What is a Life Coach? (2023)

Is Becoming a Life Coach the right path for you? Read on to learn more!

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What is a Life Coach? (1)

At Health Coach Institute, we break our Life Coach definition into 3 parts. A Life Coach is someone who:

  • Challenges you to question how you approach every aspect of your life
  • Unlocks potential so you are empowered to create anything you desire
  • Inspires you to change the way you live day-to-day to be more aligned with who you want to be

What is a Life Coach? (2)

A Life Coach is

a trained professional who works with clients across 3 domains of well-being, helping them see (and step into) the boldest, most empowered and alive version of themselves.
The 3 domains Life Coaches address include:

  • Physical well-being
  • Emotional well-being
  • Cognitive well-being

What is a Life Coach? (3)

A Life Coach Acts As

a guide, cheerleader, accountability partner, confidante, and truth-teller who helps clients hone in on what they want and then works with them to set achievable goals to get there.

What is a Life Coach? (4)

A Life Coach is NOT

a therapist or medical professional. Life Coaches do not analyze, diagnose, prescribe treatment, or work with clients to resolve past issues or traumas.

Life Coaches are focused on current obstacles and taking results-oriented actions to move from stuck to liberated.

(Video) What is a Life Coach? (and Why Do People Need a Life Coach?) (Life Coaching 101 1/6)

What is Life Coaching?

Life Coaching is a profession wherein a client works closely with a coach over a period of time to achieve a desired outcome (or multiple outcomes). The Life Coaching field has been around for awhile now, but it’s grown in popularity in recent years, among individuals and businesses alike, as an effective tool for helping people make desired change, achieve more balance, find fulfillment, increase satisfaction in their lives, and set and meet desired goals.

By engaging in coaching, clients learn how to:

What is a Life Coach? (5)

Increase their awareness and self-confidence

What is a Life Coach? (6)

Tune in to their innate intuition

What is a Life Coach? (7)

Reframe their thoughts

What is a Life Coach? (8)

Banish limiting beliefs that may be holding them back from what they desire

What is a Life Coach? (9)

Empower themselves to make change

What is a Life Coach? (10)

Enhance their overall quality of life

Life Coaching is a collaborative partnership between coach and client, where the coaching relationship continually gives all the power back to the client.

As Life Coaches, we hold the premise that the client knows the answers to every question or challenge they may be facing in their life—even if those answers appear to be obscured, muddled, or hidden inside.

A Life Coach’s skill lies in knowing the most empowering questions to ask to bring those answers forward, thereby expanding the menu of choices the client has to create what they want in every aspect of their lives. This is the first of our 10 paradigms for Life Coaching. To unlock the rest, download our free 10 Paradigms for Life Coaching guide now.

Get the 10 Paradigms for Life Coaching guide!

Download this incredible guide now!

What is a Life Coach? (11)


(Video) What is a Life Coach?

Generally speaking, Life Coaches assist clients who may be in a period of transition, stuck in a rut, seeking change, or otherwise in need of some type of guidance.
Life Coaches help clients:

  • Clarify, set, and achieve personal goals

  • Unlock their potential

  • Find their true calling

  • Reframe their mindset to see opportunities instead of problems

  • Unleash their creativity

  • Find solutions

…and lots more!

They do this by meeting with clients for anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes over a period of time. These meetings are referred to as sessions, and during a session, a client will typically raise an issue they’re facing and a Life Coach will work with the client to address the challenge. The Life Coach will ask questions intended to help the client gain clarity and identify obstacles standing in the way of what they want.

A Life Coach’s ultimate function is to help the client feel empowered to change their situation and provide the support and accountability to help them do so successfully. Life Coaches challenge their clients, help them focus on what’s most important to them, and create a plan to achieve their desires, hold them accountable, and celebrate their successes.

Life Coaches may provide guidance in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Finding work / life balance
  • Changing or beginning careers
  • Managing stress
  • Improving health
  • Increasing confidence
  • Improving communication
  • Creating a business plan
  • Starting a business
  • Setting financial goals
  • Buying a home
  • Choosing a school or educational program
  • Improving relationships

…and lots more!

Typically, a client will meet with a Life Coach for at least 3 months (the minimum amount of time required to help them facilitate lasting positive transformation in their lives). Some prefer to work with a Life Coach over a longer period of time, and even over several years. It really depends on the scope of the client’s need and the depth of inner work that’s required to help the client achieve their goals.

