4 Ways to Profit from a Business Coach
From helping entrepreneurs cope with stress to asking hard questions, engaging a business coach can be a winning move.
Being an entrepreneur is no easy feat, and one of the most important things you can do on that journey is to get coaching from an industry pro who has "been there." Such an advisor can help guide you through tough decisions and advise on how to better market yourself, among other benefits.
Top reasons why engaging an individual coach or service is of enduring value:
1. They help you deal with day-to-day challenges
A good business coach will give you feedback on how well certain aspects of a business are functioning in order for you to address areas needing the most attention. You might not know all the right questions to ask, or where to look for answers if something goes wrong. This can lead owners into bad choices which could hurt their reputation or otherwise cause setbacks. Don't let that happen. Look for a seasoned professional who can take the guesswork out.
2. They give you access to a broader coaching system
Depending upon how you access advisor expertise, there’s potential access to multiple coaches and lines of education. I used a company called 2X.co, and took advantage of its range of services — the goal of which was, according to one user, “growth and freedom, impact and wealth”. And there is a gratifying range of coaches and coaching programs to choose from — some specifically, rest assured, devoted to whatever business niche you inhabit.
3. They hold you accountable
A good coach will guide you to a solution, yes, but also be unvarnished in his or her assessment of mistakes. Remember, you don't need a cheerleader (at least not exclusively), but someone who will challenge both you and your methods.
4. They alert you to blind spots
The right advisor will point something out that isn’t obvious, and/or share the fruits of their experience in a different industry (perhaps at a larger organizations), but which apply well to you. Simply having someone share thoughts, questions or observations is inherently refreshing and helps stimulate ideas you may have missed previously.
Keep in mind that a coach should not be regarded as your employee, but as an external resource who can provide objective guidance and feedback to help develop strategies and tactics. They offer insight into what might have been missed, overlooked, misunderstood or forgotten about. A good coach will also have experience dealing with all sorts of personalities, and so knows which approaches work best on each type.
A good way to find a coach is to inquire of colleagues or friends whether any have used one in the past. Checking out bios on LinkedIn is another excellent research avenue.
Coach-client relationships are built on trust and confidentiality; they are not allowed to disclose anything you say during coaching sessions unless given written permission to do so. Be mindful, too, that the formation of an effective coach-client relationship takes time. I find it requires about five hours of working together before she or he can even begin to grasp who you are as a person and what makes you tick.
When I was considering hiring a coach or joining a coaching program, the biggest hurdle was cost. A good pick is typically expensive, and it can be daunting to add another sizable monthly line to the P&L. That said, I'm more than glad to have taken the leap of faith, as that investment has paid back many times over.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor