By Kalina Cardoso, Life Coach in San Diego
I’ve been a certified Life Coach in San Diego since late 2016, and one thing I know for sure is that most people have no clue what a Life Coach does.
The misconceptions I’ve heard about my job are longer than my to-do list on a Monday morning. I’ve had Bumble dates ask me ridiculous questions about what I do for a living (some of them quite inappropriate), and even close friends are curious about how exactly I help my clients and what “kind of people” hire me. And most of the inquiries I get for life coaching are from people who’ve never worked with a coach before and are not sure what to expect. If my experience tells us anything, it’s that the life coaching profession needs a little better publicity.
And so in this article, I’m going to give you ALL the information you want to know if you’ve ever thought about hiring a Life Coach and or even becoming one.
As a certified and accredited Life Coach (some would say the best Life Coach in San Diego 😉) I understand the ins and outs of the profession. I’ve worked with multiple coaches who, like me, have also been accredited with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). I also actively participate in the field by continuing my education, connecting with other coaches, and participating in local San Diego Life Coaching chapters. In addition to all my coaching work and hobbies, I’ve worked with other similar practitioners as well, so I’ll be sharing with you what the difference is between life coaching and therapy, and the difference between people with a title “coach” and certified life coaches. And finally, I’ve also coached a few life coaches to become life coaches themselves.
I want you to know about ALL the benefits of working with a Life Coach, why get a Life Coach, what is a career coach, what does a Life Coach do for you, how much does a good Life Coach charge and so much more. You’ll gain enough information to know the answers of questions like:
- What do I look for in a Life Coach?
- How do I find the right Life Coach?
- What does a Life Coach do for you?
Because of my personal experience working with coaches and the massive impact it’s had on my life, I’m passionate about spreading awareness of this life-changing partnership. If you’d like to hear more about my personal story, you can read it here.
If you’d like to hear from people I’ve coached in the past, you can read some of my client reviews here.
To be 100% honest, before I got certified as a Life Coach, I was pretty confused as well. Once I dove into the field, I was so fascinated with the power of coaching and the results it gave me and how it changed my life that I could not wait to work my butt off to become a top Life Coach in San Diego. I have a passion to support people to live their “Best-Case Scenario” in life. And part of this passion is making sure I spread the word about life coaching so more people can know about the service and transform their lives to align with their dreams.
So let’s get started.
#1 What is a Life Coach?
A Life Coach is a strategic partner who helps you achieve your goals and reach your potential. A Life Coach is someone who is highly trained to help you close the gap between where you are in life right now and where you’d like to be in the future.
For someone to become a Life Coach, they’ll need to obtain a life coaching certification. If they go on to become accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), they’ll need to complete rigorous coursework, a number of hours working with a mentor coach, pass a test, complete hundreds of coaching hours and demonstrate their coaching skills.
They’ll also have to follow the ICF code of ethics and continue their education to maintain their credentials.
It’s important to note that anyone can call themselves a coach. There are many people who call themselves coaches but are not certified. Rather, they have a specific expertise that can help you with a specific problem, similar to a consultant. However, that’s not technically a Life Coach. Certified coaches use proven methods to help their clients find their own creative solutions. In other words, the best life coaches are extremely impactful because they help you become successful on your own terms in a way that’s authentic to you. They don’t use a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all blueprint to “change your life.” Instead, they help you play to your strengths and rely on your own internal wisdom and guidance to create real, sustainable change.
Some new professions are using the word “coach” for a lack of an existing term or because their current title has gained some negative reputation. I’ve seen people from the sales and marketing field as well as palm readers call themselves coaches to make their service seem more appealing.
#2 What should I look for in a Life Coach?
If you’re looking to work with a professional, highly-skilled and qualified coach then make sure to check their credentials, expertise and experience.
Ideally, you’d like your coach to have a life coaching certification, coaching experience or at least similar experience and real client testimonials.
In addition to their qualifications, you’d like to make sure that your coach is empathetic, kind, open, direct, honest, and matches your needs. Get clear on what type of coach would be best for you. I work best with people who are empathetic, goal-oriented, business savvy, spiritual, not afraid to challenge, and who enjoy living life to the fullest. I like to be pushed a little past my comfort zone while feeling like they understand my challenges.
Here are some questions you can ask a Life Coach to see if you two will be a good fit:
- Who are your favorite clients to work with?
- What does a typical coaching session look like?
- What are your client’s biggest accomplishments?
- Have you worked with a Life Coach yourself?
- Why did you become a coach?
- What are some of your own personal and professional goals?