Learn more about what Life Coaches do

(Video) Is Life Coaching a Scam?

How Do Life Coaches Work with Clients?

Life Coaches can work with clients in a number of different ways, either in-person or virtually, and on an individual basis or with groups.

What is a Life Coach? (12)

Virtual Coaching

Virtual Life Coaching is exploding because it allows coaches to work with clients anywhere in the world and gives clients more opportunities to connect with a coach who can assist them with their specific needs and interests. Virtual coaching typically occurs in one of two formats:


Coach and client have their sessions over the phone (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in length, depending on the coach’s preference). Coaches may provide clients with a conference line to call into for their meeting (which can even be recorded for the client and shared with them afterward) or call them directly using their personal line.


If a client prefers to have a more personal, face-to-face session, coaches can call clients using programs like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, and even share links to resources during their meetings using the selected program’s chat features.

What is a Life Coach? (13)

In-Person Coaching

If a client lives close by and would prefer to connect live, a Life Coach may offer the option to meet with the client face-to-face. Some Life Coaches have physical offices, rent space by the hour, or even meet with clients in public settings like cafes.

After client sessions, Life Coaches typically follow up via email, noting any action items that should be taken to prepare for their next meeting, providing any resources that may be helpful in reaching their goals, and making themselves available for questions that may arise.

What is a Life Coach? (14)

A Day in the Life of a Life Coach

One of the beauties of Life Coaching is that it offers tremendous freedom and flexibility. As a Life Coach, you can work from anywhere in the world and you can create a work schedule that lets you live your best life. Here’s a snapshot of a day in the life of Life Coach Lisa Callahan (May 2017 BHC grad)

Meet Lisa, Married Mom of 2 Living in Los Angeles:

Before becoming a coach, I worked for Weight Watchers for 14 years. Even though that has an obvious focus on weight loss, most of the people I worked with wanted and needed to work on more than the just the food they were consuming and the exercise they were doing.

Read MoreClose

I opened my coaching practice, Transformation for Real, in Sept of 2017. My niche for Life Coaching is teaching women how to have a healthy relationship with life. The problem is we put everyone else first, even though we logically know that isn’t sustainable. We don’t take time to step back and see if we are doing what is in our own best interest, which ultimately will help everyone else in our lives as well. So, we give and we give until we have a breakdown that affects either our physical health, our mental health, or both.

  • 5 am I’m a morning person, so I wake up early, and immediately take my supplements with 20 oz of water.

  • 5:15 am I get dressed in my workout clothes, and do my stretching and pre-workout in my apartment.

  • 5:30 am – 6:30 am I go to the gym, generally doing 30 minutes of cardio and then some weight training.

  • 7:30 am – 8:15 am I drive my daughter to school.

  • 8:15 am – 9 am I meditate, take a shower, and get a load of laundry going.

  • 9 am – 2:30 pm Monday – Wednesday This is the time I reserve for coaching my clients. This allows for 4 clients with 30 mins in between for prep and notes, as well as light snacks.

  • 9 am – 2:30 pm Thursday & Friday This is the time I reserve for continuing education and working on building the business. I set up my CTD calls, research networking opportunities, shoot videos, and pre-post on my FB page.

  • 3 pm I leave to pick my daughter up from school and then we are back at home by 4 pm.

  • Evening hours I leave my evenings open for my family, but because I am on the West Coast and some of my clients are in the Midwest, I also leave time open for CTDs in the evening and the occasional client who may not be able to meet during the day.

The flexibility of the career is great because my daughter has also started acting and does background work here in LA. Since what we do is remote, I can still have sessions while she is on set. My family is back in Ohio and Chicago, so when we travel my job travels with me…and I mean that in a good way!
As you can see, you have the power and flexibility to create your ideal work day as a Life Coach. Want to see the world? Are you a military spouse who moves frequently? The amazing thing about coaching is that your work can be done from anywhere.
If you’re:

  • Passionate about inspiring and empowering others to live up to their full potential
  • A lover of all things personal growth and self-improvement
  • Interested in doing rewarding work that pays well and makes a difference in others’ lives

…Life Coaching could be for you!

