What is a Life Coach and Who Needs One? - MetroFamily Magazine
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What is a Life Coach and Who Needs One?

by Erin Page

Reading Time: 7 minutes 

We throw around the term “life coach” … but what exactly is one? Do they fit the stereotype that only the mega-rich executives can benefit from their advice (and afford them)?

We asked several local life coaches our burning questions about this burgeoning field, who can benefit from hiring a life coach and how to find the right fit.

Thank you to Deja Hurst, Mandi Briggs and Shanna Pearson for sharing your insight.

Q: What is life coaching?

A: Life coaching helps individuals get from where they are now to where they want to go in the future. Anyone can benefit from the process, especially those looking to make a change like reentering the workforce, changing their relationship status or simply wanting to “find themselves” again. If a person feels stuck, confused or unsure of the next step, he or she could benefit from coaching. If a person feels motivated, excited and eager about the next step, he or she could also benefit from coaching. —Mandi Briggs

Q: How can hiring a life coach help an individual?

A: The most fulfilling part of my job is seeing clients accomplish goals they never thought were possible. It is so rewarding to see clients come to the realization that with the right tools and resources, the goals they want to reach are attainable and with hard work they can reach them. Seeing clients realize that their personal stumbling blocks and struggles are not signs that they aren’t cut out to accomplish the goals they desire, but instead simply just giants to overcome is miraculous to see on a day-to-day basis. —Deja Hurst

A: People often turn to friends and loved ones for advice or opinions, especially when making decisions. The most fulfilling part of my work is helping clients tune out everyone else’s opinions, quiet the negative self-talk, and come home to their own truth so that decisions going forward are authentic. This typically reduces stress and brings more peace and joy. —Mandi Briggs

Q: Who can benefit from hiring a life coach?

A: Any person who is willing and ready to make a change in their personal or professional life can benefit from a life coach. My clients, as well as the clients of other life coaches I am in close contact with range from business owners, working mothers, part-time professionals, and clients who are just interested in becoming the best versions of themselves. If you are interested in growing as an individual or accomplishing short-term or long -term goals you can benefit from hiring a life coach. —Deja Hurst


Q: What specific situations can a life coach help with?

A: Coaches can help with a multitude of things: mindset, health and wellness, goal setting, time management, challenging limiting beliefs, emotional agility, building a business, setting boundaries, minimizing/alleviating performance anxiety, learning a new skill, re-entering the workforce, juggling mom life… you name it, I would almost guarantee there is a coach that specializes in whatever a person would like help with! —Shanna Pearson

A: A life coach can help you accomplish any long-standing or new-found goals that you have set for yourself but are needing helpful tools and resources to accomplish those goals. These goals can vary from needing guidance on how to find the motivation and time to start a business to learning how to establish boundaries, or even needing help with getting the ball rolling on making new friends and connections in a new city. —Deja Hurst

A: Life coaches can help individuals navigate change. That could look like any number of scenarios, such as marriage or divorce, becoming a new parent or an empty nester, getting a promotion or changing careers, taking on new hobbies or volunteer opportunities, moving to a new town, and so much more.

Think of it as personal development. Coaching can help clients improve their self-image, change their inner dialogue or negative self-talk, create new habits or break old patterns as they work toward the goal or change they seek.

Change can often feel scary, but it doesn’t have to; it can also feel freeing, exciting or even energizing.  A life coach offers an independent perspective, asks questions and guides you to solutions that best serve you moving forward. —Mandi Briggs

Q: How does a life coach differ from a therapist?

A: The biggest difference, and simplest answer, is that therapists have specialized training to help clients look back. This is helpful when discussing family of origin issues, navigating grief or overcoming trauma. Coaches are trained to help clients move forward. We ask where a person wants to go and navigate helping them get there successfully. —Mandi Briggs

A: Unlike in a therapeutic setting, clients of life coaches have the ability to be in contact with their life coach throughout the week for accountability purposes. As well as be in contact with their life coach to share exciting progress they have made towards their goals and accomplishments. —Deja Hurst

A: Addressing any past traumas and/or severe mental illnesses are best managed by a physician or licensed therapist/counselor. —Shanna Pearson

Q: How does an individual begin the process of finding a life coach?

A: Most coaches offer a complimentary discovery call, which is a great way to get a feel for how well you and the coach vibe together. The most important thing in a coach/client relationship is to feel safe and comfortable. —Shanna Pearson

Q: What questions should someone ask when interviewing/trying to find the best life coach fit?

