What’s it like being a health coach?? And when you should quit your job…

Hey guys!!

This week I am in San Francisco with my hub for a business trip!

He’s a computer programmer/entrepreneur, and I am a registered nurse/entrepreneur with my own health coaching business!

Best part?

We are totally mobile. Josh really likes it here so far and said last night, “Ya know, it would be really cool to stay here for at least a month.”

I smiled because ya know what? We could. We both work where our computers are–and that can even be in New Zealand if we wanted to (we are seriously considering it).


I will be quitting my super part time pediatric job in December because I finally confirmed that nursing is not my passion. I don’t ever want to work at a place where I can’t WAIT until it’s 5 o’clock, or I can’t WAIT for the weekend. I think that’s so incredibly wrong. 

 I worked as a full time nurse last year and all the women had that mentality. I realized that no one liked their job. No one was feeling fulfilled. No one wanted to be there. We celebrated on Wednesdays because it meant we were half way done, and we rejoiced on Fridays because it meant we could LEAVE! What kind of a life is that?!!!


I started thinking, “What’s the point of life?? Be miserable at work for most of your life, then be happy at home?” Were we supposed to feel unfulfilled and trapped at work? Is it just part of surviving–be miserable in order to pay the bills??

It all just didn’t sit well for me. I swore we were here on earth to be happy and fulfilled.

Ideal situation?

  • You LOVE your job. So much so that you would do it in your spare time.
  • You feel extremely fulfilled with your work and eagerly find ways to improve at it.
  • You have freedom to work when you want and where you want.
  • You can make it to all your family gathering events, as you desire.
  • You make the same amount of money as the job you hate—or even better–a lot more, for a lot less time.

THAT’S WHAT HEALTH COACHING DOES FOR ME! I found it, and decided that’s all I need. So?

I am going to cut the ropes. Never again will I work a 9-5 job. I feel too trapped. I miss out on family stuff. Never again will I work a job that I can’t wait to leave from. Never again will I work a job where my REAL LIFE starts when I am done with my work.


We all have talents–why don’t we find that talent and use it to the best of our abilities and finally feel happy and fulfilled doing it!

I STRONGLY feel like we can ALL find jobs we love–and make enough money doing them to support our family as needed. I feel like we all need to work hard to discover what we love and how to use it to bless others. I feel strongly that we ALL can and should be happy about what we do each day!!

I also have an enormous amount of compassion for the women I have worked with–the women who don’t like their jobs and can’t wait to leave at 5 o’clock. The women who wish they could be at home with their kids. The women who work soooo hard and don’t make as much money as they should be or need to be.

I want those women to be happy–I want that sooo bad! I want them to find a job they love–whether it’s at home, or at an office, and one in which they make enough money to support their family as needed.

So now I am going to share what health coaching is like because because that has been my own answer–and maybe, just maybe I will reach someone out there whose life this will bless as much as it has mine.  

Do you feel fulfilled at your job?? Are you earning as much as you want? Do you have time for health and your hobbies?? Check out what it's like to be a HEALTH COACH!! IT may just be a good fit for you...and who knows, maybe you CAN quit that job, and maybe you CAN make more money at home....

What got me interested in health coaching?

I had just finished nursing school from BYU and was studying for the NCLEX, or the registration exam. I wanted to make money and start doing something fulfilling during those 3 months, instead of just studying.  I also knew that I wanted to work with people who wanted to lose weight. Growing up I’d had friends who were very negatively affected by weight, both emotionally and physically. Those were the people I wanted to help.

I looked online for weight loss businesses and I ended up calling someone who said they were a health coach with their own business. We ended up meeting and he explained how he coached, and how he got certified. He told me that the program he got certified with helps you start up your own business as well–which is perfect for people like me who don’t know anything about business, websites, how to charge, how to track clients, and the safest and most effective ways for people to lose weight.

After meeting I did a little more research and found that this program was by far the best option out there for me. I held my breath and jumped!! I was certified and had 5 clients within a month.

What do I like about coaching?

I love creating real friendships with my people who were once strangers. I truly come to love my clients. I love celebrating with my clients and seeing their progress. I love it when my clients make me cry. I got an email the other day about how grateful one of my clients was for my help in achieving a goal she thought was impossible. The way she explained her transformation brought tears to my eyes. I have had incredible clients.

My job is fulfilling. Knowing I have helped people lose one half ton of weight since I started feels good.

I get to pick my hours. I get to be creative with how to run my business and challenge myself. I grow and learn and put myself out of my comfort zone. I feel like I change lives. I have resources and help when I need ideas and training. I can progress as much as I would like and am ready too.

How much do you have to know about health in order to coach?

You don’t need to know anything. You just need a desire to learn and a love for people! The program I signed up with helps you every step of the way. It provides you with materials to learn and teach and even emails to send to your clients. It also is centered around an incredible health textbook and helps you give meaningful reading assignments to your clients.

Do I have to be a perfect role model of health?

Nope! You know which clients stay the healthiest? The ones who become coaches themselves, even when they have not met their healthy weight goals. When you teach other people to be healthy, even if you can’t quite do it, you start finding it easier to be healthy yourself. That’s what I saw in myself! Teaching creates good habits in yourself!

What’s a typical day or week look like?

My to do list is simple.

  • I get a hold of my clients weekly to check up on them. We go over the healthy habit they are learning that week and any other discoveries they have learned about health. We make new goals as needed.
  • I send my clients an email on Monday about an important healthy habit, which includes a healthy recipe and a reading assignment. I can write my own, or use a suggested email.
  • I answer any questions or concerns throughout the week as clients bring them up.
  • I attend or listen to training over the phone that will help me be a better health coach. These are optional. These are offered once a week for 20 minutes. I can listen to the re-run if I miss it. 
  • I spread the word as I find opportunities to do so.

That’s it.

How many hours do I work a week? Is it flexible? 

I choose my hours based on how busy I am or just my mood. It’s extremely flexible. Typically I work 1-2 hours a day. That will increase as I take it more seriously and want to earn more money. I don’t work weekends and many weekdays I don’t work more than 10 minutes. When I am advertising for big events and getting the word out I could spend 4 hours doing that. I usually work Tuesday evenings doing client calls.

Some days I want to spend time with improving my coaching and business skills so I study for anywhere from 1-3 hours.

The main idea is that anyone can start at anytime. It’s not a sit down job, but a job where you use 15 minutes here and there as you start figuring out if you like it.

What I didn’t like about it

At first I felt like I was always glued to my phone, gmail or facebook account. I felt like I was never taking a break from coaching because I was always checking things (which was not necessary). I didn’t like that–I don’t like social media and technology and would rather be ‘free’ from it.

I also found myself texting clients when I should have been listening or talking to my husband. Sometimes I made him feel like my clients were a higher priority than he was. What I needed to do was find the right balance of using technology. I needed to make rules as to when to put the phone aside and just have family time. When I did, things were a lot better!!

How did I get certified and how much did it cost?

I went on the site and registered to be a health coach. Once I registered I got my own sites within 2 hours (one for client accounts and one for tracking clients), and then I had 30 days to take an exam. They provided the study material and I easily  passed the test. No big deal. I got my coaching materials–textbook, handouts, and folders in a week after I registered and I had 5 clients going in 3 weeks. That was so cool!

Certification was only $199. You’ll never find a cheaper start up than that–and you’ll never find such a no-risk start up either. I made 300 dollars my first month–so I made my sign-up money back right away! All other coaching certifications I have seen are more than $700, only they didn’t offer business coaching so you can actually know how to find your clientele afterwards. I love that I had business mentors teaching me what to do and what to say from day one. That was a big help for me.

How much do I make? 

How much you make is very dependent on how much time you put into it. You get paid for your results, which is the best, most liberating method I can imagine.

Let’s put it this way: My next goal is to make $18,000 a month.

15-20 hours per week is about $40,000 a year. That’s more than the average U.S. income. How cool is that? I never imaged health coaching was a legitimate way to earn an income. Little did I know.

Typically people who spend 15-20 hours a week make about $2,000 to $5,000 per month. If you want to take it easy and work just 1-2 hours a week, you can make anywhere from $87 to $ 300  a month–enough for groceries, family outings, cute shoes or “unnecessary” cute clothes 😉

For those excited to grow and get out of the box, my friend who has coached for 6 years makes $15,000 each month. Oh and her husband does it too–so they are making about $30,000 a month…having fun, being involved with their family, getting enough sleep, and playing volleyball all the time. That’s $300,000 per year! Crazy. They quit their full time jobs (he owned a financial firm) as soon as they realized they were making more money coaching, and would be able to stay at home with their kids. Best decision ever.

When I began, I was working full time as a nurse and only spent about 7 hours a week, usually less. I typically made about $300-500 month each on easy going months, sometimes $1,000. It was really fun for me.

When I started working smarter, not necessarily longer, I made more. That’s exciting! No matter how hard I worked at my nursing job, I could only make the the same amount of money per hour…how demotivating is that?!

What I love is that I make more money than a full time nurse does–and instead of working 40 hours a week, missing family events, being exhausted, having to ask for time off for vacations, I work 7-20 hours a week as I choose. Amazing.

Freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want…is a very, very liberating position to be in. I wish everyone believed they could do that too.

How do I find out more about health coaching, and if it’s a good fit for me?

Just send me an email! I’ll give you some information about it and we can explore if coaching is a good fit for your life!



Tell me about your job–what do you do? Do you like it?

If you could have the perfect home based job, look like?

64 thoughts on “What’s it like being a health coach?? And when you should quit your job…

  1. This sounds really interesting, I would love to learn more about it. I actually don’t have to work tomorrow so I could listen in, but the other weeks I would need to listen to the recording.

  2. I am a meeting planner. While I love being able to travel and meet new people, my job can be very demanding and stressful at times. I am someone who firmly believes in having a work/life balance (no work after 5 PM, no work on the weekends) and my coworkers do not think that way which pressures me to work all hours too.

    I would love to learn more about health coaching! I had no clue you could make a legitimate career out of it!
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…Quick Trip to BostonMy Profile

  3. Ok… So I have a question for you. I have never been overweight, but I have gained a couple extra pounds that I don’t want. Over the past few months I have been reevaluating my habits and slowly changing the way I eat to follow your “intuitive eating” rule. I don’t starve myself our anything but I have lost 6 pounds. I find that I don’t need much to keep me satisfied and full… just an apple and some carrots do the trick for lunch. I’m just worried that I’ll be relegated to eating that same lunch for the rest of my life. I feel like if I eat any more I’ll gain weight again. What are your thoughts?

    • Hey Aubrey! I’ll email you about this, deal? GREAT questions!! You should NOT feel like you need to eat the same thing for lunch-in fact you shouldn’t feel trapped in any way. I’ll send you some other ideas you can have, and ways to test out how much you can be eating:) You’re great!

  4. I am interested, but it looks like I’ve missed last nights teleconference! Is there still time to get in on the free precertification class? I have just started a new 9-5 job, and I am already feeling “boxed -in” with little energy left over for the ones I love. I myself need to lose weight and get in shape, and I would love to be able to focus on having a healthy lifestyle.

  5. I absolutely love love love my day job, and have no intention of taking up something new any time soon. But I thought this was such a great post for people who are looking for a different lifestyle. I think it’s great to find or make a living doing something so flexible.

    Also, as a fellow engineer, you and your husband should totally spend a month in SF. It’s a great place to enjoy (or become super overwhelmed by) tech, and beautiful in the winter. I’m biased since I live here, but. Totally suggest it. 🙂
    Kay @ Kay Bueno recently posted…Pre-Holiday MusingsMy Profile

  6. Pingback: Sunday Funday 11/16/14 - Skinny Fitalicious

  7. Maybe you can help Karacooks.com because I don’t think she likes her job blogging. She also writes at notescaping.blogspot.com and seems to need a new hobby. Can you help her?

  8. I’m super late on this but I tried signing up for the free classes last week but never received a link! Am I TOO late? 🙂

  9. Pingback: How to Eat Healthy Under Social Pressure | The Gist of Fit

  10. Hello! I am about to start a graduate Sports and Health Sciences program and am interested in and have been checking out different certifications. Any info would be helpful. Thanks!

  11. Pingback: 6 Week Health Challenge is Here!! | The Gist of Fit

  12. Hello Kirtley!

    My name is Vanessa and I am very interested in learning more about becoming a health coach. I am a recently stay at home mom of two and looking for something new to maybe start at home. I attended gymnastics for 13 years and worked my way up to level 10 and also coached for many years. Due to this, I am very health conscious and it is very important to me and my family. It is something I am very passionate about! I also love helping others so I really feel I would enjoy this. If you think you could give me some more info I would greatly appreciate it!

