From Good Girl to Grown-Ass Woman

Carrie Wren, Professional Life + Leadership Coach

Submit your most pressing Life, Leadership, Relationship, or other quandaries, and I’ll pick one each month to respond to in the column. In addition, the lucky chosen inquirer will receive a complimentary 90-minute coaching session with the Life Coach (that’s me!) to take a deep-dive into your question (and generate insight + action!).

Q: I think I want to hire a coach. What should I look for in a coach? ~ B

A: Hi, B! First, congratulations on taking a great big step forward into creating the life you want to be living, by working with a coach! I’ve worked with a number of coaches over the years (and have even helped train a few!).

These are my top 7 criteria to consider when hiring a kick-ass coach:

  1. Training. Has the coach received formal (and preferably extensive) training through a professional International Coach Federation approved coach training program? What are their qualifications as a professional coach?
  2. Chemistry + Connection. Do you connect with this particular coach? Is he or she “the one” for you? Listen to your gut on this one.
  3. Partnership. Coaching is a co-created relationship, in which the coach relates to you as your highest and best self. Does the coach call you forth to what you’re capable of? Is this person enrolled in what you want in your life, and do they truly believe in your vision?
  4. Insight. Does the coach ask you meaningful questions, and allow space for you to discover your own answers? Or do they assert their expertise through providing lots of opinions and advice? A good coach will empower you to choose your own adventure, rather than tell you what to do.
  5. Respect + Inspiration. Do you personally respect this person? Have they created something in their own life that inspires you to step up your own game?
  6. Commitment. Is this person offering you a “quick fix?” Coaching at its best supports people in creating permanent shifts in being. And honey, that shit doesn’t happen overnight. As tempting as a “quick fix” is (hello, fad diets!), they tend to sit like fast food: hot n’ tasty in the moment, but not ultimately nourishing or satisfying in the long run.
  7. Bullshit slayer. You don’t want to the coach who only blows smoke up your ass, or always “takes your side.” You have friends for that. You want a coach who is willing to be the one to speak truth to bullshit, even when you don’t see it as bullshit, or even when you throw a temper tantrum because it doesn’t feel good. As my friend and fellow coach Corey says, “if someone’s drinking your Kool-Aid, they may not be the coach for you.”

And just for funsies, here are 3 bonus measures that I wouldn’t recommend you choose a coach from:

  1. Location. I’ve coached people in different time zones, in other countries, on other continents, as well as right here in my cozy office in Charlotte. Likewise, I’ve worked with coaches who live in my neighborhood (literally across the street, in fact), as well as in other states. Choose your coach based on the qualities I shared earlier, and you’ll find yourself creating badass life shifts, whether your coach is sitting across the table from you, or across the phone line.
  2. Popularity. Your potential coach’s number of Instagram followers may or may not reflect their ability to deeply support you. However, do stay open to your friends’ and colleagues’ recommendations. Their referrals can be a valuable resource.
  3. Money. The coach with the highest price tag may or may not be “the one” to support you in creating the breakthroughs of your life. Similarly, the coach with the lowest rate in town may or may not be “the one.” Because you are the wise and resourceful woman you are, I trust that if you make your decision based on the above qualities, the money will not be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing your coach.

And there you have it, B. Enjoy your search, and reach out if you’d like my support.


What’s troubling you? Send me a note at Let’s get you off of the Good Girl sidelines to playing BIG in Life and Business like the Grown-Ass Woman you are.

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