How I Went From Consultant To Coach And Others Can Too

Originally published on 10 Oct 2019 / Sheryl Lyons / Forbes Coaches Council

My entrepreneurial experience as a consultant has been quite a wild ride with many ups and downs, both financially and emotionally. I have learned by now that business is cyclical with ebbs and flows. So how can other consultants like me make the best use of their excess capacity when business is not as strong as they would like? Personally, the answer was “invest in yourself.”

For the past four years, I have run my own consulting business that focuses on helping leaders to manage their workplace culture. Last year, I had an increasing number of clients and colleagues ask if I could provide individual coaching services. As a leader and entrepreneur with a background in human resources and leadership development, their requests seemed logical and in alignment with my skills and talents. However, I have hired my share of coaches in my own career with mixed results. I knew that whatever I chose to do, I wanted to do it with the right knowledge, credentials, and credibility. My journey to coaching and my advice to others can be summed up in five essential steps:

1. Find a coaching course.

In an initial online search, I learned that the demand for coaching was growing faster than supply. That gave me confidence in my timing. To ensure I was doing it properly, I researched coaching certification providers and enrolled in an online class. There were many certification classes available, so I selected one that fit all of my criteria: It was accredited by the International Coach Federation, had positive student reviews and offered courses online with a feasible class schedule. I loved it so much that when the first class ended, I immediately signed up for the next one. These courses commanded a good chunk of my time for two months, but because my client count was manageable, I had the time and energy to commit.

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