Who Do You Need? Coach or a Consultant?
In my mind, and those who do what I do and those who are certified coaches, it is clear our roles are extremely different. Yet, this definition may not be clear to you. Before you spend a dime (or many hundreds) investing in your business, it is up to you to understand this difference. More importantly, it is up to you to decide what you need in order to choose who you need to hire.
Coach Versus Consultant
In the simplest terms, a coach leads you to understanding. A coach helps you problem solve at a personal level, the core essence of who you are and what you, the person, needs to overcome or shift beyond or understand or accept in order to dig deep into moving beyond. A coach unsticks you when you are personally stuck.
A consultant gives you the insights, tools, advice and ideally, an action plan needed to reach personal and business goals. Some consultants are implementers (they do the work for you). Some consultants map it out.
In both cases, the words “coach” and “consultant” are incredibly limiting. In both cases, when you hire, you are hiring based on a personality fit between you and them.
Are You Hiring a Person or a Skillset?
Sometimes you fall in love with a person and hand over your hard-earned income on a passionate hope they will fix all your problems. Because you love that person.
Do yourself a favour and make sure you have fallen in love with the right skill-set to help you too. Loving the person is critical. Hiring a coach or consultant is intensely personal (if you can’t get safely personal, you aren’t hiring the right coach or consultant), but beyond connecting on a deeply human level, you have to pay for the outcomes you need too, not just a new best business girlfriend (or boyfriend).
If you know who you are and what you do already and need the path to get growing in the most efficient, results-oriented manner, hire a consultant.
If you aren’t sure who you are or what you do clear enough to create an action plan, hire a coach. But make sure when you do, you hire a coach who is committed to kicking you in the arse or gently leading you (with a purpose) to get over yourself already and get onto your success.
You Probably Aren’t Clear on What I Do
I am a consultant with coaching savvy because I have intuitive people skills and I care about you, not just the outcomes. However, I am not a certified coach. I don’t guide you. I wean out of you what you know for sure (even if you can’t clearly express it – I am intuitive I said ) and then I am an arse-kicker. When you are ready to shift what you know about you into a brand, a plan and a readiness to be told what to do to create your success (tough but kind), hire me (or I can refer to you others like me) so I can gently push you where you need to go, with a clear set of actions to get you there. If you need someone to help you rise up to be the best you before you can commit to telling the world how awesome you truly are, let me refer you to a coach.
By the way, the words coach and consultant are extremely limited. Most coaches find their niche because they have other talents that enhance their flavour of coaching. This can be said for consultants too. My unique flavour of consulting involves many things like training and workshops. For example, I’m passionate about making sure the small business owner can learn to be their own best marketer. You can’t afford to hire me forever, so I better teach you a few things to do yourself! I will definitely be an implementer (it’s a great skill I do have) to get you rolling. But, if you want someone who will implement everything for you, so you don’t have to learn, let me refer you to a different kind of consultant (but perhaps you need to hire a contractor on a continuing basis in this case).
So Who Do You Need on Your Team?
Sometimes you can hire a coach and consultant at the same time. Often you don’t have the cash flowing enough to hire both and I get that. So, make sure you know the skill set you are hiring for before you commit your money. Make sure you know the outcome you want. Then hire.
If you can hire both a coach and consultant, it is critically important you are extremely transparent with both advisors about what you are doing – the greater good is at stake. Your job is to be a clear communicator to get the fastest outcome you can in the best way.
My entrepreneurial coaching friend Aly Pain has more on the difference of Coach vs Consultant here: http://youtu.be/5enM1pZ0ql8.
Here is the starting point with most clients so you can see how I “consult”: Accelerator.
Be stealth with your money and your time. Who do you need right now to help you move forward?