Do Only Business Coaches Make Money?

No. The industry is not just coaches selling coaching to coaches. We promise!

So you are thinking about becoming a coach.

And you do a little research.

Maybe join some social media groups.

Google a little. Watch a TikTok or two.

And very quickly you notice something…

…the only people who seem to be selling coaching are the ones selling coaching *to* coaches.

“Do only business coaches make money?” is now the primary thought on your mind. If that’s the case, what future is there for you?

This is obviously a bummer of epic proportions.

But is it true?


(Thank our lord of all things Beyonce!)

Business coaches are *not* the only ones making money.

So let’s talk about why it’s all you are seeing.

And I’ll share some real data on the state of the overall industry and just who IS making money.

Here’s why it seems like the whole world is selling business coaching to coaches…

There are actually a few reasons for this, but the big ones are:

  1. When you start exploring coaching, you search. And the lords of Google and the social internet track your history and start serving you ads and organic content related to your searches. You know who runs a LOT of ads to new coaches searching on new coach topics? Much of which looks like native content? Yep. Business coaches! So your world instantly gets taken over by ads and organic content related to those ads, and it starts to feel like everyone is a business coach.
  2. You may join free groups of coaches to learn and ask questions, which are often populated by newbies. You know who hangs out in groups of coaches like this? Yep. Business coaches! And they are loud and engaged, because newer coaches are their audience. So you’ll see their posts a lot as they participate and troll for clients. You know who doesn’t hang out in those groups a lot? Successful coaches in other niches. They are past all of the basic beginning questions, and have clients to coach! So they don’t have time to drop in and chat about how awesome they are, or answer a bunch of beginning questions about how to get clients.
  3. You know who is really great at marketing and selling because they have a background in that type of work? Business coaches! That’s yet another reason why their content can feel so prominent.

These few things can overwhelm your filters and skew your perspective.

Even though it’s NOT true, it begins to feel like the whole world is only populated by coaches selling coaching to other coaches.

But it really is a based on your search history and your questions.

If you were searching and asking questions related to date coaching or health coaching or career coaching instead of more newbie coach questions (not “How to be a date coach?” because this is a business question, but “what kind of headline should I write as a 50 year old woman in my dating profile?” or even “best date coaches for women over 40), you’d start to see a whole world of successful coaches out there. Promise! Give it a try! (You’ll still see some business coach ads because *life,* but they will be less prominent).

Now let’s talk about the life coach industry. Are people making money?


How do I say this with confidence?

I look at the data – and I use 4 types of data:

  1. Data from Data Scientists
  2. Data from Coaching Schools
  3. Anecdotal data from a sample size of thousands
  4. My own personal experience

Okay, let’s start with the data from Data Scientists and people who track the growth of the industry in the US market.

“Life coaching” which encompasses so many different niches – but crucially NOT the niche of business coaching – is a growing industry worth billions of dollars. It’s been growing steadily for years, averaging over 5% growth in the last five years.

This means people are BUYING coaching. It wouldn’t be growing if people weren’t.

Check out the data yourself here.

Next up, we go to the the life coach schools.

These schools serve both the US market as well as the global market, and they also continue to experience growth.

That means that more people are interested in the skill of coaching, as well as in becoming coaches.

You might say: “So what? That just means more coaches, not more clients.”

I disagree.

I think schools are the tip of spear. More people enrolling in learning coaching skills means that coaching is becoming more mainstream.

And that also means more people want coaching.

Want some facts to back this up? Listen to three prominent schools talk about the future of life coaching here.

Next, let’s talk about anecdotal data from a sample size of thousands.

That’s this Coach Pony community, where we’ve worked with literally thousands of students. And very few of them are interested in becoming business coaches.

Our students are successful in a wide variety of niches, from retirement coaching, to financial coaching, to career coaching, to date coaching, to spiritual coaching, to book coaching! We’ve got an incredible diversity of clients having success.

Here’s a few samples from our BARB students in different niches – leadership coaching to book coaching – just to give you an idea:

And finally, there is my own personal experience.

I started my career coaching business, The Revolutionary Club, over 12 years ago.

I still operate it today.

And I spent 5 years there full-time coaching, supporting myself as a coach, winning awards from places like Forbes, before I ever thought about helping other coaches.

I did private coaching, group coaching, retreats, and even wrote a book! So I did not grow up selling coaching to coaches. No ma’am!

I started Coach Pony to be a safe space for coaches to learn about the business of coaching, because I was tired of all of the sleaze and I didn’t have time for every coach who contacted me to pick my brain. So, voila! Here we are today.

Now let’s talk about who is really making money as a coach

More coaches than you think.

Not everyone, not every single coach.

Obviously there are plenty of coaches who hang out their shingle and don’t make any money.

The coaches who are making money are these: Every coach in a niche that wants coaching help and is willing to pay for it, who has also spent time and effort learning how to get clients by building the 5 core business systems (see them here).

So: Health Coaches. Date Coaches. Divorce Coaches. Career Coaches. Executive Coaches. Empty-Nest Coaches. Parenting Coaches.

You get the idea!

Here’s a link to a handy blog all about how to choose a profitable niche that works for you.

And here’s some free training on how to find clients.

Because without paying clients, you don’t have a business.

Now that we’ve solved this issue, what’s your next step?

Now that we know it’s not just business coaches making money, you’ve probably got a few more questions.

My guess? The biggest question you are likely asking yourself is this one: “How do I find paying clients?” (!!!)

I understand. Before you dive into coaching, you want to make sure you can support yourself.

You are wise!

So, to help I have a free 14-minute class all about how to find paying clients. It’s painless, on demand, and maybe features some chocolate…so sign up and instantly start watching!

Go here for the client magic.