First off, this isn’t a post about hiring ME, it’s about my experiences working and consulting with various coaches. Life coaches, spiritual coaches, sales coaches, executive coaches, and athletic coaches. All people who have made an impact on my life.
If you haven’t had a chance to work with a coach, you are missing out on some fulfilling dialogues, insights, and ultimately opportunities in your life. Today I will outline the fundamental reasons to hire a coach and hopefully inspire you to take action.
It seems that everywhere I turn these days I am running into coaches. People trying to make money off giving others advice. Be warned, coaches come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you do your research and find one that ‘s right for you. However, when you DO find the right one, you could be in for a fun ride.
What is a coach?
Have a look at Wikipedia and you will find a pretty decent definition of a coach:
Coaching is a training or development process via which an individual is supported while achieving a specific personal or professional competence, result, or goal.
I like it.
Essentially a coach is someone who helps you get results (whatever you define as results) by supporting you, and perhaps providing some tools, resources, and structure to assist you along the way.
I see a ton of coaches proclaiming to help you reach your full potential, or unlock you, or marketing speak like that. When I hear those statements, I typically RUN.
I like to think a coach is someone who helps move you forward one step at a time, and helps you grow faster than you would on your own. It could be at any pace. Someone who can help you see around corners a bit better, help you understand your thoughts, and most importantly, understands YOU and your goals to help you gain perspective on your actions.
You don’t need a coach to turn you into a superstar, but you may become one through the work you do. There is a subtle difference, I hope you see that. It doesn’t matter what kind of coach they are, but a good one will gain a solid understanding of the uniqueness of YOU, and work towards enhancing your strengths and reducing your weaknesses. They will give you honest insights and push you out of your comfort zone. The coach/coachee relationship should be one of absolute trust and openness.
They don’t necessarily need direct experience doing what you do. That is often a misconception.
Update May 2015: Coaches I hired this past year
Here is where I got some serious benefits and I hope this helps. The biggest reason I hired coaches was that they gave me totally different perspectives on my world. Some objectivity on problems/challenges I was facing that is really hard to get when you are working on your own. Someone to help me see around corners and avoid landmines.
- Spiritual Business Coach, Dr Shigenori Murata. We worked together for about a year and had a blast. I helped him with his business and he helped me make sense of all the crazy thoughts, feelings, and especially doubts. He helped me see things from a larger perspective and we covered topics like ego, vulnerability, meditation, and being more still. Through my work with Shigenori, I feel like I was able to tap into my true potential and see more of what others were seeing in me. It was a very difficult series of discussions because it is terrifying to look within ourselves. I am very grateful for the time we spent and we’ve become great friends through this. I would recommend him for anyone who knows they could do more, are feeling stuck, or simply need to work through the heavy thoughts of entrepreneurial loneliness, doubt, and fear. Go get “shiggy” with it!
- Business Consultant, Erai Beckmann. I just looked up his new site and saw that I am on the front page as a testimonial! Solid! Erai was a neat one for me. We belong to a private mastermind group all over the world that connects some really cool people with each other and I was blessed to have connected with him. He put the offer out to do some consulting, so I jumped at it. We had a skype chat and he was the first one who actually seemed to get what my vision was. At the time, he was in Brazil with his awesome wife doing amazing things with his business and we just hit it off. The neat part was that it was an uncomfortable purchase for me, which allowed me to empathize with my own clients. If I want them to invest in themselves, I better make sure I invest in MYSELF, right? Erai and I worked together for about a month and he was able to help me get clarity on exactly how I could scale my business and what the real opportunities were – we had a great time. I realized how powerful it is to have someone who can look at my world much more objectively and help me see what I wasn’t seeing. He is also ridiculously handsome, so that’s a plus for any ladies! The cool thing is that through the process, we actually discussed some joint opportunities to work together in the future. That is a really cool thing about coaches and mentors – the hidden opportunities. Definitely check Erai out!
- Golf coach, Rob Cruise at Highland Pacific. I wanted to throw this in the mix as it’s important to think about. I have been performing decently average for a number of years with my golf game. I would go to the driving range, pay rounds, and simply try to figure out what I was doing wrong. Sometimes I would miss-hit the ball and try to fix it myself. I would have buddies offer advice, I would watch videos, or I would just try and invent new things to try. I have spent a ton of money playing golf, so I thought it made sense to actually invest in knowing more about what to do. Working with Rob has allowed me to actually know what I am supposed to work on and stop guessing. It is the same for any skill you want to learn. Learn how to do it properly, and learn from an expert!
Other options beside coaching
Coaching can seem like a expensive option to most people, so the options are typically articles, books, or free advice. in the “help yourself” side of your life, the adage is true…
You get what you pay for.
Ask yourself how many books you have read over the past few years. How many articles have read that inspired you to take action? How much action have you taken? How many times have you discussed your same problems over and over with friends and colleagues?
If you are in the same situation that you were last year and have wanted to improve it, perhaps what you have been doing isn’t working, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I am a MASSIVE advocate of reading, courses, and building your habits. And there are awesome resources out there for you. If you are reading this post, then you are taking a step towards development.
A coach can help you make sense of all the information and get you moving forward on the best directions for YOU.
To justify coaching from an ROI perspective, just look at how much time you have spent trying to figure things out on your own and if you are happy with the timeline. Are you valuing your time? What is your TIME worth to you?
Reasons to Hire a Coach
let’s discuss the 5 main reasons I would suggest you find yourself a coach (even for a sample session or for one month).
