Ep #61: The Difference Between Being a Business Owner and Being a Coach

There is one thing I see as the difference between those achieving results in their business, and those who struggle. I’ve alluded to today’s topic in many previous episodes of the podcast, but I think it’s time we addressed this head-on, and that is the distinction between being a business owner and being a coach.

When it comes to building revenue and creating momentum in your business, knowing the difference between being a business owner and a coach is so important. Coaching certifications and programs will help you be an amazing coach, but if you want your practice to succeed, you need a little something else. And that’s what I’m sharing on today’s show.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover the difference between being a business owner versus being a coach. I’m sharing why so many coaches struggle when they don’t acknowledge this distinction, and what you can do to make sure you’re giving your coaching business the best chance of succeeding, without having to throw spaghetti at the wall.

If you’re ready to build, grow, and scale your business, I’m inviting you to check out my two programs, The Mastermind and my Million Dollar Mastermind. Enrollment for both of these programs are opening up, so schedule a call with me by clicking here and I look forward to working with you!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why the distinction between business owner and coach is so important to recognize.
  • When the transition from coach to business owner needs to happen.
  • Where I see so many coaches start to struggle with the business side of their practice.
  • The difference between being a business owner and being a coach.
  • How I see things shift when my clients really understand this distinction.
  • What you can do to see where the next level of work is for you to make that shift.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • If you’re ready for a real breakthrough in your business and want to grow and scale your business to at least six-figures or more in annual revenue, I invite you to apply for my exclusive program The Mastermind. I look forward to seeing you there!
Download a Transcript for The Life Coach Business Podcast

You are listening to The Life Coach Business Podcast, episode number 61.

Welcome to The Life Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a whole new level. If you’re ready to start taking powerful action and become the leader your business needs in order to grow and thrive, this show is for you. I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, certified life and business coach, and entrepreneurial leadership expert. Now, let’s get down to business.

Hello and welcome, everyone. Thanks for joining in today. I hope you’re all doing amazing. I hope you’re all well. Welcome to any of my new listeners. I’m so happy to have you. I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy and I hope your family is too.

That is what we are doing over here. We are working to continue to stay safe and healthy, especially as we’re heading into the holidays and the winter season. And I hope you are as well.

Alright, so today, we’re going to talk about business. And although we always talk about business on this show and growing and scaling your business, I was thinking about a conversation that I think is an important one and it’s a distinction that I think is really important to think about.

And so, as I was thinking about today’s show and what it was that I wanted to talk with you all about today, it became very clear that I haven’t really dedicated an episode to the difference between what it means to build a business and what it means to be a coach.

And so, I know I’ve talked and I’ve alluded to this in several of my previous shows. But I want to just take some time today and talk through the distinction of being a business owner. So, what it means to have a coaching business and run a coaching business, and to grow a coaching business versus being a coach.

And it’s an important distinction that I think needs to be made. And so, what really inspired this conversation today was a recent conversation that I had with some of my clients. And it was so funny, when I said to them – we were on one of our group coaching calls. And I made the comment, because of what we were talking about at the time, and I said, “You know, there really is such a difference between being a coach and being a business owner.”

And when I said this, every single one of them emphatically nodded their heads in agreement and knew exactly what I meant by that. And I knew in that moment that that was definitely a sign that I needed to bring this conversation to you today.

So, I want to start out by saying that this distinction, as I’m going to call it, the basis of today’s show is one of the things that I see in my experience as one of the biggest differentiators that sets apart coaches or other business owners who may be in a service-based business, it’s really the difference between them reaching the levels of success that they want, and not.

And it’s one of the biggest differentiators that I see in terms of results, in terms of revenue, in terms of being able to build momentum, all of the things that create results in your business. And what I see happen very often is that in many cases – and I will say this – coaches in particular will go through a training or a certification program and decide maybe even before they go into that program or during that program, or maybe even after that they want to build a business, they want to build their own practice.

And what I will say about that is that I think that’s great. I think that I am – if you’ve listened to any of my previous episodes, you know that I’m all for training and certification and anything that is going to help you become better at your craft. It’s a really great thing. Even though, in the industry, it’s not necessarily required, I do think that it’s a great thing to have.

And so, typically what happens when I see coaches that go through a training or a certification program and in most cases, for most reputable programs, it’s a pretty intense process. And there’s a lot of time that is spent on mastering the skills of being a great coach.

And so, the focus of the program in most cases, really in all cases, is how to become a great coach. And so, this is actually very important. This is not something we don’t want. But it’s important to understand the distinction here.

And so, when you’re in a training program or you’re in a certification program and you’re learning how to become a great coach, you’re learning things like how to hold space for your clients, you’re learning how to ask powerful questions, you’re learning how to facilitate client sessions, all of those things.

But what I find is that there tends to be a pretty big gap when it comes to actually building the business. So, when it comes to actually being through that program, having graduated or becoming certified, it’s then moving into that phase in your business where it’s actually now, “Okay, now the rubber hits the road.” We actually are needing to build this business.

And that’s where I think there is quite a bit of a gap. And the reason for that is because what is generally learned in a coaching program, in a training program, in a certification program aren’t the same skills that are required to build a business. And so, depending on how you’ve structured your business and what type of programs you’re offering or what types of services that you offer, there are so many things to learn.

And I know that for all of you listening, I know that you, for the most part, most of you are building some type of online coaching consulting and in some cases maybe creative or service-based business. But I want to be clear that even if you aren’t a coach or consultant, and maybe you are more of a service provider of some sort, and you might even have a brick and mortar business, I think this conversation still applies.

And the reason for that is because we all have our craft, no matter what that is, whether that is coaching, whether that is consulting, whether that is some type of service that we offer. But there’s a whole other skillset that’s required to run a business and to grow a business.

And so, the fact is that I think the reason this is becoming even more important is because, as more and more businesses are really being forced to move online, so when we look at this year and the events of 2020 and how so many businesses, even so many traditional businesses that are now having to innovate and move online, it’s really important to be understanding the importance of online marketing and to understand the importance of how to find your audience online.

And so, when I was thinking about today’s conversation, I was thinking about all of the different types of businesses that are really in a position right now where they’re having to – so, whether you just came out of a training or certification program, or you might have, again, another type of business where you are now moving things online and it’s just really, really important that we look at what goes into that.

And so, I want you all to know that there are a lot of things that go into the backend of building a business. And if you are in this process right now or you’ve been in this type of process before, you have a sense of this and you know what I’m talking about when I say that.

And so, the distinction between being a business owner, and just for purposes of this conversation, I’m going to say a coach, even though some of you may not be, but the distinction between those two, it’s important to understand that there are different skillsets involved. And it’s important to understand that there are different roles for each of those in your business.

And what I have found is that the sooner that you understand this, the sooner that you understand the distinction with this and you understand the difference between delivering your craft and building your business, that is when I really start to see things shift, especially for my clients.

And so, one of the things that has become more and more important to me as I work with more and more clients, as I work and help them build, grow, and scale their businesses is really helping them to develop their skills as a business owner, so helping them to develop the skills that they need to build, grow, and scale their business.

And the reality is that I think for most people, for most coaches, consultants, small business owners, they don’t necessarily come into the industry, they don’t necessarily come into their business with these skills. And I will say that there’s some good news with this. It’s not a bad thing.

The good news is that these skills can be learned. But I will say that they also do require some time. They also do require an investment in actually learning the skills.

So, I want you all to think for a moment and to consider what your work is. I want you to consider the type of programs or services that you’re offering. So, I want you to think about your craft.

And I’m guessing for most of you, when you think about your craft and when you think about working directly with your clients, I’m guessing for all of you, there is a sense of confidence there. And that confidence typically comes from practice, from working with clients, from creating some level of success already.

But then I want you to consider yourself, I want you to consider yourself as the business owner. I want you to look at this through that lens and think about yourself separate from your craft. And I want you to really think for a minute about your level of confidence as a business owner. And I want you to think about your level of confidence as you think about next year, as you think about 2021.

So, for those of you that are looking to scale in 2021, I want you to really think for a moment about your level of confidence. And I know for some of you, there definitely is some confidence there. But I also know for many of you that it’s not there.

And wherever you are on that spectrum, it’s okay. But I just want you to see that that likely is telling you where your next level of work is. And so, the reality is if you’ve chosen to be an entrepreneur, if you have chosen to create a business and to take your craft and create a business around it, it does require a certain level of mastery around running a business.

So, it requires that you master things like your marketing. It requires that you master your lead generation. It requires that you are thinking thoughtfully about your business structure, about your finances, that you’re continually working on your own CEO mindset.

And the reason for this is because just as important as it is to master your craft as a coach, to master your craft in whatever it is that you are doing, it also requires, if you want to build a highly successful business, that you’re also mastering the things that must be in place for your business.

And the reality is this. You could be the most phenomenal coach in the world. You could be the very best at what you do. You could have the very best program, the very best offer, the very best services. But if no one knows about you, if the clients that you can serve don’t even know that you exist, if they don’t see you as someone that can help them solve their problem, they’re either going to go to someone else or they’re not going to hire you. And it’s pretty much game over, right?

And so, your business has to be structured in a way that allows you to market your business, that allows you to generate leads, that allows you to grow and maximize your resources and also maximizes your ability to actually help clients.

And I think there, in a lot of cases, can be a lot of confusion about all of this. There can be a lot of disillusionment and I see this with newer coaches especially. Because I think there is so much information out there in the industry and I think there are so many different ways to approaching building a business that it can quickly become really, really overwhelming.

