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“I Have No Experience, But I Want To Be a Coach.” Here’s What To Do.

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First things first. YOU are amazing.

Thank you sooo much for joining the MarieTV birthday love train last week.

So far we have new friends watching from the Marshall Islands and Cuba, we had a valiant effort from Burundi, and our big surprise: Stephanie from McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

I have a funny feeling we’ll meet new friends from Tonga and Chad soon too ;)

Thank you again for this is a beautiful gift, and it could not have been achieved without YOU.

Now onto today’s episode.

Have you ever wondered whether or not it’s kosher to coach people on a subject you have no real-world experience in?

For example, say you’re deeply passionate about business and entrepreneurship and read everything you can get your hands on about it.

But . . .

You’ve never started or run a business of your own.

Is it OK to call yourself a business coach and expect people to pay you for it?

That’s exactly what we’re talking about today on MarieTV. I’ll share a surefire way to get the street cred and confidence you need, especially when you’re first starting out.

“The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein via @MarieForleo

In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your take on people getting paid to consult on a subject they have no real world experience in — yet?

If you’re a coach or consultant, what did you do take your learning and turn it into credentials?

Please be specific and share your story in the comments below. What you have to say may create a huge aha or, a major breakthrough for someone else struggling in this situation.

Thank you, as always, for tuning in and sharing your genius with our global community.

With so much gratitude and love,

Marie Forleo

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Read the comments or Add yours

Anita Avalos

Marie, I loved this episode and this was amazing advice.

When I first started health coaching, I did have a certification but I agree…the best learning happens from actually doing the work. So, when I first started seeing clients, I didn’t charge much. I got my feet wet and saw what worked and what didn’t. And as my coaching skills grew and as I also used part of my income to gain further training, my fees changed organically.

Now I am also starting to do some biz mentoring for new health coaches. The cool thing about this was that I started doing this as part-time work for the nutrition school I first graduated from (IIN), not thinking I wanted to do this kind of coaching privately. But as my students kept telling how much more confident they became in their coaching and biz skills as a result of working with me and I felt so much joy in working with them, I knew that this was another branch of my private coaching services I wanted to offer. So now I am doing that…still at a lower fee than I will offer in the future, but it’s all about me gaining more experience and getting proof that I can really help people in this realm as well.

In short, I agree with you. Either charging nothing and having “beta clients” or charging a low fee at first is a great way to show the world what you got, get peeps amazing results, and build your own confidence and skills. Certifications and knowledge are great, but nothing beats actually immersing yourself in the work.

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Emily

Anita-As a current IIN student myself, It’s great to hear more stories of what happens after you graduate. I know that I want to coach people but also travel around the world and teach cooking classes and write about food. I know I’ll make it work, with some patience. I’d love to hear more about your own coaching and see if maybe we could work together in the future.

Thanks again,
Emily

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Elise

Emily, I absolutely love your idea of travelling around the world teaching cooking classes. What a dream! I suddenly got this huge flash of a BIG italian pasta! Mmmmmmm…

Marie, this was such a timely post as I’m starting my coaching practice in the new year (I’m gonna be a self love & manifesting coach!!!) and if I was seeking coaching, which I have, I would most likely want someone with real experience. I have practised self love & manifesting for 2 years and I feel like a total expert in it now – now it’s just a point of getting ME out there. Thank you for this :)

Elise xo

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Hillary

Elise that is perfect. One thing you will find out is how you used it and what you used it for to really help those who are seeking you to coach them. One foot in front of the other…

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Jeanie

Hey Elise,

I LOVED that post and HAD to reply :D
I’m starting my life coaching journey too and am doing the same, charging nothing for my clients (no credentials) and gaining real world experience in the area I feel has been my calling.

I’ve practised the art of it too and its saved me countless of times, and I continue to be a better version of myself everyday. It’s something I want to share and I believe it’s a gift that needs to be given, for whatever reason, and I am looking forward to starting it all!

Needless to say, Marie’s video was very helpful and of course, ridiculously funny that it just brightens up any rainy day (literally) :)

Jeanie

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Rita

Jeanie, read your comment and was wondering if you’d be interested in taking me as a client.

Anita Avalos

That’s awesome, Emily! Go girl! Dream big! And yes…feel free to reach out to me anytime. I’d love to connect with you. Anita@AnitaAvalos.com

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Allison

Anita, I would be curious to talk to you more about the certifications you have and the steps you’ve taken to get to where you are today. I am 22 and changing life paths to follow my passion of educating others on the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle… But I have no idea where to begin!

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Anita Avalos

Hey Allison! I’d be honor to chat with you more and tell you about how I made my career switch on over to coaching. Feel free to email me at Anita@AnitaAvalos.com and we can figure out a time to talk. I know how confusing it can be when you want to get rolling towards your new passion but don’t know where to begin.

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Sig @ Melbourne Maharani

I’m in the same boat – I’ve been wistfully looking at the IIN course and b-school for a while now and each time life seems to get in the way. That being said, I do want to firmly get started on this in 2013 (completely change directions in life) and would love some help in getting there. Do you mind if I email you as well Anita?

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Rachel @ Healthy Chicks

I too am a graduate of IIN and am slowly (but surely) turning my passion into a full-time business and it feels AMAZING. I’d be happy to talk to anyone about my experience with IIN or how/why I quit my full time job in my low 20s to pursue my dreams! I agree with Anita that real-life experience and actually doing the work is the only way to build confidence and become a better coach overall.

I am now 25 and feel like the past two years were COMPLETELY worth it rather than starting when it’s “too late” or when I’m having a family of my own &have a million excuses to not go after my dreams.

Always a firm believer in sticking to who you are and going after it!

Rachael

Hey Anita I totally agree! I’ve just joined IIN for the May session and I’m totally looking forward to the program. It’s like learning a language :) you can’t speak it fully until you’ve immersed yourself in it. So like health coaching or business coaching in order to speak the language of those fields you must immerse yourself in those fields in order to be able to become an expert!

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Chas

“If we would have new knowledge, we must get a whole world of new questions.” ~Susanne K. Langer
It is great that your answer to her question was told by your own story, Marie. It can be a matter of perspective on whom you trust and determine to be an ‘expert’ on a particular subject, and thus, who is rewarded monetarily, or otherwise.
I have been offered a chance to write a guest article on someone’s site, even though I do not have my own blog, or published material- merely from my active participation and comments on other forums, but, I don’t think this qualifies me to be a literary coach and I am not planning on embarking on the formulation of a novel. ;-)

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Marie Forleo

Chas I always appreciate your shares. Thanks for being here!

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Udo, the Girl -- GIRL AFTER COLLEGE

I love this as a fellow 20-something with no money and no results-oriented experience. I can’t wait to hear more from others. Can someone give me some advice?

I’m getting a Master’s degree in Nutrition & going through yoga-teacher training. I am a dancer, a blogger and I’m wanting to do IIN. I am not exactly sure how I want all of this to fit together. I don’t want to coach people without some kind of blueprint to guide them with, but at the same time, I want flexibility to figure out how I can put my ideas together. I’ve been thinking about modeling something like intensati or taking IIN program… but I don’t have money for that right now.

My goal is to push people past their limitations and achieve success in whatever realm they want it (school, work, health, relationships) by helping them take control of the things they do daily (eat + move). And to become an inspiration in and of myself (as a dance athlete, blogger, and ambitious woman).

Love to know all yall’s thoughts!

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Clare J Fitzgerald

Hey Udo

So great to see how much passion you have for life, nutrition and movement.

I wasn’t aware of what IIN or Intensati but a quick search on Mr Google fixed that :)

Without knowing too much about you and where exactly you are at, my guess is that there’s probably a couple of real options for you given your current studies and interests. Here’s one that might give you something to think about -

Think about your business from the point of view of the sort of customer you would like to work with.

So if we take Marie’s example today, maybe when you first start out you target women in their 20s who want to maintain their health, weight and fitness. These are women who like you, want to look good, be healthy in their 20s etc.

You then design a start up business where you use what you have studied about the best ways to maintain energy, fitness and flexibility in your 20s and teach that to your blog readers.

As an added bonus for your customers, you may also be able to give them extra tips on how to successfully navigate a successful career so far via your weekly blog posts.

By doing this, you can legitimately teach people about what you have studied and learned in the areas of yoga, nutrition etc, and then dip your toe in the water in your other area of interest – helping people become more successful, to see how your readers respond.

By choosing this particular audience as a target group for your first foray into helping people, you can legitimately relate to their issues with diet, movement etc because you have been there yourself – that gives you some early credibility with your audience.

You can then further build that credibility with this target group in the way Marie suggested – offer one on one free half hour Skype sessions that help your customers with a problem you know that they are keen to solve.

Do this to start with and then use the feedback you get from your clients to hone your offering and potentially start charging for it in the future.

I’m excited for you Udo. Can’t wait to see what you do!

xx Clare

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Laura Thomas

Hi Clare,

This is so useful thank you, I have just taken notes from your comment and am going to off the 1-2-1 skype sessions for my Happy Sugar Habits blog.

I also would say you could test out on a few of my friends, but this has areas of difficulty where they might just be nice to please you and not give the real valuable feedback you need.

Laura

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Clare J Fitzgerald

Laura – you are very welcome :).

I think it’s great that so many talented young women are jumping in and starting business on line and giving great advice and stories here of what you are learning.

I like your suggestion about using friends too Laura.

If you’re a bit unsure about how honest they will be, when you finish your time with them, ask them to think of someone else they can recommend for you to talk to, ideally someone you don’t know too well.

BTW – I love the clean design of your site – well done.

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Udo, the Girl -- GIRL AFTER COLLEGE

Wow, thankyou so much Clare. And sorry that my website is down right now — I literally don’t have money right now to pay my online bills right now lol.

I feel like I will be making two websites eventually — girlaftercollege which is more of a personal, fun blog where I interview people I admire, write my insights, etc. And create a new site where I focus on health, fitness and success. I will use your advice for sure (even on my current blog) and tell you how it goes! Thanks for giving me some clarity.

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Hillary

Udo, you may want to keep it to one site. Marie talks about this. You will be able to bring all your gifts into your coaching. The best part is you are there to help them with one gateway problem then you can use all your tools to help them get the results they are looking for. Excited for you :)

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Alexandra

Hi Udo,
wow this sounds amazing – and I felt like reading my own thoughts, actually! Apart from the degree in nutrition (for me it is Marketing & sales), we seem to be on the same journey :) great to meet a fellow intenSati warrior here!!! Did you go through leader training already? If not, you should!
I believe that combining a health consulting business with the insights you have in physical exercise (with intenSati etc.) is a great way to go!
For me personally, Marie’s video today helped and motivated me to get my coaching practitioner certification in NYC done and start building my client-base (at least teaching intenSati classes every week!)!
I hear you loud and clear, when you say ‘How shall I get that all done (money+time)? I feel the same way, but education is an investment in your future to grow your business!
If you haven’t done the intenSati leader training yet, I’d highly recommend it… I did it in September and my life changed completely – it helps a lot to get out of your own way and stop the mental chatter around ‘I can’t…’, ‘Not now…’ etc.
I would love to keep in touch – sharing experiences and ideas is a great way to move forward and progress :)
Love,
Alexandra

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Udo, the Girl

No, I don’t have intensati training (I am in Dallas, TX… NO ONE is doing it here). I would really love to, though. I envision mixing aspects of it into my yoga classes when I get certified and my dance teachings. Education is an investment I am so willing to make, but I literally do not have the money (or rather, it is all going towards my master’s degree). And I know, I know — if you want something you find a way. But I did find a way. I was able to find yoga teacher training that was donation based so I plan to do the same for everything else I cannot afford. I hustled for money and it literally made me sick and dropped the ball in the other aspects of my life. Donation-based is the way for me for the time being. :)

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Stacy Spensley

Hey Udo,

I love all that you’re up to! As an IIN grad I just wanted to add my two cents. The IIN curriculum definitely gives you a framework for coaching programs, but it’s just a start. It’s like learning the steps of a new dance: later you can use those same steps and put them together differently to music of your own choosing.

My training is as a health coach, but my clients come to me to talk about issues like overwhelm and perfectionism. Sometimes this has to do with food, but often it’s about the bigger picture of their life. Many IIN grads are teaching cooking classes, helping people add healthier foods to their diets, etc., but I’ve modified my offerings to appeal to my target market.

There are many others who were already yoga teachers and massage therapists who were just adding coaching to their tool kits. There’s no right/wrong way to use your knowledge and education!

I think a great way for you to start is to do an informal poll of people who know you. Ask them “What would you want to learn from me?” Start where YOU are and figure out what you can already offer. How do you want to share that with people? In programs? In writing? In videos or podcasts? In dance performance?

Can’t wait to see what you come up with. =)

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Udo, the Girl

Stacy, that’s exactly why I am so into it. I want to help people get healthy, but there is a bigger vision than that. And I don’t want to be just strictly a “life coach” because — I’m just really into food and flexibility. My personal story involves how movement and diet habits helped me defeat “the odds” and create shifts mentally.

Thanks for that. It never occurred to me that my bloggers may be interested in seeing more performances. I will make a poll!

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Stacy Spensley

Absolutely! And people love to hear your story and go on that journey with you. That’s why I resonate so much with a holistic approach – eating more greens is great, but it won’t help if the real problem is stress.

Good luck with your research!

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Destiny

Hey Udo! I am currently living in the UK, but am moving back home to the DFW area in less than a month. From reading your blogs, you and I seem to have a very similar mindset. I am working on shaping my goals and figuring out how to achieve them. I will not be able to advise you on any of your questions, but I think it is important to have similarly minded people who will support you and push you. If you’re up for it, please Email me and we can meet up when I get home :) destiny.waugh@yahoo.com

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Sarah

Hi Udo~

I have not read your entire post here, I just want to share powhow.com This is an online site that offers technology to host virtual live classes in ANYTHING to anyone around the world. There is a fee for your virtual dance studio, which is minimal when considering the cost of studio rental fees, etc. I have just started with them as a certified life coach, dancer, facilitator extraordinaire and I am excited to see the possibilities of this avenue. Good luck with your search and thank you for bringing Intensati back to my mind! I want to check out this dance for sure : )

Love, Sarah

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Adrienn

Just signed up for powhow.com.
Who knew I could host my amazing home organizing classes from behind my webcam this easy!
I will be focusing on keeping your home organized yet stylish with easy to implement solutions, especially if you have toddlers running around.
Thank you Sarah!

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Hinna Farooq

I love this! I feel like this is written for me, I’ve just turned 21 and I feel like Leah was reading my mind and maybe actually her “friend” is me! Thank you so much Marie once again! you’re such an amazing teacher to me, you are so generous with your know and I’m so grateful for that!

Thank you!!!

Peace and Love!
Hinna xoxo<3

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Marie Forleo

Glad it helped Hinna! ;)

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Nadia Chaudhry

Absolutely love this! I want to evolve into a coach after I’ve established myself as a copywriter and this is perfect advice for me right now! <3

Much Love,
<3 Nadia

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Ameena Falchetto

Personally, when I decided to step out on my own and become a marketing consultant 6 years ago I already had 3 years experience doing the Marketing for a couple of really big companies. I planned my transition from employment to being my own boss carefully. I talked to a lot of people in the market, nurtured the contacts I had made and walked into huge paid projects straight away.

I never agree to working for free for any extended period of time. And I disagree that getting results when working for free will result in them paying you later on down the line. Been there tried that and it never worked – all was not lost though as I did get the testimonial I needed to back up my claims.

It can also create confusion when knowing what to charge when you’ve been giving all the good stuff away for free. Start with a price, offer a free month’s trial or a discounted rate – but if you charge they are more likely to take the relationship seriously and, in turn, achieve the results you both need to make it a real success.

Also, surround yourself with people who can help and counsel you to keep you on track – it can be quite difficult to make sense of all that information out there when you are frantically searching for information!

Good luck!

PS – love the dress Marie!

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Josephine

I totally agree with Ameena. I’ve found from experience that people respect what they pay for – and this means they will do the work and get the great results that you need for credibility and integrity.

As a new and inexperienced coach a few years ago I charged (and only felt comfortable charging) VERY low fees, but it allowed me to get my first few clients and the valuable experience and testimonials I needed to up my prices and take my business to the next level. It also made me a little money which I needed being a 20-something myself! Marie’s suggestion of getting a job on the side is great though.

I did however give my service away for free to a couple of friends – and I can tell you this can be a great way to get experience and get testimonials – propose your service to people already in your network. They already know you, trust you, and are more likely to start working with you even though you are a newcomer.

Also agree with Ameena that you need to surround yourself with support and guidance for growing your business (by investing a little bit in a business coach or business training program for example). You’ll save time and money and many headaches in the long run building your business!

Good luck Leah!

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Marie Forleo

Love both of these conversations – excellent ladies!

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Priscilla Biju Then

I am really glad that Ameena was able to disagree with good reason — it IS true that people will respect your time more, and are more efficient, etc. I just spent the last year working for myself as a graphic/Web designer and translator, and am happy to know that I surpassed Marie’s “Magic 12 Clients” number.

