I believe that everyone can benefit from hiring a coach at some point or another, so this article is a must-read for all. Sooner or later in life, you may encounter either a struggle in a specific area or the desire for more. Then it is time to explore hiring a coach.
Why I Believe in Coaching over Courses
A coach can get you results faster, save you the headache of wasting time and money on books and courses that may not fully solve your problem or may leave you more confused (and poorer) than beforehand, and most importantly, can change your life, seriously.
The time to buy a course is clear to me: when you have a very niche need such as learn how to speak Spanish or Introduction to Street Photography AND you are… not in any rush, have very limited funds, and not depending on this skill as the main way to make money. A course is perfect for a hobby or to gain knowledge about something to enhance your work. It is also fine to buy a course and to hire a coach. Your coach may recommend good training for different areas you want to learn more about. Here is a guide on how to buy a great course.
But it isn’t as easy as ‘Go hire a coach’’. In fact, coaching is an unregulated industry, there are a million certification programs that make it hard to tell what is quality or not, and there is no officially accredited bureau to rate coaches. So it a challenge to vet coaches, know where to find them, what to expect, what to pay, and how to get the most out of working with one.
The following advice applies to whatever type of you are hiring:
1/ Know If You Need a Life Coach or a Therapist (or Both)
Life coaching and therapy are very different yet to the consumer, it may overlap and feel a bit like the same thing. My take on it is that coaching is to improve and experience a transformation in a specific area of your life for your future (business, career, relationships, or a specialty) whereas therapy is to help you deal with the past, heal trauma or grief, and support you emotionally through a difficult life situation such as a difficult breakup or divorce, etc. Coaching and therapy can work well together, but sometimes they need to be in consecutive order with therapy first, then coaching. A person can’t benefit from coaching (they are not coachable) if they are too distracted by holding on to past beliefs and drama and due to that, suffering from self-doubt, self-loathing, or depression that sucks up all their energy. Therapy can help them release and heal those feelings first, and then they can move forward with coaching towards a brighter future, sometimes while also continuing therapy in parallel.
2/ Hire the Right Type of Coach
The types of coaches are endless. Believe it or not, sometimes people mistakenly hire the wrong type of coach! There are essentially five types of coaches to choose from:
a) Career — or Business-Related Coaches
- Performance Coaches — They help you increase your output in your area of expertise
- Executive Coaches — They specialize in helping CEOs and Executives do their best jobs
- Sales Coaches — They work with sales professionals to help them achieve top performance
- Business Coaches -They help people build and grow businesses. Within this area, there are some who specialize in a specific type of business, such as podcasting, e-commerce, photography, or for certain types of people like multi-level marketers or stay-at-home moms.
- Career Coaches — They help employees succeed in their existing jobs or help people to get new jobs
- Job Coaches — They help teens or young adults figure out what their ideal profession should be
- Transitional Coaches — They help people decide to return to the workforce after a long career break or if switching careers, to figure out what to do
b) Life Coaches
- Life Coaches — They help people who feel lost or stuck about what to do next in their lives
- Burnout Coaches — They help people who feel stressed and burnt out to find their calm again and cope with stress
- NLP Coaches — These coaches are a type of life coach but they use techniques from Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to better understand the inner workings of the brain and communication for improved personal development and career performance
- Manifestation Coaches — They help their clients manifest in their lives what they most desire
- Energy Healers — These types of coaches work with one’s inner energy to release negative emotions that could be holding one back in life
c) Health Coaches
- Fitness/Sports Coaches — There are an array of coaches in the sports/fitness industry, so pick the one who is an expert in the sport you practice
- Wellness/Nutritional Health Coaches — They design customized health plans for their clients who are struggling from unhealthy lifestyles and habits
- Weight Loss Coaches — They specialize in helping their clients lose weight, typically with their method that you must follow
- Sex Coaches — No need for me to elaborate here, I believe it is clear!
