Hiring a Life Coach – What you need to know, by Tina Marie

One of the largest growing sectors of our economy is self help where an estimated $11 billion is spent every year from people seeking to improve their life conditions. Big name authors, speakers and teachers produce book after book, program after program that promise to hold the Holy Grail of how to transform your life from rags to riches, suffering to joy, and loneliness to love. Blooming up from the massive interest in personal growth is a job description that has had a variety of names over the decades yet delivers, in essence, the same service – listening. What we had spent thousands of dollars on in the 90’s each year in the form of therapy and counseling, has been replaced by people known as Life Coaches. Being a ‘coach’ myself, people ask me, “What qualifies you to be a coach?” and “What should I look for when I am considering hiring a coach?” All great questions. Now you may think I am aiming this toward my programs/books/sessions – it crossed my mind – but instead I have placed myself back in the seat of customer and will share with you what decision process I went through to hire my past and current life coaches.

I hope this helps.  – Tina Marie

What certifies a person to be a Life Coach.

There are organizations and agencies that certify people through non-accredited programs where by meeting the qualifications the applicant is given the ability to call themselves a Certified Life Coach. Another option in being coached to be a Life Coach are programs produced by authors, teachers and retired business owners who have formed their own certification programs which will allow a person to resell an already marketed program, and be able to teach the programs to their own audiences.

In lieu of investing in a certified program that trains and provides guidance in your coaching business, some people will take on the title of Life Coach out of a personal program that they have developed from the amount of experience they have gained over their careers.

All avenues of access to people who are Life Coaches have their purpose and attraction to the audiences they serve. On your journey in choosing who you will work with, if that is the choice you make, use these points that I share here in assisting you in making a decision on what you are looking for in a Life Coach.

In unmasking the success of the self help industry, Steve Salerno, author of Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless, shares that “Whatever they think you’re deficient in, they’re selling the solution.”

Salerno’s beef: If they need another book or tape, the previous one must not have made good on its promise. “This industry is exploitative,” he says. “It takes advantage of people’s weaknesses.”
That’s not how the hundred’s of thousands of people flocking to the self help industry see it, of course. “People keep buying because they like to feel like they’re improving themselves,” says Brian Tracy, head of an eponymous self-help book-and-seminar outfit that grosses between $25 and $30 million, according to Marketdata. “The more you read, the more you grow. [Repeat customers] enjoy the study of self-help.”
Such study involves wrapping your head around theories like “listen to your heart” and “take responsibility for your actions”–part of a curriculum that helped Chopra pull in $1.3 million in 2008 from book sales and speaking engagements. (He now spends most of his time doing nonprofit work.)

What seems evident is that the self help industry is revealing that people are hungry to be heard, valued, supported and reminded that they, in fact, do possess the very answers they seek others to remind them of.

Why is Coaching so popular?

My theories on the throngs of seminar junkies, billions spent on books and audio programs that we fill our spare time with is that we are seeking the very connections and fulfillment that was once received in genuine conversation, a thing of the past in most families, and work places, replaced by text messaging, emails, conference calls and post-it notes.

It has not been uncommon to seek the answers from a mentor, a teacher, an advocate and person who has gone before in an effort to shorten our learning curve, in fact, it is considered among the highly successful, unwise to not find a coach or two to help guide us through our ‘unknowing.’ I share in my book, (UNDER WRAPS) “Left to our own devices, we seduce ourselves with naivety and insecurities. It is the wise who humbly sit at the feet of a teacher to find their way through the darkness.”
Life Coaches and those with titles like them; Success Coaches, and Consultants are filling a need, a need to be heard, a need to remind ourselves to focus on what is important, a reminder to do what fills our hearts instead of our bank accounts, then of course how to fill our bank accounts by doing what fills our hearts.

I experienced humility at a young age of 22 in the start of my first formal business, having found that I did not possess all the answers and that my business degree held few of the actual solutions to real world problems I would face.

