Home » Become A Successful Life Coach: Overcome These Common Challenges

Become A Successful Life Coach: Overcome These Common Challenges

So, you’ve realized you can become a life coach and turn your passion for helping others into a career; or perhaps you’re already a life coach, but you want to become more successful in your industry. You’re eager to get started, but you’re unsure of the challenges that can impact your success. The good news is, you’ve come to the right place.

This blog discusses what a life coach is as well as how to become one. It identifies challenges life coaches face, as well as the solutions to become successful. It even discusses certifications life coaches can consider, how much they cost, and who should consider life coaching as a career. Our goal is to equip you with the information you need to help you become successful in your life coaching career.

What Is A Life Coach?

A life coach is a holistic professional who empowers clients to dream big, improve their lives, and achieve their goals. They do this by helping their clients navigate relationships, careers, and day-to-day tasks. The goal of most life coaches is to help their clients gain a greater sense of purpose and self-fulfillment.

Life coaches often use a personalized approach to help you accomplish your goals. They help you clarify what you need to pursue, identify challenges you might incur, and create strategies to help you overcome those challenges.

Life coaches usually refer to your passions, skill sets, and giftings when developing strategies. This process helps you maximize your strengths and develop your weaknesses. The result is often long-lasting personal growth and satisfaction through accomplishments.

How to Become A Life Coach: Challenges and Solutions

Regardless of the industry, starting a new role, transitioning careers, or feeling stuck can be stressful. But, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve analyzed the challenges life coaches face and compiled some of the most significant ones below. We also identify four solutions to becoming a life coach so you can navigate this journey with ease.

1. Challenge: Find Your Niche

One of the biggest challenges for life coaches and most entrepreneurs is finding a niche. Perhaps helping others is something that comes naturally to you, but you’re not sure who to help; or, maybe you want to start a business, but you’re not sure how to set yourself apart in the current marketplace.

Solution: Identify Your Passion and Skill Set

While finding a niche can be frustrating, it doesn’t need to deter you from your dream of becoming a life coach. Many individuals struggle with finding their niche, so you’re not alone. We talk about this concept a lot in our blog: 6 Steps to Find Your Passion and Make An Impact In the World. This blog takes you on a journey of self-discovery that you can use to identify your niche. Here are a few things we mention in the article that can help:


  • Ask yourself, “What do I spend my free time reading about?” What you read about tells you a lot about your interests and passions
  • Find what it is you’re good at and how you can make that better. Assessing your skillset is an essential component of niche identification. If you can’t do it, then it shouldn’t be your niche.
  • Ask your friends and family what they enjoy learning from you. If you’re friends and family, come to you with questions or advice,
  • Identify a common theme between your passion and skill set.

2. Challenge: Build Your Personal Brand

When you hear the phrases, “Happiest place on earth,” “The snack that smiles back,” and “ Just Do It,” a few brands probably come to mind. That’s because the organizations that established these slogans understand the importance of brand when it comes to building your business. But, brand recognition can be challenging. So, how do you gain recognition and build your personal brand?

Solution: Give A TEDx Talk

One way to build your brand and get ahead of the curve is to give a TEDx talk, as these talks enable you to focus on your niche and reach your target client. Some TEDx talks have upwards of 8 million views, with talks like Cynthia Thurlow’s Intermediate Fasting gaining thousands of new watches each week.

Now, before you brush off this idea by thinking:

  • My niche isn’t unique enough, or
  • I don’t know how to land a TEDx talk

Let’s introduce you to another life coach, Moneeka Sawyer, who thought the same thing. Before giving a TEDx talk, Moneeka struggled to get her message out to others and establish her brand identity. Now, she’s an award-winning speaker, author, podcast host, and life coach.

If, after reading that, you’re still unsure about whether or not you could get a TEDx talk, consider reading our blog: How to Land A TEDx Talk in 7 Easy Steps.

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3. Challenge: Establish Credibility

The International Coaching Federation estimates there are 71,000 professional coaches worldwide and 23,000 based in North America, and the number is growing. Between 2015 and 2019, the number of professional coaches increased by 33% worldwide. It can be tough to stand out in a saturated market. However, it isn’t impossible.

Establishing yourself as a credible source is more important now than ever. Credibility sets you apart from the masses, as individuals look to you for information and resources. While a TEDx talk can help, you might be wondering what else you can do to make yourself credible.

Solution: Get A Life Coach Certification

According to a Global Perspective Study, 84% of clients value certification as a professional quality assurance standard. This value correlates to the amount life coaches charge. Coaches without certifications charge an average of $75-$200 per hour. Meanwhile, trained life coaches charge an average of $300-$450 per hour.