It’s true what Josephine said about working for people who already know you — that’s exactly what I did. I found my clients through going out and talking about my services at networking events and on social media (Facebook & LinkedIn) my clients were all found through word of mouth!

Ironically, I was so busy helping my clients that I wasn’t able to put up my own website and Facebook Page until just recently:

http://www.facebook.com/BijuCreative

I have a good feeling that 2013 will be a LOT different, because this time, I will be able to work on my marketing myself like a “real” business! However, one thing that concerns me is the number of people (10-ish) who’ve told me that I should work for a company FIRST (or at least part-time) before breaking out on my own. What are your thoughts on this, wise ladies?

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Kellie

Great advise Ameena! I’m transitioning from being an at will employee to being a business coach and your comments gave me some great ideas on how to gain experience while building income. Ty!

Kellie

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Adrienn

I agree!
I offered once a free coaching series to the winner of a contest. But I encountered difficulties with commitment on the clients side. Partly due to the fact that it was free.
No pain no gain…;)

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Vicky

Marie and all the peeps,

I have struggled with this TREMENDOUSLY!

This very issue held me back from taking action and starting my own business for a while.

One day, I had an amazing opportunity to pick Gary Vaynerchuk’s brain.

I originally wanted to create an online course that I could sell and Gary said to get a few very low paying clients and actually do the work, get your fingers dirty while digging in the trenches. (If you would like to see the video, you could see it here: http://www.smallbusinessgal.com/2012/09/19/gary-vaynerchuk-gave-me-some-solid-advice-video/ )

This is exactly what you are talking about, Marie. Get a few free or low paying clients and do the best you can do for them to create amazing results, – now you have experience, the confidence, and the reputation to charge what you deserve!

I think that so many beginners struggle with this. The book “Do the Work” by Steven Pressfield helped me SO SO MUCH. It pushed me to just do it without overthinking. Since then, I have done things that I though I would LOVE doing, but it turned out that I didn’t after “doing the work” and I am so thankful I tried and moved on so quickly! I am loving what I do and continue to grow.

This episode hit home with me. Thank you Marie and the team! Much love!

xoxo
Vicky

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Sandy Sidhu

Great points, Vicky! And love the interview with Gary..big fan of his too.
I totally agree with starting with services..get a few clients and then starting to work on the product.
I actually just blogged about this recently: http://shetakesontheworld.com/2012/12/first-digital-product-service.html
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Sandy

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Victoria

Loooove the dress Marie!
For me this is quite a controversial topic because I’ve seen (and been victim to) many ‘coaches’ who claimed to know about business/PR/marketing and seemed to be qualified but didn’t get me results (and they charged, a lot).
The thing is, you might have knowledge in something but that still doesn’t mean your advice works in the real world.

I personally feel that if someone is a coach in something they should have personal experience of excelling in that area themselves. For instance, teaching someone how to run a business is so different from running it yourself. If you’re a business coach, you should have experience of running your own business in some capacity.

However, I do agree with building credibility by working for free with a list of beta clients- that’s a great idea. In fact, when I started my tutoring business that’s more or less what I did (without realising it). However, you have to differentiate the beta clients from your real future clients because beta clients might want you to work for them for the long-haul and they might not be willing to pay you more in the future. You also have to be stringent with beta-clients and like Marie said, track every result and get testimonials, photos, anything that can prove you’re the real deal.

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Line Strandvik

Hi Victoria, I recognize your story about being the “victim” of bad coaches. I have seen a lot of councilors and did not always get return of investment. Or so I thought…. I now see this as my curriculum to be a better guide for others. I know they need to own the process. Also it have taught me not to trust any certificate. Testimonials are better, but even better is my own gut feeling. So now I trust that my clients will also choose me by following their gut-feelings. And yes, I believe we need to walk the walk before we talk the talk.

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Shay de Silva

Great video Marie! Experience can come from many places. When I started creating my workout videos last year, I had never produced a video before. However, I had been creating (and doing!) workouts for almost two decades. People often focus on their lack of experience instead of focusing on everything they’ve done that will contribute to their success. Also, if you’re truly passionate about your work, getting more experience is tons of fun!

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Marie Forleo

I agree 100% Shay – learning through action is awesome AND fun :)

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Brenda Horton

As always, great advice Marie.

People don’t care about your credentials. All they care about is if you can help them achieve their desired outcome or results.

If you are NOT an expert in your field, here are a few more tips to help you get started:

1. Interview experts in your field and write an e-book.
2. Facilitate a webinar or teleseminar series featuring other experts.
3. Organize a Meetup group and invite experts to speak on subject matter.

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Aslana

People should be an expert if they’re going to claim their an expert.

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Jody

I agree Aslana….it doesn’t make sense if someone says they are an expert, but have nothing to show for it….not necessarily qualification. It’s like my field of Fitness & Nutrition….someone saying you should do something but not following the advice themselves OR haven’t applied it themselves to see if it actually works.

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Ritu

This is THE BEST advice I have gotten in a long while! Thanks Marie. You are awesome and as wise as you are funny. Love you lots!

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Marie Forleo

Thank you and sending you love right back Ritu :)

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Aunty Vanessa

What if you want to be a coach in an industry however have only one business under your belt ?

That business is successful in certain aspects yet still not perfect (is it ever?) nor am I …..

The biz hasn’t won any awards nor has it or I personally as the business owner been featured on news (newspaper and/or tv)

Yet I have “gotten my hands dirty”…

I have experienced a LOT in my years doing this business

Also the very small pieces of “mentoring” that I have done as a tester… has helped… Has been of assistance….

I want to start out as a mentor however would the same advice still apply or do I have a leg up to your Q&A Tuesday lady because I actually have very REAL world experience ?

Does experience matter over credentials as I have none.

The website I have linked to in my name here is the vehicle I wanted to use to provide the mentoring or “apprenticeship”.

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Marie Forleo

Hi Aunty! Experience is awesome and we all start out with just “one” success. I’d suggest you build off your success and let it grow from there – honestly and authentically.

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Julia Christova

Awesome advice!
I started my site/blog in English a few months ago. I had a successful one in my native language, but I am building my site and my audience now, so if you see my comment here and want to be one of my “beta” clients, please contact me. My strengths are in expanding creativity; health – exercise and forming new eating habits and exercise routines and following personal goals. You can read more about me and what I can do for you here: http://juliachristova.com/aboutme/

I’ll be happy to have new readers or new friends, so I am open to all contact!

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Gina

Of course you don’t have to have owned your own business, but who would hire a 20-year-old as a consultant in anything? To get experience, get yourself hired in somebody else’s business and keep your eyes open, ask lots of questions, attend MBA classes as a non-credit student, etc. Do this until you have enough self-confidence that you don’t feel you have to ask somebody else if you’re ready.

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Aslana

I agree

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Camille Dangerfield

It’s seems peculiar to find comments like these among such a nurturing community. It sounds like the two of you are outright trying discourage her from moving forward because she is young.

Marie’s advice was given from her personal experience (and obviously it worked, although she started off young). And there are many others who have also started young and have been able to help people transform their lives for the better.

I encourage you to really examine the stifling effects that comments like these may have on others and consider refraining from them in the future. Limiting beliefs yield limiting results. And that’s the exact OPPOSITE of Marie’s purpose.

Onward and upward!

Camille

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Jenn Rankin

Here! Here Camille!

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Danielle

I think Gina’s advice really compliments Marie’s. Many clients will be searching for the best consultant, you gotta keep up with the competition. It’s a great idea to get some formal education if possible to keep up with the knowledge of those you’ll be working with. And an even greater idea to get experience working in a business. It’s exciting that you’ve chosen your career at such a young age, why not use that as your advantage and get as much as experience as you can from working in a business, getting an education, and consulting for free. Now that’s setting yourself up for success! Best of luck!

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Jeannine

I think that waiting and hiding behind someone else’s business without getting the actual experience, just because your age number is 20, is a horrible idea! Gina don’t you think she would just have to get her own experience anyway after she hides for a few years to wait for her number to increase? People WILL hire a 20 year old, I have personal experience and testimonials to PROVE that one (psss you don’t have to tell your age) Does a number REALLY matter?

I was featured in The New York Times posing this very question “Should a Life Coach Have a Life First?”

Life experience is not based off of a number. These days there are soo many resources to grow and a rapid pace that a 20 year old with passion and purpose may learn everything a 40 year old has never had to or even tried.

I teach a Mentor Masterclass for young aspiring life coaches who want to start getting experience and coaching RIGHT NOW. The course is designed to train you on the education you need to coach others and to start coaching. You are given a partner to coach throughout the entire course and you are getting a life coach for yourself included in the program. The class is also heavily based on practicing on anyone and everyone you can during training. I set a minimum requirement of prospecting and free sessions the tools you are learning that week.

We set up fun challenges and track progress in the group for HEALTHY competition.

One young lady in my course is only 23, you would never guess, she is in Thailand teaching students now. Her experience, passion, life experience and natural ability to pick up the skills sets her apart in my mind. In fact I would hire her hands down before a few of the women who are twice her age and taking the course. I believe coaching is her life purpose. I believe there are many coaches out there waiting to awaken and the fear of there age is keeping them quiet. It is MY purpose to teach them everything they need to know to stop waiting and get started now.

I spent two years designing this program for new coaches that incorporates all of the training I could not find in any other coaching programs as I was so frustrated by the judgement on age and ability. Some people are born into this world meant to be leaders, designed to be coaches and inspire others to live their best life.

Using age as a reason to stall getting started is painful for those who are ready to awaken and those waiting for their coach to step into the world.

I have 3 girls in my class who in their first 3 months now have paying clients because of the work we do to focus on

1. Belief in yourself
2. Get a life coach before you become one
3. Intense focus on practicing and prospecting as much as possible.

Thanks Marie for enforcing the TRUTH that it lies in your focus on getting the experience. Not waiting for years to pass as if that qualifies you as an expert!

Coach Jey
The RSVP revolution
Inspiring Young Coaches to Rise

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Li

I’m interested in this program, do you offer it online?

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Barbara Foxworth

Amen, Coach Jey! I totally agree!! You do not have to wait for years to pass &/or get hired in someone else’s business to become an expert at a young age. That’s redonkulous! Marie’s advice is right on… at any age, getting RESULTS for non paying clients is the best way to become an expert! :-)

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Josephine

Totally agree Camille and Jeannine. Marie started young and look at her now! I started my coaching business at 24 years old and although some clients exclaimed ‘You’re young!’ when they met me for the first time, they still hired me and got great results. Learn and practice rather than living in fear that you’re not ready :)

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Vicky

Jeannine, you are absolutely right! I love how one of your fous is to hire a life coach before you become one. BRILLIANT and so so true! I just started working with a coach and am seeing TREMENDOUS results! Thank you for standing up to us twenty-somethings ;)

xoxo

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Marie Forleo

This is AWESOME Coach Jey!! Thank you for doing your great work in the world and lifting others up :) And, thank you for putting so much care, love, detail and positivity into your comment. With so much love and respect.

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Stepha

Wow, coach Jey. This just really spoke to me. I have wanted to coach for years but always pushed myself back or found excuses because I thought no one would listen to a 20 something.

I am a multi passionate individual, and I do believe I have the gift in me to coach others and help them be their best selves. I finally started taking proper step to set up a business which would focus on helping young women find a balance in all aspects of the is life including fitness, nutrition and discovering their true passions. Because I am also passionate about fashion/ beauty I would offer a service that helps demystify those subjects and help them find a perfect look that will help them step into the world with confidence and really shine from the inside out.

Mary, I love what you said about offering the services for free for a period of time. I really think that’s the route that I’m going to take, as I thankfully have stable source of income, and build up from there. Thank you!

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Udo, the Girl

They will hire her if she proves she knows her stuff. hence, Marie advices a year of learning and DOING.

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Michele DeLima

Right On Marie! Though I had 18 years prior related experience before I started my freelance copywriting business (I was a former corporate banker meeting with business owners and senior managers, and doing the research and writing proposals for the credit committees) marketing and creative nonfiction was not my expertise.

So I took a 10-week class with marketing/copywriting guru Marcia Yudkin, practiced on my then-hubby’s business (with great results!), and found a couple of friends to work for for free. I also joined Business Network International, a great way to make connections, find paying opportunities and gain feedback, encouragement and confidence.

It works! I’ve got a growing business and great clients I love.

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Renair Amin

Hello everyone!

I agree with Marie in having beta clients. However, I would stand to note as someone else shared that your beta clients may not transition into paying clients. Just as it is important that your “discounted” clients know that there is a certain time period on the extended reduction.

I only coached a couple of people for free because when I started my coaching business, I felt that my “expertise” was worth paying for even if minimal. However, making money was not my only goal, it truly was (and still is) enhancing the life of my clients.

I did decide to take to get certified in life coaching. I also got certifications as a spiritual and relationship coach. Sometimes certain organizations will ask if you are certified in certain areas. In certain industries, the proof is in the pudding so to speak.

Also look at what your expertise would be. It took me a while after I began coaching to solidify my niche. It was only after coaching for a while that I realized that my power was in the ability to understand that there was “A Gain in “AGAIN.” So now I work with people that are in the “again” state, I would not have been able to do that without taking time coaching beta-clients.

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Mario

Hi Marie,

This is a great topic, I am a subscription websites manager which means that I help coaches, authors and small business put together offers that have a subscription billing plan, usually I put together information offers.

When I was starting I didn’t had experience either, in fact today I still don’t have my own membership site. I am doing something similar to what you are saying. I picked one skill that is necessary to do my work and I started to apply for jobs on Elance and Odesk and then once I started to get clients for website programming I started to ask them if I could help them with marketing.

Most of them said no because I was the”web guy” but a few of them said yes so now I am working with them, being very well paid for it and getting them the results that I don’t have for myself.

As soon I can get a good portfolio of clients with results I am going to release my own coaching program.

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Robert Szymaniak

Hi Marie,

You’re doing an excellent job!

Not too many guys here. Probably the pink scares them off ;-).

Here is my story:
I started my coaching business this year in July. I am an expert in trading the financial markets. I guess you were in that business as well, am I right? ;-)

I’ve gained my expertise through my own experience in the markets. It’s been 6 years now since I’ve made my first trade. For about a year I am consistently profitable. So I thought I would teach other people how to trade successfully. In this way I could create real value in their financial lives.

Then I came to the realization that there is a huuuuuge gap between knowing something and teaching it to others. It is not necessarily the knowledge base you posses, but the way you communicate, that matters. So now I am learning a completely new set of skills.

The bottom line is, it is not enough to know your stuff. You also need to know how to work with your customers for them to get results. Only then you will gain some real expertise.

Thanks for your excellent advise!

Bye bye :-)

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Marie Forleo

Hey Robert! Thanks for chiming in and, we absolutely welcome you as a part of our growing male audience. You’re in great company :)

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Line Strandvik

Doing things for free is not always the best way to go about it. I would suggest starting with something you already know, and evolve from there. Everybody knows something better than some others. For the 3rd grader, the 4th grader is a God (quote Christina Morassi).

Giving away for free restricts the energy and the learning process. In order to truly receive value, we need to give first. Giving money creates a vacuum which allows something of value to flow back into our lives. This I first learned in Reiki, and now I hear this from entrepreneurs as well. Keep the flow of energy moving.

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Aslana

Nope, disagree, if your not experienced taking money is not a good idea. Energy flows no matter what my friend! It’s what you limit your belief to.

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Katy

Doing things for free is not always a good idea but ALWAYS charging might not be either- IOW- This is such a personal decision – If you want to…give it a go…if you don’t feel comfortable charging, then hold off and test the waters – I take this info as simply guidelines to help anyone who is questioning what to do, to consider their options. Happily we can always change our minds :)

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Marie Forleo

Wonderful points Katy. And regarding fee or free, it IS a very personal decision. There is no right or wrong, only finding what will work best for you.

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Pete Sapper

Another amazing video.

Better watch out Marie, your male audience is growing by the legion. You just might have to duplicate yourself!

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Anu

Im 30yr old, a doctor, radiologist working in a hospital. Used to be quite plump as a kid…then in college, read everything about nutrition ( they hardly teach this in med school ) & fitness I could get my hands on. Lost all the extra flab but this became my obsession…in the earlier yrs of college, though I had lost all the weight, still the fear of gaining it back n the flagellating body image…man, starving, excessive exercise , the pain, stress eating, binge eating, anorexia, the guilty etc etc…man I ve done it all, faced it all…until after many yrs, I figured that its hardly about the food or diet or exercise…the missing pieces of the puzzle…When I see, ridiculous diet advise in the magazines & people following silly exercise rules & myths…I feel an urge to write a book, launch a website & coach people on this as its my huge passion…
But then again, I don’t know how ? Would love to be mentored on this !

