How to Decide Between a Course, a Coach or a Mastermind

Guest Post Written by Sara Christensen of Kickass Masterminds
Entrepreneurs are so damn lucky these days (says the old, crusty business owner who has been doing this for more than 25 years). You have access to an unlimited universe of badass business growth resources literally at your fingertips.

I’m talking the world’s best courses and coaches and masterminds.

All right there and accessible through your nifty smartphone and portable computer, kiddo.

But how do you know which of these three are “right” for you at any point in time?

Slick digital marketing with it’s spot-on messaging does a damn good job at luring you into all of them, but the reality is that there are certain situations where one is a better fit than another.



Courses are all about learning specific content on your own. They tend to be the lowest priced option. Courses are particularly great choices for entrepreneurs who are just starting out because they provide the specifics to learn about business.  

However, you have to be a highly disciplined and self-driven person to get great return out of a course.

Most of us (me included!) have a graveyard of courses that we’ve purchased. With the best intentions, we started but never completed. The course creator probably even built in excellent ways for us finish, but we didn’t.

You see, with a course, it’s the course creator’s responsibility to provide the general information. What you do with it is up to you.

When you take a course, the onus of learning and implementing what you learned is entirely on you.

With that being said, learning specific tactics and topics from courses can be incredibly powerful. If there are distinct areas of your business that you need to learn about (like paid traffic or copywriting or Instagram) and you are highly disciplined, courses are fantastic.



Hire a coach when you want an expert to customize your learning and implementation of their specific topic into your business including their oversight to get it done.

Coaches are incredibly useful at all stages of entrepreneurship because of the nature of their customized advice and accountability.

A good coach takes their entire body of knowledge on their topic and applies it to your specific business. You’ll get a more tailored learning experience versus more general information that you’d find in a course. This person will teach you in an applied information kind of way.

When you hire a coach, that person is responsible for teaching you how to layer in their topic of expertise into your business and will oversee you putting it into practice.

Working with a coach will give you a much higher chance of actually doing the work because someone is looking after you.

You set yourself up for a higher level of success when you work 1:1 or in a group with a coach because you have someone there to “pull” you through, especially when you need a kick in the ass.



Masterminds are the best option when you’re focused on implementation and breaking through daily challenges to grow your business – rather than learning about a specific topic.

Sure, you learn lots of stuff in a mastermind, but it’s more about the support and feedback available at any moment in time. Having a group of people with experience in all the aspects of growing a business that you can rely on to guide you is powerful.

That’s why mastermind groups are best for established entrepreneurs. They help you to break through the million and one challenges that pop up every damn day as you’re doing business.

New entrepreneurs just don’t have the deep, in-the-trenches experiences that can be shared with other group members yet. One of the most useful things a mastermind group can bring is guidance, feedback and relevant input on your business that can only come from gaining first-hand experience .

Masterminds also provide accountability and support to keep you on track with your business goals. There’s nothing like knowing your people have your back no matter what. In the frenetic ups and downs of owning a business, sometimes just knowing you aren’t crazy or that someone will help pick you up after you make a huge mistake is invaluable.

How to Decide Between a Course, a Coach or a Mastermind - Guest Post by Sara Christensen of Kickass Masterminds, JAM Marketing Group with Brit Kolo

So which is right for you?

Now it’s up to you to the inner work of determining what it is that you and your business truly need before making a decision on your next business growth investment.

There’s no single, right answer across the board. It could be a course a coach or a mastermind.

But there is a best choice depending upon where you’re at in your business and what kind of learning and support is the best option for you at this point in time. Now go figure that out and make your smarty-pants decision.


About the Author

Sara Christensen of Kickass MastermindsSara Christensen has started and ran five businesses over the past 20+ years. Her largest was doing $10 million in revenue per year and employed 75 people before she sold it. Before devoting herself full-time to her own businesses, Sara worked as the Head of Marketing and Business Development for several high-tech companies. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Sara is currently obsessed with helping other business owners grow their companies through her latest venture: Kickass Masterminds. When she’s not connecting awesome entrepreneurs to each other, she can be found sipping bourbon or using way too many Post-It notes.

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