7 Reasons To Quit Life Coaching (or not start)

There are more good reasons to quit life coaching (or any coaching for that matter), or not become a coach in the first place than there are to become one.

Here are seven.

1. If You Don’t Desperately Want to Help People (the easy one)

I don’t really think this needs explaining, does it?

It’s somewhere on the spectrum of really hard to incredibly fucking hard to build a successful coaching practice (as will become apparent).

Doing it because it’s a way to make easy money, or your best friend thinks you should give it a go, is doomed to failure.

So you must, must, and thrice I say must, love helping people.

Having said that, being passionate about helping people is not a differentiator.

It won’t help you stand out in the coaching industry and it’s not a marketing strategy.

It’s merely the bar to entry that will (hopefully) keep you pushing through the tough times.

2. You Need Money To Feed the Kids…Quickly

If you have a lot of spare cash it may be possible by setting up a social media funnel to build a coaching practice in a few weeks.

But you don’t have lots of spare cash to spend on your marketing, otherwise, you’d not be reading this.

Building a profitable online coaching practice takes many months, sometimes years.

That’s assuming you know how to create and implement a cohesive and effective marketing strategy.

I tell people who I work one-on-one with to expect it to take 12-18 months.

12-months of hard work.

Check out How To Start a Coaching Business if you want to know more.

And that’s 12-18 months with my help, guidance and almost 18-years of experience – not going it alone.

If you’re thinking of becoming a coach to make some quick cash, forget about it (and ignore the charlatans who tell you it’s possible if you just hire them).

It will be like running in treacle wearing lead boots, a very heavy hat, and carrying 3 bags of shopping.

At least to begin with.

The best way to build a successful coaching practice is slowly.

It takes time to grow a newsletter list.

It takes time to build an engaged social media following.

And it takes time to get your website ranking on Google.

If you really need money relatively quickly then find a job and give yourself some breathing room.

3. You Hate Marketing and Don’t Want to Learn It

I accept that I’m very lucky because I love marketing.

I enjoy writing, have fun on social media and I see things like SEO (search engine optimisation) as a big game.

I also have 20 years of sales experience, so that element is enjoyable to me too.

If you’re a coach, it’s perfectly ok to hate marketing.

But it’s not perfectly ok to ignore marketing.

If you’re to build a successful online coaching practice, content marketing will be important to you.

Similarly, social media marketing will be crucial to you.

And getting clients will require you will need to promote yourself and your coaching online.

There is no other way.

If that fills you with dread, either take your business offline entirely, or quit before you make yourself miserable.

4. You Don’t Have Over 15-Hours Per Week

I hesitated to say 15 hours because over 20 is more sensible and 40+ ideal, and do you know why?

Well, first let me ask you this.

Do you think there are more coaches than there are people looking for coaches?

I do.

And I literally mean more people calling themselves a coach than people actively searching for a coach on any given day.

We are in what has become, a brutally competitive and saturated industry, it’s just no longer possible to succeed by half-assing things.

As I already said, it takes a considerable amount of time to build a coaching practice.

If you’re spending 10 hours per week building your business, you will – all things being equal – take four times longer than somebody spending 40 hours.

And there are plenty of coaches out there who spend over 40 hours per week.

Even now with an established practice I still spend 25-30 hours per week on marketing my business just to maintain things.

If you’re looking to build a coaching business rather than a coaching hobby, then you have to treat it as a business and not as a hobby.

5. You’re Not Prepared to Invest in Hiring Your Own Coach

Would you go to a hairdresser who cut his own hair and it looked like he’d been attacked by a blind goat with a pair of scissors?

What about a dentist whose teeth looked like they belonged to Shane MacGowan from The Pogues meth smoking older brother?

Or a mechanic who you kept seeing stood by the side of his road by his broken-down car scratching his head then?

How much credibility can a coach have who refuses to hire another coach?

Close to none.

It demonstrates a lack of belief in coaching, the very product they are trying to sell.

I have issues with the ICF, but they are right to insist their coaches hire a coach in order to get certified. 

But it goes deeper than that.

I hire people who know shit I don’t.

Hiring a coach is like taking a shortcut, so it’s cost-effective in the long run.

At least for me.

In 2020 I spent about $10,000 on coaches of one form or another.

I’m pretty much always working with somebody and currently, I have two people I’m paying to help me.

When I was a life coach I worked with a bunch of other coaches.

The first couple were exchanges, but after that, I put my hand in my pocket.

And so should you.

loose change

6. You Have No Budget

You may be thinking that you’d love to hire a coach, but you simply cannot afford to.

How are you going to run your business then?

A few years ago I ran a competition to get a free coaching package with me.

I asked people to email me and give me a compelling reason to work with them.

One lady said, ‘I’d love you to choose me Tim because if it was literally only $5 to work with you I couldn’t afford it.’

That’s incredibly sad on so many levels, but I’m a marketing coach, not a magician.

Of course, there are elements you can bootstrap.

You can get a free ESP (email service provider) and you can get a free website for instance.

But by doing that you make a very hard job even harder.

Coaches with a professional ESP and a well-designed website will kick your ass.

Can you think of any industry that requires literally zero investment to start a business?

I can’t. 

crying child

7. You’re All Upset Now and Think I’m a Dick For Suggesting You Quit Life Coaching

I may very well be a dick, plenty of people think so.

But if this post has you questioning whether coaching is right for you, then it almost certainly isn’t.

And you owe me one because I may well have saved you a lot of wasted time and effort that would be better spent with family and friends.

As Kevin Hart said

‘If you give up at the first sign of trouble, then you’re not ready to be successful’

On the flip side, if this post just has you more determined, then good for you.

And do pop back in 12 months when you’re crushing it to tell me to go fuck myself. 

8 thoughts on “7 Reasons To Quit Life Coaching (or not start)”

  1. Tim,

    I have been an independent executive coach and advisor to executives since 1990. What a rollercoaster! Either raining cash or reigning panic (terrible word play).

    You are right to warn people. Coaching is very rewarding . . . but not for the feint of heart. (Geez! More terrible word play.)

    May the nonsense be with you.

  2. Wow, you sound like an expert! Have you considered mentoring? I mentor through *company deleted* and it’s honestly a great way to pay it forward and earn a little extra on the side.

  3. Seriously !!!
    “7 Reasons To Quit Life Coaching”
    I just astonished with the title itself. What a thought? However I personally liked your thinking a lot. Let’s see do I really need to quit or not?
    Time will say.

  4. Loved reading this, made me laugh and it made me more determined to reach my diploma…can’t wait to write to you in 12 months…not to tell you to go fuck yourself, but more importantly, in hope, I can say I have made it. Perhaps, it will take longer, but my passion for people and their general shit is big enough to cope with all the crap I will most certainly have on my way!! Wish me luck!!

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