I sought out the advice from a person who called himself a ‘serial entrepreneur’ and found I had hired my first Success Coach, Aka: Personal Business Advisor.  Since that time, when I realized that I did not have the answers, when I felt stuck and as though I was swimming through molasses in any area of my life, health, career, relationships, spiritual guidance, I have sought a mentor that would hold the lantern that lit the path for me to follow.

Is Coaching Profitable?

For the ones who ‘get it’, – Yes. For the ones who think fixing people’s problems will make them a happy client – No.
My son put it eloquently recently when he shared with his sister, “If Mom did everything for us, we would never learn on our own. She won’t always be here to do it for us, we need to do it for ourselves.”

The same goes for coaching, when a client learns that you are a ‘teacher’, they learn to take responsibility for their own lives and form their own solutions. Your nudging and prodding keeps them on the path that they defined and reminds them when the dusk settles in the path they are on is one that leads to their own highest becoming.

Those who hold the light up to the doubt, and fear and have  us march through our own hell then pat our backs on the other side, are the true life coaches.

Starting out coaches who gain an understanding of how to run a business, how to market themselves effectively and how to sell their programs and services will thrive in this market. Those who do not have well-rounded business skills need to seek a program out that teaches not only how to be a coach but also how to form your own business as a coach. Of course life is the best teacher but cutting that learning curve in half if not more it what a well designed coaching program can do. The coaching program I recommend, mainly because, I went through it and have profited greatly in less than 10 months is the LifeSoulutions Program build and designed by Mary Morrissey. (http://www.marymorrissey.com) Tell them Tina Marie sent you… I love boasting about how blogs work to generate interest.

Personally I can attest to the ability to make a six figure income being a Life Coach. Now it takes discipline and focus, the same principals that you will teach your own clients are the same principals that you will use on a daily basis. I will willingly share my formula for free to those who seek me out.

We all need a Life Coach

The truth is we all need a partner who is honest enough, detached enough, observant enough and present enough to help us produce our lives. Like a Director who sits beside the camera lens and watches as the scene unfolds, a coach can help you by seeing the whole picture from a different angle. Because as Les Brown, a dear friend of mine, and mentor, told me, “You cannot see the picture when you are in the frame.” We need, from time to time, that strong arm reminding us of our greatness.

Mary Morrissey, my personal coach and mentor, reminded me just recently when I was seducing myself as to the reasons not to take the path I knew in my heart would lead to a resolution because I had judged the action as ‘too harsh’ and ‘not nice’. Mary reminded me that I held the answer to the problem and by ignoring or acquiescing, I prolong my pain when in fact, I am at the doorway to the other side. She did not let me off the hook in following through in a timely manner on a action that needed to be taken and the result of her nudging – freedom, resolution and movement forward.

What does it cost?

I have paid between $125 an hour back in 1991 to $1,500.00 an hour in 2010. And truthfully, you get what you pay for. The consultants who command the high dollar rates, have paying clients, have accessible testimonials for you to call, have a resume that shows their failures as well as their successes and have a company built around them are what you are seeking.

I meet with my coach once a week on the telephone for 15 minutes. In prior coaching relationships, I met for 30 minutes once a week and sometimes split it up to two 15 minute sessions once at the beginning of the week and the second at the end of the week before the weekend. A coaching session is not a ‘how was your weekend’ call. They are very precise and to the point. You are paying by the minute after all.

I told a client once who was having difficulty getting a job and feared his unemployment would lead to the failing of his marriage that “Consider my services the ‘Anti-Divorce Court’ Coach.” He followed my lead, got his dream job, invested in himself and re-won the heart of his lovely bride. And I was much cheaper than divorce court – trust me!

The bottom line is that you would not trust your health with just anyone, at least I would hope not, then to goes to prove you should not trust the very expression of your livelihood into the world with anything less than a coach who has earned a “doctorate in experience”.

