Coaching: Compassion Or A Kick In The Ass?

When it comes to coaching, and also mentor/mentee relationships, it appears there are two prevailing camps.

Camp Compassion and Camp Ass Kick

While I understand that we each need the kind of motivation and persuasive push that works best for us, I’m not a fan of the former and a big proponent of the latter.

Coaching Camps – Camp Compassion:

Also known as Camp Passion. And possibly Camp Manifest (ugh, I shudder and want to claw out my eyeballs just typing those eight letters). Last one, I promise, Camp Positivity Princess.

Some solopreneurs and small business owners look to a coach or mentor to console them when things go bad. They want to feel good about their business, and themselves, even during the slow and downtimes.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to remain positive. As a matter of fact, I’m a very positive person. I’d say I have a compassionate and caring caramel center, but it’s encased in a hard candy shell that doesn’t soften and offer pats on the back.

The reality, for me, is that too much consolation and compassion can sometimes clutter the bigger picture. What is that bigger picture? What you’re doing ain’t working. What you’re selling ain’t ending up in shopping carts.

A pat on the back, a round of applause, a trophy at the end of the game. Those should be earned. Your business won’t reap rewards if you’re “participating.” I’m visualizing a cute little soccer player completely ignoring the game around her as she braids daisy chains.

There are no participation awards in the small business game. You’ve got to excel. If you want to be the MVP of your niche, you’ve gotta put in the training and effort.

Coaching Camps – Camp Ass Kick:

Also known as Camp Do The Work. And possibly Camp Get It Did. One more, promise it’s the last one, Camp Quit Whining!

[clickToTweet tweet=”When I think about business coaching, there are NO ‘pretty’ pink dumbbells. ” quote=”When I think about business coaching, there are NO ‘pretty’ pink dumbbells. Nope!”]

It’s about sweating and getting shizz moved and done. It’s about heavy lifting. Building a few callouses and dealing with wind-burnt cheeks because there’s no excuse for missing the workout, no matter the cold temps outside.

Yes, I’m using a LOT of athletic analogies. I’ve always been an athlete. I’ve always been proud of my muscle, my tenacity, my quickness and my flexibility. All honed with athletic pursuits and the workouts that allow for that honing.

There’s little to no growth if you never move beyond the pretty pink dumbbells to the squat rack (yes, I know that was a huge jump, but you get the point).

Your coach, even when it’s business coaching, should be helping you strengthen your business, your leads, your brand. And guess what? In order to do so, they’re going to have to tell you to work hard.

A good business coach will tell you to drop and give ’em twenty, or send you to do some laps, if you don’t listen and do as they say.

A good business coach will make you sweat, will make you work underused muscles, will help you build the business callouses that allow you to minimize the downtimes and maximize your potential.

Camp Kick Ass is about accountability. Did you do the workouts? Are you prepared for the game? Are you warmed up, limber and ready to sweat it out?

Which Coaching Style Grinds Your Business Gears?

It really depends on who you are, the specific situation and the expected result, doesn’t it?

Much like there’s no one-size-fits all marketing solution (same goes for design), there’s no one-size fits all coaching solution.

But, if you’ve found it difficult to actually get the work done, and truly want to be held accountable, might I suggest you consider a week away at Camp Kick Ass?

Coaching: Compassion Or A Kick In The Ass?

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5 replies
    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Agreed, Erin! A little real is certainly a requirement when it comes to running a successful business. I can’t fathom why small business owners expect to be coddled and cajoled when they’re coached.

  1. Kelly
    Kelly says:


    I think we have the idea that a kick in the ass is going to be equal to major pain. The hour we spent today was way better medicine than a pocket full of compassion.

    You are exactly what the motivation doctor ordered. So happy to be working with such a talented lady.

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Well, there’s some truth to the adage, no pain … no gain. If everything was comfortable and cozy, we’d all be fat assing on the couch, don’t you think? But if we strive to get some satisfaction out of the effort and hard work, we come out that little bit better!

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