And so, I will say to that, you know, part of you becoming a true business owner is really starting to own that process, is really starting to take full responsibility for not only being a great coach or being a great consultant or whatever it is that you’re offering, to be putting out the best product or program that you can. But it’s also really taking full responsibility as a business owner.

And so, part of this is you have to have a clear strategy because when you don’t have a clear strategy, what happens is – and I always say – you end up throwing spaghetti at the wall. And you’re trying to see what sticks. And when that happens, there is chaos. There is generally chaos in the process.

And it’s not to say that even with a strategy that there won’t be chaos at times. But having a strategy and having a clear picture of what you’re building and a vision and being able to put the things in place that are actually going to help you get there is really, really important.

And unfortunately, what happens is, when I see especially newer coaches that are trying to build their business and are what I would consider throwing spaghetti at the wall, unfortunately there’s a lot of time lost and there’s a lot of revenue that’s lost. And in a lot of cases, even money that is being invested in places that aren’t maybe moving the needle.

And I will share with you all, I think because it’s important to understand that I was in a similar position when I started my business, where even coming from a very high-growth startup environment, I knew a lot. I knew a lot coming into this industry. I knew a lot in marketing. I knew a lot in sales. I have an MBA, okay, so I had a lot of knowledge, I have a lot of experience, knowledge and experience coming into this industry.

And I will tell you, even when I started out, it kind of hit me in the face very quickly that there was a lot that I was going to need to learn that some of what I had known in the past wasn’t going to necessarily translate.

Now, I will say a lot of it fortunately has, and fortunately I’m able to transfer a lot of that to my clients. But some of it didn’t. And so, what I will say is that even for me, someone that had a lot of professional experience, that has grown several organizations from startup to multimillion-dollar levels still had a lot to learn.

And so, I made a very conscious decision at that time that I was going to learn as much as I could, that I was going to dedicate my time, my energy, me resources into learning as much as I could about how to build, grow, and scale in this online industry.

And a huge part of this learning was the marketing, was learning about paid advertising, was learning about all of the different pieces that really have to be in place in order to effectively grow and scale a business. And the great thing is, again, now having done that, I can bring that into my programs. I can really help accelerate this process so much for my own clients.

But I’m going to tell you, it took some time. It took some time and a lot of effort to learn that. And so, I would encourage you all, if you are at a place right now – which I’m sure you are which is why you’re listening to this podcast – if you are wanting to build your business, if you are ready for that growth, if you are ready to really make 2021 a breakthrough year, I really encourage you to think about the questions that I asked you earlier and think about your level of confidence and your clarity around your ability and your strategy going into 2021.

Now is really the perfect time for you to be thinking about what 2021 looks like, to be thinking about what are the things that need to be in place? What are the things in terms of your mindset as a business owner that need to be addressed? And so, with that, I would invite all of you reach out and apply to y mastermind program, if you’re under six figures in revenue, if you’re working towards your first six figures, I highly encourage you to reach out and apply for my signature program, my accelerator business program, which is called the Mastermind.

And for those of you that may have already hit your first six figures and you’re really looking to scale, if you are looking to build your business to multi-figures and beyond, I invite you to apply to my high-level mastermind. I’ve recently opened up enrollment for that program and our focus there is really helping you to grow and scale into the multi-figures and beyond.

And I will say that there are different conversations happening in both programs. The mastermind program is really about building your foundation. And the high-level mastermind is really then about accelerating your growth and scaling your growth from there.

So, with that, I hope this episode served you all. I want to encourage you that wherever you are in the process right now, that you have the ability to grow your skills as a business owner. You have the ability to really shortcut this in a lot of ways. And that is by really engaging the right resources, engaging the right coach, engaging the right process that is going to help you accelerate things in your business.

Alright, my friends. Have an amazing week. We’ll talk to you all again very soon. Take care. Bye-bye.

Hey, if you’re ready for a real breakthrough in your business and want to grow and scale your business to at least six figures or more in annual revenue, I invite you to apply for my exclusive program The Mastermind at amandakarlstadcoaching.com/the-mastermind. I look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Life Coach Business Podcast. If you want to learn more about how to build, grow and scale your business and accelerate your results, visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Listen to The Life Coach Business Podcast on Apple Podcasts Listen to The Life Coach Business Podcast on Spotify Listen to The Life Coach Business Podcast on Stitcher
Become an example of what is possible.

Listen Now To My

Free 3 Part Private
Podcast Series

“The 3 Vital Shifts Every Life Coach Needs To Rapidly Scale Their Business”

How To Use Micro Podcasts To Scale Your Business To Multi 6- & 7- Figures in Revenue

Become an example of what is possible.