One of the most important components of being a successful coach is investing in growing your knowledge and skill set. From continuing education to reading expert industry insights, there are many ways to improve yourself and your business.

To help guide you on your way to becoming a life coach, we compiled a list of the 30 best books for wellness entrepreneurs to read this year. 

Most Essential Books About Coaching

The books that follow are quintessential reading material for coaches. In these books you will learn innovative techniques for guiding your clients towards lasting transformation and building a business that works. 

  1. Co-Active Coaching: The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations at Work and in Life by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth 

This book has been called the “the bible of coaching guides” (by none other than Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), and is an essential read for anyone who has their sights set on coaching as a profession or who wants to become a better coach. 

Written by the founders of the Coaching Training Institute, it outlines how the coach and client can collaborate to achieve the client’s goals. Co-Active Coaching will teach you conversation techniques and question framing that help guide your clients towards meaningful change. It will also show you how to create a supportive environment where you can best serve your clients. Run, don’t walk, to pick up this book for your 2022 reading list.

  1. The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need to Be an Effective Life Coach by Curly Martin

This comprehensive guide breaks down what it means to be a coach, and how to teach effectively using certain techniques like Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The book also outlines strategies for creating a successful coaching business.

The Life Coaching Handbook was written by highly sought business and life coach—and best-selling author—Curly Martin, who has been working with celebrities, CEOs, directors and doctors for more than 20 years. It is considered by many to be the go-to guide for all things coaching.

  1. Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth by Richard Boyatzis, Melvin L. Smith and Ellen Van Oosten 

Written by emotional intelligence expert Richard Boyatzis, plus Melvin Smith and Ellen Van Oosten from Weatherhead School of Management, Helping People Change presents an innovative method for guiding your clients towards sustainable transformation. 

Through personal stories and a review of research, this book illustrates an effective way to approach client transformation. It will help you guide your clients to improve their lives by connecting them to their dreams and goals rather than trying to solve their problems. 

Books About the Business Side of Coaching

Even the best coaches need great marketing skills to be able to build a thriving business. These books will help you tune into the more pragmatic side of coaching and provide actionable strategies to increase your success this year.

  1. The Business and Practice of Coaching: Finding Your Niche, Making Money, Attracting Ideal Clients by Wendy Allen and Lynn Grodzki

This publication will help guide you through the nuts and bolts of setting up a successful coaching business. From creating a differentiated position to becoming an entrepreneur and learning from the best, The Business and Practice of Coaching is a must-read for anyone ready to take their coaching business to the next level.  

Written by Wendy Allen, Ph.D., a psychologist and business coach, and Lynn Grodzki, LCSW, MCC, a psychotherapist with a full-time private practice, this book offers substantial advice from industry veterans.

  1. The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin

The Prosperous Coach has been called a “must-read for every coach” and with good reason. Written by Coaching Prosperity School founder Steve Chandler, along with one of his students-turned-faculty members, Rick Litvin, this best-seller will guide you towards building a thriving business. 

It will teach you how to throw your old way of thinking out the window and craft conversations in a way that helps you create ideal, high-paying clients. It will also guide you on how to move past the fear that is holding you back and create a coaching business that powerfully serves. 

  1. How to Get Clients: New Pathways to Coaching Prosperity by Steve Chandler

In a more recent publication by Chandler, How to Get Clients will help you change your mindset to attract new business—without overselling or marketing yourself. One reviewer said: “I recommend this book to any coach who wants to change the way they ‘get’ clients from doing tons of promotion, advertising and all the shiny stuff, to the foundation-based principles of simply creating conversations.” 

How is it possible to build a robust funnel of clients without advertising? You’ll have to read Chandler’s book to find out.

  1. Six-Figure Health Coach: The 12-Step Blueprint to Doing the Significant, Soul-Satisfying Work You Love by Shaunna Menard MD

Dr Shaunna Menard is a Canadian and American Board Certified Radiologist who lays out a step-by-step guide to building a thriving health coaching business. 

