How do I Know if I Need a Business Coach?

The interesting thing about this question is that probably nobody wants to admit that they need a coach. There are a few common reasons for this.

  1. There is the fear that if I hire a coach, they might think I’m stupid or that I failed.
  2. Coaches cost money and I can’t afford it.
  3. They tell me what I already know.
  4. I’m successful, I know what I’m doing, I don’t need one.

To put things in perspective as to who needs a coach, let’s talk about my golf game. I’ve been playing golf for many years. I don’t play all that often because I’m busy with other things but when I do play, I’m constantly amazed at why I don’t seem to be getting any better. I don’t play often, I don’t practice, and I have never used a coach. Therefore, I’m as bad today as when I started, I just don’t hit the ball as far as I used to.

Now let’s take the folks on the PGA tour. They are all great golfers, perform well under pressure, have a very consistent performance level, and make a great living playing the game.  The interesting thing is they all have coaches. They have swing coaches, even coaches to help them with the mental part of the game. They are very successful and working hard to get better, while I am the same as I’ve always been, doing the same things and getting the same results.

So, the thinking, that only people that don’t know what they’re doing need coaches, doesn’t hold water. I think I’m a great example of that relative to golf. But golf isn’t my primary function in life. I can afford to play just for fun. If you’re the owner or leader of a business you simply don’t have that option. Growing and improving results is the difference between success and failure.

In fact, when I speak to a potential client, I’m evaluating them as much as they are evaluating me. I simply don’t want to engage with someone that doesn’t sincerely want to improve personally as well as professionally.

The scenario above answers item number 4. Everyone needs a coach at some point in their business, but only the successful ones, understand they need to invest some time and money in themselves actually do something about it.

Hiring a coach is uncomfortable they will learn what I don’t know.

Yep! If the coach is good that will happen. And you should be very grateful for that. What you don’t know will become apparent at some point. It’s better to learn from your coach that having it rear its head to your banker, or your top customer. Coaches are supposed to push you outside of your comfort zone, and the right coach understands that none of us know everything. And the only risk you have of looking bad is if you don’t take the steps to understand and address your weaknesses.  (See golf example above).

Coaches cost money and I can’t afford it.

Right again, coaches cost money. And the bad news is the better they are, the more they cost. A good coach knows what he or she is worth and what they can return to you on your investment.  Hiring a coach should be an investment not an expense.

They will tell me what I already know.

Maybe. Maybe not. I agree many of the things I see within a client’s company are rather obvious, and they may indeed know how to address these opportunities. But sometimes they just don’t. This is where a coach can help you be accountable to yourself, your company and your employees. In addition:

  • A good business coach will take you beyond your comfort zone.
  • He or she will give you meaningful feedback and won’t be afraid to tell you what’s accurate and when you’re wrong.
  • A coach is a knowledgeable resource to brainstorm solutions and new opportunities with in a confidential setting.

The truth is most of us could use a trusted advisor to explore problem solutions or new opportunities with in a confidential and non threatening atmosphere.

Opening up to a knowledgeable outside resource will provide real feedback and analysis on what’s going on internally, as well as provide information on best practices from outside your organization.

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