While becoming a certified life coach isn’t required, it can help you establish yourself in your field. Most certifications often require annual training. These trainings keep you up-to-date on industry changes which is something you can market to your clients.

Commonly Asked Life Coach Certification Questions

What Is a Life Coach Certification Program?

A life coach certification program is a course you can take to earn a life coach document from an accredited educational institution. The certification signifies you’ve received specific training, enabling you to teach others in areas such as relationship management, career, habit change, wellness, and finances. These certifications sometimes require annual upkeep, so you remain in the loop on practice changes.

What Is the Most Respected Life Coach Certification?

There is no one best life coaching certification, but a few programs are more accredited than others. Regardless of the program you choose, it’s essential to make sure it’s accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Here are a few options to consider:


Certification Why We Like It Duration
Certified Training Alliance (CTA)

ICF accredited

Prepares you for real-life coaching

Offers ongoing support

Online training

6 months
Institute for Professional Excellence In Coaching (iPEC)

ICF accredited

Live online learning modules

Library of resources for clients

Up to 12 months
Certified Life Coach Institute(CLCI)

ICF accredited


Team of life coach alumni


Online Zoom sessions

3 days
How Long Does It Take To Earn A Life Coach Certification?

Most life coaching programs require you to complete between 40 and 160 hours of work to gain ICF certification, which usually takes between 6 to 12 months to complete. Some programs like the CLCI are 60 hours and designed for individuals who want to do it all at once. Others, like the iPEC, last up to 12 months and are formatted to help you across areas like starting your business, finances, etc.

How Do You Become A Master Certified Coach?

According to the ICF, to become a master certified coach you need the following:

  • 200 hours of coach-specific training
  • 10 hours of Mentor Coaching over a minimum of three months
  • A minimum of 2,500 hours (2,200 paid*) life coaching clients
  • At least 35 clients, following the start of your coach-specific training.
    -Source: International Coaching Federation
How Much Do Life Coach Certification Programs Cost?

Professional life coaching certifications cost anywhere from $3547 to upwards of $12,000. These prices vary depending on the type of program you choose.


4. Challenge: Getting Started

One final struggle most individuals have in their journey to become a life coach is getting started. Fear and self-doubt often hinder our success. That’s because it’s easier to tell yourself, “I don’t have what it takes,” or “Maybe I’ll start this later,” rather than admit it will take hard work to get where you want.

Solution: Find A Mentor

If you’re considering becoming a life coach, you probably understand how helpful a mentor can be. Finding someone already successful in your field helps you proactively avoid mistakes. They are also a resource of wealth when it comes to starting your life coaching business, as they probably understand the finances and litigation involved in your industry.

Another great thing about having a mentor is the ability to leverage their connections. If they’ve been at this life coaching thing awhile, they probably have an established digital presence. They can provide you with insight on social media tips, how to work with clients online, how to turn potential clients into actual clients, and they might even know someone that can help you establish your digital footprint. It doesn’t hurt to ask for advice.

Once you’ve found a mentor, you can create a system for accountability to check in with them weekly or bi-weekly. Ask them how they got started and use their advice to overcome initial hurdles.

Who Should Consider Becoming A Life Coach?

Now that you’ve learned about the challenges and solutions to becoming a successful life coach, you might be wondering if you should start a coaching practice. The truth is anyone looking to help others full time while advancing in their career should consider being a life coach. According to Ladders, life coaching is a $1 billion a year industry, and it’s steadily growing.

Life coaches have grown even more prominent in mainstream media, with stars like Justin Beiber, Oprah Winfrey, and Leonardo Decaprio seeking their help. In addition, creatives, entrepreneurs, and executives are all teaming up with life coaches to succeed personally and professionally. If you excel at active listening, problem-solving, and have the coaching skills necessary to help others through a tough time, go for it.

How Thought-Leader Can Help You Become A Life Coach

At Thought-Leader, we’re passionate about helping you share your message and make an impact on the world. We do this by helping life coaches, fitness experts, executives, and others land and give a TEDx talk.

We know getting started in any industry can be intimidating. That’s why we’re here to help you make the most of your life coaching journey. Our team of enrollment specialists, success coordinators, and strategists provides you with modules, webinars, and sessions to help you on your TEDx path of credibility.

Partnering with Thought-Leader provides you with a systematic TEDx process that enables you to impact thousands of lives. When you pair this process with our mantra of radical transparency, you’re left feeling accomplished, established, and ready to change the world.


Joelle Cullimore
Marketing Content Manager

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