(Video) How To Feel Better | The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo Episode #2

To discover how you can create a rewarding career as a Life Coach, click the button below to speak with a Clarity Coach now.



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How do you explain what a life coach is? ›

A life coach is someone who counsels and encourages clients through personal or career challenges. A life coach helps guide clients to reach their ultimate goals. A life coach can help individuals in different areas of their life.

What is a life coach good for? ›

Life coaches work with functioning individuals who are looking to create a pathway to reaching set goals. Whether it is work, personal or family, coaches act as unbiased thinking partners and hold their clients accountable by typically having weekly or bi-weekly one-hour sessions.

What qualities makes a good life coach? ›

Life coaches need to be approachable, personable, friendly and helpful. They should be enthusiastic, empathic and have a sense of humour and patience. Possessing these qualities are important in helping coaches to gain new customers, but also new business contacts.

What problems do life coaches help with? ›

What Problems Do Life Coaches Solve?
  • You don't know where to go in life. ...
  • You are looking for a new career path. ...
  • You don't know how to get to your goal. ...
  • You don't have any goal in life. ...
  • There's no one to talk to. ...
  • You need a sound advice. ...
  • You're chronically stressed. ...
  • You have self-esteem issues.
3 Mar 2022

What type of person needs a life coach? ›

8. You're facing a major transition. If you're about to change jobs, move to a new city or get out of a relationship, you need a life coach. You don't want to burn out your family and friends with discussions about your upcoming life changes, and you want to make your transition as easy as you can.

What is another name for a life coach? ›

What is another word for life coach?
mentorbusiness coach
career coachguru
38 more rows

What is the value of a life coach? ›

A life coach can help a person to identify strengths, develop them, and identify personal and professional goals. Their role is to assist the coachee throughout the change process. As you will discover, this happens in several ways. A mentor's focus is partly on compatibility with the mentee.

What does a life coach do day to day? ›

A life coach helps individuals to become the best versions of themselves. They empower clients to make, meet and exceed professional and personal goals. Not just about giving advice, life coaching involves building relationships with clients and supporting them to make positive changes.

What is the most important thing as a coach? ›

The most important attribute of any coach is that they want to help the person or people they are coaching to learn. A good coach doesn't see themselves as an expert able to fix all problems and having all the answers. Instead, they see themselves as supporting the process of learning.

What are the 5 main characteristics a good coach should have? ›

5 Traits of a Good Coach
  • They master the art of “active listening” ...
  • They're willing to share skills, knowledge and expertise. ...
  • They act as a positive role model. ...
  • They focus on helping others to “problem solve” ...
  • They value ongoing learning and growth.
4 May 2020

What is the most important quality of a coach? ›

  1. An effective coach is positive. ...
  2. An effective coach is enthusiastic. ...
  3. An effective coach is supportive. ...
  4. An effective coach is trusting. ...
  5. An effective coach is focused. ...
  6. A good coach is goal-oriented. ...
  7. An effective coach is observant. ...
  8. A good coach is respectful.

What a life coach does not do? ›

Coaching does not focus on the past; rather, life coaching focuses on the present and creating the future that a client hopes to achieve. Life coaches are not consultants. A good life coach will not tell clients what to do or prescribe specific courses of action based on their own desires.

What a life coach Cannot do? ›

Difference Between a Life Coach and a Therapist

While working with a life coach may help you to deal with certain unresolved issues, life coaches cannot treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other mental health condition. Therapists have a degree and are licensed mental health professionals.

What is a life coach not allowed to do? ›

Under the law, coaches cannot do any of the following: Bill their services to health insurance companies. Offer the breadth of care and services provided by therapists. Diagnose or treat mental health conditions.

What is the difference between a life coach and a lifestyle coach? ›

Lifestyle coaches work with mentally healthy people who need to be encouraged and guided on finding their true selves, changing their lives, or achieving specific goals. Life coach: Works with emotionally and psychologically healthy people. Deals with the present and future.

What skills do life coaches have? ›

Here are some key skill areas that life coaches use in their daily work:
  • Organizational skills. Organizational skills allow life coaches to help their clients develop life plans and other systems to meet their goals. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Problem-solving skills. ...
  • Interpersonal skills. ...
  • Business administration skills.
25 Mar 2022

Can I just call myself a life coach? ›

Who can call themselves a life coach? What is coaching? Just like the translation profession, the coaching profession isn't protected. This means that anybody can call himself or herself a coach, and the term “coach” is often used instead of “teacher” – most of the time by well-meaning individuals.

