What kind of coach do I need?

People say I should get a coach. But there are business coaches, life coaches, executive coaches and more. What is the difference and which do I need?
You’re right. If you go to any networking event, you can’t swing a cat without hitting someone who calls themselves a coach. (Note: I do not advocate any mistreatment of animals, whether by swinging them or any other ill treatment. I love my dog!).
Here are some of the key distinctions

1. Business Coaches:

  • Focus: Primarily centered on small to medium sized businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs.
  • Objective: To help clients develop and implement strategies to improve business operations, growth, and profitability. This could include areas like strategic planning, culture development, marketing, finance, operations, sales, and more.
  • Clients: Typically business owners, entrepreneurs, or organizations looking to grow or navigate challenges.

2. Life Coaches:

  • Focus: Broad spectrum of personal challenges and aspirations.
  • Objective: To guide clients in personal development, achieving life goals, and overcoming personal challenges. This can encompass a wide range of areas from relationships to personal fulfillment, from work-life balance to personal passions. It’s important to know what your particular challenge is so you can match with the focus of any life coach. 
  • Clients: Individuals from all walks of life looking for clarity, direction, or personal growth in any area of life.

3. Executive Coaches:

  • Focus: Corporate sector, particularly senior executives, leaders, and high-potential employees.
  • Objective: To enhance leadership skills, decision-making abilities, team dynamics, communication, and other skills vital to executive roles. They often address challenges specific to leadership like managing teams, navigating organizational politics, strategic planning, or leading change.
  • Clients: CEOs, C-suite executives, managers, leaders, or any high-potential employees in an organization.
Besides these, there are many other specialized coaches catering to niche areas, including:
  • Career Coaches: Focus on helping clients navigate their career paths, transitions, and job searches.
  • Health and Wellness Coaches: Concentrate on physical health, nutrition, and overall well-being.
  • Performance Coaches: Aim to enhance an individual’s performance in a specific field, which could be sports, arts, or any other domain.
  • Relationship Coaches: Address challenges and aspirations related to relationships, be it romantic, familial, or platonic.
When considering a coach, it’s pretty darn important to understand your specific needs and objectives. This will help you identify the right type of coach and ensure a successful coaching relationship.
Me? I’m a business coach.
One of the other important distinctions is to recognize that a coach isn’t a therapist. Sometimes, even coaches forget that distinction. Coaches are there to help you take action going forward so you can achieve objectives. Yes, that may occasionally involve looking at some blocks. But coaches are not there to help you heal the past or address complex psychological or emotional issues.