- Meditation Coaches — Increasingly popular, meditation is a tool to destress and increase mental clarity
d) Relationship Coaches
- Couple Coaches — They help couples to overcome problems in their relationship to regain a thriving marriage
- Dating Coaches — They help singles design a plan to find the right partner and overcome any personal obstacles holding them back
- LGBT Coaches — There are specific coaches who specialize in the gay community and can help with issues that pertain to their relationships
e) Specialty Coaches
- Public Speaking Coaches — They teach people how to get up on a stage for their careers and deliver compelling speeches, talks, or interview well
- Social Media Coaches — They usually specialize in one platform, like Linkedin coaches or Instagram coaches
- Self-Confidence Coaches — They work on overcoming shyness and increasing self-confidence and assertiveness
- Finance Coaches — These coaches help you get your finances organized and better with money, reduce debt, save for your dreams, etc.
- Coach for Introverts — These coaches work with introverted clients to help them manage issues at work or in their personal lives
- ADHD Coaches — They help people diagnosed with ADHD to become more high functioning and successful
- Teen Coaches — There are coaches who help teens navigate the crazy world of teenage hood and work on self-confidence, cyberbullying, stress, and academic pressure
And many, many more! You can find a coach for anything today, seriously.
2/ Know What You Are Looking for In a Coach Personally (Charm or Substance?)
You may know the area you need coaching, but this is a personal service so you’ll want to reflect carefully on whom you need most.
Are you buying into their bubbly personality and great lifestyle photos and videos you love since you follow them on Instagram or Tiktok?
Or, are you more interested in their actual proven expertise to help people like you? Do they have enough experience or training in the field you need help in?
People buy based on emotion and then hope for substance. This can be a catastrophe if coaches are all charm with little to provide. In fact, sadly, some coaching programs train coaches to “just get clients and then worry about how to help them later.” I’ve known of coaches who sell a course they haven't even actually developed yet and then produce it as they go on the fly whilst clients are completely oblivious they are not getting a built course.
The coaching industry has exploded in recent years and enabled many bad coaches to emerge. Many of these coaches should not be coaching. The saying goes “One bad apple can spoil the entire barrel.” but like in every profession, there are honest and dishonest, competent and incompetent, and amateur and professional types. Unfortunately, they usually get away with it since clients feel embarrassed they paid them money and don’t want to publicly draw attention to their mistake, so they stay quiet after disappointing coaching experiences. While I too don’t like hating on anyone, at the very least, you should talk to your “bad” coach about how you felt. After all, it is only fair since they probably have no idea you didn’t feel you got results unless you communicate it. Here are my tips to avoid bad coaches.
3/ Vet Your Coach Carefully Before Hiring
Once you decide to get a coach, there is usually a sense of urgency that you want to get started right away. That is great! But just like hiring anyone, you should still follow a clear hiring protocol. After all, coaching is a big investment, usually in the 5-figure range (and sometimes 6-figures).
Here are my tips to go about hiring a good coach.
One of the main issues is that one might hire a good coach for the right thing but hate their method. Don’t be shy to ask questions upfront to make sure you know what you are getting for your money.
4) Make Sure You are Coachable
While I can’t promise there is ever a right time, there is definitely a wrong time. Check the signs that you may not be ready to work with a coach. It would definitely be frustrating and costly for you to hire a coach if you aren’t in the right state to work with one.
5) Be Ready to Put In the Work, Not See Results, and Keep Going Until You Do
Regardless of what you are trying to achieve, mindset is where the true magic happens. But that doesn’t only mean having a strong desire and determination to succeed. A coach can get you results only if you act as an equal partner. In-between coaching sessions, it is on the client to do the homework and put in the time and effort to move forward.
You should hire a coach if you want to experience a clear Before and After transformation. Imagine what exactly you want your life to look like, identify what is holding you back, and hire the right coach to get you there. I am an advocate to always have one type of coach or another because personal development is a big value of mine. Are you ready to become the best version of yourself beyond whatever you thought you were capable of? Go out there and win today!