Can you just call yourself a life coach? ›

There are no official or legal requirements for education, training, or credentials for someone starting relatively recently in this career. Technically, you can call yourself a life coach and begin working with clients immediately.

Can anybody call themselves a life coach? ›

Life Coach is no protected professional title. Anyone can and may call themselves that. Certified coaching providers are therefore always a good contact point for potential clients. Therefore, it is also advantageous for you if you strive for a professional training for your future coaching work.

How old is the average life coach? ›

The average age of an employed life coach is 34 years old. The most common ethnicity of life coaches is White (67.5%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (13.5%), Black or African American (9.2%) and Asian (5.9%).

How many sessions with a life coach? ›

For time-critical goals like these, you should aim to meet with your coach once a week as a minimum and preferably twice a week for the first week or two. So, you're looking at around eight to 12 life coaching sessions in total.

How should a life coach prepare for a session? ›

Here are a couple of ways a coachee can make the most out of a coaching session.
  1. Identify your goal(s) and/or area of focus. The most important thing is to have a focus area and set goals to work toward with your coach. ...
  2. Keep a journal. ...
  3. Be open. ...
  4. Be prepared to be challenged. ...
  5. Expect change.
22 Aug 2018

Who is the most successful life coach? ›

Tony Robbins

Anthony Robbins is perhaps the most famous American author, coach, and speaker in the world today. His seminars have impacted over 50 million people from 80 countries and have been turned into a Netflix documentary film called I Am Not Your Guru.

What makes a life coach unique? ›

Life coaching or consulting is a career where the coach has a firm understanding of the principles of success and their application. A life coach teaches others how they can put these principles to work for them in their career or personal life. In addition, life coaches can help clients deal with stress and anxiety.

What are 5 responsibilities of a coach? ›

A great coach will serve many roles: technical supporter, motivator, leader, psychologist, and maybe most importantly, as a role model for the athlete to follow in the competition arena as well as out. Well developed coaches will understand their various roles as it pertains to their overall program.

What are 3 responsibilities of a coach? ›

The coach's role is to facilitate learning, offer advice, and analyze the individual to identify weaknesses and strengths.

What are the 5 C's of coaching? ›

The child's personal and social skills are referred to as the 5 Cs (competence; confidence; connection; character and caring; and creativity). Sport and coaching can be a tool to support positive youth development.

What are the four key coaching skills? ›

To execute the three plays, great coaches hone a set of four core communication skills: asking effective questions; actively listening; giving competent, relevant feedback; and confronting.

What are the 8 responsibilities of a coach? ›

  • Coaches' 9 legal Duties. ...
  • Plan the activity properly. ...
  • Provide proper instruction. ...
  • Provide a safe physical environment. ...
  • Provide adequate and proper equipment. ...
  • match your athletes according to size, physical maturity, skill level and experience.
  • evaluate athletes for injury and incapacity. ...
  • Supervise the activity closely.

What are the signs of a good coach? ›

A good coach is positive, enthusiastic, supportive, trusting, focused, goal-oriented, knowledgeable, observant, respectful, patient and a clear communicator.

What skills must a successful coach have? ›

Examples of coaching skills
  • Empathy.
  • Curiosity.
  • Positivity.
  • Persistence.
  • Innovation.
  • Communication.
  • Sincerity.
  • Guidance.

What values do coaches have? ›

  • Integrity: Know & do what is right.
  • BE COMMITTED: Set high standards for your behavior & stick to them, even in difficult situations.
  • BE COURAGEOUS: Stand up for what you believe is just & good.
  • BE HONEST: Choose words & actions that are sincere, not misleading.

Is a life coach like a therapist? ›

What to expect: Life-coaching resembles talk therapy, because the focus of sessions tends to be about you and what's happening in your personal life, Schoeder says. But unlike talk therapy, the point of life-coaching is to create an action plan that helps you change your behavior in some area of your life.

What is the opposite of a life coach? ›

We found 1 solutions for Opposite Of A Life Coach? . The most likely answer for the clue is HEARSE.

Can a life coach give mental health advice? ›

A life coach is in no way trained, authorized, or insured to attend to mental health symptoms or issues directly. 'Mindset coaching' should not be addressing depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorder or other psychotherapeutic issues directly.

