Thursday, February 16, 2012

Too Young to Coach?

There's a woman I know. She's in her 60s, but her whole life is made up of short-sighted choices. Her finances are a huge mess; her savings are non-existent as she makes bad move after bad move. 

After trying a few "get rich quick" schemes that didn't pan out, she went for life coach training.  

Say what?

The most she can do, I thought, would be to tell people, "Do the exact opposite of me."   

The NYTimes had an article called "Should a Life Coach Have a Life First?," listing quite a few successful life coaches who are incredibly young. One of them mentioned is Chanie Messinger, a girl from Borough Park!
Last February, Chanie Messinger, 20, a psychology major at Brooklyn College, decided to augment her workload by enrolling in an online Torah-based professional life coach degree program she discovered while flipping through The Jewish Press on the bus ride home to Borough Park, where she lives with her mother. She has since built a base of 10 clients, including a 48-year-old woman who, until recently, was living in denial of the fact that she has diabetes.
“It was a very difficult breakthrough for her, she was crying,” Ms. Messinger, who charges from $25 to $75 an hour, recalled of a recent session with the client. “I just made her aware of more options, like maybe you can try Splenda.”
Ms. Messinger said she had recently completed the 80 hours of live coaching required by the Refuah Institute, which is based in Israel, with an office in Brooklyn. She has also invested in a profile on (meant to conjure “new me”), a centralized online coach directory where coaches pay as little as $19 to advertise their services, in the hope that potential clients find their bios, fees and picture most suitable to their own needs.
Isn't that awesome? She's only 20! And she's got great style. Her photo is on page 2 of the article. 

Considering how age is definitely not a factor in successful life coaches, it is very possible that there are enough wise youngsters who can give valuable advice to others.

I had met a young girl who was in college for social work. "I want to help people!" she gushed, eyes shining. From what I have learned from social workers is that they deal with a lot of people who don't necessarily want to help themselves, leaving a social worker in a frustrating position. 

But life coaches are approached by people who want help. They go to someone and say, "I feel as though I need to make better choices." They are looking for another perspective.

Vive la différence.


Anonymous said...

I think this comment from the NYT article sums it up nicely:

"If you are over 50 and paying for advice or "coaching" or whatever you want to call it from a 25 or 30 year old, your main problem is that you are an idiot."

tesyaa said...

Ms. Messinger commented on another blog that she does not charge her clients. That does not mean her advice is good or bad, but at least it's something.

Princess Lea said...

Anonymous: Even if an idiot decides they need to make better choices, that is a level. I think I would prefer Chanie then this woman who does not learn from her mistakes.

Tesyaa: She can chalk it up to certification hours. She is in college for psychology, and it's never to early to get hands on experience.

ZP said...

I would love to be a life coach. I don't think age means anything. Because they are not telling you how they lived their life. They are helping YOU figure out how YOU should live YOUR life. Similarly, I believe psychologists do not tell you what to do. They are merely mirrors that help you look inside.

I think I would make a great life coach, regardless of my age. I am not planning to go on that "officially" but perhaps iy"H one day.

Princess Lea said...

Now that you know that young life coaches are in, you should have no problem getting clients! :)