When the love for coaching is ruining your business

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when the love for coaching is ruining your business

I was writing the other day about a Career Coaching Certification on a private peer coaching group. I was stating that what you will get out of it is an educated coaching niche, – if you become a certified career coach, you will get to work with an educated coaching niche…with specific requests and a growing market nowadays. 

Also, I have mentioned that I love the pragmatic approach of this Certification because what you are getting in the end is not only tools and knowledge, but also a validated product as a complete coaching journey for career evolution. It is part of the DNA of the program to build your own product as a journey. 

Then, a first response came in:

  • What do you mean by validated?

…and a shared link about a doctoral study (unpublished yet) saying that the coach’s previous experience is irrelevant for the impact of the process. 

I was surprised by this reaction and also surprised by this study’s “declared result” on some very important aspects of the coaching business. I will invite you to think on your feet about the following perspective and please reach out if you have any questions. Here they are:

First, the underlying assumption and the confirmed result of this study is that all the previous professional experience of a coach, his certifications (ICF/EMCC… credentialing included), psychological training, job coaching training, masters in psychology and all else are not significantly impacting the coaching outcome. 

They say that “You need to trust the process” as this is the most important.

If confirmed and valid, this should be HUGE! And this is so because it would throw in irrelevance all of our life and professional experience and all the  professional coaching associations like ICF, EMCC, IAC, IAPC&M etc. 

But this cannot happen in reality any time soon!

Although I also believe we should trust the process from a coaching practice perspective, this is of little importance on the larger coaching business process. In other words, even if this has academic relevance it has little business value or impact. 

And this is why the love for coaching is ruining your business!

To prove this point, know that most coaches do not really make a living out of coaching only (you can see more about it in our free training here, to see some data about the coaching market and a development about the main mistakes coaches are making while building a practice).


Most people start coaching through a direct (breakthrough or life changing) experience in a coaching session or in a coaching school. They fall in love with the methods and its process. And, this happens for a good reason. Coaching process can be pretty powerful! 

But this is more probable to happen just because some Master Coaches or people that have some life and professional experience have worked on themselves, reflected, invested in therapy and their own development. It is not just by chance that you can hold such a transformative space without actual previous experience.

Second, if we oversimplify the whole coaching value lifecycle look, at this timeline:

Before entering any coaching process, any potential client first needs to choose and pay to enter that process. And on this first stage of the “decision to work with” there is a whole realm of value perceptions, projections and decisions to be made in order to actually start having impact. You, as a coach, cannot support a company’s transformation, if you are not yet working with it. The same is true for people. 

So, previous business experience, certification, credentialing and all other relatable aspects of a Coach’s Profile are actually of huge importance in the “decision to work with” stage. And this stage is often overlooked while it creates a lot of value.

In conclusion, don’t let the love for coaching ruin your business as a coach. Both aspects are important in order to be a credible coach and do this mission sustainably while earning money from doing what you love.

Picture of Mihai ZANT

Mihai ZANT

Mihai ZANT is an Executive Coach, Trainer and Managing Partner at CoachingAfterSchool.com, Humanistic.ro and CareerShift.ro. Having over 10 years of experience in leading teams and communities he concentrated his work in building Learning Organisations.

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