This is the next installment in my series of blogs to educate you about some of the “behind the scenes” world that you don’t see with business coaches and to give you the insider’s knowledge.

To recap I have both been coached for 11 years now, learned to coach through structured education, and have worked with physio clinic owners these last 3 years as both a business consultant, and a business coach.

Today’s installment describes the difference between a consultant and a coach.

Having worked with both business consultants and coaches over the years, there is value in both. But when should you work with one moreso than the other?

The first people I worked with felt like coaches. I will explain what this means.

The biggest difference between a coach and a consultant is this: a curriculum.

I remember a chance encounter with David Butler back in early 2015 at a pain conference. Like most starry eyed physios I had read his books, and now I had written my own book. I presented him with a signed copy at this conference.

In conversation with David I explained to him how I planned to work with physio clinic owners in a business capacity – but I didn’t yet know what this looked like.

He gave me the best piece of advice I have ever received that helped me on the journey that is now Ultimate Physio.

“Nick, to be the best you can be, you will need to have a curriculum”.

For a couple of years I didn’t really know what this meant. But it got me thinking.


Now back to my early years of coaching. This was back in the days where everything was by phone – Zoom wasn’t invented yet. The coach would call up, lead with “how are you going?”, I would pour out my problems and issues to them, and we would work on some solutions. I would implement some of them, not implement others, and resist other solutions and when I looked back I hadn’t grown to the stage of being able to implement them.

My first couple of coached used this model. My results were mixed. I worked with each of them about a year.

I found as I evolved I needed a more evolved coach too.

In 2013 I found my first consultant – they taught me a 9 month curriculum in which I learned to develop an elevator pitch, write a book, built online products, build a profile and start to approach partners. I learned heaps on this programme – but the real gold nugget was that it took me 2-3 years after the course finished to truly understand and implement the material I had learned, as at the time Ultimate Physio didn’t exist yet.

As soon as Ultimate Physio became more than just an idea I retrofitted what I head learned to Ultimate Physio to accelerate my journey.

For me – a curriculum was where it was at. So this was what I decided to create at Ultimate Physio.


A business coach is helpful. They help you with accountability, problems, challenges, goals and plans. I use coaches to this day.

But the best coaches I have worked with have a curriculum. They teach you their curriculum, which can be overwhelming at first, and the biggest mistake most physio clinic owners make is wanting to implement everything straight away.

Even though my “Build the Ultimate Physio Clinic” course goes for 9 months, I have experienced that full implementation of the course material takes 2-3 years.


We teach physio clinic owners our curriculum – with 2 days on each of the 5 modules of Mindset, Strategy, Marketing, Team and Systems.

Between each module we support clinic owners with weekly coaching sessions and this is where clinic owners can get help for their individual issues and I have the ability to give them additional resources at any time to help them with the particular challenge they are working on right now.


My personal experiences is that coaches help you through challenges, consultants teach you new ideas and concepts, but the perfect blend is when you work with someone who is both.

The ideal mix is where you learn new ideas and concepts, but then have accountability and personalisation built into the process.


I have personally had 2 consultants/coaches who have done this with me, and I am now doing my best to bring this model to the physio industry.

Our next programme kicks off in April 2020 and the locations for the live events will be spread between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for your convenience.


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