Anita’s PCC Journey

Aug 3, 2021

Steps On Becoming a PCC
— Anita Rodriguez Cordero

When I began my coach training journey, the 100 hours of coaching clients required to complete  the ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation felt like climbing El Yunque – the tallest mountain in my native Puerto Rico.

But then, last fall, Ann-Marie had the audacity (!) to challenge me to skip over the ACC and go directly to the Professional Certified Coach (PCC)!  She had done it and told me I could too!  I accepted the challenge even though it meant 500 hours of coaching clients!  I was intrigued but knew that this would not be a graceful afternoon hike. I needed to shift my mindset and prepare my “supplies”.

Now ten months later I am almost at the “summit”!  Ann-Marie provided the vision and the belief that it could be done. But I also needed a meaningful “why” that resonated for me. This is how I made it work:

My why:  My clients have experienced difficult losses and challenges and completing 500 hours would help me become the coach they deserve and would help me feel confident in my new role. 

Mindset: To attract a large number of clients without spending time marketing I decided to remove the money barrier. But to work for peanuts, I needed to let go of potential feelings of resentment, guilt, or victimhood. I decided to label my work as unpaid internship

My steps: 

  • Purchase insurance – I like to play it safe! 
  • Prepare three documents: A client information form that is signed by the client asking permission for me to keep a confidential record of our work together for ICF certification. A coaching agreement (a hybrid of the ICF template and the one shared by teacher Phil). A welcome letter providing information about coaching, what to expect, and who I am. 
  • Brainstorm a list of past colleagues I like and trust. 
  • Create an irresistible offer: Six (6) coaching sessions for an introductory offer of $30 – My potential clients are Midwesterners in the US, and here you can’t pass a good deal. But I did not want the low fee to cheapen the experience, so I explained the purpose for the low fee – my feverish goal to complete the 500 hours by fall of 2021. 
  • Email my offer to 23 colleagues (11 accepted my offer). One asked me to coach her team of five (she would pay for their coaching), another shared my offer to her networking group of HR professionals. Clients made referrals – some people just love to help. One client brought six new clients! In just four weeks I had 25 clients, with additional ones joining over time.  
  • Set up simple systems such as payment options using PayPal or Venmo, prepare receipts to reflect small but taxable income, and an excel sheet to track clients, session dates and coaching hours. 
  • After the six sessions I offer my clients the opportunity to purchase another package of six for a slightly higher fee. Most clients engage in additional coaching and are now paying $20 – $30 per session. 
  • They are aware that my rates will change after my certification (but I will always extend a special rate to my first clients!) 

Unexpected gifts: I have coached a diverse client base – women and men from age 20 to 70, entrepreneurs to corporate leaders, healers to skeptics. This has helped me be clear about my niche and better understand perspectives very different from my own. I find joy in being exposed to the diversity of the human spirit. I have become less judgmental in the process, even of those who hold different political perspectives than mine. 

And it all started by a vision and a challenge from Ann-Marie! 


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The course [S-T-R-E-T-C-H!] allowed me to ‘stretch’ my ability to practice what I preach. Philip was very competent and helpful to all of us. It was a great experience. Thank you Ann-Marie, Philip, and Brittany!
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Business Alchemy helped me grow into and clarify my purpose in coaching. I was able to create the story of me that brought me to where I am and my passion to inspire others on their journey. Ann-Marie’s guidance through understanding service marketing was heartening, powerful and inspiring. Sarah’s encouragement and gentle way of pulling the essence of us to the surface was spectacular! Thank you both, as well as my fellow students, for an incredible experience! And I’m getting clients!
Brenda FaganStudent CoachNew Orleans, LA
Fabulous course to get you into or back into writing fearlessly and joyfully! [Writing, Creativity, and the Mindful Coach]
Lara AbreuStudent CoachPleasanton, CA
This class will give you a coaching community in just a few short months. I now feel that I have colleagues and a support system that I can reach out to in times of need. So grateful for having the chance to know these remarkable individuals.
Alicia UpchurchStudent CoachBrooklyn, New York
I’ve been a therapist for years now, but still get the jitters every time I begin to work with a new client (probably the “fixer” in me). It was a joy to watch Ann-Marie in action [during Skillful Means: The Coaching Skill Set] and realize that we don’t need to feel like we have all the answers for the client!
Jeanna SmithStudent CoachPhoenix, AZ
I highly recommend Business Alchemy if you want to learn practical and specific advice and tools to establish and grow your coaching business! This course helped me go from skeptical and uncertain to energized and equipped to create the thriving coaching business that I want for myself and my clients!
Matt WaldschmidtStudent CoachBruce Township, MI
More than just a class to help us eat more mindfully, Mindful Eating, Mindful Life is a great class for anyone interested in the topic, anyone with a desire to practice mindfulness in a new way and for anyone wanting to dust off or deepen their meditation practice. The course and materials may seem small, but they are so expansive. Thanks to Brittany for bringing this topic alive and for the school for providing such an amazing course in mindfulness.
Gretchen LarsenMCS GraduateBirmingham, AL
The Dynamic Trio: EMDR, Positive Psychology and Coaching, is a wonderful opportunity for professionals to learn varied techniques and practical applications for including an integrative approach into both their professional practices and personal lives. As a behavioral health therapist, LADAC, EMDR practitioner, yoga instructor, and health educator I found this class and Ann-Marie’s expertise and teaching methods both inspirational and mindfully practical. I look forward to further classes with Ann-Marie. Thank you!  
Misty Gay McArthurMSW, LCSW, LADAC, EMDR Trained
This course [Skillful Means] is life changing personally and professionally. Skills are not only learned, but internalized so that the coach can be an effective listener. I would highly recommend this to any coach — experienced or a beginner.
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