How To Choose A Business Or Life Coach

by Theresa Reed on May 9, 2012

Stuck in a rut but raring to go?

Ready to take your business (or self) to the next level?

Perhaps you simply need direction….or some tough love.

If so, at some point you may have considered hiring a coach.

Coaches can:

  • push you towards your personal best
  • call you to the carpet when you are sabotaging yourself
  • help to brainstorm new ideas and fine tune the good ones
  • hold your hand or hold you accountable
  • sometimes all of the above

I’ve had numerous coaches over the years – including one on one and group programs.  I have been fortunate enough to have (mostly) good experiences. I’m on a quest to continuously grow as a person and entrepreneur – so for me, it’s essential to have the right support to keep me and my business moving forward.  A coach is a valuable member of Team Tarot Lady.

Choosing a good coach is not an easy process nor something you should take lightly.  With more and more people jumping on the coaching bandwagon (because they assume they’ll make “easy money”), it’s getting harder to weed out the frauds from the real, experienced ones. Anyone can call themselves a coach – and with cheapie “diploma” mills and home study courses, it’s even easier to look “certified” and legit to an unsuspecting public.

But if you are mindful and take a few careful steps, you may just wind up with the right person by your side, guiding you towards your greatest success yet.  Here are my best tips so that you get the ideal experience (and the most bang for your buck):


  1. Know what you want to accomplish and what you need.  For example, if you are looking for someone to help you with your marketing, then a lifestyle coach may not be the person you want.  Get super clear on your goal so that you may weed out the ones who aren’t going to be suitable for your mission. Also, ask yourself if you prefer one on one work or if you enjoy a group program.  Personally, I like the group dynamic but I get way more value out of private coaching.
  2. Research, research, research.  Look very carefully beyond the snappy web copy and get the real facts.  For example, what is their training?  Did they go through a reputable coaching program? How many years have they been in business?  What are their specialities?  Do they have real references that you can contact?  At the very least, they should have a successful business or lifestyle model that appeals to you.
  3. Talk to them.  Find out if their personality is a good match for you.  An “in your face” method may work for some while others may prefer a coach with a softer touch.  One of my worst experiences was in a group program with a coach who promised to be accessible and then became aloof and pretty much disappeared when the program began.
  4. Cheap isn’t necessarily better.  Sometimes you do get exactly what you pay for.  But then again, big bucks doesn’t guarantee you are going to have a rock star experience either.  Stick within your budget but don’t jump at the cheapest one in the lot – often they are cheap for a very good reason.
  5. Consistency is a must.  Beware of the coach who is constantly scrambling with a million websites and Facebook pages, new Twitter handles every few months, and unfinished projects.  Reinvention is one thing – scattered focus is another.  You want someone who is clear on their brand and not all over the place. If they are not focused on their own business, how do you think that will translate to their work with you?
  6. Street cred.  Do they have testimonials from real people?  How about pictures of them at industry events or speaking engagements?  Do they have a healthy following on social media sites?  Are they well regarded amongst their peers?  Are they actually living the lifestyle they claim? It doesn’t take much to find this out.  Simple googling should turn up plenty of social proof.
  7. Be sure they have a real, current headshot on their site (a video introduction is even better but not necessary).  You need to have a good idea of whom you are working with.  For example, I will never work with someone who uses a cartoon or symbol to represent themselves. I want to see an accurate and friendly representation before I sign on the dotted line.  If you have seen the documentary Catfish, you quickly learn that anyone can be whatever or whomever they say online – that “handsome million dollar success coach with 20+ years experience” may be nothing more than a pock marked loser living in his mother’s dilapidated house.


No matter whom you choose to work with, there is one other factor to consider: a coach is only as good as the client allows them to be.  Once you hire your coach, you become a team. It’s up to you to show up and do the work as well if you want to see the magic unfold.

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”  ~Ara Parasheghian



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2012

Have you used a business or life coach? What was your experience?  Post your thoughts in the comment section below:


These are some coaches and programs that I have worked with directly or in a group setting and can personally attest are the real deal:

Erika Lyremark at Daily Whip

Yolanda Facio at Red Hot Momentum

Nathalie Lussier

Tara Gentile

Dyana Valentine

Rich Happy and Hot B School with Marie Forleo

Lua Astrology May 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

This is excellent advice Theresa.
A few months ago I read a book (a physical book not an ebook) by a lady who had changed her life. The book was packed full of great advice so I decided to email her to thank her for the inspiration. To cut a long story short, we ended up trading skills and this lady is now mentoring me.
The experience has been extraordinarily helpful. She helps me stay on track, points out when I get lost, offers me exercises to help my personal development, encourages and supports me and holds me accountable to my goals. It is one of the best things I ever did for myself and consequently the book that had languished on the back burner is now finally being written!
It also explained the repeated presence of the Queen of Cups and Hierophant that kept coming up together on my cards 🙂

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