And I love u Marie, u r simply awesome…muahhhhhh

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Sweta

Anu,

You have a real niche because you have lost the weight and are relateble as well as have the credibility of being a doctor and the passion to help others. I am a pharmacist and recently quit my job of being a professor after 10 years. Through coaching I realized that pharmacy school was an escape for me and that I didn’t want to be a pharmacist. My true passion is essentially coaching and I got my fix by creating patient education programs in diabetes, hep-c, etc. So I got to do some counseling but just not in the area I wanted and my academic obligations were making me miserable. As soon as I got the courage to quit I wanted to run away from pharmacy and focus on coaching people to live their true life and not hide (like i did for so long). At the same token, I believe disease is dis-ease of not being aligned with your purpose. So as a pharmacist being around so many sick people I can really help by melding my health knowledge and spiritual beliefs. You can do the same because as you mentioned food is about so much more. Check out the book women, good, God and check out Lisaa Rankin’s website (she is a doctor as
well). You can also check out my blog as I am on this journey: http://www.swetachawla.com. Good Luck

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israel García

Hi Marie.

You’re great, thanks for the advice I love your blog and being surrounded by women, jejejej

Can not ask for more.

Greetings from Spain.

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Noha Daoud

I totally agree with you Marie, i guess you’ve gave her the short cut to let her really discover if it works or not… cutting off all time consuming stuff to reach the same point via traditional advice :)
I believe that specially counseling is a talent more than an experience, if she’s talented she’ll quick put her self on the track and gain experience and she can then make some related certificates to gain the academic knowledge as well. but again counseling is a talent and you led her to the shortest way to discover whether it will work or not :)
Thaaaaaaaaaanks to Marie…. From Egypt :)

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Marie Forleo

Thanks for your share Noha! Sending you love in Egypt!

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Andrew Hryni

I agree with you Marie! As I always say “Judge a tree by its fruit. Not its pedigree…”

I used to be a psychotherapist, with all the attendant training, internships, supervision, certification, etc. but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Believe me, there there are lots of ‘certified’ (insert title) out there who are not-very-good at whatever it is they do…

When I became a shamanic healer, I did do ‘advanced training’, etc. but this work – based as it is on accessing forces outside yourself – defies ‘certification’.

We were encouraged, as you say, to work ‘for free’ on at least 30-50 clients to see how reliable and effective we were over time. And only then think about charging, advertising, or claiming any kind of ‘expertise.’

However, once you know ‘in your bones’ that you can do what you say you do, and that you can help others, that fear goes away.

You might not be ‘certified’ but you are ‘experienced.”

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Racheal Cook

I love this episode Marie! I think this is a crucial conversation especially as more 20 & 30 somethings jump into the coaching & consulting world.

I’ve been offering consulting services for over 10 years – yep since I was 19! I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and by the time I reached college had not only already been helping my dad grow his business for 5 years but I had also started a few little hobby businesses on my own. Once I reached business school, I offered free consulting (for credit when I could) to several local businesses ranging from small mom & pop retail stores to a multi-million dollar manufacturing company to a bio-tech startup founded by one of my professors. By the time I graduated with my MBA at 23 years old, I had worked with easily 50-60 entrepreneurs and won several small business consulting awards.

When I started my current business, The Yogipreneur, I had no experience running a yoga business (but LOVED yoga & had started my teacher training) but LOTS of experience with other businesses. So I offered my services as an exchange with my teacher — I took over all the business aspects of her yoga studio and she focused on teaching yoga. Her studio took off and soon the word was out. Within 6 months, I had worked with several dozen teachers & studio owners — and my biz was born.

Now that I’m coming up on my 5 year anniversary I 100% agree with you Marie — while I have an MBA and absorb everything biz & marketing related, it’s been working with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the past 10 years that really gives me the confidence and credentials to offer myself as a coach & consultant.

xo
Racheal

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Aslana

People who are older may not want to be coached by 20 something’s.

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Racheal Cook

This is totally true. I’ve for sure met plenty of people who are much older than myself who prefer to work with someone their own age – which doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve worked with people much older than myself who have never brought up the age issue and several who love working with someone who is younger. It’s all about who you really want to serve — most of my clients are in their late 20s/early 30s so it’s a non-issue for me.

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Rachel Anzalone

I agree Racheal ~ I have a couple of much older clients who love having a young fresh perspective in their business. It’s all about finding the right people.

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Stacy Spensley

That’s OK, there’s enough to go around! =)

Some people may find her too young for them, others may be energized by her youth and perspective. She doesn’t have to work with people who don’t want to work with her.

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Johanna

Morning Marie + The Forleo family

Great video. I agree to what most others have said above me. I do absolutely think there is something to be said for going out, getting experience and getting your hands dirty. Charge less, work for free, you never know where it will lead.

For me it gave me a lot of confidence, real life stories and insight into what I am doing now as a Health Coach – making it easier for busy stressed women to eat better and be healthy. A long the way, I’ve gained a lot of experience in marketing so that I’ve been hired by some to help with that as well.

But it all comes from getting your hands dirty.
Keep it up!
Johanna xo

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April -- The Absolute Travel Addict

I’m just starting to offering digital/social media marketing coaching in the travel and tourism space. I have a few years of relevant experience as a social software B2B sales consultant and then later in marketing at a large multinational tech company but nothing specifically in travel and tourism. I did a few free engagements and in some instances bartered my services for other cool perks. I’m now able to use those results when talking to potential clients. Definitely the way to go. Oh and I’ve worked a FT job + done freelance travel writing on the side to help me get there.

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Rachel

Wow, I relate to so much of this! My business partner and I are both 24-year-old life coaches. Our niche is passionate 20-somethings, in particular 20-something entrepreneurs and business owners. We love helping other young people break away from convention, work for themselves, and do work they’re passionate about. BUT, neither of us has ever owned our own business before, and we didn’t have a client base from which to gather testimonials.

So, we decided to do what Marie just suggested, which is to give it away for free! We’ve started a free monthly coaching and discussion group for young entrepreneurs (all over the phone) so that they can network with peers, get some free coaching and advice, AND experience our services for free. We’re also going to offer free months of coaching to specific people and businesses that could ultimately give us great case studies and testimonials. It’s nice to hear that we were already on the right track!! :-)

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Lisa

Hi Rachel,
I agree with Marie to a point. I have found that people tend to be less committed to the process and do not value (as much) what you are giving them if it is “free”. At first it may be a great relationship, but the interest wears out because it is taken for granted. Just beware.

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Lisa Alexander

Hi Marie,

Great advice today. I am also in that buildup phase of my marketing coaching biz and I have to keep telling myself to take small steps each day to get where I need to be. I too have taken new clients for a low fee and feel this is a win win situation for both of us. I like your advice about documenting each “case study” and getting the “results” written down. With coaching it is sometimes a tough sell, but the proof is in the pudding. GREAT!

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Aslana

If you don’t have the know how, don’t do it. Don’t take any paying clients. Be mentored and work for someone else. Passion and wanna be sometimes isn’t enough., experience takes more than a year. Be realistic people. coaching someone especially with health can hurt them if you don’t know what your doing. Coaching business as well, can get someone the wrong advice, and if you don’t have experience, writing an e book won’t help get you cred. Anyone can do that. this vid i think is ok but gives the impression you don’t have to do that much work. Do the work and it will take a while. Quit drinking the kool-aid and get real, with heart!

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Adi

Aslana I really agree with you. Integrity is the keyword, both in moral and ethical principles for you and in respect of your clients.

I have though tried free coaching twice, with new-educated coaches whom had no life-experience and that was waste of time – but it might have helped themselves.

I’ve also paid for consulting with an “expert” and were left with pain in my pocket and no concrete help. I was so frustrated and sad, specially because I’ve clearly specified the job and the “expert” confirmed she could help.
As client you spend lot of time (and money) to find the “right” professional, so please use your ethic when you sell your trade.

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Danielle

I agree. Who is the client going to hire: the consultant with formal credentials, experience in the business world, and experience consulting or the consultant with experience consulting

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Marie Forleo

Aslana, I fully respect your opinion and, nothing in this video suggests that you don’t have to “do that much work.” If you’re familiar with my work, or my history, you’d know that I’ve been working very hard since I was 9 years old. I rarely stop. You’d also know that we never suggest anyone does anything but behave in fully honest and ethical ways that provide the highest value, from heart, in every area of life. We also proudly and openly share that lasting success takes sustained effort over a long period. That being said, every pro was once an amateur. As each of us grow in experience and life, it’s our job to pass along our wisdom and encourage our sisters and brothers at the beginning of their journey, not tear them down.

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Ngoc Khong

Marie and Aslana, thank you so much as I learn a lot from your conversation. Each of you have a very own way of view, both have brought me new insights.

@Marie: I’m so touched by your words and your love for young people like me. Thank you so much for encouraging us. From bottom of my heart.

Ngoc Khong

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Mary

Hi maria

You are amazing in this blue dress ;)

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Valarie P

Hi Marie,
I pondered on this for many years and let my fear define my success. Yes, I did get my credentials(advanced degree) but asked myself, “How can I make a difference in someone life?”. Well, I have been a child advocate for many years in dependency court system. But, given advise to other advocates, and this morning my thoughts and ideas got me churning that I can become a coach and create an online course. Thanks for opening up my mind and spirit.

Valarie

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale

I love this, Marie, and TOTALLY agree! I recently graduated from college with a BS in nutrition and realized that I don’t wan to be an RD. Instead, I took a part-time job as a nutritionist, started my own blog (fortheloveofkale.com) and am now studying to become a teacher (and forever a student!) of A Course in Miracles. I find people looking to me for advice often, so I am starting to life coach them for free on the Course’s principles. To your bangin’ point, because I love it so much, I’m not concerned about the moolah. That will come in time. I’m so excited for my journey. Thanks for your weekly videos, mamasita. You’re amazing!

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Karlie Moore

Heather, I love your blog! I checked it out because I am a nutritionist too and just think you are adorable. I was especially inspired by the fact that you have incorporated another obvious passion of yours, fashion, into your site. I hope to do the same thing too one day with my passion for decorating. Keep goin girl!

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Heather

Hey Karlie! I’m sorry I just got your response. I checked out your site and wow it’s so unique. So inspiring to see you going for your dreams. How’s it going with infusing your passion for decorating into other areas of your life? I’d love to chat. Email me if you’d like! contact@heatherwaxman.com xo

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Stephanie | Love Constructor

Hii Marie,

this is exactly how I started as well! Thanks for you advice and it’s definitely good to know that I’m not the only one who started like this.

Greets from Holland,

Stephanie

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Nancy Da Costa

This episode is so so timely!

I am at exactly the halfway point in my health coach training program (IIN) and while I’ve offered advice to friends and acquaintances who have asked, I’ve never officially coached someone before.

As I’ve been sharing more and more about my experiences in my health coach training at IIN, there is one woman at the gym that I’ve connected with. She is my ideal customer avatar and exactly the kind of person I know I can help and want to work with-health conscious, works out all the time, yet feels an underlying self-loathing about her body. I told her that I could help her and we did a health history together.

I did offer her my services for a fee, though I was completely upfront with her about the fact that 1) while I love this stuff and feel confident I can help her, I’ve never officially coached someone before and that she would be my first client and 2) I’m most likely (not 100% decided) that I’m moving to Australia in July 2013. She definitely met me (rightly) with some hesitation on her own in the fact that I have no official experience and that I’m planning on moving halfway across the world in a few months. So I told her that for being my first client, I would charge her my “beta” fee and that I am 100% invested in getting her exactly the results and feeling that she is looking for.

Lea, I think that it’s great that you’re starting out at a young age and definitely take Marie’s advice, do work for free or charge a beta price. It’s important to note, however, that if you’re willing to work for free, to emphasize to your potential clients that even though it’s free, they must do the work. They must show up. They must take it seriously, otherwise it’s a waste of both yours and their time. The reason I’m charging a beta price as opposed to doing it for free is that I know that there is a sense of pride and seriousness when you (or your clients) pay for a service, but if not you should really drive this point home (but in a loving way, of course :-)

Good luck Lea!

-Nancy

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Mahogany

Love love loved this video, it is great when you need insight it shows up in your inbox. Thanks for the great advice.
xo
Mahogany

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Jessica

I started my business when I was 20, and I think one of the reasons I had the confidence to just dive in and start doing what I wanted to do was because I was working for a fresh-out-of-law-school lawyer and he had no experience, either. Which seemed a bit crazy to me at the time, that after spending a fortune and 3 years of your life, you’d go out into the world… with no experience.

I started just as you recommend, Marie, approaching a bunch of business owners asking if I could help them improve their ezines for free.

One small suggestion–as you start racking up paid real world experience, start pulling the old case studies out of your marketing materials. (You’ll want to anyway–as you get more experience, you’ll get better results for your clients!) Every so often, I run across someone’s site with testimonials that are obviously for free coaching, which can make clients think twice about being willing to pay professional rates.

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Renee Sullivan

When I started my health coaching business 4 years ago, I did exactly what Marie suggested…I coached for FREE. I did have clients that got results and they wanted to continue working with me. They pay me now AND send me referrals. How cool is that?

You have to put in the effort though, but it IS worth it.
Renee

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Rachel Henke

Amazing as always Marie.

When I started out I did years of ‘free’ coaching around a product and business program so that I made money from the selling of the products & program but got coaching experience helping people use the program whilst working with mentors.

Then in the field I’m in now (niche coaching) I transitioned into online marketing coaching by offering a complimentary consultation when people bought a digital training product.

As Marie says (along with Einstein :) there’s no way to get there other than jumping in and getting real experience but these are ways you can monetize and get experience at the same time.

The one thing I do think it’s worth being aware of is that if people don’t pay at all they often have a tendency not to take you and your coaching seriously so it’s important to find a way to qualify them if not with cash!

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Shantini Suntharajah

Hello from Malaysia! Hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration Marie and thank you so much for the fabulous advice that you share every single week – you’re a superstar in my book!

About today’s episode – well I’m an independent copywriter/editor today and I’m lucky enough to have amazing clients all over the world but I started out as an engineer. I switched careers about 8 years ago when I found out about an opening for a rookie reporter at a local newspaper (writing is my passion). Anyways, I had to take a HUGE pay cut and while I didn’t work for free it certainly felt that way!

I totally agree with you that the only solid way to gain credibility when you’re starting out at something is to gain experience any way you can. Working for free or at a really low rate is okay in the beginning when experience is more important than the moolah. Eventually, word will get around and you can start thinking about adding to that bank balance :-)

Loved today’s episode as always. Thanks again Marie!

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Heather chauvin

Perfection Marie!
I will only work with a coach who has been their, done that and has the shirt to show it but I LOVE your suggestion about free coaching. Of course when you offer something for free you run the risk of having someone who does not value your time or work.
Free coaching = clarity

Love it! Thanks again

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Jody

I must be honest, I got a bit confused half way through. From my personal experience…..when someone ‘pays’ for a service, they are more likely to actually apply it & get results. I have given out free advice & programs, BUT the the real results came from the clients who paid for a service…..
I know one needs to gain experience & that can be hard with no “qualification” in the field….BUT I couldn’t take someone seriously if they didn’t apply it themselves. It’s like taking advice from a marriage councilor who has been divorced 7 times…..do you go to a person like that because they know what doesn’t work & warn you for those pitfalls or do you go to someone who knows what does work because they are proving it?

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Desha Peacock

This is a good one Marie, and I bet there are lots of coaches out there listening in. I agree that you can’t get cred by just starting up with no experience and training. I certainly wouldn’t hire you in that situation! Marie, you talked about getting experience through offering free services, but I also wonder if there are any coaching training programs you recommend? Would you like to tell us where you went :) If not, maybe there is a one you could suggest.

I am the Director of Career Counseling at a liberal arts college and have counseled hundreds of students, I’ve taken trainings but most of what I use is my own sense of intuition, plus very good listening skills, creative brainstorming, networking and follow up. However, working one on one with clients is a different challenge and I would say you need to practice b/c there are some tough cases out there! Good luck to all of you new coaches!

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Marie Forleo

Hey Desha! There are TONS of coaching programs out there now. I went to Coach U – one of the very first, back in the day :)

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Nathalie Lussier

Yes! More people need this advice, and it’s so spot on. I think free or low paying clients are absolutely the best way to get started.

I started making web sites when I was 12 years old, I created sites for myself, my dad’s hair salon, my school, and even a few low paying local businesses. I also designed other web sites throughout my college years.

When I jumped into the raw food coaching world, I was totally self taught, and I felt like I was missing credentials. I was at a crossroads where I was either going to attend IIN or leave health coaching behind to return to my passion for technology. For me returning to technology was the most natural thing that worked out really well. I had also learned a ton about running a business in the process.

I think there’s a tremendous amount of confidence that comes from getting people results, and something like consulting or coaching is not as tangible as web site design, but it is something that delivers massive results. That should be your litmus test!

I think there’s something intangible that we learn by consulting/coaching others that we can’t get from school though, like knowing when to recommend something strongly and when to let a client’s intuition take precedence.

Love this video on this touchy subject Marie, Muah!!

