Syringes to Sobriety

Stories and Advice from a Real Heroin Addict
life coaching

How can I Become a Life Coach?

Becoming a Life Coach

A Great Career Option in Recovery

Like many of you, I tirelessly searched the internet for information on how to become a life coach.  As a recovering drug user, my behavior quickly moves from healthy to obsessive.  As a result, I constantly question how much time I am putting into research and whether that research is actually paying off.  After clicking hundreds of links, for upwards of three hours, I was about to call it quits….

…then I got lucky! I landed on IARPC’s website.

Life Coach Certification Requirements

Most websites, considering themselves life-coach authorities, avoid telling the truth about whether life coaches are required to be certified.  Instead, the reader is instructed to check with their state or national boards.  Confusion on whether their course is a requirement for becoming a life coach, tricks people into signing up for their programs.  Let me clear up the confusion now:


Now, please do not misunderstand me here. What I am trying to say is, you get to shop around for the course that is best suited for what kind of life coaching career you would like to start.  You could skip training all together, jump into finding clients, and just ‘wing it,’ but I would not suggest it.  Remember, as a life coach you are responsible for:


Naturally, you learn these skills as you move along your recovery journey, but a bit of training will make these skills sharper and help you feel confident when using them.

Take this simple example: “Good Job!” Can you think of ten other ways to say good job?

Off the top of your head, you think: ‘excellent,’ ‘great job,’ ‘YAY,’ ‘way to go!’…then it gets a little harder.  However, if I gave you a list to study first, you may come up with words like: ‘Super!’ ‘Not bad,’ ‘Fantastic,’ Keep it up,’Perfect,’ and ‘Wonderful.’

This is a very elementary example, but you get the point.  The proper training will leave you armed with tools to motivate and confident in your ability to mentor another complex human being.

Successful life coaches usually have strong backgrounds in counseling and/or other mental health professions, but, more frequently, we are witnessing those who have overcome personal obstacles, become phenomenal life coaches eager to help others.  Hence, why this field is so exciting!

Are life coaches like counselors?

Counselors bill your insurance company for sessions, whereas life coaches take private payment from clients. Counselors are great for resolving emotional issues or providing a dual diagnosis to their recovering patients. However, most of these professionals are not recovering substance abusers.  A life coach, especially one who has a history of substance abuse like their client, can relate on a completely different level.

Who do you think has better insight into what a client means when he says, “I just don’t think I will ever feel as happy as I did when I was getting high?” The counselor will surely be able to spout off some information about chemicals in the brain and healthy lifestyle changes, but only a recovering addict can give real insight into whether the feeling ever goes away and what coping skills are really effective.

Are life coaches like Sponsors?

Not even close! A 12-Step program sponsor’s role is to guide a fellow recovering user through the twelve steps. As a life coach, your responsibility to your client is much more in-depth. Many clients have both a sponsor and a life coach.

Sponsors usually have full-time jobs on top of service commitments, meetings, and making time to do step work with multiple sponsees. A life coach is hired by the client (or clients family) to work a set schedule.  Therefore, a life coach can allocate significantly more time to a client than a sponsor can afford to give.  Nothing against sponsors, they just have a more limited role in recovery when compared to a hired life coach.

Be your own Boss

Life coaches should be super available to their clients. It is a full time job, but don’t let this discourage you. For some clients, you will need to invest more of your time, but you control which and how many clients you take on.  As a life coach, you are your own boss.  You set your fees and you pick your clients. The ability to be your own boss allows you to grow your business as fast or slow as you would like.

Felons Welcome

This was one of the most important aspects of a life coaching career for me. Like myself, some of you may be felons.  This does not make us bad people.  Unfortunately, society has not realized how detrimental a record is when trying to rebuild one’s life . (I know, not the place for this argument!)

Anyway, having a criminal record makes finding a job difficult.  I have a bachelor’s degree, but my criminal record disqualified me from the simplest, minimum wage jobs.  Many clients are trying to get their lives back on track, just like you and me.  Some are felons and want a coach who can relate.  So, instead of being rejected on account of your background, it may work in your favor, landing you more clients.

