Since graduating in 2016, our qualified coach Kris Verle has set up a thriving online coaching business. For Kris, technology has allowed him to run his life coaching business entirely online from Bali, while organising retreats internationally and with the freedom to live and work anywhere. We caught up with this TCA alumnus to learn more about his experience of studying with us, and his top tips about coaching.
How did you find out about coaching and what made you want to be a coach?
For fifteen years, I’d followed a rather unrewarding career in politics and lobbying. It just never occurred to me that I could be good at anything else.
My lightbulb moment came after working with my own coach. I realised that if I was serious about ‘inspiring change’, I needed to work directly with individuals, rather than staying focused on big-picture policy.
What inspired you to enrol with The Coaching Academy?
I’d heard excellent feedback about the 2-Day Event. After attending, I was so inspired I wanted to sign up straight away. It still took me another year though before I was ready to make the financial commitment.
What was the most rewarding part of your training?
The client sessions for sure. They bring your knowledge from an intellectual level down to a practical one.
Tell us about your coaching business.
I’ve been running my own business as an online life coach for nearly four years. I provide one-on-one sessions via Skype to clients all over the world. As a result, I’m location-independent, and I’m able to spend most of the year in Bali and then summers in Europe.
I’m also a freelance writer on the side, so I use my writing skills to produce my own articles and blog posts about coaching and personal development.
Together with two friends I also organise regular coaching/yoga/bodywork retreats around Europe.
What is coaching niche and how did you determine it?
I don’t have a niche as such, but all my sessions are online, so my clients tend to be tech-savvy enough to switch a computer on and off.
As a gay man who’s lived abroad for twenty years, I do attract a lot of other gay men as clients, as well as English-speaking expats in non-English speaking countries.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
It’s a privilege getting paid for having some of the deepest, most amazing and enriching conversations with people I’ve never even met in real life.
I also really enjoy writing articles and dealing with the constant challenges that come from operating a business.
What makes a successful coach?
That depends on your definition of success of course. But if you’d like to make some income from coaching, then it simply doesn’t matter how good you are as a coach if people can’t find you or if they never hear from you.
Wrapping your head around the sales and marketing side of things is vital, and so is developing a strong personal brand.
From a coaching perspective, it’s true what they say: The more you learn, the more you earn’, so don’t let your practice grow stale and keep adding more strings to your bow.
How do you see the coaching industry evolving?
I’m a little torn on this one. Becoming a life coach has become a popular route for people trying to escape a 9-5 career. But becoming part of the so-called ‘gig economy’ can be equally stressful and there’s a lot of competition out there.
Having said that, I think there’s a great future in executive and business coaching. I’m super excited about the use of technology and the rollout of on-demand coaching in companies, for example.
What are your top tips for:
People who are looking to become qualified as a professional coach?
Even if you don’t plan to set up as a coach, there are plenty of benefits you can gain from qualifying. Aside from creating much better awareness about what you can bring to the world and what drives you to be successful, you’ll also become much more emotionally resonant at work as a leader or a team member.
Those currently in training with TCA?
Fill in those client record sheets immediately after you finish your session! Trust me, you’ll be saving yourself a stomach ulcer from drinking litres of coffee once you start putting your final dossier together. Plus, it’s a great habit to get into before you start talking to real clients.
People looking to set up a business after qualifying?
Be realistic about how long it will take to build your business and don’t say goodbye too quickly to your day job.
Be honest with yourself also about whether you really want to put up with the insecurity of being self-employed, because there are other ways too of monetising your coaching skills.
Also, there are so many of us out there – dare to be a little different. People think all life coaches are sandal-wearing hippies anyway – so you might as well integrate that inner quirkiness into your coaching.
Find out more about Kris Verle.
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