- Do you have a specialty?
- What do your past clients say about you? (and match those words with their reviews online)
By working with a Life Coach, you’ll gain more clarity, peace of mind, joy, fulfilment, and life satisfaction.
#3 Why get a Life Coach?
Can’t I just talk to my friends or relatives?
There is a lot of value in talking about your goals with friends and relatives. In the best case scenario, they can listen and share an opinion or give advice based on what they know. But it doesn’t replace the value of life coaching.
Life coaching is an ongoing relationship that takes into account your whole being and all the possible solutions (the known to you and the unknown). High-quality life coaching empowers you to uncover creative solutions, overcome current limiting beliefs (as well as fear, procrastination, imposter syndrome, etc.,) and is fully focused on your success, on your own terms. Your Life Coach will help you grow and rise above your challenges.
The essence of coaching is to “coach” you through your own decision making using different coaching techniques. It is NOT to tell you what to do (unlike most friends and relatives).
On the other hand, people who are in our lives have layers of biases and their own ideas of who we are and what’s right for us. No matter how well-meaning they are, they are not trained to support you to live out your own vision for your life. For that exact reason, I don’t coach my friends. It’s near impossible to provide them with the same level of coaching as I do with my clients.
Another reason to hire a coach is that you can’t “think” your way to your success. Having a weekly conversation about your goals and progress is half of the work that leads to success because of the consistency of your actions. By just showing up to your sessions and engaging with your coach, you’re ensuring your progress.
The other important part is the co-creation. During your sessions with your coach, you’ll discover other perspectives, alternative solutions, come up with great ideas together and process verbally in a safe and confidential space. You’ll leave your sessions with clarity, peace of mind and a plan for action.
If what’s at stake in life for you is high, you need high-quality support.
#4 What does a Life Coach do for you?
In short, a coach will help you reach your goals faster and in a more holistic way. I made the list from my personal experience as a Life Coach in San Diego. Here are some examples of goals that you may want to hire a coach for if you:
have personal goals: getting more clear on your life goals, getting more clear on your direction in life, balancing your life priorities, having better relationships, finding a romantic partner, having better communication skills, having more confidence, having more peace of mind, reaching your potential, reconnecting with your spirituality, or deepen your spirituality
- have professional goals: getting a better job, advancing in your career, becoming a better leader, reaching your potential, finding more fulfilment in your work, finding your vocation, or increasing your impact
- want to switch careers
- would like to start a business
- need to experience more work-life balance
- desire a better quality of life
- would like to make more money
- want to be happier
- going through a major life transition like changing careers, divorce, marriage, parenthood, relocation, or any other significant life event
- want a change
- overwhelmed with life and/or work
- need to talk to someone like-minded who just gets you
You can hire a Life Coach to help you work through anything, but those are some of the most common issues and challenges I’ve helped people work through.
#5 How does a Life Coach help you?
As life coaches, we are highly trained to have thought-provoking conversations to help you gain more awareness, find creative solutions, set goals that are aligned with your values, achieve your goals faster and experience more peace, joy and love while you do that.
Some of the coaching methods most commonly used include:
Listening to you openly and actively
- Asking powerful questions
- Reflecting back to you (also known as mirroring)
- Offering different perspectives
- Providing structure
- Assisting in setting goals, planning and strategizing
- Holding you accountable for what you want to achieve
- Trusting you to make your own decisions
- Noticing your blind spots and pointing them out to you
- Showing up with your best interests at heart
- Telling the truth (sometimes it’s calling you on your own B.S. and sometimes it’s reminding you how awesome you are)
- Believing in you and your highest good
#6 How do I find the right Life Coach?
First, think about the specific goals you’d like help with. Then, determine what kind of coach would be best for you based on your previous experience with teachers, therapists, professors, and mentors. Who have been the most motivating and inspiring people to work with? What do they have in common? Would you need someone who is fast-paced, a deep thinker, spiritual, energetic, from similar background or someone who is creative, intuitive and artistic?
Make sure that you feel a great working chemistry with the life coaches you interview. Don’t hesitate to call around and make a few appointments. Most life coaches offer free consultations, also called discovery calls.
Determine if you think this person will be fun to work with. After all, you want to look forward to your sessions. 😉
To actually find good prospects for a Life Coach, I would search online based on customer reviews through Yelp or Google. Read a few testimonials and look for the ones that have lots of detail. That will help you understand what kind of coach this person is. If you feel like the people leaving reviews are similar to you, that means that this Life Coach is a good candidate. For example, if a few people talked about their career change and how this coach helped them transition successfully, and you too are looking to find a more fulfilling work, then you have a possible match.
#7 How do I find a coach online?
The easiest way that comes to my mind is to type up “Life Coach in San Diego” or the city you live in. This way you’ll see some of the review-based websites like the ones I mentioned above or you can see coaches with well established online presence. Their website and all the information they share willingly will help you narrow down your search.
You can also go to the ICF website and search through their directory or use other life coaching directories.
#8 What is a Career Coach?
A Career Coach will focus on helping you grow and excel in your career. Their focus is your professional life and there is a big chance that they won’t be addressing your life as a whole. Some career coaches could help you with work-life balance and overall goal setting but in general, you can expect them to be more focused on your professional success.
They’ll help you with outlining specific career goals that are in alignment with your vision, finding and leveraging your strengths, improving on areas of opportunities, finding blind spots (things you didn’t know or you don’t know but want to know), creating a plan for action, strategizing to get to what you want, and holding you accountable to stay in action.
You can expect to gain more confidence and courage, become a better leader, have stronger communication skills and have a more strategic approach in your career.
You can learn some golden nuggets of information from their personal or professional experience.
From working with a Career Coach you’ll gain more peace of mind, satisfaction and fulfillment. Lfe coaches could also be career coaches.
#9 What is a career counselor?
A career counselor can give you information about different career paths, what working in these careers may look like and how to get there (at best). Think of it as an informational resource. Sometimes you can get more support in the form of a few meetings to help you problem-solve or narrow down your interests. Counselors could offer personality tests to help you find a profession that’s a good fit or to help you with your resume and cover letter.
#10 How much does a good Life Coach in San Diego cost?
I thought you’d never ask! Life coaching prices vary greatly. A top Life Coach in San Diego, for example, may charge $10,000 for 6 months of coaching. Some of the life coaches in San Diego offer month-to-month coaching packages ranging from $300 to $1,000 per month, some offer sessions a-la-carte and some require a longer commitment. The price of life coaching would depend on the coach’s credentials, experience and the amount of support and resources included in the package.
#11 Is life coaching worth the money?
To determine if life coaching is the right option for you, think of the specific goals you’d like to accomplish. Then try putting a price tag on them. How much do you think the total value is of the changes you want to make? Would the results of working with a coach outweigh the time and money?
For example, I worked with a life and business coach. He was my mentor coach as part of my coaching accreditation process. I worked with him for about 20 months. As a result of our work together I completed my ACC credential with the ICF. Between you and I, I almost gave up on getting the credential. It was a lot of work but my coach reminded me why it was important to me. I also started my coaching practice, I grew my coaching business, and I replaced a lot of my income with coaching. Then I started a whole other business/passion project. I did things I never thought I could (like blogging, making YouTube videos, editing YouTube videos, making websites, starting masterminds, etc.,). Lastly, I managed multiple complex relationships (family, friends and even pets) during our work together and made some major life choices with his support.
In conclusion, I can’t put a price tag on ALL of the results I see in my life as a result of coaching but it for sure exceeds the price I paid for my coach’s fees.
#12 What do Life Coaches in San Diego charge per hour?
Very few coaches charge by the hour. You can expect to pay a monthly retainer or a total fee for a coaching program. From my experience, an accredited Life Coach in San Diego usually charges between $150/h and $500/h.
Remember that a really high price tag doesn’t always mean that you’re working with the best Life Coach in San Diego. There are people who are opportunistic and take chances.
To work with a top Life Coach in San Diego, you definitely want to ask for their credentials, experience and see client’s reviews or testimonials.
Did you really enjoyed talking to the coach but you’re not sure if they’re worth the money? You can ask them to connect you with some of their past clients and get more insight from them. I had a prospect ask me to do that and she gained more confidence to hire me after she spoke with two of my past clients herself.
#13 What’s the difference between a therapist and a Life Coach?
Although both practitioners want to help you live a better quality of life, they are very different. Your therapist would help you with your mental health. Usually, they’ll help you with healing trauma and dealing with heavy emotions.
The job of a Life Coach is to help you set and achieve goals. Therapists usually focus on why you feel and behave a certain way. And a coach may help you with discovering how you need to change and what you need to do so you make your dreams a reality.
#14 Do you need a license to be a Life Coach in California?
No, you don’t need a licence. If you’re considering becoming a Life Coach, I recommend looking into Life Coaching certifications.
I hope this post gives you everything you want to know about life coaching. If you have any extra questions please reach out. You can email me at email@example.com or schedule your complimentary consultation here.