How can I become a Life Coach?

I was 100% honest when I told you there are no requirements to become a life coach. However, since the start of my recovery journey I have lived by a very important rule.

Rule: Work as hard on my success as I worked to get high.

In fact, I try put more energy into self-improvement than I did in self-destruction, which is no small undertaking. If you are a fellow user, you will understand this. We worked tirelessly to make money, even illegally, to find a dealer, to find the best product and get high.  At the same time, we worked hard to hide our drug use from those who cared about us and even harder to hide it from law enforcement!

After hours of research and a few refund requests, I finally found a training I am happy to promote. When you decide it is your turn to start a great new career helping others recover, register through these links:


Company Homepage: International Association On Professional Recovery Coaches

Course: Life Coaching Essentials

Certification: Certified Professional Coach (CPC)

Price- $1,497 dollars BUT save $500 dollars in enrollment fees, if you register here!

Total Price after discount: $997.00

Thinking this is a bit pricey?

Remember, after completing this course, you will have the knowledge required to start your own business. How many recovering users do you know today, each one a potential client? If you are new in recovery, that number can be in the triple digits. The potential for clients is limitless, especially in this social media driven era.

The lessons in this course give you the best chance of success. University tuition for a 4-year degree in psychology can exceed 40,000 dollars. Compared to $40,000, $997 for this course is a steal!

Trust me, I received my degree in Psychology from a 4-year University and I have yet to use it.  Making my degree profitable requires enrolling in a Masters program, which requires paying more tuition! This just was not an option for me, so $997.00 for this all-inclusive training class is a fantastic deal.

What makes a good Life Coach?

Two steps to becoming a successful life coach:

Step One: Form a personal bond with client.

Your bond with clients will initially form, as you get to know each other, with the realization that you shared many similar experiences while using.  I had no doubt in my, and you should have no doubt in your, ability to connect with clients on a deeper level than professionals with no history of substance abuse. This is a unique advantage for a life coach, but it is only step one.

Step Two: Develop a personal, professional strategy.

This is where the Life Coaching Essential Course becomes invaluable. By the end of the course you will:

  • Have developed a general Life Coach strategy from start to finish
  • Have developed a Formal Coaching Agreement for clients to sign
  • Have an understanding of ethical practices and standards
  • Have learned strategies to develop meaningful coaching relationships built on trust and respect
  • Have found your own personal coaching voice and style
  • Have improved your listening and communication skills
  • Be able to deepen clients awareness and clarity of the issues they want to improve
  • Be able to help clients with goal-setting and learn the best way to encourage reaching those goals
  • Have learned ways to celebrate success (healthy rewards) that a client appreciates
  • Be ready to launch your own life-coaching practice, based on your own personality

These tools provide a huge head start. Clients see you are knowledgeable and you feel super confident in your ability to change lives.

Bonus Material:

The course includes a staggering amount of reference material for life coaches, such as:

  • All Training Manuals as downloads
  • Coaching Tools and Self Discovery Worksheets
  • Course Study Guides
  • Free Membership in iCoachRecovery for three months
  • Access to Coaching and Recovery Experts in monthly forums

Upon course completion, you can include letters after your name! This makes everything so much more official! Imagine it now…

Your Name, C.D.C

I see some awesome new business cards in your future!

Recap of IAPRC’s Certified Professional Coach Training:

Company Homepage: International Association On Professional Recovery Coaches

Course: Life Coaching Essentials

Certification: Professional Coaching Certification

Price: $1427.00, but save $500.00 if you sign up through this link

So, $997.00

Can be paid in full, or broken into payments. At checkout, you will be able to select a payment plan before finalizing purchase.

What you will learn: How to develop a personal, professional life coaching business

Anything else: You will receive invaluable bonus material to start your career with the greatest chance of success.

Get ready to make those business cards, Mr. or Miss C.P.C. 🙂

If you have any questions, leave them below and I would be happy to answer them.

Note: I want to keep it 100 with you all! I am NOT paid to write this promotion. However, I receive a small fee if someone registers through my link.  Any income received supports further development of reference information on


35 comments on “How can I Become a Life Coach?

