Is it true?
Are there too many coaches?
Is the coaching industry saturated?
Lately, I’ve been hearing some coaches say “coaching is a saturated industry”, “there are too many coaches”, “I can’t be successful as a life coach”, “coaching is too competitive”.
All of these opinions are just another way of people worrying that they’ve missed the boat and that it’s too late for them to become a successful coach.
These claims are false!!!
So, what’s the reality? Recently the ICF, the International Coaching Federation, reported there are about 50,000 members registered with them worldwide. Now, in case you didn’t know, at this time coaching is an unregulated industry.
This means anyone can call themselves a coach.
There are coaches with thousands of documented hours and hundreds of hours of training. And at the same time, there are others who call themselves coaches who have taken a four-hour weekend workshop.
What does this mean? If the ICF says there are about 50,000 coaches, this is a fraction of the number of people who refer to themselves as coaches in the world.
Let’s take an extreme view if the ICF only represents 25% of the coaches in the world. This could mean there are as many as 200,000 who call themselves coaches.
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So, does this mean the competition is too stiff? Is it a waste of time to become a coach? Have you missed the wave of opportunity?
The answers are: No. Nope. No.
Let’s take this assumption, that the coaching industry is too competitive and it’s impossible to become a successful coach and analyze it in four ways.
Approach #1 – Let’s do the math
The world’s population is approximately 7.6 billion (remember this is 7,600,000,000).
If at any one time only 1% are looking for help with a challenge or reach a goal and can afford to pay for this service. This means 76 Million people could hire a coach at any one time.
This would mean each coach would have potentially:
76,000,000 people / 200,000 coaches = 380 clients looking for the help of a coach today!
Most coaches who coach full time can only handle about 20 one on one private clients.
The numbers show there is more than enough people who qualify as potential clients for the number of coaches.
Approach #2: The demand for coaches will increase as coaching becomes more popular and mainstream.
There is more than one type of coach. I’ve met successful coaches who primarily focus in these areas of life, executive, career, business, health, family and relationship to name a few.
When I showed you the concept that at any one time there could be 380 potential coaching clients who could benefit from coaching for every person who calls themselves a coach right now I assumed that one person would only ever need one coach.
Well if we compared professional coaching with the healthcare professionals, you would never assume one person would only ever need one doctor. Right?
If that were the case, we wouldn’t need paediatricians, orthopaedics, surgeons, cardiologist, internists, obstetricians or family doctors, would we? One doctor should do us from cradle to grave.
Each person who could benefit from coaching services may work with more than one coach at a time. This dramatically shows a potential growing demand for coaches in the years to come.
Approach #3: Coaching is still a relatively new industry.
Currently, most people have never been coached.
They may have heard of coaching, but many have no idea how it can help them live a more fulfilled, satisfied life and how it can help them reach their goals.
If they knew how it could help them, the demand for coaching programs would skyrocket. Your goal as a coach should be to help spread this awareness. This alone will foster growth in the industry and the more people who know about coaching, the more they will be looking for a good coach to hire.
Approach #4: Competition is healthy, and there is room for many well-trained coaches. You have your style, and you will attract the right clients for you. There are people you don’t want to work with, and they are not best suited to work with you.
Go to the grocery store and visit the bread aisle. Do you see what I see? Rows upon rows of different kinds of bread. There is whole wheat and white, baguettes and buns. There has to be at least 20 kinds of bread in this one photo, and this is just the bread sitting on these shelves right now, the shelves will empty and will be refilled tomorrow, the next day and the day after that.
The demand for coaching skills and coaches will grow as people experience the value. Here are a few scenarios I’ve been part of in the past few years:
Imagine, when a co-worker turns their performance around, and suddenly their team is inspired to do great work, and everyone is happy to show up every single day.
Or, a relationship that was on the rocks turns around and becomes satisfying and fulfilling.
Or, someone you know who was always overwhelmed and felt stuck feels better, starts doing things that they love again.
And believe me, when people witness their friends, family and co-workers become fulfilled, reach long wished for goals, overcome obstacles, or get the spring back in their step they want to experience it too!!!!
So, take heart, anytime you worry that there is too much competition remember you are an original.
You are unique, and if you are drawn to be a coach, you are meant to be doing this work.
The people you are meant to coach are waiting for your help, and there are more than enough clients for all the coaches because people always want to have a happier more fulfilled life.
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