The most important reason for starting a business is to make money.
The point of a business is to provide value and thus make you money. Without this you can just have expensive and time-consuming hobbies, but in a business you are looking to get a return on your investments. Whether this is investing your time and your money you should seek to get a value from your efforts. Life-coaching certifications don’t provide a ROI.
Life-coaching certification programs are time consuming and they don’t offer value comparable to if you were actually spending your time helping others. One objection to not having a certification is the fear of losing potential clients. I can simply tell you it just doesn’t happen. Ask Tony Robbins about this.
In addition to this, most people now are turned off by life-coaching certificates and this is a great deterrent to them getting new clients. I have to tell you that of the people I have met who were “life-coaching certified”, I have been unimpressed by just about all of them. Since the standard and the quality of a life coach is so poor, this certification loses more clients than it wins.
NLP certifications are a little better, but still not much. Sometimes you can say that you trained NLP with so-and-so and this carries some weight with it. One of the more prestigious ones known in coaching circles is being able to say you are Madanes-Robbins certified, but few potential coaching clients or people you run into actually know what this is or that the certification should be viewed as prestigious.
Instead of focusing on getting certified and waiting to have someone else tell you that you can help people, you should start giving value to others right now. You are going to have to learn how to give value to others after you are certified anyway. I did this by starting my own NLP community four years ago. I didn’t know a damn thing about it, but every week I grew and improved my ability to give them value.
The problems with getting certified is that the certifications exist so that the certifying company can make money, the certifications don’t actually increase the standards that are practiced, and your value becomes dependent or tied to the certifying company.
Too many times, life coaches have a challenge of continually finding clients so a solution to this is to teach others and make a barrier to entry in their field, a certification. This happens to Reiki practitioners most commonly in what I have seen. This pattern is common for those making money and one I cover in my free ebook, the Wealth Equation, that you can get here.
Certifications aren’t really increasing the standards of those who are practicing. In theory having a certification should mean that you are better at doing your skill and that you are more qualified performing your skill than someone not certified. However, in real life the inverse is actually true. This goes back to the above point where the certifying company has to make money, so what better way than to get tons of paying customers certified?
Lastly, the problem with getting certified as a life coach is that by doing so, you are dependent on your certifying company if people were ever to care about this certification. This can be both good and bad. For example, if you are certified by Tony Robbins this has some weight to it and people can respect that. However, if you were certified by James Arthur Ray, people might have thought highly of you at one time, but after his debacle at his sweat lodge and his ensuing prison stay, that certification would probably be more preferable to be distanced from.
In anything in life, you want your success or failure dependent on you and you alone. Needing someone to give you validation that you are good enough or that you have what it takes to help people is the wrong way to go.
As I said to my one of my students, “If you didn’t know how to swim, how would you know?”
The answer is that you first have to jump in and see what you got. At least in the pool you have something to work with and you can judge how good of a swimmer you are and how far you got to go. Then, you can go and learn what you need to become a good swimmer.
Your paying clients should be the determinant of your business success and your ability to get them results. Focus on providing them the value and you will learn whether you can or not. From there, learn how to provide them even better value and then you will have learned how to swim.