What Is A Life Coach?

As a life coach, I help people make major life transitions with ease, grace and humor.

When we work together, I help you replace anxiety with enthusiasm, fear with laughter, and stuck-ness with lots and lots of action.

I help you move through challenges you aren’t able to move through on your own in the way you want. I guide you through significant transitions by helping you figure out where you’d rather be. We identify your destination, then chart a path to get you there.

I’ve been a career coach and life coach for 15 years; I’ve helped thousands of clients

  • find the right job (both identify it and pursue it)
  • prepare for retirement
  • rebuild a better life post-divorce
  • find a partner / start a family
  • navigate a dual-career family with young children (spoiler alert: someone is likely to rethink their career).
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As Your Life Coach, I Provide Partnership and Accountability

We’re not in a “see you at the next session” relationship; we’re in an “Email me, check in with me -- I want to hear from you between sessions” relationship.

When we work together, we work together for the entirety of our engagement, not just during our strategy sessions. Don’t save your questions for the in-office visits, let’s work together while you’re taking action between sessions. I’ll review cover letters, celebrate fantastic meetings you have had, ease your nerves before the big interview.

How does a sports coach motivate her athletes? She sees the best in them, she sees their potential -- often potential they don’t realize they have. They see that you’re an incredible sprinter, but your ball skills are lacking, so they boost your weaknesses while playing to your strengths.

As your life coach, I see, and boost your weaknesses, while playing to your strengths.

I get to know my clients real well. In fact, I’ll help you get to know yourself better. I see the patterns you’re falling into and share with you what I see. Just like your track coach will show you your running times and give you the tools to do better, I’ll show you the thought patterns that you may or may not be aware of, and give you the tools to shift them.

Coaching Process Diagram

There is plenty (plenty!) of homework between sessions, so that you can shift your behaviors, take new action. Insight...action. Insight...action. That’s the steady drumbeat of change.

And it’s not just you and me after all, your life has other people in it! Your parents, your partner, therapists, psychiatrists, your kids — I work with you as part of your team to help you be your best, have one cohesive plan and get the support you need to achieve your objective.

So yes, that means if you just graduated college and are in your mid-20s and your parents aren’t sure how to support you; I’ll have a call with them.

Or, if your partner is very nervous about money since you’re the primary breadwinner and have been out of work for 3 months; I’ll connect with him or her.

We are one team, supporting you as you pursue your goal.

What Are Life Coach Qualifications?

None. Isn’t that crazy!? You don’t need any qualifications to be a life coach. All you need to do is to say that you’re a life coach, print out a business card and voila!

In the United States, life coaching is not a regulated industry like therapy or psychiatry. Life coaches do not need to pass tests, they’re not covered by insurance.

That said, there are lots of life coach training programs. But you don’t *have* to take any of them to be a life coach.

I hold myself to a different standard. I received a certificate in personal coaching and career coaching from New York University in 2005, and trained with one of the best coach trainers in the world, David Rock (founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute).

I am also a member of the International Coaching Federation, the leading global coaching organization. I attend their bi-annual coaching conferences, and have earned a PCC level credential. The highest coaching credential in the world is the MCC; there are fewer than 1000 coaches who hold this credential globally. I intend to be one of them by 2021.

I continue to improve, grow and hone my skills through continuing education. In the last three years, I’ve completed the Happiness Course with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and have completed Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at UMass.

I’ve completed several career transitions myself; from dot-com executive to food stylist, cooking teacher, culinary host and cookbook author to career and life coach. I married late in life and have four children (including a stepdaughter). I have personal experience with significant career and life transitions, as well as extensive coach training, continuing education, and 15 years experience working with thousands of coaching clients.

Am I The Right Coach For You?

Are you ready to get to work? My clients experience change because they work for it. In addition to our regular coaching sessions, where we set strategy, reframe old ways of thinking and shift stress to eustress. And the meat of our work happens between sessions. It’s where the rubber hits the road, where all those insights turn into action and why I am in touch with you (a lot) between sessions.

Outside of our coaching sessions you can expect 5-10 hours of additional work per week. Reading, watching videos, connecting with old friends and colleagues (aka ‘networking’), and researching. There’s work to do. Change isn’t going to happen while you sit on my couch.

Don’t start coaching because your parents or spouse wants you to be coached. Come because you want to. I’ll help you realize what you need to do -- and it’s on you to do it. I’ll provide the support and accountability, for sure, but you’re going to send the emails, set up the meetings, fly to Florida for those auditions and put the pieces together to change your life.

I can’t do it for you, but I can (and will) support you as you do it.

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Do I Need a Life Coach or a Therapist?

Good question. And an important one.

I recently had a client come into my office for an introductory session and tell me how reluctant he was to be there. I was happy that within the first 10 minutes of our session he was able to be that direct. He felt uncomfortable with the whole “life coach” thing. It seemed hokey and weird, ethereal and…”what are your  qualifications, anyway? He had a friend who was all jazzed about her life coach, who had her creating gargoyle images for her fears.

(I assured him there would be no gargoyles.)

I had the same hesitation when I became a life coach. I was concerned the field would be filled with people who wanted to be therapists but not invest in the schooling that would be required in that field. It felt like hack therapy to me, and I’m no hack.

And yet, the more I learned about coaching, the more I realized that coaching filled an unmet need.

A therapist helps you when you’re “below baseline”. When you’re not feeling like yourself, something is off and you want to get back to stasis. When you’ve experienced trauma and have developed maladaptive coping mechanisms that are negatively impacting areas of your life. When you’re a couple seeking tools to restructure the way you interact.

