‘Are you a life coach?’

When you opt for business mastery you actually opt for personal mastery too.

A conversation I had today about the corporate coaching space with a big brand made me curious about how ‘people’ generally think this works. Especially when it comes to life coaching.

So many times I am asked the standard ‘what do you do?’ question and the response is always the same when I say I’m a coach, ‘oh, is that a life coach?’ And I always stop in my tracks; and there could be several reasons for this, some of which may be controversial or challenging to some but when you become a coach (and a good one!) you learn to be bolder.

To say what maybe others won’t say. 

To go ‘out there’ and put your neck on the line. 

To be disruptive. 

Because who the hell wants a ‘coach’ who sits on the fence? Who doesn’t know how to take action themselves? Who isn’t fearless about what they want and what they believe in?

I for one, would NEVER make that hire when I’m looking to invest thousands in a bloody good coach who is going to help me move the needle FAST.

"When you opt for business mastery you actually opt for personal mastery too."

So going back to the life coach conversation…

My first reaction is normally ‘No, I’m a business coach.’

But then I feel this is so far from the complete truth.

Yes, I AM a business coach – I help my clients double, triple, quadruple their monthly income.

I take clients who used to have an average £8k-£10k design ‘job’ to a point which they now only have an initial discussion if the client has a £40k starting budget (their typical jobs are now £80,000 to £250,000 and at our last interim goal setting meeting we were discussing what sort of mindset shifts do they need to be bringing in £500,000 projects within the next two years).

I help clients turn around their online retail space to do in three months what they turned over in an entire year once they start working with me. The same client incidentally has had her best ever two months outside of the Christmas period, during Covid-19.

But why then do I feel odd about the ‘life coach’ aspect of the conversation?

It’s because when someone starts coaching with me they personal lives also benefit.

This is nothing to do with what I focus on with the client, but how the two – our personal and business / work lives – are SO intrinsically linked.

The chances are they’ve started working with me because they have hit a plateau in their career which is mimicked by their personal life; they may actually be faced with closing their business if they don’t turn it around fast; or their complete lack of confidence in themselves – because their business isn’t where it should or could be – means they have fallen out of love with themselves, as well as their life, business, partner.

I actually believe the ‘life coach’ may be able to stick to more personal and ‘life’ orientated questions in their coaching because granted, a life coach may not be business trained, other than being self employed running their practice.

But the business coach is trained in life (through innate experience) and they have probably (if they are any good) run businesses of their own.

The second part of the equation is that when an individual, entrepreneur, business owner is running a business the drivers, the force, the un-disputable WILL to make something of themselves, to better their life, to go further will – most of the time – be for SUCH a personal reason that it’s natural that the coaching stars spanning that space…the discussion leads to their home life, friendships, family, relationships. It’s a holistic approach.

The other irony (and this is the controversial bit!) is that men seem to automatically assume I am a ‘life coach’. As if there is no other type of coach. ‘A business coach?’ they say. ‘What does that mean?’ Women, by contrast, never seem to question it! So do men see the coaching space so differently that their perception is a coach automatically means you are a ‘life coach’? And women, who perhaps feel their need for business help is greater, are more ready to accept the business coach title?

"The boundaries you learn to build in your business - e.g. what you say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ to then also strengthen in your personal life"

The boundaries you learn to build in your business – e.g. what you say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ to then also strengthen in your personal life; the way you show up for work also affects how you choose to show up at home; the drive that you have in your business means that you start yearning for an equally successful reflection in your personal life. The two go hand in hand. The two work together.

We may be talking about a block to pushing through a business plateau and discover it links back to something happening at home…call it a limiting belief or a false truth you are telling yourself. It comes back to the same: when you opt for business mastery you also opt for personal mastery.

This is a conversation we used to have in coaching conferences with my own coach in the very beginning when we were trying to classify ourselves. We’d always ask the question ‘what sort of coach should I say I am?’ and she’d reply, ‘why do you need to classify yourself? You’re a coach! You transform people’s lives!’

Because we live to work and we work to live. And the two, when they are worked ‘on’ in equal measures, when we allow ourselves the pleasure in both, the outcome can be game-changing.

The outcome, can in fact, be ‘life changing.’