Why I Chose Certification

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I chose the path to coaching certification. I need goals in my own life. If I can’t walk the talk for myself, what good am I to others? That’s how my mind works. So I have committed to the certification path and learned so very much in the process.

Part of being a coach is being coached. Say that three times fast. Coaching is a profession, after all, with best practices, shared challenges, and diverse experience. It’s also a matter of practicing what you preach. Mentorship is the very foundation of coaching, and all teachers have teachers.

One of the inevitable discussions turns to “Certification: To Be or Not to Be”. One side holds that because coaching is an unregulated industry, certification isn’t necessary and if you are equipped to coach, you should get on with it. A piece of paper is no guarantee of success. The other side argues that certification is the only current means to show a standard in ethics, practice, and accountability.

Neither side is technically right or wrong. Like all things in coaching, the path is strictly up to the individual and any other position is hypocritical. I chose to become certified. I am a Certified Professional Coach. Because the decision was optional, and goes to the heart of my coaching attitude, I think it’s a story worth telling.

The certification question really resonated with me, as did the response of my coaching colleagues, because that question was exactly where I had been mentally for about a year. Certification really is a personal choice more than anything. It is NOT the magic key to open the door to the vault. Nor is it the deal killer if all the other stars align.

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My passion is business development. Nothing turns me on more than seeing someone grab on to “the American dream” and go for it. I’m happy to say that I made that happen for myself in various business ventures and I know the challenges.

I’m no spring chicken. I have a degree in business administration. My majors were accounting and marketing. I have lived and worked abroad. I have a huge range of experience in more industries than I can count. I have been a consultant, a mentor, a networker, a successful business owner, on and on.

But this past year, I got to the point where I wanted to do more in the way of helping others. I wanted to be “Coach K”. I wanted to get serious and committed to being the best I could be for the people who relied on my counsel. I also realized there was nothing wrong in monetizing my value.

During that time I attended a conference for entrepreneurs and one of the speakers made a comment that stuck with me. Her story was amazing and inspirational and her accomplishments were truly awesome. Despite all that she had gained through her experiences, including a successful coaching practice, she opted to become certified. Her comment was that she made this decision because she felt it would make her better able to serve her clients.

Better able to serve her clients. What did that mean, exactly? What did certification training offer that real world experience and common sense did not? Surely, there had to be something or her comment made zero sense.

This is where my own questions about certification started.

I did a massive amount of research, which wasn’t difficult as I’m a workshop-conference-seminar junkie. I had soul searching discussions with my husband/business-life partner. I am well able to hang out my shingle and call myself whatever I choose. I have supreme confidence in my ability to stoke someone’s fire for themselves and their dream.

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But…. I also know my own backyard. I know who calls themselves coaches, or consultants, or whatever they like. I also know that some of them are literally people who have not one single success of their own behind them. I refused to be lumped into that crowd.

I’ve always been someone else’s cheerleader, now I had to work on myself. The more I researched the actual certification training, the more I was learning to coach myself. The more I ingested, the stronger I became. The “aHA! so I AM on the right track in how I think” gave the training amazing value for me. Sometimes you just need to know you’re on the right track.

So I chose the path to certification. I need goals in my own life. If I can’t walk the talk for myself, what good am I to others? That’s how my mind works. So I have committed to the certification path as far as it will go. Truth told, it’s probably for me more than my clients, but I know now that am worth it.

To some people, they are only pieces of paper, but to me, they are a personal success.