I jumped without a parachute.
That’s the best way to describe the start of my entrepreneurial journey. I had no plan – I just knew it had to work for me.
So I joined a group membership program for direction early on and had the good fortune to be paired with a business coach as my “accountability buddy.” I quickly realized I needed to work with her 1:1 if I wanted to make my new business venture successful.
But I know many people feel an understandable amount of skepticism about the online coaching industry.
Horror stories abound. (I see them firsthand as an attorney).
And it can be expensive in more ways than one (especially if you work with the wrong person).
You can Google any number of articles – written by business coaches – that will tell you all the reasons to work with a business coach.
But this is what I believe to be the real truth about working with a coach.
And why you should have a business coach, no matter which industry you’re in…
3 real reasons you should work with a business coach
(None of them involve buzzwords like “next level.”)
- Business evolution.
Okay, the word “growth” was going to be unavoidable here, but I think of it as more of an evolution.
The magic happens when you find the right person who will:
–Stretch your limits
–Help you plan and execute new revenue streams (like guidance to start an affiliate program)
–Give you direction to gain visibility (like podcast appearances and guest expert opportunities)
I started with a small online template shop and over the years, I’ve
- Added countless new templates,
- Packaged those templates according to industry needs,
- Started an affiliate program,
- Taken my law firm online,
- And created virtual offerings that focus on trademark protection for small businesses.
I could go on.
But the point is that none of it would have happened as quickly (or maybe not at all) without someone coaching and cheerleading my evolution.
- Consistent planning.
Shiny object syndrome is real. And it’s a real problem for most online business owners.
You’re always on the lookout for the next best thing and there’s about a million “next best things” being thrust at you from every corner of the internet.
It can be really hard to get out of the mindset that tells you to jump on the newest bandwagon.
(Usually at the cost of whatever you were in the middle of working on.)
The right coach doesn’t just help speed up growth. They help you slow down, too. Enough that you have time to really think about which “next best thing” is right for you.
My favorite program offered by my coach is annual planning. Every year she says it’s the last year she’ll run that program, but every year, I talk her back into it.
Because it’s invaluable to both my businesses.
That consistent planning is what helps keep me grounded and on track to meet my goals. And it’s what gives me permission to say “no” to the distractions.
- Authentic support.
Otherwise known as…they aren’t afraid to kick you in the ass when you need it.
There are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes you need someone else to recognize when you’re squandering yours.
My biggest “tough love” moment came when my coach almost fired me.
She saw me wasting so much time and energy on a wrong-fit family law client when she knew all I wanted to do was move on to trademark law full time.
So she gave me a choice: fire the client or she would fire me.
It was a gutsy move on her part. And it changed everything for me.
(Obviously, I fired the client and kept my coach!)
Now, you may not be into tough love, and that’s okay. There are lots of coaches out there who will match your personality type.
But whether it comes in the form of tough love or it’s wrapped in a hug, having someone who can
–Back up your intuition
–OR shake you out of it when you’re making stuff up in your head
Is worth their weight in gold.
3 questions to ask yourself about your business coach
Disclaimer: Many of these involve trusting your instincts and not letting yourself be bullied into something that doesn’t feel right for you.
- Do they feel like someone you can talk to?
Listen, my coach is my best friend and biz bestie. But once upon a time, she was a total stranger.
When you’re considering someone for the role of coach – and let’s face it, confidante – you want to ask yourself:
–Is this someone I’d enjoy spending time with?
–Do I want to share my wins with this person?
–Can I be honest about the tough stuff?
Your coach may never be your best friend and it’s more than okay to keep things between you super professional.
But if you don’t feel comfortable talking to that person, they aren’t the right coach for you.
- Do their business beliefs work for you?
I’m not saying that you have to see eye-to-eye on all their methods.
(That probably wouldn’t be a very effective growth strategy anyways.)
But you want to make sure their basic beliefs and values align with yours.
Do they value relationship marketing? Or is there more of a hard sales vibe?
There’s nothing wrong with either approach if it resonates with you. But someone who loves networking and talking to people is probably not going to feel comfortable being pushed into hard-sales mode.
Just make sure that the direction they’ll map out for you is one you’re willing to take.
Finding the right coach can be magic for your business
Most of the information you get on the internet is going to be biased in some way.
And in the interest of transparency, you may have already realized I’m biased as someone who has worked with the right coach for 5+ years.
And experienced a whole lot of magic because of it.
I want the same for you – I truly hope you can find the right business coach.
Until you do, I’ll be here cheering you on!