Do you really need a coach?
Business coaching is a great way to accelerate past predictable challenges you may not be able to see. It's also a fantastic way to get the accountability you need to help drive a culture of execution.
Not everyone knows I've been running a coaching practice for more than twenty years, but when it comes up, I get the same questions every time. So today I decided I would get straight to the most common answers I share with people whenever we talk about coaching (and we're talking about business consulting, not being an athletic trainer).
Why get a coach?
The best reason to consider a business coach is to get external perspective from someone who has a proven ability to help you level up. Sometimes this can mean they've done it themselves, and can show you the proof. More importantly, can they show you that they've helped others (more than once) get where you want to go. If so, their perspective and ability to drive a change in your business will be completely worth it.
When is the right time to hire a business coach?
Different coaches often focus on different customer segments, or different parts of the growth trajectory of a business. The best time to hire a one is when you notice you're hitting a plateau and growth is stalling. Even then, there are specific challenges that a company faces at each point in their growth. They're different before they get to $100,000 compared to when they cross $1,000,000. Most of my clients have revenues between $300,000 and $5,000,000.
Does coaching actually work?
Business coaching works if you're ready to put in the work. It's really that simple. I don't have a set program. But others do. And whether you're navigating a prescribed set of lessons, or you're collaborating to step thru the challenges your business is facing, the work is work you have to do. I tell every client at the start of our relationship, “I will never work harder at this than you do.” It's a reminder that insight can spark a change, but real change comes from execution. And that's completely up to you.
All that said, I think it does really work. I've seen massive transformations inside of companies that take an insight and then apply it to their business. A framework can unlock revenue. A story can make a concept stick. And accountability can help a business owner drive change within their team.
But to reiterate a point – if a business owner just wants more and more information and never takes action, there's no one in the world that's going to fix that.
How do business coaches charge?
The most common approach to pricing is a flat fee that's for a specific amount of time on a regular basis. If your sessions are an hour, you might pay $100 / hour or $1,000 / hour. But you're likely paying per session.
Some coaches, like me, have a minimum. I require coaching clients stay in the program for three months. After that, our relationship shifts to month-to-month. Others run programs that take a specific number of weeks and you pay for the entire program. Sometimes they'll have payment plans. Others may charge you for their program up front.
Are coaches worth it?
Whether it's worth spending money on a coach is only something you can decide for yourself. But reading testimonials (or watching what others have said) can help you figure out if the experience they've had, and the results they've seen are the kinds of results you're looking for.
Here's the most important thing…
I hired a coach a few months ago. Different kind of coaching – this time it really was an athletic coach. I want to learn how to golf. So I found a place that had some golf experts (and some cool technology) and paid for 40 sessions up front.
One of the best things any coach can do, just like any business owner, is to learn how to sit in a learner's posture – how to step out of the expert role and learn from someone else. It provides the empathy needed to become a better coach.
But there's another reason to put yourself in a position of learning something new…
Whether you read articles from the Harvard Medical School, or stories from researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas, you'll regularly see the same thing: learning new things keeps your brain sharp.
If you notice your business isn't growing, and you've tried most of the things you already know how to do, then maybe it's time to try something new. Time to put yourself in a learner's posture and ask for help.
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