HOW TO SPOT A GOOD BUSINESS COACH
There are plenty of advantages to hiring a qualified Business Coach:
- Having a solid accountability partner to snap you out of old patterns and keep you on track
- Having a trusted adviser with whom you can explore new ideas
- Having an experienced professional to help you fortify strengths as well as overcome weaknesses
- Having a trainer with a valid breakthrough action plan so you don’t waste any more of your precious resources, money, and time
But how do you find a good one? Or more specifically, the right one for you? Here are some useful guidelines for you to consider as you go out there to research who might be best to support you and your business.
1. INNER GAME VS OUTER GAME
In my opinion, every coach must train on both the motivational and the practical, the belief that you can succeed and the actual “how” to succeed; i.e. the “what should I do now?” These skills are very different yet inextricably connected. Reasonably, however, there are coaches that may specialize more on one over the other.
Therefore, it is important for you to know where you are in your particular journey. Be honest about how much work you’ve put into self-discovery, into knowing intimately where and how you self-sabotage, into developing handy tools that can alert you to your patterns and limiting beliefs and that can help you rise above them. This is the work of the inner game. It is at once humbling and fortifying. It is also absolutely crucial and impossible to skip. This is so core that omitting it would render all other your valuable knowhow and efforts completely powerless.
Still, after this critical first step, you’ll need more than visualization and mettle to achieve your goals. Otherwise, we could all just sit quietly and meditate on money falling into our laps. And trust, there are people out there giving this a serious try. But how often does that work? (Never!)
You’ll want concrete steps…
How do I attract new patrons?
How do I create repeat business?
How do I raise my rates?
How do I convey my value in the marketplace?
How do I keep myself from burning out?
These are questions of the outer game and ones that a proven Business Coach will help you answer. Understand where you are in your personal and professional growth, and choose appropriately.
2. REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
One of the great things about the social and the very transparent nature of doing business these days is the ability to sift through customer reviews. You may find it especially beneficial to browse these testimonials on public spaces and pages like Yelp, YouTube, blogs, or any other sites that function similarly.
Seek out proof of customer satisfaction. This would also allow you to learn about different coaches’ methods (as mentioned above) to see how a coach’s particular style may match with your needs.
3. PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
No one graduates from high school to then major in Business Coaching (God help us if that ever becomes a thing). Everyone seems to get into Business Coaching from another career path. Knowing this background may inform you further as to whether you’ll be a good cultural fit with the individual that you might end up hiring.
Very commonly, you might meet Business Coaches who started out initially in Corporate Sales or Corporate Management. Others might be former business owners themselves from other domains (sometimes ones with successful exits/transitions, sometimes ones who failed out, this may be good to know too). Still others could be coming from left field.
As an example, yours truly has 15 years of arts and nonprofit experience which has a direct impact on how I run my business. For instance, storytelling and frugality play a significant role in my Marketing approach. The ills that plagued my former sector (financial struggle and stress from overwork) are addressed in the wealth consciousness and self-care that I now strongly encourage my clients to inhabit. And I have developed a business system that I both use and teach that is in tune with my strong value for community building and ethical business practices.
4. PROVEN TRACK RECORD
Well, in case no one has told you, the coaching industry is booming. Even so, it is an arena that isn’t highly regulated – for better or worse. Basically, any Tom, Dick, and Harry can open up shop as a coach and maybe have a certificate to show for it too. Hey, I mean, that’s what I did (sans the coaching degree) and it’s worked out really well for me and my clients.
So, what should we look for beyond the titles and framed documents?
I hate to state the obvious but your Business Coach should have a thriving… um, you guessed it… business! There are hordes of part-timers and moonlighters out there, even business trainers who are employed opposed to being self-employed. Working with them may be a good way to dabble in biz dev and get support on the cheap. But as you get serious about the longevity of your practice, you’re going to want to work with and invest in someone that’s in their business for the long haul too.
That means if you would like to experience legit revenue generation, a roster of clients, and perpetual forward and upward movement, it only makes sense for you to work with someone that can model having legit revenue generation, a roster of clients, and perpetual forward and upward movement, yes?
5. BONUS TIP
We can all benefit from cheerleading. Encouragement is necessary. I suspect, however, that your money would be better spent than to just hire a “yes” man or a “yes” woman that can sing praises of your existing genius. That’s the stuff of megalomaniacs… the emperor’s new clothes as it were.
You can suffer a dreadful blind spot when positioning yourself to always be the smartest person in the room, giving yourself the impression that you are complete, that you have peaked, that you are done evolving, that there is little else to improve upon, that there is no one else to learn from. Folks like this often suffer a nasty fall before gaining the humility to ask for and accept help.
To make a proper change, to reach new heights, you will need to try different things. And by their nature, unfamiliar actions and arenas can be quite the reality check. Mysterious (at first), perhaps even frightening, then eventually highly informing and powerful.
Therefore, a better dedication of your time, focus, and resources will be to recruit a professional that you trust to actually question your current perspectives and routines, rather than let you go about as usual — forcefully defending your way of doing things and potentially crashing because you were too proud to hear the feedback.
The positive changes are worth the temporary discomfort, and in fact, can only be attained by taking up the gauntlet. This will require you to possess a depth in professional and emotional maturity. Recognize this healthy challenge as you venture out to find the best Business Coach for you. It will be central to your progress.
As you look about, you’ll notice there are a lot of talented, intelligent, and thoughtful Business Coaches to select from. We all have something different and valuable to offer, given our particular specialties and perspectives and styles.
I hope the variables I have invited you to consider, here, are helpful as you seek out the best strategic partner and trainer to aid you in your own business development.
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AND NATURALLY, if the values and principles of Art of Hustle® match with your own, it’s probably a good idea for you and I to talk shop! You can find more information about how to apply to our own coaching program here: http://artofhustle.com/coaching
Wishing you all the best! Thank you!