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! 


More Posts


Ann Marie’s gentle teaching style and complete absence of judgement in The Art of Mindfulness was just what this stressed out lapsed meditator needed! Thanks to her skillful instruction, I now have a mindfulness practice that is so right for me it very quickly and naturally became part of the fabric of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or a more interesting and loving group of fellow students with whom to share it with. Truly life changing.
Helena Bouchez, ACCPrincipal, Executive Words
Where Mind Goes, Qi Goes: Somatic Coaching with Qigong shares the ancient wisdom of Qigong while coupling it with the modern power that is Coaching.
William DrescherStudent CoachMiddleton, WI
[Business Alchemy was so valuable to me as a novice coach looking to start my own practice. Jim Butcher pulls together all the moving parts and helped me clarify my personal vision and motivation.
Ilse ThompsonStudent CoachAuburn, ME
I quickly started looking forward to Tuesday evenings. I never knew what the take away (from class) would be, but came to recognize it would be rich and meaningful – whether it was from my own process or through witnessing the process and collaboration with my colleagues.  
Kristin E. ReinersLPCS, NCC, RPT
The Dynamic Trio program was wonderful. I learned so much that I have applied right away, and yet the course itself felt light and effortless – perfect conditions for learning. I am taking away a renewed sense of the power of positive psychology and feel more liberated yet grounded in my coaching work. The client imagery and somatic awareness from the practices and applications have been so inspiring and moving. Thank you!
Avalyn LimStudent CoachSingapore
The Art of Engaged Mindfulness has been one of my favorite classes at the Mindfulness Coaching School. I truly appreciate how Ann-Marie has combined the science and spirit of mindfulness. She creates space for students to play and get creative with meditation and find their path to practice. And the resources provided for further learning are priceless!
Brenda FaganStudent CoachNew Orleans, LA
I appreciated the online learning format for obtaining my EMDRIA credits and was glad to experience a taste of professional coaching. The class (The Dynamic Trio) made me curious about the process of transitioning from a clinical psychologist towards a professional coach. Thanks!    
Karen M. FahertyPh.D.
I enrolled in Writing, Creativity and The Mindful Coach in the hopes of reigniting my writing practice. As a student, corporate employee, and average human being in a life that pulls us all in a hundred different directions, I was simply looking for a sacred space for writing. I needed the boundaries, a time and a place, and accountability. I got that in this class…and I got infinitely more. What I did not expect was that I would begin an actual practice, and that infinite possibility could arise from a simple five-minute exercise. I also did not expect to see such a clear connection and application in the coaching world so richly exemplified. Part creative class, part coaching class, part poetry reading session, this class was a truly revelatory experience for me.
Sergia FloresStudent CoachEast Brunswick, NJ
The courses and instructors at MCS come through every time. We gain personal insight while gaining coaching expertise. I am not the same person I was when I began learning from MCS. I keep thinking that the last class is my favorite, and then I take another. And another. I’ve taken all but 2 classes at this point and find that the cumulative effect is profound. I am grateful.
Amy RitchieStudent CoachRichmond, IN
[The Dynamic Trio] was a great class that mixed experiential learning with incredible tools that I could use immediately with clients.  Ann-Marie was an incredible instructor with a myriad of knowledge and experience from many different backgrounds. I really appreciated her ability to interact so personally and intentionally with students in the class all while teaching a strong skill set.
Dawn GabrielMA, LPCCastle Rock, CO