How to hire a coach (the smart way)

Working with a coach can be an incredibly rewarding experience, though not all coaches (and coaching relationships) are created equal. Use this mini-guide to help you find the best resource for you and your current goals. Like most things in life, you will get out what you put in!


Before you start talking to coaches, decide what kind of coach you want and what types of goals you want to coach toward.

  1. Consider what you want to hire a coach for (where do you want to grow?). Consider money, mindset, productivity/performance, health, and relationships.
  2. Write down a list of your most urgent goals (or pain points) in your life right now.
  3. Write down what outcomes you would be thrilled with as a result of working with a coach.
  4. Determine your budget (a healthy budget for growth/learning/personal development is about 10% of your annual income).

Here are some questions to help you dive deeper and get clear on what would make this investment (both time and money) worthwhile for you.

  1. What specific goals or outcomes do you hope to achieve through coaching?
  2. What are the biggest challenges or obstacles you are currently facing in your role?
  3. What do you see as your biggest strengths and areas for improvement as a leader?
  4. What do you believe is holding you back from reaching your full potential in your role?
  5. What are the most important priorities for you and your organization currently?


Since anyone can call themselves a life coach, it’s important to do your research and get references for anyone you consider hiring. Personal introductions are likely your best bet to start off. Regardless of where you start, it’s important to speak to a few coaches to get a sense of style, expertise, and compatibility.

  1. Ask your network for recommendations (who do they know, who have they worked with, what results did they create together).
  2. For coaching on a budget, try
  3. Search Instagram, LinkedIn, and google.
  4. Search ICF’s database of coaches:

Questions to ask the coach:

Once you connect with a coach, here are several questions to ask to make sure they are the best resource for your current goals.

  1. What kind of clients do you most enjoy working with and what results do you typically create together?
  2. These are my challenges…are you familiar with them?
  3. What training have you received, and what coaching experience do you have?
  4. Do you have a coach now? Who have you coached with previously?
  5. What does coaching with you look like? (format, schedule, costs)
  6. Do you have a current/past client I can speak with?

Finally, here’s a video to watch on how to get the most out of your coaching experience!

Good luck!