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Why Coaches Don't Need Certifications to Start a Successful Practice

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Primary Blog/Entrepreneurship/Why Coaches Don't Need Certifications to Start a Successful Practice


Why Coaches Don't Need Certifications to Start a Successful Practice

by Don Markland, CEO - Accountability Now ~ Read time 6 minutes

Are you ready to start a coaching practice but feeling overwhelmed by the idea of getting certified? With so many options for certifications, ranging in price and duration, it's easy to feel like certification is a requirement for success. But what if we told you that certification is not necessary to start a successful coaching practice? That's right, some of the most successful coaches in the world have built their practices without a single certification to their name. So, forget everything you thought you knew about certifications and join us as we explore the truth about what it really takes to start a successful coaching practice. Are you ready to be inspired and empowered to chase your coaching dreams without the added stress of certification? Let's dive in!

The Truth About Coaching Certifications

Are you considering starting a coaching practice but feeling intimidated by the idea of getting certified? With over 650 coaching schools offering certifications ranging in price from $97 to $100,000, it can be overwhelming to determine what, if any, certification is necessary. But the truth is, a certification is not a requirement to start a successful coaching practice.

The Misconception of Certifications in the Coaching Industry

Many aspiring coaches believe that a certification is necessary to attract clients, but this is simply not the case. The value of a certification is often only as much as a potential client is willing to place on it. While some clients may prefer to work with a coach who is certified, others may not see it as a determining factor in their decision to hire a coach.

It’s important to note the difference between certification for life coaching and certification for therapy or medical license. Life coaching is an unregulated industry and there is no governing body or board certification of any real merit. On the other hand, therapy and medical practices require state licensure and adhere to specific regulations and standards..

What Really Matters in Growing a Coaching Practice

The key to success in coaching is building a strong personal brand and reputation. The most important factor in growing your coaching practice is your ability to attract and retain clients, not your certification. Clients are more likely to hire a coach they feel a personal connection with and who they believe can help them achieve their goals.

Your personal story, experience, and skills are far more valuable than any piece of paper certifying that you have completed a coaching program. Focus on building your skills as a coach, developing your personal brand, and creating a compelling offer that resonates with your target market. The more you can demonstrate your value and expertise, the more successful you will be in attracting clients and growing your coaching practice.

Real-World Examples of Successful Coaches Without Certifications

  • ​Tony Robbins: One of the most well-known life coaches in the world, Tony Robbins, does not have a certification. He has built a successful coaching practice and empire based on his personal story, experience, and skills as a coach.
  • Marie Forleo: Marie Forleo is a life coach, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur who has built a successful coaching practice without a certification. She is known for her infectious energy and ability to help clients achieve their goals.
  • ​Rachel Hollis: Rachel Hollis is a life coach and bestselling author who has built a successful coaching practice and empire without a certification. She has a large following and is known for her ability to empower women to live their best lives.


In conclusion, while certifications can provide a structure for learning and development in the coaching industry, they are not a requirement for success. The key to success in coaching is to focus on building your skills, personal brand, and reputation. The more value you can demonstrate to potential clients, the more successful you will be in growing your coaching practice. Don't let the idea of getting certified hold you back from starting your coaching practice. With hard work and determination, you can achieve success without a certification.

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Don Markland

CEO, Accountability Now

Don Markland is the CEO and owner of Accountability Now™, a Jacksonville-based Executive Coaching and Business Strategy firm. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, leadership, and business growth, he is recognized as the #1 Business Coach in Florida and #1 Online Trainer in the US.

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