The Complete Guide to Gay Life Coaches
Life coaching is BIG business, to the tune of $2 billion.
But despite the industry’s exponential growth, not many people understand its purpose. For starters, there’s no regulatory agency overseeing the estimated 50,000 coaches out there. There’s no definitive way to know the services you’re being provided meet the industry standard. And there’s a bit of a stigma. Life coaching seems like something a lazy, privileged person needs to get moving. Why spend that money when all you need is a little initiative?
Well, there’s a lot more to life coaching than meets the eye. Accreditation is a non-issue because there are plenty of ways to judge the effectiveness of your coach. Plus, considering the unique issues that we gay men face, gay life coaches offer far more than a push in the right direction. They can change our future.
What Is Life Coaching?
Is life coaching like actual coaching? Is there a person cheering you on from the corner as you negotiate your salary? Do they feed lines into your ear to help you navigate a first date? Not exactly. But the teachings they provide can help you master these scenarios and many more.
Life coaching is about giving you the tools you need to succeed and take your personal and professional lives to the next level. While feedback from a boss or a lover could help you with this, their input isn’t always delivered in a helpful way.
Newsweek offered the perfect life coach description back in 1996. “Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend, coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals—career, personal or, most often, both.”
Essentially, your life coach becomes every person you’re missing in your life while helping you work toward everything you want. Seems like a worthwhile service. How does it work?
How Does Life Coaching Work?
Life Coach Hub offers a breakdown of the process.
First, your coach helps you clarify your goals. What do you want? To make six figures? To start your own business? To find the love of your life? You can’t move forward if you don’t know what you want.
Next, it’s time to get real. Your coach leads you through an honest assessment of where you are in relation to those goals. Then together, you’ll review the different options at your disposal to start working toward your targets. You both create an action plan. And your life coach motivates you to achieve, tracking your progress (and celebrating your success) along the way.
What really stands out about a life coach’s approach is their relatability and understanding. Unlike your supervisor or your ex, a life coach can help instill accountability without sacrificing your motivation. They offer a level of expertise that’s trustworthy and effective. But, all the while, you’re excited to keep moving forward. In a sense, taking their advice is just like having them in the corner of the office while you play hardball with your boss. A life coach is the one-man support system you never knew you needed.
Who Needs a Life Coach?
Are you a perfect candidate for a life coach? Probably. Unless you’ve already achieved all your life goals. San Francisco-based coach Kenji Oshima described the wide range of his client base in a QuickBooks piece on life coaching.
“My clients include housewives, managers, administrators, and grad students. The individuals I partner with are ready for a change in their lives; they want to step into a life of choice and action that’s aligned with their goals and values,” he said.
People who need life coaches aren’t necessarily incapable of achieving success on their own. They just need help clearing the hurdles that keep tripping them up. They have a desire to do great things but they keep running into roadblocks. The life coach is that final piece of the puzzle—the unlock to a greater, more fulfilling life.
Why Choose Gay Life Coaches?
Think about it. Remember how comfortable you felt discussing gay sexual health with a gay or gay-friendly doctor. Talking about community-specific issues with someone who understands them is a rewarding experience. Why not have that same feeling with the person who’s helping you change the trajectory of your life?
Gay life coaches have a window into life as gay men. They have a thorough understanding of the obstacles we encounter in our careers and dating lives. Life coaching isn’t one size fits all.
Additionally, your life coach is someone with whom you’ll spend a great deal of time and divulge highly personal information. When you choose a gay life coach, you’ve already got a connection that can help you let down your guard.
Gay Life Coaches
If you want to find a gay-friendly doctor, you have a lot of resources. Spend a few minutes searching Yelp or ZocDoc and you’re all set. However, since there’s no central organization for gay life coaches, it’s difficult to know who’s out there and if they’re worth your time and money. A quick Google search might lead you to the Gay Coaches Alliance. But many of the coaches listed in this directory have dead websites or missing contact info. And there’s no review system or space for testimonials. Not a very helpful resource.
Luckily, we’ve culled together some of the best gay life coaches in the business. Some are specific to certain cities or regions while others work remote. Regardless of what you need or where you live, there’s a coach here for you.
Rick Clemons is one of those multi-hyphenate gurus—speaker, podcaster, author, and life coach. He knows the pains of hiding in the closet all too well and has built his platform around leading a BOLD life. Life uncloseted is the goal for his clients. If you’re looking for a way to embrace your sexuality and break free of societal restrictions, this is the coach for you.
Executive coach, wine educator, thoughtful gay man. Those sound like the kind of qualities that could make for a great coaching experience. Josh Hersh is currently part of Meetup’s Community Experience team. He’s taking his superior service skills to the world of executive coaching. His service is launching soon. Keep an eye on his Twitter account for updates.
When you first log onto Jordan Bach’s website, you’re greeted by his thousand-watt smile. And it seems that welcoming intro is indicative of the coaching he provides. From blog posts to YouTube videos, he demonstrates his value and shares his personal journey with you before you’ve even signed up. He specializes in private coaching and bedtime mantras.
Ray Hippolyte’s slogan is “out your inner awesome”. But his focus isn’t on your career—it’s on jumpstarting your love life. After years of his own unfulfilling single life, he learned that finding the one first requires you to be the one you seek. His coaching is all about attracting your soulmate by working on self-improvement.
Kris Verlé is one of the few coaches you’ll find with professional certifications. He studied with the UK’s Coaching Academy. He’s also an NLP practitioner with the International Neuro-Linguistic Programming Trainers Association (INLPTA). He previously worked as a political adviser and gay activist. To top it off, he offers remote coaching so you can take advantage of his services from anywhere in the world.
Paul Novello’s coaching service is called Life Solutions for Gay Men. As evidenced by the title, he takes a holistic approach to helping you lead your best life. He’s well versed in meditation, emotional freedom techniques, and progressive relaxation. He’s also the author of the book, Unshattered Dream—An Inspiration Guide to a Happy and Successful Life After a Difficult Childhood. He knows a thing or two about taking life up a notch.
Like Hippolyte, Paul Angelo’s focus is on improving your dating life. But his spin is incredibly timely. His approach? Ditch Grindr, Scruff, and all the other dating apps. It’s time to meet your Mr. Right IRL. Fill out a brief questionnaire to get started.