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How To Avoid The Biggest Mistake New Coaches Make


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 (5 minute read)

I work with many new coaches as they create and grow their business from scratch. One of the biggest mistakes I see them make is to call themselves a ‘life coach’. Here’s why and what do to instead.

You’re a coach intent on growing your coaching practice. You would love to quit your day job and be an entrepreneur. You know there’s freedom and autonomy over on that side and that’s you want. You really want to make a difference in this world. So, you’re doing everything you can to grow you’re coaching practice.


If you've always been curious about what it takes to become a successful life coach I've got something for you!!!

I created this free report: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Professional Coach. 

>>> Download Your Copy Here <<<


Now imagine, you’re at a networking event and you’re circulating. You’ve got your drink, your business cards (or e-cards) and you know the people at this event could be a great match for coaching.  Let’s eavesdrop on a potential conversation.

(They) Hi, nice to meet you ……as they peer at your name tag ….Sarah.  So, what do you do? 
(You) I’m a life coach with a smile.
(They) Ooohhhh, that’s nice. Then you see them shift away, uncomfortably, and start to scan the room over your shoulder.  

Because really, what the heck is a life coach?

You’re a well trained coach and you’ve heard the stats, coaching is one of the biggest growing industries right now. You’re excited and everyone you know wants to be a life coach. Right? Newsflash, most people have NO idea what a life coach is.  Even if you ask a bunch of coaches, often you’ll get “coach speak” responses. Responses that sound like these “I support people as they navigate life transitions” or “I help people live a fulfilling life” Honestly what does that even mean? I’m a coach, and I’ve heard these too. I know many coaches who stumble and mumble because they don’t know what to say at those networking events. And here’s why.

If people haven’t experienced coaching, they don’t really what it is. Now since you’re the professional coach it’s up to you to help the listener understand. The easiest way is to describe exactly what you do in laymen’s terms. Describe it in a way the listener can understand what you’re talking about. 

And the most direct way is to describe a problem that you help people solve.

For example, let’s rewind and start that networking conversation again…..

(They) Hi, nice to meet you ….as they peer at your name tag ….Sarah. So what do you do?
(You) I’m a transition coach, I help people who have recently moved jobs acclimatize to their new role, so instead of feeling like they’re drowning they can make impactful contributions and fully engage their new team. I really help them move more quickly through the painful transition and minimize their stress along the way.
(They) Wow, I’ve just been promoted and that’s one of the reasons I started attending these networking groups. Can you tell me more? How does it work?


Do you see the difference in this style of conversation? In the first, YOU knew what a life coach was, but the listener had either no idea or was confused. In the second conversation, you described the real-world problem and how you help people overcome it.

I understand, you may coach people on job transition. But once you’re their coach, you will also coach them on relationship issues, stress levels and improving their communication.  But, if you don’t help them understand exactly how you as a coach can help them with their immediate need you will never get a chance to coach them at all.

There’s an easy formula to create one of these descriptions and I’m going to share it with you. Because I want to help you in any way I can grow your coaching practice!

When you’re crafting one of these descriptions, create one that is attuned for your listener’s need.

Here’s the step by step formula

  1. Know exactly who you help, your niche.
  2. What is one of their common problems that you help with?
  3. Describe the problem, showing you understand with the emotional discomfort that accompanies it.
  4. Describe the result once the pain is eliminated.
  5. Explain the benefit.

The fill in the blank structure looks like this:

I’m a (fill in the niche) coach. I help people who ____________(describe the situation)____________ so instead of ________(feeling this pain)___________ they can __________(feel better instead) ______ and (do something great)___________. I really help them ______ (solve their problem) ____and ____ (feel the benefit)_____.

Example #1:

I’m a transition coach, I help people who have (recently moved jobs acclimatize to their new role), so instead of (feeling like they’re drowning) they can (make impactful contributions) and (fully engage their new team). I really help them (move more quickly through the painful transition) and (minimize their stress along the way).

Example #2:

I’m a parenting coach. I help (parents of rebellious teenagers) so instead of (feeling frustrated and continually fighting with their child) they can (approach the relationship in a new way) and (learn how to listen and communicate effectively). I really help them (defuse the conflict) and (bring the family together again).

So now it’s your turn.  Take some time to fill in the blanks for your coaching practice and create your own version. I’d love to hear how it goes. What worked well? Tell me about your success.  Make a comment below!


If you've always been curious about what it takes to become a successful life coach I've got something for you!!!

I created this free report: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Professional Coach. 

>>> Download Your Copy Here <<<

1 comment

  • Gloria

    This information is so helpful It brings such clarity to your niche

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