business coaching

7 Tips on How to Become a Coach

7 tips on how to become a coach.

Have you always wondered how to become a coach? author Ton de Graaf answers 7 questions on what it takes to enter the coaching market.

1. There are hundreds of books written about coaching. What makes this one different? 

Today there are multiple ways of becoming a professional coach. You can enrol in a coach training program, get certified and start running your own coaching practice. Every coach training facilitator will tell you that this is practically a ‘no brainer’ to start a thriving coaching practice. Well, here’s a news flash: it’s just not that easy. It’s not enough to be a great coach; you have to be a great entrepreneur as well. You’re running a business.

If you are considering coaching as a new career, and want to know more about it and whether it’s ‘for you’, then this type of course will give you all you need to know and more. This is a great place to start.

2. Is there still a market for new coaches?

From 1995 to the today, the amount of personal, executive and workforce coaching has continuously grown. There has been an increase in the number of publications devoted to coaching, in organisations that offer training to coaches, in the establishment of coaching organisations, and in the focus placed on coaching research by academia.

Because the field is wide open to anyone who wants to enter it, it is difficult to know the exact number of people performing coaching services. However, one thing is certain: coaching is still one of the fastest growing industries in the world, as it achieves what no other disciplines like training, counselling or mentoring can.

3. It seems like everyone calls themselves coaches these days. How do you recognise a professional coach?

Coaches should be able to demonstrate that they are competent in providing of coaching services. One way of proving this is to demonstrate that they possess a relevant qualification. The training of coaches should be fit for purpose. There is definitely a place for short introductory courses, but, as with any discipline, expertise will vary depending on the length of the course, level of qualification, depth of study, practical experience of delivery and extent of supervision and support received while studying. There are a number of different training routes for coaches, and new professionals have a wide range of options to choose from. Institutions offer specific coaching qualifications, ranging from masters level to short courses across the world. Understandably, a qualification that is specific to ‘coaching’ would seem like the most relevant qualification for a coach to have.

However, people should remember that these qualifications have only been available since relatively recently and therefore the majority of professionals delivering coaching services will not possess one of these newer qualifications. In such cases you should examine their other formal qualifications and experience.

4. Is being a great coach enough to make a decent living?

It’s not enough to be a great coach; as I said earlier, you have to be a great entrepreneur as well. Your potential clients have to be able to find you, get to know you and trust you before they sign up to one of your programs. That’s why these courses focus on what it takes to build a thriving coaching practice.

5. If I want to become a coach, where should I start?

Today there are multiple ways to become a professional coach. You can enrol in a coach training program, get certified and start running your own coaching practice. These are no brainers. As mentioned before: it’s just not that easy.

In order to become an experienced coach you do need to practice, practice, practice and evaluate your performance and, of course, practice, practice, practice! The real benefit from training comes from the feedback from your trainers and fellow coaches. This builds your self-esteem as a coach and it gives you the opportunity to expand your network in the global coaching community.

6. What does a coach charge for his/her services?

A personal coach may charge somewhere around £100-£300 per month in the UK or $200-$600 in the US and €600-€800 in Europe. These may include 4 sessions over the telephone that may last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.

In general a personal coach charges between $75 and $150 per hour, a business coach between $125 and $250 per hour and an experienced executive coach between $250 and $1500 per hour.

Note here that executive coaching and corporate coaching are charged higher, and group coaching costs much less per person. I personally know executive coaches who charge $250,000 for one year of coaching. And there even is a coach who charges a fee up to $1,200,000 for one year of coaching. And yes, they are fully booked! Talk about great marketing!

7. A coach exchanges hours for a fee, are there any other streams of revenue for a coach?

Experienced coaches will tell you that coaching makes up just 25% of their earnings. This means that 75% of their income is derived from other sources. In “How to Become a Coach” part I and II, I share more than 30 different ways to create other streams of revenues.


If you’d like to read more, please download the eBooks “How to Become a Coach” parts I and II.


Worldwide Coaching Magazine « Co-Creating the Coaching Relationship

Worldwide Coaching Magazine « Creating a Better World for Next Generations.

WCM January edition

The coaching relationship is rooted in collaboration, equality and acceptance and buoyed by the power of possibility and peoples’ capacity to change in brilliant and unexpected ways.

In this edition we focus on the co-creative process of every coaching relationship and explore the way in which synergy and creativity impact client results.

More info:

What Business Coaches Need to Know and Do to Practice Effectively.


Professional Standards

The research, feedback and final revisions are over, and our ground-breaking revised edition of the WABC Professional Standards for Business Coaches is ready.

