the only people who seem to ask whether I’m certified are other coaches.  

I’ve never been asked by a potential coaching client whether I’m certified or not.  

Why?  Because they just want to know whether I can help them or not.  They don’t care about a piece of paper on the wall.  They want to know can I help them break through the junk… and achieve what they want to do?

So… if you want to grow in your confidence as a coach… find a program that’s a great fit for you!  But don’t invest in a coaching training program because you think THAT accomplishment will wow potential clients.  It won’t.  Much like adding letters behind your name JUST to impress people doesn’t tend to work either.  (Sorry… not sorry!)

It’s the WORK that makes a difference.  It’s whether you can help someone get the job done that moves the needle!  So, invest in a training program that helps you DO THE WORK!  Don’t invest in a program because you think it’s fancy title or HUGE investment will impress people.  

Make sense?  I’m hoping so.  

One more side note on this before we move on.  

If you’re looking for a training program,  I’d also really recommend that you find a life coach certification that includes BUSINESS training… as well as coaching training.  

Because… to be honest… most people who are attracted to the idea of coaching find that the coaching strategies come more easily to them.  They’ll be quick to say they need MORE help on the business-building side… than they do on the coaching side.  

But MOST coaching programs don’t include business training… so be really careful there!!!  In fact, that’s something Brendon Burchard asked me about when he interviewed me about my work with Life Coaches and Success Coaches.  (Check that out here.)

QUESTION 3: Is the Life Coaching market saturated?  

I’ll sometimes get the question: Are there too many life coaches out there?

Let me first run some stats by you: 

  • There are 328+  million people in the US
  • There are 445+ million people in the European Union
  • There are 1.4+ billion people in India
  • There are roughly 8 billion people in the world

8 BILLION people.  That’s so big… it’s hard to get your head around.  That’s a LOT of people.  Now, I’ll be the first to say that not all of those people need coaching and/or not all of those people can afford coaching.

EVERYONE would benefit from working with a good life coach, but let’s be real.  

Let’s not say 50%… or 25%… let’s just do the math on 2% of those people.  Let’s say that 2% of people want a coach.  That’s still around 160 million people.  (Think about that number.  If you took all the people that live in Los Angeles, New York City and London… that would just be 21 million people!  So 160 million people is a LOT of people!)

And… at the same time… depending on your coaching rates… most coaches can have a REALLY profitable coaching practice with 10 clients at a time.  

You can make $100K a year with 10 clients (or less) a month!

And A LOT of coaches coach on the side.  

I know successful people that kept getting those “Can I pick your brain” requests.  

So they decided to get trained up as coaches and they sell their services now and make extra $3K to $10K a month from that.  Heck, one of the members of our coach’s mastermind made an extra $50K in one month… coaching on the side of his job as a health care administrator.  How cool is that?

So there’s a LOT of ways to do this.

Here’s my best insight on the question of whether there are too many coaches in the world.  Ready?  

As you become a Life Coach, your true competition won’t be other coaches.  

Nope.  Not at all.  The biggest competition is the: “COUCH!”

That’s right! 

As a Life Coach… the BIGGEST competition isn’t other coaches… the biggest competition is the “couch.”  It’s distraction.  It’s “going grey.”  It’s all the things that cause people to tune out, to go numb, to settle. That’s the biggest competitor.

So, you will need to find ways to inspire and equip people to break free and to want more.  THEN… you can help them to clarify what they actually want and help them to achieve it.

Want another BIG shocker from behind the curtain?  

The vast majority of the people who hire me as their coach haven’t been “coach shopping.”  They haven’t been googling coaches and then decide on me because of a certification I completed.  

Nope, they’ve either been consuming my content for a while and say to themselves, “When I finally invest in a coach… Mitch is my guy.”  

Or they’re referred to me by people who consume my content or by past clients.

So if you commit to helping people… the right clients will find you!  You can find ways to put out content that’s true to you… content that helps people in big or small ways… and clients will find you!

And yes… I have a long-standing podcast… but my first paying client came from one of my first blog posts I ever wrote!  A friend forwarded it to him and said READ this.  And that person reached out immediately to get some help!

This is what gets me fired up and moving forward.  Because I don’t want people to live lives that are less than they were supposed to live or experience.  I want people to find their jam… and rock that thing!  That drives me.

I don’t compete with other coaches.  I compete with how I performed yesterday.  