Dr. Menard starts off her book with a section entitled “Why Six Figures is Minimum Wage for a Health Coach.” She continues on to give expert advice on how to define your niche, create a stream of ideal clients and make your “sustainable, six-figure difference.” If you want to live up to your highest financial potential as a coach, this is the book for you. 

Best Books About Mindset

As you know, lasting change often comes from a shift in the way you think about things. These exceptional books about mindset will not only help you guide your clients towards a shift in perspective, but they may also help you grow your business. Win-win!

  1. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.

Written by one of the leading researchers in positive psychology, Learned Optimism describes the differences between pessimism and optimism. In it, Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., of the Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, outlines how shifting your perspective can impact your mental and physical health.

The tools from this classic 2006 read can help you guide your clients towards an optimistic mindset and help you develop optimism in your own life. Looking at things from the bright side can improve your health and make you happier.

  1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

Written by Carol Dweck, Ph.D., the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, this book epitomizes the saying “change your mindset, change your life.”

In Mindset, you’ll learn the difference between a fixed mindset (one in which you believe that your talents are innate) and a growth mindset (in which you believe that there is always opportunity for growth). A growth mindset, Dweck demonstrates, is necessary for success. The book also explains how a person can shift their mindset at any point in time, so somebody can quite literally change their perspective and potentially entire life right. Now. 

  1. The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity by Dr. Catherine Sanderson

Dr. Catherine Sanderson, a Poler Family Professor and Chair of Psychology at Amherst College, wrote an enlightening book about how mindset can affect your mental and physical health. This guide for finding happiness pulls from research in psychology, neuroscience and medicine, and uses it alongside real-life stories to illustrate how making minor tweaks in mindset can improve quality of life. 

Dr. Sanderson describes how to turn negative thoughts into positive experiences, such as turning stress into an energizer or negative experiences into an ability to enjoy the good parts of life.

Books About Habits

Our lives are the sum of small habits, which means that changing some of those habits can lead to major transformations. Here are some of the best books available all about creating sustainable habit change.

  1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

You may have already heard of Atomic Habits, a 2018 #1 New York Times Bestseller by James Clear. The popular book is an approachable read that gives practical, easy-to-follow advice about how to create habits. (If you were going to read just one book on habit change this year, this would be a good choice.) Not only does Clear go into detail about how habits work, he also gives instructions on how to implement new ones—and break old ones—in a way that brings about lasting transformation. 

  1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Written by Pulitzer prize winning journalist Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit lays out the science behind habits and explains how habit change actually works. In this book, he tells a string of stories that demonstrate how habits can make transcendent change in a person’s personal life and on the organizational level. Reading it will change the way you think about personal transformation.  

  1. Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits—to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin

Written by the author of several best-selling books about leading a happy life, Better than Before presents a framework for actually sticking with new habits. As a coach, and a human being, you’re likely familiar with how easy it can be to define a goal and how difficult it can be to stick with it to the finish line. 

In the 2015 publication, Gretchen Ruben walks the reader through the how-tos of creating habits, which she argues all starts with an understanding of yourself. By learning what incentivizes you (and your clients), you can create habit and accountability tools that will help with achieving your goals.

  1. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.

Many of us think that willpower is a virtue with which we are born, but psychologist and professor Kelly McGonigal describes willpower as a completely different beast in her book, The Willpower Instinct. Pulling from her “The Science of Willpower” class at Stanford, this book will teach you how to nurture willpower as a biological function, plus how to train your brain to achieve greater willpower.

This 2011 read offers optimistic advice and tangible practices that can help you move past guilt and shame, resist temptation and achieve your goals. It is an essential pick for any coach who works with clients who have a hard time sticking to their plans for growth.

  1. Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg, Ph.D.

Dr. Fogg is a habit expert from Stanford University and Tiny Habits is his practical guide to creating new habits quickly and easily. Dr. Fogg has tried and tested his innovative techniques for behavior change on upwards of 40,000 people (now that’s a lot of coaching clients!).