Interview your Life Coach

Do not be shy when considering such a working relationship. Hiring a Life Coach needs to take as much time as would bringing in a new business partner for your company. You need to trust them and be able to confide in them with all areas of your life, as all areas of your life are tightly integrated, even if it may not seem so at the outset.  Check the article How to Interview your Life Coach.

Qualities of my best Coaches(Mentors):

They listen
They allow me to trust myself and my answers
They are truthful and are able to communicate the truth without making me wrong
They are willing to let me give it a shot and then critique afterward. 
They do not try to fix me
They hold my feet to the fire to have me do what I said I would do and if I do not, they have me understand why
They have life experience that has put them through what I am in and want to get through myself
They know when they do not hold the answer people who can help and they are open to putting me in contact with those who can help me
They keep their schedules accessible so that my time with them is not interrupted and my needs are given their utmost attention
They let me design what the coaching time will look like
They hold faith in me even when I do not

Happy Coach Hunting.

– Tina Marie

Related Articles:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/15/self-help-industry-ent-sales-cx_ml_0115selfhelp.html

Additional Resources:

The Master Your Life Program produced by Seer International

Purpose:

To teach effective decision making skills, communication, and real life application of understanding defining goals and creating vision statements. Curriculum enforces abilities to use the power of our thoughts, beliefs, habits and support mechanisms in our lives to reach our highest core value goals. Fits needs on business curriculum, relationships, health, and spiritual goals.

Testimonials:

One of the world’s top coaches, speakers and teachers. Tina Marie will teach you how to play full out in your life with amazing results in a time frame that you could not achieve on your own. Be sure you eat your Wheaties when you hire Tina Marie as your coach. She knows how to make things happen!  Walt Temple, President, WTP Corp.

Dynamic, kind, caring, compassionate, funny and sweet with an ability to truly connect with any audience, this just barely scratches the surface when describing Tina Marie. In a nutshell, she is a gem. She continues to be a delight to work with professionally and I am forever grateful to consider her a friend.- Melissa Schmitz, Network Director, Voice America

I love to meet people like Tina Marie that work hard to find ways to continually improve their lives. I feel very fortunate when I meet people that share their knowledge and enrich my life, and here I am with a wonderful group of ladies guided by a very special person…Tina Marie. – Rosa Amira

“Thank You Tina!
You have an awesome energy to live and experience life at its fullest. In my opinion that is the mark of a great leader who’s passion and knowledge can not help but spill over to all those around them.”  – Gary, The Renegade Dream Builder
Dream Big, Run Fast, Challenge yourself everyday.

Credibility:

I am a successful entrepreneur having contributed to client businesses, partnerships and my own ventures for over 20 years, including 4 of my own corporations. I have experience in complex sales, operations, business development and structuring, service, consulting, program development and take out, in the energy, personal development, technology, transportation, communications, and educational industries. I have worked for and with Fortune 100 corporations, mid size and small businesses and understand the varying level of complexities between the three. My strengths include customer service, employee development, media and social marketing, image branding, personality assessments and job description definition, value surveys, communications, and designing complex ‘out of the box’ solutions.

I help people see what they may be overlooking or have thought the put to bed. I help companies create value above and beyond their current image all for little to no additional investment cost. I transform and spark renewal in product lines and services.  I enroll the workforce to design solutions and own the accountability of their own jobs in a way that frees the leaders to be visionaries and the staff to run the ship. I teach how to serve first, sell later and how to have an 85% or better close ratio through proper lead generation.

Current Availability:

As of August 2010, I have 4 openings for new coaching clients.
I take a work load of 10 clients to maintain my availability for each one.

Investment:

Please schedule a 15 minute call to assess a working relationship.
877-887-8462  or call info@tinamarie.com

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About Todd Alan

Todd Alan considers himself to be a modern day wizard practiced in the science of dynamic alchemy. Todd Alan’s mission is to light the path that leads others to the fire; lighting the fire in the hearts of others.

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