What is a Life Coach and How Can They Help You?

Definition of a Life Coach image

What is a life coach?

When people ask what I do for a living and tell them I’m a life coach, I usually get hit with a follow-up asking what a life coach does. And, truth be told, a few years ago, before I became a life coach, I didn’t realize life coaches were a thing.  

I’d heard the phrase thrown around before but didn’t have the slightest clue as to what life coaches did. So, I thought it might be worth unpacking and explaining what I do as a life coach for anyone curious about either working with a life coach or learning more about what coaches do.  

Whether you’re considering hiring a coach, just curious about what it is life coaches do, or you’re thinking about becoming a life coach yourself, this article will help you understand the field of life coaching, how a life coach can help you, and what to consider when hiring your first life coach.  

So, let’s jump right in!

Definition of a Life Coach:

One of the easiest ways to define a life coach is to think about sports coaches. Now bear with me here if you just tuned out because you’re not a sports fan. Whether the topic brings up some cringe-worthy memories of yesteryear or drunken times with college friends, life coaches are a lot like sports coaches.  

Think about the best athletes in the world. Each of them has coaches to help them achieve peak performance, support them, and push them beyond the limits of what they see as possible. Life coaches do precisely the same, except we aren’t running you up and down steps or adding an extra 50 lbs on your bench press (maybe).    

Instead, life coaches help you understand your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, actions, and results. It might sound pretty simple, but we’re surrounded by so much daily that taking a minute to actually understand and realize what’s happening can result in some pretty profound results.  

To give you an idea of just how much we’re taking in each day, the average person is exposed to between 6,000 – 10,000 marketing/media messages a day!!!! That’s almost double that of 2007.   

Definition of a Life Coach 1 Advertising Image

Whether it’s skincare, food, exercise, or the newest gadget, we’re literally surrounded by ads and campaigns influencing how our every move.

If we take a step back, it’s not too hard to understand why we’re so overwhelmed and why we struggle with our own happiness, joy, and fulfillment in a world that keeps speeding up.

Are you tired of feeling stuck in a job you hate?

Curious about how coaching can help you?  My one-on-one coaching program will help you: 

  • Find out what you’re good at and what industries/jobs are best suited for you based on your interests, strengths, and skillset.
  • Figure out what makes you tick and what means the most to you so that your next career move aligns with the life you want to live.
  • Create a tangible road map and timeline to guide you as you start your career search, applications, and interview process
  • Identify and change the limiting beliefs and obstacles preventing you from making more money
  • Improve your overall life satisfaction and happiness by understanding your thoughts and how they create your results

Short of the story-  I'll help you get out of your soul sucking job and into a career that you actually enjoy. 

A Trusty Tour Guide

Another way to think about life coaching is to think about a tour guide in a new city you’re visiting. You hired the guide because you wanted to get the most out of your trip and the new city you’re visiting. You want to eat the best food, see where the locals hang out, and experience the city as someone living there does.  

You hired the guide because Google can only recommend so much. You want an insider perspective, and you’re willing to pay for the knowledge and experience that a good tour guide can provide.  

The result- you have an incredible experience with your partner or friends and fond memories of your adventures on your trip for years to come. All in all, the world is your burrito. Life is good!  

Now, let’s think about that analogy in life. We are all learning, developing, and growing. Which is sometimes overwhelming, especially if they’re circumstances that we haven’t faced before. We don’t always know what to expect, and sometimes, regardless of how many self-help or personal growth books we read, we just can’t seem to get the results we want.  

On these occasions, we can benefit from a guide to help us understand the process, show us what we’re missing, and push us to achieve and do more.    

Definition of a Life Coach Tour Guide Image

As part of this process, a life coach helps you understand your life and how you got to where you are.  

A coach also helps you understand what you need to do to get the results you want. They help you understand the areas of your life that you want to change and use everything you have inside of you to create actionable steps and strategies to move you in the direction of a life that excites you.  

Coaches won’t always agree with you. In fact, some of the best life coaching I’ve received thus far have been from coaches who called me out on my shit and pissed me off, proper! But, these were also the coaches who pushed me to challenge my own stories and beliefs, which resulted in some pretty amazing feats that I didn’t believe were possible at the time.

