Many people don't believe in the adage, "Do what you love and the money will follow," and, consequently, they spend years in unfulfilling jobs. They know, deep inside, that there is more to life (and to work) than what they’re currently doing, but they don’t believe that they can actually make a living doing something they REALLY love to do.

The fact is, you CAN succeed at almost anything - IF you are willing to devote enough energy and attention to it. It’s not that doing what you love guarantees success; rather, it's that true success will almost certainly require doing what you love. The real questions, to ask, then, are:

“How can I be sure I will have enough passion and energy to succeed and really make a difference?”


“Will this new path support the life I really want to be living, and help me make the difference I want to make in the world?”

The answers to these questions lie in constructing your coaching career so that it fully serves who you are. It needs to provide the right balance of fun, freedom, and financial reward. In fact, balancing those aspects of your coaching career is the key to making a difference, while making a living!

At this point you may be wondering: “How can I be certain, in advance of undertaking something new, that I will really ‘love it enough’ to generate the energy to succeed?" That’s a good question. Will you have enough "passion" to do the work? To answer it, let’s first set aside all the romance language. Another way to translate "loving what you do" is to ensure that what you are doing aligns with your core values, and supports who you are as a person.

It should be something you enjoy… that you feel comfortable doing… that is a natural expression of who you are. It’s something that you look forward to every day… that you would continue doing, in some form, even if you were not being paid.

Anything can be fun and exciting when it’s new, but then the enthusiasm fades because your heart is not in it. Eventually, it may even grow to feel like drudgery. How often have you seen that happen to someone? It’s pretty difficult to succeed in such a state of mind.

The key is to create a path that keeps you engaged, while, at the same time, allowing you to contribute to the world around you on a meaningful level. You want to know that you make a lasting impact on your clients.

Making a lasting impact is where iPEC coaches stand out from others, by their use of the Core Energy Coaching™ Process. Any decent coach can help a client strive toward their stated goals and objectives through task accountability and responding to external challenges.

In contrast, the Core Energy Coaching™ Process allows you to help a client become aware of their internal world, i.e., their driving motivations and self-limiting factors. You then lead them in making permanent and profound shifts in the way they approach their challenges, their goals, and their world. The effect you have on your client continues long after the coaching engagement ends.

On the surface, this sense of contribution is why professional coaching can be quite appealing. It feels pretty good when you are helping people figure out how to move forward and regain a sense of hope about their future. You are clearly making a difference when you help others improve their lives, careers, and businesses in a meaningful way.

Remember, though, that those results are based on what your coaching clients want to achieve. Their goals determine the focus of what gets improved or changed. So, before you dive into coaching, ask yourself: What kind of difference do I really want to make? That’s not a rhetorical question. It goes to the heart of aligning with your core values, and THAT is vital to the ultimate success of your coaching practice.

Who Do You Want to “Be?”
Alignment with your core values is a derivative of iPEC’s Law of Being - something that will be at the forefront of helping your clients initiate positive change in their lives. The Law of Being states that who you are “being” determines your thoughts, your emotions, your actions, and your results. These ultimately pave the way for new expressions of who you will be in the future - and the cycle continues.

So, will you enjoy “being” a coach? Will it be fun and fulfilling? One way to know is to ask yourself this question: What would it feel like to be coaching others in a specific area that is highly aligned with my values and interests? Imagine spending your days engaged in rich conversations with clients about the specific areas of their lives you are most passionate and where you would like to make the most significant difference.

Could that alignment with your core values be the source of energy and enthusiasm you will need to succeed? Most highly successful coaches use this approach of pursuing their interests to guide their upward progress. Not only do they work in the area they most enjoy, they engage with clients who share that interest. As a result, clients value their expertise and guidance all the more. They are truly appreciated.

Your Aptitude is not Your Passion:
Compare this sense of fulfillment to the huge dilemma that many people face: Knowing that their passion lies outside of their career. The only thing worse than having this realization is the inability to find a way to unite passion with skill set. There is a very good reason this happens to so many people: They mistake their aptitude in a field for being passionate about it.

In our society, particularly in school, we are encouraged to pursue a career in which we are skilled. We then get training or education on the subject, and go about receiving positive feedback for our accomplishments in that arena. If we’re not careful, we mistake that positive feedback as reinforcement that we are living out our passion. As a result, too many people spend their adult lives on a path that was set when they took an aptitude test as a teenager. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s often true.

