Different types of life coaches

by Jake Smolarek
Various electric guitars handing on a wall

Sharon McCutcheon / Pexels

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “how do I make the most out of my coaching?” Honestly, there are lots of ways you can make sure you get the most out of your time with a life coach. Life coaching often isn’t cheap, so making sure you take advantage of your time is essential.

But perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give is actually very simple:


I don’t just mean, make sure you get along. I mean, make sure you are actually using a coach that can help you. There are lots of different types of life coaching. Different types of life coaches specialise in different things, and we all have varying techniques. Depending on what you want to achieve, you might not realise you are working with the wrong coach.

Some coaches will specialise in more than one area, some general coaches can offer support across multiple areas, and others will offer specific courses for particular issues. But the best way to change your life and make sure you are getting the most for your money is to work with a coach that understands you, your needs, and your issues.

Here are just a few of the different types of life coaches you might come across and what they can help you with.

Types of life coaches

Business Coach

A business coach can help you manage, promote and grow your business. Business coaching should not be confused with career coaching (detailed below). Business coaching is for people who run, own or manage a business. Anyone who takes regular decisions which will affect the entire business and the direction it takes. If you want to take your company to the next level or just want to make life easier and more streamlined, a business coach can help.

Career Coach

Carer coaching is similar to business coaching, but it helps people who are employees, not employers. This style of coaching is about your personal skills and how they can advance your career. People who would benefit from career coaching include those wanting to take the next step in their career and those who want to change career paths.

Career coaching helps identify the best possible path for you to maximise your career success and will help equip you with the skills and tools you need to succeed in your field.

Executive Coach

Whether you’re already in an executive position or are aspiring to rise to one, executive coaching can be the difference between achieving your goal or staying in a middle management position. Working with an executive coach will help identify critical positive traits, iron out lousy business habits and help you make the career jump. An executive coach will help you with confidence, leadership, answer questions, and help push you to become the best you can be.

Leadership Coach

Whether it’s taking control and being a leader in your own life or in a professional sense, leadership coaching can really help you develop your roles as a leader. Learn how to effectively empower others and bring out the best in yourself and other people. If you are in a management position, employ others, or are stepping into a new role where others look up to you, you can benefit from having a leadership coach.

Life Coach

Life coaching can help you when you’re stuck in a rut, unmotivated, unsure of your next move or just need some help. If you aren’t sure what kind of coach you need, a life coach is the place to start. They can help with personal and professional problems; they’ll keep you motivated and accountable. If you don’t know what you want, you want a life coach!

Like Skills Coach

Life skills coaching looks very different for everyone. Depending on your personal talents and weaknesses, life skills coaching can help improve your overall skills and ability to take on life. Life skills can help identify areas of your life that need work, develop personal strengths and find ways to improve on individual weaknesses. If you need inspiration and motivation, a life skills coach could really help.

Confidence Coach

Being self-confident affects every element of your life. Lacking self-confidence can be crippling and can result in underachievement as well as feeling of anxiety and embarrassment. Confidence coaching works on bringing out the best in you and teaching you strategies and methodologies for presenting a more confident version of yourself. You’ll also work to identify why don’t feel confident and how to address similar problems in the future.

Financial Coach

Financial coaching is all about improving your financial situation. Whether it’s saving, investing, paying off debt, or help with budgeting, a finance coach will help you come up with a proper plan. Finance coaching will help you identify bad spending habits and foster a healthy mindset and relationship with money. Financial coaches can also help deal with overspending and an overattachment to money.

Entrepreneur Coach

Some coaches specialise in helping entrepreneurs. These coaches are not the same as business coaches. An entrepreneur coach will help develop and clarify ideas and push you to turn your idea into a successful business. Entrepreneur coaching has elements of personal development such as leadership, decision-making, confidence, and time management. However, it also has practical elements relating to day-to-day business functions.

Sports Coach

Sports coaches are some of the most well-known and often most highly-paid coaches in the world. But you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to have a sports coach. Fitness coaches can help you train to meet a specific goal, but they can also help work on your overall fitness. This is sometimes known as fitness coaching.

This type of coaching focuses on developing discipline, building strength, encouraging weight loss, and increasing self-confidence. Sports coaching can benefit both your body and mind and help create a positive mental attitude and a stronger, fitter body.

Productivity Coach

Having a productivity coach can really change your life. If you are someone who procrastinates, puts things off, or struggles to complete tasks, working with a productivity coach could be the answer. Productivity coaches will give you practical tips and tricks to help you stay focus but will also help you overcome mental blocks and work out why you not as productive as you could be.

