Yet another Spark Bits Weekly where I ask a panel of homepreneurs a blazing question about running and growing their businesses from home.
Today’s Q is:
Have you worked with a coach? If so, how did you choose the right one for your business? If not, have you considered coaching and why?
Cindy Bidar from The Educated VA says:
I have worked with a coach on two occasions. Both times with the same coach, who is a personal friend and long-time mentor. I chose her because I like and trust her, but I did have some requirements as well:
- Our personalities and beliefs had to match.
- I wanted a coach who ran a similar business or who reached a similar audience.
- I wanted someone who would hold me accountable, not just let me slide when I didn’t do the work.
I got all three in my choice. My coach is very practical and down-to-earth, which is a perfect fit for my personality. She’s not one to make airy-fairy suggestions about “manifesting success” or tell me how wonderful I am when I’m clearly not. I have friends for that kind of unconditional support, so I wanted a coach who would push me to be better, not allow me to be satisfied where I am.
But, what is more important than that is the fact that she is intimately familiar with my market. While you can say that businesses is business, and marketing is all the same regardless, I feel it’s still critical for a coach to be truly connected with the audience you’re trying to reach.
I feel that every business owner can benefit from a solid coaching relationship. It allows you to see possibilities you may not have considered, explore new paths to success, and stop operating in a vacuum. I think as long as I have a business, I’ll continue to work with a coach in some capacity.
Samantha Pointer-Foxx from Get It Together:
I currently work with a coach for my business. She is a women’s wellness coach so she also helps me with getting healthy. We have been working together for 2 months now and it has really helped me reach new heights in my business. I had on my goal list for about 2 years to hire a business coach. How I choose this particular coach was she was part of a Facebook group that I am in and I watched for over a year how she talked to others online and what types of things she shared. I took her up on a complimentary call and we just clicked. I liked that she started the call and ended the call with prayer, which was truly important to me. I think any person wanting to take their business to the next level should consider getting a coach. Whoever you pick should line up with your values and goals. It should not be a codependent relationship. They should bring out the brilliance that has been locked away inside of you the whole time.
Stephanie Watson from Barry Publishing says:
Back in 1999, I used a coach to help me decide whether I should go back to college or not. She helped me figure out what I really wanted by asking the right questions. She was awesome. Since then, I have not used a personal coach. However, I am involved in Solo Masterminds, which offers a lot of group coaching and coach-like interaction with people ready to kick my butt when I need it.
I haven’t hired a coach since 1999. I finished college, earning my Masters in 2011 and sent my youngest off to college in 2012. I was super focused on that goal for quite a number of years. In the meantime, I built my business, raised children and just moved on with life. At this point I don’t feel like I need a coach, as I am moving forward with my business in a manner in which I am satisfied. I’m busting through fear inducing boundaries, and staying laser focused on my niche,
I believe coaching is very helpful in helping people solve specific problems so that they can reach their goals. I will more than likely hire a coach again at some point in time, I just haven’t identified who that might be or what issues I need to work on. Coaches can help you take your business to the next level if you’re willing to follow through on your agreements. I’m very thankful to the coach who helped me make a life changing and altering choice about college. I will definitely do it again.
Tishia Lee from Tishia Saves Time says:
My answer to this question is more than likely going to be a lot different than how others answer it because my coaching experience probably isn’t one of the ‘norm’. So, to answer the question – yes, I have worked with a coach – and still do – but it’s not on a regular basis even though I know it should be and I should hire her to coach me full time…I just haven’t done it.
Choosing the right coach for me didn’t take a lot of consideration or effort on my part to find one. You see, my coach is someone who was already “coaching” me years before she started working online and began doing business coaching. She’s a personal friend and has been ‘coaching’ me in life since my son was 3 or 4 (he’s now 15). In fact, she’s the reason I ever got started as a solopreneur in the first place (but that’s a story for another time).
So, over the last eight years in business, she’s been coaching me off and on. I know she’s always there to help when I’m stuck on something or when I need to brainstorm some new money making ideas. I also work with her as her Virtual Assistant. It’s just kind of a natural fit for us. And in case you’re wondering who she is – it’s Kelly McCausey from SoloSmarts.com
Alicia Jay from New VA Advice says:
When I started my first online business, I had absolutely no money to invest in a new business. I’m not suggesting that you start out with a zero budget; I just want to be honest here. Therefore, the thought of hiring a coach was so far from the front of my mind.
But I knew that it was an important step. I also knew other people online who completely took their business to another level by working with a coach. And I knew I wanted that too. I made it a priority to put money aside each time I brought in some income with the intention of using it to reinvest in my business. It took time to build up that “extra” amount, but I knew it would be worth it.
I was finally able to work with the awesome Kelly McCausey, and working with her did more for me and my business than I had initially intended. I’d need another blog post to write all of my thoughts on this, but I’ll try to sum it up a bit.
Here are some benefits that I’ve found working with a coach:
- Goal setting—you get clear!
- They know the path
- Will connect you to their awesome contacts
- Help you see the forest for the trees
Let me give you some tips on how I managed things before I got to the point of one-on-one coaching:
- Forums and groups in your industry are a great place to start. There are some good free ones out there, and inside them, you’ll find people who are further along the path that you’re traveling. They have great knowledge of how to make it in your industry that they are fully willing to share with you.
- You can find a mentor. Look for someone in your industry who is exactly where you want to be with your business in the future. Some people offer free or paid mentorships, where they take you under their wing and teach you exactly what they did to get where they are today.
When you’re ready to make the move of looking for a coach, find someone whose teaching style resonates with you. What are their core values? Do they match your own? If you can’t afford their one-on-one coaching right away, do they offer a more affordable group-coaching program that you can join? There are some fabulous benefits to group coaching. You are able to gain access to that coach you really want to work with and you glean so much good information from other members in the group.
When I became open to the possibility of starting an online business, I made the assumption that the only way you can really do business online was by selling a physical product. I then began to do some research on what I was going to be selling and eventually came across several blogs. At the time, I didn’t know what a blog was but I followed a few just for inspiration purposes. Then I realized some of those blogs were actually businesses and my awareness heightened to all things business in the online space.
I was clueless in the process but was very good in researching information. After one year of planning, I realized I needed some help in actually getting something launched. That’s when I decided it was time to work with a business coach.
As a professional counselor, I knew the value coaching had to offer. My understanding of coaching was that it provides you with guidance in your pursuit of personal, professional, and/or business development while primarily bypassing the clinical focus of disorders and diseases, which was the focus I was used to working in with my counseling clients. Coaching allows you to utilize your personal qualities and abilities while learning new ways of facing challenges in any particular area of interest. For me, that area was online marketing.
As I reflected on my successes in the past, including my most successful offline business startup, I knew what was missing – structure and accountability. Not only did I need the accountability piece and a plan to follow, I also wanted someone who was not afraid to call me out if I needed it. I began my pursuit in finding a coach that can help me shine so I started following a few people online. I signed up for their newsletters, attended Webinars they produced, purchased some of their products and followed their podcasts and videos. I went with the person who I resonated with the most and it was worth the investment.
With that said, do you need a business coach? Well, I think it depends on many factors including your specific personal and business needs. I agree with all of the recommendations offered by the Sparkplugging mentors above. Two other tips I feel are relevant as they were important factors for me are:
- Find a coach that has expertise in a few defined areas. No one is a master at everything in business.
- Finding someone to motivate you is not enough if you’re looking to achieve tangible results. You should find a coach who will get you to take some action or help you make an important decision quicker so that you can take action sooner.
Four Signs Your Freelance Business is Ready for a Coach