So you think you might be ready for a business coach? Before you go signing up with a random individual promising the sun, moon, and stars for your business, here are a few things you need to know. Let’s consider first and foremost if you’re ready for a business coach. And if you are, how do you pick the right person to propel your dream into a reality? Here are a few signs that you are ready for a coach.
You did it! You have the business up and running. The wheels are in motion, lots of wheels are in motion… wait! Too many wheels are in motion! The details to keep your business up and running can feel like a never-ending to-do list. From the big-picture vision-casting to the details of marketing and promoting your business in the most effective way, you’re finding yourself spread too thin and not sure of what to do next. You need your focus reined in. If someone could just tell you where to spend your energy…
You are a top executive in the corporate world. You’re successful at your career, and you know it’s vital to be as successful in your work as you are healthy in life. Balance is hard, but you know it’s necessary. It’s not only a business coach that will be helpful, but also a mixture of life coaching and spiritual advising, that will push your business farther as you focus on your own wellbeing.
You know it’s time to change gears — enough of working in your business. It’s time to work on your business. You feel that pull to scale your business bigger, but without burnout months or years down the road. You need help delegating tasks, even letting go of some (only some) control that you’ve had for so long. It’s time to shift and grow into that next level.
Your business is booming, good on you! You’re taking care of all the aspects, but now it’s time to take care of yourself. You know that book you always wanted to write? That personal brand platform you’ve been trying to grow in the margins? It’s time to bring these goals and dreams front and center while still operating your thriving business.
It’s possible that you’re seeing parts of yourself and your business in these 4 types. Good! Of course, these characteristics aren’t the only ones that might point you toward coaching.
Consider these other signs that it might be time for you to hire a business coach:
Okay, so now you’ve decided that you need a coach in order to take you business to the next level. But how do you choose one from the millions of results that pop up from a quick online search? Here are four traits to look for in your business coach.
You need a business coach who has been successful doing what you hope to do. This is what makes a good coach different from just any “coach” you might find online. A great coach has gone before you and is an expert in their field — which is more than reading books, taking classes, and getting a certification. All of that is well and good, but most importantly they have walked the walk. They can tell you what to pick up and what to put down because they have first-hand experience, which is invaluable. Insider knowledge is not cheap, but it’s what will propel your business forward.
Imagine an NFL coach. He’s been coaching for years. He has the experience, he knows the game — every rule, every special play. He has studied his opponents at length, and knows every move even before they make it. But he has a losing 1-15 record for the season. Would you label him or his team “successful”? Of course not. Experience without success is a recipe for wasting your money when partnering with a business coach. You want a business coach with a proven track record. Their success could be your success.
A great business coach is personally invested in you. Deborah Maldonado from Inc.com put it this way:
“Every stage of your business comes with unique challenges that need to be addressed outside of a formula taught to the masses. You should have a customized experience in building your business.”
A great business coach can see your blind spots and is not afraid to tell you the truth, especially when offering feedback to help you grow your business. Your coach should help you solve your problems and even occasionally solve problems for you! Most importantly, your coach is on the journey with you, step-by-step.
Having a toolkit that is built specifically for your business can be the make or break for any start-up trying to thrive in today’s market. This toolkit is a place where you can pull from when your coach is unavailable or when you eventually part ways.
Not everyone is a perfect match, and that’s okay! But you want to find this out sooner rather than later, right? For example, I am a Christian and a business coach. Not all of my clients are Christians, and I don’t bring in faith when coaching unless the client wants that. However, most clients like that they know what my values and priorities are because I am a Christian. Don’t be afraid to ask (interview?) your potential business coach about where they stand on certain issues that matter to you. After all, you are hiring them, and you want to be able to work well together.
Most importantly, your coach should be saving you time, money, and sanity.
Yes, coaching can be costly. And yes, we have wise friends. But friends are not your business coaches. And you don’t want them to be! If you bounce all your ideas off friends, family, and your significant other, you run the risk of ruining the relationship. Your friends might not want to offer the tough love your business needs to grow. A business coach sees things objectively and offers expert feedback. Plus, it’s easier to keep accountable with someone you’re paying.
Your friends probably haven’t built the business you are building so how would they be able to coach you as you build?
A good business coach keeps you accountable in ways that friends shouldn’t have to. Friends can be great to bounce ideas around with, but take the responsibility off of them to be your business babysitter. You’ll all enjoy each other’s company more when every brunch doesn’t turn into a coaching call.
A business coach isn’t your golden ticket. It’s not your free pass. To share in any of your coach’s previous success, you must do the work. Show up on the calls expectant and put their advice into action. Be proactive about your business. After all, wasn’t this your dream at some point? It’s now a reality, so remember what it was like to be passionate about it and show up with as much energy as you had when you first began.
The only way you won’t be successful is if you quit. We always need someone in our corner and on our side showing us the way.