How Long Does it Take to Become a Life Coach? | JRNI

November 5, 2018
Life Coaching

How Long Does it Take to Become a Life Coach?

If you've been the go-to in your group of friends for any kind of life, relationship, dating advice or whatever they need to process in their time of turbulence, then you've actually already been a life coach. In a way. Yes, you're probably giving more advice than processing. But a safe space is being created. Trust is being built. New perspectives are being revealed. Revelations are being sparked. There is a human exchange. A form of life coaching is happening.

Now, this doesn't mean you should hang your "I'm a life coach!" shingle on your social media door and start charging people for sessions. Many actually do this and their "life coaching career" is short-lived because haven't received any training or gained any confidence. You need training and practice, even people who attend the best life coaching schools would agree.

Also, life coaching is very different than business coaching or career coaching. If you have created a successful business, you can probably coach someone else without how to coach people with their business training. Because you have learned how to build a business. But life coaching is different, and starting a coaching business from scratch is entirely different. Just because you have a great life or have gone through some shit doesn't mean you can coach others with their life transitions, relationships, dating, etc. I mean, you can. But with some training and tools. Or you'll just be giving advice and that's not what life coaching is about.

john kim life coach
Me during a life coaching session ten years ago

So back to the question, How long does it take to be a life coach?

It depends on two things. The length of the certification program. And the time it takes to feel confident in coaching others.

Life coach trainings vary like any trainings. There is everything from weekend trainings - which I would stay away from because you will definitely need more than a weekend to learn how to help people with their lives- to two year programs.  But that's like how long it takes to go to grad school.

The Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive is around 16 weeks (4 months). We get you to start peer coaching and practicing while you're a student so you get a head start on that second part of my answer. So depending on how much work/practice you're willing to put in, I would say a good six months after you graduate.

Roughly one year is what it takes to start life coaching in earnest. I don't say that to scare you, I say it to be honest and prepare you for what's ahead of you -- exciting and challenging, in turn.

During this year, you want to spin a few plates.

1.  Get trained, get educated.

Remember to use the concepts you learn in your life coach training program on yourself first. Not only to apply the training for your own self-betterment journey but also to experience the concepts first hand so you will understand them better.

You're not only taking the training to become a life coach. You're taking the training to gain tools to have a better in life. This naturally will make you a better coach.

2. Practice more than you plan.

Practice. Practice Practice. Make sure you are always practicing whenever you get a chance. With your cohort, friends, strangers. Whoever. Whenever. Never turn down an opportunity to practice your craft. Remember, you will learn more in the actual practice of coaching than in any course.

3. Become visible, share your story.

Start sharing your story and post your revelations. That's one of the characteristics of a good life coach. People will either relate to you and your message. Or they will not. Do not be concerned with the amount of followers. Use social media as a filter to attract who you are meant to help. The people who do not relate to you, your story, or your message are not meant to be your clients.

John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, life coaches
Myself and fellow coach Noelle Cordeaux in 2018


Life coaching is not just about having a practice. Life coaching is about living a certain way. What is produced by that way of living becomes your practice. It can come in the form of a one on one sessions. Or books and retreats.

Life coaching is a journey that starts with answering your passion to help others. Through your journey, beginning with your life coach training program, you will learn to live a certain way. Hopefully with an amazing community, depending on the coach training program you choose. Then that way of new living will impact others. That is what makes you a life coach.

It may technically only take you a year to become a life coach. But you will be one for the rest of your life.

Check out our life coaching training program here.


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