Too many people spend their adult lives on a path that was set when they took an aptitude test as a teenager. Who has the same interest at age 30 or 40 or 50 that they had at 15? Is it any wonder, then, that so many find themselves in careers that are more focused on making a living than on living a life of contribution? Then, as they slowly become disenchanted with a livelihood divorced from their interests, they have a sudden realization: Just because I'm good at something, doesn’t mean I have to do it until I die.
And that’s when they start to notice all sorts of meaningful things they could be doing, which would better align with their passion and interests.

Aligning Your Passion with Your Practice:
At iPEC, you'll find that we're nearly obsessed with your interests. It's part of our formula for helping our graduates succeed as masterful and successful coaches. We encourage enrolled coaches to pursue an area of concentration or niche during their training. And, we spend a good deal of time helping each student fully understand these nine “majors,” and which one will most align with their values and interests to support who they want to be in their life.
These include:
1. Life Coaching
2. Health and Wellness Coaching
3. Corporate Coaching
4. Professionals Coaching
5. Executive Coaching
6. Sales Coaching
7. Relationship Coaching
8. Transition Coaching
9. Small Business Coaching

The Foundation of Your Successful Practice:
Selecting a “major” allows you to tailor your coursework to fully connect with your passion. Your coach training becomes more interesting to you as you begin to make mental connections between what is being presented and how you envision applying it in your coaching practice and in your own life.

Your major helps to support your area of expertise. That means practicing specific coaching scenarios within your specialty group, and developing strong professional relationships before you even graduate. This also lets you fine tune your skills through access to an audio library for continued learning within your specialty.

The best way to become well-recognized and develop a growing referral base in the coaching profession is to become known for your expertise. It becomes less about “Who you know” and more about “Who knows you” and “What are you known for.” What you are known for will largely be an expression of your passion, not just your aptitude. Our coach training is unique in that it teaches you how to weave the two together.

Over 3,500 iPEC graduates can attest to the difference it makes when your training helps you understand where your heart lies, and then helps you follow it. It is less about learning a new aptitude and more about developing flexible skills that will support your passion and interests. As you develop new interests, you can easily incorporate them into your practice and into who you are “being.” Tell me, what other career offers that kind of flexibility?

By understanding and attuning to the Law of Being in your own life and career, you are also serving as a real-life model for your clients. That’s a big part of making a difference!

Now you are beginning to realize that coaching can actually provide the perennial interest and enthusiasm you will need to achieve success. You see how selecting an area of specialty helps you stay engaged, enjoy your efforts more, and become better known by others. Next, you probably want to know, “Can coaching really produce the income and lifestyle I want?”

You understand the part about fun. What about freedom and financial rewards? How is this any different from other professions? And, is it a sustainable, long-term business? Let’s look at the lifestyle component first, and then, the financial realities of coaching.

Freedom and Flexibility of Lifestyle:
One of the hallmarks of coaching as a profession is the variety of ways in which you can work with clients, and the fact that you set your own schedule.

• Coaching by phone not only opens up the world as your potential client base, it provides flexibility to both you and your client. A client can participate from their home, office, or hotel room. And you? Home office, beach resort, or cabin in the woods. Once you get accustomed to the fact that you really can work from anywhere, asking the boss for time off to travel will quickly become a fading memory.

• Coaching in person, one-on-one, gives you the opportunity to interact face-to-face with clients. Instead of always staying in your office, it provides the opportunity for you to experience a change of scenery whenever you want to arrange it. While some may think it limits them, geographically, other successful coaches understand that it allows them to travel, more frequently, on business. Whenever they plan to visit a city in which one of their clients lives or works, they make sure it involves business.

• Group Coaching can be an opportunity to work with functional teams within a company, or deliver group workshops that you organize and make publicly available. It’s a great way to leverage your time, have a bigger impact in the world, and increase your visibility.
You are now realizing what sets coaching apart from most professions. You see that it provides the ultimate flexibility and freedom - not just in the hours you work, but from where you choose to work.

In fact, when you remove the time and location constraints of a normal career, and then realize you are working in alignment with your passion, purpose, and values – you'll find that you can’t really compare your new working arrangements to working in any typical environment. We think the word “incomparable” truly fits the coaching profession. But what about your income needs?

The Financial Realities of Coaching:
Coaching, as a profession, is gaining more recognition. With that visibility comes greater demand AND the willingness of clients to pay well for your services. Plus, the long-term view looks very promising. According to the Sherpa, 2008 study, experienced life coaches annually average $77,000, while business and executive coaches earn, roughly, $134,000. And, according to the 2007 ICF/PriceWaterhouse study, part-time coaches make about $28,000 per year. How will I find enough clients to make that kind of money? This is the biggest worry for those thinking of becoming a coach. No matter where you do your coach training, what good is that training if you can't find any clients to actually coach?

