I wanted to let you in on something about my industry that’s a bit shady… something you’ll have to watch out for if you’re looking to work with a coach or therapist.

The biggest problem with the coaching industry, in my opinion, is that anyone can throw up a website and call themselves an expert.

In case you’re not aware, there is no agency or governing body that regulates life coaching. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although some people can (and do) see this as an opportunity to “fake it till they make it.”

Secondly, most of the “coach training” programs are mediocre at best, graduating new coaches after just a few months of instruction. In fact, some of these training courses will gladly hand you a diploma after only 3 days!

Because of this practice, the industry is saturated with coaches who have very little experience.

Let’s take your job, for instance. Could you take someone off the street with zero know-how and train them to perfectly perform all of your duties in 3 months or less? I highly doubt it.

Unfortunately, the hypnosis industry has a similar problem. Most hypnosis certification workshops are typically conducted over the course of a weekend. Occasionally, you’ll find one that spans a full week but even this is nowhere near the amount of study required to be proficient.

This is why you’ll sometimes hear stories from friends and acquaintances about how they found life coaching (or hypnosis) to be a big waste of time and money. Most likely, their coach/hypnotist lacked sufficient training and had no business soliciting paying clients.

Before I started charging for my services, I had already attended at least a dozen seminars, read over one-hundred self-help books (and wrote a book myself), and worked with dozens of clients on a pro bono basis. Yet, I was STILL was hesitant to call myself an expert.

My point is, it takes years of study to master any subject, and coaching is no different.

So the big question is: With dozens of coaches and therapists to choose from, how will you know if they’re skilled enough to help you?

Sadly, there’s no easy answer to this. Ideally, they should be vouched for by a highly trusted source like a friend or relative. But since this won’t always be possible, I’ve compiled a list of questions to ask your prospective coach or therapist before you begin working with them. This simple process will help you weed out the pros from the rest of the pack.

Question 1: “How long have you been practicing?” 

A good rule of thumb is to find someone who has at least 5 years of experience although this isn’t always enough. I’ve attended trainings run by “experts” who’ve had over 20 years of experience but were still clueless!

Question 2: “How many clients have you worked with?” 

I personally worked with over 100 clients (one-on-one) before I considered myself to be a great coach. Excellence in any field requires many hours of your blood, sweat and tears.

Question 3: “May I see your client testimonials?” 

Ideally, they should have at least 20 testimonials on their website (or on online review sites) that are more detailed than just “Coach Joe Blow is awesome! Highly recommended!” Video testimonials are even better, although much harder to acquire since a large percentage of clients prefer to remain anonymous.

Question 4: “Do you have a guarantee of some sort?”

While coaches and hypnotists can’t guarantee that you’ll see results (since the outcome is highly dependent on the client’s participation in the process), they can and should have some way of guaranteeing your satisfaction.

Question 5: “What types of techniques and methodologies do you employ?”

All coaches and therapists should be well versed in at least 2 or 3 healing modalities such as hypnosis, EFT, EMDR, CBT, etc.

Question 6: “Will you be teaching me specific skills to manage my emotions on my own?”

A good coach will teach you how to manage your emotions without their help. If you need to run to your coach or therapist each time you feel down, they’ll be enabling you instead of empowering you.

Question 7: “How long on average will it take to see the results I’m looking for?” 

A good coach can help you make major changes (in multiple areas of your life) in less than 1 year. Contrast this with some types of therapy where after 10 years you may still feel like you haven’t made significant progress. Also, be wary if they promise dramatic changes in just a couple of sessions. While this does happen sometimes, it’s far from typical.

Question 8: If you’re speaking to a therapist, ask them if they plan to help you overcome your problem organically or if they’ll be quick to medicate you. 

If they firmly believe your problem is a permanent one which needs to be managed with pharmaceuticals, I recommend that you find another practitioner.

Question 9: “Have you published any books, created products or conducted seminars?”

All of the pros do this.

Question 10: “Have you created any proprietary systems or methodologies?” 

Do they create new protocols or just rehash content from other thought leaders? If they’re just rehashing content, then you might want to work with whoever trained them, instead.

Question 11: “Have you been featured on television or in any prominent publications?” 

It’s good to know that the media is interested in your coach’s ideas, although it’s easy nowadays for almost anyone to be quoted by a major newspaper or magazine.

Question 12: “What is your process for helping me re-program my mind and change my beliefs?” 

If they don’t know how to reprogram you for success, then they’re not much more than an expensive accountability partner.

Question 13: “Do you offer a fr.ee session or some sort of introductory package?” 

This will help you determine whether or not they understand your challenges and if you feel comfortable with them before moving forward.

Question 14 (to ask yourself): Are they are reasonably expensive?

In today’s day and age, you usually get what you pay for. You might be able to find a coach who only charges $50 a session but most likely they’re fresh out of coaching school and are desperate for your business. The pros charge what they’re worth and they’re worth every penny.

For instance, I’m guessing you wouldn’t hire a brain surgeon who was offering a 50% off Groupon. Similarly, it’s not the best idea to skimp on the person who is going to help you transform your entire life.

Question 15: “What do you do to keep your skills current?”

I don’t care how amazing you are. There’s always more to learn. A good coach will be constantly reading, studying and attending trainings, if for no other reason than to keep his chops up.

Case in point, one of my personal coaches recently trained Tony Robbins himself because Tony wasn’t entirely satisfied with his client’s results in group settings. If Tony Robbins is still learning new methodologies then everyone else should be, as well.

I hope you found this helpful. More tips on the way shortly.

Committed to your success,