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Kassandra

I’m a firm believer that there are AT LEAST 1,000 ways to get any one thing done. Marie provides really solid advice. You do need the experience to back up the expertise but how you get the experience is totally up to you. I’d been coaching clients for a number of years before I formally got my coaching certification through ICF and the ICF certification requires 100 hours of actual coaching. Needless to say, I’ve coached MANY people but that doesn’t make me an expert. Expertise is something that I equate to mastery and it takes YEARS to do it. The first step, in my opinion, is to figure out what you want master (what niche do you want to work with? Who do you most want to help? What are you willing to spend a solid 5-7 years mastering?). It took me quite a while to figure out that my coaching niche lies in helping women breadwinners redesign their relationships. When you have your niche, you can more easily develop a plan for mastery and then take on Marie’s ideas about pro bono work (which I think should always be some part of any business), producing results, getting testimonials, etc. I have many testimonials but what I really want, and I’m sure what Leah really wants, is to know she’s helped people transform lives. You do that one client at a time for however long it takes to become an expert.

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Mike S

Nice.
Marie threads the needle, where the others, you can almost expect them to miss.

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Andrea

Sometimes the universe puts you in the right place at the right time. For me, it has been finding you, Marie, on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I “miraculously” tuned in on the day you were on a few weeks ago. You inspired me to start my own business.

I so relate to this question, except I just turned 46 and have been unemployed for 18 months. For the last 10 years, after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I have immersed myself in reading anything and everything about losing weight and using food to heal the body. It is not just a hobby it is truly my passion. I want to attend IIN, but I don’t have the funds right now. So, I am currently putting my way of eating into an e-book. I will start by offering it for free on Amazon then I will sell it. Hopefully, I will raise the funds needed to attend IIN. I am also starting an informational website that I hope to have up my Jan. 1, 2013 http://www.wholeplate.com

Thank you Marie,

Andrea

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Marina

Andrea, are you aware of IIN’s enrollment special offers? Visit my this page on my website to learn about them and hopefully I can help save some money : http://healthfulquest.com/nutrition-coaching/

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Mark

Thanks Marie,
This episode is exactly what I needed to hear. I am going to start teaching yoga soon and I thought it would be good to do life coaching with it. I definitly feel I have something to teach with everything i have gone through in my own life. And after three degrees one being masters in the therapeutic recreation, the last thing I want to do and can’t afford to do is go get more formal education in it. And I figure my education and work experience, my own life experiences alone are enough to quilfy me to do it.

Thanks,
Mark

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Lisa Johnson, Yambassador

This link takes you to a facebook fans for free site… seems like spam, so avoid.

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Lisa Johnson, Yambassador

Oh, good the spam link was removed. Never mind!

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Kristin

Thank you for pointing it out, Lisa! We caught it and took it down right away. Definitely spammy.

Kristin (Team Forleo)

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Taryn Pyle

Thank you for the question and the post. I deal with the same dilemna with my site. My goal in my business to help women feel good about themselves right where they are today, regardless of size. I have a lot of experience in this area being a large woman who never allowed it to get in her way. Many people suggested I coach women and I felt the credentials were crucial if I were talking about things like nutrition and weight loss. It was suggested that coaching without training can be done, but its just a harder journey to take. The training allows you a plan, a way to target problems for people based on proven methods.

But, my real world experience, pushing past the fear of self-image, and fulfilling my dreams and stretching my experiences I have great experience in, and I have helped others do just that. I began a blog, sharing my story, which is my source of real world experience. I am a large woman, dealing with it every day.

I do believe that building a list of clients you have helped is important. I don’t think doing it for free is always the best solution. Perhaps a reduced price? I am in Marketing and so many times I have given free advice that people have made great money on without getting credit for my ideas. Whether you do it for free or at a reduced rate, I would suggest you are clear with your expected outcome. If you want a testimony, make sure you are clear in your expectations.

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Mridu Parikh

Marie,
Thanks as always for the great advice and inspiration. One thing I’ve learned (the hard way) is that the more confidence you exude the more people will take you seriously. Even if you have zero experience. Your conviction is just as important as what you know. I’m always working on this as self-doubt rears its ugly head from time to time. I remind myself that if I sound like I know what I’m talking about it, I’ll be respected a whole lot more. :) Thanks again, mridu

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Shannon

Hi Marie,
I’m a long-time listener, first time caller. I think this is an interesting subject. The truth is that many people don’t want to pay good money for someone inexperienced in the area of their ‘expertise’. I sure wouldn’t. The age doesn’t matter so much as the reality that the so-called expert can only regurgitate information from the books they read. Even a person with just a degree will have more real world experience from school projects than someone who just read up on the subject.
My advice would be to get a job, work up the ranks, become a specialist and then start charging to help others achieve success in your specialised field. Otherwise, there are crucial steps being skipped. Yes, it takes longer, but it will be worth their patience and time.

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Lisa Johnson, Yambassador

Marie, and friends, I am battling with this question right now. When are we “qualified” to help others for a fee? A 4th grader DOES have something to teach a 3rd grader… in actual fact because of their “training”, and from the perspective of the 3rd grader — both are important. Almost anyone has life experiences (failures, successes, strengths, consequences) that can be of value to others, and almost everyone wishes they had a helping hand at various points of our lives. The trick is matching them up.

I’ve been starting up my food business (www.YummyYammy.com) and realizing how very passionate I am about eating real food. I’m not a nutritionist, or trying to be, at all. I’m not a skinny-minny, I’m not a workout expert. I’m not a chef. I simply love vegetables, eat them in many forms, know about real food production (including a lot about meat that is so important), and love to inspire others to eat food that will add to their vibrant health.

It’s easy to feel “unqualified” by the world’s standards: “how can you think you have something to offer about eating healthfully if you’re not a size 6″, blah blah blah. But there’s so much more to health than thinness and 6-pack abs.

I’m trying to believe enough in what I know and how I do it (eat healthfully with 2 sporty kids and a start-up biz!) that I can start to offer group coaching, but I keep finding myself in entropy around it. Even though I KNOW I can help loads of folks, I’m simply afraid to stand fully in that offer. Argh.

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Giulietta Nardone

Don’t quite agree with this. It doesn’t feel like a “go for it” attitude. It feels more like a “wait for it” attitude.

I look at it this way, someone had to be the first person to “do something.” Who taught them? Who did they work with?

I see folks certifying other folks for lots of money because they decided to. I also see gurus changing gears and suddenly offering something else, that they haven’t done before. They charge.

This is America the land of opportunity. If you have an idea for a business, I say go for it! How did the first life and business coaches get started?

We’re constantly being told and trained to wait, and wait and wait.

If you’ve got an idea and enthusiasm and truly want to make the world a better place, trust yourself and do it.

Charge if you want to! I see no reason why you have to work for free for a year.

I loved to write and decided to be a writer. I started calling myself a freelance writer. That self-belief did more for me than any class I ever took.

Go for it … Life goes by to fast to wait for permission from someone else. You will learn as you go along …

G.

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Marie Forleo

Awesome! Thanks for sharing your perspective G!

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Udo, the Girl

Marie is saying wait to charge, but if this girl wants to charge, she can. But she may get a bad reputation if she doesn’t produce results. Yes, someone is always the FIRST to do something and guess what? They SUFFER for it. A WHOLE LOT OF SUFFERING! Which isn’t really necessary. If it is worth it to you in the end, you stick out the suffering, the bad reputation, etc. But it is not necessary! Not everything has to be a rough and bumpy ride. There are such things as smooth, logical transitions.

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Mia Moran

I am not 20 anymore… yikes! I am 36 with three kids. I have had my own graphic design company for 12 years, but want to change my focus! During this journey, of having three kids, being a working mom, and focusing a lot on food and nutrition in my spare time, I have a lot of insights on how to make motherhood nourishing, fulfilling, etc, but no coaching experience! So I am coming from the opposite direction… Lots of hands on experience, but no degrees or certifications on the topic…. I am thinking the same plan holds in my case, though…. Thanks Marie!

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Silvia - Magnolia wedding mentor

this Q and this video is amazing. My personal experience comes from 7 years of wedding planning and I’ve found out lately that my “mission” what I’ve meant to be and the meaning to all I’ve been through , it’s the base of experience to be a good mentor and coach.
I’ve started my mentoring and coaching service for wedding planners to be and for wedding vendors how came to a stop in their career or feel to be stucked somewhere , I help them finding the right idea to move on, I help them to discover the real “them” inside . I teach them how to share love and be ready to receive it
Silvia

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Katie Hoffman

Hi Marie!
Thank you so much for this video, It was so helpful! I want to be a speaker and life-coach but like Leah’s “friend” I am young too and don’t feel like I have that that much to offer in regards to experience. Like how am I supposed to help people with relationships when I haven’t had a solid one myself? What a tricky situation! But I have learned that although I may not know first hand yet, through my website and conversations I can totally share what others know and help people that way. Next step, just getting out there and sharing my wisdom for free. :) Thank you so much for your help! You rock!

Love,
Katie

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Jennifer Gaddis

Love this! I needed this 3 years ago!

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Brittany

Hey Marie. I’m 23 and find myself in a similar situation as you at 23. My goals are to live in NYC and basically become a life coach/motivational speaker.

I went to school for elementary education, graduated with a BS and now I’m unemployed after my position as a long-term sub ended.

A. Do I get my life coaching degree?
B. Do I try to work for a life coach/spirit coach/motivational speaker? (cough cough I’d loveee to work for you)
C. Do I train myself by researching the crap out of life coaching and take on clients for free?

Help. Thank you. Love you!

xoxo Brittany

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Udo, the Girl

Brittany, when it comes to speaking, you can do it now. You can speak for free anywhere and everywhere and everything I’ve read says you need to do it. Also, Marie has suggested that you video every event you speak at and also interview audience members for testimonials. And today’s video definitely hints at C. To my knowledge, you need to get a certificate to charge as a “life coach”. If you don’t have your certificate, you need to use a different name.

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Lauren Doyle

I too have been inspiring people, especially co-workers, for free for many years now. It has really been in the past few years that people have taken action on that inspiration and done something with it and now seek me out for more guidance and want me to write a book! It does take experience to guide people through life without putting your “opinion” or “judgements” in there.
Great Advice for the young and ambitious! You will get there!!!!

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Marianne

Hi Marie,
Great advice this morning! I am new to your website. I joined a few weeks ago after seeing you on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday!
This video is VERY timely for me too. I have been searching for a way to share my passion with others.
I am not a life coach and I am not in my twenties, but have had a passion for animals, their rights and the way they are treated…well, forever!
I have been a teacher and am not a full time mom, and my seven year old daughter shares my passion for animals and animal rights. She is right there beside me in all the fundraisers we do!!
I have been involved, and am well informed, on what is going on in the sad and horrendous world of animal abuse.
My goal is to speak to children, starting at a young age, about animals and the way they should be treated. I would love to start by speaking at my daughter’s elementary school and go from there. Maybe even do a video too.
I guess my question is-how do I approach the principle of a school where I would like to speak. Animals rights is a very controversial concept for some.
This is not about making money. Any money that I might make in the future, would be donated to a local rescue.
In my heart, I know this is my passion, and feel that we need to educated children on this topic.
My goal is to hopefully, begin to see an end to animal abuse, in my daughter’s lifetime.

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Marie Forleo

Hi Marianne! Thanks for your comment. I’ve had the honor of meeting many world-class speakers and activists across all topics areas. The one thing they ALL say is that if you have a message and passion to speak, do it. Choose a location, a time and a topic and share it with everyone you know. Maybe you’ll have 3-8 people…or maybe you’ll have 15-20 or maybe you’ll get 25+. Who knows?! The point is to start speaking and do it with passion and you’ll LEARN the next steps. School politics can be tricky so you may want to secure a space and simply invite your friends/network to join. The rest of the path will open up once you begin! Welcome and best of luck :)

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Marianne

Thank you so much for your advice, Marie.

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Yasmine Khater

I loved this post, I started doing internal coaching in my previous organization and then did my coaching course. Its been now 4 weeks where I quit my job and working on it full time. I have had to revamp my simple template to making sure that it showcased my credibility and places i have been featured etc.

Its been exciting, in my tedx talk last month, my final words were start something, and same thing goes for a coaching practice :)

ROCK ON

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Mercedes

Hi Marie,
Thanks for your video. I coached at least a couple of dozen of people before I started charging. That took me about a year of work without getting paid, but I was loving every second of it!
I also gave many talks and workshops on my subject for free in different parts of the world, to gain experience and get my name out there. Nowadays I charge, but I would never change those years of getting my skills sharpened through doing free work.
Love it!
Thanks,
Mercedes

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Cece

Very authentic Marie- very impressive. Thanks!

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Rocco

Hey Marie!

Great Episode! I tottally agree! I have been Coaching, guiding, and training people for almost 14 years and I gave my services to people for years before I felt I was ready to get paid for it and I had to work in companies with a variety of different business models, clientele and products before I could say I earned my “PHD” in Customer Service. I’ve run retail stores, restaurants, a broadway production office and learned the ins and outs of a world famous dance studio. I was also the Lead Trainer for the flagship store of a very popular Times Square Location. I accomplished all of this before I even realized that I could c

I would say that if you are genuinely getting results with your clients that charging

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Rocco

Opps! My browser sent the last text before I was finished! lol

Anyways. It took me 13 years of, school, hard earned life lessons and work from a Variety of business models before I was able to open my doors and thrive as a business. So get out there! Get some experience and then give it away for Free before you start charging! It will not only help you to build the confidence you need to step into your stride as a coach but also help you build some serious references while helping you discover exactly what kind of business model works best You and Your Clients :-)

I talk a lot about how I run my own business at YourLifeIsAwesome.com

http://yourlifeisawesome.com/category/intuitive-counseling/

Sending Marie and Team all of my love and gratitude! I would not be here today if it were not for your wonderful videos!

thank you!

Rocco

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Regina

In times past, I tried to share my knowledge base with people. I found that people did not want my advice or comment. So, I have learned to comment when asked or when people want to hear from me on a topic. As for becoming a consultant, I never really gave it any thought.

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Melissa

I feel very strongly that people should not be coaches until they have accomplished something in that field. While it is true that many great coaches in sports have not been top athletes themselves, they were at one time athletes out there playing the game long before they became coaches. You simply cannot charge people as a business coach if you are broke and have never run a business yourself. Many people do so and claim to have had far more success, exaggerate their business success, in order to get their first clients. It’s unethical.

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Udo, the Girl

You know what’s kind of funny, too? Marie personally would never hire this girl. Marie suggests that we hire people who have actually achieved success in that field. So… just find that interesting.

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Kiera

Now… she wouldn’t hire her as a coach now. Who knows what this woman will go on to be with some experience under her belt? She may very well be a business coaching powerhouse.

I do hope she lets people know up front that she doesn’t have much experience, but as long as she’s clear about that and her free or *extremely* reduced rates in exchange for testimony I don’t see any problem with this. Everyone has to start somewhere.

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Nikki Jones

Marie, this subject really hit close to home for me because it is exactly the approach I took when I realized I wanted to coach others on marketing technology. Outside of my marketing degree, I knew I needed REAL experience and results, and I have spent a little over a year and a half doing all the work I could for free.

With several case studied under my belt, I am on the verge of launching my website now, jonesfordesign.com, and I really believe that all the hard work will pay off. I’m more passionate about the subject every day as I find my niche, and love sharing my work with potential clients.

My whole life friends have complained about ‘why can Nikki always find a job and I can’t?!’. The answer is that I’ve always been willing to take jobs they wouldn’t – including ‘free work’ as adults. But when you love what you do, you don’t really mind doing it for free, the biggest challenge is just fitting it in with the job that pays the bills.

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Michelle

Love the advise. There are a lot of people in the world who sell products to teach people how to coach or consult that say, just charge a lot, your clients will think your experienced based on that. Yet others indicate that the way become an expert is to study then go do, but never indicate doing it at no cost to gain experience and credibility.

For 7 years I’ve run a small business, there is no way prior to this experience I would have been able to help anyone grow a business.

THANK you for encouraging integrity.

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Erin, Creative Soul in Motion

Hi Marie! Great Q&A Tuesday (I could seriously watch your videos all day long – they’re insightful and full of knowledge but funny and entertaining at the same time, great job!).

Anyways, I am launching a Life Coaching Biz this January (woohoo!) and I’ve been building up to this for awhile by creating quality content on my site. To gain more hands-on experience I am also offering 28 free sessions (starting in February) in celebration of my 28th birthday on 2/19. Finally, I believe helping others overcome roadblocks is my life purpose, and when I’m focusing on something I am that passionate about I’m empowered by my heart and spirit, which also helps me be successful.

Thanks again Marie! You’re the best :)

xo,
Erin

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Carina

Jippii!! I almost got goosebumps and laughed at the same time when I read today´s topic. I have been thinking about this for a very long period because like Leas friend I have also immersed myself in programs and books about every possible aspect of running a business without actually having one myself… However unlike Lea I´m a bit older :-).
And I have so wanted to implement what I´ve learned not only on myself but sharing ‘the wisdom’ to others. But feeling a bit apprehensive about ‘posing as an expert’ and coaching other small business owners on what to do regarding for example their marketing and charging for it just doesn´t feel right. I do have and academic degree and I´m a trained Life Coach and have over a decade´s experience of netbased courses and organizing adult education. So I can confidently say that I´m an expert in that field. But I didn´t actually register myself as a business owner until one week ago.

