Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Okay, so what is the difference? It is all about semantics. As an author you would think I'd be very discerning when it comes to using words. In fact, words are the engine that drive an author's ideas, without them an author would be well, not an author! So, what am I talking about when I say that I am a book consultant and not a book coach? In fact, why would I shun the word that appears to be the buzzword for those who help other people?
There are life coaches, finance coaches, book coaches, author coaches, business coaches, publicity coaches and, of course, athletic coaches, but then there are consultants. Business consultants, book consultants, author consultants... okay, I'm sure by now you get the picture. The bottom line is you use an expert (a.k.a. the "coach" or "consultant") to help you in whatever area you need help.
In my experience a coach can do marvelous things for your career. They learn about you and your needs and they work on the whole picture, allowing you to understand, via self-awareness, which direction you need to go. A knowledgeable coach can work in many areas and is not necessarily industry specific A good example of this is a life coach. I have used life coaches (and blown more than a few away with my wacky and busy life!). These fine people have set me straight and we have worked toward my goals, and here is where I believe the problem lies.
If you are a business owner, and knowledgeable, you have a definite idea of your goals, even if they may be haphazard, and that is where you can learn the value of a coach; they can think you through the process, effectively aid you in coming to decisions, and basically join with you, pointing you forward toward meeting your goals. That is where I part company from coaching.
As an author with a vested interest in "success," a term we can banter around until the end of time, the definition will be different to each of us; I have very goal-oriented ideas about what is involved in the publishing process, and the needs of an author to become published, especially if I am the one with the vested interest and the dollars to match. I consult with my clients, express my viewpoints, and make suggestions they are free to take or leave. I ask well- pointed and specific questions and garner from their responses the direction they should take to bring their book projects to completion.
So, what are your thoughts on the matter? What are the differences between coaching and consulting in your opinion? Does it really matter?