How often do you daydream about working from home, earning great money, fitting the hours you work around nap/school time, being intellectually stimulated and contributing to the world around you? If it’s something you think about fairly regularly then the good news is (a) you’re normal and (b) you need look no further……
The Challenges of Family Planning & Starting a Business
For as long as I can remember I have dreamt of having my own business. I worked as a city lawyer for 6 years, so when my husband and I started talking about having a family, I was worried how I would manage. I couldn’t bear the thought of my usual workload, let alone new-mum separation anxiety, paying to leave my child with a relative stranger and having to fit my personal admin into a fraction of my day!
Having spent the previous 6 years in regular employment, I felt entirely out of my depth at the prospect of starting my own business.
I knew 3 things:
(1) I wanted to learn a credible new skill/profession in less than 12 months, that meant I could work from home;
(2) I wanted to be stimulated and care about what I was doing; and
(3) I wanted to start generating income sooner rather than later.
Coaching – Eh?
When I came across coaching, I was curious. The coaches I spoke to seemed to LOVE their work, but I wanted to understand:
- How viable was it as a home career/business?;
- What did it entail?; and
- How much were trained coaches really earning?
How Viable Is Coaching as a Work From Home option?
The coaching profession as a whole is still widely misunderstood, but recent industry reports have been keen to set the record straight. Professional coaching is now a $2 billion a year industry , making it the second fastest growing business skill in the world after IT. It’s being utilised in close to 80% of UK businesses and is now even being used in schools to drive up standards (which means employment and self-employment opportunities abound).
Nowadays there are all manner of coaches including: executive, small business, health/wellness, dating & relationship, teen and parenting coaches, to name a few. Once you’ve trained and developed the skill set and core competencies you can effectively apply them to any industry or market that you want.
What Does Coaching Entail?
Coaching is a process by which a coach assists a client to tap into their highest potential and successfully achieve their goals.
Through asking powerful, often bold questions, a good coach will help the client:
- identify their goals (what they really want based on their individual values)
- co-create a detailed action plan to achieve them
- teach them how to access and engage their energy and resources in pursuit of their goals
- help them understand and overcome their limitations; and
- hold them accountable to achieving their action plan.
How Much Are Coaches Really Earning?
As a trained and certified coach you can expect to earn anywhere from £50p/h to £1,500 p/h, with the average fee being in the region of £150-200p/h.
Depending on how many hours you work, executive or business coaches can expect to earn anywhere from £85,000+ per year and lifestyle coaches can expect to earn anywhere from £60,000+ per year.
How Do You Train?
If you’re interested to learn more, the next step is to find a reputable coach training programme that works for you. Here are some things to look out for:
(1) Ensure you opt for an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited provider – they undoubtedly offer the diamond standard of training (the report in the link below helpfully assesses and evaluates some of the top providers in the industry, but only covers US institutes)
(2) Make sure that everything you need is included. Some providers fail to mention that they charge extra for essentials like mentor coaches, business development training or even the exam!
(3) Make sure the programme fits with your training schedule and learning preferences. It can take anywhere from 6 – 18 months to become a Certified Coach. Ask yourself whether you want to meet like-minded people going through a similar experience? If you do, pick a training programme that offers a live training component.
There are some really great resources out there that have done much the hard work for you e.g. Special Report from IPEC entitled: 9 Key Considerations for Selecting the Right Coach Training School for You.
How Do You Succeed?
How successful you become has a lot to do with where you train and what support they provide. Since I had no experience in starting a business I needed help to take myself to market so I chose a programme where business development training was included.
The programme helped me to identify:
- WHO I wanted to coach (my target market);
- WHAT I wanted to coach them on (my niche);
- WHERE to find my audience; AND
- HOW to appeal to them
In spite of every new coach’s urge to keep their practice as broad as possible (because we’re afraid to alienate people and invariably want to serve as many people as possible) being focussed and directed helps you speak directly to your market and helps your clients to identify that you’re the right person to work with them.
Over 85% of the people in my class had paying clients before they even finished the training (in less than 7 months!) – a testament to great training.
The prospect of juggling a career with motherhood can be daunting to say the least. Often women feel torn between professional responsibilities and parental ones, but now there’s an option that allows working mums to achieve a balance between fulfilment, flexibility, fun and financial reward. Perhaps coaching will offer you the opportunity to bring your dreams and visions into reality.
This article was sponsored by the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching
Author: Anna Margolis. Anna is the Programme Director of The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) London, the global leader in accredited coach training. Find out more about iPEC London’s next coach training starting 8th-10th March.
P.S. As a special offer to Mum & Career subscribers who enroll this March, you are invited to bring a guest to the first training module for FREE (retail value £950 + VAT).