For over a decade now I’ve coached hundreds and hundreds of clients in 16 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania, United Kingdom and the United States.

Clients arrive on my coaching doorstep in different packages and situational types: entrepreneurs, leaders, career transitioners and coach mentees.

This essay is for the coach who wants to build a business or life coaching practice and has no idea of where to start. Or, you’ve made futile attempts to get traction in your coaching business with little or no success.

You’ve spent significant bank and sweat equity to learn the coaching skills required to be successful. (Full disclosure. Being a Faculty Leader at Coach University, we have a blue chip program.)

As a new coach you’re exploding with excitement. You love working with people to help them achieve their endgame. There’s one problem. You need to build a sustainable practice and not quite sure where to start.

No worries business and life coaches!

Here’s a template to show you what you need to master to build a business or life coaching practice. I’ll dive deeper into each one in future essays.

I use this same process with my coach mentee clients and it works.

Here we go!

1 – Personal Foundation

Your future clients will hire you because there is something they see in you that they like and want more of in their own life.

As their coach, it’s vital that all areas in your life are in great shape:

  • Family and friends
  • Career/Business
  • Financial Security
  • Health and Wellness
  • Fun and Recreation
  • Relationships / Romance
  • Physical Environment
  • Personal Growth

If any of these pieces of your life are out of balance, they will have an impact on your ability to run a business and attract clients.


2 – Deliver High Quality Coaching

As a new coach, you must:

  • Understand the ICF Core Competencies and their importance
  • Have your mentor coach listen to your recorded coaching calls

The ICF Core Competencies are much more than they appear on the printed page.

As required by the ICF certification process, I spend 10 hours with coach mentees going deep and wide to explore the meaning of the core competencies as well as how vital they are in delivering the highest level of value to the client.

Secondly, I provide Mentoring Supervision to coach mentees. I listen to their recorded coaching calls to hear how well they’re practicing the ICF core competencies. What they’re doing well. Areas where they need a little buffing to uplevel their skills to deliver superior value for their clients.


3 – Master the Art and Science of Enrolling (Selling ) Clients

I spent almost 25 years as a sales executive in the high tech arena selling products and services: the very first personal computers in the 1980’s, CAD/CAM design software, accounting applications, word processing (now it’s just Word,) artificial intelligence, minicomputers, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

As a new coach and business owner, odds are you’ve never sold a single thing in your entire life. Now you must master the art and science of enrolling (I’ve never sold my services. I prefer to enroll) strangers.

It’s imperative you work with a mentor coach who will help you get comfortable and confident during the consultation process. In addition, you need to work with a mentor coach who will help you to understand how to handle objections during this process.


4 – Own Your Value as a Coach

Even though I sold in corporate America for almost 25 years, pushing products and services with a price tag in the hundreds to $1M+, experiencing thousands of interactions with every buyer imaginable, nothing could prepare me for owning my value as a coach.

What do I mean?

Let’s say you’ve done a decent job on your personal foundation. The majority of your wheel of life is in great shape. Not perfect but better than most.

You’ve also worked with your mentor coach to hone your coaching skills. Marvy!

Next, you’re comfortable with enrolling clients. Selling an intangible. Selling yourself.

Finally, you need to firmly believe without a shadow of a doubt that you’re worth the fee your charging.

Check it.

You’re on the phone with a prospective client and your Itty Bitty Shitty Committee starts to whisper sweet negatives in your ear.

For example:

  • Am I saying the right thing?
  • Should I charge my full fee or discount it for this client?
  • There’s no way I’m worth $ (fill in your fee here)
  • I don’t think they can afford me.
  • Maybe I should coach them pro bono.

What’s your self talk sound like?

Attending an ICF accredited coaching school and getting the proper education is an essential first step as a coach.

The aforementioned four steps are a few of the areas you must master to build a successful business or life coaching practice.

I hope you find this template useful.

Contact me at to schedule a consultation.

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