So when I came up with an idea of creating a course this Autumn for women who want to start their own business and need a safe group to test their ideas I solved the problem of me not being an expert in the business field by hooking up with a friend who has had her own business for 5 years. We did charge for the course but I didn´t pose as an expert on starting your own business, my expertise was more on the personal development & coaching arena. But I could still share a lot of nuggets on money, marketing, selling, communication and so on that I have educated myself in these past years. But always being honest about the fact that I at the starting point of the course, did indeed not have a business of my own. But that I wanted to start one. And then actually did that.

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The Get In Shape Girl

I started the same way – By training my friends for free. They got a free personal trainer, I got free experience. It worked really well for all parties involved!

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bettylion

Is everybody here a “coach” themselves? It’s frightening to hear so many stories about people coaching others with little experience. It’s like everyone just wants to be an expert on something. I have never even heard of a ‘health coach’. Sounds dubious.

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Marie Forleo

Hey Betty! Thanks for your note. I understand you may never heard of a health coach, but just because it’s new to you does not mean it’s “dubious.” There are thousands of highly skilled, highly ethical and results driven coaches out there dedicated to re-educating all of us on how to experience greater health, vitality and energy.

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Laura Thomas

Hi Marie,

Thank you so so much, this and all the comments have helped me immensely. I have really cured myself of sugar addiction and want to share the love with the enthusiasm and skill set I have. I am considering IIN but it’s not something I can afford right now, however I am going to see if I can get people results. My friends are changing and people in my network are starting to text me random questions about sugar.

I really do feel like I could help people and I am going to go out and try to do that for free. I’ve already had feedback from my blog that one girl has followed my tips etc. and feels better and has seriously cut back so I have faith that I am speaking sense and my gosh have I been through it myself.

I know health is a dangerous area because I don’t have the qualifications but I’m hoping my target market of younger women and the not so strict still live life and moderation appraoch will be more of what I help with. Fingers crossed, this really is my dream.

Thanks for keeping me chugging a little bit more each week.

Laura

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Lisa Cash Hanson

I think if people knew how little experience most people had they would be shocked. I’m with you I don’t believe you should coach people if you have no idea what you are doing. But I also believe they will figure that our for themselves. For example if they tried to coach a person it probably would not be long until that person realized that’s not the coach for them.

For me when I was featured on Yahoo! I had a ton of women asking how I did that. So that is how I wrote my book to answer all those questions.

Regarding business coaching I’ve had 20 years of being an entrepreneur and leading people. So for me that was helpful. But I love your suggestion to those just getting started to coach for free that is a great idea.

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Melissa Cassera

Hey Marie! I love this. I personally didn’t start coaching until I had 7 years experience in the PR industry, mostly because I used to run a traditional agency model and never really considered coaching until the past 5 years or so. I do think it’s sometimes necessary in certain industries like mine to have worked with multiple clients in multiple industries and achieved great results before you can teach it. I get a lot of people coming to me having felt burned or ripped off by other PR/Marketing coaches and imagine this happens in every industry.

I did have a colleague in the life coaching industry that started out much like you explain. No experience, but lots of heart and hope. She took on 20 clients and gave them 3 free sessions each. At the end, she offered a package and all 20 signed up. To this day, almost all still remain her clients plus many more. She also landed a 6-figure book deal and several lucrative spokesperson arrangements, so I’d say your method works quite well. I’ve seen it first hand! :-)

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Brianne

Such a relevant video today! Now in my 30s, I am starting down a path that involves helping others. I used to have bad acne, and through diet, exercise and educating myself about products and ingredients – I now have better skin than I did in my 20s. I became so interested in how it all works, I created my own natural skin care line, became an esthetician, and am currently working on becoming a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. I want to share this approach to skin care (holistic – from the inside out as well as outside in) with others who struggle with their skin. I agree that these credentials alone aren’t necessarily what are going to make me good at helping others, and I was thinking free clients might be the way to go. I’ll definitely be doing that ☺

I think another good way to get your feet wet is to start a blog on the subject. At minimum it can help you organize your ideas and focus, plus build a solid base of people who value your opinions and insight – and it’s free for them. Long before I started my skin care business or was an esthetician, I had a blog that offered skin care tips. All I was going on were the things I taught myself. I just shared what I learned with others. People found them very useful, and never once did someone ask me for my credentials ;) This also helps you build up your confidence about the knowledge you already hold. Every time I put some thought into a new article, then write it down, I just feel, well – kinda smart, and that helps. ☺

Good luck to all!

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Matt Greener

I cringed when I read the title and your response was kindly diplomatic. Theory is good, necessary even, but without practice (experience) how could one offer results that they’ve never achieved? Thanks for a great video!

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Melanie

I agree. I think that it is crucial to have experience in what you are trying to teach.

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Sharon

This espisode of Marie TV came at the perfect time for me and I’ve been very interested to read all the comments. I’m an established fitness instructor but new to nutrition and weight loss coaching and I will be launching a 12 week body transformation programme in the new year. I have considered offering the programme for free but I now think I will offer it at a low price and then I can gradually increase the price as my experience grows and I get the results and testimonials from existing participants.
If any new business coaches out there in Marie world want to practice their coaching skills on me I’d be happy to hear from you!!

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Beth O'Donnell

I agree with everything Marie said on this video for getting a coaching business started. I am embarking on a mission to help single women over 40 deal with the social pressure to be married and be happy anyway. I have lots of real world experience to share. I, though, have trouble calling myself a coach because, in today’s world, “coach” means something specific and people work hard to get certified as a coach. This isn’t pee-wee soccer where the coach is any willing adult. Anyone else have this problem? If so, what would you call yourself instead of “coach?”

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Kristen Tammaro

That is how I started my business unofficially, by mentoring other massage therapists, friends that had small businesses in the wellness field and offering advice that worked for me. This came at a great time thank you Marie!

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Courtney - Rule Breaker's Club

When I started out as a copywriter I offered free services to 3 business owners who I knew needed help. I worked my boo-tay off to give them the BEST copywriting that I could muster. I worked as though they were paying me a gazillion dollars.

In exchange? They gave me CONFIDENCE and TESTIMONIALS! My business is now soaring :)

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Steve Walters of Small Business Helper, UK.

Interesting article.

As a Google Advertising specialist, I am yet to ‘make the time’ to apply Google Advertising strategy to my own business.

I’ve recently signed up a company where I identified an 83% wastage of their monthly spend (they were spending in excess of £2,000 per month on Google Advertising and not knowing whether they had leads.

Having identified the wasted clicks, words, phrases etc, for a mere £50+tax, I set about explaining to them my proposition – to engage me for 60% of the identified wastage (£900per month), and spend the good part of their previous spend (£480per month) on the new campaign that I build for them.

Having explained that from Day1 I will have saved them around £500per month and further, if I didn’t bring results in a 6month period, they can cancel my services, they’ll have saved money and learnt about their Campaigns and Google Advertising at the very least.

Their existing consultant has far more many clients in this sector than I do and have been Consulting for longer than I have – further, they also have higher Academic qualifications.

So, I’ve brought results through improved Click Quality and lower click costs and… inadvertently coached my Client.

Despite the dozens of web companies this established Client of mine have come across, they tell me no one has given them the advice or insight that I have. I’ve been told this increasingly over the last 4 years; especially the last 6 months.

My point? … You can coach someone if you can give them not only financial results, but value that they’ve not felt nor received elsewhere.

I feel that anybody can coach on a given topic ‘IF’ they care to learn how they can TRULY help the physical person in front of them (not necessarily the business).

Steve Walters.
Small Business Helper.
http://www.smehelper.com
(new site coming soon).

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Muhammad Ishaque Hashmi

As well as Coaching does not require age & experience it requires Jeo (Maire) Jee in actions and joyfull mood, which is a unique gift that automaticly coach a person to become a coach, any how thirst and wel are to opposite things but thirsty is compelled to attend the wel, it proves that I am in thirst and you are a wel which is too far please.

ISHAQUE

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Steve Walters of Small Business Helper, UK.

Apologies for my lengthy comment above – Marie asked for specifics.

Lastly though, in addition to my rant above, I guess key to bring value to the person you coach is: Have a heightened awareness of ‘what the person has experienced before’ as well as ‘what they’re likely to experience with others’ – then ensure you deliver a value outside of those experiences.

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Michelle Sears

You totally read my mind. I’ve been trying to get paid clients for a while now and it just finally hit me that I need to offer my services for free in the beginning. So I sent out an email just yesterday to my list and got a few clients to work with.:)

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Steve Walters of Small Business Helper, UK.

IF SOMETHING’S FREE IT’S NOT VALUED…
Amongst all the Forums, Blogs, Sales & Marketing papers I follow and read, I’ve noticed that many of them share the belief that anything of worth is not free.

CONSIDER THIS:
Why are you offering yourself for free?
… is it a lack of confidence? (confidence issue).
… or that the client can’t afford it? (wrong Client then).
… or simply that the Client doesn’t value your proposition? (failure to build value is a fundamental marketing mistake)

It’s usually the latter, the Client doesn’t value your proposition. Then consider how to make that proposition almost risk free for them without being entirely free yourself.
Paypal offer a simple button whereby, you can be engaged for a free trial period and then the payment steps up as of month x (the Client can cancel prior).

In 2011, I stopped meeting Client’s for free. I was extremely hesitant and still feels a little odd now truthfully.

What changed for me: I offered a Fact Find Report for £45+tax – that’s quite different to the norm in my web industry.

Many web consultants meet for free and take 25% deposit and remainder upon completion 3 to 6 months later sometimes). I experience no problem at all getting Clients to engage monthly up front over spread terms from 3 to 12months – the Clients never ever find that odd, as I always take time to underpin value in my proposition.

If you can build a report worthy of £25 or $75 (whatever), then already the Client has changed from the mindset of free to paying.

PLUS!!! If you can make money whilst you make your journey you should feel more comfortable spending the time a project often deserves.

[Perhaps another post for Marie Forleo] Did Richard Branson start off working for free I wonder? Would be interesting to here Marie get his response to this effect.

SO…
At the very least: The ‘FREE’ conversation is worthy of debate.
Either way: There is ALWAYS a Client out there willing to pay you.

Gaining experience is only ever an issue ‘IF’ there is no value in what you’ve done for that Client.

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Fergus O Connell

One of the things I did early on in my career was to ask myself, ‘If I was a world expert on this, where would my stuff be appearing?’ One answer I gave myself was that I would be writing for ‘The Wall Street Journal’.

So then I called them (The WSJ) up and asked if they’d be interested in having me write an article for them. To my surprise, they said yes.

I wrote the article, they printed it and my credibility skyrocketed.

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James Mitchell

Fergus,
Just wanted to say that I love your experience. What a great question to ask yourself! Very insightful and powerful. I’m going to use that for myself!
Thanks for sharing!

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Steve Walters of Small Business Helper, UK.

Wow. What a great mentality.

I’m annoyed at myself for thinking so small in comparison. ha ha.

I heard a few months back from a great online source (forget which), that, UK businesses think much smaller than US businesses.

Insightful Fergus, thanks.

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James Mitchell

Hi, Marie!
Great video!
I work as an intuitive life coach, specifically with dreams and Tarot. When I started out, I would help people understand their dreams and offer readings for free to have the experience of working with different types of people with different dream material and situations being looked at with the Tarot. When I taught a weekly dream class years ago, I did that, too, for free, to have the experience of teaching the material to others.
Those experiences gave me the cred, which was all through word of mouth. It also gave me the confidence, when the work became a business, to charge my clients for the services I provide.
I turned the work into a coaching business when I realized I was giving my clients “homework” during their sessions; you could say I was getting coaching cred and didn’t even know it!
Again, great advice that Leah’s “friend” and others will benefit from.

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Gabriela Pereira

What great advice in this video!

Working for free is definitely one of the ways I’ve built credentials as a writing teacher. Another method (which is sort of a corollary to the consult-for-free method) was enlisting a small, trusted group of Beta testers to test products/courses/services out on. In my case, that advice is mostly in the form of writing exercises, assignments or courses, but anyone who’s doing coaching/consulting or developing info products can use Beta testers to help improve their work.

I give my Betas a sneak peek of products/services I create for my business and they get all that advice/content for free in exchange for giving me feedback and ideas to improve the products/services and giving blurbs or testimonials I can use for marketing. They get all this content for free and it’s great for me because I get awesome feedback from people whose input I trust, and they also see new products in advance so they can help spread the word and build buzz. It’s a win-win!

At this point in my business, I have a solid group of Betas I can turn to, a group I’ve hand-picked over the years. But anyone can get Betas just by reaching out to their mailing lists. People on your mailing list are your most loyal fans/readers anyway so chances are at least a couple of them will love to help in exchange for free content.

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Cheval John

Well said, Marie. Experience trumps any type of credential.

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Teresa

Love this one and so grateful for it.
I’ve actually done exactly what you describe Marie and I’m shifting over to paying clients now. I have a great deal more life experience being older and that has been to my advantage, but I so appreciate that you advocate getting experience working for free.

What’s interesting is that a few people told me I was crazy for doing free work. But I responded with “we can respectfully agree to disagree, as my process may differ from your and I am very clear this is what I need to do”.
Furthermore, from a Karmic perspective, the practice of giving and in turn getting so much just from the experience, is quite empowering. It’s a win/win for both parties.
Thank you Marie!

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Daily Tarot Girl

This is how I got started with doing professional Tarot reading and life coaching – giving free readings to family, friends, co-workers and friends of friends. It was a great way for me to gain experience and I didn’t feel pressured to be perfect since I was doing it for free and still learning.

But I think its important to be clear with the people you are coaching for free that you are doing this for a limited time in order to gain experience and it isn’t because you think your services are worthless. I think its a good idea to ask for a little something in return as well – like honest feedback about their experience or something like that.

One thing I learned by doing this is that the clients I did readings for never translated into paying clients (although they often asked for free readings!) – however, they did recommend me to others and some even went out of their way to have me come and give readings at events and parties.

So I think its important, if you are going to be giving away your service for free, to be clear about the reasons you are doing this (to gain experience, confidence, etc) and to set up some time frame around it, so you don’t end up doing free stuff way longer than is healthy!

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Kirsten Ambrose

Thanks Marie! Great advice in your video. I so appreciate your thoughts and those from the many commenters about experience, credentials and credibility. All of this comes at a great time for me as I head down the path as an expert of sorts in the benefits and how-to’s of physical activity and behavior change for people who have fibromyalgia and related chronic pain syndromes.

I definitely have the credentials and credibility with an MS in exercise science and 15 years of experience and authorship in academic research in fibromyalgia. Even though I have worked one-on-one with chronic pain patients to help them become more active, it has been from a research perspective, primarily. I need to get my hands dirtier from a direct client perspective. Today’s vid and your site, in general, have given me the confidence to find my way down this path and have helped me identify ways to improve my ability to “sell” myself (a major weakness of mine).

BTW, I appreciate the comments suggesting that coaching people regarding health is a challenge that really does require knowledge and experience not only to get results but to avoid hurting someone – I couldn’t agree more.

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Monet Allard

Dearest Marie Dear-

You. Rule.

I watched your episode a few weeks back on Turning Pro. The whole time listening and watching it I kept thinking….I knew exactly what I needed to change. Then you asked us to name it and claim it. I did.

I am a night owl. I’d stay up until dawn if I could sleep in until noon and make it to work! I committed to make a change. I can stay up as late as I want to, but my alarm is going off at 8 AM regardless. I committed to start the morning after I watched your episode.

It has changed my life. : )

My productivity is through the roof!!! It gave me the inspiration to revamp my living situation. Where before I had my computers in my bedroom, my art studio inside the spare bedroom (a total mess!) and a mess in my basement…..I now have a fully functioning office in the spare room, a working glass studio in my basement and a bedroom that is solely a bedroom!!! It feels great!!!!!!!!!!!!

I already have had one new video client in the office space and was filled with pride as I said, “head into my office on your right”!!!! : )

You are a bundle of energy and I love your giving and passionate spirit! Thank you for all that you do!!!!

It. Matters. Bigtime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monet

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Ling

This is a great topic, Marie. I am not a coach but have been pitched a lot by different coaches. As someone who probably has more business experience than most coaches, I am really looking for the best of the best, and here’s the criteria I use when evaluating someone for my business:

- Has that coach been successful with more than one business? I think too many coaches out there have only started 1 business in their life, which is the business they are currently building. They are facing the same challenges as the client is. If I have a 5-year old, it’s not likely that a parent of another 5-year old can help me that much. A grandmother or a parent who has already raised several children would be able to.

- This is along the same lines, but, did that coach come from decades of being a corporate executive and just transitioned into being an entrepreneur? Being an employee working for someone else is NOT the same as being in business for yourself. If a coach markets the years & decades of being a corporate executive, my red-flag radar goes up immediately. Not saying that all corporate executives cannot be business coaches, but often, they can only effectively teach tactical subjects like marketing or operations (whatever their field of expertise was as an employee). But there are things they don’t yet have the experience to teach if they haven’t been an entrepreneur before.

