For someone just learning about the world of life coaching online, it’s a vast space full of different practices, certifications, and services. At a)plan coaching, we often educate new clients on the difference between a traditional online life coach and an a)plan coach. While there are some clear similarities, the differences tell the most important part of the story.
For necessary context, one must understand the online life coaching industry. The first 30 years of the coaching industry were dominated by sole practitioners who aggregated, in their own ways, many different training approaches. Some of the leading pioneers of the profession built unique coaching styles, but few successfully scaled those approaches in consistent, sustainable ways. But with the internet, the online aspect of coaching opened new doors.
a)plan coaching is one of the first coaching services to successfully develop and scale an approach that consistently drives life-changing progress. How did we do it? A lot of factors contribute to our proven approach. But among the most important, we broke away from the term “life” coach.
What Is an Online Life Coach?
An online life coach is a type of coach who delivers their services virtually. Someone might turn to an online life coach for a number of reasons – like getting help with relationships, personal wellness, parenting, or a major work/life transition.
So why doesn’t a)plan claim the term “life” coach?
It has to do with the coaching industry’s tendency to label all the different sub sectors of coaching. There’s life coaching, career coaching, executive coaching, diversity coaching, and more. But a)plan coaching, on the other hand, believes these different areas of a person’s life cannot and should not be separated. Work deeply impacts life and vice versa – so a coach must look at the whole picture.
What many coaching newbies (and even many of those familiar with the space) don’t realize, is that their search for an online life coach or virtual coach might lead them to a coaching practitioner who doesn’t look at the whole picture. This distinction is crucial to successfully finding the right coach. For help on how to hire a virtual coach, some useful pro tips will help you in your search.
What Do You Get from an Online Life Coach?
An online life coach can offer a wide range of services and perks related to personal wellness. Speaking to the a)plan coaching approach (which shares a common thread with most online coaching in that it is virtual), clients get unlimited access to their coaches as they work their way through the a)plan journey, which includes:
- An initial inventory of goals, values, strengths, challenges, and opportunities
- A one hour launch to identify specific coaching goals and commitments
- Weekly 30 minute sessions
- Pre- and post-session assignments
- Summary notes after each session
- 24/7 life coach contact between sessions via the a)plan coaching app
When we talk about goals, values, strengths, challenges, and opportunities, those can be related to any aspect of one’s life or career. Again, this “whole life” approach is why we hesitate to describe a)plan as simply an “online life coaching” tool.
As far as what you get from a coach, you’ll find that some offer things that others don’t. For example, monthly vs. weekly coaching sessions, texting support (or no texting support), or an app to track progress. In the world of sole practitioner coaching, it really is a mixed bag. For those looking for a 24/7 life coach, or round-the-clock support, you’ll want to make sure to use a service that supports offline coaching with a benefit like unlimited texting.
Who Uses a Coach?
Since we practice a “whole-life” approach at a)plan, our clients truly come from all walks of life. We work with CEOs, parents, grandparents, young professionals, entrepreneurs, non-profit workers, managers, startup founders, and more.
While not everyone uses a coach, everyone could benefit from one. Just as Bill Gates once said, “Everyone needs a coach.” This commonly acknowledged sentiment by many of today’s top leaders comes from a simple idea: Everyone needs a coach because everyone is limited in their ability to see themselves as others do.
For those who have never tried coaching, remember that you don’t know what you don’t know. Areas of your life could be ripe for major improvement, and you might not even realize it until you’ve found the perfect coach. At a)plan, we are proud and honored to provide hundreds of clients with exactly that – the perfect coach.