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I’ve chatted with a number of people lately who have been feeling burnt by the online coaching space. Coaches not providing them the service they thought they were buying, others not providing direct feedback or reviewing the work they’ve done while in their 1-on-1 or group programs and some teaching strategies that just aren’t right for people at their current stage of business. 

Have you experienced any of these?

The thing is, the coaching space is unregulated. Anybody can call themselves a coach BUT there is a HUGE difference between Coaching and Consulting. To make it even more confusing, I see many people who are actually consulting call themselves coaches. Add to that there is still some confusion about what coaches actually do and it makes sense that people are left misunderstanding what they’re buying and what the actually need.

So, here’s my take.

Coaching

Coaching is guided by the principle that deep down, the client knows the best outcome for their life. That means pure coaching doesn’t include advice or telling someone the exact steps to take. It is based on guiding and supporting the client to bring out the answers for themselves, witness their own habits, patterns and beliefs and set their own clear actions. The coach asks powerful questions, mirrors back to the client what they’re saying and holds space for the client to look at things within themselves that they may have never before. It’s hugely transformational and empowering for the client. Life changing when you work with the right coach!

Consulting

Consulting is when strategy or specific tactics are taught, advice provided or the consultant does the work for you. It’s often based around a blueprint, framework or the consultants own step-by-step plan to achieve certain results. The difference being that they are often advising or teaching you the next steps to take and giving you a process to follow.

Coaching and Consulting both have their place

It’s important to note that both are important and have their place. I’ve worked as both and I’ve hired both. When I want to learn a specific thing, say for example how to create targeted Facebook ads, then it makes sense for me to work with someone who is an expert in that and teaches that specific thing. When I want to uplevel, get out of my own way or move into the next version of myself or trust more in myself and the answers aligned with my version of success, I’m likely to hire a Coach.

What I’ve found and seen to be true is that in most cases, consulting will not address the root cause, mindset or limiting beliefs that are keeping you in your own way. That is why some people find themselves learning and learning and learning but never implementing in their business. They are holding themselves back in some way most likely through procrastination, self doubt, fear because of a deeper core belief around worthiness, money, success and/or ‘not good enough’. Consulting or learning a technique, tactic or process will not move through limiting beliefs and fears.

What I’ve personally found that in business there are ever changing algorithms, new things to learn, strategies and tactics, business building skills, marketing, managing money and systems, sales processes, content creation, social media, seriously #allthethings. When people are creating a business for the first time (and are an expert in the service they provide, not necessarily an expert in running a business) or stepping into a new level with their business then assuming that they know the answers as to what they should do – just doesn’t make sense.

People who are starting their first business or coming up against a new challenge literally will not know the proven strategies and tactics to get the results they desire. They could spend years through trial and error to find what works, or if they want to save time, money, stress and heartache they can bring someone onto their team to guide them through a proven path that is adapted for them, their strengths and their business.

I believe that to create success as an online, personal brand, service based business, you need BOTH and often both at the same time. There are times to work with people purely on tactics, there are times to work on yourself purely with coaching but in my experience, when you are ready to transform your business, yourself and your results, you need both.

That’s exactly why I call myself a Mindset Coach + Business Strategist. I blend both together in my work with my clients. My experience has shown me that there’s a need to bring that mix together to create success in business. Having gone on my own journey working as both and working with both, I created my own signature framework of Mindset, Marketing + Money Mastery to guide you through the key pillars to move the needle in your business.

I often see the need for coaching getting out of our own way, uplevelling, moving through the fears of being seen and to transform ourselves into the successful business owner we see in our minds eye and we need to pair that with proven strategy that works to drive results in our business.

Have you ever thought about the difference between coaching and consulting in business? Do you feel comfortable asking your coach during the Discovery Process how they approach their coaching?