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Michelle Griswold

I loved this video!! But I do have to agree with some of the “naysayers” in the comments section on a couple points.
Depending on what type of coaching someone is going to work in, there are certain areas of knowledge you can not truly learn from a book. I see it EVERY DAY in my job. I am not a college graduate, I am a law firm administrator. I have worked as an insurance agent for the largest national insurance company in the US (for eight years, worked my way up from a receptionist to agent in less than two years), then worked as a Judicial Assistant for a superior court judge, before working in private practice. I can’t tell you how many times we have associate attorneys (yes, they went to law school and yes, they pasted the bar exam) that don’t have a clue how to practice law. Experience is EVERYTHING. No matter how you get it, you need it.

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Alyxandria

I like the idea of getting a few clients in the beginning and taking the time to work with them, building up your confidence, experience and your case studies. That being said, I have never had luck with providing any service for free because I have found that those who have taken it for free keep demanding more and more and more. They have unrealistic expectations and often start requesting things that are far beyond what they would receive even if they were receiving full price. Many see this as an opportunity to totally exploit a person. I have also found that those who do not pay enough money not only do not value the service, but they often do not put in the work necessary to achieve the results that they want … as someone else mentioned, they just take it all for granted. This was true when I was in my 20s and now that I am in my 40s, I am crystal clear that clients need to pay and they need to pay enough that it invests them in doing the work necessary to reach the goals they have.

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Nadirah Adeye

I’ve had some concern, as I’ve been starting my Sacred Sensual Living business, about whether or not I’m “ready.” Increasingly, though, I’ve been realizing that through this business, I am going to be doing what I’ve been doing for years ANYWAY- encouraging women to make pleasure a priority in their lives with the awareness that a woman who is juicy is a woman who is energized and powerful. A friend came to me years ago, bouncing with excitement and told me, “Nadirah, I got some new products to pamper myself yesterday and I felt no guilt about it. I think it’s because of you.”

To walk the path, we must become the path. I’m studying and learning the framework for how to run my business, I already do a great job of being me.
Nadirah

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Ariana Blossom

Great episode!
I took a year-long intensive training before putting myself out there as a Success Coach. Then, I coached people for not much money, and drove my friends crazy trying to coach them. Now that I have a successful practice that has been strengthened by both training AND experience, I charge a competitive rate and give my friends the breathing room they were missing.

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Candice

I am a lawyer who took time to stay home with my kids after law school and then started my own practice a few years later. I started by focusing on one particular area of law (wills & trusts) and I did 25 free estate plans before I ever charged for one. It was great because I was able to figure out my process and not feel bad about my process being awkward at first. Now, whenever I am interested in a particular area of law, I enter into it by first doing a free case before I make it a part of my practice that I charge money for. I know that’s hard to think about when you’re broke and need money now, but it’s just the way it is!

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Daryle Dickens

Another option is to trade for services. When I moved into doing affordable websites for small businesses I did a limited number of trades in order to build my portfolio as well as experience of working with clients.

I think the same could work for a new coach. I would advise though setting a limit as trades, like pro bono, can become taxing. And then move into a discounted rate that scales up with each new client.

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Rowena List

I agree with you Marie.
You have to give your services for free for the first while you are in business.
Grab some amazing testimonials from these clients and always ask for referrals.
I did free home organizing for years before I decided to turn it into a business.
Now I do one free speaking engagement a month as my “give back” the rest are paid events. It really helps set boundaries when people call for a free event. If I have already done one this month they get put on next months schedule.

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Sarah (Saturday Sequins)

Marie, holy crap!!! The timing of this video couldn’t be better.

Last month I had this “crazy” idea that I could become a coach in my field, since I don’t see a lot of coaches for jewelry designers, and since I’ve given people some decent advice — including a friend who had two pieces accepted into a jewelry exhibit after I nagged her (incessantly) to submit them.

I have 1.5 years of experience blogging and being in the jewelry-making world and making connections with people who would be great mentors and clients. I’ve been beading for 20 years and have done a little of everything. Maybe I’ll start coaching for free officially, since I’ve already done a little bit of work there.

Thanks! <3

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shinazy BOBBblog

I, too, started a business without the “experience” to charge clients for my service.

Since I’m a Career and LinkedIn Tutor, I decide to BARTER.

I tutored in exchange for Recommendations.

Now I have testimonials that validated what I was offering.

_ _ _ _ _

I did a similar action when I started BOBBblog. I never wrote stories. So, I posted my stories on my website.

Now I have guest writers approaching me to publish their words.

And, in 2013 BOBBblog will e-publish its first book.

_ _ _ _ _

Both of the above are about developing relationships that build your network.

One of my favorite BOBBism is: Relationships are a required pillar for success.

Enjoy!

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Stacey | Soul Intelligence

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” -Joe Sabah

Consider these three truths:

1. There are college professors who teach business and marketing…yet have never owned a business.

2. There are awesome spiritual teachers who have never been ordained or gone to seminary.

3. There are professional coaches (in the NFL particularly) who are overweight and out of shape– yet are seen on the sidelines coaching elite athletes.

Your first clients may or may not need to be on a free or “scholarship” basis. It just depends on your confidence in your skills as a coach. Start where you feel comfortable.

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Linda Buchner

Hi Marie,
I love your energy and love Q&A Tuesdays but every week I think the same thing – why is she playing that annoying music (musak) in the background? It’s gotten to the point of driving me away because it’s so distracting and so unnecessary for your show.
I know it’s only one opinion and you may hear just as many “I love your music” comments but if I don’t share, you don’t know this one particular opinion…
With gratitude,
Linda

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lillian

Hey Marie,
Loved this video. Thank you!

I think frequently when someone is looking at starting a career as a coach before they even consider getting experience with other people they wonder, “if my life isn’t isn’t in order, can I really help someone else get their life in order”.

In her question she mentioned that she is broke and that she has never successfully run her own business. I am curious if other people think that personal problems should prevent you from being a coach.

I just made a video about how you don’t have to be perfect to be a coach just yesterday:
http://www.lillianevemoore.com/you-dont-have-to-be-perfect/

Love all you guys!

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Malori

Loved this video–I’m actually in a really similar spot as this lovely lady right now. I just graduated from college in May, with a bachelors degree in marketing. I’m 22 and I just launched my freelance/consulting business a few weeks ago. I already have two paying clients and am waiting for a signed contract from a third. All of my clients are paying clients and I’m thrilled they’ve taken a chance on me.

Because I’m rather “green” in terms of experience I simply charge a lower rate than what I’m hoping to earn eventually. I set up my billing monthly and only accept one client from each business sector (only one bike shop, one swimsuit store, one paperclip company, etc.) so that my clients aren’t competing with each other. This alone is so valuable in my sales pitch–my clients love that they’re getting exclusive service. More than anything, I make sure to tell them exactly what they’re paying for. Before I work with any client I give them a list of deliverables they can expect and a time line for completion. Many people are willing to take a chance on a young person with little experience as long as they know exactly what they’re getting out of their money. Make sure to deliver above and beyond so that they keep coming back for future work.

Oh! And be confident. Confidence as well as honesty about your skill set is key. Best of luck girl, you’ll do great :)!!

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Susanna Halonen

Great episode setting off some interesting discussion!
I’m definitely on board with free consulting/coaching when getting started up – it’s the best way to get experience & some testimonials. It may also reassure you this is what you want to be doing.

I’ve been on this journey this year as I’ve set up Happyologist.co.uk
I have many more plans for it but the important thing is getting started :)

It’s also about selling yourself as a brand and sometimes your personality & confidence will make more of a difference than experience!

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Lyndsey Baigent

Love your show Marie…as always you inspire me! For me the question arises…what does it mean to be an experienced coach? Is it coaching a certain number of people for a set period of time? It is based on the results we help others to achieve? Is it being committed to achieving results in our own lives? Is it the certificate that says we are qualified? I’ve had the privilege of working with many coaches over the years. Some great…some not so great and what distinguishes one from the other, for me, is their personal commitment to growth. Its my belief that 80% of our success in business, in fact in any area of our life, comes as a result of our commitment to stretch our comfort zones and grow and evolve as people. Learning the “technical aspect of business” whilst extremely important is only about 20%. I’d be more than happy to work with a 20 something who has learned the skill of business and experienced success in some area of their life. Business is a skill…success is an attitude.

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Malori

YES! I love your opinion on this. Success really is an attitude.

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Rachael

WOW! This was so on time and in line with some things I was just thinking! I am 23 right now and have just gotten started getting my blog together and content up in helping younger people (mainly women) feel comfortable with themselves in following their dreams.

My biggest problem has been the IMPATIENCE of getting it going, in every aspect. I am working full time and doing everything on the side. A year sounds like such a long time and of course I would love to have my site making the big $$ right away, but you know what? In a year I’ll still only be 24 and I have so much time to do this right.

Thanks as always, Marie!

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Ngoc Khong

Hey I feel I’m with you… I’m also having the prob of IMPATIENCE. But we both know that building our careers takes time. We are young (I’m 22 just 1yr older than you) so we still have so much time to do… I believe you can do it, and me too. I wish you all the best!

From Vietnam :)
Ngoc Khong

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Rachael

Thanks so much Ngoc! It’s so great that we can both start younger than most and we already have such a great mentor! Sending you the best.

Rachael :)

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Ted

If you are dealing with a subject that is safe and ones recommendations can’t make much damage then the approach that you suggest is certainly the right way to go and to gain experience. But if one is considering of giving financial advices and there is a chance that someone might lose their savings because of one, then one should reconsider.
Ask yourself: am I so talented that I can teach someone to turn their savings into a fortune? If the answer is yes then one should really cool off and remember the old saying “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”.

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Bev

This episode was so spot on for me. Has had me thinking all day. Promptly bookmarked! I LOVE Q & A Tuesdays!

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Simone

I’me about to finish my studies as a health coach at IIN, but I have spent the last 6 months with clients who I have taken on for free or for very low cost, as I totally agree with Marie has reiterated in this vid about getting experience so you can know what works and what doesn’t, and also to really hone what your niche is.

My background is in education, and when I first started teaching- even though I was qualified with an undergraduate degree and a Masters degree, there was nothing quite like actually getting in the classroom. No amount of theoretical study can prepare a teacher for actually TEACHING to REAL students. Even now if I hire teachers, their credentials are important, but even more important is their classroom experience and the results they can get for their students. So experience really is the key!

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Julia Gutierrez

Hello!!! Leah Thank you so much for asking this question, it has def. pushed me a little more towards my goals. I am 32 and after 3 kids I realized I wanted to do(never realized how much you think, when staying at home nursing, and caring for toddlers lol). I have slowly been breaking the barrier of not having a degree but have continued to move towards my goal. This month if my first Life coach session for free!!!!! Yyyaayyyy ME!
Marie,
Thank you for your advice and work.

Julia

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Nakeia Homer

Marie,

Your A to her Q was spot on (as usual.)

I have been blessed to use my gifts in 3 successful businesses over the past 15 years. I started out as a freelance makeup artist to pay my way through college ( I have since retired my brushes) , a songwriter in a music production company that I co-own with my husband (we had our first top 10 record on billboard this year), and now as mentor in my brand new empowerment firm (I am currently a paid speaker and workshop host—preparing for an official launch in May of 2013.)

I needed “street cred” for all of those businesses and I gained it by offering my services for free or at a reduced rate— in exchanged for testimonials and referrals. I realized that people didn’t care about what I “said” I did, they just cared about what I actually did and if they would get the results they needed as a result of connecting with me.

Good advice!

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Lana - Help! I Can't Stop Eating

Hi Marie,

Yes, I agree, getting a little experience under your belt is a big plus.
And I strongly feel that experience is education unto itself. As also is
our natural TALENT and passion. (Our born gifts)

When we follow what we’re meant to do in life, I believe others
pick up on that. And on some level they know you have a natural
talent in what you do.

This is what attracts clients.

PS. Love your dress Marie, stunning!

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Leslie

Hi Marie,

Thanks for speaking on this topic as it is definitely relevant to more than just coaching. In the past I had a blog giving advice about internet marketing because it was the popular thing to do as a network marketer in order to get leads. However, I did not feel easy or authentic about it because I hadn’t even recruited my first person in my business yet and I was telling people how to do it online! I am currently about to embark on a side career of freelancing my copywriting skills to local business (which is a skill I’m still learning by the way), so it is great to hear of an ethical strategy I can use to get my first clients without worrying about not having any experience. I am fairly new to your site and have been really enjoying the information I receive here. Thanks again! :-)

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Virgen

I really loved this post Marie, I feel like it was perfect timing and validation. I recently, after finishing B-School, made the leap out of the 9-5 coop and became a part-time worker bee so I could dedicate some time and love to my real passion. *Helping independent business owners strike work-life balance gold.

I attempted this leap when I was 22, fresh out of college with a 1year old daughter in toe. (I’m 28 now) It was challenging to weave through doubt and the ultimate responsibility of having to care for another being. However, I did make it a point to be a freelancer and eventually an employee in the field I was interested in becoming an expert. (Marketing for small business owners – specifically) This was a blessing and a curse I gained tons of field experience in various aspects of the business but I also became a slave to the paycheck and security of not having to go-it-my-own and make a name for myself. This is why I KNOW you’re spot on Marie. Start TODAY build yourself up, Do the work that puts You in the path You desire!

I’m finally starting to hone in on the connections I generate with ideal customers and friends with budding ventures. My attempt is to over-deliver valuable proven experience in marketing techniques and design and sprinkle these with my real passion – advising and coaching independent business owners on how to get the life They want to live while doing the work they love. The cost of these services is currently solely based on the years of visual marketing experience. The coaching, I’m hoping will result to be super tasty icing on the cake until I start getting the coveted awesome success stories!

Thanks again Marie, it’s been a great pleasure to learn from your journey I’m especially so grateful you remind us to zone in on our own journeys!

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EvieB

Had to think about this one a bit….this was a very poignant question and I feel that Marie addressed it beautifully. I applaud the young lady for asking the question for her “friend” because that is more than most people do these days. With the advent of all the social media platforms and blogs…everyone is now an expert. Plus the coaching industry is not really regulated so it can be hit or miss. The fact that Leah & her friend had the foresight to ask lets me know that she is probably going to be A OK. Keep in mind that many of these young souls coming to the planet are more attuned and tapped into their gifts and intuitive abilities. Let’s applaud, support and encourage them by continuing to guide them to the mentoring, information and experiences that they need in order to nurture their eventual success.

In addition to the advice of working with clients on a low or free basis, particularly as it relates to business coaching- I would also recommend that Leah’s Friend (and anyone else for that matter) interested in business coaching, go volunteer with their local women’s business center, small business development center, state/local workforce improvement office ( sometimes they have entrepreneurship training programs) or with a local community development corporation or other nonprofit organizations that focus on micro-business, community stabilization, commercial corridor revitalization, micro-lending, public markets etc. Many of these entities are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to help with programming, work directly with micro & small business owners, help with business retention and expansion, organize workshops & trainings, help people research and write business plans etc. Getting involved in these types of initiatives is a FANTASTIC way to get an array of experience working directly with a range of biz owners (emerging, startup, existing, mature, large- small, 4-5 figures, multimillion dollars)……that would lend to the experience of becoming a business coach.

You don’t really get into your flow and approach as a coach until you do it and see what works and where you actually want to focus.

Many of the organizations may also give a volunteer access to free or low cost skills and professional development training opportunities as a result of the person being a dedicated volunteer. It’s also a great way to build relationships and a potential referral base.

Lastly! After some time gaining experience- Leah’s Friend may consider writing a biz plan and entering it into a biz plan competition. She may or may not win $$, but the feedback will be invaluable to her as she tests her own assumptions and gets clear on what her business coaching practice will eventually look like.

In thinking about how I started…this is the path that I took (in addition to nurturing my professional relationships from jump)- spoke any and everywhere, volunteered my time, developed programming and grant applications, blogged, provided TA…and was slowly able to develop a paid practice/small biz from there. My diligence and dedication worked because I eventually received an SBA Award as one of the “Women’s Business Champions of the Year” for 2012…. and as I wind down this current business, I’m now crystal clear on what the next one will look like. *\O/*

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Ngoc Khong

EvieB, I find your recommendations very interesting, especially the one about writing a biz plan and entering it into a biz plan competition. Even though I don’t plan to have a career in business coaching, but I plan to be a life coach and I gues this is definitely still helpful! Thank you, EvieB.

Ngoc Khong

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Michaela

Marie, thanks for this QaA!
As I sometimes sad: ” You needn’t to be a builder to see, that wall is crooked.” :) You inspirate me.
Thanks for your special gift, that only you have.
Michaela

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Shane Robson-Smith

Maria, Thanks for the recent video. I have found that everytime I watch an episode it provides the answer that I have been seeking all week as to what my next step should be in building my Financial LIfe Coaching Business. Your site is a great resource and a ton of fun. Thanks.

