Life coach certificationLike you… we want to dispel a lot of the myths that exist around life coaching and life coach certifications!

Today’s is one of the most important to address… and it might surprise you.

MYTH: A Life Coach Certification will get you coaching clients.

REALITY: The key to being a successful life coach is to combine powerful coaching strategies with proven business strategies.  Most life coaching programs predominately focus on the theory of coaching, but that is only half of the equation.

The Successful Life Coach Equation = Life coaching skills + Business skills

Therefore the most important aspect to consider as you decide on a life coaching program is whether the training is a healthy mix of coaching and business.  (And frankly, it might even be best to focus more on the business aspects of launching and sustaining a coaching business.)

MY STORY: including the myths & the shocking truth

I’ll be honest, I created our Coach Mindset – Elite Life Coach Training and Certification because I was frustrated.

Coach Mindset - Co-founder - Mitch Matthews

Mitch Matthews, Coach Mindset - Co-founder

I had gone through a solid life coach certification program back in 2002.  The program was from a larger (house-hold name) organization.  It leaned heavy on coaching theory and strategy.  I learned some things about coaching… and as I did… I got more and more excited about the impact I could have as a life coach.

I went through the full process of becoming a coach and finally I passed my certification.  I was done.  I was ready… or so I thought.

However, my life coach training had taught me nothing about launching my actual coaching practice.  So, even though I was incredibly excited to get things going… I didn’t know where to start.  So, honestly, I floundered.  I spent too much on a website.  I sent emails to family and friends (to the point that I drove them crazy but didn’t generate any paying clients).  I started to wear myself out going to networking event after networking event (and I just kept meeting the same people… including other coaches).

And… nothing.

I wanted to scream, “But I’m a certified life coach!”

The problem was… I had believed in the myth: A life coach certification would get me clients.

I’ll admit it.  I wanted to blame my coaching program but I couldn’t because I hadn’t asked the right questions.  I hadn’t asked:

  • whether the training would be covering anything about the “business of life coaching.”
  • about whether the program would teach me about how to promote my coaching business.
  • if they would guide me on ways to build relationships with potential clients and grow an army of raging fans.
  • if they would show me ways to set myself apart from every other coach with a life coaching certificate.

Why hadn’t I asked?  Well… again… I had believed the myth.

Want to know the truth?


Most people who hire coaches don’t know any coach training organizations’ names.  Nope.  In fact, most people who hire coaches aren’t shopping for a life coach at all.  They just know they need help… and they need someone to educate them about what a life coach is and what a life coach actually does.

So… in many ways… the first key to being a successful life coach is to develop relationships with a group of people… and growing those relationships into an army of raging fans.

These people will help to educate others on what life coaching is all about… and then point people in your direction when it’s clear that they need help.  (It’s easier and more fun than you might think… but you have to have a strategy.)

SOLUTION: Make sure you choose a life coach certification program that will teach you the business skills you will need to develop a promotional blueprint so you can set yourself apart… and make the impact that you want to make!


A person who hires a life coach (and pays them $1,500 to $6,000 or more) wants to know that the coach will help them.  And they don’t decide that based on the initials behind the coach’s name on their card.  They don’t do it based on which organization that coach is affiliated with.  Nope.

They decide based on:

  • How they feel when they interact with that coach
  • What kind of impact that coach has on them
  • If that coach can generate trust and build a relationship
  • If they believe that coach can help them achieve the things they want to achieve

SOLUTION: Make sure you choose a life coach certification that gives you coaching strategy that helps you to build trust and inspire the types of change the client wants to see in their lives.


Sometimes too much coaching strategy can be cumbersome and counter productive.

Recently, I met with a coach who was going through a year-long coach certification program. She had spent $8,000 and was going to need to spend an additional $4,000 to get certified.  She had been impressed with the program, but when we started to talk about real-life coaching scenarios… I began to ask her what she would do in the different situations.

The challenge was that she started to get bogged down in all the theory.  She started to point to one approach or another.  I tried to encourage her… but I also shot straight with her and said, “The clock is ticking.  What question would you ask next to help this client out?”

She was stuck… buried under all that esoteric theory.

The problem was her coaching program was more like a college class.  Too much theory.  Not enough real-world application.

SOLUTION: Make sure the life coach certification you choose doesn’t rely too much on theory and classroom study.  One way to check this is to ask if the instructors maintain active and successful coaching practices themselves.  Why?  Well, it’s a little bit like having successful entrepreneurs teach business classes in college.  The successful entrepreneur knows what the student actually needs to be successful in the real world.  In the same ways, an instructor who maintains an active and successful coaching practice will be more apt to keep things fresh and relevant.  Teaching you the things you actually need to know as opposed to overload you with cumbersome theory.  (Plus, they are going to much more aware of some of the changing trends within the industry.)

 The rest of my story…

Well, I’ll admit that through the grace of God and whole lot of hard work… after floundering for almost 6 months… I began to develop coaching business strategies that started to work.  My life coaching practice started to grow… to the point that I was able to leave my full-time job (which was a terrible fit for me) a full year earlier than I had planned!

Then… over time… I continued to coach and grow my own life coaching and speaking business.

But then I started to get frustrated.  Why?

I started to encounter new coach after new coach… who had bought into the same myth that almost destroyed me!  I saw them go through program after program that taught them about coaching… but left out the critical business aspects of being a life coach.

So, in 2008 we started The Coach Mindset – Elite Life Coach Training and Certification.

We took a unique approach because right from the start.  We balanced coach training with business training.  We wanted people to be incredibly confident as life coaches… but we also wanted them to be wildly confident in their ability to launch and sustain a successful life coaching practice.

And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.

Now, we’d love to tell you all about our program… but that’s not what this post is all about.  This post is truly to help to address some of the myths that exist when it comes to selecting a Life Coach Certification and offer some truth for you… as you are deciding on which life coach training program is right for you.

All the best,

Mitch Matthews

life coach certification

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PS – If you are in the midst of deciding whether becoming a life coach is right for you… we designed the “5 Critical Questions Mini-Course for YOU!  These are the 5 questions I wish someone would have asked me before I jumped in my own life coach certification.  Click here to get started for free!

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  1. Would like to find out how much money is this course you’re teaching, and is it strictly on line?
    Thank you,

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  2. Russell Vanlandingham says:

    I recently left a 19 year college coaching career in need of a change. However, I find myself coaching, mentoring, guiding, and inspiring people all around me daily to achieve more in their lifes and it has been very fulfulling. I am not getting paid to serve but it is very rewarding and although I don’t have a life coaching certificate I have 19 years experience in building teams and mentoring individuals to succeed. I WOULD LOVE TO EARN A LIVING AS A LIFE COACH!!! I have a strong passion to help people and would love some advice on your program and the actual building a business.

    Please help this confused coach on what steps you would take!

    Russell Vanlandingham

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