People become business owners so that they can grow to a place where they have the freedom to live the life they want, not so that they can continue to work long hours keeping their business moving forward while their team punches out at 5 o’clock to enjoy happy hour, put in a round of golf, or go home to their families. So if you, as a business owner, are thinking that you should have more freedom to make decisions about when you work, where you work, how much you take home, etc… then you are ready to have a conversation with a business coach.
A business coach is an ultimate guide to get your business to where it is supporting your life.
A business coach is not there to tell you what to do. They are not there to run your business. They are someone who comes into your life to help you get your business to a place where it is supporting you, not the other way around. When you hire a business coach you are hiring a guide; someone to be a sounding board for your problems, point you in the right direction, provide clarity, and keep you accountable. A good business coach teaches you how to see the possibilities and opportunities that don’t come to you naturally by asking questions and skillfully prompting you to think critically about situations.
A business coach does not ‘give you a fish’, but rather ‘teaches you to fish for yourself’.
A business coach should be someone who has had experience and has even worked through some challenging circumstances such as economic downturns or personal hardships. The key element is that they have built the skills and knowledge necessary to guide you through the problems that you face in your own business and teach you how to handle future situations. This happens through the three dimensions of business coaching:
- Coaching the business - working through setting up systems, tools, and strategies
- Personal coaching - training leadership, delegation, and communication
- Accountability - ensuring that you do what you say you are going to do
You are undoubtedly talented in your chosen profession, yet your passion, your talent, and your drive can only get you so far. Whether you are in the medical field, a tradesperson, a financial expert, a consultant, etc., the concept of a successful business is the same. Regardless of industry, a unifying characteristic of people who get into business for themselves is having massive motivation. At the same time, the unifying characteristic of business owners who never reach the point where they are able to live independently from their business is a lack of business education. What enables you to become a business owner who enjoys their own time and their own money is understanding the fundamentals of how to run a business. A business coach gives you that education and in doing so enables you to move forward on your own.
The right business coach for you is your harshest critic and your greatest champion at the same time.
You are the most unique part of your business. The systems, tools, and processes that make up a successful business are, at their core, the same across different sizes of businesses and different industries. You do not need to find someone who has specialized in your niche in order to have a great guide to help you work through the problems, fear, and frustrations that you experience. Find a business coach who has proven time and time again that their methods, their framework, their procedures all work. Read testimonials, call references, ask questions, and do your research.
What you need to be prepared to bring to the relationship is motivation and a willingness to do the work. And the work isn’t tasked out to you by your business coach, it is driven by conversations, questions, and thinking critically about your business. Plain and simple, if you aren’t willing to be pushed, be asked the tough questions, look internally, and make changes then you may not be ready for business coaching. But that also means that you aren’t ready to bring your business to a place where you get to live the life you want. Have an idea of what that future life looks like for you. Is it more money? More time? More ventures that branch out of your initial business? Not everybody wants to sit on a beach and sip Mai Tais until the sun goes down day after day, and that’s ok. The right business coach will help you realize your freedom, whatever that looks like.
Business coaching doesn’t cost, it pays.
No, that doesn’t mean it’s free. What it does mean is that you should be looking at the fees you pay your business coach as an investment and thinking about what the return will be for you. Again, revisit your goals, think about what success looks like for you. What are the key indicators specific to you and your business that will tell you that business coaching has paid off? These are important conversations to have with a prospective business coach so that the right program can be tailored to your budget and the needs of your company.
I give my clients a guarantee: as long as you do the work, after four months your coaching will have paid for itself. What that means is that if you show up and engage in our conversations, dig deep and put in the effort that it takes to really learn how to run a well-managed business, you will see results in four months. Those results are unique to you and the goals that we set out together. I have coached over 280 clients since 2004, and only one of those clients has questioned my four-month guarantee.
If you have questions about business coaching or are at all curious about whether coaching is right for you, I encourage you to book a free (yes, this part IS free!) 15-minute conversation with me using my calendar link here.