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Self-Improvement Coach  What They Do

Just the Facts


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dot Self-improvement coaches work with clients to help them live life to the fullest. They help people realize what they want in life. They push clients to set personal and professional goals. Then they support their clients to help them achieve those goals.

The main idea behind coaching is to help people plan to live successful, fulfilling lives. Too many people live without a game plan. Coaches help their clients build strategies. With the support of their coaches, clients can learn to move through life with purpose.

Self-improvement coaching is a new profession. One of the first coach training schools, Coach U, was founded in 1992.

There aren't any regulations, certifications or licenses necessary in the profession. This means that anyone can say they're a self-improvement coach. It is possible, however, to get specialty training and join coach associations promoting professionalism.

For example, the International Coach Federation (ICF) is an organization of professional coaches from all over the world. Coaches belonging to this organization have made a commitment to work with high standards, ethics and professionalism.

Self-improvement coaching is not counseling or therapy. Coaches help clients plan for the future. They do not deal with the past. Career coaches go by several different names, including life coaches and personal coaches.

Most self-improvement coaches are self-employed. They have their own businesses and usually work from home. Some coaches meet clients face-to-face. Most coach by phone and e-mail.

Some organizations have coaches on staff for employee support. For example, BMW Canada recently started using coaches to train and develop leaders. Some companies hire coaches to support clients.

"I see people from human resources departments wishing to gain a coaching certification to then apply to their work internally. So, perhaps corporations are set to offer coaching services to their employees as a benefit. Coaching could be a differentiator when it comes to employee packages, especially for recruiting," says Ally Wieser. She is a life coach for personal and professional development. She runs her business, SoBe Coaching, out of her home in Miami, Florida.

Wieser gained training as a coach at Coach U. She is also a member of the ICF. She coaches her clients through weekly phone calls. She creates individual programs tailored to the needs of each client. She assigns clients "homework" each week. The next week she checks up on the progress her clients have made.

Self-employed coaches can set their own schedules. Most make themselves available for their clients. This can mean early morning, evening or weekend work. As small-business owners, coaches must also make time for marketing and promotion, administrative work and continuing education.

Many self-improvement coaches concentrate on coaching a certain type of client. There are many niches in the coaching industry. For example, some coaches work only with divorced women re-entering the workforce. Other coaches specialize in working with young families. Others coach people to improve their finances.

There are few physical requirements for coaches. Most spend time on the computer and phone. Coaches may be able to use any special needs to their advantage. For example, some coaches specialize in attention deficit disorder or diabetes management.

"And let's not forget that people who have overcome or who manage disabilities offer inspiring experience for their coaches," says Wieser. She says people hire coaches based on their experiences.

At a Glance


  • Help others meet their goals
  • You'll need good business and marketing skills
  • There isn't a required education, but good training will help you get ahead