Monday, September 9, 2013

Life Coaching Vs. Mentoring And The Price of Both

Salary Range For Life Coaching
Once upon a time Oprah Winfrey was desperately searching for ways to get higher views on her network, OWN. She found ratings from several different people such as Iyanla Vanzant. Who is Iyanla?

Iyanla is a life coach that has been changing lives for over 20 years. She sprung into success a long time ago, fell into hard times, and popped back into the media ready to change lives again. Her focus for the last couple of years has been reuniting children with the fathers. If you've been watching OWN for the last couple months, you know about the fatherless epidemic in the African American community.

Wait, Iyanla doesn't just get men to take care of their children. She currently has a show called Iyanla: Fix My Life, in which she spends 48 or 72 hours giving families the tools to repair their broken relationships. On top of fixing their relationships, she also gets paid a nice amount of these episodes. See Iyanla may get you to believe it's not money for her, but essentially the business of life coaching is about money.

Now then there is mentoring. Mentoring is the act of giving advice and guiding a person into their career as someone has done (and may still be doing) for you. There is no price tag for mentoring. It's free. It is free because you don't look to help someone. They come out of nowhere needing advice as you need from a person more experienced than you and you fall into guiding them.

However, lately it seems as if the lines have been blurred between life coaching and mentoring. A couple years ago I remember looking for advice from anyone to help guide me toward my career goals. It led me to people giving out advice over the phone for a certain amount of money per minute. I didn't make the phone calls. If I would have already had the money to make the phone calls to get advice, I wouldn't have been looking at those people for help. So with no money to push me ahead I waited it out and took advice wherever I could find it for free. Fast forward to years later.

It takes a special kind of skill to to meet someone willing to mentor you. Most people are thinking if they struggled hard to get where they are, you should struggle too on your own. However, life coaches are everywhere. Like mentors life coaches are experts at just about anything you need to know. They are also usually entrepreneurs. They've quit their jobs to dedicate their lives to guiding people like you into the right direction, but since they work for themselves there is a price.

This brings me to the conclusion that maybe life coaching and the dollar signs have taken over what mentoring has always been about. Who wants to give out free help when you can get paid for it? Tamara Taylor actually did a rant out on twitter about this. Her tweets are below. What do you think? Do you like life coaching better than mentoring? Which is more important to you?

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