Is Life Coaching Too Expensive?
In the 7 years since I became certified as a professional Life Coach I have wrestled with the subject of how much to charge Life Coaching clients because there are two ways of looking at it and both are equally valid and equally problematical.
Firstly, there is the return on investment that Life Coaching can offer, Many people don’t think twice on spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on a vacation that they hope will help them ease their stress and make them feel better.
Therefore the rationale goes, that if spending a similar amount (or in many cases much less) on hiring a great Life Coach, can achieve the same aim, but make it longer lasting, then surely that has to be worthwhile?
That is definitely the approach I have used because having a background in business it was all about return on investment.
On the other hand I know that a lot of people can’t afford to spend upwards of $1,000 on hiring a Life Coach no matter what the potential long term benefits are. If you told me that if I invested $1,000,000 in a project of yours that I would get back $2,000,000 in a months time, it would be of no interest to me. The simple fact of the matter is I don’t have $1,000,000 to invest even if you could make such a guarantee, so it becomes a moot point.
Therefore, by charging $100 and upwards per hour most Life Coaches are ruling out millions of people that don’t have that amount of money to spend and that is a problem. Personally I became a Life Coach so I could help people and it bothers me that some of the people that most need my help cannot afford it.
One way around this situation is for Life Coaches to offer a limited number of pro bono sessions each year. I have done this for over 5 years and it is very gratifying to help somebody that under normal circumstances could not afford my services. It is also very tricky to know which people to accept and which to turn down.
When I offered some free Life Coaching via my blog 2 or 3 years ago I had 70 people apply. Now I have three times as many readers and if I ran the same public offer would spend the next week reading applications. No doubt many would be heart wrenching and saying ‘no’ would not be fun.
Another option is to offer a sliding scale based on income. This is trickier because you either have to trust every client is being honest or ask for proof. The former is likely to be exploited from time to time and the latter can be embarrassing to the client to asked to provide wage slips etc.
The fact is, Life Coaching is neither too cheap, nor too expensive because it is always in the eye of the client. If they get value for money then it doesn’t matter how much they spent, but it does concern me that many people will never look to hire a Life Coach because they think it is beyond their means.
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