So, some questions I often ask myself are:

  • Am I finding new ways to serve?
  • Am I finding innovative ways to help?
  • Am I growing… if YES?  Then game on… let’s go!

If I get caught up in looking at other coaches… or what the world would call “my competition” then I’m toast.  I’m not going to be good to anyone!  

Who’s with me on THAT?  COMPETE with the YOU from yesterday… and that will keep you growing!

QUESTION 4: What are some of the things that keep people from becoming successful life coaches?

This is a big question because people want to be successful.  So, it makes sense that they’re curious about what might get in the way of success!

It won’t surprise you but part of the answer goes back to the things we’ve already talked about:

  • Thinking they have to have all the answers!!!  
  • Getting TOO much training and getting caught up in that rat race!
  • Disqualify themselves because they caught up in looking around instead of looking forward.

But when I talk about one of the BIGGEST “ditches” that potential coaches often fall into… it surprises people.

That is: they’re not willing to get paid!

Now… you might think I’m crazy but hang with me here!

Many of the people I talk to that are interested in becoming a life coach are natural encouragers.  They’re the safe place that people come to to hash out ideas, vent or dream big!

Heck… if you’re one of these people… and there’s a good chance you are… maybe you’ve even had someone say, “Wow.  Why am I telling you this?  I don’t tell anyone this.”

Maybe people have joked you’re like a “bartender” because they just tell you stuff!  Or… you have people seek you out because they want to ask you questions, or share ideas or celebrate a big win.

Co-workers… friends… family members.  They seek you out!

And if that’s you… maybe encouraging people comes easy to you.

AND… If it comes naturally to you… you tend to dismiss it’s value.  

Seriously… if you’ve always done it… it’s easy to think EVERYONE does it.  So… you devalue it.

SO… some people wind up having trouble with the thought of being paid thousands of dollars for doing something they’ve always done!

NOW… I would argue that with training… you add to your natural gifting and take it to the next level… BUT still… people often wrestle with getting paid really well for something they’d do for free!

BUT… I’d argue the FEE is necessary!

Sure… it puts food on your table and a roof… (hopefully a very nice roof) over your head.  BUT the fee also helps to bring a level of commitment for the client.  

They have skin in the game. They’re committed.

It’s funny… but the person I mentioned that generated $50K in one month was in this category.  When we first started working together… the most he’d made was about $500.  But we started to work together to tweak his mindset and some of his systems and almost instantly… he had his first $5K Client. 

Not only was he blown away by getting paid more of what he was worth… BUT he also found that his clients were soooo much more committed to the process!

Now… I charge thousands for my packages and I tell them… it’s as much for them as it is for me!  Because if they’re willing to invest in themselves… that means they’re all in and it’s go time!

So… ask yourself, “Are you willing to get paid well for something you love to do?”

QUESTION 5: What do I need to have in place to be a life coach?

We’ll keep this one short.

As a new life coach as well as successful life coach with a sustained practice, you just need a few things:

  • Good training (Focuses on Coaching AND Business!)
  • A good community
  • A personal willingness to experiment (and learn as you go)!
  • Belief you can do it.

Join me for a Masterclass for new and experienced coaches: www.mitchmatthews.com/masterclass 


The questions:

  • What does a life coach actually do?
  • Should I get certified as a life coach and/or do certifications matter?
  • Are there too many life coaches and/or is the coaching market saturated?
  • What are some of the things that keeps people from becoming successful life coaches?
  • What do I need to have in place to be a life coach?


  • 0:02 Should you be a life coach? Find out on this episode!
  • 5:00 44% of people are looking for new opportunities
  • 8:12 The most FAQ’s Mitch has heard during his 20+ years of coaching
  • 11:28 One thing all coaches must be willing to do
  • 18:18 A simple way to know coaching isn’t for you
  • 20:47 The truth about getting officially certified
  • 27:48 The importance of the business side of coaching
  • 30:05 Is the coaching industry overly saturated?
  • 35:07 The biggest competition every coach has
  • 41:11 What sets a successful coach apart? (the answer may surprise you)
  • 54:00 How to get started coaching today

I want to hear from YOU!  

How about YOU!?  What questions do YOU still have? And… what stood out to you from this conversation?  What resonated?  What’s a small but significant step you want to take?  Comment and let me know!


Check out our Encouraging the Encouragers podcast! Here: www.encouragingtheencouragers.com or find it on Apple here.

Share this… with someone who YOU think could or should be a coach OR if you’re thinking about it… join us or reach out!  I’d love to help you make the decision.

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