When you think about a business coach, I bet one of the first things that comes to mind is a question:
“Why would I need one?”
To answer the “why,” it helps to understand the “what.” Specifically, what does a business coach do?
A business coach does three important things:
- They are your reality check
- They are the person who holds your feet to the fire
- They are the compass that guides you to your own path
Your Reality Check
Being a business owner is often a lonely life. There are precious few, if any, people in your business life with whom you can be you. You are at once the boss, the client, and the provider. All these roles put you in a difficult place. Some of the people you deal with are telling you what they think you want to hear, and others are looking to promote their interests at the expense of yours. Trying to sort out who is doing what saps your energy and your faith in humanity.
A good coach stands outside of that. They are the person who can help you see there is light at the end of the tunnel when you are wavering. They can support your resolve to do what needs to be done when you are unsure. They are the person who can, when needed, point out that the emperor has no clothes.
A good coach can do all these things in a way that builds you up. By that, I mean a good coach will not step in and tell you the answer. They will have the patience, confidence, and wisdom to lead you to the answer for yourself. This approach makes all the difference.
Solutions handed to you, while convenient, often aren’t solutions at all. Yes, they may address the surface level symptom, but often never even attempt to address the underlying root causes. Also, its hard to take ownership of a solution you didn’t create. By guiding you to your solution, you will own it. And the process of getting there will expose the underlying issues that led to the problem in the first place.
Your Source of Accountability
I get it. As a business owner, you have far more to do than you and 5 other people could ever hope to complete. I also get that when people become overwhelmed, the things that get done are the easiest, fastest, and most convenient things to do. This leads to a chronic case of confusing activity for progress.
A good coach will help you sort out the important from the busy work and help you work out a plan to focus on the important. Then, your coach will be the person who holds you accountable for doing the work that matters.
Your employees won’t call you out for not doing the things you need to do. Everything about the employer/employee relationship dynamic is working against that. Your suppliers? They want to stay in your good graces, so they probably won’t be holding you accountable for anything other than paying their invoices. Your customers will hold you accountable – for giving them what they want when they want it. The coach is there for the express purpose being that voice in your ear pushing you to do the things that will get you where you want to go.
Every business owner has something that drives them. And it’s rarely just money. The most successful businesses know why they do what they do and they know where they are trying to go. The difference between those business and yours isn’t that you lack that drive. It’s that you haven’t fully tapped into it or that it got lost among the million and one things you need to do right now.
Good coaches work with you to bring your why to the surface. Once there, they help you make a direct connection between what drives you and what the business does. A coach isn’t going to do this by telling you what your driver should be. They are going to do this by asking questions. Questions that make you think. Questions that make you uncomfortable. Questions that lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself and your business.
Throughout the process of discovering your why, your coach does more than just help you build your business. Your coach helps you build your skill when it comes to asking the right questions. In this way, your coach is doing what all great coaches do – giving you the tools and the confidence to thrive on your own.
So, if you care at all about achieving success (however you define that for you), you need a coach. Hiring a coach isn’t an admission of weakness or an admission that there is something you don’t know. Hiring a coach is a sure sign that you are actually serious about getting to where you want to be.
Your coach can leverage their experience to teach you better ways do some things in your business. More importantly, your coach can help you get clear about what you really want, build your trust in yourself, and call you on your BS when you need it.
Still not convinced?
Read as many memoirs of wildly successful business people as you like. One thing that you aren’t going to find is a lot of talk about how they did it all on their own. What you are going to find, over and over again, is a lot of talk about the people they learned from and the people who helped them along the way.
There is a reason for that.