What I wish I knew before I spent money to become a coach

11 Sep 2017

When I tell this story, it makes people shudder. So I thought I would share it with you. 

You want to become a Coach and help others, right? We hear that so often and in a time when the whole industry is going BOOM, everyone is wanting to coach something to someone and it’s a minefield out there. 

How do you know which course to take, who to train with, what qualifications are real, what is just rubbish and what is the best bang for your buck?

So here we go, fasten your seat belt, you get what you pay for. An online course in coaching is great, as it will give you some great tools. But unless they are Board Approved and Accredited then in our opinion you will struggle to become Board Approved yourself. If you want to teach others in the future then you will have to go back to square one.

I learnt this the hard way.

In 2005, I trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis after completing my online Diploma in Life Coaching with Newcastle University. I felt that I needed more tools and hands on experience, as my online course left me feeling knowledgeable yet incompetent. I selected a good company based in London and thought well, this is costly, but at least I know I am getting all the correct qualifications, right?

Wrong! I qualified and in time set up my coaching company. I excelled and loved what I was doing, my clients did too and before long I was working full time, speaking at business conventions and being booked for corporate training events in Europe, NZ and Australia. 

I had other coaches come and join my brand. We grew together and I wanted to mentor them so I decided to qualify to train others to become coaches. So in 2010 I went to the USA to train with the founder of Time Line Therapy, Dr Tad James. This is a modality I found effective for my clients that was context free, quick and easy to use, so I went to learn from the best, the guy who developed it in 1984.

I was asked to take my qualifications. When I handed them in at registration I was told there was a problem. My Time Line Therapy Certificate was not Board Approved, as the school in London had not been Approved by the TLT Board and the certificate was null and void. I was shocked and gutted. I had to retrain over the 18 days in my spare time to progress with the teaching certification. Luckily this was all given to me free of charge from the Tad James organisation as it seems to happen a lot. They also sued the company I had trained with in London.

Be careful out there, don’t get burned like I did.

So if you're considering a career in coaching, here's 12 things you should ask when considering training with a company: 

  1. Is the school Board Approved? If so, with whom and ask to see their certificate and ensure it is in date.
  2. What qualifications will you be issued and are they all Board Approved? Check which Boards and ask for proof.
  3. Will you be able to legally call yourself a Coach with these certificates? In time this will create issues as only Board Approved     and Certified Coaches can refer to themselves as a coach, if you were to be sued.
  4. What is your progression plan? If you take this training, can you then build on that training to be able to train others? This is important, as training groups generate great income, giving you a better return on investment. 
  5. How long is the training? If you are qualifying in NLP, TLT and Hypnosis at Practitioner Level, the minimum is 7 days with a pre-study kit. To become a Master Practitioner in the 3 certificates, it's a minimum of 15 days. 
  6. What Governing bodies is the school aligned with? Ask to see the certificates, not just the logos on their website.
  7. Then check out the look and feel of the brand, how long have they been going? Are they successful themselves?
  8. Are they just a training company or do the trainers work with clients too? This is important, as it's best to train with trainers who have the grass roots experience. Many people fast track and are qualified to teach but they don't necessarily have the grass roots knowledge. 
  9. Ask for student testimonials and connect with past students and ask them questions.
  10. Does the company offer you any help once you have qualified? Is there a mentoring programme and can you join their team if you don't want to go it alone? Do they offer any kind of business set up? 
  11. Look for quality in communication, honesty, integrity and experience and make sure you are happy with the tone of the company, does it fit with you?
  12. How much is it? Shop around and know if it's cheap, it is and you will pay for it. We have had students who have trained with this type of company and then had to retrain because they felt unable to work with clients. They weren't given enough tools and experience to get out there and start coaching. 

After our 7-day course, we actively encourage our students to start coaching, right away. We even offer a Business In A Box if they are going out on their own or if the fit is right they can licence our brand and become a part of our team, right out of the gate.

If you have any questions or wish to have our list of preferred Coaching Schools we know are Approved, of good quality, long standing with a good pedigree, then drop us a line.

We are running our next Ultimate Coach Certification in Queenstown in March 2018. You can find out more here!