You can apply productivity coaching to any aspect of your life, personal or professional. In addition, productivity coaching can be a one-on-one session or you can find a coach who will work with an office or team to encourage collaboration and teamwork as well as boost productivity.

Recovery Coach

I’m using the term recovery coaching very broadly here. This is one of the more particular types of life coaching services. Some coaches called themselves recovery or rehab coaches; some might go further and specialise in specific things like smoking recovery, drug recovery, even cancer or illness recovery. This type of coaching is highly beneficial for anyone who has experienced a setback and is looking to get back to a better version of themselves.

Recovery coaching takes many forms and can involve taking practical steps like exercise and changes to diet as well as emotional and mental coaching to deal with the stress and setbacks.

Dating Coach

Dating coaching is often called relationship coaching and comes in two primary forms. Dating-specific coaches focus only on improving romantic relationships. They can help you develop your dating style, set expectations, and boundaries, and make a good first impression.

Relationship coaches often tackle similar issues, but they also help improve other relationships such as family, friends, and colleagues. Relationship coaching focuses more on opening up emotionally, learning to trust, setting boundaries, breaking down personal walls, and helping you to improve every relationship in your life, even non-romantic relationships.

Sales Coach

Sales coaching is a type of coaching that can fit an individual or be adapted for team coaching sessions. With this type of coaching, you’ll learn proven selling and sales tips and tricks as well as ways to inspire confidence and trust. Sales train can be used to help anyone in business, even if you aren’t in sales. You’ll learn how to sell your idea, how to get others to trust you, and what is and isn’t persuasive.

Wellness Coach

Sometimes called health coaching, wellness coaching helps you find a sustainable, achievable healthy lifestyle. This can be very different depending on your current lifestyle. Taking care of yourself is often overlooked, but it should be a priority.

A wellness coach will work with you to ensure you are treating existing conditions, preventing health problems in the future, and living your best and healthiest life physically, mentally, and emotionally. You can find wellness coaches based on a holistic approach as well as more science-based wellness coaches.

Spiritual Coach

Spiritual coaching is the non-religious equivalent of a religious guide. A spiritual coach can help you identify your purpose, connect to the world around you and find the spiritual connections in your life. You will explore your own beliefs, the limits of your existence and push yourself to discover more about yourself and your surroundings. Spirituality coaching can be one-on-one or it can be a group coaching session to help you connect to others.

Coaching Coach

Even coaches can improve, and so most coaches, including me, have their own coach. Working as a coach means seeing the real benefits and changes that can happen when someone has a coach. A coaching coach will help any type of coach to improve their style, boost their business, attract new clients and be a better coach.

How to pick the right coach

A room with many doors

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Picking the right coach can be confusing. But spending time getting it right will pay off in the long run. Most coaches will offer a complimentary or discounted first session. Here you can chat about your goals and what you want to get out of the experience without committing to multiple sessions or spending a fortune. You can also use this time to ask questions and get to know a little more about your coach; after all, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them and need to trust them.

Different coaching styles

Apart from finding a coach in the right area, you will also need to find a coach that fits you, your personality, and your style. Make sure you ask plenty of questions and discuss how much support you need. Some coaches offer a strictly supportive role, while others will be much more involved in planning, suggesting, and holding you accountable.

Over the last year, many coaches have only offered online services. These can be very effective, and depending on the support you need, online contact can be perfect. However, some coaches will want to do in-person sessions, meetings, and even workshops. This can be very beneficial, but only if you need this style of coaching. Again, it is best to check and clarify your needs before choosing to work with a coach in the long term.

Different coaches will have very different styles of providing support. Some will let you find your own way, providing guidance only when necessary. Other coaches will lead from the front; others still will be somewhere in the middle. Whatever your style, make sure your coach knows what you need to succeed.

Multiple-functional coaching

As you have seen above, many different areas in coaching often overlap. A dating coach and relationship coach have a lot in common. Business coaches often offer career coaching. This is incredibly important because transformational coaching will impact every aspect of your life.

You may find that you need to learn to trust more to succeed in business, something you might associate with a personal coach. It comes as no surprise that sports coaches and wellness coaches usually have a lot in common.

So, while different coaches may focus on a particular area, a proper professional coach will be able to tackle the many aspects of achieving your goal.

About the Author

Jake Smolarek

Life and Business Coach & Entrepreneur

For over 10 years I have been helping people achieve their personal, professional, and financial goals faster and easier than they've ever imagined.

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