WABC’s professional standards set a benchmark for business coaching worldwide.
This document, the first-ever set of international, association-sponsored professional standards for business coaches, represents a huge step forward for coaches, their clients and the public. Based on the real-life practice of business coaches around the world, the standards describe what a business coach does, and doesn’t do, to practice effectively. The standards will help clients, and their sponsors and organizations, understand what to expect from business coaching, and will further clarify how business coaching differs from other types of interventions.


Yep, that’s my team! Marshall Goldsmith entered a new exclusive partnership with CoachSource

Yep, that’s my team! Marshall Goldsmith to partner with CoachSource to offer premiere executive coaching –

Top-ranked Leadership Thinker to Refer Assignments Exclusively to World’s #1 Coaching Network

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) October 04, 2012

Marshall Goldsmith, one of the executive coaching profession’s top practitioners and an award-winning thinker on leadership effectiveness, has entered a new exclusive partnership withCoachSource, LLC, it was announced today.

CoachSource is the world’s leading network of experienced executive coaches and the #1 source of executive coaching services worldwide. In this new partnership, Goldsmith will refer all coaching requests he receives to CoachSource on an exclusive basis.

Marshall Goldsmith is the acknowledged dean of the executive coaching profession, having been recognized by the Harvard Business Review’s “Thinkers 50 Conference” as the world’s Most Influential Leadership Thinker. He also ranked #7 on its list of Greatest Business Thinkers. Goldsmith’s recent book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, is the #2 bestselling business book for 2011 on the recent INC Magazine/CEO Read list. This is the fifth consecutive year that the title has earned a spot on the top-ten business bestsellers list.

“Marshall Goldsmith practically invented executive coaching the way it is currently practiced at the highest corporate levels, and we are proud to have earned his confidence as the go-to firm for referrals,” said Brian Underhill, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of CoachSource, LLC. “This partnership not only cements our relationship with the most recognized and lauded executive coach on the planet, but it gives our corporate clients confidence in CoachSource solutions to their executive development needs.”

CoachSource, LLC is a network of more than 900 professional executive coaches in 44 countries worldwide. The firm’s coaches and engagement managers typically have 10-30+ years of industry experience, and many are trained in Marshall Goldsmith’s methods. CoachSource clients include many Fortune 500 corporations, and the firm is a primary sponsor of the Institute of Coaching at the Harvard Medical School.

The new partnership is the culmination of a 15-year relationship between Dr. Underhill and Dr. Goldsmith, who, along with CoachSource Managing Partner Stephen E. Sass, share a coaching philosophy based on achieving measurable results for clients. This philosophy is expressed in Underhill’s break-through book, “Executive Coaching for Results: The Definitive Guide to Developing Organizational Leaders” (Berrett-Koehler, 2007), which he co-authored. Like Mr. Goldsmith, Underhill is a frequent speaker on executive coaching at conferences worldwide.

Stephen Sass is managing partner of CoachSource and a longtime associate of Marshall Goldsmith. Sass, who was director of the Center for Leadership Development at KPMG, hired Goldsmith to help develop senior leaders at the firm. Sass is steeped in the award-winning approaches developed by Marshall Goldsmith, which he utilizes in executive coaching engagements at the highest levels of the world’s most recognizable corporations.

For more information about Marshall Goldsmith, visit To learn more about CoachSource, LLC, visit CoachSource is a Limited Liability Corporation registered in the State of New Jersey. CoachSource®, CoachFinder™, CoachSourceCONNECT™ are registered service marks.

You can also contact me directly for more info:

9 Reasons to Hire a Coach

Since it may not be clear to all of you how a personal / executive coach can support you, here’s some info that might help you reach an informed decision.

As a coach I have no inherent agenda, no special interest served by the relationship. The coaching relationship is focused on what you wish to address, investigate or resolve.


Many people feel overwhelmed with obligations; yet life is too chaotic to respond to all of them. The coach and the client co-create structures to clear chaos.

Forwarding the Action

The coach does not pose the question ” Why? ” Moving forward, not looking back, serves the interests of the client.

Unconditional Support

The coach is unconditionally supportive of the client, accepting, not judging. Who else in the client’s life will be this objective?


Is there enough fun in your life? Or is there only time for work? In what areas of life are you satisfied? Where can things be improved? In our coaching relationship, we pursue your unique definition of balance.


Problems appear irresolvable if we limit our search for answers to the first notions that occur to us. Only when looking at other perspectives can we discover the most appealing, workable and complete solutions.

Discovery and Development

Inquiry, intuition, conscious listening and advocacy are some of the coach’s tools. When the client makes discoveries, change happens and development occurs.


What principles guide us? On what values are our important life decisions based? If we had all the money we needed, how would we pass our days?


Often the coach functions as a “partner” in pursuit of a client’s goals. How can you benefit from having a partner who is undeniably objective, committed to your goal, able to work with you to craft wisdom and strategies and who doesn’t want your compensation or recognition?

Being and Doing

We are human beings, not human doings, yet we devote more energy to doing than being. Although it is important to be in action, coaching also examines the processing of life; how we feel, how we want to feel, how we are perceived and how to effect changes in this domain.

Coaching by me is not ‘fluffy’, ‘new age’, or ‘soft’. It’s about creating a clear path for the future and make it happen. If you would like to know more about me or my coaching, please visit my website:

I hope this helps you make an informed decision.

Professional Standards for Business Coaches

Why professional standards?
The WABC Professional Standards for Business Coaches describe the practice of business coaches: what we do and don’t do. The document is intended to educate coaches, clients and the public, and to help clients and their sponsors and organizations understand what to expect from business coaching. As I am one of the members of the international task force who designed the Standards, I proudly present the them to you here.

In adopting professional standards, business coaching joins comparable occupations (e.g., psychology, human resources and management) in defining what makes our practice, and its contribution to clients, distinct. In doing so, we hope to further standardize the emerging profession and its practitioners, for the benefit of our clients and for the good of the public.

For the purposes of these standards, business coaching is defined as:

The process of engaging in regular, structured conversation with a client, with the goal of enhancing the client’s awareness and behavior so as to achieve business objectives for both the client and their organization.

For the purposes of these standards, client is defined as:

An individual or team who is within a business, profit or nonprofit organization, institution or government and who is the recipient of business coaching.

Business coaches are a diverse group of practitioners. They work in many sectors, including corporate, nonprofit and government, and they practice all over the world. Some are external coaches who serve a range of clients; others are internal coaches who work for one organization. Because each client is different, an effective business coach tailors each coaching engagement to meet the client’s and the organization’s needs, rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach.

Individual client circumstances and coaching styles aside, there are certain core standards that an effective business coach must adhere to. The following standards, grouped under 10 themes, outline the core knowledge and models of practice that an effective business coach applies in delivering coaching services.

Members of WABC, as part of their commitment to excellence in business coaching, view these professional standards as required practices for effective business coaches. WABC will oversee these standards and members’ adherence to them.

Professional Standards
1. Responsibility and Respect
As I develop and conduct my coaching practice, I have a professional responsibility to act as an effective role model. This means that I will:

  • Behave and manage my practice in a way that models exemplary professionalism and reflects well on the field of business coaching.
  • Assume personal responsibility and accountability for my professional decisions and actions.
  • Treat people fairly and with respect and dignity.

2. Professionalism and Ethics
I have a professional responsibility to apply high standards of honesty and integrity to my service provision and behavior. This means that I will:

  • Uphold WABC’s ethical guidelines, standards, and terms and policies.
  • Honor all agreements made in the context of business coaching relationships, and all other legal and ethical obligations to the client and others involved in the coaching engagement (e.g., sponsor, organization, colleagues).
  • Consider whether any potential engagement might create an actual or perceived conflict of interest and, if a conflict is identified, declare it and take all reasonable steps to protect the interests of the client and others involved in the coaching engagement.

3. Client Focus
As a business coach, I will put the client first while at the same time respecting the goals of the client’s organization. This means that I will:

  • Serve the client to the highest possible standards, in a way that is appropriate to the client’s needs and the organization’s goals.
  • Keep the client’s development and performance central to my work.
  • Work to establish mutual trust and honest communication with the client.

4. Boundaries
As a business coach, I operate in areas where clear boundaries need to be recognized and drawn. This means that I will:

  • Be aware of the relevant values, ethical practices, confidentiality agreements, business practices and human resource policies within the client’s organization, and withdraw if these impede my ability to serve the client.
  • Be aware of relevant legislation, regulations and standards in the contexts in which I practice, and never intentionally contravene them.
  • Recognize, and act only within, the limits of my own competence, and refer to other professionals when appropriate.

5. Business Context
I will operate in the interests of the business and organizational contexts in which I practice. This means that I will:

  • Understand the importance of context in my work, and display a strong grounding in fundamental business knowledge and processes.
  • Ensure that I have the appropriate level of corporate knowledge to understand the developmental, political, commercial and environmental needs of the client and their organization.
  • Ensure that the coaching engagement is appropriately aligned with the context of the client’s organization.

