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76 Best Resources for Building Your Coaching or Consulting Business (Updated for 2017)

Building a coaching or consulting business is the 3rd of the 8 time-tested business model I mentioned in my free video course Blueprint To Build A Sustainable Business. If you are considering starting your own coaching business, it is important that you first evaluate whether a coaching business is right for you. Issues to consider are:

  • What kind of coach do you want to be? Life Coach, Leadership Coach, Health Coach, Ministry Coach, etc?

  • How would you differentiate yourself from other coaches?

  • Full time or part time?

  • Do you need to get any credential or training?

It's wise to figure out these issues before going all in. The following books, training courses, articles, tools, and resources will help you jump start and grow your coaching business.

Best Books on Building a Successful Coaching/Consulting Business

Successful coaches have two great skillsets: coaching skills and business skills. You need to sharpen both areas to build a thriving coaching or consulting business. The following books can help you strengthen both coaching and business skillsets.

By Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin

Show your clients what they cannot see. Say to your clients what no one else would dare to say. And you will have all the clients you ever desire.

Whether you are a new coach or you already have a six-figure coaching practice, The Prosperous Coach will show you how to:

  • Access a set of tools you can use to begin creating your own clients immediately

  • Sign clients you love while maintaining your integrity

  • Match your unique skills and talents with the clients you serve

  • Develop a system that works for you for referrals and new clients, time after time

  • Make bold, life-changing proposals

  • Move beyond the deep-seated beliefs that hold most coaches back from success for themselves and their clients

  • Overcome—forever—the two levels of fear that coaches face

  • Move from people-pleasing to powerful service

  • Be a world-class coach with highly committed clients

  • And so much more...

In my opinion, this is the best inspirational yet practical book ever written for aspiring coaches. A must read!


By Michael Bungay Stanier

Although mainly written for leaders, this is an essential book for all coaches and coaches to be.

Coaching is an essential skill for leaders. But for most busy, overworked managers, coaching employees is done badly, or not at all. They're just too busy, and it's too hard to change.

But what if managers could coach their people in 10 minutes or less?

In Michael Bungay Stanier's The Coaching Habit, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can work less hard and have more impact.

Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples' potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how---by saying less and asking more--you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.

  • Get straight to the point in any conversation with The Kickstart Question

  • Stay on track during any interaction with The AWE Question

  • Save hours of time for yourself with The Lazy Question, and hours of time for others with The Strategic Question

  • Get to the heart of any interpersonal or external challenge with The Focus Question and The Foundation Question

  • Finally, ensure others find your coaching as beneficial as you do with The Learning Question

A fresh, innovative take on the traditional how-to manual, the book combines insider information with research based in neuroscience and behavioral economics, together with interactive training tools to turn practical advice into practiced habits. Dynamic question-and-answer sections help identify old habits and kick-start new behavior, making sure you get the most out of all seven chapters. Witty and conversational, The Coaching Habit takes your work--and your workplace--from good to great.


By Tony Stoltzfus

The single most important skill in coaching is asking powerful questions. In this book, master coach trainer Tony Stoltzfus joins with 12 other professional coaches to present dozens of valuable asking tools, models and exercises, then illustrates these coaching strategies with over 1,000 examples of penetrating questions.

Covering the gamut from basic techniques like options and actions to advanced concepts such as challenge and reframing, Coaching Questions is a book that will find a home on any coach's short list of handy references.

The book includes:

1. Dozens of asking tools, models, and strategies.

2. The top ten asking mistakes coaches make, and how to correct each one.

3. Nearly 1,200 examples of powerful questions from real coaching situations.

4. Destiny discovery tools organized in a four-part life-purpose model .

5. Overviews of 15 popular coaching niches, with a tool and examples for each.

6. A schedule of training exercises to help you become a "Master of Asking".


By Michael Neill

In this fun, easy-to-read book, best-selling author and renowned success coach Michael Neill shares the secrets of transforming your life and the lives of the people you care about most—your family, friends, colleagues, and clients.

Inside, you will learn:

  • How to stop thinking like a victim

  • The secret to financial security in any economy

  • Proven techniques to produce dramatic changes in yourself and others

  • Simple ways to create lasting relationships

  • The key to lifelong happiness

  • Strategies for increasing productivity, energy, well-being . . . and more

Whether you want to powerfully impact the lives of the people around you or simply wish to create a deeper, more meaningful experience of being alive, this book is your essential guide to helping yourself and assisting others.


By Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth

With the first edition, the authors of Co-Active Coaching earned their place at the forefront of the coaching profession. Now, this fully revised third edition of their classic work extends the use of their pioneering Co-Active model - which emphasizes a partnership between client and coach - into leadership management throughout an organization. This new edition has been updates to include fresh coaching examples, the latest in coaching terminology and an expanded, web-based 'Coach's Toolkit'.

Used as the definitive resource in dozens of professional development programs, Co-Active Coaching teaches the transformative communication process that allows individuals from all levels of an organization - from students to teachers, and direct reports to managers - to build strong, collaborative relationships.


By Peter Block

This Third Edition to Peter Block's classic book Flawless Consulting addresses business changes and new challenges since the second edition was written ten years ago. It tackles the challenges next-generation consultants face, including more guidance on how to ask better questions, dealing with difficult clients, working in an increasingly virtual world, how to cope with complexities in international consulting, case studies, and guidelines on implementation. Also included are illustrative examples and exercises to help you cement the guides offered.


By Mitch Matthews and David Nadler

Become a Life Coach is packed with the 10 "critical questions" that we wish someone had asked us BEFORE we got started with our own coaching practices. As you answer these questions, you'll emerge with a clear picture of whether becoming a life coach is truly for you and if so... how to go about building the coaching practice you've always wanted. These questions will help you to avoid the pitfalls that stop most new coaches before they even get started!

On top of the 10 "critical questions," don't miss out on the 5 Secret Question Asking Strategies that we also include in the book. These powerful concepts are proven to help you be more effective in EVERY conversation... whether you're coaching a client, helping a friend or talking with a teenager.

You will also get two bonuses with this book:

(Bonus #1) $297 in Free, Video Based Life Coach Training

When you purchase a copy of Become a Life Coach, you'll be eligible to receive "The Interview" training - our strategic visioning tool for life coaches that you can use to:

• Get Clear on Your Own Dreams and Goals

• Put a Specific Plan in Place to Achieve Them

• Take Action to Get Yourself There

• Help Your Clients Follow the Same Process!

(Bonus #2) Free Audiobook and Action Guide

When you purchase your copy, get access to the free audiobook and action guide journal!


By Michael K. Simpson

Although this book is intended to help executives become effective coaches, the 7 coaching skills mentioned are tremendously helpful for any coaches.

Michael K. Simpson, a senior consultant to FranklinCovey, has spent more than twenty-five years training executives to become effective coaches, mentoring and guiding leaders and managers to encourage and develop the talent of their people—the most important asset in any organization. In this guide, you will acquire the skills to coach your personnel from the ground up, maximizing their potential on a personal level, as members of the team, and as contributors to the organization as a whole.

Transform your business relationships (and your business) with this comprehensive tool for optimizing productivity, profitability, loyalty, and customer focus. Don’t just manage. Energize. Galvanize. Inspire. Be a coach.


By Alan Weiss

Having inspired generations of consultants and entrepreneurs around the world, the “Rock Star of Consulting” Alan Weiss returns with a revised and completely updated edition of his authoritative guide to consulting success.

Weiss provides his time-tested model on creating a flourishing consulting business, while incorporating and focusing on the many dynamic changes in solo and boutique consulting, coaching, and entrepreneurship. In addition to guidance on raising capital, attracting clients, and creating a marketing plan, he also gives brand new step-by-step advice on:

• Harnessing today’s global opportunities • Developing brands across markets • Creating and licensing intellectual property • Avoiding the pitfalls of social media • Landing unsolicited referrals through counterintuitive methods • Managing and organizing your time wisely • Succeeding in the face of continuing turbulence

Find out why this book has been the classic go-to for consultants for nearly twenty-five years, and learn how to grow your business into a $1 million-per-year firm today!


By Patrick Williams Ed.D. and Diane S. Menendez Ph.D.

