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What's the difference between a consultant and a coach?


By Jeff King

As a small business owner I have developed significant appreciation and respect for the expertise and counsel of various consultants and attorneys. They’ve helped me avoid costly mistakes and save years of “learning the hard way.” The bottom line is that I don’t have the time or the desire to become an expert on business law, commercial real estate, etc. I would rather pay a professional to do what they are good at and stick to what I am good at. This is what I have determined to be the best use of my time and money.

However, there is another category of outside help I’ve received which is based not so much on the transfer of critical knowledge or expertise, but on how to get the most value out of the knowledge and experience I already have. For this I turn to my business coach.

A business coach helps you achieve your goals faster by helping you filter out all the noise in your life to find what is really important to you. This in turn helps you determine the best use of your time, choose appropriate criteria for making an important decision, or sustain the motivation and energy needed to achieve a long-term goal.

In reality, these roles are often interchangeable and if you are working with the right person there need not be a clear-cut distinction between consulting and coaching. A good consultant is also a good coach and vice versa. The important thing is not to get hung up on labels, but instead focus on the results they help you achieve.

If you are thinking about these issues in regard to your own business and would like to discuss them further, send an email or call me at 717.396.9554. Maybe I can help.