Should you hire a business coach or a life coach?
This is a common question faced by entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self-employed people - should I hire a business coach or a life coach?
Of course, there's no right or wrong answer, as it does really depend on what exactly one needs help with.
Maybe you genuinely don't know anything about profit margins or consumer behaviour and need someone to guide you on these aspects.
But maybe there are other, deeper reasons that hold you back from growing your business that you're not even aware of.
Therefore, I'm going to share with you 2 case studies in the hope it will help you to find your own answer to this question.
Case study 1
A few months ago I was contacted by a woman who has her own small business in the healthcare industry.
Whilst it was doing well, her dream was to have her own clinic, with her name above the door outside, and other practitioners renting room space from her, instead of the other way around.
She was SO passionate and clear about what she wanted, she could envisage exactly what the clinic would look like, even down to the colour of the cushions on the reception sofa.
It meant so much to her to achieve this dream, but she was stuck. She didn't know how to move forward.
So she did what was obvious to do when trying to expand a business - she hired a business coach.
He was even someone that had experience in the exact same type of healthcare she was providing.
But after a few sessions, she knew she wasn't getting anywhere.
For some reason, what he was saying to her just wasn't hitting the mark, despite the fact that he'd achieved the very thing she was trying to!
That's when she decided to reach out to me instead.
In the first conversation with her, she told me that she felt that she just had no idea what to do or how to do it because she'd never done it before.
But this didn't make sense to me.
She'd 'never done it before' when she opened her existing practice, yet she managed it quite successfully then, why was this different?
In session 2, she mentioned that opening this new clinic occurred to her like a massive mountain to climb - it seemed really difficult, a huge daunting challenge, and one she didn't know if she could manage.
What was holding her back was her fear that it wouldn't work, or that she'd fail at it.
So I simply asked her, why?
What does opening your own clinic really mean for you?
The next thing I know, she's telling me about how she was put up for adoption as a child, how she failed her first attempt at getting a degree - and what all this meant was she needed to prove herself.
THAT'S why it felt like such a massive mountain to her - because she was synchronising the whole thing with her self-worth and identity.
And if it didn't work out, it would mean (to her) that she was a failure and not worthy.
No wonder she was so afraid of it not working out.
And no wonder it meant so much to her that it did!
So I hit her (verbally, of course!) with a hard truth:
It won't work.
Opening her own clinic will not leave her feeling like she's proven herself.
And she will be forever chasing her tail if she continues to believe it will.
Because she has nothing to prove in the first place.
The idea that she needs to prove herself was something she made up in her own mind, and it's no more true than the idea of Santa Claus dropping down her chimney on the 24th December.
It took her a bit of time to digest this.
I was asking her to give up a huge part of her identity.
But guess what she told me in the next session:
"Opening my own clinic now just occurs to me as a list of things to do".
One powerful conversation.
And what previously felt impossible to her now suddenly felt pretty easy.
A business coach was never going to be able to help her with that.
Case study 2
Case study number 2 is actually myself.
When I first started my coaching business, I was VERY much focused on the business side of things.
I knew that most coaches, whilst great coaches, knew very little about how to grow a business, and so I decided I would put my attention into learning these aspects and avoid the same hurdles that others faced.
The first 2 coaches I hired were business coaches: one was a sales coach and the other was a marketing and branding coach.
I also spent most of my time focused on the business-y things I needed to do, like perfecting my website, figuring out marketing strategies, building a mailing list, and getting sucked into ads promising "the only strategy you need to earn a million pounds in 2 minutes".
But things weren't really working.
And the less things worked, the more I was urged to spend more time on business strategy.
A friend of mine, who started his coaching business at the same time as me, was having much better success than me, however.
I asked him how he was doing it, and it turned out that he was much more focused on his own personal development. And he'd hired a life coach, rather than a business coach.
He didn't have a mailing list.
He didn't know anything about marketing strategies.
And yet somehow he was raking in clients for over £5k a time.
He tried to encourage me to spend more time on my own personal development, like working on my own mindset, beliefs and habits.
My response was always: "I don't have time".
That was until I had had enough of not getting anywhere, and decided to hire the coach he'd been working with too.
In my very first conversation with that life coach, I completely shifted my mindset and I suddenly saw how me working on myself (instead of my business) was the fastest and most secure way to make my business grow.
Now, the most important part of my day is taking the time to cultivate the mindset and beliefs I want to have.
I consciously create who and how I am being.
I've re-written how I see myself.
I've shifted from 'how can I get clients and income' to 'how can I just really make a difference to people'.
And within less than a year, I've gone from earning £6000 in 8 months, to earning almost £10k in one month and over £11k in the next.
Because I hired a life coach who helped me to work on myself, as the foundation to me working on my business.
YOU are the foundation.
YOU are the foundation to EVERYTHING.
Grow that, and everything you want will grow with it.
With much love,