You don’t need to decide at the beginning of your journey what kind of coach you want to be. Just make sure that the coaching course that you choose, gives you the flexibility to determine your specialty during your studies.

And learn about the differences between life coaching, executive coaching and other forms of coaching in advance. 

I recommend that you don’t sign up for a coaching course, that limits your specialty from the start. Rather learn ICF accredited coaching competencies, so that you can coach a variety of niche markets and styles of coaching. This will keep coaching interesting for you, enable you to offer more to your clients, and enable you to find different coaching income streams.

In fact, it’s best that you learn to coach all of the major styles of coaching so that you can even create your own brand of coaching. This will put you ahead of your competition.

At the highest level professional coaching (outside of sports coaching) is always interested in moving people forward to achieve their highest aspirations.


whats the difference life vs business coaching

Underneath the broad term of professional coaching are many areas of specialty coaching. Each specialty focuses on serving different groups of people and on different topics or themes. hence life coaching vs executive vs business vs wellness coaching etc.


Here is a formula to understand Life Coaching vs Executive Coaching

Niche market + Goal topic = Coaching specialty

  • Life coaching – helps people with setting life goals and working towards achieving them.
  • Executive coaching – helps with setting professional goals for executives, and working towards achieving them.
  • Youth coaching – helps young people to set goals and working towards achieving them.
  • Wellness coaching – helps people interested in wellness to set health and lifestyle goals and working towards achieving them.
I could go on but I am sure that you understand now. This is why we encourage our students to create their own style and brand. Some offer pure coaching, others use a blended approach combining other modalities like mentoring and counselling.

You can choose your area of speciality based on 2 important factors.

  1. The people you want to serve.
  2. The goal themes and topics that you are interested in helping others to achieve transformation in.
So let’s say that you want to serve entrepreneurs who are interested in financial freedom. Using my formula, you add “entrepreneur” to “financial freedom” and you could create your own brand of coaching “financial freedom coaching for entrepreneurs” or “entrepreneur coach”— you get the idea? There are no rules here, other than being ethical and staying in integrity, which using the ICF code of ethics and core competencies ensures. You can create your own form of coaching brand or follow the traditional specialty paths. The only problem however, with calling yourself for example, a life coach, is that not many people know what a life coach is.

We therefore strongly recommend at InnerLifeSkills, that you learn to communicate the true value of what you’re offering.

That you don’t focus on marketing yourself as a coach, that you market the destination that you want to take people to. The destination that you care about. People understand destinations they don’t understand coaching. Make sure that the kind of coaching that you study helps you to be flexible enough to coach any topic or theme, and any group or market. It’s no good only learning to coach one theme, or one market. Most of our students only discover the speciality that they care most about during their studies. Some go into the world offering two or three areas of speciality.
Learn to market your brand naturally

When considering Life Coaching vs Executive Coaching, it helps to ask: “What do life coaches, executive coaches, youth coaches, business coaches and all other professional coaches have in common?”

Properly trained coaches regardless of their specialty all have…

  • Listening skills – being able to listen deeper than the surface including using your intuition.
  • Trust building skills – ethically building bridges of connection and trust to people.
  • Contracting skills – establishing a clear tangible outcome for any coached meeting or session.
  • Methods to create engagement – motivating and inspiring others.
  • Clarification techniques – ways to help others to clarify meaning.
  • Decision-making methods – helping people to make decisions at the crossroads in their lives.
  • Goal excavation – working to define and discover our most important goals.
  • Action planning – helping to create strategies and action plans to move us towards achieving our goals.
  • Thinking exercises – to help us to think creatively and intuitively and build new awareness.
  • Challenging limiting beliefs – to help us find what beliefs are sabotaging our progress and to change these beliefs.
If they are well trained coaches, following the ICF core competencies, like InnerLifeSkills Master Coaches, then all of the specialities still use the same basic skills and techniques as listed above. They just adapt these skills towards the different goals and niche markets.