Yaneek Page | What’s up with all these life coaches? - Should I become one too?
QUESTION: I have been following you for years and you are so inspiring. I read your advice columns and follow you on IG and you always seem to be draping me up with your advice and posts. Anyway, I’m finally taking the brave step of asking for your help because I’m what you’d probably call a confused millennial. I’m on my 7th job in the last three years yet I can’t find any that I really care about. I totally feel drained going to work every day. It’s not like I need something that’s easier, not in the sense that I’m lazy lol. But I just want to feel good about what I’m doing and that there’s purpose. If you get what I mean?
Ok, so here’s the thing: I don’t know what the best thing to do really is. I have been seeing where a lot of people here on Instagram are becoming some type of coach. Health, nutrition, fitness, business, keto, make-up, you name it! And they’re like full time in this and people are catching on. It’s like the new wave. Most people in my age group are completely over adulting. So, here’s my idea: a happiness or transformation coach for unhappy millennials. I think that may be better than a life coach. Is this a good or bad idea? Should I dive in? How do you feel about everyone calling themselves coach though? Is that bad or good? I know it’s a bunch of questions here but I hope you get what I mean. Oh, and please HMID and don’t use my name or initials in the paper.
– Hidden ID
BUSINESSWISE: Thank you! I am truly heartened by your kind words. When it comes to the points and questions posed in your message, yes, I get exactly what you mean. I also understand how you are feeling. Before I answer your questions, I need to clarify for readers that HMID is used locally, primarily on Instagram and is an acronym for ‘hide my identity’.
The apathy that you described towards work and general professional responsibilities is common to many millennials around the globe. Given that this is highly connected to your prospective target market it would be good for you to research ‘millennial apathy’ online and review the articles, discussions and even research on the issue so you have an even more fulsome appreciation of the gravity of this issue.
In fact, there are many position papers on this very issue of apathy for ‘adulting’, the very term you used, which is also commonly used by millennials to negatively connote their frustration with the personal, professional and emotional toll they associate with adult responsibilities. I quickly reviewed just a few of thousands that came up in my search just now and the issues are very complex – with the solutions being very few.
It would seem to me you are on to a major problem, among a young and viable segment of the population. Whether you call yourself a happiness coach or millennial transformation coach or life coach, depends entirely on what will resonate most with your target as delivering unique value that they perceive. Generally speaking, to answer the questions “Is this a good or bad business to start?”, and “Should you dive in?” please read my articles:
- 7 Essential Steps to Business Start-Up
- When to Leave Your Job to Start a Business: 8-Point Guide; and
- Here’s an Example of a Lucrative Business Model.
These cover the criteria and process for fleshing out a business idea from ideation to launch. Make special note of my recommendations for concept development, choosing the right target market, refining your value propositions, testing and validation, business model fundamentals like ready demand, price elasticity of demand and barriers to entry, business and strategic planning, funding, among others.
Whatever you do, you must be qualified, and your methodology needs to be solid. People lives and well-being are paramount. It’s bad business to offer people ‘life or transformation coaching’ without the necessary skills, education, experience and even certification to justify interventions.
When choosing a name or tag line, or even themes to support your branding, start by using Google Trends to see what your target is searching for generally as well as related to coaching, adulting, transformation, happiness, and so on. I did this using the term ‘transformation’ and I could see that in the last 12 months most searches on the topic came from St Andrew, St Catherine, Manchester and St James, with the top three related topics being digital data, digital transformation, and education.
I do have some concerns about everyone “calling themselves a coach” as I outlined above. The barriers to entry are low – which means people can literally start offering their service in a minute with no qualifications, training, certification, experience, or start-up capital. This can be problematic for you in terms of unfair competition, establishing and maintaining industry standards, and preventing the general bastardisation of your field.
- Yaneek Page is the programme lead for Market Entry USA, a certified trainer in entrepreneurship, and creator and executive producer of The Innovators and Let’s Make Peace TV series. Yaneek.firstname.lastname@example.org