(ARA) – It seems the aspirations of baby boomers are changing from ones of retirement, to those of entrepreneurship. Over the past decade, Americans age 55 to 64 have seen the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity, especially since the traditional business model and large corporations no longer provide the job security they used to.
Despite a bleak economic outlook, America is on the cusp of an entrepreneurial boom, according to a study conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
One of the most popular endeavors for those in this age bracket is that of a professional business or life coach. Boomers are well suited to this professional calling based on their vast business and life experience. Coaching is the practice of focusing existing talents and channeling them to create true significance and empowerment to change in the lives of others.
Even before the entrepreneurial boomers took to the profession, the coaching industry has seen tremendous growth, with revenues topping $1 billion in 2008. The International Coach Federation, because of the demand for coaches, has seen an explosion in its membership since its creation in 1995. Membership has grown from fewer than 1,000 members to more than 14,000. Additionally, between 25 to 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches, as reported in a recent survey by The Hay Group, an International Human Resources consultancy.
“Baby boomers comprise the largest segment of our student and graduate base,” comments D. Luke Lorio, president of iPEC’s coach training division. “The baby boom generation brings with it the experience, skills, contacts, drive and other resources to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities such as coaching. They reached a point in their careers where they want to capitalize on their experience and often give back to others. Coaching has provided them an outlet to help others while also earning substantial incomes.”
On average, experienced life coaches are earning an average of $77,000 per year, and experienced corporate/business coaches are earning an average of $134,800 per year, according to the 2009 Sherpa Executive Coaching Study.
With baby boomers living healthier and longer lives, they are no longer following traditional retirement paths and instead are seeking second and third careers. There’s been a shift away from lifetime jobs with long-term employment – with a noticeable drop among people ages 35 to 64 years old during the past 50 years, according to the study.
Jim Kelly, president of Real Leaders Lead Executive Coaching (RealLeadersLead.com), is a baby boomer success story. The 63-year-old certified professional coach was attracted to coaching because it was a career that was truly aligned with his values of giving back and empowering others to live their dreams.
“My 35 years of real world leadership and life experience, including a tenure as CEO of a multi-million dollar company, is the ideal foundation for a coaching business. I went through the ups and downs of every career and the struggles of building successful businesses. It is that experience that allows me to help leaders navigate similar experiences much more quickly than if they go it alone,” says Kelly. “My coaching business is strong because clients are investing in the one thing they know will produce a return: themselves.”
Here are six ways to know if a career in coaching is for you:
- People usually come to you for advice and you have a positive impact on them.
- You value personal growth and seek a career that will utilize your strengths.
- You see great potential in people and are frustrated when they don’t exercise that potential.
- You emphasize strong relationships and a balanced life with many interests, including vitality in health and career.
- You’re not afraid of hard work to create more personal and financial freedom.
- You know you have a gift – and you want to share it to help yourself and others live a more powerful and fulfilling life.
To find out more about careers in coaching, contact us!