  • Do you offer a free consultation where I can ask questions, get to know you and your experience and determine if we are a good fit?
  • Do you have a specific area of expertise? What is your experience in this area?
  • What type of training have you gone through?
  • What can I expect in a typical session? How long are the sessions, how frequently will we meet and what types of things will we discuss?
  • What type of support do you offer in between sessions? Is this an additional cost? What additional resources and tools do you offer?
  • What is your coaching style? What techniques or methodologies do you typically employ?
  • What’s the total investment?

Q: What other considerations are important in selecting a life coach?

A: Coaching is not currently regulated like therapy/counseling so a person doesn’t necessarily have to go through any formal training to become a coach…for some people that isn’t a huge deal but for others (and me personally) it is important to complete formal training from an ICF (International Coach Federation) accredited institution. If a potential client is reaching out to a coach in a specific niche, another good question would be WHY the coach chose that niche and what their experience was/is like. —Shanna Pearson

A: There isn’t an industry standard when it comes to the price of coaching services so expect to get a variety of responses. At the end of the day, remember the cost is an investment in yourself, your future and your overall happiness. And you’re worth it! Many coaches will offer email or text support in between sessions; however, some do not. Some coaches charge for tiers of support. It’s important to have a clear understanding up front. —Mandi Briggs

A: You may have to try a few different life coaches before you find your perfect fit, but don’t give up and don’t settle for a life coach that you feel cannot serve you in the way that you need! —Deja Hurst

Q: What are some areas that life coaches specialize in? What are the options available to individuals looking to hire a life coach?

A: The utilization of the Enneagram is a unique resource and personality typology that I use with all of my clients to help them gain higher self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-esteem. Plus, it helps clients break through barriers in their lives by providing language for why they may struggle with specific emotional, mental or physical obstacles due to the makeup of their personality. With the Enneagram, I am able to provide clear paths and tools of how they can grow in those areas on the journey of reaching their goals for their specific personality type. —Deja Hurst

A: I work with elite student-athletes ages 12-22. I was an elite athlete growing up, I played basketball from the time I was 10 and it helped me earn a full athletic scholarship to the University of Arkansas.  I love working with teens and young adults because the tools and concepts we work on not only help improve their athletic performance, but these skills also help them become strong and confident in every aspect of their lives. I WISH I had access to a life and performance coach when I was competing! —Shanna Pearson

A: Helping clients recognize the thoughts that hold them back and reframe them to discover another truth is somewhat common in the coaching world. However, I use a specific coaching technique I learned during my training called The Work by Bryon Katie. During the process, clients access their own internal wisdom and quiet the white noise of other people’s opinions that often plays on repeat in their minds. Helping people decipher their own truth rather than what others tell them to do or think is important to me. —Mandi Briggs


Deja Hurst is the owner of DSH coaching and offers coaching services in person and remotely for individuals and teams seeking to increase productivity, accomplish meaningful goals, strengthen relationships and grow in self-worth and self-esteem. DSH coaching can help with a multitude of clients by providing various tools and utilizing the Enneagram. Deja has worked with more than 100 clients, and she never grows tired of helping others become the best versions of themselves and helping clients achieve goals they never thought were possible! Connect with Deja on her website dshcoaching.co or Instagram and TikTok @dejathecoach.

Mandi Briggs is a life coach, yoga instructor, mindfulness advocate and Converse addict. She lives a life of adventure, takes risks based on her intuition and turns negative self-talk into love & gratitude on the regular. After 13+ years in corporate America, Mandi set off on a brave adventure to transform her life. Now, she owns and operates two businesses, works fewer hours, manages less stress and enjoys life more. Through one-on-one coaching, published works, retreats, workshops and yoga classes, Mandi helps women gain clarity and confidence to take inspired action toward the life they desire. Connect with Mandi on  her website simplymandi.com, on Facebook @simplymandicoaching and Instagram @mandibriggs.

Shanna Pearson is a performance mindset coach who works with elite student-athletes to get out of their head and into the game by developing a winning mindset so they can excel in their sport and compete at the highest level. She is a former Division I basketball player and understands the pressures that today’s athletes (and their parents) are facing. Before becoming a certified life and performance coach, she had a successful career in the oil & gas industry for 15 years. Connect with Shanna on her website 35coaching.com or on Instagram or Facebook @35coachinginc.

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