Coaching is… NOT a Hobby
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I have the privilege of working with a selected number of extraordinary individuals who aspire to establish a reputable, skilled and thriving coaching business. Building such a profession from scratch is not an easy thing to do. And it certainly doesn’t happen overnight! I always encourage these clients to hold onto their “day job” until they are ready to support themselves as a Professional Coach.
In fact, there exists a methodical approach, one which demands a significant investment of time, patience and unwavering dedication…
And perhaps a certification. I say “perhaps” because a Professional Coach can be certified or not — what matters is whether they are able to help their clients make meaningful and sustainable change.
Casually using the title of "Coach" alongside another profession (so fashionable these days on every social platform!) is not the way to attain this objective and certification alone doesn’t turn you into one or guarantee stellar results.
Showing up everyday and working as one, does.
A hobby is not a profession. When we add a hobby or a side hustle to our legitimate professional title, it only serves to diminish both.
In my opinion, you’re either in Luxury Sales or you’re a Coach. You’re either a Real Estate Agent or you’re a Coach. You’re either a Yoga Teacher or you’re a Coach.
A Salesperson, Real Estate Agent or Teacher wouldn’t put “slash” Doctor, Lawyer or Architect in their professional title. So why is adding Coach to an existing and actual job title considered acceptable?
“Coach” is not a title. It’s a vocation, a calling, and a commitment, just like any other impactful profession that creates genuine and tangible value in the world. Unless you have clients who are actively paying a foundational level of compensation for your services, you have not yet reached the status of a Professional Coach.
My own Coach, Rich Litvin, calls ours the Coaching Century, and I couldn’t agree more!
In the next few decades, having a Coach will be as common as having a Doctor, Lawyer or Therapist. The word Coach will no longer carry a charge or confuse people.
But until then, those of us who have put a stake in the ground and commit ourselves daily to this work, need to be clear voices for what a Professional Coach is — and equally important, what it is not.