With his bestselling Therapist As Life Coach, Pat Williams introduced the therapeutic community to the career of life coach, and in Becoming a Professional Life Coach he and Diane Menendez covered all the basic principles and strategies for effective coaching. Now Williams, founder of the Institute for Life Coach Training (ILCT), and Menendez, former faculty at ILCT―both master certified coaches―bring back the book that has taught thousands of coaches over the past eight years with all-new information on coaching competencies, ethics, somatic coaching, wellness coaching, and how positive psychology and neuroscience are informing the profession today. Moving seamlessly from coaching fundamentals―listening skills, effective language, session preparation―to more advanced ideas such as helping clients to identify life purpose, recognize and combat obstacles, align values and actions, maintain a positive mind-set, and live with integrity, this new edition is one-stop-shopping for beginner and advanced coaches alike. Beginning with a brief history of the foundations of coaching and its future trajectory, Becoming a Professional Life Coach takes readers step-by-step through the coaching process, covering all the crucial ideas and techniques for being a successful life coach, including: • Listening to, versus listening for, versus listening with • Establishing a client’s focus • Giving honest feedback and observation • Formulating first coaching conversations • Asking powerful, eliciting questions • Understanding human developmental issues • Reframing a client’s perspective • Enacting change with clients • Helping clients to identify and fulfill core values, and much, much more. All the major skillsets for empowering and “stretching” clients are covered. By filling the pages with client exercises, worksheets, sample dialogues, and self-assessments, Williams and Menendez give readers a hands-on coaching manual to expertly guide their clients to purposeful, transformative lives. Today, with more and more therapists incorporating coaching into their practices, and the number of master certified coaches, many with niche expertise, growing every year, Becoming a Professional Life Coach fills a greater need than ever. By tackling the nuts and bolts of coaching, Williams and Menendez equip readers with the tools and techniques they need to make a difference in their clients’ lives.


By Gerald M. Weinberg

Consulting may be defined as the art of influencing people at their request. The Secrets of Consulting takes you behind the scenes of that art, explaining in detail why the world of consulting seems so irrational, and some very practical steps you can take to make it more rational. Topics include: Gaining control of change, marketing and pricing your services, what to do when they resist your ideas, and more. The Secrets of Consulting has been used in dozens of different fields. If you are a consultant, or ever use a consultant, this book is for you. The author draws on his 50+ years of consulting experience to share his secrets about the often irrational world of consulting. Although published in 1986, it is a true classic and its powerful advice remains highly relevant today.


By I. Madison

Coaching Questions is a well-rounded introduction to the principles of coaching. The questions described in this book are not only easy to follow, but also very result oriented. They are also questions that you can ask any person irrespective of their career and you will still get valuable feedback.

The book explains exactly what type of questions you need to ask the people you are coaching, and gives you the reasons for every category of questions. For that matter, you can easily decide the kind of questions to ask when dealing with a newcomer; when someone seems to have social issues; when someone’s career is on a nosedive; and so on. There are also specific questions laid out as demonstration, just to ensure you are clear on how to meet your objectives. This, therefore, leaves you with the ability to craft the right questions for the right moment.

In this book you will learn:

  • Precisely what coaching is about

  • The various categories of coaching questions and how each one helps the process

  • The inhibitions of poor questioning

  • How skilled questioning earns you confidence

  • How the art of questioning leads to success for people under your charge

  • How to identify a great coach for money related matters

  • How to identify a great coach for matters of health

  • How to identify a great coach to help you in your spirituality

  • How executives stand to benefit from coaching

  • And much more


By Alan Weiss

Whether you are a veteran consultant or new to the industry, an entrepreneur or the principal of a small firm, The Consulting Bible tells you absolutely everything you need to know to create and expand a seven-figure independent or boutique consulting practice. Expert author Alan Weiss, who coaches consultants globally and has written more books on solo consulting than anyone in history, shares his expertise comprehensively.

  • Learn and appreciate the origins and evolution of the consulting profession

  • Launch your practice or firm and propel it to top performance

  • Implement your consulting strategies in public and private organizations, large or small, global or domestic

  • Select from the widest variety of consulting methodologies

  • Achieve lasting success in your professional career and personal goals

  • The author is recognized as "one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America" by the New York Post and "a worldwide expert in executive education" by Success Magazine

Whether you're just starting out or looking for the latest trends in modern practice, The Consulting Bible gives you an unparalleled toolset to build a thriving consultancy.


By Jack Canfield and Peter Chee

A powerful new coaching method from Chicken Soup for the Soul co-creator Jack Canfield.

“At the heart of a great coach is a firm belief that each player is a uniquely valuable individual with distinct giftedness and potential for greatness.”

