How Do I Start a Successful Coaching Business?

I'm really interested in starting a success coaching business. I'm really good at giving advice to my friends--and their friends, family, etc. What do I need to know in terms of marketing? And will people take me seriously, since I'm so young?
This story first appeared in the May 2002 issue of Startups. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

For starters, one of the things you can do is be a peer mentor or work for a Boys & Girls Club where students give advice and act as role models for younger students. Visit their Web site at to find a local club and get more information. You can also join the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts and become a counselor. These would be good ways to hone your skills and prepare yourself for business ownership.

You should find a mentor, someone who is already a success coach, who can guide you through the process of starting this type of business. A good mentor is invaluable in learning the skills needed not only for, say, success coaching, but also for successful business ownership--namely, the ins and outs of marketing, sales, pricing, image (as you've indicated, you don't want your age to be a deterrent to potential clients), accounting and so on.

Finally, there are coach training programs available--Coach U is one of the more well-known programs. Their Web site tells you all about their programs and can also help you find a coach (if you just want to talk to a few coaches before you jump in and start a business). Coach U even has teleclasses available where you can "attend class" over the phone.

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