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Photograph courtesy of Marko Mladenovic

Inside the Life of Life Coaches

Life coaching is not just a new Instagram self-care trend, but a new profession. We interviewed Marko Mladenovic, a UAE based life coach to learn more about the specifics of the profession.

One search on Google will yield many results on the interesting universe of life coaches combined with pictures of smiling people and meditation on the beach. Although life coaches may feel as if they are the most recent fad on Instagram in the area of self-care, life coaching has a surprisingly longer history than that.
Life coaching broke out on the public discourse in the ‘80s, with its founder Thomas Leonard. Since then, life coaching has become a credible career, with classes on life coaching offered at various universities along with specialized schools in life coaching. The origins of life coaching are traced back to sport coaching, and a lot of life coaching professionals explain life coaching along the lines of sport coaching.
In order to truly engage with the profession and to learn from the experience of a life coach, The Gazelle sat down with former NYU Abu Dhabi Director of Athletics, Marko Mladenovic, who decided to follow his passion and pursue a career in life coaching.
Pejchinovska: What made you pursue a career in life coaching?
Mladenovic: Even though I was the youngest Director [of Fitness and Wellness] at NYUAD, I decided to follow my heart and break out of the societal thinking of what would be the best thing for me and my career. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to help people, especially people who like me grew up in an unstable family with constant fights, raised with the mindset that people can only succeed with luck and taught with fear instead of with love.
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Photograph courtesy of Marko Mladenovic's Facebook
Pejchinovska: What is life coaching more specifically?
Mladenovic: As a life coach, you coach people about life, similar to how a sport coach would coach people in different sports. The “life” part of coaching encompases areas from character, love, relationships, spirituality, parenting, social life, career, finance management and so much more. A life coach is a person that has skills, understanding and tools to help other human beings get unstuck in life, to help them improve the quality of their life and essentially to help them to understand how life works. Life coaches help people realize who they really are as human BE-ings and not human DO-ings.
Pejchinovska: What does a life coaching career look like?
Mladenovic: For people who seek job stability, a regular income and a nine to five work schedule, life coaching is probably not the best career to choose. However, for those who are inspired and motivated to help other human beings on a much deeper level and are willing to transform themselves throughout the process, I highly recommend taking up life coaching. As a life coach, I do not have fixed hours, working days or one particular workplace. It’s simple, if someone has a problem and needs help, we would work together until we resolve it, no matter how long it may take. Life coaching brings fulfillment like no other career for me.
Pejchinovska: How does one become a life coach?
Mladenovic: If someone has a goal to just become a life coach, I would say it is pretty easy. A short course, a bit of online learning, a few books and you are good to go. However, if someone has a goal to become a really good life coach, that might require a longer process of self transformation and healing inner wounds, coupled with changing negative beliefs and the outlook on life. There is a huge difference between life coaches based on their quality and teachings.
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Photograph courtesy of Marko Mladenovic's Instagram
Pejchinovska: What are some common misconceptions and judgements that you have heard about your profession?
Mladenovic: I would say that most people don’t really understand the real meaning of life coaching. Living in the social media times, we are bombarded with so much information from people trying to give us advice on how we should live our lives. Most of this advice is superficial, has no real impact or doesn’t create any deeper change within the person who views it. Equating life coaching with social media advice might be the main reason why people don’t see life coaching as something powerful.
Pejchinovska: You are currently situated in the UAE. What are people’s responses to your career? Are people interested in life coaching?
Mladenovic: My life coaching practice is based in the UAE, however I am working all around the globe – wherever people need my help. As mentioned before, once people have a better understanding of what life coaching is and what can it do for them, they become a lot more interested to learn more about it. Of course, the main reason for this interest is the importance of getting to know yourself and learning about how life functions. Life coaching is becoming one of the biggest industries, especially in Europe/the U.S., as a response to the many new challenges arising daily that were unknown to us just a few years ago.
Pejchinovska: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me!
Although life coaching looks like the biggest new fad online, there are quite a few people who have dedicated their life, just like Mladenovic, to helping other people and teaching them about life. This does not mean that the life coaching career does not face skepticism. Many people online and in real life continue to look at life coaching as a scam or another “self-care” trend. However, it is undeniable life coaching is quickly becoming a well-known career, with more than 30 companies that offer life coaching just in the UAE.
If you would like to find out more about life coaching, or about Mladenovic’s life coach teachings, follow him on Instagram: @beremarkoble; website:; email:
Andrijana Pejchinovska is a staff writer. Email her at
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