Why I hired a business coach
The year was 2009. The financial crisis was in full swing and I had been in business for three years. I was overworked and paying my employees, but not myself. I had gained weight. I stopped getting haircuts to save money and looked awful. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. And I didn’t know what to do.
One night while networking at a charity event, I saw a three-pack of coaching sessions on the silent auction table and something clicked. Even though I didn’t think I should splurge on myself, I did. It was the best decision I ever made. Here’s why I hired a business coach, and why you might want one too.
I needed someone who knew how to talk me through my problems. Actually, I needed someone I could stand in front of and admit I had problems! I knew nobody would want to do business with me if they thought I was failing. As I was out networking like crazy, trying to drum up business, there was no way I wanted to admit that we weren’t as busy as I wanted to be and we weren’t getting paid nearly fast enough. (Here’s what I learned from that experience.) Because my coach did both life coaching and business coaching, she was able to help me think through and prepare for some incredibly difficult situations in the years we worked together. There were times when we talked more about my personal life and times when we talked more about my business, but I always knew that whatever was troubling me, she knew how to listen and how to help me think through my decisions. She never made decisions for me. Coaches don’t do that. Instead, she guided me through a decision-making process that gave me confidence in the path I chose.
I needed someone to hold me accountable. Like most people, I’m pretty good at avoiding things I don’t like to do. Fortunately for me, most people don’t like marketing so my agency always had business! What I didn’t like doing: invoicing, paying bills, figuring out my tax paperwork, and developing processes that make it possible for me to onboard new employees and provide consistent service to our clients. My coach pushed me to either do the things I didn’t want to do or to outsource them to someone who was actually good at it. The first time my bookkeeper sat in the other room paying bills while I did client work was a little strange, until I realized how good it felt to know my invoicing was being done accurately and on time!
I needed to talk to someone who would say what nobody else could say to me. One of the best things about a coach is he or she is getting paid to challenge you. My coach called me out when I made excuses, followed up with me on the things I promised I would do, and gave me advice when I needed the perceptions of someone with more experience.
I know that not every entrepreneur can afford a coach. You might not think you need one. That’s okay. However, my experience with a coach showed me that every boss needs a “boss.” Hiring a coach can help you become a better leader as you work to achieve your business dreams.