The first time that I ever heard of a life coach, I am certain that I laughed out loud. I remember it clearly because it was such a bizarre concept to me at the time. I was selling advertising back then and a tree service company in Portland, OR that I talked to, advised me that “his life coach told him not to buy the advertising.” The day before this, the business owner was certain that he saw value in the advertising, and that he was going to sign up for it. The business owner presented this “life coach” based objection as if he had no control of his business or his life, which I never believed. The data that I had access to suggested that he would have benefitted greatly from the advertising, but his coach actually stood between him and the potential for greater success.
In hindsight, this example still reveals some problems with that particular business owner, but that is a post for another time. A good coach should not make decisions for you but rather inspire you to exercise independent thinking. Half of you reading this will disagree with that last statement and that is perfectly acceptable to me.
I believe that a coach should work to challenge your thinking and your current level of success. If you are stuck within a certain income range, you may benefit from an outsider’s ideas and perspective. Perhaps you simply want to be pushed in a constructive way. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to consider a coach who specializes in guiding other entrepreneurs through their fear and past their limiting beliefs.[Tweet “A coach should work to challenge your thinking and your current level of success.”]
If you have always dismissed the idea of coaching like I used to, what would it take for you to at least consider it? If a coach could eliminate one or more of your current pain points, would that value earn them a 30-minute conversation with you?
Be honest with yourself here. Have you even given the idea of working with a coach a chance to work in your business, BEFORE dismissing it so quickly?
These are all good questions to ask, but please do not be foolish enough to allow your pride to limit your growth. Do you find yourself guilty of this? Relax, no one will know it but you.
Check out this quote from John Maxwell:
“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell
I regularly attend Mastermind sessions with other entrepreneurs where my thinking is challenged and my comfort zone is usually destroyed by the time I leave. This is a beneficial and helpful practice, but one-on-one coaching is still king. Nothing beats the personalized attention and individual focus that this type of partnership can offer you. Nothing my friends!
Let’s think about what you have to lose…..nothing! Let’s think about what you may gain….everything!
Here are my top 5 reasons that your business will also benefit from working with a professional coach:
1. They will see the potential in you that you do not even see in yourself.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? It is a hard question to answer because so many of us listen to that negative inner voice in our minds. An outsider’s perspective will point out strengths and greatness within us that we are incapable of seeing alone. Just ensure that the outsider has a genuine interest in building you up and not tearing you down.
2. They will help you create an actionable plan to reach your goals.
Having a vision in your mind is essential to success and no one will deny that. It is very difficult to set out on a journey without a roadmap that gives you a plan. Coaches can help you work backward from your vision to your daily goals, and fill in all of the blanks in between. This is easier and more effective when you can brainstorm together and bounce ideas off one another.
3. They will keep you accountable to your goals, even when no one else is looking.
What good are goals that you don’t consistently follow?! If you stick to them five days a week and check out the other two, how much progress do you think you are actually making? An accountability partner can be quite effective for the simple fact that is harder to let someone else down than it is to let ourselves down. If you have ever played any team sport, think about failing your teammates when the game was on the line. The thought and feeling of it is the same.
4. You will get another advocate for your success on your team.
One of the toughest parts of entrepreneurship is the solitude. A lot of other people that you know will not be supportive of your efforts for one reason or another. Many of them will not understand “why” you are doing what you are doing either. Even more of them will have no first-hand experience running a business but will have an unlimited amount of free advice to offer you. These are the folks that you want to avoid talking to about your business. A good coach will be on your side and willing and able to have intelligent and uplifting conversations with you. This offers a much more valuable interaction compared to the people who are trying to hold you back.
5. They will help you bring your ideas to life and build new habits.
Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Other times it can be overwhelming to try and figure out how to start doing things in a new way. A coach can keep you just beyond your comfort zone to ensure that your growth is trending upward, instead of just leveling out.
I recently went through a time where many of the people around me believed in what I was doing more than I did. I knew this because they told me and I could see it in their eyes. Seeing that confidence that others had in me lit a fire under my feet that is still pushing me to this day.
Is your business currently using a coach? Do you feel like it is working for you? What would you change if you could about your current or former coaching relationships?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments.