Melissa Martin - Boldly Courageous

Do You Need a Teacher or a Coach for your Business?

Hey babe! I’m so glad you’re here. Boldly Courageous is a podcast created for you — the ambitious woman who is ready to take action and step fully into the life you’ve always dreamed of.

I’m so grateful that you are here with me today. I want to talk to you guys about something that’s been coming up a lot in my awareness and in different conversations I’ve been having with my community. 

For those of you that don’t know, I built a network marketing business for seven years before my company restructured in 2019. Then, I decided to go fully into coaching and building my own brand. Today, in my “professional life,” I work one-to-one with high-performing women as a coach to help them really achieve the things that they want in life and in their business in the time span of six months.

And recently, through this business, I realized that many people don’t understand the big difference between a teacher and a coach. They are totally different, and neither one is better than the other. But it’s important to know what the difference is between the two so you can know what form of guidance you need for the problem you’re trying to solve. 

Coaches and teachers have helped me so much in my life and my business, and that’s why today’s episode is so important for me to share with you what I’ve learned. Let’s dive in! 

My Journey into Coaching

Like I said, I started working in network marketing, which as I’ve said on this podcast before, is truly entrepreneurship with training wheels. I was exposed to people who knew how to run a business and had the hustle down. 

I went to school as a massage therapist, so network marketing was a huge learning curve for me at first. But it felt good because I had someone to guide me through the process and teach me the system. 

But, I reached a point in my network marketing journey –– and maybe some of you can relate  –– where I started to feel like something was missing. I had learned everything that my company was able to teach me, but I could feel that I had more in me to give. I just wasn’t 100% sure what that was. I realized that I wanted to grow and become a true business owner –– an entrepreneur without the training wheels –– and start treating my network marketing business, not just as a network marketing business, but as a real business. I was ready to start showing up as a real content creator, a real coach.

I realized that if I wanted to grow, it was up to me to put myself in a space where I didn’t know everything. There’s this saying that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to go into a new room! I remembered that saying every time I would go to a training: I would be inspired and motivated, but what I was learning wasn’t new material. It was time to find a new room.

I recognized that I needed to shift my mindset and that I needed an outsider’s perspective. I wanted to learn from other people who were killing it. I enrolled in an online course called the Wellpreneur Business Academy. Some of you guys may have heard of it. It was with a woman named Angie Lee and her then business partner, Jen Casey.

That course opened my eyes — they did a great job teaching me, but I still felt like I needed more. I was getting stuck on my feelings around money. I decided to hire a money mindset coach, and she really helped me shift my perspective around money, abundance, and self-worth. From there, I joined her Mastermind — which is a hybrid group coaching/mentorship program. Since then, I’ve either been working one-on-one with a coach or mentor, or I’ve been in a group mastermind. 

Babe, this is what I call getting a master’s degree or PhD in life. That’s how I view my whole journey into coaching, and that’s why I want to give you the Spark Notes. Here’s what I learned about teachers vs. coaches. 

Who Is a Teacher?

OK, let’s talk about teachers for a second. I’m going to give you the actual, dictionary definition of who a teacher is. The dictionary says a teacher is “one that teaches especially one whose occupation is to instruct.” 

Let’s unpack that for a second. Teachers are really there to teach us something very specific. As a student, we are there to listen and learn and take the things that a teacher has taught us. Then, we implement that information. 

How does this show up in the business world? How can you invest in a teacher, and what are you going to get from that investment? 

Let’s say you’re a network marketer who is struggling with social media. A teacher will offer a free webinar or an online course or a free video or a free PDF. You can take that content, learn the steps of their process, and then go and implement that in your business. 

This is one way that you can break through very specific technical issues that you have in your business. Teachers are great when there’s a very specific problem that needs to be solved. They can offer you a very specific strategy to help you solve that problem. 

But not all problems are that easy to solve, right? This is where coaches come in.

Who Is a Coach?

Coaching, by definition, is “a form of development in which an experienced person who is the coach supports a learner or a client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal.” The key word here is guidance: This person provides training and guidance. While that does sound somewhat similar to a teacher, it’s actually a little bit different. 

The whole point of hiring a coach is that a coach is someone who has been in your shoes. A coach is somebody who’s walked through the process that you’ve been in, and they understand the dynamics of what it takes to get to the place that you want to go. They’re helping you achieve a very specific goal.

Here’s an example — I wanted help with shifting my perspective around money. I really wanted my coach to be able to get into my mindset and guide me to the results that I wanted in a way that felt most in alignment with me. A coach’s job is to help you find the roadmap yourself, come to your own conclusions, and then guide you through the process to actually get those results.

What could a coach help you achieve? Typically, you would hire someone to help you build a specific skill set or breakthrough on something that you really want to work on — and yes, that can be a little bit obscure. For instance, as a coach, I might work with a client on his branding and marketing. I would help her learn how to take her authentic voice and put it into the world. Coaches tend to ask a lot of open-ended questions to help you learn your truth. Then, they will guide you in a way that you can deliver content that feels in alignment with that truth. 

Unlike teachers, coaches aren’t giving you their roadmap — they are helping you find your own roadmap.

Where can you find coaching? You can get some coaching on a podcast like this! Maybe this episode feels like coaching to you. If you’re opening your mind to think about things in a completely different way and deciding whether or not this aligns with you, that’s a huge part of coaching! 

It helps to think about coaching in the context of sports. How many of your sports coaches taught you a specific skillset on the field, but also worked on your mindset, your grit, your tenacity, and your leadership skills? Technical skills are important, but don’t forget about the skills that only a coach can teach you!

Which Is Right for You: Coaching v. Teaching

Babe, you might be thinking — how do I know what I need? Start by asking yourself, is it a specific thing that I need help shifting? I might hire a coach for my money mindset, but I might hire a teacher to learn how to balance my checkbook or teach me how to use QuickBooks. Get really clear on what is your sticking point. What’s going to help you get to the desired outcome that you want? 

A coach is going to dive more specifically into your business. That relationship is going to be a higher level of accountability, higher touchpoint, and a lot more customization and catering specifically to you. A teacher is going to be diving specifically into just one thing. 

Babe, I’m buzzing right now because something big is coming. I want to tell you more, but for now, just know that I have something major to announce in the next two weeks. I’m going to release something that I know is going to pull you out of imposter syndrome, out of scarcity, and push you into a space of feeling confident, feeling excited, and feeling connected. This is going to put you more in alignment with how you’re building your life and your business than you ever have before. Keep listening in, because I promise you won’t want to miss this announcement. 

Thank you so much for reading this post! I hope it cleared things up for you if you were confused about coaching and teaching. If you know others in your community that have similar questions, share this episode with them! And if there’s anything I didn’t answer for you about coaching, please reach out to me on Instagram. You can DM me @themelissamartin! 

Now, go out there and live your boldly courageous life. I love you all.

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My name is Melissa Martin, and I’m here to be your wing woman as you gain the tools and confidence to face your fears head on.


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