When we think of habit change, we often think of big goals that might not be within reach in the present moment. Dr. Fogg approaches habit change by defining small and achievable habits to help us attain what we want. What’s more, his innovative method involves using the power of positive emotions to become happier and healthier. 

  1. Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior by Richard O’Connor, Ph.D.

If you or your clients struggle with destructive habits such as procrastination, excessive worrying, addiction or overeating, then Rewire is for you. Written by renowned psychologist Richard O’Connor, this book outlines a no-nonsense, science-based approach to changing the way your brain reacts.

Rewire tells us that you can reprogram your brain to avoid self-sabotage by training it to withstand temptation and distraction. The book explores solutions to rewiring your mind that include mindfulness, self-control and confronting fear.

Spiritual Books About Coaching

When it comes to life-coaching, the importance of cultivating a spiritual foundation for yourself and your clients cannot be understated. Whether it’s mantras, manifestations or meditations, the following selections will give you the tools to connect to your spirituality and translate it into your business.  

  1. The Secret by Ronda Byrnes

This quintessential book about the law of attraction can help you manifest the life—and coaching business—of your desires. 

The Secret isn’t so much of a secret anymore, but this book is a good reminder that you can attract the things you desire in life through the power of belief. Even if you’ve already read The Secret, let this be a sign to reread this concise book that will remind you of the immense powers of transformation within you. 

  1. Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

This #1 New York Times best-seller can help you lead the life of your desires. Author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer guides you through transforming your relationship with your innermost self to live a life free from the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit you. 

Untethered Soul draws on meditation and mindfulness to help you live in the present moment. ​Reading it will help you move beyond what you think life is to a place of true freedom and happiness. It’s also a wonderful read for personal development and also for inspiring your work as a coach.

  1. The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson

If you are looking to grow your business and are drawn to the more spiritual side of things, then this book is perfect for you. As you may have experienced yourself, people who run mission-driven businesses often feel subconscious guilt about making money. This type of thinking can hold you back from running a thriving business and living the life you deserve.

Marianne Willilamson is a best-selling author who taps into spiritual principles in The Law of Divine Compensation that will help you move past anger, guilt and fear to find your calling. Williamson describes how you can unleash the divine abundance you deserve with surrender and love.

Books About Body-Mind Connection

Sometimes what is happening in your clients’ bodies might be holding them back from realizing their full potential. These books illuminate the mind-body connection in a way that will likely change the way you think about coaching.

  1. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. 

This 2015 release elucidates how trauma impacts people from all backgrounds and can create a ripple effect that extends to every aspect of life. Through exploration of research and clinical experience, Dr. van der Kolk details how traumatic experiences can cause prolonged physical and mental suffering.

Dr. van der Kolk also outlines possible solutions for healing this trauma including EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), mindfulness and yoga. This book will help you understand that many people experience trauma and that its effects might be hindering their journey towards health and happiness. As such, it’s an important read for coaches of all disciplines. 

  1. When the Body Says No by Gabor Maté

Written by renowned physician and expert on addiction, Gabor Maté, When the Body Says No explores the role of the mind in conditions such as arthritis, cancer and diabetes. Through the telling of powerful stories and exploration of research, Maté makes a case for the importance of the mind-body connection in wellness. 

This book reminds us that trauma and stress can present in the body in the form of disease, and offers principles that can help you heal and prevent hidden stress. Understanding the mind-body connection can help you become a better coach with a more holistic perspective of your clients’ needs and challenges.

  1. Rezoom: The Powerful Reframe to End the Crash-and-Burn Cycle of Food Addiction by Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., Everett Considine 

If your coaching clients are coming to you with concerns around yo-yo dieting or a never-ending search for weight loss, this book might be your best read of the year. Rezoom outlines how to change addictive eating habits in a practical way, by breaking down the psychological and biological foundations of addiction. It also offers a practical system towards a better path.

