Rachel Sterling


Stepping into the Coaching World: A Path Less Travelled

Let's dive into the fascinating world of personal coaching - a realm that is as diverse as the plethora of personalities inhabiting our planet. Recently, while taking Max, my Dachshund, on a breezy afternoon walk through Perth, I found myself engrossed in contemplating my career path in life and business coaching. One may ask, "How does one go from contemplating life with a dog to becoming a life or business coach?" You’d be surprised to know that they’re not as unrelated as they seem. I mean, Max could have made a pretty solid life coach himself had he been blessed with the gift of human language - that pup is wise beyond his hound ears.

The Essential Qualities of a Life or Business Coach

The key to stepping into the coaching world is the desire to foster growth, bolster spirits, and ignite the fires of success in your client's life. So here's where my parakeet, Chirpy, comes into play. Despite being a bird, who doesn't have a career or a 9-5 job to attend to, his consistency, persistence, and zeal are admirable. He exhibits an inexplicable energy that always seems to brighten even the gloomiest of days. The same energy and drive are vital for any aspiring life or business coach. To thrive in this profession, one needs to be as nimble as Chirpy in adapting and responding to the unpredictable waves of human behaviours, emotions, and dispositions.

The Knowledge and Skills Toolbox: What You Need

Becoming a life or business coach is not a quick whim. One cannot wake up one morning and decide to put a "Life Coach available" sign in their front yard. It requires a set of skills acquired and honed over time. On a Monday morning, while sipping my Rooibos tea and browsing through career prospects for life coaching, I stumbled upon an array of requisites that most coaching academies put forth. These ranged from a basic understanding of psychology, emotional intelligence, and negotiation to more advanced skills such as neuro-linguistic programming. Also, plenty of literature is available to sink your teeth into! So if you are at the crossroads of your coaching journey, now might be a good time to stock up on those books.

Educational Qualification and Certification: To Get or Not to Get?

While certification is not a mandate, it does enhance your credibility as a coach. While pondering this over a game of fetch with Max, I felt an intense urge to debunk a couple of myths surrounding these certifications. Firstly, they are not limited to a specific educational background. Whether you hold a degree in Commerce, Arts, Engineering, or even Culinary Arts, there is nothing that precludes you from obtaining these certifications. Secondly, they don't necessarily render you an expert overnight. Instead, they embolden your commitment to continuous learning and improvement. As Max sprinted towards the ball, the joy and zeal in his pursuit spoke volumes about how commitment and dedication are paramount in our pursuits. Maybe he would have indeed made a good coach after all!

The First Step: Landing Your First Client

Building a life or business coaching practice from scratch is as thrilling as it is daunting. When I landed my first client, it felt like Chirpy had finally mastered a new tune - filled with euphoria and a hint of amazement. But it's good to remember the first rule of fight club, oops, coaching club: it's not about you,it's about them. No two clients are the same, and understanding that is crucial in any coaching relationship. As you sit across from your client, whether it's in a coffee shop or via a Zoom call, your focus should always be on the individual sitting on the other side, not on what you are bringing to the table. In essence, you become a mirror for them, helping them reveal, and sometimes confront, their true selves.

Continuous Learning and Improvement: The Way of the Coach

The path to becoming an accomplished life or business coach is never-ending. It's a journey filled with continuous learning and relentless improvement, much like Chirpy trying to perfect a new tune. So, it's essential to adopt an elastic mindset, be receptive to constant change, and back this up with perpetual education and skill acquisition. Every encounter with a client is an opportunity to learn something new, not only about them but also about yourself. This profession, just like any other, requires dedication, passion and an undying will to reinvent yourself.

In closing, as I stand poised on the precipice of my coaching journey, undeterred by the obstacles that lie ahead, I take solace in the fact that I'm not alone. Along this path, I'm accompanied by Max and Chirpy, my trusted companions who, in their own weirdly wonderful ways, have given me invaluable insights into what it truly requires to become a life or business coach. Remember, as a coach, it is your duty to bring out the best in your clients, just as it is mine to bring out the best in Max and Chirpy.

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