One of the challenges we face often is getting stuck in routines day in, day out that don’t get us results. We have the same fights in our relationships, we perform the same tasks, we talk to the same people, we live the same lives. And when we want to create changes in our life or business, we turn to the good ol’ internet for advice, or we read a book.
We try and apply the lessons we read and we hope that this time it will be different. Right? Well if you haven’t got traction on these new ideas yet, or feel overwhelmed on what FIRST STEP to take, a coach can help you. They can (very quickly), get you started on a path towards your goals.
Often when we set goals, we don’t fully understand what we need to do TODAY to get there. So we struggle with the steps. A good coach will be able to give you focus on the priorities and help you see your path much clearer.
If you struggle with setting and reaching goals, a coach can help.
If you have ever had a workout partner or a personal trainer you understand the power of someone pushing you. Perhaps if no one is looking, you don’t need to lift that extra weight or go a little faster. After all, you’re a bit tired. But when you have someone that knows you can do more and pushes you a bit, you can get results faster.
That is what good coaches do well. They know when you are giving them a bullshit answer or making excuses. And the better they do at challenging you, the better they equip you to challenge yourself a bit more. They also know not to push you too far past your comfort zone. They just know you can do better and they will try and get you to see that for yourself.
A good coach will always ask you, “What else?”
Want to lose weight? Post your weight loss goal on Facebook and your timeline. Ask your friends to hold you accountable. When I set my 90 day, daily blogging plan, I told everyone about it. No way can I stop now! Yikes!
One of the absolute benefits of working with a coach is that you will have someone to be accountable to. Just so we’re clear, accountability doesn’t mean that you report to them. It is about saying you will do something, and then having someone you talk to about why you did or didn’t do what you said and what you can learn from it.
Sometimes people view their coach like a boss. That is not what they do. They are there for you to say, “I am going to do these things.” They then help you either build the list, shrink it, or keep it how it is based on their knowledge of your abilities. If they think you can do it more, less, or differently, they will guide you.
And when you have an accountability meeting, you discuss what happened – good or bad.
If you have challenges in getting things done you said you would, a coach will keep you honest.
Sometimes, especially as entrepreneurs, we try and go it alone. We try and be all things to all people and our friends and families just don’t understand. Moreover, we couldn’t possibly ask for help for fear of showing weakness or lack of confidence. So what do we do? We suck it up and keep pushing on.
As we try and do the right things, we isolate ourselves further and we start to feel alone. This is true for executives, athletes, and entrepreneurs. Our isolation gets worse as our success gets better! Crazy, right?
Well a coach is someone we can trust in confidence to help us work through our thoughts and feelings without fear of it having a negative impact on other’s perceptions of us. The ultimate goal of course, is to use our vulnerability as a strength, but until then, coaches help shoulder the burden.
When we are feeling unsure, it is great to have someone who understands us, remains unbiased, and does not judge. A good coach will tell us why what we are feeling is normal, abnormal, or just plain crazy.
If you are feeling alone in your success, get a coach as your mental and emotional backup.
Again, one of the major common traits I see in high performers is vulnerability. That the more success people have, the more negative self talk creeps in, and self doubt takes root.
- “Should I really be doing this?”
- “Do I have the right skills?”
- “What if they find out I am a fraud?”
- “What if no one likes it?”
- “What will they think of me?”
- “What happens if I fail?”
- “What will people say about me if I am wrong?”
- “Maybe I should just quit.”
It is not often talked about, because when you see someone who is successful, you automatically assume that all aspects of their lives are successful. But when you succeed, as I mentioned, you have to continually project that image of success, regardless of your internal dialogue. Also, if you are an entrepreneur, you must project confidence to your family, lest they start to feel afraid as well.
That vulnerability and doubt can be shattering to your confidence.
That is a MAJOR reason a coach can be so beneficial. They will not only help you with direction, ideas, and accountability, but they can be a massive source of confidence. Sometimes just letting you know you are doing the right things and that it is okay to be afraid.
They are not necessarily there to motivate you, but rather reassure you and show your life through a different lens. And since they are the person in your life that you are neither responsible to or for, the opinion of your coach is usually right. And you can trust them. If they see areas for you to improve, they will tell you. If they see areas that you are awesome at, they will tell you. Their job is not to trick you into believing you are something you’re not. They are there to make sure you see what they see and help you move forward.
The confidence you gain from even a few sessions with a coach will help you get clarity and perspective.
When you doubt yourself, a coach can help you get your confidence back and show you the way.
Find the right fit
Lot’s to think about when it comes to what a coach can do for you. They can help you be faster on the football field, give you direction in your marketing, or ensure you don’t drop the ball as an executive. And they all have different backgrounds, skills, and ways they interact.
As you can see from the post, the relationship should be quite personal and based on trust, so make sure you find a coach that is the right fit for you.
Most coaches will do a needs analysis or a sample session, so interview them and see if you connect. While credentials and experience should be considered, it is more important that you feel they specifically can help you. NOt necessarily someone who is like you, but someone who can help you. Each coach has their own style, so find someone that is best for you.
I have been very lucky to have coaches and mentors in my life and can’t stress how valuable a coach can be in accelerating your growth. If you are stuck and need to get the wheels moving, save up a bit of cash and get yourself some clarity. Hire a coach for a few sessions and apply the lessons you learn. You will quickly get a feel for your long term goals.