The Harsh Reality of Being a Life Coach: Overcoming Obstacles to Success


Do you have a passion for helping others? Are you a good listener and communicator? If so, you might have considered becoming a life coach. With the increasing demand for personal development and self-improvement, it’s no surprise that many people are interested in pursuing this career.

However, the reality of being a life coach is not always as glamorous as it seems. Despite the allure of financial independence, flexible hours, and the opportunity to positively impact people’s lives, aspiring coaches must overcome several obstacles to succeed in the industry.

In this article, I’ll explore some of the common obstacles that life coaches face and provide tips on how to overcome them. So, if you’re considering a career as a life coach, read on!

Everyone wants to be a life coach but watch out for these obstacles

Obstacle #1: Lack of Credibility

One of the biggest challenges that new coaches face is establishing credibility in the industry. Unlike other professions, no strict regulations or licensing requirements exist for becoming a life coach. As a result, anyone can claim to be a coach, which makes it difficult for potential clients to distinguish between qualified and unqualified professionals.

To overcome this obstacle, it’s essential to invest in your education and training. Enrol in reputable coaching programs and obtain certifications from accredited organizations. This will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed and enhance your credibility in the eyes of potential clients.

Additionally, consider building a strong online presence. Create a professional website, blog, or social media account that showcases your expertise and experience. Use testimonials from satisfied clients to demonstrate your ability to help others achieve their goals.

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Obstacle #2: Finding Clients

Another significant obstacle for new coaches is finding clients. Building a client base takes time and effort, and many coaches struggle to attract and retain clients in the early stages of their careers.

To overcome this obstacle, it’s essential to market yourself effectively. Identify your target audience and tailor your marketing strategies to their needs and interests. Consider offering free consultations or discounts to attract new clients, and ask satisfied clients for referrals.

Networking is also crucial in the coaching industry. Attend industry events, join coaching organizations, and connect with other professionals in your niche. Building relationships with other coaches and professionals can help you gain exposure and attract new clients.

Obstacle #3: Balancing Personal and Professional Life

Life coaching is a demanding profession that requires a significant amount of time and energy. Coaches often work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate their clients’ schedules. As a result, it can be challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

To overcome this obstacle, it’s essential to set boundaries and prioritize self-care. Create a schedule that allows for adequate rest, exercise, and leisure time. Delegate tasks or outsource responsibilities to free up time for yourself. Remember that taking care of yourself is essential to providing quality service to your clients.

Obstacle #4: Managing Expectations

Life coaching is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and coaches cannot guarantee results for their clients. While coaches can provide guidance and support, clients ultimately hold responsibility for their success.

To overcome this obstacle, it’s essential to manage expectations and communicate clearly with clients. Set realistic goals and timelines for achieving them, and be transparent about the limitations of coaching. Encourage clients to take responsibility for their growth and empower them to make their own decisions.

The Learning Curve: Making Mistakes as a New Coach

As with any new career or endeavour, there is a learning curve when it comes to becoming a life coach. While you may have a natural inclination for coaching and a desire to help others, it takes time and practice to develop the skills and expertise needed to be successful in the industry.

One common challenge that new coaches face is making mistakes. It’s natural to feel nervous or uncertain when working with clients for the first time, and even experienced coaches make mistakes from time to time. However, it’s important to learn from these mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

Some common mistakes that new coaches make include:

  • Overpromising results: It’s important to be realistic with your clients and not make promises that you can’t keep. Avoid making bold claims about what you can do for your clients, as this can lead to disappointment and frustration down the line.

  • Focusing too much on the coach, not the client: Coaching is all about the client, not the coach. It’s important to listen actively, ask open-ended questions, and focus on the client’s needs and goals.

  • Not setting clear boundaries: It’s important to establish clear boundaries with your clients from the outset. This includes setting expectations around communication, scheduling, and payment.

  • Not investing in education and training: While natural talent and intuition are important in coaching, it’s also crucial to invest in education and training to develop your skills and knowledge. This can help you provide more value to your clients and stand out in the industry.

The key to overcoming these mistakes is to approach them with a growth mindset. Instead of getting discouraged or beating yourself up over mistakes, use them as opportunities to learn and improve. Seek feedback from other coaches or mentors, invest in education and training, and reflect on your performance to identify areas for growth.

Remember, everyone wants to be a life coach, but watch out for these obstacles, including the learning curve and making mistakes as a new coach. With dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to learn and grow, you can overcome these challenges and build a successful coaching business.


Q: Do I need a certification to become a life coach?

A: While certification is not required, it can enhance your credibility and provide valuable training and education. Consider obtaining certification from reputable organizations to gain a competitive advantage in the industry.

Q: How much can I expect to earn as a life coach?

A: Earnings for life coaches vary depending on several factors, including experience, niche, location, and client base. While some coaches can earn a substantial income, it takes time and effort to build a successful coaching business.

Q: Can I specialize in a particular niche as a life coach?

A: Yes, specializing in a particular niche can help you stand out in the industry and attract clients with specific needs and interests. Some popular niches include career coaching, relationship coaching, and health and wellness coaching.


Becoming a life coach can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path for those with a passion for helping others. However, it’s important to recognize the obstacles that come with this profession and take steps to overcome them.

From establishing credibility and finding clients to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and managing expectations, there are several challenges that coaches must navigate to succeed in the industry.

By investing in education and training, marketing yourself effectively, setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care, and managing expectations, you can overcome these obstacles and achieve success as a life coach.

Remember, the road to success is not always easy, but with perseverance, dedication, and a willingness to learn and grow, you can build a thriving coaching business and make a positive impact on people’s lives. So, are you ready to take on the challenge of becoming a life coach?

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Donovan – Life Coach – 078 952 0328

Donovan - Life Coach

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