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Pahn

This is exactly what I’m doing right now… It’s really cool to hear it from someone who’s already successful… I was so hesitant at first because I have no direct clients from my freelance works to testify my great job, good thin I met a friend who’s building a business and I can team up with them… Others think I’m crazy for giving my service for free, but this tip you gave is exactly what I had in mind

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Ngoc Khong

Oh my. This is what I’ve been thinking about all the time recently. The timing is so right for this episode. AMAZING, Marie, thank you so much.

It is a coincidence that I have a lot of things in common with Leah’s friend: I’m very young (22), I’m still a student w/o real experience, but I really want to be a life coach and career consultant. So I did the first step, which is, as you’ve advised, to start a project in which I consult students for free. I’ve been helping my friends with CVs, job applications and giving them interview advice for free. I know that I’d gain a lot experience from it.

But I didn’t think of getting clear about where they were in the first place and what specific results I brought to them afterwards. Now I’m gonna think of this seriously and track everything! It isn’t too late for me to start doing this now, is it?

Btw, I’m in a trial working period in a company of online soft-skill training. I think it’ll also be helpful since coaching and training are both about personal development. :)

Again thank you Marie and thank all of you, the wonderful women who have commented above, because you guys inspire me a lot…

Love
Ngoc Khong

Reply

Marie F

I am impressed by the amazing advices, I already finished a website exactly following her advices, and it is extremely succesfull as you can see by clicking up

Reply

Rebecca

Yes!!
I have so many clients who want to be coaches, and they are petrified with fear because they say they have no idea what to do with clients.

My advice is always “take a coaching course, then start coaching!”. Not only will it give you the confidence once you start working with clients, you’ll learn whether or not you actually enjoy it.

I think a lot of time we think we’ll really like doing something career wise, and it’s not until we try it out that we really know for sure.

Reply

Anna Long

Oh Marie, you are hilarious! And right.

One’s ability to confidently market themselves is directly related their experience in whatever it is they are marketing! I knew I LOVED the business side of my skin care studio and that I wanted to delve deep with other business owners to help them be successful…but my studio wasn’t quite “there” yet. I have put a ton of time (and B-School love) into making it successful and now it is!!

Now what? Well I launched my small biz consulting practice and I feel so much more confident in what I offer than I would of if I hadn’t put the effort and time in to making my current business successful.

Reply

Dori From NicheWolf

Hi Marie ,

thanks for sharing such an awesome information, I truly enjoyed it and it was inspiring too.

I totally agree with you on this ; I think a lot of people are afraid to start up a business because they think they need to be an expert of some sort before they can start off .

Rome was not built in a day and practice makes perfect. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step :)

Nice video I must say

Reply

Wendy Christensen

Perhaps Marie, or one of her commenters, can help me.
I’ve been an informal cat behavior consultant for many years — all for free. I’ve written hundreds of columns and articles, plus two award-winning books, on cats and cat behavior. Most importantly, I’ve helped hundreds of people and their cats over the years. So, in the last year or so, I finally decided to try to turn it into a business.
And here’s what’s been happening: When I tell someone who contacts me that I charge a fee, I almost never hear from them again. And then I worry and worry — will that cat get the help she needs? And even when the person agrees to the fee up front, when I send an invoice, they never pay it. They just ignore it. They ignore multiple invoices. Just ignore them.
Cat owners find me in numerous ways — from my books and articles, on web forums to which I’ve contributed, via my various online columns. Some people call me on the phone, but most people contact me initially via email, and tell me about the cat problems they’re experiencing. I write back immediately, offering my initial comments and advice, along with whatever practical tips and recommendations seem immediately useful, and explaining my fees. And that’s the last I hear from them, almost all of the time. A few people say the fee is fine, and we work together, sometimes with several follow-ups. I’ve also done a few house calls (locally). But I have never gotten any one of these people to pay my invoices.
Why not just refuse to help these “deadbeats?” Here’s my problem — I can’t NOT help these people — I am too worried about their cats. Adult cats with behavior problems who are surrendered to shelters (as many of them are) have a very poor prognosis. I know perfectly well that I am many of these cats’ last hope before the shelter (and likely euthanasia).
But I would still like to do this behavior consulting as a business and make some money. I am very knowledgeable and experienced, and I’m good at diagnosing and solving feline behavior dilemmas.
I must be doing something wrong, but I am at a loss to understand exactly what. Can anyone enlighten me? Meanwhile, I keep responding to everyone who contacts me, and trying to help as best as I can. I just can’t, in all good conscience, let these cats down.

Reply

Hillary

Wendy I get it. You most likely are giving too much ahead of time. If you do a consultation to find out what is happening without giving advice to solve it you may be in a better spot. does your website show prices or fees for your help? You want to take a credit card up front or payment before you work with people. Create your policies and hold to it. Also, as much as you want to help the cats you are here to also serve the owner so see what you may be doing that is making it turn out this way.

Hope this helps you.

Reply

Hillary

Love it Marie! I learned from you and having other coaches when I was a yoga teacher + started to work with yoga clients as a coach. Getting real results + knowing what works for your clients is key. One thing I found was that all of your experience (even at 20) is useful especially when you see what you have used to get from one place to another. If you already have clients doing other work and want to coach this helps to do some research and see if they would be a fit for your coaching.

Reply

Brittany Montoya-Taylor

First off, what an awesome comments section! All of you have wonderful things to share! And it’s so nice to have so many like-minded individuals in the same space..good luck to you all!

I started a virtual assistance service a couple of years ago and have been amazed at how much I enjoy what I do and how wonderful my clients are. What else I have found is that more often than not, I end up giving extensive advice to the small businesses I work with. Doing so has become my favorite aspect of working with my clients and I have decided that I would like to continue on that path, eventually adding business consulting to my list of services. I envision myself handling the consulting while my team of amazing ladies managed the virtual assistance side of things.

In pursuit of this goal, I have been going to school in an effort to back my experience up with a formal education. I am halfway through my general education requirements and am trying to determine what major is best suited for my ambitions. I was initially leaning toward business admin, but much of the coursework involves accounting and I don’t know how much that will benefit me since I already have a solid knowledge of accounting. Economics, on the other hand, seems to offer a more balanced course offering with accounting, sociology and politics all mixed together. Perhaps I am completely off and another option might suit my needs better?

Please share your thoughts with me as I am more than glad to hear any words of wisdom!

Sincerely,

Brittany

P.S. Thank you, Marie, for giving me the platform to discuss these things!

Reply

Lauren Doyle

Brittany: I am currently in the aesthetic industry of medical sales. My job really involves business consultation and teaching physicians how to grow a thriving medical aesthetics practice. The most valuable information I offer that businesses seem to appreciative the most is marketing and how to sell and market themselves. Have you considered looking into a business degree in sales and marketing? I know a lot of business schools are starting to add this major to their curriculum. I have helped businesses the most by helping them understand what makes them unique and how to capitalize on their uniqueness in a very tough and competitive market.
Just a thought……

Reply

Michelle Pierson

Great practical advice, Marie. When I aspired to do life coaching and business consulting, I had real world experience but not much professional experience in helping others get results. I took an unpaid intern position and gobbled up all the training I could. A few months later they hired me because…. I was getting the company results.

Through the experience of working for the company, I got paid to learn (hell yeah!) and gained the confidence and experience to start my own business. To underscore what you said, work for free in the beginning if you have to, or better yet see if you can get paid to learn by working for a company/or for someone in the field you desire to go in business. Then you’ll have the street cred and biz cred, confidence and results to go out on your own.

Much love to you and your team! Keep up the awesome work.

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Siobhan Pyburn

Hi Marie and other followers of Marie TV

Your show is consistently relevant to whatever mental obstacle I’m up against each week, I’m starting to think it’s more than coincidence..!

This video really spoke to me, as I suppose I’ve been too scared to, as you say, do the work – get my feet wet. I guess I kinda wanted to bypass that part and get straight to the having-a-reputation part, which I now see is dumb. I’m nearly 22 and am just finishing my law degree in the UK; I want to do a coaching course with Coach U like you did, but there’s no way I can afford that anytime soon.

I just assume that, even if I coached for free, nobody would be interested in what I have to say! :( I realise that this is pointless negative rhetoric, which is why I’m about to re-watch your video about feeling like a fraud.

Thanks for the insight, and thanks for RHH! I wish I could re-live it again because it blew my mind. xx

Reply

julien

great A!! recently i looked into coaching as an alternative and have started coaching family friends & colleagues with great results :)

great advice marie!

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Alexandra

If you’re a college graduate, at the very minimum, you should
earn what you’re entitled to based on your education. After all,
this is why we invest in our formal education to earn the right
to a level of income.

Do your best to have objective ways to measure the
value of your services. In many cases, there are online
salary calculators that let you input your title, experience,
location, etc. to have an accurate salary estimate. This
number can help you know what you’re initially worth.

With greater experience, you can pave the way to earn
the salary you desire for yourself.

Reply

Marie Glasheen

Hello all,

Amazing how skilled and courageous you all are. Thank you for your sharing.

It seems that our most important qualification is in processing, not necessarily in content. If we trust that people are expert in their life, and in their field, then we know that they only need support and challenges. Creating that people feel understood is the first step to create a trusting relationship with our clients. What give me confidence to ask my clients my service worth? The knowledge that I am very well equipped with powerful communication tools and skills. With those tools I know I can help any one unfold their potential in any areas of their choice. With transformative communication they transform their paradigm, step out of the conditioning that was keeping them stuck, and move to their next step and toward what is dear to them. On top of that they reach higher level of self-awareness and empowerment. It took me just a few months to master those skills and it was worth the sacrifice. All 85% of my transformative coaching consultation convert into paying clients.

Thank you for listening.

Marie (I am French and my English may be a little rough)

Reply

Ann Söderblom

Thanks for a great episode! I completely agree, it’s such a good way to start and you get the feedback you need as well very quickly. Another good thing is to add a 100% happy customer guarantee with full refund if the client is not happy, making it risk-free to the client and you get a sense of whether people are actually getting massive value from you as a coach.
Keep up the great work!
Ann

Reply

Brittany

WOW! I absolutely loved this episode.

I’m in a huge transition right now and this episode and the comments following it have definitely sparked some great starting points for me.

I graduated from college in 2011 with a Communication Degree and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to actually do. Luckily, I was offered a position with a publishing company in Cleveland as their Marketing Manager. At first I loved learning about the company and the position itself ( I’m one of those life long learner types ) but then I started to lose interest in it. Fast forward to a year in a half later and multiple ups and downs with the company, I decided to quit. My gut was just telling me loud and clear that I needed to get out of there or I was going to get stuck. It wasn’t the right fit anymore. Now I’m absolutely terrified because I left a position without having another position lined up.

My entire life my dream or secret passion is motivational speaking and life coaching. There is just something in my heart that is calling me and drawing me to those things but I have absolutely no idea where to begin with it. I’m not even sure what subject matter or demographic I would focus in on. I want to encourage people to look at life as a glass half full instead of half empty and I want to teach people to look insides themselves for their answers not anywhere else because that’s where the answers really reside ( this was a huge aha moment for throughout my life coaching experience).

So if anyone has any insight or guidance please I would be extremely grateful and appreciative. I love the community on here and I love how each moment when I’m not sure where to turn or what resource to seek out the universe just happens to show me the way through a book, a blog, or a video :)

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

Love,

Britt

Reply

Marie Glasheen

Hello Brit,

Thank you for your post. My sense is that you are successful and at the same time you are not feeling that you are contributing in the unique way you are supposed to. You are a natural coach however you do not feel confident yet, or clear enough to move forward with a coaching practice or motivational speech engagements.

I like your vision of what you would do for people. You want to connect them with their potential, show them alternate perspective. You want to be a transformative coach. It seems that you naturally are that type of coach and as such I encourage you to take yourself seriously and invest your time and energy to get trained and built up your confidence, skills and tools to help increase people self-awareness about their potential and possibilities. I encourage you to read the following http://www.satvatove.com/personal-development/the-role-of-transformative-communication-in-cultivating-personal-potential/

I hope this was supportive.

Marie

Reply

Hali

this video was really helpful. I always wondered this same question. and it was so nice to hear someone in their early 20′s asking stuff like this! I’ll be 23 in March, and just started my own business. Its challenging for sure to get the cred you want! Thanks for another great vid Marie! :)

Reply

linda

We all start somewhere and I think it’s certainly reasonable that one gets paid for the time they spend working! The rate might simply be different due to the novice experience.

Reply

Laura

Great episode. I had little experience with life coaching, but I spent almost two years reading and researching as much as I could. I gave myself a strict budget that I would spend towards my non-traditional education. After a year of tinkering, I created the Apollo Planner for myself to make my days as productive as possible. Eventually I showed it to my clients, and they loved it. I found a designer to make the website and now people from all over the world can improve their lives with my planner. It wasn’t easy, but my advice to all those who aspire to be a coach is to keep trying. Life has a way of rewarding those who are persistent. Keep going!

http://www.apolloplanner.com/

Reply

patrice

helloooo marie, team forleo, fellow marie tv subscribers!!

thank you for this forum, marie, and to those who’ve contributed here! i look forward to everything you share with us, marie!! and MAJOR CONGRATS re: OPRAH = >

i have over three decades of wholistic living experience, training, too many certifications in bodywork/massage, colon hydrotherapy, wholisitc nutrition, ridiculous amounts of yoga training, meditation, AND, i live the lifestyle. entirely and completely. living a balanced life is a no-brainer for me (and also FUN!!). mindful eating and thinking, weight mgmt, and movement seem to be my areas of expertise. i would like to combine all of these fields, which i no longer offer individually as a profession, into a health coaching business focusing on weight mgmt and balanced living. there. i’ve said it.

i’ve been following you for a few years, marie, and have LONGED for a business idea so that i could be your student. i have spent the last two yrs researching, studying, listening to telecalls, teleclasses, learning about the journey of zillions of entrepreneurial women, in hopes of understanding how i can create a business, specifically an online business. which would then FINALLY allow me to enroll in B SCHOOL.

having the expert knowledge, yet lacking the training for coaching, i very much appreciated what robert szymaniak stated above re: the importance of having the knowledge and also knowing how to communicate effectively in order to teach others. this is where i’m at. feeling stuck.

SO. being a very left-brained, organized, detailed person, i feel it necessary to enroll in a coaching program. i imagine it is best to enroll in a coaching program that is geared toward health, weight mgmt? vs a well-rounded “life” coaching program? or not necessarily?

i also want a top-notch education re: how to create and run an online business. B SCHOOL – that’s a no-brainer.

enroll in coaching and B SCHOOL concurrently or get the coaching under the belt first?

i’m deeply inspired by you, marie, and all the voices that are part of this forum. it helps one to fear forward.

thank you all in advance for any info, suggestions, etc.

happy holidays!!

patrice

Reply

Syaf

Wow! Just what I needed.

I’ve always wanted to be a motivational speaker but considering that I’m not an author or an expert in this personal development field, I shelved the idea.

Recently I created a motivational blog and in 2012, I was given the chance to talk at a local university and I did it for… .FREE! It was the experience that mattered to me and it was so much fun speaking to the students! For 2013, I still want to continue speaking at colleges and schools… for FREE.

I have a lot to learn and to improve on. I take this a step at a time before I feel comfortable charging a fee. :)

Tq for this wonderful video!

Reply

Amalia

Loved the video !
I am a life coach myself, and before I started charging for my services, I just coached for free, everybody that would accept to work with me. Only after more than 100 hours of coaching that I started to charge. And my first price was 5 euros/hour :) But that was the way to go, and now, after less than 1 year my friends and ex-coachees recommend me, because I have changed their lives.
Thanks for your amazing work !
Keep it going!
Love and Hugs,

Reply

Meghan

Awesome threads here!

One part of the conversation on programs that I see missing is something I’m ferociously looking for: a resource or advice on creating the ACTUAL program. I did a training and got certified, but the program spent most of the time covering the coaching relationship and a lot of hypothetical/experiential scenarios. We didn’t really discuss what to do with the client once you have them.

I’ve seen this referred to as the curriculum, training, info product, etc. What I’m specifically looking for is “best practices” in creating a coaching program to use with clients. (Beyond amount of time of the program, beyond how much to charge, as much of the above is about.) I’m looking for what works in terms of structuring the overall coaching engagement. How do you take your clients through the journey of coaching?

And…do you start with a self-made assessment? How do you know if yours really works, or do you license one that’s more popular (ie, Strength Finders or whatever.)

I can kind of already hear peoples’ response to this ;) …”all of the threads above apply! Create something, try it out, see what works and what doesn’t and iterate from there.” Analytically, I know the key here is to not stop/be limited. However, I truly want to deliver a great service to my clients THAT WORKS. Not something completely made up. I’d like a starting point to then customize and put my own spin on.

Any suggestions out there on resources, books, a possibility of connecting about how you did it??

Thanks brilliant and inspiring people!!