  1. Being a life coach needs a lot of hard work and from distance, you’ll love the whole idea but I have come to realise that you’ll need to be mentally capable and that is where the most failure will come from and I am not surprised about it. I am glad you have made the whole thing way by giving a medium to get your certificate and I know a few people who would be glad to do it.

  2. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your review as it contains valuable information’s that could possibly answer the question “how can i become a life coach”. I know a lot of person’s has always asked themselves this question and i am glad you have answered this question in this review in details and has made it easier to understand 

  3. Thanks for this amazing and very valuable information, it’s a good thing to know about what you’d love to be or what you’re going into as it helps give you better direction. Being a life coach is something that’ll be so nice but the wrong conception people have about it should be cleared and this article has done a lot in explaining on details what it is all about.

  4. Thank you for sharing this here with us. It has always being a lifelong dream of wanting to become a life coach and being able to really make impacts on others lives. Hence, being a life coach as a career would definitely help me get closer to people so I can offer my help to them in various ways as needed by them. Definitely a great one here to see. Thanks

    1. Darmi, this would be a great program for you to fget started fulfilling that dream.  Please let me know if you have any further questions! 

  5. This is really a helpful article. I am grateful to know that there are differences between life coach and a  counselor, at first I thought these words had the same meaning.There are several people who need help to overcome the challenges after they stop using  drugs.Unfortunately many of them do not know where they will actually get a comprehensive education to cope with the challenges around them. I’m glad that you gave them the right direction on how and where to achieve recovery. All the best.


  6. Hello

    Very interesting article

    The life coach I believe is a tool for better ranking
     for criminals who have a hard time rebuilding their lives and it’s an opportunity to offer a life line to people who have difficulty finding a job

    The fact that it’s free I’d like to take advantage of may be just what I’m looking for to help more people

    Thank you for that

    I wish you the best!

    1.  I would just like to clarify that the class is not free. However it is very affordable compared to the cost of a degree from a university. Many life coaches with these certifications end up making more money than people who attend four-year universities. The cool part about taking a certification class is that you can build your business up as a life coach by finding your own clients. Most of the time after attending a university A student must work as an intern and do a certain amount of clinical hours before they can open up their own practice. Happy we could help provide this information to you. Let us know if you have any questions

  7. Dope article on How I can Become a Life Coach Ana! The way your write keeps my attention and I found myself hooked on your article. In recent years I have seen an influx in so called “Life Coaches” but have very rarely come across one worth their salt. Naturally Im attracted to the be your own boss side of things so I think I will have to check this out as an option.

    1. Thank you very much. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Being your own boss is by far the most rewarding thing a person can do for their career. This class is definitely one to check out if you think you have the potential to help somebody else achieve their own dreams. Thanks again!

  8. Great info on becoming a life coach. What is the earning potential and how would you market yourself as a recovering addict? What type of work could you do without crossing the licensure boundaries of therapy and counseling? what are the benefits of a privately paid coach versus claiming therapy through insurance other than relatabllity?

    1. These are some amazing questions. Thank you so much for bringing up each of these inquiries. 

      First of all, the earning potential of a life coach is limitless. Depending on the clientele you market to, you can charge whatever you think your services are worth. Life coaches put a lot of time into their professions, spending hours on end with their clients to help make sure they stay on the right track. Therefore they can charge a significant fee if they any good at what they do.  

      As far as marketing yourself as a recovering addict that would like to help other addicts recover, there are tons of options. Fort example, you could hand out business cards at recovery meetings, methadone clinics, or inpatient rehab centers. Networking with recovery therapists is a great way to get your time name out there to start receiving referrals.  

      As far as dealing with the licenses that a therapist must have, a life coach is not required to have these. Although we do suggest taking a class like the one we recommended above, it is not required. A life coach is not supposed to be a replacement for a therapist. In fact, I recommend life coaches encourage their clients, especially those dealing with recovery from addiction, to see a licensed therapist as well. Life coaches, as stated above, spend hours with the client whereas therapist sees a client an hour at a time once or twice a week. 

