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Do I Need a License to Promote Coaching?2650

Member Natishafost private msg quote post Address this user
Hello everyone,
I am formally changing careers and at this point, I am currently volunteering and running a group in the capacity as a coach/speaker. I want to know if I have to certified or licensed in life coaching to start advertising and accepting payment for it?
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Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
@Natishafost My understanding is ...

Unless you are in a professional service such as a doctor, lawyer, etc.... then you can promote yourself as whatever you want.

So life coach today, business coach tomorrow isn't an issue ...

Just keep it real and be open with people ...

For instance, I've never had any formal training in web design but I know how to design websites, have designed websites costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for clients and done things others thought impossible ...

@Natishafost Go for it and enjoy the journey
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Teacher SunilBhaskaran private msg quote post Address this user
No need for one.
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Member gspieler private msg quote post Address this user
Agreed. I think if I were looking for a life coach, I'd want to know how this person has succeeded in order to coach me?
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Member Natishafost private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks Guys,
But then what would be the title without being certified?
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Teacher SunilBhaskaran private msg quote post Address this user
The distinctions between other forms of coaching and life coaching are getting more and more blurred with every passing moon. As Gspieler indicated - life experience - real depth and insight that shows in the nuanced understanding of complexities and the importance of listening are greater qualities in a life coach when it comes to marketing and executing your service.
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Teacher SunilBhaskaran private msg quote post Address this user
Start with Life Coach. Most people understand that. To get a more in depth answer, you will need more experience - see where the market is going, what you feel most inspired about, where you think your specialties lie etc. Start simple, build big.
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Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
There are certification programs, but certification isn't required.

I work with a public speaking coach and may start working with a career coach soon. So- I guess I will be doing more research.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@Natishafost

An important point here is, whatever you want to call yourself, you should not use the words "counseling", "diagnosis", or "treatment", as these terms refer to licensed practices.

Depending on the work I am doing at the time, I refer to myself as a consultant, instructor, teacher, mentor, or guide. While much of what I do involves life coaching I don't like to use the word coach (just a personal thing) and I more often refer to personal development, business management, and/or technical solutions as the body of work I deliver.

If you thoroughly master your craft, and understand your market, you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding the right words to call yourself and/or describe what you do.

Asking about regulations or licensing is a good first step and you got some good advice above.
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Member FrugalTravelsNepal private msg quote post Address this user
Natishafost, If you are in the US I think you should have a business license from your city/county. Your bank will keep track of the money you collect from Paypal or your online merchant portal.

I'm in Nepal, far enough from the IRS? Not quite. I let a thangka artist shop use my paypal and set up a merchant portal and it's caused a lot of problems for me. So, take one room and designate it as an office, take the deduction for that share of the rent, all your mileage or bus fares, everything to make it a nice little tax saver even if you never earn so much. But you cannot take advantage of the depreciation of your computer, cell phone bill, $.50 a mile or more if you aren't licensed as a small business. If you meet at Starbucks be sure to keep the ticket, etc.

It can save you a lot on taxes, even if you don't earn much your first year. New businesses are great tax havens. Best of luck to you.
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Member Charlene private msg quote post Address this user
It depends on the level of coaching you want to do and your target market. I have a number of coaches as friends and clients - business and life. They are all trained and certified in their specialty. Life coaching is serious business and includes discerning when your role ends and a psychologist or psychiatrist is needed for your client. Having said that, if you already have training and simply lack certification then you're in good shape. The only license I know you need is related to doing business in your city/county/state - easily determined by the secretary of state website.
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Member KathrynLang private msg quote post Address this user
In truth, that is a LOT like asking how long a piece of rope is

You need to do what makes you feel comfortable in pursuit of what you are doing so that you are confident in helping others. If that means getting a certificate or training, then go for it. But remember that a certificate or some training will not magically make it work. That will still be up to you.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@KathrynLang

Oh, so true! How many times I have hired someone with a wall full of certifications and licenses, only to find they couldn't empty a waste basket without the instructions written on the bottom!

It is always what a person can do, not what some piece of paper says the are certified to do.
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Member Natishafost private msg quote post Address this user
Very helpful information guys, thank you and I suppose I have to go with whats works for me and pay close attention to the demand in the field, stay within the legal guidelines. I appreciate the great feedback.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Anybody can be anything or call themselves whatever they want.

But can you get people to pay you for it? That's where the real rub is.
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Teacher SunilBhaskaran private msg quote post Address this user
Pay heed. What Bill says above is about as clear as you can make it or get it. People will typically pay for 1. an intriguing future 2. things that line up with their value or 3. both of the above.
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