Becoming a Life Coach

Name: Eileen Wood
Job Title: Wellness and Life Coach, Writer, Inspirational Teacher
Years of Experience: 20 years
Where: Raleigh, NC
Current Employer: Self-Employed
Education: East Carolina University, BA; Atlantic University, MA
Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for median life coach salary data.

Becoming a Life Coach

What is a life coach? The simple answer is that a life coach can help clients to reach personal goals and make life changes. Making career changes, learning to manage stress more effectively, or pursuing long neglected dreams are just a few examples of why someone might hire a life coach. In this Salary Story, Eileen Wood, a wellness and life coach in North Carolina, explains what being a life coach means to her. She describes her approach to life coaching, offers advice on becoming a life coach, and talks about the challenges and rewards that are a part of transforming people's lives.

PayScale: What is a life coach? Describe your life coach job description.


As a wellness and life coach I encourage and inspire others to take control of their lives. Self-empowerment is a very strong attribute that reflects in all areas of life. It is the key to success and having a fulfilling life. By working with the mind, body and spirit, an individual can become more aware of what their purpose is in life, what is important to them, find their strengths and change their life for the better. Life coaching is like training for a marathon, only this marathon is for your life's journey. Just like an Olympic athlete uses a coach to help him/her excel at a sport, an individual will benefit immensely from using a life coach to help him/her excel in daily life experiences. Through the written word in articles and books, as a writer and aspiring author, I offer people opportunities to gain insight into their own self preservation. The pathway to personal success starts with the self and then moves outward. “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people” – Chinese proverb.

As a teacher I work with meditation, stress management, philosophy, metaphysics, science and ancient wisdom in order to help others understand themselves and how they fit in the world.

PayScale: What was your path toward becoming a life coach?

I became interested in wellness and life coaching after suffering from Fibromyalgia for over seven years and self-healing myself in three months. Realizing I could be in control of my life rather than allowing a medical condition to control me, I found myself seeking answers to life’s biggest question. Who am I? As a result I began to study, education, train and practice in Eastern philosophy, metaphysics, spirituality, philosophy, transpersonal studies and the balance between logic and the creative arts. This includes learning modalities such as Reiki and Arching Light; learning about the different systems of the body such as chakras, meridian and etheric; understanding the emotional self and how it relates to the physical self; and realizing the importance of thoughts, intention, attention and beliefs. Through my experiences I have evolved and transformed into a new person who is uplifted, always growing in a positive direction and enjoying the benefits of living.

PayScale: What do you love about working as a wellness and life coach?

I love my job because it allows me to share my success with others and see them transform their lives in the most positive and healthy way possible. I have a client who was stuck in an unhealthy situation with what seemed like no way out. Through coaching and guidance this client was able to move beyond the victim mindset, converting into an “I can be and do anything” mindset, setting the foundation to set himself free. Through this freedom he has been able to gain his true identity and self back, leading him to success in personal relationships, his career, family relationships and hope for a bright and fulfilling future. Seeing the amazing transformation of this client is the best reward I could have, for his success is my success. If I can make a difference in someone’s life, even if it is only through a smile, then I have done my job.

PayScale: What are the biggest challenges you face in your life coach job?

The biggest challenge in my job is working with individuals who are resistant to change and want to continue to sabotage their moving forward in life. It is a challenge to help people understand the power they have in personal strength through self-empowerment. Learning how to say “no,” how to have a voice and express feelings or opinions, to be in silence and to be still can be difficult for some people. If someone wants to be a wellness and life coach it is important to understand that for many people it is a slow process that will challenge them at the very core. Patience, understanding and being a good listener are very crucial for the success of helping others help themselves.

PayScale: What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a life coach?

The most important advice that I can give is to be strong and persistent in following your heart’s desire no matter what others may say about your career choice. One of the things that I wish I had before starting in this career was to have let go of any fears or doubts about my opportunity to be successful. It is best to have 100 percent belief in yourself and the work you do; otherwise there is a chance it may take longer to reach the destination you are striving to arrive at.

PayScale: What are the most interesting things that have happened while working as a life coach?


The most amazing and interesting things that have happened while doing this work is the information that comes forward once a person begins to transform. It is like a present has been unwrapped and opened, showing the receiver the most beautiful and wonderful gift or gifts. When a person realizes who they are, what they want to be doing with their life, how they can achieve their dreams and become secure within themselves, a whole new world opens up. The neatest part of this type of work is how synchronistic things become, including dreams, chance meetings, information that appears from any source, increased intuition and understanding the law of attraction.

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