Urrrrrggghhhhh...as if starting a business was not enough! Now, you have to connect and align yourself with support that makes sense to, not only your business, but to you...your personality and your way of doing things.
Well, let me let you in on something that you may not be expecting to hear coming out of a business coach's mouth...YOU MIGHT NOT NEED A BUSINESS COACHING PARTNERSHIP right now. Yeah, I said it, now let me explain.
With so many business coaches out in internet and social media land, you hear lots of messages and those messages are all pretty much saying the same things, "YOU NEED A COACH and YOU NEED A COACH RIGHT NOW! While I do believe that all entrepreneurs should work with a seasoned and skilled business coach, I do not subscribe to the thinking that all entrepreneurs need to enter into a long term coaching partnership with a business coach.
You may need a strategy session, helping your gain clarity in your confidence and your ability to take your business where you need your business to go. Maybe you need to learn more about marketing, content, social media engagement or any other isolated business topic. You don't need a business coach, you may simply need a workshop, a class or again, a one on one strategy session.
Needing help in your business is something that we'll all need along our business building journey, however, the key is for you to know what type of help you need, not only for your business building success, but also for your peace of mind and money.
Here are a few tips to help you truly know whether or not you need a coach:
1. You have tried ALL you know how to do.: You do the work. You show up. You are building in industry knowledge. You are networking and connecting. You're consistent in all you do. But you've come to a point in your business where no matter what you do, you are staying stuck in the same place. You are not increasing in clients, your sales have stagnated and it seems that whenever you sit down to dig into your business, you cannot get a grip on any one thing that you should focus on.
2. Your goals are not making sense to you.: You set your goals and you've begun doing the work, but you are finding that you don't feel a true connection to any of the work you're doing because you are unsure of the goals you've set. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for women entrepreneurs is when someone suggest to you the goals you should set. The goals are inauthentic, now, you can't make heads or tails of them.
3. You are all over the place.: You believed that you were clear in the direction you wanted to take your business, but now, the products you created aren't making sense to the solutions you need to bring to your audience, you feel like you are not keeping up with your competitors, and you are not seeing the type of engagement you think you should, so you are now confused and unsure of your strategies and content.
4. Your calls to action are falling on deaf ears.: You've engaged your audience and you've shared great content, but sadly, no matter how many calls to action you share, no one is clicking on them and hitting the buy button.
5. You started a business and you have no idea what your next move should be.: Plain and simply, you just don't know what you're doing. You're good at that thing you bring to market, but when it comes to doing business; business with systems, process, policies and procedures, you are completely lost.
Now, once you come into agreement that you need a business coach, the next thing is knowing what to consider when you're looking for a business coach. Hands down, you definitely want to make sure that the business coach you select is knowledgeable. With so many people poppin' up claiming to be coaches, you want to make sure you take the time to vet your potential business coach.
Do not just accept someone as a seasoned and skilled business coach just becasue they have gone to "business coaching school" or that they have a degree in some area of business. Lots of people can sit in a classroom, get passing grades on test and obtain a certificate -- that does not make them a skilled business coach. So, be very careful that you are not tricked into entering a coaching partnership with someone who is not able to execute what they exhibit on paper.
What should you consider when looking for a business coach to partner with:
1. Time in service: How long have they been a business coach? Sure, they're a business coach and a pretty darn good one at that...but...they've only been coaching for one year. What does that mean to you? Well, it could mean that while they are a good business coach, they are not a good fit for you because you've been in business for five years. How much experience do they really have business coaching? Too, with them business coaching for just one year, you have to ask, "Have they built their own business? and/or "Have they built businesses of others?"
There are plenty of coaches out there, be aware, however, that there are plenty of business coaches out there that may try to partner with you, but their skill level cannot support you in your business. The business coach you choose must possess the knowledge and skill set that is sure to help you accomplish the things you need to accomplish in your business.
2. How many entrepreneurs have they provided coaching support to and in what industries? You want to make sure the business coach you choose is skilled in building multiple businesses, including their own, rather than just being boxed into one industry or one niche area of business. Even if the business coach is specializing in building businesses in your industry, you want to make sure the business coach you partner with has a vast array of knowledge and skills.
3. Make sure you choose a business coach and not a motivator.: There's lots of people in this world who make the mistake of believing that they have the skills required to become a business coach simply because they can give engergetic speeches and repeat quippy sayings and posting faddish hastags. A business coach helps you get unstuck; helps you see where you need to move your business. A business coach is able to work with you, helping strategize and plan. A business coach will focus on helping you open up your thinking, allowing you see the many possibilities of where your business can go when you do the work require. A business coach is not someone who shows up on social media or livestream cheering you on with Bible verses and other energetic talk. Be clear about what you are trying to do and who you need to align yourself with to get it done.
4. Familiarity (Often Times) Breeds Contempt!: It is my professional opinion that your business coach should not be your familiar friend. I've seen it time and time again. Women believing that they are so super tight with someone, that the friendship can withstand a business partnership. Best practice, keep friends in the friend zone. When it comes to business, you should really put your business owner cap on, focus on what you need to accomplish and truly connect yourself to the business coach that will challenge you, not comfort you and a business coach that will hold you accountable for doing the work required, not allowing you to slack just because you are friends. You want an open and truly honest business coach, not someone who's scared to tell you the truth because they are afraid of losing your friendship.
5. Don't lean so much on references.: What! No references. But that's the way it's been done for 200 years! Well, it's 2018 and people are showing up on the internet and on social media so much so that you can do your own research to see if the business coach is a best fit choice for you. Let's look at this with our thinker caps on. How many people do you know who will give you a reference and that reference does not think highly of them? No one! No one! No one...EVER! Testimonials are the same. How many times have you seen a business posts on their websites mean, mad, negative and nasty commments by disgruntled customers? Not one! Not one! Not one...EVER!Take your time, get a feel for the business coach you desire to work with. CHECK OUT THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA!!! Were they a coach last year? Year before that? Do they operate multiple businesses? If they do, you can bet that something is going to fall through the crack, keep it moving right on pass them. Do you feel that their personality vibes with yours? Do your research...you will be able to get a good impression that will help you make a more informed decision.
Hiring and partnering with a business coach is one of the most important decisions a business owner makes for their business. You do not want to select your (next) business coach without knowing for sure if they will be able to support you.
It's your business and it's your decision.
There's no rush. Do you homework.