In simple, a life coach is your biggest fan. Cheesy as it might sound, a coach is there to encourage you to do more, believes that you are fully capable of whatever it is that you want, and is dedicated to helping you develop so that you realize your full potential.  

Common Types of Coaches

When I first started looking for a life coach, I quickly realized that there are about 25 different types of coaches, which was overwhelming, to say the least. I barely knew what a life coach was, let alone a productivity or success coach. 

So, in hopes of helping you avoid that, below are some of the most common types of coaches, along with short descriptions to help you understand the difference and which type of coach to search for based on the result you want.      

  • Business Coach- a business coach specializes in helping entrepreneurs clarify their goals, vision, and strategy for their company. Rather than consultants business owners on technical processes, they focus on personal growth and empowerment to maximize their personal and business potential.  
  • Career Coach- a career coach specializes in helping people find their dream career, navigate career changes, and become more self-aware to achieve their career and professional goals. If you’re thinking about a new job, want to change industries, or design a career around what brings you the most joy, a career coach can help.   
  • Executive Coach- An executive coach works with individuals (think high performing, CEO, etc.) to optimize performance, leadership skills, and time management/stress to achieve greater potential.  
  • Finance Coach- Finance coaches help their clients understand the fundamentals of personal finance. They also work with their clients to help them meet their financial goals, develop financial plans and budgets, and achieve long-term financial success and freedom.  
  • Fitness Coach- A fitness coach can help you reach your fitness goals by helping you understand what motivates you, your relationship with food, body image, and exercise. Fitness coaches focus on the mental and physical aspects of living a healthy life and holistically help their clients achieve success.  
  • Leadership Coach- A leadership coach specializes in helping individuals become better leaders in various settings and environments. Whether professionally, in the community, or personally, leadership coaches support and assist their clients in reaching their personal and professional goals.  
  • Life Coach- A life coach helps their clients in multiple areas of their life. A life coach can either specialize in a specific field or offer general life coaching. How we function in one area of our life often affects other areas. A life coach can help you understand your thinking, beliefs, and results thus far so that you can design and move toward a more fulfilling future.  
  • Mindset Coach- Mindset coaches specialize in helping clients understand their thoughts and determine their results. Mindset coaches also help their clients identify limiting beliefs, ideas, and patterns and “rewrite” them so that they move toward a more rewarding and meaningful life.  
  • Purpose Coach- Purpose coaches help their clients hone in on their life calling or purpose. Suppose you’ve struggled to figure out what it is you’re meant to do. In that case, a purpose coach can help you through a self-discovery process to better understand your strengths, values, and what you want moving forward.  
  • Productivity Coach- Productivity coaches, are all about helping you accomplish more, build long-lasting habits, and manage your time more effectively. Whether you want to become more efficient at work or in your personal life, a productivity coach helps you determine and implement strategies that align with your strengths and move you closer to success.
  • Relationship Coach- Have you been single for the last decade? Struggle with dating or relationships? A dating coach can help you do the introspective work needed to begin and maintain a healthy relationship.  
  • Spiritual Coach- A spiritual coach helps you connect with your true calling and greater purpose. Think of spiritual coaches as a guide or partner who helps you get more clarity about what you want in life and how you want to impact the world while you’re here.  
  • Success Coach- Success coaches focus on helping you get the clarity you need to clearly define your goals, create strategies and game plans to meet them, and ultimately achieve more than you thought was possible. It’s all about results here, so if you’re super competitive or Type A, a success coach could be a good fit.  
  • Transformation Coach- Transformation coaches help their clients achieve more through introspective work. Transformation coaches focus on helping you change how you see yourself to get results that reflect your true potential. 

These are just a few of the most common types of coaches. For other types, check out this article.

Learn how to live your best life faster.