Learning to coach and learning to market yourself are two very different skill sets. Your interest in becoming a coach may be intertwined with your desire to work for yourself. You are not only training to become a coach, you are training to become an entrepreneur! Over 85% of iPEC students have paying clients BEFORE they graduate.
This is another area where iPEC training really stands out. It integrates an extensive business development program within its core coach training so that students become EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT talking about coaching and their services, culminating in masterful coach graduates with successful businesses. Highlights of iPEC's program include:
• Business Development Teleclasses
• One-on-One Business Development Mentor
• Quick Start Business Program

Is it effective? Over 85% of iPEC students have paying clients BEFORE they graduate. Why? Because iPEC's curriculum focuses a substantial portion of time on each student, building his/her own coaching practice through business development, brand messaging, and marketing. And, the support doesn’t end when you graduate. iPEC’s Coach Community supports you through continuing education, networking, and personal support – throughout your entire coaching career.

Make Your Difference. Make Your Life. You now have a vision of the ways in which you will make a substantial difference as a coach. You understand that aligning with your interests better serves the world, while also satisfying your own desires for fun, freedom, and financial well being.

It is becoming clear that there actually may be a way to combine what you do with what you love. Best of all, you can use that combination to help others love what they do and do what they love.

You are beginning to have a realistic image of yourself laying the foundation for a thriving coaching practice. And, you can see the sustainability of this well thought-out vision: It can hold your long-term interest and meet the growing demand in the marketplace.

The desire to become a coach is now growing from a thought into a strategy, which you can examine and support. You can now begin to explore the methods for making this an actual part of your life.

There is only one final aspect to consider. There are people out there that only YOU can coach. How long will you keep them waiting?

Given your areas of interest, your background, life experience, and individual way of “being,” you will have a unique approach to coaching – it won’t be long before you “make it your own” as part of your life. All good coaches do. As a result, there are people in the world that will feel a natural fit with you. Perhaps they may only connect with you as a coach, and you would recognize them as your ideal clients.

Ready to Learn More?
Discover exactly what you need to know about training and certification - from those who set the standards for professional excellence in the industry. Go to and read the free downloadable report, "The 9 Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Coach Training School for You." It explains standards for certification and training methodologies, plus, important differences in coaching philosophies to help you select the model that is best for your needs.

Author's Bio: 

D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP, is President & CEO of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), Shrewsbury, NJ, where he oversees all aspects of the Institute, including corporate operations, strategic business development, marketing, admissions and sales, joint ventures, and strategic alliances.

Luke jumped into the entrepreneurial world right out of college, landing a job in a small, yet highly successful consumer and health-care advertising agency, Koenig & Associates, working directly for the Founder and CEO. He was quickly promoted from Marketing Coordinator to Production Manager, and later, to Senior Account Executive – all within his first year. After two years as the Marketing Communications Manager for a niche IT firm, VISTA International, Luke left the field to join his family’s thriving business brokerage firm.

Luke worked very closely with entrepreneurs looking to sell their businesses, learning about the significant business and life transitions into which they were entering, and helping them devise strategies to create the value in their businesses that they were seeking. Though oftentimes they were more than twice his age, Luke was able to empower them to chart their course, while raising their own confidence in what they could achieve.

Seizing opportunity and a market need, Luke went on to found LINC Performance Group, a marketing and management consultancy, working with entrepreneurs – the same group he’d already been serving – as these were the consistently vibrant, energetic, motivated, and highly insightful individuals that inspired him.

It was during this time, at the end of 2004, that Luke met Bruce D Schneider, Founder and Chairman of iPEC. Luke enrolled in iPEC’s accredited coach training program and dove in like a meteor, and was what founder Bruce D Schneider calls, “an overnight success.” Schneider first hired him as a business consultant, and then quickly recruited him for the position of IPEC’s Vice President in charge of marketing and operations, recognizing that the young man was a rare find. Luke left his own business and joined iPEC full-time, drawn to coaching and Schneider’s work on Energy Leadership – a new coaching model and human behavioral construct that held many significant revelations for Luke.

In addition to his work with iPEC, Luke serves as a public speaker on a number of topics related to the power of coaching, Energy Leadership, small business and entrepreneurial success, and business development.