Rezoom was written by Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., who struggled with and overcame eating addiction.

Best Books About Leadership

In order to best teach clients how to become leaders in their own life, you must make sure as a coach that you’re also in charge of yours. The following books are written by some of the most prominent life coaches in the industry, and will provide you with the tools needed to shift your mindset into a leadership role. 

  1. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Tony Robbins

Written by one of the most revered coaches of all time, Awaken the Giant Within will help you leave behind limiting beliefs and live the life you deserve. Dare we say it might give you the perspective and inspiration to help your clients do the same?

Tony Robbins is a household name, having been a coach to several U.S. presidents, famous musicians, athletes like Serena Williams, and business leaders including Ray Dalio. If you haven’t read this book, you must tune into these invaluable insights from one of the best coaches of all time. It is truly a window into the secret sauce of success.

  1. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Being a coach isn’t just about helping people, it’s about inspiring people to take charge of their health and life to create transformation from within. Brené Brown is one of the most inspiring authors out there and her 2018 release is a dazzling guide to rising into authentic leadership. 

Dare to Lead is Brown’s fourth #1 New York Times best-selling book. Based on years of research on leaders, it will guide you to becoming an inspiring leader through exploring vulnerability, building trust  and tapping into your core values. 

  1. Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World by Adam Grant

This book outlines how to develop your creativity and find success through your unique ideas. Adam Grant explores research and stories from a variety of industries that demonstrate how good ideas are created, how to speak about your project, how to find allies and how dissenting views can be helpful. Grant is an organizational psychologist, a New York Times best-selling author and Wharton’s top-rated professor. Originals will inspire you to get out there and start creating.

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

This classic book about achieving great things is on its 30th edition and has sold 40 million copies since it was originally published. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is as simple as it sounds: it outlines seven of the key habits that can shape your success. 

In the book, Covey argues that there is no one pathway towards success; rather you must shift your perspective and take on these habits that will help you reach your goals on your own terms. 

Best Books About Entrepreneurship

If you are a coach, chances are you are also running your own business. Reading up on the best advice for entrepreneurs can help you build a successful coaching business that transforms lives—especially your own.

  1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

The premise of this book is that businesses founded on purpose are those that succeed. Sinek, author of multiple best-selling books and presenter of the third most watched TED talk on, argues that people don’t buy into a product, service or movement, they buy into the why behind it all. 

Through stories of some of the most successful people in history, Sinek illustrates a thread that ties them all together: a sense of purpose. Sinek’s work is so ubiquitous that you probably have already heard of the concept of defining the “why” behind your business. Reading the book will give you the insight to deepen your understanding of your purpose and use how to use it to grow your business.

  1. Wellpreneur: The Ultimate Guide for Wellness Entrepreneurs to Nail Your Niche and Find Clients Online by Amanda Cook

Author Amanda Cook is a digital marketing expert and health coach. She created Wellpreneur with the goal of helping health coaches and wellness entrepreneurs grow their business through clearly defining their niches online. Her expert advice will give you important insights into the world of digital marketing and help you implement strategies to attract more clients and revenue.

  1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

You probably love your job as a coach, so the idea of a four-hour work week might not even appeal to you—but hear us out. This best-selling book isn’t exactly about working just four hours a day, but it does provide a blueprint for working much more efficiently. It also explains the concept of passive income, which gives you the opportunity to make money when you’re away from your desk. 

The author, Tim Ferriss, was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People” and one of Fortune’s “40 under 40.” 

  1. Building a Wellness Business That Lasts: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love by Rick Stollmeyer

Rick Stollmeyer is the co-founder and CEO of Mindbody, a leading technology platform for the wellness industry. Stollmeyer believes that as we walk away from COVID-19 wellness is going to be more important than ever and the industry will boom.

The book details the nuts and bolts of setting up a wellness business, from identifying your passion to gaining experience, developing the essential traits of a wellness entrepreneur to  creating your business plan and securing financing. Everything you need to know about getting started is in between these pages. 

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