Why do life coaches fail? ›

The single biggest reason most Life Coaches fail is because they lack commitment – or at least enough commitment to drive them through the tough times.. It's really hard to be a great coach without commitment. It's really hard to generate clients without commitment.

Can a life coach treat anxiety? ›

Since coaching focuses on individuals taking ownership to help improve future behaviors, it can be an effective way for many people with anxiety to help overcome some of their symptoms.

Do life coaches deal with trauma? ›

That said, some life coaches use trauma-informed practice, while some therapists do not. Because trauma lives in the body, you may also want to consider working with a trauma-informed hands-on healing practitioner such as a craniosacral therapist, acupuncturist, or massage therapist.

How long does a life coach session last? ›

Coaching Sessions of Moderate Length (30-60 minutes)

A large fraction of coaches prefer sessions within this time range.

Do life coaches take notes? ›

Every coach should take notes after each coaching session to keep track of the conversation and document what you're learning about the client.

What is the difference between counseling and life coaching? ›

Coaching only focuses on the present and the future. Counselling exclusively focuses on the past. Counselors offer advice and on what to do, whereas, coaches do not.

What is the difference between a life coach and a therapist? ›

Life coaches identify and describe current problematic behaviors so the client can work to modify them. Therapists analyze their client's past as a tool for understanding present behaviors. In other words, therapists focus on “why” certain behavioral patterns occur, and coaches work on “how” to work toward a goal.

What is a fair price for a life coach? ›

Most life coaches charge somewhere between $75 and $200 per hour. However, you can find coaches who fall outside of that range.

Can life coaches help with anxiety? ›

Since coaching focuses on individuals taking ownership to help improve future behaviors, it can be an effective way for many people with anxiety to help overcome some of their symptoms.

How do I know if life coach is for me? ›

The first sign that you should become a life coach is when you truly have a passion for self development. The greatest life coaches have an amazing amount of passion for developing themselves as individuals, and they want to use an transfer this passion over to others.

How many sessions do you need to be a life coach? ›

How Many Coaching Sessions Do I Need? A life coach works with you to understand and explore problems, define clear, do-able and motivating goals, and gets you started off in your journey to change. All of this typically takes anywhere between 5 – 8 sessions.

Do life coaches give advice? ›

Coaches will not offer advice; rather, they will create structure in their coaching conversations to lead to their clients to discover what best works for them.

How long is a session with a life coach? ›

Coaching sessions will typically last between 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the coach you choose). Often, after an initial assessment, sessions can be conducted face-to-face or remotely, usually over the phone, over email, via video calls and occasionally through instant messaging.

What is included in life coaching? ›

Life coaches can help you in any area of your life including, but not limited to:
  • Work-life balance.
  • Health and fitness.
  • Spirituality.
  • Work performance.
  • Career goals.
  • Procrastination & productivity.
  • Getting motivated.
  • Finding your purpose.
20 Apr 2022

What questions should I ask a life coach? ›

Here are 10 of my All-time Best Coaching Questions!
  • What would you like to have achieved by the end of this session? ...
  • What's MISSING in your life right now? ...
  • If you could change just ONE thing right now, what would it be? ...
  • How SPECIFICALLY will you know you've completed that action/goal?
7 Dec 2021

Why do people hire a life coach? ›

Life coaches help people discover their life's purpose.

Finding your calling, meaning, and purpose in life is something many people struggle to pursue alone. Life coaches guide their clients through exercises that elicit deep thought to help them become more self-aware.

Is a life coach paid well? ›

While the global average life coach annual revenue is $47,100/year, North American life coaches earn the most annual coaching revenue, at $62,500/year. Oceanian life coaches follow with $61,100/year, and life coaches in Western Europe are in third with $51,100/year.


1. How to Become a Life Coach (and get PAID) **very detailed**
2. Being your Own Life Coach | John Muldoon | TEDxShanghaiAmericanSchoolPuxi
(TEDx Talks)
3. What Do I Think About Life Coaches?
(Kati Morton)
4. Why Lifecoach Left Hearthstone & Where He is Now
5. Why You Aren't Taking Action | The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo Episode #1
(The Life Coach School)
6. The Truth About Life Coaching
(CNBC Make It)
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