I spoke to Amanda last night, a friend of mine in Australia who is currently a life coach. The conversation was quite enlightening for me, as it pointed out to me how focused she was on the intricacies of business, rather than on helping people. It was her opinion that I should not consider being a life coach without adequate qualifications. While I can understand her point of view, I felt that she was doing her best to hamper me, rather than to help me. Her heart was in the right place, wanting me to do what she considered to be the right thing to do, but if I followed her advice, I'd be sitting here doing nothing about moving forward until I was in a position to do the course while living in Australia. I can't wait that long! I. Must. Move. Forward. NOW!
The conversation helped me to understand the importance of qualifications though, or at least of 'doing it right'.
Without qualifications, I MAY run the risk of being considered 'unqualified', and therefore not only untrustworthy, but also unprofessional. What I need to do to to get past these barriers is make sure my 'clients' understand I have no qualifications, and am more a mentor than a professional. I'm here to help them, instead of focusing on the business and making money.
While I can certainly appreciate the need for qualifications, in order to move into a more professional aspect of it that includes being paid for what I do, I know that I'm not at that stage yet.
New Zealand has no regulatory board to oversee life coaching, which means that there's no authority that says I have to have this or that qualification. Obviously people are more inclined to go with someone who has qualifications if they don't know them, but I'm hoping that what I've embarked upon will allow me to help people now, instead of later. And along the way, if they like what I do, they might encourage others to let me assist them as well. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and I'm going to use it as much as possible.
I have a Level 2 certificate in Reiki, which is an actual qualification that allows me to be a practitioner of Reiki should I choose to start a business around it. I'm investigating using my Reiki qualifications as some kind of foundation to work as a life coach as well. My masseur, Bev, is a life coach as well, I think. I'm going to arrange a chat with her at some stage very soon, and talk to her about my options.
Anyway, we'll see where this goes.
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