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6 Ways Business Coaches Set You Up for Achievement From keeping a steady eye on goals and strategy to health and wellness advice, why the right coach makes all the difference.

By Nicholas Leighton Edited by Matt Scanlon

Key Takeaways

  • A capable business coach becomes a trusted ally and partner and is truly invested in your success as they offer guidance and support, as well as ensure that you live up to goals and obligations.
  • Key areas in which they can help include strategy pivots, accountability, fostering health/wellness, assistance with decision-making and professional (including educational) development.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the greatest benefits of entrepreneurship is the freedom to chart your own path — be your own boss and institute a business culture that reflects your unique leadership sensitivities. That said, such liberty can be a double-edged sword: It also means that owners must be more self-disciplined than the average employee. Without that quality, as well as a structured accountability system, a natural inclination to being, say, overwhelmed or prone to procrastination can quickly derail even the most promising ventures.

This often prompts owners/execs to find a professional business coach or mentor. The role of such a person extends beyond motivation and goal setting: The best become trusted allies and partners — truly invested in your success as they offer guidance and support, as well as ensure that clients live up to goals and obligations.

A few areas of critical value:

1. Customized goal setting

Entrepreneurs tend to dream big and sport lofty ambitions. The challenge is when these aren't well-defined or reasonable. Having realistic and achievable goals is the foundation of accountability, and the right business coach will provide a structured approach to defining benchmarks and then help chart a path to achieve them. This includes setting reasonable deadlines tied to each objective.

Related: 6 Ways to Push Your Limits and Accomplish Things You Never Thought Possible

2. Regular check-ins

A reliable dialog is the heartbeat of the coach/entrepreneur structure. Check-ins should be designed to provide a platform for progress assessment and strategy adjustment. Having this regular communication will also put natural pressure on an owner to avoid procrastination because they will need to report what they have accomplished since the last meeting. If the entrepreneur is struggling to make progress, the coach will then work to identify underlying issues holding them and the business back.

3. Strategy pivots

Being at the helm of a company is a dynamic journey filled with unexpected twists, turns and surprises, and any dramatic change in the industry can leave owners feeling flat-footed. Resulting uncertainty can stall the bold moves needed to rise to these challenges. Gifted coaches provide real-time feedback, accountability and guidance to adjust strategies to take advantage of opportunities or to avoid precarious situations.

Related: This Entrepreneur Shares Why an Ability to Change Course Is What Will Set You Up for Success

4. Making tough decisions

Being an entrepreneur requires the guts to make difficult choices, including those related to staffing and budgets. These can be stressful, even painful, especially when downsizing a team or firing a client that no longer aligns with your strategy. A coach can help carefully consider all options, offer direction toward the most effective moves, and once again hold clients accountable for the results.

5. Fostering personal and professional growth

It can be easy to neglect your personal development while focusing on business demands. Good coaches recognize this, and will be experts at helping execs learn, cope and grow. They recognize that improving skills —including leadership style — offers multidimensional payoffs. So, they will help identify development opportunities, particularly those related to education. This way, owners can both flourish in the present and continue to hold themselves and their teams accountable in the future.

Related: 7 Ways to Promote a Company Culture of Accountability

6. Support overall well-being

For too many execs, the aforementioned benign neglect when it comes to personal/skills development applies to overall health considerations: They simply don't take care of themselves. Capable coaches understand that owners who are stressed out, burned out and otherwise under pressure can't perform at their best. Many will assist in building a schedule of exercise and health check-ins, along with vital stretches of unplugged/recharge time.

Nicholas Leighton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Best-selling author, speaker & business owner executive coach

Nick Leighton believes that business owners should make more money and have more free time. He does this through his best-selling book "Exactly Where You Want to Be – A Business Owner’s Guide to Passion, Profit and Happiness," speaking and coaching. #ChampagneMoment.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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