What is a Personal Coach?

As a personal coach, I help you conceive of an even better version of yourself, then I help you get there. 

When we're young, we have parents and caretakers who guide us. As we get older we have teachers and coaches, sometimes therapists, and eventually, we have a boss or clients. As a personal coach, I help you with your development without having an agenda for your outcome. I help clients make choices that are aligned with their values to derive more meaning from their lives.

Together, we will identify what you want to hope for, strive for and ultimately create. We review your values and see where you're hitting bullseye and where you may have strayed from your desired path.

I will ask you penetrating and provocative personal questions so that you can express new ideas. After an introductory session, one client recently said, “It was amazing to hear myself say that out loud. I didn’t even know I was thinking that, but I am. I very much am. It is powerful to give words to ideas that are buried inside me.”

As your personal coach, I'm on an excavating mission. I help you connect the dots, and then take action on the insights you have.

The focus of my coaching practice is career  coaching and life coaching. Since your career is such a big part of your life, many people find their way to me with a Google search for career coach. While I’m eager to support you with your career, the best way I know how to do that is to frame your career in the context of your life.

What this means is that we look at the person you want to be, the impact you want to have on the world, and perhaps the partner and parent you want to be, and the mental and physical health goals you have. We determine the best career objectives in this context; how does your career support your life (not the other way around.

As a personal coach, I work with you to better define your values, your meaning and impact, and create a structure for your personal development that leads to greater personal fulfillment.

What’s a Personal Life Coach?

A personal coach is the same as a personal life coach (see above for more).

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I had never used a career coach before, but was in a situation where I needed a sounding board and career advice, so found Allison on Google where she had all 5 star reviews. After conducting further research, her very impressive background and the fact that she was published gave me the confidence that she could help me with my situation.Allison was amazing to work with, very personable, and her feedback to me absolutely ensured my success. I wouldn't have been able to navigate my situation properly if it wasn't for Allison, as she kept me grounded and focused on what was important during the process.Thank you Allison for all of your great insights, your amazing approach and helping to make a stressful situation much more manageable and successful!!
Dave Rossman
Dave Rossman
21:28 15 Aug 21
I can't say enough wonderful things about Allison! In our first session, she helped me troubleshoot a challenging work situation and visualize what a better opportunity might look like (which came to fruition not long after!). She is a great listener and I was impressed by how quickly she could dialogue about the specifics of my workplace and some of the challenges that were unique to me/my family and my work sector. She challenged me to think about what success looks like for me, and made specific suggestions for how to get there. Allison is clearly a champion for her clients and it feels great to have her in my corner!
Colleen Ijalana
Colleen Ijalana
13:41 29 Jun 21
Working with Allison is the best choice I've ever made for myself! When my Saturn return aligned with a global pandemic I was so lost and overwhelmed. I had a million things I wanted to do with my life and just no idea where to start, but Allison embraced my chaos and said welcome to adulthood babe, let's get you the tools to start figuring out your plan. She never judged or shamed me, but rather became a close confidant and dare I say friend. Often times our sessions were the highlight of my week! If you have the ability to invest in yourself with her program, no matter where you're at in your life, you will thank yourself later (and sooner) if you go for it. I couldn't recommend her more highly, anyone can benefit from her services!
Ceci Glidden
Ceci Glidden
14:02 03 Apr 21
I'm incredibly proud to share that Allison helped me achieve my DREAM job at my DREAM company!! I have been working with Allison for the past 6 months and her services are the best investment I've ever made. Allison's abilities to connect, understand and take action are second to none. Allison has solutions and techniques for everything. She provides so much care and attention which makes you feel as if you are her only client. Sessions are always productive and she ensures that you are feeling supported throughout the process. Thank you, Allison!!
Lauren Gerard
Lauren Gerard
16:12 01 Apr 21
Allison and I worked together over the course of 6 months and what an incredible journey it was together. When we began, I had no clear vision for what I wanted life to look like, just a definite certainty that I needed epic change. Allison is a master navigator in that quagmire. She gently pulls threads and follows them with you to tease out your passions, skills, dissatisfiers, and boundaries. I’d often leave sessions and reflect in awe at her ability to unpack all that I said and, more importantly, that which I didn’t. Her gift of unearthing insight, provoking thought, and inciting action is unparalleled. We covered an insane amount of territory in our time together and I’m on a clear, self-created(!) path forward to achieving that epic change I was seeking. Thank you, Allison! I’m looking forward to reconnecting from Peru!
Kati LaBeaume
Kati LaBeaume
22:47 09 Feb 21
In the short time I worked with Allison I got a new job WHILE exploring my own passions. I'm now happier in my career, actively coaching on my own, have a web site, and planned a yoga retreat.Allison gave me confidence and accountability when I needed it most. Each session was tailored to what I wanted support on. I was hesitant to spend the money, but I'm so glad I did. I appreciated that we could record our sessions so I could re-watch them (just so I didn't miss or forget anything!). Her support and guidance crashed down a huge wall I built up for myself.I truly feel transformed. Thank you, Allison!
Samantha Rhind
Samantha Rhind
23:34 13 Jan 21
My life transformed in the most wonderful way through coaching with Allison. She is an amazing person and talented coach. She knows how to listen deeply, connect and ask powerful questions that unlock awareness and open insight. She has a wealth of practical wisdom that inspires courage, agency and possibility. Our coaching engagement was deep, meaningful and impactful for me on so many levels. Working with Allison truly created a positive (r)evolution in my life. I highly recommend her coaching program. If you get the opportunity to work with her, take it!
Emily Peck
Emily Peck
19:44 06 Nov 20
Allison is a gifted, whip-smart, and wise career coach. Working with her was a terrific experience. She helped me transition from my previous career, putting me on a more fulfilling path forward. Her energy, enthusiasm, and optimism are infectious. I felt energized after every session with her. Now that we are in the midst of this great transition in terms of career-life, I’m grateful to have worked with Allison when I did. My time with her has helped me navigate the covid world with much more confidence and ease.
Michelle Glasser
Michelle Glasser
02:14 31 Aug 20
Working with Allison was just what I needed to shift focus for a new career! Although we started working in the middle of the pandemic, I knew working with her would help for years to come. She not only helped me through these uncertain times but prepared me to hit the ground running. Regardless if you’re just starting out or have been in an industry for years, she gets it!
Brianne Kennedy
Brianne Kennedy
16:49 24 Aug 20
I first contacted Allison because I was feeling lost in my job search and was hoping to find a new career path. After just a few months working with Allison I felt I had found a new career path and felt more confident as a professional in general, but also was finding improvements in other areas of my life that I didn’t expect. The thing I appreciated most is that she doesn’t tell you what you should do or what you should be, she just asks the right questions to help you find it in yourself and then helps come up with a plan for getting to where you want to be. She also is extreme positive and fun to talk to and I always left her office in a good mood. I highly recommend working with her.
Tim Higgins
Tim Higgins
23:05 23 Feb 20
Allison is the best! And that is a HUGE understatement. Unlike other Life/Career Coaches, Allison "gets it". She is extremely Relatable, not "Old-School", and very Realistic.When I first visited Allison, I was unhappy with my career, it's progression, and I knew that I wanted to do something different (something more in-line with ME) - but I didn't know what it was or how to find it.My fiance and I were also unhappy with where we were living, and had many ideas about moving away - but those were more like "dreams".Within a 3 month period, Allison, with her many skills/tools of: inspiration, open mindedness, being extremely well educated in the field of life/career coaching, support, connected-ness through communication, positivity, guidance, and what seems to be a vast knowledge of "everything coaching" ...The list goes on and on...Helped both of us create a plan to move to a new state, a place where we absolutely love!, and a plan to move forward with our careers which has been exciting and truly unbelievable. On my last session with her, she went down a list of items/life ideas which I brought to her attention on our 1st session, and within a 3 month period - I/we had accomplished everything on that list.I can't say thank you enough. And I can't recommend her services enough for anyone who is looking for a change/different perspective in their life/career.Thank you Allison!!!