6. Business Coaching Process
As a business coach committed to effective practice, I will apply appropriate processes to work with clients towards agreed-upon ends. This means that I will:

  • Establish up front a clear and effective agreement for the coach-client relationship, strive to ensure that the client understands the terms, and refine the agreement when appropriate.
  • Create a coherent process for my work in agreement with the client and others involved in the coaching engagement.
  • Communicate with the client about what to expect from business coaching services, focusing on results and agreeing how outcomes of success will be measured, evaluated and realized.

7. Confidentiality
I will practice coaching in a way that promotes confidentiality and respects the client’s privacy. This means that I will:

  • Ensure, before the coaching engagement begins, that a confidentiality agreement is in place to specify which information will and will not be shared, in which circumstances, with whom and how.
  • Abide by the agreed-upon terms of confidentiality, except when they are superseded by matters of health, safety, ethics or legality.
  • Protect the client’s assessment, performance and other personal data to the extent agreed upon in the confidentiality agreement.

8. Diversity
I will respect diversity and personal differences at all times. This means that I will:

  • Understand how cultural dynamics and personal differences influence business relationships and outcomes.
  • Work with the client as required to address diversity and personal differences in ways that improve business outcomes.
  • Understand the potential preferences and biases associated with my own cultural and personal identity, and ensure that my communication and approach are appropriate to the client’s circumstances.

9. Professional Development
I am committed to professional development and to continuously enhancing my competence. This means that I will:

  • Seek appropriate external feedback, on a regular basis, to maintain and improve my coaching effectiveness.
  • Keep my learning and practice up to date through appropriate professional development, such as conference and workshop attendance, work-based learning, reading, research, training and supervision activities, presentations and involvement with WABC or other relevant professional associations.
  • Set high standards for myself, and pursue challenging goals and performance excellence.

10. Promotion of the Emerging Profession
As a member of WABC, I am committed to the advancement of the association and the emerging profession of business coaching. This means that I will:

  • Commit to the advancement of both my own knowledge base and that of the field of business coaching.
  • Promote and uphold the good standing of WABC, and behave in a way that reflects well on its reputation.
  • Observe and promote these professional standards as set out and as they may be revised from time to time.
Interested in using our Professional Standards? 
If you would like to use our Professional Standards in some way (e.g., reference them in a book or article, use them as material in a program or course, include them in a contracting package, link to them on your website), as with all our material, we require that both the public and WABC members first seek permission as per WABC’s Terms and Conditions of Use. Please contact us today for guidance on the proper use of our copyrighted and trademarked information.

Final week of sessions starts tomorrow – ‘Earlybird’ price one week warning!

It is my pleasure as a strategic partner of WBECS to invite you to attend the final week of the complimentary World Business and Executive Coach Pre-Summit. I strongly urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to attend as many 20-30 minute sessions as possible as this will be the last chance to learn from many of the coaching industries leading figures at no cost.

The sessions include:

Having Difficult Conversations – Karen Kimsey-House, CEO of The Coaches Training Institute

Wed, May 23, 2012 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM New York Time

Wed, May 23, 2012 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM London Time

Wed, May 23, 2012 9:30 PM – 10:00 PM New Delhi Time

Register here:

Once registered simply click the pre-summit session button

Secrets To Attracting High-Paying Clients – Bill Baren

Wed, May 23, 2012 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM New York Time

Wed, May 23, 2012 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM London Time

Wed May 23, 2012 11:30 PM – 11:00 PM New Delhi Time

Register here:

Once registered simply click the pre-summit session button

Coaching In This Time Of Change – Sir John Whitmore

Mon, May 28, 2012 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM New York Time

Mon, May 28, 2012 3:30 PM – 3:00 PM London Time

Mon, May 28, 2012 10:30 PM – 11:00 PM Beijing Time

Register here:

Once registered simply click the pre-summit session button

The Number One Reason to Constantly Reinvent Everything – Jason Jennings

Tue, May 29, 2012 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM New York Time

Tue, May 29, 2012 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM London Time

Tue, May 29, 2012 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EDT

Register here:

Once registered simply click the pre-summit session button

Beyond Overwhelm: Build Your Focus Muscle – Michael Bungay Stanier

Wed, May 30, 2012 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM New York

Wed, May 30, 2012 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM London Time

Wed, May 30, 2012 10:30 PM – 11:00 PM New Delhi Time

Register here:

Once registered simply click the pre-summit session button.

As stated these are the last of the complimentary sessions this year and shortly after the final session the “earlybird” pricing will end. This will see the ticket price rise from $297 to $697. Even at the full price of $697 this is exceptional value but if you can don’t miss the $400 saving. You can claim your earlybird ticket here:

If you have any questions please feel free to direct these through to WBECS President:

Time for massive learning!


Ton de Graaf

Chartered Business Coach™