Everywhere you look you’ll find signs that the coaching industry has exploded.
Back in 2012 coaching was the second fastest growing industry in the U.S. alone and it has shown no signs of stopping.
As a whole the coaching industry sees about $2 billion in annual revenue. If you look at just business coaching niche, people spend about $1 billion annually. According to the International Coaching Federation, life coaches make an average of $47,900 a year.
With statistics like these it’s no wonder coaching has become an in-demand profession. However, this also paves the way for beginning coaches (or those looking to enter the industry) to ask a few questions:
Is the coaching industry oversaturated?
Is the coaching industry experiencing a bubble that’s going to eventually pop?
Is the coaching industry made up of just a bunch of coaches coaching other coaches?
Isn’t there way too much competition to be a coach now?
While it’s true that it seems like everyone and their mom is now a coach (at least in the online world) and while these are normal questions to have, statistics are telling us that coaching isn’t going anywhere.
From a market demand perspective, we know that Fortune 500 companies that engage in coaching see an ROI of almost six times the cost. That’s in addition to major improvements in relationships, teamwork and job satisfaction.
When it comes to wellness coaching companies who invest in health training programs get a 300% return on investment as a result of fewer sick days and less employee turnover.
Additionally, due to changes in the economy and how people as a whole are starting to perceive their lives, coaching seems to fit seamlessly with the many twists and turns we’re taking as a society.
The reality is that coaching isn’t just an investment for companies anymore, now individuals are getting in on the game and seeing some major benefits.
But even with statistics that favor the growth of the industry, many newer coaches are wondering if it’s even worth pursuing at this point.
After all, if there is a high demand, and all these other people already figured that out and started their businesses, does that mean it’s too late for newer coaches to get started?
In this blog we’re going to walk you through some of the fears many newer coaches are facing when it comes to entering the coaching industry and why you shouldn’t let that stop you from hanging up your shingle.
But first, we’re going to address the root issue at the bottom of all of these fears: a perception of lack.
Lack mentality breeds a lack reality.
As a coach, you are well aware of the power your mind has over your reality.
If you perceive the coaching industry to be oversaturated, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get regardless of which facts or statistics show otherwise.
We just laid out how the demand for coaching is high, how it’s a $2 billion industry and how coaches make an average of almost $50,000 a year – but if you don’t believe you can be a part of this then you’re not going to succeed.
Oversaturated markets and competition are a part of economics, but they certainly don’t have to be a part of your story.
For example, even during the darkest financial moments there is still someone out there making money and doing okay.
In fact, several companies are born during tough economic times. The most recent Recession didn’t stop Uber, AirBnB or countless other million dollar startups from coming into fruition.
Likewise, perceptions of an oversaturated coaching industry don’t need to stop you from pursuing your business.
In the famous book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, many of the 20th century’s top thinkers and millionaires explicitly talk about how they keep their minds in check when it comes to money.
Many of those interviewed in the book, including Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, were told multiple times how crazy they were and how their ideas would never work.
Yet, they decided to ignore the chatter of others (as well as their own negative mental chatter) and persevered anyway.
So if there’s only one thing you get from reading this blog let it be this: your belief in abundance is pivotal to your success, regardless of outward circumstances.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way we can get into exactly why the coaching industry has plenty of room for new coaches, even if it may seem like it doesn’t.
The corporate demand for coaching is very high.
The reason it may seem like there are a lot of coaches out there is because the demand for coaching is extremely high.
Aside from being a $2 billion industry, the way coaching is viewed has also changed in recent years.
Coaching used to be seen as something reserved for high powered busy executives. That was okay because other employees would get “coaching” in the form of mentorship from their seniors.
Well, that doesn’t really happen anymore and as such companies have started hiring more coaches and trainers to fill the need.
As we previously mentioned, companies are also well aware of the the value of coaching and how it equates to a bigger bottom line for them – so they’ll pay for it.
However, you can’t talk about the many changes that have lead to the coaching industry boom without also making note of how individuals have changed.
The reality is that much of the success of the coaching industry hasn’t just been because corporations know it’s value, it’s also because individuals have totally changed the way they see their lives.
The working world has changed for good.
Part of the reason why the coaching industry is seeing such immense growth is because the working world as we know it has totally been flipped on it’s head.
For an increasing number of people, the traditional ways of having a career are dead.
We all know the corporate world doesn’t offer security. This is apparent by the number of people still being laid off and stagnant wages despite a better economy.
According to The Freelancers Union, a third of the American workforce has already ditched corporate and works for themselves. This number is also on the rise.
While many of these individuals have been laid off, there’s also an increasing number of people quitting their jobs which is usually a very good economic sign.
What does this mean for the coaching industry?
On the one hand, this means there is plenty of opportunity to make money as a coach because all those people are going to need career and life guidance.
Small business owners understand the value of coaching and are more likely to invest in themselves and their personal development.
Additionally, even if people are quitting their jobs to find another form of traditional employment, they are seeking the counsel of coaches to help them in the transition.
On the other hand, this also means that it’s easier than ever to start and run a coaching business – not just in terms of revenue, but also in terms of everything else that comes with running a business.
Because of all these changes in the working world, the bar of entry for starting a business is very low. You also don’t need a ton of capital to start a coaching business.
As such, all of these changes have created a sort of perfect recipe for the boom of the coaching industry.
People now have different values.
