So, you're good with people? And you want to make a difference to others?
Or maybe you just think the coaching industry is cool, and wonder how people become coaches?
For myself, I had assisted at a personal and professional development company for several years, helping to manage events and seminars. I had some experience presenting distinctions and inspirational and transformative content. At the time, I had never heard of N.L.P and I thought hypnosis was some peculiar stage act. Due to my limited knowledge, I thought the only way to get paid and make a difference to someone's quality of life was to become a counsellor or psychologist.
So, I started my counselling diploma, only to find I wasn't producing the results I could produce with my previous experience in transformational modalities. So then I had this dilemma where I had to decide to either keep assisting / volunteering at this personal / professional development company and live on the poverty line, or become a counsellor or psychologist - which I honestly just didn't have the patience for. Don't get me wrong, I value these professions and I think they have a place in the world, but it just wasn't for me. I wanted results for my clients A.S.A.P.
One day just a few months before Christmas, I was applying for summer jobs - basically so I could just have a few grand to blow on my kids for Christmas. I had no idea how to make a profit on making a difference to people. I had worked in mining laboratories and real estate and the residential design industry. I was a resourceful professional that managed to do almost everything that I set my heart on. And here I was getting knocked back for shelf packing jobs and really simple retail jobs. I was frustrated and irritated.
My children were with their father for the weekend, and I was home alone. To be honest, I was so angry. All I wanted to do was make a difference to people and provide the most beautiful life I could for my children. I locked myself in my bedroom and I said, "Candy, you are not coming out of here until you have a plan!" I meditated and visualised and meditated and visualised. Some 4 hours went past. I sat on the end of my bed and said:
Fed up me: "For f**k sake Candy its not that hard!!! Just pick what you want to do!!!"..."Do you want to be a counsellor?"
Higher self: "No"
Fed up me: "Do you want to assist at *insert company here* for free anymore?"
Higher self: "NO"
Fed up me: "Then what do you want to do?!"
Higher self: "I just want to put a light in people's eyes"
Fed up me: (sarcastically) "well that's a great business plan!"... "Who do you want to work for?"
Higher self: "I don't want to work for anyone. I don't want anyone's rules. I want my life on my terms."
Frustrated with my lack of clarity, I went to my desktop and searched "the fastest way to become a coach", and that was when I found NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and conversational hypnotherapy. I did the 7-day NLP Practitioner certification and set about practising my skills.
I think the misconception that people have about NLP qualifications is that "you can't become anything of quality in 7 days", and that is the entire truth - you cannot. I had years of leadership, communication, coaching, counselling and seminar experience under my belt before I had even found NLP, and then after my program I lived and breathed NLP for years. When my friends were out drinking on weekends, I was watching trainers do technique online for hours and hours on end. When my friends where mindlessly scrolling, I was practicing on friends and family.
I'm sure there are probably hundreds of ways to become a coach. Reflecting on the last decade of being in and around this industry (back before it was trending), I see that the most important thing is that you have to be naturally very well self-regulated. You have to have a lot of grit. Where I see coaches fail and go back to their old 9-5 job is when they just give up after something becomes too uncomfortable.
To be successful in this industry, you need to really want it. The market is currently flooded with inexperienced coaches, NLP Practitioners, and similar - with too much confidence for their level of experience. The ones who have exceptional skill are the ones who live and breathe the work. It's not something that comes easy or quickly, but it really is worth it! If I spend the rest of my life making this kind of difference to the people I meet, then I can honestly say I spent this life well. It is a deeply emotionally rewarding industry to be in.