That’s the premise behind this brilliant empowering guide from Jack Canfield, coauthor of the 125 million-copy-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and legendary global leadership development guru and CEO Dr. Peter Chee.

Combining time-tested principles of exemplary coaches with the latest disruptive techniques used by the world’s top performing leaders, this step-by-step playbook shows you how to nurture―in yourself and others―the three essential requirements of coaching excellence:

  1. HEART: The Coaching Principles (TCP) unveils the secret to life impacting values, beliefs, and philosophies that permeate all aspects of great coaching.

  2. MIND: The Situational Coaching Model (SCM) unleashes the genius of a coach to apply the right combination of crucial paradigms in any given coaching challenge.

  3. ENERGY: The Achievers Coaching Techniques (ACT) equips you with proven methods that enable you to deliver breakthrough results in coaching.

Coaching for Breakthrough Success is packed with stirring personal stories, life changing case studies, crucial coaching conversations, exemplary coaching questions, and ready-to-use tools that equip you to achieve professional mastery in coaching.

This practical manual guides you through the top 30 principles every coach needs to succeed. You’ll learn the six paradigms of Situational Coaching, the ultimate power of Achievers Coaching Techniques, and the tried-and-true secret to making impossible dreams possible.


By Pamela McLean

When the first edition of The Handbook of Coaching was published in 1999 it was an innovative resource that offered a compendium of basic information about the then burgeoning field of adult coaching. Written for experienced and aspiring coaches, as well as for executives and human resource professionals interested in this expansive profession, this thoroughly revised and updated edition describes the essential underpinnings of successful coaching and includes a comprehensive, annotated list of books, articles, and other resources. The second edition also contains chapters that focus on how coaches can facilitate transformative change and explores how transitions create opportunity for development. This new edition also incorporates new advances in and research on coaching and adult development pulling together data that is available online and new information that cannot be found anywhere else.


By John Whitmore

This new edition is totally revised and updated with new material on coaching in a crisis and leadership for a difficult future. Coaching for Performance is the bible of the industry and very much the definitive work that all coaches stand on. This new edition explains clearly and in-depth how to unlock people s potential to maximize their performance.

It teaches the eponymous GROW model (Goals, Reality, Options, Will), now established as the basis for coaching professionals. Clear, concise, hands-on and reader-friendly, this is a coaching guide written in a coaching style. It digs deep into the roots of coaching, particularly transpersonal psychology, a useful model for personal development and in-depth coaching. There are new coaching questions and fresh chapters on emotional intelligence and high-performance leadership. Whitmore also considers the future of coaching and its role in the transformation of learning and workplace relationships, as well as illustrating how coaching can help in a crisis.


By Curly Martin

This guide to life coaching reveals what life coaching is, how to coach yourself and others effectively and how to create and sustain a successful coaching practice. Leading you through a comprehensive program of Advanced Life Coaching Skills, it contains key NLP-based techniques that include - State Control; Rapport-building; Spiral Coaching; Meta-programs; Meta-languages; The Milton Model.


By Alan Weiss

Intended for consultants, speakers, and other professional services providers, Million Dollar Consulting® Proposals ends forever the time-consuming and often frustrating process of writing a consulting proposal. It begins with the basics—defining these proposals and why they are necessary—and coaches you through the entire proposal process. In this book, you'll learn how to establish outcome-based business objectives and maximize your success and commensurate fees.

From bestselling author Alan Weiss, Million Dollar Consulting Proposals delivers step-by-step guidance on the essential element in creating a million dollar consultancy.

  • Outlines the nine key components to a Million Dollar Consulting proposal structure

  • Presents a dozen Golden Rules for presenting proposals

  • Offers online samples, forms, and templates to maximize the effectiveness of these tools

  • The New York Post calls bestselling author Alan Weiss "one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America."

Alan Weiss's expert guidance can lead your consulting business to unprecedented success, and it all starts with a million dollar proposal.


By Deborah Brown-Volkman

Are you frustrated with trying to grow and market your coaching practice? Do you feel like there is too much information (or too little) on how to market your practice, yet not enough direction on where to begin? Would you like quick answers and a complete resource guide in one place that makes marketing easy to apply and understand?

This book will show you how to build and market a profitable coaching practice in four easy steps. It walks you through the process of deciding who to coach and how to create a program that potential clients will pay you lots of money for. You will understand the components of creating a winning marketing strategy and learn tips and techniques to implement your plan. You will also discover how to become masterful at both marketing and selling.


By Robert Hargrove

When the first edition of Masterful Coaching was published, it quickly became the standard resource for anyone who was a coach, considering becoming a coach, or curious about being an extraordinary coach.

In this completely revised third edition of his groundbreaking book, Hargrove presents his profound insights into the journey to of becoming a masterful coach along with guiding ideas, tools, and methods.


By Mary Beth A. O'Neil

Intended for Executive Coaches, author Mary Beth A. O'Neil introduces two elements critical to successful executive coaching: backbone and heart. Backbone is not caving on contracted goals and action plans. Heart is entering deeply into your client's goals, challenges, and personal development needs.

Regardless of your background, if you identify with one or more of the following statements, you will find this book useful:

  • I have reached a plateau in my effectiveness as a coach, and I need to find my way to the next level.

  • I am not sure when one-to-one executive coaching should be expanded to working with the leader’s team.

  • My clients don’t use my services as well as they could.

  • I have a gut sense of what works when I coach, but I don’t know why it works. And sometimes it doesn’t.

  • The leader I am coaching resists my advice.

  • I want to avoid becoming as anxious as my clients so that I can continue to be useful to them.

  • I want to increase my range of coaching within different venues: one-to-one, team, behind-the-scenes, and live action.

  • I want to improve the way I give tough feedback.


Honorable Mentions

Credentialing and Accreditation

You should consider getting an ICF (International Coach Federation) credential if you want to become a professional coach. The price tag is not cheap to receive the required training, but it will pay off in the long term. An ICF credential can instantly add credibility to your business, and sharpen both your coaching and business skills.

Here you can find more information on how to become an ICF Certified Coach.

Coaching Training Programs, Events and Resources (Free and Paid)



  • ICF Virtual Education - training webinars and teleforums from International Coach Federation. Sessions are organized into two main categories: Coaching Skills and Business Development. ICF membership is required. To join as a member, you will first need to enroll in an ICF credentialing training program with the required number of hours of training.

  • ICF Communities of Practice - Join monthly teleconferences organized for International Coach Federation. ICF membership is required to access detailed information. To join as a member, you will first need to enroll in an ICF credentialing training program with the required number of hours of training.

  • ICF Events - search for educational and networking events organized by the International Coach Federation. ICF membership is required to access detailed information. To join as a member, you will first need to enroll in an ICF credentialing training program with the required number of hours of training.

  • Surpass Your Dreams Audio Coaching Seminars - Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Deborah Brown-Volkman's 3-part audio coaching seminars series. Cost: $24.99.

  • Start A Coaching Business From Home (Udemy course) - Career Coach Matt Schmidt shows you how to start your coaching business right from your "kitchen table". Cost: $12.

  • Building a Profitable Coaching Practice - two-part teleclass series from Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Deborah Brown-Volkman. Cost: $19.95 for Part I. $19.95 for Part II. Part I and Part II: $34.95.

  • Coaching Business Jumpstart - Ellen Ercolini's online self-study course on how to jump start your coaching business. Business Class is $397 and Elite Class is $497. Payment plans are available.

  • Next Generation Product Development (for Coaches) training program - learn how to create and sell winning coaching products online from Life Coach Benay Dyor. $330/month for 5 months including 5 mentoring sessions - 1 session per month.

  • Brand Your Brilliance - this 10-module training program by famed coaching strategist Feroshia R.J. Knight gives you a proven business model, marketing strategy and the confidence to build a successful coaching career. Cost: $1,997 or 6 payments of $397.

  • Convert: Client Converting Conversations Made Easy - a proven training program by sought-after coaching strategist Feroshia R.J. Knight on how to get more sales for your coaching business. Cost: $1,997. Payment plans or 6 payments of $397.

  • Lucrative Luminary Launchpad: Online Coaching Business Mastery - this 10-month personalized business mentoring program covers the A to Z of designing and launching your online coaching business. It includes 5 courses and a year-long partnership with Master Business Coach Feroshia Knight.

  • CoachNet Training Courses - choose from CoachNet's six training courses. Prices start from $250.

  • Advanced Coach Training in the Art & Science of Coaching - for those seeking an Advanced Coach Training (PCC/MCC/BCC). Taught by sought-after coaching strategist Feroshia Knight. Cost: $2,995.

Coaching Tips from Successful Coaches


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