Defining Success As A Life Coach On YOUR Terms (With Real World Examples)

Lumia co-founders John and Noelle discuss how to formulate your unique recipe for success, with five real-life examples of life coaches who’ve achieved it!

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring Lumia Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. Subscribe to get new episodes weekly!

What’s Your Recipe for Success?

When working as a coach, success looks and feels different for everyone. That’s partially because the field of coaching is only 35 years old, and so “what it means to be successful as a coach,” is an idea that is very much under construction!

There are so many amazing people in the coaching industry, working and living in a way that feels great to them. That includes defining what success means on new and radical terms. 

But the reality is that we SEE very few of them.

Pitfalls that new coaches easily fall into are the comparison game, confusion about what coaching actually is, and what a “typical” practice looks like. 

There’s a lack of visibility for the real work being done by coaches, versus the two coaching caricatures that are most recognizable in the marketplace:

  • the high powered “executive coach,” with decades of experience
  • the social media influencer “coach”

While both of these examples do exist in the world of coaching, they are not representative of successful coaches who form the middle ground.

What REAL Success Looks Like

To get a better sense of the diversity that’s really out there, let’s take a look at just a couple successful coaches who have gone through the Lumia program:

Charisse Williams

Charisse Williams - Atlanta. A former executive from the social justice and nonprofit sector, Charisse is an attorney and yoga instructor who launched a coaching practice focused on JOY. Last year, she published her first book: The Joy of Thriving While Black. Charisse facilitates workshops, offers keynotes, and works with clients 1:1.

Chris Clark

Chris Clark - Pacific Northwest. Another non-profit leader who jumped out of the matrix, Chris crafted a thriving business by combining all the things that light up her soul under one umbrella. Her practice today is a combination of 1:1 coaching (primarily around executive leadership, "getting unstuck," and major life transitions), spiritual mentorship, tarot reading, and freelance writing on topics related to leadership, coaching, and spirituality. 

Rena Martine - Los Angeles. This former prosecutor turned women’s intimacy coach launched a successful coaching program, Shameless, last year and has already helped more than 60 clients liberate themselves from sexual shame. She educates hundreds of women per month on platforms such as Peanut and Made Hot on topics pertaining to intimacy, sex, and relationships. She recently signed with a literary agent to secure her first book deal.

Brian Simpson

Brian Simpson -Canada. After almost 20 years in the high stakes Pharmaceutical Industry, Brian became a coach for men parlaying the experience of having a heart attack to reset and completely change the path of his own life. His work is centered around male vulnerability, love, compassion and healing old wounds. In 2020, Brian rounded his first year as a 100% self employed and profitable coach.

Lauren J

Lauren JSeneca Nation. Lauren's coaching centers indigenous practices, helping BIPOC who feel isolated in their identity to become confident, seen, and proud of who they are: at work and in life. 

As we highlight the work of these awesome coaches, what’s important to note is that these are people just like you. They aren’t household names, and don’t have millions of social media followers. Instead, they are living their lives and practicing as coaches successfully in areas that truly serve the soul of each individual coach.

What’s YOUR Definition?

In thinking about what success in this industry means for you, consider these 3 areas: 


What are you doing with your time on this planet?

  • Do you find ease in your days?
  • Does your work fill you with joy?
  • Do you like the way you live?  Are you happy with your mornings, noons, and nights?
  • Do you have space to pursue interests and relationships that fill your cup?


  • Does the way you relate to currency within your work and your relationships give you what you need to live, love, laugh, eat, and sleep well?

As you consider this one, don’t assume it’s necessarily about money. Your currency can also be defined in terms of relationships, experiences, time, energy, creativity, etc. It is possible to have a very rich life without lots of money - or with it. Both are valid, and it is a personal choice.


  • What is your legacy? Do you have one?
  • What about the world do you want to change?  
  • How can you help to create that change?

How will you express yourself? 

  • Content: podcasts, books, articles, videos
  • 1:1 coaching
  • Groups
  • Experiences

Take some time and consider the question “What does it mean to be a successful life coach” from a variety of angles. The answer isn’t solely based on whether you regularly hit “10k months.”

We challenge you to create a new definition, one that reflects your truth. What success looks like in your coaching practice will be every bit as unique as you are.

Ready to Become A Coach?

One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like a partner in the process, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

Lumia Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

[Free Guide] 6 Steps to Start Coaching Today

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