Life Guru 101


A friend recently  asked a great question that has bugged me for quite some time – what qualifies someone to be a “Life Coach”?  There must be a great need for them because it seems like it’s become increasingly common to have one.  It’s also one of the fastest growing professions around. However,  I’m not entirely convinced that the concept isn’t complete BS. Isn’t it sort of like being a therapist, but without having to acquire that pesky Master’s degree in psychology?

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like m

I’m sure there are plenty of people who call themselves a Life Coach that have zero training, because, hey – you can call yourself Master of the Universe if you want, who’s gonna stop you? But I also know that becoming a Certified Life Coach is much more difficult…or is it?


I went on the International Coach Federation (IFC) website to see what exactly is required to call yourself a Certified Life Coach.

The minimum standards to become certified include three things:

  • Completion of an accredited coaching program of at least 125 hours.
  • 100 hours of coaching experience
  • Coach Knowledge Assesment (CKA)
Okay, let’s break this down…
drum circle
Dude, my future’s so bright, I gotta get me some shades!
An accredited coach training program can be completed at home and is offered by such revered educational institutions as The Center for Transformational Presence and theGoal Imagery Institute.  You can also choose from several different specialties, depending on your particular interest.  These include specialties such as Life Vision and Enhancement, and Spirituality.  Why do I suspect some of these classes might involve dropping acid and joining a drum circle?

Your 100 hours of coaching experience is verified by providing the names and phone numbers of your clients, who may or may not be contacted by IFC.
I figure I’ve easily got a few hundred hours of life coaching experience – it’s called cocktail hour with the girlfriends.   I’m sure they would all vouch for the fact that during these sessions we analyze certain relationships ad nauseam, explore our job challenges (working for idiots, annoying co-workers, not getting paid what we’re obviously worth), and express – often in a slurred, far too loud manner – the goals we’ve just established for ourselves (swearing off men, teaching that bitch a lesson, telling the boss to go fuck himself…just to name a few.)

Lastly, the Coach Knowledge Assessment is a test that again, you can take from home. I think it goes without saying that obviously you don’t Google the correct response, and you would neverdream of simply referring to your learning materials to regurgitate the answer they want.

This is a sample question from the website:

An appropriate role for a coach in goal setting, planning, and prioritizing with a client is
a) critiquing and embellishing a client’s goals.
b) letting the client self-determine the need for goals.
c) taking charge of the process to ensure it is completed accurately.
d) facilitating a process around the client’s goal setting, planning, and prioritizing.

Pretty much just pick the answer that sounds like the most pretentious hoo-ha (the correct answer is d) and you’ll be right 90% of the time.  Considering you only have to get 70% to pass, suffice it to say, it’s not quite as rigorous as passing the Bar.

Keep in mind thdiploma2at getting life coach certified through the IFC is like getting your Engineering degree from MIT or your Women’s Studies degree from Smith – it’s the gold standard of the profession.  But, like a degree from the University of Phoenix, someone has to represent the silver and bronze standard, right?  Well, doing a little more research, I discovered you can also get “Life Coach Certified” by places like Fowler University after merely 20 online hours, and a framed diploma to boot.  I think this is about the equivalent of my “Certificate of Participation” award I received as a kid for my stellar contributions to my softball team, but the difference is that this one will cost you around $650.Not to dismiss those who truly have the education, life experience and training to be able to help other people reach their goals – I know a couple of them and the positive influence they’ve had on people.  They are definitely worth every dime. I guess it’s simply a case of buyer beware since the industry doesn’t appear to be very well regulated.
If you don’t have the money or the inclination to hire a certified life coach to inform you that you’re the poster child  of wasted potential , I’m considering offering a bootleg online coaching session that will be much cheaper and probably a lot more honest than someone teaching you to harness your third eye chakra or that your divorce can actually be a “conscious uncoupling” with no hurt feelings.
I’m sure Gwyneth would be an awesome life coach.
Just to give you a little taste of some of the pearls of wisdom you could expect  for the astoundingly low price of $19.95 – you heard right – just $19.95, take a peek:
  • Stop doing the same stupid shit and expecting a different outcome.
  • Get your lazy ass out of bed before noon if you want to have the
    slightest hope of conquering the world.
  • Try becoming more informed about significant matters going on in the world around you  (and no…what Kim Kardashian is going to name her baby does not qualify.)
  • Stupid is supposed to hurt, Dumbass.
  • You’re fat because you eat  too much – it ain’t rocket science.
  • Laughter is good for you, unless you laugh at reruns of According To Jim, which just confirms what I suspected – you’re a moron.
  • Don’t spend more than you earn,  two minus four does not equal zero, it equals bankruptcy.

These are just a few tidbits to build your anticipation.  I’m even thinking of creating a “Life Guru Onboarding Waitlist” – not sure what that would entail exactly, but it sounds pretty darn impressive.  Oh, and fair warning to Tony Robbins – I’m copywriting my ideas so don’t even think about stealing them.  Peace Out.

I thought it was supposed to be in the bedroom…

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