Up until this point we’ve accredited the coaching industry boom to economic and career factors. This would make it seem that career and business coaches are the ones who will profit the most.
However, there’s also another important piece of the puzzle that has led to the growth of the coaching industry: people’s values have changed.
While this change in value system could be attributed to a change in the working world, the reality is people are craving flexibility, health, fulfillment and meaning.
Enter life coaches.
The very pursuits coaches help their clients attain.
Additionally, work life balance isn’t just a buzz word anymore.
People are now actively seeking ways to live better lives.
This means two things for those entering the coaching industry.
First, individuals are taking their personal development into their own hands and seeking coaches to help them.
Second, companies are beginning to realize that the value systems of their employees have changed and as a result they are having trouble retaining people. In fact, employee turnover is one of the biggest complaints companies have lately as a new generation is ushered into the work word.
In order to combat this they’ve begun implementing wellness programs and life coaching initiatives to promote work life balance. When they can’t create their own programs they seek the help of coaches and consultants.
That means all kinds of coaches – not just business or career coaches – have the opportunity to make a living here.
It also means the demand is high because these are big problems people and companies are facing as we speak.
Everything has become internal.
With the rise of self-awareness and a new form of consciousness – much of which has been ushered in thanks to the coaching industry itself – more and more people are realizing that their pursuits require some internal maintenance.
It’s no longer necessarily about what they can get on the outside. Instead, people are turning inward for some answers to their questions. You’ll find some examples below:
Is their job aligned with their value system?
Do they really want what they think they want?
Are they making conscious decisions for themselves or are they letting other people affect them?
Are they living in fear? And if so how can they move through the fear?
These are conversations that weren’t around a couple of decades ago. At least not to the magnitude that we see today.
Essentially everything has become internal – from how we spend money to how we choose to spend our time.
With more people becoming conscious and engaging in these kinds of conversations, the more facilitators we’re going to need to help with this societal transition.
And guess what? Coaches are essentially trained to be the facilitators of this massive shift.
This brings us to our next point…
There’s plenty to go around.
In a recent interview, New York Times bestselling author and life coach Gabby Bernstein was asked the very same question as to whether or not there are too many coaches around.
Her response was pretty brilliant. She calmly and matter of factly stated that there are more people who need healing than there are coaches. The more the merrier!
This brings up something that is crucial to being successful as a coach and that unfortunately a lot of people forget.
Coaching isn’t just about making a living, it’s a vocation.
Regardless of whether or not you’re raking in the dough, your coaching is needed in the world in order to help heal it.
However, we want to be clear that this doesn’t mean you won’t make any money or that you won’t be successful. It just means that the end goal isn’t money.
Besides, in Marianne Williamson’s The Law of Divine Compensation, she points out that those who are working in alignment with their values and with service are the ones who end up getting the opportunities. Most anyone who is successful would agree with this.
No two coaches are the same.
Those who are worried about competition within the coaching industry are forgetting something very important: no two coaches are ever really the same. Your experience as a coach is different than someone else’s.
People are attracted to you as a coach for different reasons than if they were attracted to another.
This is usually a result of accepting and sharing your own personal story with your market.
After all, at the end of the day this is what sets you apart from everyone else and no one can take it from you.
You can start by asking yourself some of the following questions:
Why did you decide on your niche?
Why does this niche matter to you so much?
What are your personal stories in relation to your niche?
By answering these questions, and sharing stories with your market, you create a sense of trust.
You also attract whoever you are meant to help in your business.
Many may be afraid to do this because there is a common misconception that if you’re a life coach you need to have it all together.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
You’re a work in progress just like everyone else on the planet.
Besides, you’ll notice that some of the most successful coaches are actually extremely transparent about their lives.
Lisa Nichols discusses how she used to live on government assistance.
Wayne Dyer talks about his struggle with alcoholism.
Gabby Bernstein constantly talks about how she was addicted to drugs.
Marianne Williamson draws from her personal life all the time.
Gabby Bernstein and Marianne Williamson in particular are a great example of what we mean.
They both teach A Course In Miracles, yet their approaches are totally different. Marianne Willamson shares her experience as a Boomer while Gabby Bernstein started her career focusing on her own younger generation.
Because their experiences are different they create their own different brands. Although they may be teaching the same things, and may technically be seen as competition, the way in which they communicate the messages are like night and day.
This is a big part of why these coaches have such massive followings – because they are honest, transparent and totally relatable.
We’re living in a collaborative economy.
Additionally, this new world of work focuses more on collaboration rather than competition. This started with peer to peer markets like Amazon and eBay. Then it moved into other markets like ride sharing with Uber and hospitality like AirBnB.
The reality is we’re living in a share economy – one that promotes collaboration and works.
To give you an idea of just how valuable this is, Uber – who by the way in New York works in affiliation with the same taxis who are their competition – raised billions of dollars in investments in the last few months alone.
This is a testament not just to the several changes that have occurred in our economy as of late, but that collaboration – even with those who are seen as competition – is actually profitable.
What does this mean for coaches?
Rather than worrying about your competition, find ways to work with them instead.
There’s a lot more money and success to be had that way.
More importantly, by collaborating instead of competing you can reach and heal a lot more people.
While it may seem like the coaching industry is oversaturated, the reality is we’re just living in a new economy that allows for this many people to make a living as a coach.
The demand is high and the economic and social circumstances have aligned for the coaching industry to keep growing. As such, you shouldn’t worry about getting into the market too late.