Wouter Kleinsman

Wouter Kleinsman

Do not hire a business coach if you need a life coach

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Don’t hire a business coach if you need a life coach. The question is, what’s the difference between the two? A business coach is great at helping companies to become (even) more successful and does not tend to address personal influences. As a coach, I guide not only the most successful entrepreneurs, directors and leaders, but also people ‘without status’ who have a winner mindset. These people often do not need a business coach in their lives. They need a life coach who takes their business and personal life to the next level.

Do you know any, ‘successful people’ who make a lot of money but are never there for their family, neglect their body and health or are so incredibly ‘busy’ that they don’t see how unproductive and ineffective they are? Or is this describing yourself?

Over the years many people have come to me for business coaching. After our consultation call, they choose life coaching instead. They recognized one or more of the signals below.

1. Successful business, but not happy

Money does not buy happiness. This is supported by research showing that earning more than € 80,000 a year does not make you any happier. What does make a difference is improving your life in terms of your time management, mindset, hobbies, relationships and your body

So if earning money is easy for you, but you’re not happy, a business coach cannot help you. Several of my clients scored a nine in the business and financial areas of their life. Other areas of life, such as relationships, health and body, scored a meger six. That resulted in a low total score for overall life. In order to become happier, they had to work on things that had nothing to do with their company. A life coach can help with that.

2. You miss the ‘drive for life’

Is it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because you don’t feel like working? Are you easily distracted at work? These may be signs that you are on the wrong path but you might not see it because you think your current job is what you should keep doing forever. I am referring to family businesses, for example, where you are ‘programmed’ to work in the company from an early age. Or people whose parents decided that their son or daughter should become a doctor or a solicitor.

Hence, calling in a business coach in this situation is not going to help. Especially if you really are in the wrong place because a business coach won’t be able to help you.

It is precisely in this situation that a life coach is the best investment that you should make. A life coach who shows you straight-to-the-point what’is going on and what the next step in your life should be. That can be hard for some people, including Mike.

In my book ‘How to become a game-changer’ I share his story:

Mike is 34 and has set up several successful companies, so he no longer has to work for his money. You’d think that this would make Mike happy… but that’s not the case. His goal was to become a millionaire before his thirtieth birthday so that more people would respect him. In the past, he was never respected. He achieved his goal and then soon gained three important insights:

  1. He had set up his businesses from a money goal.
  2. Being a millionaire didn’t make him any happier, it didn’t satisfy him, and people didn’t respect him anymore.
  3. His choices in setting up the various businesses were based on his limiting beliefs and thoughts.

Not so handy for Mike.

3. You have problems with others

When you work with people, chances are that you sometimes have differences of opinions. Three out of four of my clients have the same problems with their partner, employees or freelancers. When you think you need a business coach to deal with this ‘business situation’ then you are seeing it wrong.

Problems in communication with other people have everything to do with yourself, whether it is the partner, a colleague, an employee or an external freelancer. When people don’t do their job well, you have to look at yourself. Pointing the finger at others is not going to help.

An example situation of one of my clients: a successful director of five successful companies. He indicated that freelancers were not doing their jobs properly, they were always late to finish projects and they did not take him seriously. The problem? In the life coaching it soon emerged that HE was the problem:

  • He did not take leadership in communication. There were no rules and clear deadlines, creating expectations where firm agreements were needed.
  • When deadlines were not met, he did not act harshly, but accepted their bad behavior and was therefore no longer taken seriously.

As a life coach, I showed him straight-to-the-point what was going on and how he could take leadership in this situation so that it didn’t happen next time.

4. You don’t have a challenging goal

People who lead an average life are often aimless. But successful and driven people can also sometimes be aimless. For example; after a period of time spent focusing on a certain goal that is then achieved, there is a great temptation to take time off and not to set another goal. Another possibility is that set goals are not challenging enough.

A life coach keeps you on track and helps you to set new goals right away or to make current goals more challenging. Goals that are far beyond your comfort zone. I also call these A-goals, goals that you do not yet know how to achieve. Setting A-goals ensures that you are even more driven to reach them. The focus of a business coach is then too limited for such goals. That’s why you need a life coach.

A life coach or business coach?

If after these four warning signs you feel a little uncomfortable or you recognize yourself in them, then you are better off with a life coach than with a business coach. You may also need both. The main idea is that a life coach can help you in a broader area than a business coach. 

Do you opt for happiness, joy, vitality, and self-confidence? Click here for more information about coaching.