What Does a Life Coach Do?

by Kristie Santana

If you’re thinking of becoming a life coach, you probably want to know exactly what coaches do. What does a coach provide to his or her clients and what does the typical day of a life coach look like?

In today’s post, we’ll be answering both of those questions and explaining exactly what a life coach does.

Life coaches work with their clients to help them achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and make changes or shifts in their lives — both transformative and modest changes alike. The coach works with the client as a partner, knowing that the client has the answers to create the changes they seek. The role of a life coach isn’t to give advice or “tell the client what to do,” but instead to help the client uncover or reconnect with their strongest values and motivations, which will then help the client achieve the goals they set out to complete.

A life coach is almost like a sculptor who can look at you and see the potential for you to achieve all that you desire. Through specific strategies and skills, the coach helps you define yourself and create the life you envision. Coaches help you focus, provide direction, challenge you, support you, motivate you and celebrate with you. Life coaches help you create a plan, detail action steps and hold you accountable for following through. They use skills that include observing, listening deeply, asking empowering questions, challenging, and motivating.

Unlike therapists and counselors, coaches do not delve into the client’s past (at least, not for long) or try to uncover any deep-seated psychological issues that might be impeding the client’s current progress. Life coaching is based on the principle that the client has the intrinsic ability to determine and achieve their goals. Everything is based on the present and what you want to achieve moving forward.

There are many different types of coaches including:

  • General Life Coaches
  • Life Balance Coaches
  • Health Coaches
  • Small Business Coaches
  • Executive Coaches
  • Personal Finance Coaches
  • Relationship Coaches

Coaches work with all types of clients from people who are full of momentum and want to take life to the next level to people who are stuck and need a coach to nudge them in the right direction. So how does this happen? Where and how do coaches meet with clients? Coaches meet with their clients in different ways, depending on their location and the type of client they are meeting. Let’s look at how coaches meet with their clients and then we will look at how a day in the life of a coach could look.

Virtual Coaching

Even prior to COVID-19, coaches have been at the forefront of the remote meeting trend, and 2020 has only served to make remote work even more popular. With the current variety of virtual options (Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc), remote coaching provides the same potential for real human connection and transformative change with the added convenience of meeting from home. This is also a useful tool if you normally coach face to face, but either the client or coach is traveling and needs to do the session from a remote location.

Face to Face Coaching

In some cases, life coaches meet with their clients face to face. This can be based on the preference of the coach or the client or the type of coaching being delivered. For example, executive coaching is often delivered face to face at the workplace of the client. This isn’t always the case, but most often, work performed for businesses is done face to face. Some people just prefer a face to face meeting. One way to help clients overcome this if you are local is to offer your first session face to face and following sessions remotely. Group coaching is typically done face to face based on the nature of the sessions and topics, but even group coaching can be accomplished remotely.

Coaching By Phone

When the situation calls for it — e.g. a poor internet connection, client preference, an older or less tech-savvy client — coaching over the phone is still a possibility. Coaching by telephone has many benefits and has been proven effective by life coaches for decades. Telephone coaching allows coaches to work with clients in any location of the globe, as long as the time zones are manageable by the coach and client. The benefit to clients over using services like Skype or Zoom is that the conversation is usually uninterrupted by connection issues or technical difficulties.

A Day in the Life

Like any business, a day in the life of the business owner can vary widely. The following two examples are based on a life coach who coaches individuals and an executive coach who targets large companies. Consider the average day of both coaches.

Gayle, Certified Life Coach

6:00 am: Gayle wakes up, checks his email and plans his day. He has two new potential clients that learned about him from his website. He emails them back to schedule free sample sessions that he offers to help people know what coaching is all about.

7:00 am: Gayle goes to the gym, showers and has breakfast with a fellow coach he met at a local coach federation meeting.

9:30 am: Gayle has four client appointments back to back. He allows 30 minutes between each to recap the previous session and prepare for the next.

1:30 pm: Gayle has lunch and checks his social media accounts and emails. He makes a few posts and comments and responds to potential clients.

3:30 pm: Gayle has a free sample session with a potential client he met at the gym last week. She signs on for coaching to begin next week. Gayle prepares and sends out her new client package and forms.

5:00 pm: Gayle recaps the day and plans for tomorrow.

7:00 pm: Gayle attends a local meet and greet for young entrepreneurs. Afterward, he makes a list of people to follow up with the next day.

Pat, Executive Coach

7:00 am: Pat gets her day started by meeting with local professionals at a coffee shop near her house. She has gained several clients from this because many attendees are executives in companies in the area.

8:00 am: Pat puts together a proposal for a company she has been trying to work with for several months. Her proposal details her customized leadership program and how she can impact the mid-level managers at the firm she is targeting.

10:00 am: Pat has face to face coaching sessions with the sales team at one of her client companies, an office supply company. She meets with four sales people for 45-60 minutes each. She has a six month contract with the company with the goal of helping the sales people achieve higher sales using new techniques the company has recently implemented. She is also able to have lunch with her key contact at the company, ensuring that she is continuing to build the relationship and provide customer service.

4:00 pm: Pat holds a webinar for the personal banking team at a local bank. The bank hired her to provide a series of six webinars on enhanced customer service and communication strategies the team can use with customers.

5:00 pm: Pat follows up with leads, checks email and prepares for the next day.


As you can tell by now, no two coaches will follow the exact same formula, and each practice looks, sounds, and feels different from any other. In short, a coaching practice is a reflection of the coach, and the approach each coach uses often differs significantly from one coach to the next.

In the end, this is exactly why becoming a coach can be so much fun. You get to craft your business around what matters to you, at a pace that works for you, and using methods and techniques that make sense to you. Few other careers offer this degree of flexibility (both personally and professionally), and you’ll grow to love this creative freedom as you become a seasoned coach, helping your clients achieve the life they’ve dreamed of.

Previous post:

Next post: