What’s the difference between a business coach and a strategist?

Well, for my new friends here, it’s important to know that I am not a business coach, I’m a strategist. And there is a HUGE difference between the two. Something you must understand prior to even thinking about spending your hard-earned money on outside help!

What is a Business Coach?

A business coach is someone who knows how to ask the right question, to prompt and prod you into figuring out your own solutions. S/he refrains from doing it all for you and instead acts as a sounding board, listening to your struggles, holding you accountable to your goals, and pointing you in the right direction towards achieving your goals.

A good business coach has great communication skills and works to guide you towards doing your own problem-solving. They have a tendency to talk things out and end the session with (ideally) you having figured out what next steps you should take to achieve your goals.

Being a coach, though, isn’t what I do. As I said, I’m a strategist.

What is a Business Strategist?

A strategist is someone who looks at the big picture: where you came from, where you are, and where you want to be. She evaluates your foundation, checking for cracks or weak spots, and helps to ensure you’re building a strong, durable business.

Think of it like Sudoku – you already have a number of pieces in place, but you’re missing key components to full finish the puzzle that’ll lead to profits, and that’s where the strategist comes into play.

A strategist also tells you what directions you should take. A good strategist takes into consideration your current mindset and adjusts her approach accordingly, working with you to map out a route that will guarantee you success provided you follow it.

What is an Efficiency Strategist?

Efficient business strategies are a must in business AND in life beyond work. This is why I often say that my business is “where personal development means business” – you have to work on yourself as a whole if your goal is to become a successful, profitable entrepreneur.

As a work-at-home mom with two under five, time management is quite literally my life. Without my own strategies, I’d be caught in a constant cycle of “good enough!” and I’d never see the five-figure profits I know I’m capable of (and that I know YOU’RE capable of, too!!)

An efficiency strategist (me) is someone who gets you out from under the overwhelm. We work together to develop time management techniques and a more productive mindset. We talk about where your efforts are being wasted, where you need to step up your game a bit, and how to do it all without risking that burn out.

It’s all about mapping out a route that works for you. If you can’t swim, I’m not going to suggest you cross an ocean to get to where you’re going. You’ll drown and I might be looked at a bit suspiciously – not good for either of us.

Don’t invest if you’re not ready!

I’m sure there are a few of you reading this thinking “Wait…does she want me to hire her or not?” But just as I’m careful about who I take on as clients, I feel it’s incredibly important that you take your time with hiring a mentor of any sort.

I hired my first “business coach” (and oooh how I use that term loosely!) about three years ago when I was first getting started working from home and she was really great at writing copy…and that’s about all she was good at. If I’d done my research, I would have noticed she’d never had a job outside of multi-level marketing and that’s exactly how she was treating her business – training others to be a “business coach” like her, never actually providing business advice or proven strategies. So now I’m all the more blunt about others doing their research – whether you’re thinking of hiring me or anyone else! It’s easy to be blinded by the money, but don’t let someone fool you into losing yours.

How do I know when to hire outside help?

Personally, I would never recommend hiring a mentor, coach, strategist, etc. until you’re at least six months into running your online business or blog. There is SO much free information out there that I have no doubt you can build a sturdy foundation without investing thousands of dollars and no guarantee of any sort of ROI at all. Most bloggers and the like quit within the first year because they quickly realize just how much work it truly is. Hiring outside help will certainly expedite your journey, but it won’t ensure you don’t burnout or realize this “adventure” isn’t for you.

So when you’re thinking about hiring a business strategist or the like, really take a moment to flesh out EXACTLY what kind of help you’re looking for. Do you struggle with marketing? Do you struggle with mindset? Do you struggle with content creation? Make a list of anything and everything you feel like you need guidance on and only then should you go out to try and find someone that might be worth hiring.

Once you do find someone who offers 1:1 programs, do your due diligence. Take the time to comb through their freebies and see if their teaching style and personality fit well with yours. Don’t be wooed by the copy only to discover it’s not actually what you were looking for. Look at their LinkedIn. Actually reach out and talk to those they’re using as testimonials. Ask for additional recommendations within your favorite Facebook groups.

Above all else, trust your gut. It can be easy to confuse doubt/fear of failure with your intuition, but that’s why I always recommend you take your time. Any business strategist or otherwise that’s worth investing in will still be around a month from now!

Are you thinking about hiring a mentor?

Do you think you need a coach or a strategist?