      As far as the benefits of picking a life coach services versus therapy, as stated above, we don’t suggest an either or approach. We suggest both.  For those, and there are many, whom are not able to stay clean and sober with counseling alone we recommend seeing a counselor and having a life coach for the times they are not in therapy, giving the client a better chance of success.

      I hope I answered all your questions and if you have any more please feel free to contact us. Thanks so much for reading.

  9. Wow thanks a lot for this article. I really enjoyed reading this one and see how I can become one day a life coach to someone. I always wanted to help people, to motivate them to do other activities and more. And I think because of this I think I might try this one day, I´ll share it also with my friends. Thanks again.

  10. Certification on international recovery coaches sounds good. As a coach, it has to know how to develop a personal, professional strategy. The course include life coaching essentials. Here they would learn among others creating trust and respect between the coach and subject Agreement, strategy from start to finish life coaching practice client appreciation, communication skills voice and style These tools provide a huge head start. Clients see you are knowledgeable and you feel super confident in your ability to change lives. Plus course guide study guide, worksheets monthly forums, etc. It is a powerful turn of fate with those who have been there and turned themselves as Coaches to change others from suffering to healing. A very noble mission. Life becomes more meaningful indeed in doing so. I personally hope that many rehabilitated addicts would turn themselves into this kind of coach a=s o as to effectively safe who are currently suffering the same.


  11. Wow, this is a really good job opportunity after the training of ourselves. Becoming a life coach looks like something anyone can get into as long as you can understand. It’s great to see that one doesn’t need any certification. And the felons too, oh how they are neglected by the government and the society in general. This is a great opportunity for them. Looks like something I can do to make money after I retire. It’s good to see you have clarified the difference between a  councillor  and a sponsor  from a life coach. Thanks to the table. I’ll definitely check it out.

    1. Life coaching is a great career at any stage in life.  The great part about life coaching is that there are clients of all walks of life.  If you are young, you may be able to work with high school kids who are struggling.  If you are older you have the option of working with clients of all ages, depending on whether your experiences can help them get through whatever it is they are dealing with.  

      I also love that life coaching does not require an expensive degrCareerseres in psychology or psychiatry require 4-8 year educations and leave the majority of people in tremendous amounts of debt.  This course is reasonably priced compared to that, and, if you are even slightly good at it, you will make money. 

      Building a clientele is easy if you are able to focus on each clients specific needs.  Doing a thorough job with your clients will encourage them to recommend you to their friends.  A good recommendation goes a long way!

      Thanks so much for the comment and good luck with your future endeavors!

  12. Hello Ana, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. It is really interesting that I feel as I can become a life coach primarily because I know to listen to the people. It is very surprising that it is free and I would like to take advantage of it. I watch some YouTube folks who are life coaches and I think those people are very special because a person can open yourself and tell everything they have problem with, I will definitely think about becoming a life coach seriously.

    1. Thanks for reading.  So, just to clarify.  The course is not free, but it is much less expensive than one would pay for a four-year college degree. The cost is about 1.25% of what you would pay for in-state tuition at a local university.  However, if you work hard at it and truly are a great listener, you can easily make more money than people with 4-year degrees.  

      Had I known before I went into student loan debt, I would have done this first.  Clients are willing to pay substantial amounts of money for life coaching services and those clients will recommend you to their friends and then they will recommend you to theirs and so on and so on.  

      Youtube is a great marketing tool for life coaching services, as you noted.  See, you are already on the right track!  Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions!

  13. I’ve always found it sad that felons have a tough time rebuilding their lives, especially when many of them may have made one single mistake. To me, if we’re truly a free nation, ex-felons should have just as much opportunity to find work.

    Sadly, it’s hardly the case, and what’s worse is that so many crimes out there are victimless and I’ve always believed in the ‘No victim, no crime’ mantra.

    The fact is these days we no longer have to rely on others for employment and for those who may’ve had felonies in the past and can’t secure work but wish to rebuild their lives, becoming a life coach may be a great option.

    And not just that, the fact you can be your own boss, set your own schedule, hours, oh, and also be involved in changing lives for the better means you can build a dream career while Average Joe and Plain Jane who are too afraid to go over the speed limit since State Patrol’s right beside them are busy building their employers’ dreams.

    Follow the heart and change your life and others’ lives for the better!

    1. I love this comment! In fact,I would like to vote for you for President! If only everyone had as much compassion and COMMON SENSE! Thanks Todd! And I am serious, don’t be surprised when I write you in on the ballot.

  14. You are so very right about the best life coaches being someone who has been there. It’s all good and well to have text book knowledge, but all a recovering addict needs is support, guidance, understanding, non judgement and someone to believe in them. For those that have ONLY don’t the university study, they just don’t have the capacity to relate in the same way. Thank you for this great write up!

    1. Thanks for reading Josie. You are absolutely correct about what a recovering addict needs. Hoping to spread the message to everyone. Sometimes all someone needs is to see an understanding face to change their entire life.

  15. After reading this post, I am thinking of too becoming a life coach since there are no certification requirements. For a fair fee, I can learn counselling tips and more from the Life Coach Training Program.
    This is a good professional line I can join after retirement and still make a living.
    Thank you for sharing Ashley

    1. Yes! That is a wonderful point. There is demand for Life coaches of ALL ages and walks of life. People are desperately searching for wise coaches they are able to relate to who can give advice on how to live the best life!

  16. Great article. Thank you for sharing this info. I have not had addiction problems myself but have had family members who have struggled to get and stay clean and out of jail. I have been there to help some of them get through the bad days of staying clean after rehab or on their own. This may be just what I am looking for to help more people but with a solid direction.

    It’s awesome that you are honest about your own journey of addiction and staying clean. Thank you for that

    Wishing you all the best!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Pam. This class is wonderful for starting a new career with, as you stated perfectly, ‘solid direction.’

  17. Thank you kindly for the clarification that I don’t need to be fully qualified to be a life coach.

    I am particularly interested in adding this skill to my repertoire (which is teaching folks to start their own online businesses and income producing blogs). I am more interested in motivational/ala success coaching so I can integrate this to my own training program.

    Is there possible?

    Can you please point me in the right direction?

    1. Absolutely. I do want to clarify one thing though! There are no certifications, credits, or hours required to be a life coach. However, I always suggest educating yourself entirely before taking on a role like life coach. You are directly responsible for all actions as a life coach, whether they help push a client in a positive :)… or negative 🙁 direction. That is why this class is a phenomenal starting place to begin you life coaching career. I am familiar with your motivational blog, so I know you have a natural talent for motivating people.

      Here are the answers to your questions:

      Question 1: Life Coach Essentials is not only for students wishing to help those in recovery. Students complete the course confident, with an ability to coach clients toward any goal, whether staying clean OR starting an online business. Some clients will hire you because they feel lost in life and it is your job to help make their goals concrete. You will feel very comfortable doing this after taking this course.

      I decided to use my life coaching skills to help those in recovery, but the skills learned in this class can be applied to any sort of coaching. Life Coach Essentials intricately educates on which coaching tools work best and why, and provides a ton of references to use when you are ready to practice.

      Ultimately, coaching=motivation.

      Question 2: Here is a quote straight from the class homepage: Life Coaching Essentials (CPC Program)

      “Discover why ALL Coaching is LIFE COACHING! In our Life Coaching Essentials Program you will gain the skills and tools of a Professional Life Coach plus learn best practices for launching your own coaching business. You will learn proven protocols presented in the context of professional competencies established by the International Coach Federation (ICF). With your Professional Life Coaching Certification, you will be prepared to serve many types of clients besides those seeking Recovery Coaching.”

      With your skill-set, clients would be lining up to hire you!
      Thanks for stopping by Derek

  18. Good article and I like the idea that this is an opportunity to provide a life line to people who have difficulty with finding jobs due to past adverse records. On this point I want to encourage you and the readers who are facing the same dilemma to not give up hope. But to use it for your advantage in the same way that you have pointed out. Remember, the number one skill in life is never give up.

    1. Well said Jeffrey! When the going gets tough, only the strongest keep going. The opportunities are out there, we just have to know where to look.

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