Welcome to Navigating Your Course for Success

Are You A Coach? Part One

Business CoachIf you are saying to people you are a coach be ready for a sideways glance or two.

Everyone is saying they are a coach for anything. This is what has become of the term coach. When starting my own practice as a Business Consultant over ten years ago, all that came to mind was my interest in adding value to others, and mentoring type of work is what interested me. At that time, in my part of the world, if you said you were a coach to someone the assumption was you were speaking about your volunteer work and they would ask you, “Good for you, Little League or Soccer?” The concepts of coaching were at that time very California or Boston based. Yes, there were books and a few coaches around here and there. It was not a mainstream topic and certainly not a fully recognized profession for someone to undertake for a living other than Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the NBA, and other similar sports teams.

Today there is a proliferation of people who will say they are a coach. This will be from gardening, to your home décor, to dating and as in the ad, your pet. A coach for your pet!

What does this mean for you in your specific area of expertise? My suggestion is to absolutely focus on your specific area, skill or value you add. Consider leading with this term or these terms when describing what you do for people or businesses. For Example if you are a Marketing Pro and possibly call yourself a Marketing Coach – A few years ago “Marketing Guru” was perfect. Not so much any longer. “Explosive Marketing Genius”, “Marketing Made Easy Pro” or something which works for you, your personality and will speak to your audience.

The point is that you cannot just say you are a coach with or without a few words before or after the word coach, and assume this means anything to anyone. This is almost like announcing, “Yes, I am a living and breathing person.” Uh, okay, tell me a bit more please?

What else might you do? How about what differentiates you from everyone else? In fact, let’s call this article Part One and the next article we will cover that topic in Part Two!

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.


  1. Over the past year or so it has become even more important to play up the differentiation, I agree. And “coach” has become a catch-all term, for sure.

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      It almost makes you want to show up at a conference wearing a ball cap and a whistle. “Yep, so I am a coach, how about you?”

  2. It’s true people are adding the word “coach” to what they do, but like a soccer coach who doesn’t play the game for you, but instead “coaches” you to do your best, “coach” is an accurate word. I think it falls somewhere between Guru and Therapist… and being that I am neither of those, nor do I want to be, I’ll stick with coach. And I agree Mitch, differentiating myself has helped people understand what I do.

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Yes, understanding what you do is critical. Unfortunately like the interview process for a job when the decision is made in the first three minutes, the term brings some predetermined ideas in the minds of potential clients.

  3. Good point, people need to know about how you are different

  4. I agree, it seems like everyone and their mother is a coach these days. You definitely need to differentiate yourself from the masses.

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Right On! Except it is their Father, their Brother and their Sister as well!

  5. I agree, clarifying is important. Especially in my field which is health and nutrition.

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Of course, what is it that makes you the one to work with or to listen to in this crowded field?

  6. I agree specific works for me too – it’s always the case with deregulated industries that people hang a shingle out and call themselves anything

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Here is the thing, there is some regulation in the field of coaching.
      It is just not in the awareness or the value system of the buyer.
      Therefore the coaches do not all see the value and neither does the consumer in the ICF Certification.

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