Creative Coaching vs. Business Coaching

As a Creative Coach I quite often get asked what Creative Coaching is and how it compares to the ever-popular “business coach.”

Haley Hoover, Creative Coach -photo by  @the_ polaroid _punk

Haley Hoover, Creative Coach -photo by @the_polaroid_punk

Truly, I believe there is a time in place for both coaching types. The importance is to know which type of coach is best for you in each season of life, entrepreneurship and growth. The odds are throughout your journey you’ll most likely require a combination of both. Again, the trick is to follow your gut and decipher which is best for you at which moment.

For example, I did tons of business classes and how-to online courses but I was having no success in getting my creative biz off the ground. That’s when I found my mindset coach. It was her expertise that transformed me (the person behind the business) so I could finally free myself of the inhibitions that had held me back for so long.

Later on, after I had done the grunt work of aligning with myself, the business coaching seemed to be much more helpful. I was applying strategy to a well-oiled machine and successfully moving forward. Before, I was pouring gasoline in a beautiful Volkswagen van that had a completely corrupt motor. It didn’t matter how much paint (marketing), gasoline (strategy) and effort I applied, the darn thing just wasn’t going to run.

Hopefully you’re following my metaphor by this point, but just to be clear, sometimes it’s not the business model that needs aligning but the person running the business. Other times it’s not our alignment that’s broken, but the business strategy itself. Be wise and learn the difference within your specific business and your personal development.

To break it down ever further, here are the basics of each coaching structure. (Of course, there are a million variations of each depending on each individual coach. This is just one example of each.)


Business Coaching

  • Strategy-based. Most business coaching base their approach and advice on strategy. They are all about getting you the best tangible results for your money. This often includes tweaking your processes and systems. This type of coaching is also best for learning new strategies to grow your business.

  • Statistic-backed. Business coaches like to look at statistics based on past results from successful businesses. The great thing about this is — what they’re telling you usually works! They’ve got the facts to prove it. X+Y=Z. That is of course, as long as your insides are aligned and running smoothly. If that is the case, then stat-backed formulas are a no-brainer!

  • Focuses solely on the business. Business Coaching focuses solely on the BUSINESS, not the person behind it. Again, this helps with improving results, efficiency and overall processes. When you’re all poised and ready to sell, a business coach can check out your work and tell you what to do better or what to drop. They’ll look at your business as a whole, but not you.

  • All about the how-to. Business Coaches are the masters of how-to. They generally have lots of great resources such as trainings, courses and content that is designed to show you how to run a business. This can be great if you’re just starting out and have no clue where to start!

Creative Coaching

  • Personalized per individual. Creative Coaching is personalized for each individual. No two beings are exactly alike and neither is the solution. I may be a ‘60 split-window in need of new interior, while you may be a ‘71, leather-top who needs a new HVAC. Creative Coaching is as much about engaging your creativity as it is the coach.

  • Organic. No-formula. This type of coaching requires a different formula for each individual. Its purpose is to discover the best formula for you, personally. I ask my clients questions like: What lights you up? While each individual business requires different formulas from a business coach, the baseline is all the same. Most-likely the advice is backed by numbers and proven track-records. I don’t have that luxury in my coaching. What works for me may not work for you.

  • Internally focused. This approach focuses on the person and energy behind the business. Are they happy? Inspired? Aligned? Curious? When the business isn’t performing, it could be a strategy, or it very well could be the fears, blocks and internal congestion the creator is facing. Ever heard of Think and Grow Rich? This famous book focuses all on the mental, emotional and internal desire to implement what you want.

  • All about the WHY. As a Creative Coach, I’m always asking my clients WHY. What is the bigger questions reckoning your success. i.e. Why should you implement said strategy? Why are you afraid of committing? What is standing in your way? Who do you need to be? All of these questions point to the heart of the matter, the soul, spirit and mind behind the processes. These things must be working together as two ox on one cart or the buggy ain’t goin’ nowhere (even if it is a Volkswagen).

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There are also dozens of other coaches including relationship coaching, mindset coaches, branding experts, Facebook Ad specialists and everything else under the sun. The beauty of today’s society is that we now have access to experts right at our fingertips, no matter where in the world we live! I love that blogging, YouTube, social media and the internet have all made it so easy for experts of every kind to offer their services and serve the people they desire to help most.

If you could be any type of coach, what type of coach would you be? What lights you up? Who would you serve? Leave a comment below.

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If you feel like Creative Coaching may be in alignment with what you and your creative passion need right now, feel free to reach out and ask some questions. I’d be happy to help you learn more with absolutely no pressure. I do believe that we each need different things in different moments. If it feels like I’m what you need, I’d love to support you in your creative journey. Learn more about creative coaching here >> or shoot me an email at >>