As a coach, I can help you when you’re at baseline and you want more. I also work with people who are in therapy, receiving that support, and looking to grow in a new way. There is, of course, some overlap, and some of the magic is in the relationship you have with the practitioner you choose.

Where do new parents go when they’re struggling trying to balance kids and work? Is this a therapy question or a coaching question? Where can you go when something isn’t right about your job or your relationship, but you’re not sure what that is. You feel stuck, you’re experiencing all kinds of cognitive dissonance, you want something different and aren’t sure how to achieve it.

Where can you go when you want to think clearly and take action? Where do you go when:

  • Change is needed and you don’t know where to start.
  • You’ve tapped out your friends and family and want to talk with an impartial third party who can help you bounce ideas around and think things through.
  • You want an accountability partner to support you as you make a big change.
  • You want to level-up your game.
  • You and your partner are making big changes and you are too busy to support one another; you need a third party to support you each independently, and support your couple-ness as well

These are needs, real needs. And this is where a life coach fits in.

As a coach, I ask you  the right questions so that you can come to their own solutions. I’m not a consultant, I’m not going to analyze you and tell you what you need to do (despite clients asking me to do this!). I’m going to help you figure it out for yourself.

And when you figure it out for yourself, when you own the thought process, you are more likely to take action. Insight, action, change. That’s my process. I help you have insight by asking the right questions. Based on your insight you are more likely to take action, which leads to more insights -- which leads to more action. This insight/action cycle leads to the inevitable change you seek.

life coaching workshop with Allison Task
I'll ask questions and you do the thinking. I capture your insights on this white board wall.

Are You The Right Coaching Client For Me?

I don’t have a specific niche like “new moms” or “middle managers”. I coach people through transition. That can be someone graduating from college, having a baby at 42, or preparing to retire at 50.

The one thing my clients all have in common is that they zag when others zig. They do not take the well-trodden path. My clients want more out of their life; they don’t accept comments like, “Well, that’s why it’s called work; you’re not supposed to like it!”. My clients want to turn off the highway of expectations and onto the back country roads of their own design.

My clients are intentional about the life choices they make. And to make those big pivots with ease, grace and humor, they choose a partner who can support them down that zaggy path.

Maybe you want to leave your corporate job and teach. Maybe you want to leave teaching and be a learning and development executive. Maybe you want to design submarines for the military; maybe you want to stop being a surgeon and work in sustainable horticulture. Maybe you want to leave college, fly to New Zealand, and learn how to run ropes courses. Maybe you want to stop being a corporate lawyer and run NJ 11th for Change. Maybe you want to travel around the world as a sought after writer, living in a new country every month. (I’m not making this up; these are actual examples!)

Sounds good to me. Let’s figure out how to do that.

My clients live lives of their own design. And I help them create the vision and execute the plan.

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 How Much Does Coaching Cost?

Here’s how much my coaching programs cost. (My coaching isn’t cheap.)

I charge a premium price because I limit my coaching to 20 clients at a time. When the slots are filled, I have a wait list. I limit my practice so that I can give the highest levels of the support to my current clients while having some availability to work with coaching alumni (who often come back for a single session “tune up” from time to time).

In fact, after I recognized that the expense of coaching made my coaching prohibitive for some clients, I wrote my DIY coaching guide, Personal (R)evolution.

There are plenty of coaches who will give away free introductory sessions and offer lower priced coaching than I do. If you are looking for less expensive coaching, I recommend noomii.com as a resource to find a coach who better meets your needs.

I’ve been coaching for fifteen years. I’ve helped thousands of people do that thing they’ve always wanted to do. But don’t take it from me; read my Google reviews.

When you do the math and figure out how much I charge per hour, it does seem a little bonkers, doesn’t it? Because we use the therapist or lawyer pay-by-the-hour model, it appears that I’m at the highest end of luxury services.

I’d encourage you to consider a different model. You’re not paying for my hours, you’re investing in a partner that will help you change your life, and enjoy the change process. (I am really good at that.)

Look at the goal you have and consider the investment in that light. Is it worth spending $1600 to start your new job on the right foot? Is it worth $2700 to have a partner to help you find a new job in 6 months? Consider how much you’ve invested in your education, in your vacations, in your wardrobe and home, and consider this investment using the same metrics.

You’re investing in a coach to work with you for a finite period of time to change the way you think, inspire you to take action, and make change happen.

You’re hiring me to support you as you change your life so that you can get on with living. We’re not doing this for ten years, we’re not even doing this for one year. It’s a surgical strike, baby, let’s get this done.

And unlike other by-the-hour practitioners, I don't rush you out the door at the 50 minute mark; our in-session conversations take a full hour. Prior to the session you’ll send me an update and an agenda, and I’ll have read it so that we start our session in motion. There’s no 20 minute ramp up while you update me about your week; I’ve already been updated, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Don’t count my hours, look at your life: How much is this change worth to you?

Life Coaching: A Final Word

You don’t need a coach. Let’s face it, coaching is a luxury. That said, you might be in a situation where you’ve been stagnant and coaching no longer feels like a luxury, it’s a necessity. Like when a vacation feels like a necessity -- you need to recharge. Coaching is an investment in you, your life today, and your future.

I am not going to light incense and talk about manifesting your reality. I am going to help you clarify what you want and pursue it. There’s a lot of mental blocks we’ll get through -- some you’re aware of and some you’re not. I’ll help you address them.

You’re hiring me for a finite period of time to help you move from here to there. During that time, you’ll achieve your goal, develop new skills and have a good time doing it. I’m a transition expert; the more significant and meaningful the better. You’d hire a guide to help you climb an actual mountain; I’ll help you climb (or blast through) this mental mountain.

Let’s do this. I look forward to supporting you through this important change.

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“Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

– Yoda

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