Meghan

Reply

Marie Glasheen

Dear Meghan,
I am inspired that you are addressing this topic. I too often noticed that coach training seem to mainly focus on marketing and getting clients.

I hear your frustration in lacking a process to support your client’s transformation. For the last 10 years I used mainly transformative communication in my coaching practice. My clients share experiencing changes right away or within the first 3 sessions. This give them hope and determination to continue the work. Most of my clients continue coaching with me years after years. They just love the transformation they experience and commit to excellence one area after another, in their relationships, finance, career, spirituality, health, etc. No need for marketing tools as their satisfaction is what bring referrals and more clients. If you want I would be happy to let you experience the process of transformative coaching to see if it is the type of process you are looking for. I learned from Dr. David Wolf. Even in my 15 minutes coaching consultation prospective clients feels the difference. It is more about being than doing while knowing the tools, skills and principles of self-empowerment.

I would be glad to share more if you want.

Sincerely, Marie Glasheen

Reply

Erica Llorico

I LOVE this session of MarieTV! I bookmarked this to watch in the new year to keep me motivated in my dreams of being a sucessful life coach / business owner in the future. I’m turning 22 and wanted to have a solid client base by 25 – doing it for free or charging very low fees until I have enough solid case studies is the best advice (since I work 2 jobs as well and mange my blog!)
Thank you Marie for always staying to inspire me – all the way in New Zealand! xx

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Israel Dudley

I’m probably the only guy subscribed to this site = ( but this is amazing!Thanks Marie for sharing so much wisdom with so many people. You help change, & save lives. Thank you!

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Iyea Brandy

I loved the video. I dont’ have this particular issue.I have plenty of experience in what I want to coach people in but I just can’t seem to figure out how to package, offer my services and present it and where. I was born an entrepreneur and have owned several successful businesses. I am also giving advice and coaching people for free on how to follow their dreams. Everyone tells me I need to do this on a larger scale but for some reason I cant’ figure it out. How How How????

Reply

Hillary

Hey Iyea,

I totally understand where you are at. Take the time to see what the container is you are creating to help your client. Is it 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 6 months. Then see what it the first step they take with you? maybe an intake form and work with them to get the result they desire in the time you feel you would need to get them there. Does this work? Let me know and pls reach out if you need more info. Lots of love, H

Reply

Ana

LOVE this episode. I am also 20 years old and am trying to get into life-spiritual coaching.
I am graduate from IIN, was Health coaching and cooking for a while but after a few months of doing that I started having a terrible “this isn’t it” feeling in my heart and gut. Working was no longer that fun, I felt something was missing. I also noticed that when coaching I was trying to put more “Spiritual/life” stuff in there like I would talk to my clients about vision boards, we would go from cooking to talking about feelings, how to meditate, love yourself more, talks about angels, etc. People kept asking me for more recipes and I would share affirmations and talk about my life lessons instead. Then some friends pointed out how “now that you graduated” “you should go for life coaching or yoga teacher now , you have always been great at talking to people, you are inspirational everyday when you share your wisdom and your energy is contagious” . That felt right to hear and something I have been thinking of for a while. So after I affirm myself where I wanted to go next weird things happened in my life where I dropped the health coaching, and have taken a MASSIVE spiritual change . Now that I am coming down from those changes (off my meditation and yoga mat ) I am ready to start a “business” or work again. But I am not sure how to start. This video gave me an idea at the right time (setting intentions and goals) . One thing that has been on my mind lately though has been a comment that I got from a friend, ” wait you’re 20 years old and you want to be a life coach? You need to be older than that ” boom, shut down. I try not to let that comment get to me but in a way it has caused some kind of insecurity in me ( pff like if being a mature 20 years old isn’t intimidating already! Socializing and dating at this age is weird!). Anyways, thanks Lea for asking the question and thanks Marie for the tips!

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kendra

Thank you Marie!! I am a current B-Schooler and have been leaning toward coaching but of course have no experience. This video was fantastic and I truly appreciated it. Well I have liked all of them I have seen so far but this one really has me going.

Reply

sale christian louboutin occasion

Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

Reply

Rachel

I am close to being certified in life coaching and need practice! I honestly think my friends think it’s a little weird so I am unconformable asking to coach them. Besides other students in my class how/where do you suggest I find clients to coach for free? Thanks for your help in advance.

Reply

gosh

ive got the same problem as rachel – dont know where to look for people to coach!

Reply

Heather

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I really believe that. When I started coaching, I asked the Universe for people to coach to be brought into my life. Sometimes, we forget that all we have to do is ask and take small, little right action steps towards our goal every day. That’s really the key.

I asked the Universe to place people in my life who were ready and willing to do the work and have me coach them for free. I also put it out there publicly! If you have a website, make a post about it. if you have a newlsetter, send out a separate newsletter letting your subscribers know how you want to take care of them and be of service to them. Post a status on your Facebook saying that you are taking on coaching clients. Use that social media to your advantage!

It took a few months for me to get more clients, but I really nurtured the free clients I did have and built some great experiences. Soon, the clients started to come in. I did already have a blog audience when I started coaching, but you can still make it happen. Be patient and follow that guidance. <3

NOTE: Set your intention. You don't want to just attract any ole client into your life. You want someone who is seriously ready, willing, and committed too. I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, shoot me an email at contact@heatherwaxman.com

Reply

Merlin Ranney

These templates glance amazing. We have a great idea for an individual of them.

Reply

Toni

Thank you so much. At the beginning of the year I wanted to start my own business online just so it would allow me to live anywhere in the world. I had no idea where to start. I became paralysed. As you start putting your attention on to what you want magic starts to happen. I was writing my ideas for months and months. I was becoming impatient but knew something would materialise. And guess what it did. I am in a Network Marketing business and its basically a life coaching business. In the future I do want to be a law of attraction coach but for now I am getting all the skills needed within this business before I embark on my own. In the right NM business you gain so much more than just money. I have gained friends for life, products that are pure, safe and beneficial, I get to travel the world whilst doing it and most of all I have become a knowledgable person in coaching and mentoring. My business partners are my testimonials for when I venture out into the world of LOA coaching. I do have a blog that’s in it’s early stages of how I envision my life. Feel free to have a look; http://www.thewholesomeyou.com

Reply

Toni

If anyone would like to coach me I would be happy to volunteer and give you a testimonial. My email is tonijess@hotmail.co.uk

Reply

Natalie

Hi ladies,

I have read a ton of the comments above and am loving all the advice I am seeing. I do have a few questions that I’m hoping some of you may have answers to that you are willing to share with me. I have been toying with this life coaching idea for quite a while now and am finally ready to move forward. All the signs in my life are saying you just have to do this! I want to focus on personal happiness, life balance, and goal achievement. I particularly want to work with woman and I believe even more specifically moms. So here are my questions:

What certification programs would you ladies recommend to someone who wants to focus on personal development and goal achievement for life coaching? or would you get certified? I have found no independent sources to answer this question, only programs tooting their own horns, making it very difficult to decide.

Do you tell people they are your “beta clients”?

When you do start charging what is a fair rate? I know this can differ by market, I happen to be in Boston but I would be ok with just a general idea for now.

I’m sure I will come up with a ton more questions as I move forward in this journey, but I appreciate any answers to these as I start out. Thank you so much.

Natalie

Reply

Heather

Hey Natalie,

I think whether you choose to sign up for a coaching program really depends on what you intuitively believe and know that you need. Trust your gut here! Personally, I didn’t go through any official training. I read A Course in Miracles and am constantly studying and learning to better myself and, on top of that, I have life cred. And, to me, experience is way more important to me than a program. If you have experienced what you’ve studied, that is going to be way more effective than a program because we learn more from experience than we do from just reading.

That being said, there are some amazing coaching programs out there! Alan Cohen really fuses the studying and the experiencing aspects together with his traning programs which you can check out here:http://holisticcoach.org/life-coach-training/upcoming-training-programs/

Your rate really is a reflection of what you believe you are worth, what value you believe you can offer, and how much time it’s really taking out of you. If you wanna chat rates, feel free to email me.

xoxo

Reply

Natalie

Heather,

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post! I have a ton of life experience that I am excited to share and like you said, I am constantly reading, watching, taking part in daily study to improve my life, my happiness, and my outlook. I’m thinking of getting started without formal training and adding it if I need it later. I studied psychology for the first 3 years of college and Communications for my second two years, so I feel like I have a good base in education.

I will be e-mailing, thank you for inviting me to do so.

Natalie

Reply

Hillary Rubin

Hey Natalie!

I totally get your situation and want to let you know I have a coaching program that answers all these questions. It is not a certification. I am a coach and did not get certified. I also found certification has it’s place yet it does not mean you will be a great coach.

Results are key and if you are getting people results with your coaching then that is great. There are many ways to go about this. I created a coaching tool kit to help women just like you find the best route.

Merry X-mas!

Reply

Tom

Probably being one of the only guys to comment here and new to the site, I will say this, there are plenty of gullible people in the world who will buy what people are saying without even vetting the person and seeing they really don’t have any experience.

I am old school and believe, you have to have both experience and academia most of the time in order to be taken seriously.

In instances where you are nothing more than a motivational speaker, well look to someone like Tony Robbins and people have forked over massive amounts of money to a guy with no education and regurgitating nothing more than what his mentors before him taught him in the early 80′s.

So, with someone like you Marie, who basically started from nothing, basic business education, sometimes it a matter of reading enough info at the library or on the net, become somewhat articulate and knowledgeable, and get plenty of social media or marketing exposure, then you can get people to follow or buy almost anything.

As far as you Marie, I think you are confused in your own life or like you supposedly coined you are a “multi-passionate entrepreneur”….from you going from a business degree, to working with a magazine, to teaching hip/hop, to writing a book on how irresistible you are to men…..IS THAT BEING A NARCISSIST? If a guy writes a book like that or ever went on Oprah or a book tour to say how he could get any women, we are called douche-bags, right? You are from Jersey, so you met a lot of guys like that.

I guess it’s a double standard for a girl to get a best selling book that talks about how great she is so irresistible to men…..how the hell is that or was that being SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS???? It’s not or will it ever be…..oh, I get it, you were just trying to get noticed or get your name out and make some money, right?

Why didn’t you write a book about being socially conscious and entrepreneur? Oh, that’s right, sex sells and anything dirty or smutty sells…….does 50 Shades of Grey wring a bell? LMAO!!!!

Anyway, I don’t think Marie you really are legit or can be taken seriously, unless you have the degree and life experience of 10yrs or 10,000hrs on a particular topic or study.

Now had you stayed working with NYSE from trading assistant, maybe having your own brokerage house or top level NYSE executive, I would look at you as another Suzie Orman or something.

I see you as what we call “Jack of All, Master of None” which is OK i guess, but to be some type of life coach or someone that is trying to be a female version of Tony Robbins, I don’t get it?

On top of that, back to the book you wrote……so did giving advice on being irresistable ever get you the RING ON IT? If you have a best selling advice book on getting men, you would think that someone like you that is getting OLDER would have gotten hitched, right? No, you will be just like all the other business, money chasing, socially conscious people out there…..so focused on business and helping others, that your personal life or marriage will never happen.

Not being a hater, just keeping it real…..you can’t really have a happy life if you are a women alone trying to be so successful and teaching others, but yet you are the one alone at the dance in life, know what I mean?

Take it from an older guy who has lived life, get your personal life in more order than your business life and once you have balance in both and can teach other entrepreneurs that BALANCE IS THE KEY…..they you will succeed…..even your idol Tony Robbins got a divorce, so be careful what you preach to people if your life is f’d up in the personal side.

Oh, that’s right, you went after a divorced guy, didn’t you? Nobody should ever take personal development advice from a lady that wrote a book about getting men, but yet never landed a husband of her own, but rather going after a guy that belonged to another women in God’s eyes…..you being Catholic know what the bible says about marriage and marrying someone divorced…..so good luck if Josh ever marries you, hate to say it but statistically divorced guys getting remarried aren’t successful.

I hope that you weren’t the cause of Josh’s divorce or what we call in a society you were a “homewrecker”. That’s a huge weight to carry around in God’s eyes, know what I mean?

According to Oprah, you are one of these spiritual advisors or like you have a good head on your shoulders, but how does fly with people when they see a 55+ year old guy divorce his wife to marry you a 37yr old lady….that’s freakin’ 18yrs difference……what you had an out of body spiritual thinking experience to marry a divorce guy who was married for 20yrs with kids? W

Are you shitting me? Are you telling me you couldn’t find a guy of your own after writing that awesome best-selling book on landing a man? LMAO !!!!!

I guess not. It’s funny how people don’t really look at folks like you that are really nothing more than money and successful hungry and sinners like the rest of us.

In the end, if people vetted people like you and the Tony Robbins of the world, they will find that you are all flawed and really just taking peoples money and are just good at telling people what they want to hear.

Keep doing your videos and telling yourself that you are socially conscious, until you are divorced in a few years and sitting all alone giving life advice to people, but yet you will be really alone inside unless you ask God to forgive you for marrying a divorced guy and not really doing God’s work, but that’s between you and him, right?

Outttt !!!!

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Natalie

Wow. Just wow.

How does your god feel about nasty judgemental people who bring more hate into the world?

There are thousands of divorced people who went on to find better lives, and assuming that everyone wants your definition of “success” or whats “right” is extremely short sighted. If getting divorced or never being married improves your quality of life and therefore makes you a better person in this world then there is nothing wrong with it.

Attacking Marie on a personal level did nothing to teach anyone about becoming a coach aka what this forum is about.

I hope that somehow you find some joy in yourself that allows you to move through the world in a more peaceful manner.

Natalie

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Toni

Hey everyone. My suggestion is to not react to Tom’s unpleasant message because I think this is what he wants. Remember ‘hurt people, hurt people.’ I feel very sorry for Tom, he must be hurting in some way. Always come from a place of love.

Reply

Tom

Sorry folks, hate to disappoint, but if you really read what I wrote, I would think you folks are educated enough to “question” those that you admire so much and put on a pedestal.

If you want to hire a coach or someone that really is experienced in improving your self-development, especially from a relationship standpoint, why hire a chick that obviously isn’t grounded in doing the right thing in God’s eyes.

All the so called self help gurus are flawed and are not biblically based in God’s principles. If they were, they wouldn’t marry divorced folks or ruin other peoples relationships. Do the research before you state I am being unpleasant or that I am not showing love, I am actually giving criticism that is warranted.

BTW, I am not hurt, I have been through a lot of life’s trials and tribulations to realize the two most important things we should all do is LOVE God with all our heart might and soul and LOVE our brethren as ourself.

I don’t hate Marie, I just see her as another person trying to make a buck off the people that are naive and don’t really follow God.

Good luck people.

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Hillary Rubin

Coaches, are in the process of becoming a coach I was wondering if you were looking for a way to put all your gifts, strengths and life experiences together to create your coaching practice. I’d love to support you….

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Annabel

Hi Marie
I want to get into health coaching, and I have a tremendous amount of knowledge on exercise and nutrition that I have built up through the years. Here’s my question. Do I need to be certified to call myself a health coach? Or is it just like calling yourself a health and wellness expert (for example) in that it does not require a qualification.
Thanks in advance!!
Annabel

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Jennifer

Thank you so much for covering this topic. It was the justification needed to finally start my own Business Coaching business. Needing a certification or not was the only thing holding me back. I have already started lining up local Entrepreneurs to help and for case studies.

Thank you Marie. You and this community is the best!

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Eleanore Strong

I think this is great advice and it works almost 100% of the time! I did exactly what Marie is suggesting – I worked with 10 business owners on mapping out a plan to create the perfect opt-in offer. All went well, and about half of them went REALLY well. I interviewed everyone after the fact, asking them to explain in detail how I helped them, and I used those testimonials to attract paid clients.

Through the process of helping them all, I even developed a method of sleuthing to discover your ideal customer avatar – which became a course that people have gotten great results from as well!

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Jake Andrews

Man. Wow. I just have to start by saying that I had now idea who Marie Forleo even was. I’m not really into business or anything like that. I was doing research on “life coaches” because I want to do something similar, but there are some things are really don’t like about the business structure of it. Part of that was the idea of being “certified” despite the fact that there is no regulation of the industry, either by external or internal sources. While I was trying to determined the viability of doing this non-certified, all I could find was websites saying that you absolutely have to in order to be taken seriously… and of course these websites were places that made a business out of certification. I was pretty discouraged and decided to click on one last link before I gave up. That link was this one.

It was EXACTLY what I wanted to hear, especially since it ties in strongly with my own belief. Results are the best credentials. Someone could go through medical school and still be a terrible doctor. I have met several “life coaches” in person who were certified, but a 5-minute conversation with that shows that they are in no place to be doing that kind of work. I tend to get discouraged very easily if I feel like something’s just not possible, or no one believes in me, so you putting that quote by Einstein and talking about how you started out, it really just game me a lot of hope and encouragement that I can do this. The whole reason I got this idea in the first place is after MANY friends have told me that I could really help a lot of people with my unique way of seeing things, and I really do want to help as many people as I can. And you really, really helped out with that. If I become successful with this, you are absolutely getting credit.

<3

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