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.