What’s a mindset coach and do I need one? When it’s worth the investment, and when it’s NOT.

By Shelsey Jarvis

In the last couple years, you’ve probably noticed an interesting phenomenon on social media.

EVERYONE seems to be a coach these days.
What's a mindset coach and do I need one? - When it’s worth the investment, and when it’s NOT  |  Left-Brained Hippie

There’s a running joke in the industry…

“I’m a coach who coaches coaches who coach coaches”

Sounds kinda iffy when you put it that way, right?

It’s not some new pyramid thing, it’s the realization that everyone in the entrepreneurship world needs to have someone in their corner.

Someone who’s smart, can quickly assess the problems and needs, and help you strategize a solution.

Someone who can help you get RESULTS with the thing you’re not currently getting results in.

What is a coach?

There seems to be a lot of confusion around what coaches do, so let’s start there.

A coach is someone who asks you well-timed and thoughtful questions to help you pull answers from within yourself. Read more:

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A lot of “coaches” out there are really strategists and consultants, which is an entirely different thing.

Consultants and strategists will take your business (or a piece of it), and dump it out on the table like a box of legos, and they will help you put it back together again.

That’s perfect if you’re making money but you need systems, automation, or want to scale up an already-successful business.

A coach is really more about having someone in your corner to troubleshoot your belief systems, help you figure out why you’re holding yourself back (because you are), and help you re-pave your belief systems to serve you better.

Is it just about positive thinking?

Positive thinking is just one tiny aspect of working on your mindset. I like to say that positive thinking is the result more than the method. After all, if positive thinking were so easy, everyone would do it all the time and our lives would all be perfect.

If it were as simple as “think positive”, everyone would do it all the time and our lives would all be perfect. Read more:

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However, ask any high-level achiever and they’ll tell you how important it is to be positive, resilient, consistent, and confident.

Most of us are not ANY of those things by nature. We’ve been conditioned for years by family, school, peers, employers, and others to look at reality through bleak-coloured glasses, stay in your lane, avoid failure, and don’t be too cocky otherwise people won’t like you.

Many of us even grew up in environments where we were punished for failures, punished for overshadowing others, and punished for refusing to take the same bleak world view as everyone else.

But entrepreneurs are a rare breed, and it takes some major re-wiring to become the person you need to be in order to succeed. Positive thinking is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the mindset shifts that need to happen.

What do mindset coaches do?

But a coach isn’t just a cheerleader. We’re not there to simply tell you to “look on the bright side”, or keep you accountable to the tasks you said you’d do. Your grandma could do that.

A great coach makes you feel seen, heard, and understood.

A great coach creates a space for massive breakthroughs and a heightened level of self-awareness.

A great coach helps you pull out your own greatness and aha moments from within instead of feeding it to you on a spoon (the goal is to help you be more self-aware and self-sufficient, not dependent on a coach to give you the answers).

A great coach helps you untangle and unfuck the beliefs you’ve cemented over the years, while helping you create new beliefs that serve you. Read more:

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So, is it like therapy?

I’ve been asked the question a few times now, “what’s the difference between a coach and a therapist?”

Although I definitely believe a therapist’s background gives them a unique perspective as a coach, A COACH IS NOT A THERAPIST.

Coaches are there to help you perform and show up as the leader you need to be in order to create the life you want. Coaches are there to help you remove your roadblocks so you can run faster (physically or metaphorically).

Actually, let’s carry on with that metaphor.

A physical therapist helps someone who’s been injured to walk again. To recover from the trauma their body has endured, so they can live a normal life again in a healthy body. So they can play on a level playing field, essentially.

A sports coach has no business trying to help someone paralyzed from the waist down to learn to walk again—they’re there to help a healthy body perform better, run faster, jump higher.

Same goes for mindset coaches: we’re there to help you perform better.


Inevitably, tough shit comes up. After all, those fears and beliefs are there for a reason—sometimes you’ve had shit come up in the past that you never dealt with.

Although a good coach won’t linger in the past or try to “fix” old wounds, sometimes it’s necessary to ask tough questions that lead to painful answers. That coach needs to know how to navigate those tough spots to lead you through to the other side.

If you’ve experienced serious trauma, go see a therapist to come to terms with that, and come back to me (or any other coach) when you can talk about it without being traumatized all over again. Otherwise, it can hurt you more than it helps you. And no cheating—if you’ve experienced trauma that’s still an open wound, don’t think you can just hire a coach and dance around it. You’ll be wasting your money.

So do I need a mindset coach?

Well, let me ask you: is this you?

feeling stuck in hustle mode with no light at the end of the tunnel

I can help you with alllll that.

Aligned is the new hustle, babe.

When NOT to invest

Please, for the love of god, don’t waste your money (and the coach’s time) if:

1. You’re unwilling to take responsibility for your situation.

Don’t waste the thousands of dollars in mindset coaching if you’re going to blame other people for your lot in life. Yeah, I get that you didn’t consciously choose where you are, but you get to consciously choose to change, and you can only do that by taking the wheel. Which means, taking responsibility.

2. You’re not going to bother to do the work.

The act of hiring a mindset coach can set a powerful intention, but it doesn’t mean squat if you don’t actually do the deep work required to make the shifts. A good coach will give you action steps after the call--DO them.

3. You’re not willing to get brutally honest with yourself.

A good mindset coach is perceptive AF. They might not be right about everything, but they’ll be able to see things about you that you never noticed in yourself. Be open to the possibility that they’re bringing something important to your awareness.

4. You have unhealed trauma from your past.

Please PLEASE do not hire a coach yet if you have experienced trauma in your past that you can’t talk about without traumatizing yourself all over again. Coaching is about increasing your performance, but it often involves talking about tough situations in your past. If there’s something that happened to you that you can’t talk about, seek professional counseling or therapy, not a coach. When you hire a coach, they have to take you on your word that you have no unhealed traumas. They’re not looking to step on a landmine and cause you further trauma, so it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re ready for coaching.

So, is it for you? The best way to know for sure is to get on the phone so we can get to know each other.

Let’s talk about where you are now, where you want to be, and if I’m the right person to get you from here to there!


About the Author

Hey, I'm Shelsey, and I help female online entrepreneurs clear the mindset gremlins that are sabotaging you from the inner corners of your brain. Join me in the Left-Brained Hippies Facebook community!

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