Is It OK to Cheat on Your Coach?

Recently, I was on a video call with a client when she looked up at me guiltily and said, “I have to tell you something.”

Uh oh.

Did she not do her homework? Had she racked up more credit card debt? Is she getting a divorce?

“I’ve been seeing another coach.” She looked like she had admitted to burning my house down.

Whew! Honestly, I was completely relieved.

When she realized I wasn’t mad, my client said, “But it felt like I was cheating on you!”

That made me laugh because I totally don’t see it that way. But it got me thinking…do other people feel such loyalty to their coaches that they can’t imagine seeing someone else?

I don’t condone cheating in school, cheating on your spouse, cheating on your taxes, or cheating at Monopoly, but cheating on your coach is alright in my book.

Here’s the thing: I’m a coach, not some all-seeing, all-knowing deity sitting on a mountain top surrounded by butterflies and chirping birds.

[Tweet “A coach is like any other teacher. There’s only so much you can learn from one person.”]

Unlike a therapist who you might see for years and years, I fully expect there to come a time when you’re ready to “graduate” from working with me.

Most of my one-on-one clients work with me anywhere from 6 months to a year. After that time, they’ve gotten their confidence back, earned a promotion or new job, have a smoothly running business, paid off their debts, or simply feel capable and in control of their lives.

That’s my job. I help you edit your life so that eventually you can do it yourself.

Some of my clients work with other coaches before coming to me. Some move on to new coaches after me. And some, like the client I mentioned at the beginning of this post, see another coach at the same time as our sessions.

Different viewpoints help you make informed decisions.

Would you want to live your life only following your grandmother’s advice? What about if you only followed the advice from your second grade teacher?

Here are my tips for working with multiple coaches at once:

  • Limit the number to no more than 2 coaches. Too many cooks and all that.
  • Choose coaches with varied backgrounds. Maybe one career coach and one life coach. Or maybe one health coach and one spiritual coach.
  • Tell the coaches that you’re seeing more than one professional. Don’t cheat and keep it secret. How do they react? Are they offended or are they supportive of your needs?
  • Try one group coaching program with lots of participants and one private coaching package with a single coach speaking directly with you.

A good coach knows that she’s not perfect. She’s not desperately holding on to clients forever, and she’s not afraid of competition.

Instead, she’ll use her strengths to help her clients achieve their goals and live the kind of lives they only dreamed about.

And she cheers louder than anyone when they’re ready to leave her.

I know I do.

[Tweet ““Cry. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” Steve Maraboli”]

Have you ever cheated on a coach?

In the comments below, share your advice for seeing multiple professionals at once.

This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.


  1. Nneka, Working Mystic on April 24, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I “cheated” on my group coach with a private coach. I didn’t see it like cheating at all. I got great training in the group program. While the private coach helped tailor that training to my business and helped me to implement. I truly believe that the strength of private coaches is that they come to know you and your business intimately. Makes it easier for them to tailor solutions to you.

    • Sage Grayson on April 26, 2015 at 6:44 am

      So true, Nneka! Thanks for commenting.