  13. Pingback: Cheating is for Diets…That Don’t Work | The Gist of Fit

  14. I am prospective health coach. I am only 19 but I’m getting ready to start a free program through ASU through my job (Starbucks). I am so interested in this and I was curious about what it looks like to even do this. I would love to only work that much but do something as powerful as getting people back up and ready to get healthy. This is a huge passion for me. I’ve gone from switching my major from nutrition to personal training, and from what I can see this is in the middle of those both. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this awesome article!!

  15. Hi Kirtley!

    I just stumbled upon the article looking up “Nutritionist Jobs” on Pinterest and I am so glad that I did. This was very interesting to me, and it sounds amazing!! I am currently in my senior year of college and working as a CNA in an acute care pediatric hospital, but I am graduating in May with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition hoping to apply to PA school in the future. Is there anything you would recommend me doing in order to someday be a Health Coach? I love the idea of getting to do this on your own terms but since I am so young I feel as though I would not have a strong client base until I am older and have worked my way into the world.

    Nutrition and fitness is something that I love learning about, and teaching others about, and I think that being a Health Coach could be something I really succeed in. If you could shoot me a quick email that would be great. You sound like you love life and that sounds so great to me!!


  16. Hello, I just happened to stumble upon this post as I was researching different programs to study to become a health coach. Food, for me, was never a passion and never a big deal. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and stayed pretty fit just running and swimming. I started feeling abnormally fatigued and experiencing a variety a strange symptoms, went to several different specialists, and underwent a myriad of medial testing. After 2 and a half years I finally found out that I have lupus. During those two years I tried EVERYTHING to feel better. It was also during this time that I began researching food and the science behind it to help heal me. Long story short it became a passion of mine and now my husband and three little girls eat the way I do. For them, they “healthy” to prevent disease and be the best they can be. For me, I follow certain guidelines to heal and prevent inflammation and get back to running.

    Having said this, I am looking for a program to solidify my studies. Can you provide me with more details on which program you went through?

  17. Just wanted to say, you do what I would love to do. I am studying for my NCLEX to be an RN but I would love to be a health coach to teach and help people which are my two biggest passions. I emailed you but I wanted to follow up. Thank you in advance. I can’t wait to chat with you.

  18. Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoyed a lot. Because, I was looking for something I can my career and I always interested about healthy eating.. Healthy life. I’ll be appreciate if you can share more about health coach.

  19. I came across your pat while searchin info on becoming a health coach. I would appreciate any more information you could give me on this – who you got certified with, etc. Thank you!

  20. I am very interested in becoming a health coach. I have a lot of experience with health and wellness. I have made diet plans and workout guides for clients but I want part expand. I’m curious as to which program you went through? The cost seems very cheap compared to other programs I’ve researched

  21. I just stumbled upon this post and can’t believe I found it. I have been thinking of health coaching since getting myself healthy and losing weight. I brought down a high a1c and am quite proud of my achievement. I am a nurse and have people coming to me all the time with questions and admiring the work I’ve done to improve myself. There’s so much misinformation and lack of information out there and I want to change that. I want to help other 40ish year old woman like myself. I would love to touch base with you if you are still following these comments. You’re information was so helpful, so thank you. Kathleen Floor

  22. Hi i am very interested in learning about how to get certified. Please email me any info you have. I loved this post, very inspiring.

  23. I have a free WordPress blog that I rarely post to. I was thinking of how neat it would be to a health coach blog with it but would not make any money as not able to use affiliate marketing on it. How could I make money on a free WordPress blog as a health coach? I’d appreciate. I am a highest honors graduate in fitness and nutrition from Stratford Career Institute. Thank you!

  24. I just emailed you! I hope it was the correct email.
    I am a RN too and want more info on starting a health coaching career!

  25. Hey there! I sent you an email, but I’m unsure if you received it. Whenever you have time, could you get in touch with me? I’d love to chat 🙂

  26. I came across your blog on Pinterest and I’m glad I did! I recently became interested in changing my career path and going the nutrition route. I am a huge food lover but I also have an autoimmune disease where I do have to be careful what foods I eat. I didn’t know exactly what a nutrition coach really does until now. This post gave me a better understanding and congratulations on your business!

  27. Hi I loved this post! I am currently a SAHM but have always had a passion for nutrition, fitness and helping others improve their health and life! I am currently looking at becoming a certified health coach and would love any other info you could give me regarding this field of work! Thanks so much!

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