Daniel Solomon
Daniel Solomon
17:00 28 Oct 19
I have been working with Allison for the last five months, and in that time, I have made changes in my life that I've been trying to make on my own for a decade. She is a sincere person who is deeply committed to helping you gain clarity and take concrete steps to achieve the life you want. I was in a state of so much confusion and all I knew was that I needed to change, but I didn't have a clear direction. She has a remarkable ability to distill our conversations into eye-opening insights and clear action steps. In working with her, I have been able to shift long-held patterns of thinking that were not serving me and, as a result, more fully inhabit my own life. Together we have been creating and refining my goals and I have been able to progress from the traction gained each week. I am incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to work with her. The return on my investment is exponential.
Swapna Rao
Swapna Rao
13:27 19 Sep 19
Allison is incredibly sharp, diligent, and kind. Her attention and enthusiasm is especially beneficial to those who seek encouragement and guidance during large transitional periods. Allison understands exactly how to empower her clients, and provides them with practical tools to set and complete goals, making those uncomfortable transitions all the more beautiful.
EJ Barbato
EJ Barbato
21:40 22 Aug 19
I used to think there was nothing I could get from a career coach that I couldn't get from my existing network of mentors. Then I was given a copy of Allison's book. It opened my eyes to things about my professional self I hadn't acknowledged before and to a new way about thinking about my work, my career and myself. So, I signed up for an intro coaching session and hoped I was making a worthy investment of money I really didn't have to spend. In that first session, I learned a lot about the way I work, how I want to work and who I am. In subsequent sessions, I began to see opportunities for myself I had refused to open my eyes to in the past and the fears, societal and cultural expectations that I was allowing to limit my possibilities. With Allison's support, I pushed myself outside my comfort zone and into some of the most rewarding professional experiences of my life. I'm still finding my way, but my framework for thinking about my career and professional decision-making has changed. I am more confident in saying no to opportunities that aren't for me (and that I would have fretted over) and have a much better idea of what it is I want out of work and by extension life.
Meena Thiruvengadam
Meena Thiruvengadam
17:07 19 Aug 19
There truly is not enough space here to share all the wonderful things I experienced working with Allison. I am so appreciative she has chosen to apply her intelligence, positive energy, empathy and commitment to helping others through her coaching business. She has made a tremendous difference in my life for which I am so grateful.I had been suffering from 'analysis paralysis' for years, stuck obsessing over different opportunities available to me after working in network television as an investigative journalist. I had reached out to other professionals for help in sorting through all my ideas to get some traction in my life, but I realized they didn't seem to be able to relate to my thought process and I was only confusing them.I sensed I should reach out to Allison after I invited her to speak at a meetup group I organize locally. After my first personal session with her, it's as if the sun finally came out from behind the clouds in my mind. She helped me get all the jumbled up ideas in my head - out of my head so we could review each of them and decide which to prioritize now, later or toss out completely. She even guided me on how to test some of the ideas, with action vs going all in. And, I am using a terrific method to structure my day that she introduced to me.If you really want to create change in your life, work toward your best life, bring clarity to your life, I believe 100% Allison is the one to call. As her client I am expected to compensate her for her expertise and guidance, but I felt like she gave me far more than what I gave her.She fantastic!
maria afsharian
maria afsharian
05:29 29 Jul 19
I had just one session with Allison because I felt I needed a boost of motivation to get me going - both with my career and personal goals. After having my second baby, I was feeling stuck and frustrated and most importantly ready to make a change. In that one session Allison helped me come up with a plan and gave me the push that I needed.
Donna Dotan
Donna Dotan
17:42 24 Jul 19
Allison is a true star at what she does. She guided me through a career change with ease. She is a fresh perspective when things seem hopeless. The whole experience with her just amazing. She showed me that I was beyond capable to make the changes that I wanted to make in my life. With her support I was able to see the best in myself and make the necessary changes. She will not do the work for you but show you how to do it for yourself which is even more valuable. If you are considering working with her don’t hesitate for a second, you will not regret it!
Kristina J
Kristina J
21:08 22 Mar 19
I cannot recommend Allison enough. I find myself referring to our sessions & her book regularly. When you work with her, you have a true partner. I learned to verbalize my goals. I've gained clarity on my values and what is actually important to me, not just what I've told myself is important to me. My career has shifted. My creative life is flourishing. I've booked additional sessions. For as long as she's coaching, I'll be a client.
Nolan Denker
Nolan Denker
01:47 12 Feb 19
I had a terrific experience with Allison. When I started my 8-session package with her, I felt stuck professionally and full of self doubt. Undaunted, Allison Task was up for the task! Having finished the package with Allison a few weeks ago, I am astounded by her tenacity and willingness to hop right in and roll up her sleeves. She’s smart and laser focused! She kept me on message in terms of recognizing many entrenched and damaging mindsets. Doing this successfully is often the first step in making change happen. Allison has a knack for getting to the heart of the matter, providing clients with a forum to articulate feelings. She is also great at framing key issues so they're seen in a whole new light. Allison’s presence, energy, and ability to cut right to what's important is rare. Her mission is to effectuate positive changes, and that’s just what she does. Also, she’s results driven. I am now taking positive steps forward. I have clear direction with my business, and am making money as a consultant. I would NEVER have made these changes without the insights I learned with Allison!
Michelle Glasser
Michelle Glasser
18:04 24 Jan 19
Allison is such a positive and special person to be around. She helped me see that I can achieve anything I put my mind to, in my career and personal life. She helped me plan goals and motivated me towards my achievement. I’m so greatful to her and I had a wonderful experience. She is truly professional and I highly recommend her for anyone looking to excel in life.
Chana Deena Benjamin
Chana Deena Benjamin
17:21 16 Jan 19
I went to see Allison this past week after reading her amazing reviews online. In our 75 minute intro season, She not only helped me figure out the best way to achieve my career goals, but also helped me identify parallels in my personal and professional life. It was an eye opening and invaluable experience. I feel more confident and secure in my decision making skills. She helped me see my value as an employee and showed me how I can achieve my goals in a reasonable time period. Her organizational skills are unmatched and she even emails you a recap of the session so you have something in writing to reflect on. I have already recommended her to my family and friends! Go see Allison - you won’t regret it!
17:14 17 Nov 18

What Is a Personal Development Coach?

Again, same thing :-). There are many different titles for the same function – life coach, personal coach, and personal development coach are all the same thing. And yet, practitioners practice differently. Since coaching in the United States is not yet regulated, anyone can call themselves a coach. That’s why, when hiring a coach it’s important to do your research; research the background, education and experience of your coach to determine if that coach is a good fit for you. Then meet with a couple of coaches for an introductory session and determine who is the best fit for you.

What Is a High Performance Coach?

High performance coaching is a specialty within personal coaching / life coaching, although most high performance coaches I know would cringe at the idea of being called a life coach. Let’s break it down:

High performance coaches work with executives and athletes who are driving for their peak performance. They are the best of the best, bringing it to the next level. Think of iconic athletes like Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, or executives like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. They are 100% dedicated to optimizing peak performance. High performance coaches study these extraordinary people to determine how they do what they do, then translate that approach to clients so that they can apply it. My friend Steven Kotler heads The Flow Research Collective, a group that is single-mindedly focused on unlocking peak performance.

For me, high performance doesn’t involve peaking in one area to the detriment of other areas. My definition of a high performance life is one that ranks highly in contentment, joy, and contribution. As a practitioner of positive psychology and an avid student of happiness research, that is the peak performance I help my clients fine.

For example, I helped a mom of two leave a job where she was earning millions annually so that she could spend more time with her children. In our capitalist culture, this is somewhat counterintuitive. Peak performance is often seen as earning that multi-million dollar paycheck – but at what cost? When this particular client examined the cognitive dissonance she experienced despite her double comma annual earnings, and reoriented around her values and realized that the money wasn’t delivering the meaning or contentment she was craving.

Money couldn’t buy her more time with her children. Only her active, values-driven choices could give her the freedom she desired.

That’s the kind of high performance coaching I practice. I help clients optimize their life to better align with their values so that they can make a more meaningful contribution to the world, increase their contentment and happiness, and lead lives in synch with their values. And then I help them transition to that life.

High performance coaching? Not exactly. And yet, precisely.

What Is Your Personal Coaching Background?

I received my personal coaching certificate from New York University in 2005. See below.

Has my maiden name and everything; I became Allison Fishman Task when I married in October 2011. So we’re turning back the clock back with my certification.

I started coaching during my training, so that makes 15 years. At first, I ran my coaching practice part time while I was hosting TV shows for TLC (The Learning Channel, part of Discovery Networks), Lifetime, and Yahoo. My shows included Home Made Simple, Cook Yourself Thin, and Yahoo! Blue Ribbon Hunter.

This of course has nothing to do with coaching, but it sure was fun!

I ran my coaching practice part time while hosting these shows because:

1) I loved coaching

2) As a TV host, I found myself in a contract which prohibited you from working on-camera outside of the show. This is called a lock-up agreement, and as a result, after six weeks working on a show, I was prohibited from appearing on camera for the next 10 ½ months!

Not complaining, just stating a fact. This gave me the space I needed to open up my coaching practice part time. I worked as an on-camera host when I had the opportunity and built my practice the rest of the time.

After I moved to Montclair, NJ, married, changed my name (to a far more appropriate coaching name, as “Coach Task” really has a ring to it!) and started a family, I decided that the feast-or-famine on-camera lifestyle was no longer for me. It was a blast, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and now I was ready to hang up my makeup bag, create a coaching practice and commit to that practice full time. In October 2014, one year after my third child was born, I launched Allison Task Career & Life Coach with a sweet little office in Montclair NJ.

I knew I loved coaching, but I could not have imagined how much more I would enjoy the work when I committed to coaching as my full-time career.

You can read more about my personal coaching background here, or scroll down for more specifics in “Who Is A Personal Coach”.

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Do you have Personal Coach Certification?

