- FREE DOWNLOAD - The Impact Formula Framework: Scale Your Business from $0 to $250K -

The Subtle Differences Between Coaching, Mentoring, Counseling, and Consulting

Jun 26, 2017

What is the difference between coaching, consulting, mentoring, and counseling? Is it just a label or is there a difference in how the service is provided?

I’ve had talks with people who feel they aren't getting what they want out of training or other investments they’ve made in their business.

As a provider of a service it's important to label your service as what it really is to describe what you're giving to other people whether it be coaching, mentoring, counseling, or consulting.


Difference Between Training and Mentoring


Training is completely done on your own. Mentoring has someone helping you along the way.

Training typically includes your courses, free training, webinars, etc. These types of things. Anything that deals with the act of learning things. This is what is going to help you know what to do.

Think about it as going into a job situation. You might need to learn how to use the register at a specific company by doing checkouts for people for example. It’s training on that specific topic.

Self select what area you want to learn about

Let's say you want to learn Facebook ads. You go out and take this training on Facebook ads.

Then they tell me what to do. Open the editor, create image, create copy, etc.

It’s usually free, or at a low cost to the person interested to learn that information. Think about reading a book. It tells you what to do and then you do it on your own. That's how training really works.

This is all great and useful information but if you don't have a higher level strategy then you can't really get that far with training alone.

I caution you when investing or creating training, try to explain to people why they need what they need. Why is it they need that specific thing?

Training alone is going to need a lot of self discipline to both go through the training and then go and implement that information. Be open to the fact that you’re not going to do it perfectly the first couple of times.

There's lots of training that shows you how to make 20 million on Instagram. This is great but you're not going to do that the first day. Set aside some of the hype and be willing to do the work that is necessary to get the results.

Information alone does not get you the results.


The Difference Between Mentoring and Coaching


Mentoring is based on that person's own experience.

For example let's say I build a speaking business Now I can tell you what I did to build my speaking business.

Mentoring is someone taking you under their wing and telling you what worked for them and then helping you implement that same thing in your business

When I worked with my first coach, she was great. She built a great business for herself and the way she built it was based on doing speaking gigs.

When I first started coaching I was building my business while working full-time and I had a baby. Then I had a brand new baby who was in the ICU, literally home with me on breathing monitors. My coach wanted me to go and do speaking gigs. I also happened to live in a town of less than 20,000 people in the middle of nowhere.

So that strategy did not work for me, because the mentoring situation was not what was right for me in my business. I didn't have the support I needed around other strategies that I might be able to use to build my business, grow my list and grow my following.

I ended up switching to a different coach who was using online strategies and that's how I got to where I am. That allowed me to propel forward. I found somebody that was in alignment with the type of business that I wanted to build. So just being mindful of that is really important.

I think also if you are the coach or the mentor thinking about “Is this really the way that this person wants to build their business? I know this worked for me, but would this be the best thing for them?” I want to talk to both sides of that. It can happen to anyone. We think, “Hey it worked for me. It must work for them.”

Really everybody is in a different situation. We have to assess it differently every time.

As a coach you need to be really attuned to the fact that person knows everything that is best for them.

In coaching we can't really technically tell the person what to do.

This is a misconception about coaching. Coaches aren’t supposed to tell you what to do. They're there to support you and their role is to help you find your own answers.

Coaching is self directed. You bring the issues you have to each session and we guide you based on what you want. It's not based on a curriculum or a course that is preset for you, it's based on what you need right now at this moment to move to the next step.

Future focused.

You don't necessarily get the answers told to you in coaching.

I decided to change my name from coach to coach and consultant. I want to still have the option to bring my expertise in and bring in that consulting side of things.

Because when I do coaching with people I call it coaching / consulting So I literally looked at their entire webinar. That is consulting.  I tell you what to say on your webinar. I tell you what to say or not say on certain copies you’ve written.

That is consulting and it's totally different from coaching.

Something also different with coaching that is that coaching is future focused. That's what differentiates it from therapy, or counseling.  Therapy is looking at the past and trying to heal that past.

If that's happening in coaching situations you’re in then just know that's not in the scope of a coaching practice. Be mindful of the fact that a person might need another level of care that what coaching provides.

If you’ve been doing coaching for a while you might find yourself drained after doing so many one on one sessions. The best way to avoid this is to start a group program which allows you to serve all your clients at once instead of individually. But getting a group program started isn't so simple which is why created the Ultimate Group Coaching Launch Checklist to help those that need help launching their own group program.


Coaching vs Counseling and Consulting


Consulting is more hands on and usually based on work this person has done in their business or in other business.

I call myself a coach and consultant because I bring my knowledge from corporate. My job in corporate was to save money for the hospital. I looked at the utilization of resources in the hospital and made sure that they were turning a profit.

That was an incredible job for me because I got to look at the inner workings of a business, their waste and the use of resources and increasing profits through that work there. 

There was a month where the place was struggling. And I ended up getting them $400,000 in revenue saved just that month because of that work that I was doing. I like to acknowledge that I bring that into my coaching situations. 

For online businesses, there are two types of consulting, one where you run people's ads for them or a “done for you” service. Or you can do a combination, which is similar to my long-term program. I take you by the hand and do everything with you.

I look at all the emails you're going to send. I look at your copy, I make sure your messaging is right, etc.

In consulting, it's a lot more hands-on and it's a lot more hands-on with you or it's totally done for you. Consulting is an either “done for you service” or a “done with you service”.

Depends on the service that you ended up getting. 

This one is cool because you get personal feedback on what you're doing. Because you get that much more support it's a lot more of an investment than something like taking a course. It's way more customized to you and at the same time, because you're executing it differently than you probably would on your own the results are also different.

So you’ll probably get a lot bigger results a lot quicker.

Counseling is about looking at your past and healing it. Really cool but really stressful as someone who is providing that service.

Coaching is future focused whereas counseling is about looking at the past and healing it.

 The good thing about counselling is you can really heal those past experiences. The bad thing is that sometimes people get stuck trying to heal everything in the past that they aren’t moving forward. Again this depends on the scope, what the counselors are doing with you and where you are on your healing journey.

If you have a psychological diagnosis it's a good idea to seek counselling initially, to start healing and moving forward.

Knowing the difference between coaching and everything else makes everything much easier on yourself. You're able to distinguish what you should or should not be doing for your clients. If you're a coach then stick to coaching whether in one or or one in a group.

Have you considered running a group format for your business?

Group programs allow us to leverage our time by getting all their clients serviced in one go. No longer are you spending 8 to 10 hours servicing clients in one day. You can do them all in at once. 

Imagine what you could do with the rest of your time after servicing all your clients in a couple of hours. Spend some time on other aspects of your business, like marketing? Pick up a new hobby you’ve been wanting to try out? Maybe spend some much needed time with family?


This is possible if you have a group format for your program. Yes, it’s easier said than done. The good news is I have created the Ultimate Group Coaching Launch Checklist for people who are looking to launch their own group program but aren't sure how to do it.  I’ve launched my own group program plenty of times before and I've compiled this checklist from all my past experiences and it's absolutely FREE.


Related Episodes for Coaching Mentoring Counseling: