It may seem like a New Age millennial trend, but the concept of a “life coach” actually dates back to the 1980s, when American financial planner Thomas Leonard was credited with the creation of the life coaching profession. Since then, life coaching – which hovers somewhere between therapy and hanging out with an enthusiastically supportive friend – has grown into a larger community with myriad niche specializations, from financial advice to organizational know-how. These Valley coaches are available to anyone in need of direction or help.
The All-Around Aide
Ever since Kenny Weiss was a child, he’s been able to walk into a room and gauge the emotional frequency of the people in it, often more clearly than they themselves. In 2018, Weiss started The Greatness Movement, a self-awareness program that focuses on personal development, relationships, self-awareness, communication and leadership. “The mission of The Greatness Movement is to guide you to become the greatest version of yourself,” Weiss says. Weiss offers private coaching and the opportunity to discuss your issues with others in his Greatness Groups, which consist of about 8-10 people each and meet monthly.
The Money Maverick
During a 14-hour surgery in 1986, life coach Pat Moran died. Miraculously, however, he was revived. After eight months in the hospital, he was left with an overwhelming amount of debt. After that, he decided to help people in the same position. In 2016, Moran co-founded the American Financial Literacy Institute, a program that provides financial advice after a chronic illness, long-term medical care or an unexpected loss. The institute runs professional workshops and conducts seminars for people at all economic levels. “People right now have not been given any formal education or any type of understanding of how to manage their finances,” Moran says. “When I’m trying to help people with their day-to-day finances, I have lived the story.”
The Body-Positivity Pro
At a young age, Melody Pierce was diagnosed with an eating disorder after the loss of her father. “I struggled through my recovery journey and never could really find peace,” Pierce says. “Once I embraced recovery and found my groove, I knew a heart for advocacy and giving back to those who helped me was calling me.” She now works with three organizations to help others recover from their own eating disorders – the National Eating Disorders Association, Andy Hull Sunshine Foundation and the S.T.E.P.S. program, which she founded. S.T.E.P.S. focuses on helping middle-grade children overcome eating disorders by teaching body acceptance and providing support.