Yes I do! New York University bequeathed a personal coaching certificate upon me (see above photo), and believe me when I say I earned it.

I also hold a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) credential with the International Coaching Certification, which is the second-highest level of coaching credential one can earn, with the most prestigious coaching organization in the world. For more on that, read on.

NYU Personal Coach Certificate

Who Is a Personal Coach?  / Who Is a Personal Development Coach?

As mentioned above, the unfortunate truth is anyone who wants to call themselves a coach can. It is a completely unregulated industry. You can call yourself a love coach, a relationship coach, a divorce coach, a personal coach, or a personal development coach without any training or confirmation that you are, actually a coach. At this point, the industry has a bit of a “wild west” vibe to it.

I can also call myself a pickle, or a giraffe, but you’d realize pretty quickly I am not either of those things.

While  the industry is unregulated, I  hold myself to the highest coaching standards available. I don’t have to; I choose to.

In addition to the Personal and Life Coaching certificate I received after one year of training at NYU, I am also a member in good standing with the International Coaching Federation. I attend biannual meetings globally, and have taken (a somewhat grueling, definitely rigorous) exams to earn an ICF credential at theProfessional Certified Coach (PCC) level. I found it easier to get into an Ivy League school, and Mensa than pass that challenging series of exams! The PCC is the second-highest level of coaching one can achieve; the only higher level is the MCC (Master Certified Coach). There are fewer than 1000 MCCs around the globe; I intend to sit for the exam in the next two years.

In addition, I have been coaching clients for almost 15 years. I have spent more than 4,000 hours coaching clients, plus another 6,000 hours in learning, training and development over the last 15 years.

So simply put, anyone can be a personal coach. Anyone can be a personal development coach. But not everyone is as committed to excellence in the craft as I am. (But don’t take my word for it, do your research.)

What Does A Personal Coach Do?

You are the expert on you. I am the expert on coaching methodology. I ask the questions to help you create new connections so that you can see the opportunities before you with a new perspective. I call this insight. I am your thought partner, asking you questions and holding space so that you can have fresh thoughts, connecting the dots in a new way.

After we develop insights, we create “next steps” lists. This is where the rubber hits the road; this is where you take action. Insight, action; insight, action. And throughout, I am your accountability partner. This happens in each and every coaching session. Every client leaves every session with insights and actions.

Coaching Process Diagram

I am your thought partner as you develop the insights that leads to strategy, and your accountability partner as you take the next steps, moving forward with the actions you committed to in our sessions.

Insight, action; insight, action. 

This leads, inevitably, to results.

We work together, gearing up the insight/action flywheel so that you achieve results. That’s what I do as a personal development coach. Read on for a more detailed description of my process. Or, set up an introductory session and experience the process for yourself.

Insight, action, results. That’s what I do; that’s what you hire me for. Full stop.

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Why Hire A Personal Coach?

Clients typically hire me as their personal coach for one of two reasons:

  1. They aren’t happy where they are and want to make a change or
  2. They know where they want to be but haven’t been able to get there on their own. As I like to say...

Clients hire me as their personal coach when they are ready to invest in themselves, ready to invest in making a change. They hire me when they realize that the other methods just aren’t working and they need some support to get from here to there.

It’s like when you’re lost, you’ve tried to figure out the way, and you finally pull over for directions. Sound familiar? Some people pull over sooner than others.

As a client recently wrote in her Google review:

“I used to think there was nothing I could get from a career coach that I couldn't get from my existing network of mentors. Then I was given a copy of Allison's book. It opened my eyes to things about my professional self I hadn't acknowledged before and to a new way about thinking about my work, my career and myself. So, I signed up for an intro coaching session and hoped I was making a worthy investment of money I really didn't have to spend.

In that first session, I learned a lot about the way I work, how I want to work and who I am. In subsequent sessions, I began to see opportunities for myself I had refused to open my eyes to in the past and the fears, societal and cultural expectations that I was allowing to limit my possibilities.

With Allison's support, I pushed myself outside my comfort zone and into some of the most rewarding professional experiences of my life. I'm still finding my way, but my framework for thinking about my career and professional decision-making has changed. I am more confident in saying no to opportunities that aren't for me (and that I would have fretted over) and have a much better idea of what it is I want out of work and by extension life.”


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If you'd like to set up an introductory session, please complete the form and tell me your best times.

Times available (ET): Daytime: Monday-Friday: 7AM, 8:15AM, 9:30AM, 10:45AM, noon and 1:15PM. Evening: Monday-Wednesday: 6:30PM and 7:40PM.

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  • The introductory session is $395 and lasts 60 minutes.

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