Do I really need a business coach?

No matter how smart and capable we are, we can all use some assistance from a skilled collaborator and coach to boost individual and business performance. Working with a business coach helps you focus on the key levers that make you more effective and successful.

For example, people come to me for one or more of these reasons: 

  1. They’re feeling like their business isn’t hitting their financial goals, but they don’t want to go back to a job
  2. They’re frustrated that they spend too much time on administrative tasks they hate to the detriment of all the stuff they like to do
  3. They’re not sure which opportunities are the right ones to get them to where they want to go

If you’re experiencing any of these challenges or ones like them, you could benefit from collaboration with a coach.

4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Business Coach

Before you reach out to potential coaches, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have a goal in mind for this work? Coaching can be therapeutic, but it’s different from therapy. We do tangible work that you then have to implement in your business. If you can’t identify problems you want to solve, you’re not quite ready for a coach. Instead, you might want to book a call for some help determining those goals! 
  2. Am I checking a box, or do I want progress? Saying you have a coach is trendy. It feels like you’re doing something. But if having a coach doesn’t come with accountability toward your goals, it may not be a good investment. Establish metrics for the improvement you want to see so you and your coach can measure progress.
  3. Am I willing to share real information about my company? For example, am I willing to turn over financial reports? Show drafts of my leadership communications? We all value our privacy. And some of us might even be self-conscious about our finances or processes. I get that. But if you don’t share real-world information with your coach, you won’t see tangible results.
  4. What’s my budget and time commitment? Sometimes we treat business coaching like an expense instead of an investment. Coaches who help you grow your business quickly pay for themselves, and charge accordingly. Be conscious of your budget, of course, but also about how much time you’re willing to invest. A coaching relationship can last anywhere from an hour to a year. Spot coaching or group programs can be a great way to get one specific area moving.

4 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Business Coach

Before you dive in with a coach, you need a sense of what it’s like to work with them. After all, this person is going to be one of your key advisors and you’ll be working together closely for the term of your engagement and likely beyond. Here are four questions to ask each coach you interview:

  1. Do I trust this person to not judge me? You’ll get out of this what you’re willing to put into it. Your coach is there to push you into areas that you haven’t been willing to tackle on your own. You need a zone of trust with your coach to feel emotionally supported and professionally safe to talk about the things that are really going on. 
  2. Does this person specialize in what I need? Business coaching takes many forms and uses many approaches. Confirm the approach and specialty each coach provides. Don’t pick someone who specializes in discussion and emotional support if you’re really looking for tactical solutions or a business transformation. Fun Fact: A few years ago, I started working with a coach and soon realized I actually needed a therapist! (Also, it was way cheaper to talk to a therapist than that particular coach.) 
  3. Does this person have relevant skills, knowledge, and experience that I need? Just because your friend loves their coach, doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Get beyond the coach’s story. Share your goals and needs and ask about the coach’s direct experience addressing them. 
  4. Does this person get results? In addition to asking the coach about results they get, check out testimonials. What kinds of results has the coach achieved with their clients? How do they align with what you want to accomplish?

Working with the right business coach is a truly transformative experience for you and your business. 

Over here at The Jill James, I am excited to report that we are almost sold out of our flagship Business Design Bootcamps for 2022. We have spots remaining in August, September, and October. (And yes, the two dear readers patiently waiting on their proposals have got dibs.) 

In August, we will be announcing some new ways to work with us for Fall 2022. But if you’re a new client and you have your heart set on working with me 1:1 this year, it’s go time. Sign up for a Strategy Session this week.

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