My coaching program is all about getting you results.  I’ll help you to:

  • Improve Your Mindset
  • Find Your Passion
  • Grow Your Self Confidence
  • Overcome Your Fears
  • Land Your Dream Job
  • Make More Money
  • Be Happier
  • Develop Healthy Habits 
  • Improve Your Productivity
  • Identify Your Strengths
  • Set and Accomplish Meaningful Goals
  • Get Motivated
  • Overcome Procrastination 
  • Get More Life Clarity
  • Eliminate Distractions
  • Start Your Dream Business 
  • Overcome Fatigue and Burnout
  • Step into Your True Potential

The right life coach can help you find the true you, so that you can accomplish whatever you want!

How Can a Life Coach Help You?

A life coach can help you get the clarity to change every aspect of your life. Here’s a bit about how I stumbled into the coaching world and eventually started working with a life coach.  

In my mid-twenties, I stepped away from a promising career in banking and started over as a temporary academic advisor at a small university with a whopping salary of 27k a year with no benefits.  

I lived in a 450 sf tiny house that was literally one room with a loft bed and water pipes that consistently froze every night during the winter. I wasn’t exactly rolling in the dough, but leaving my banking job where I was miserable opened up opportunities for more happiness in my life, even if that meant that I’d be making A LOT less money.  

I was determined to make my new situation work because I loved what I was doing. I felt like I was making a difference in the world in a way that working for a corporate bank did not allow.  

While I enjoyed what I was doing, I couldn’t overlook the money situation.  

I think it was sheer desperation at that point, but one day I googled top self-help books and ordered each one that stood out to me. The first self-help book I ever read was by Martha Beck (who btw is a phenomenal coach and brilliant beyond measure) entitled Finding Your Way in a Wild New World. To this day, this book is one of my top 3 all-time fav’s, and I take away something new every time I read it. 

After reading her work and finding someone I felt really understood me, I dove in headfirst and read everything and anything I could get my hands on. As I learned new tools and strategies for improving my life, I started incorporating those that resonated with me. And, behold, my life slowly started to improve.  

I started to feel better about the direction I was headed. I went from a temporary employee who doubted what I had to offer to a permanent employee overseeing academic operations and redesigning programs to better meet the needs of students.  

During that time, I also completed my MA in 1.5 years while I worked full time. After that, I applied and was accepted into a Ph.D. program which I left a full-time job and relocated to complete.  

I continued learning more tools and eventually started to get curious about working with a life coach. At that time, I had some significant challenges associated with vulnerability and feeling my emotions. 

After completing my doctoral coursework, I decided that it was time to tackle what was holding me back, and I started working with my first coach. She and I clicked right away, and she helped me understand my thoughts and how they determined my results. And, more importantly, how to feel my emotions rather than avoid them so that I could start improving my happiness.  

I worked with her for about a year when I decided to take another leap and leave a full-time job that I’d endured because, at that time, I didn’t believe I had a choice. It took 8 months to realize that I did have a choice, and not only did I leave, the next day, I hopped on a plane for a 6-week solo trip in Europe. 

Definition of a Life Coach 3

Now…at this point, you probably saying, well, that’s great for you, Justin, but I can’t do that. I have responsibilities and bills to pay.  

And, I get it, I really do. But, I’m here to tell you that I had and still have responsibilities and bills to pay. And, guess what…I still did it and haven’t looked back since.  

I’ve never seen myself as someone who could do most of what I’ve done. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. In fact, it was scary AF!

But I did it anyway. I tackled one fear at a time and slowly overcame some of the most significant obstacles standing between me and my dream life. And, I now live a life that far exceeds anything I ever thought was possible.  

And, one of the main reasons I’ve been able to do things I’ve done and live a life that actually excites me and brings me joy is because I was willing to face what was holding me back and call in reinforcements (a life coach) when I needed some help.

So, why am I sharing all of this with you?

Wherever you are in your own journey right now, you can have and do the same and more! Whether you’re just starting out and found this article or you’re a pro when it comes to personal growth and development, all you have to do right now this moment is decide that you want a better life.    

That decision came when I decided to work with a coach to understand the areas of my life that I just couldn’t seem to change or get the results I wanted.  

Right now, take a minute and think about some of the things you’ve struggled with time and time again that you just can’t seem to figure out. Maybe it’s losing weight, creating long-lasting habits, improving your self-confidence, or making more money; these are all things that a life coach can help you understand and change. 

Now, stop reading and get a pen and paper out and write down three areas of your life you want to improve….I’ll wait. 

Hopefully, you’ve written down what you want to improve moving forward because we’ll need what you’ve written down shortly.   I had you write these down because they’re all great places to start when you’re new to life coaching.  

These areas came to mind for a reason, so starting with them will help you gain momentum faster and start seeing results quicker. And, if there’s one thing we love, it’s getting what we want right now!  

What's the next step?

The next step can be intimidating, so it’s important not to freak yourself out here. Setting up a meeting with a potential coach might seem intimidating, awkward, and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be.    

If you’re thinking that the process will be scary and you don’t want to do it, chances are you’ll find a good reason to put it off and not do it.  

Which means you’re back where you started.  

An alternative approach is to think about the potential for change. How does it feel to know that you’re taking charge of your life and moving in a direction that allows you to thrive and succeed?  

What excites you about the possibility of connecting with a coach who understands precisely how you feel and is fully dedicated to helping you get to where you want to be? 

Suppose you approach the experience with the latter energy. In that case, the action you take is entirely different. In a new situation that’s potentially a little scary, you actually get started and enjoy it just by changing your thoughts about it.  

I’m not all sunshine and rainbows, but focusing on what you can potentially gain from a situation, not what you hate about it, is a solid approach that has helped me move forward when my brain is screaming staaaahhhp!

So, from here, it should be smooth sailing. You can research your options and decide what it is you want in a coach.  

How to Find a Life Coach?

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This is one that got me good when I first started looking for a coach. I searched the world over and just couldn’t find what I was looking for.  

Refer to the list of types of coaches included in this article above for search terms. There are a ton of great platforms with talented coaches out there. Whether you find your coach on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Linked In, or good ole’ Google, these are all great places to start.  

So what are you gonna do?

What will it take for you to reach out to your dream coach once you find that person? What sets this moment apart from all of the other ones in your life?  

Will you take the chance, belly up to the bar, and send that email asking to meet with your coach for a consultation?  

Or, are you going to stay stuck in an unfulfilling life and hope that something changes?  

If you know you’re meant for more and ready to take charge of your life, I want to help you do just that! Which is why I want to hear from you right now!     

If you’re ready to take charge of your life and start working with a life coach, shoot me a message using the button below. We’ll schedule an hour together to get to know each other and talk about your goals. Think of it as a virtual cup of coffee. 

Are you tired of feeling stuck in a job you hate?

Curious about how coaching can help you?  My one-on-one coaching program will help you: 

  • Find out what you’re good at and what industries/jobs are best suited for you based on your interests, strengths, and skillset.
  • Figure out what makes you tick and what means the most to you so that your next career aligns with the life you want to live.
  • Create a tangible road map and timeline to guide you as you start your career search, applications, and interview process.
  • Identify and change the limiting beliefs and obstacles preventing you from making more money.
  • Improve your overall life satisfaction and happiness by understanding your thoughts and how they create your results.

Short of the story-  I'll help you get out of your soul sucking job and into a career that you actually enjoy. 

If you’re not ready to take the leap and start working with a coach, here are some tips to help you get some additional clarity. When you think about reaching out to your dream coach, what comes up for you?  

Write this down and over the next three days, get really curious about where this might be coming from. Rather than beating yourself up about it, welcome the resistance into your life and ask it what exactly it’s trying to show or tell you.  

The more clarity you have about your fears, the greater leverage you have to course-correct as needed so that you can get to a place where you are ready to take that leap of faith and start working with a life coach to build your dream life.    

You have everything inside of you right now to accomplish your wildest dreams, don’t let a few Debbie downer thoughts hold you back from achieving a life that really means something to you!

My friend, you are a mighty creator, don’t sell yourself short when it comes to your one precious life.  

Find this article helpful, check out my others here and share with friends using the buttons below.  

Have questions? I’d love to hear ’em! 

Chat soon, 


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