Help wanted: Teenage life coach with all the answers

More and more people are becoming “life coaches,” according to a recent newspaper report, and many colleges now offer degrees in life coaching.

It appears that a degree in life coaching pays better than a degree in a results-oriented field such as engineering, computer programming or foreign language. Life coaches right out of school can charge anywhere from $25 to $75 an hour.

I’d prefer to be paid $75 an hour, if you don’t mind. But, then, I don’t have a college degree in life coaching. I’m just a guy who’s gone through life without any coaching – except from my family, my friends, my teachers, my football coach, my pastors, my co-workers and my bosses. What do I know about life? My advice would be worth absolutely nothing per hour because I didn’t go to college and get a degree in life coaching.

I hate to think of all the mistakes I’d make if I tried to coach other people. First, I’d probably forget to collect the $75 upfront and then find out this clown needs a life coach because he doesn’t have a job – because he has a drinking problem. I’d coach Bob (not his real name – his real name is Tom) to join AA and to stop showing up for work drunk, whereas a real life coach would probably tell him to punch up his resume, post frequently on Facebook and update his LinkedIn profile at least once a month. That’ll be $75, thank you.

Would I be life coaching without a license if I told Doreen that she’s forever dating the wrong kind of men and that she will end up having to change her locks, again, if she doesn’t learn to tell the difference between a guy with a big belt buckle and a guy with a big heart?

Besides, I’m too old to be a life coach. One of the life coaches I read about was 20 years old and already had 10 clients. Wow! Who couldn’t learn something from a 20-year-old? How do you juggle kids and a career? Please, coach me. How do you take care of your sick, aging parents and still find the time to take care of your sick, young children? Please, coach me. How do you put three kids through college on a shrinking paycheck? How do you sell your house and move away when the biggest factory in town closes? Here’s $75; please, tell me how you did it.

Maybe 20 is a little too old to be a life coach. Maybe I should find someone younger, maybe 16 or 18. Someone who’s not as out of touch with today’s world. Someone who may not be as set in her ways as a 20-year-old. After all, who knows more about how to run your life than a 16-year-old? Just ask one; she’ll be happy to tell you what you’re doing wrong, and in a pleasant, easy-to-swallow way.

Actually, if you have $75 an hour to throw away on a life coach, maybe you don’t need a life coach – you seem to be doing pretty well for yourself. Maybe you can give me a few tips. The first thing I’d like to know, Coach, is what team am I on and whom are we playing? Would I be one of your first draft picks? If your coaching works, can I throw a bucket of Gatorade down your back? If your coaching works, how can I tell?

Jim Mullen’s book “Now in Paperback” is now in paperback. You can reach him at

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