OK, I admit it – I’m probably biased. Not only have I (successfully) worked with coaches before, both privately and business wise – I’m also a part-time business coach myself! But since I’m often asked about the benefits of hiring a coach or a mentor, especially if you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, I’d like to share my views on the topic here.
Are you looking to grow your business in a healthy way? Then this post is for you!
“What is a business coach, actually?” The question came from a friend of mine who never really got up and close with the term before, but she was genuinely interested in learning how a career coach could benefit her business. She’s not alone, though. Although I offer business coaching sessions myself and have received them as well when I wanted to create my agency back in early 2018, I know there’s a general misconception (and suspicion?) connected to the words business coach and mentor.
First of all, a business coach and a mentor is not necessarily the same thing, but they can both give you a sense of direction and keep you accountable. Trust me, that’s worth gold if you’re running a business on your own! I know it was for me.
A business coach is, per definition, someone who supports you and gives you concrete tips and tools based on your current work situation. Professional feedback (from someone who isn’t part of your business and therefore views it from a different angle) and self-development are two of the biggest advantages of having a good coach by your side. But it has to be the right match!
I started coaching a few women in my network some years ago, and it’s honestly more of a hobby than a job for me. I sincerely love it! Suddenly I got in contact with a lot of female freelancers and entrepreneurs who needed guidance and support, cause let’s face it; building a business from scratch, no matter if you want to scale it in the long run or not, can be incredibly lonely and frustrating, at times. I’ve been there myself and to this day, I still wish that I’d gotten a mentor or a business coach sooner than I did. I’m sure it would’ve spared me many detours and, let’s say, interesting decisions! But that’s how we learn, isn’t it?
How to find the right Business Coach:
One of the most important factors when choosing a coach is chemistry. Forget about numbers, reputations and pretty Instagram feeds. If you don’t vibe with your coach on a deeper level, and if you can’t truly be yourself, it won’t work. You won’t get to the right place. With that in mind, here are my 5 best tips to finding the right business coach for you:
1. You must share good chemistry
This is a no-brainer. You’re about to share some very personal info with another person (yes, business coaching also taps into the areas of mindset and personal growth!), so make sure you feel comfortable with him or her. A good chemistry can’t be forced; it’s simply just there from nature or it’s not. Meet for a coffee first and get to know each other a little bit before moving on.
2. You must trust the person 100%
It’s a given that you need to trust your coach. If you’re not able to open up to the person and say deep thoughts (wishes, desires, fears etc.) aloud, either you need to work on that first – or you need to find another coach who makes you feel understood. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, be it professional or romantic.
3. You must find someone who keeps you accountable
One of the things I loved the most about my own former business coach, was her frankness and her ability to keep me accountable! It’s so easy taking the easy way if you have too many other things on your plate, but it won’t get you anywhere in the long run! Having a coach who actually keeps you accountable because she wants to see you succeed, is worth gold! Different coaches have different styles and methods; let your coach know that this is super important to you!
4. If you’re an entrepreneur: find a mentor, not a coach
As mentioned further above, a business coach and a mentor is not always the same thing. Founders and entrepreneurs might actually benefit more from a mentor relationship, perhaps engaging with a seasoned entrepreneur who has gone through all the trials and tribulations herself. I’m both a coach and entrepreneur myself, and so I’ve experienced this scenario myself. Find someone who can provide you with insights and in-depth knowledge within your niche.
5. You must find someone who sparks your creativity and motivation
There’s only one thing worse than people who drain you: a coach who leaves you de-motivated and uninspired! Yes, this happens in real life, too! Personally, I always prefer speaking with similarly enthusiastic and empowering people, at least when it comes to my business. It’s my second baby, so if anyone’s going to advise me or give me tips, it has to come with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude!
What a Business Coach can help you with:
1. A different perspective
Sometimes, we just get stuck. If you’re managing your own business, it can be hard to see the trees through the clouds, especially if you don’t have anyone around to ask for guidance. A good business coach have the ability to lift the ‘clouds’ from your mind so you can see your goals more clearly. Perhaps that’s really all you need in order to get your breakthrough.
This might seem like an area for a therapist or a mindset coach, but a business coach can definitely also see if a lack of confidence is causing your business to suffer in one way or another. Together with a coach, you can point out the areas that are lacking and start filling up your tanks there. It’s also great to have someone telling you that you CAN!
3. An expert opinion on a topic
Being your own boss also mean that you have to take all decisions, but that can be hard! Especially if you feel like you need someone else’s opinion from time to time. With no colleagues or field experts around, a business coach might be the solution you’re looking for to provide you with weekly or monthly tips and opinions.
4. Set your priorities straight (and finally forget about overwhelm!)
I don’t know one single business owner who hasn’t felt overwhelmed and undermined. This is perfectly normal, but it can become a problem if it’s a constant feeling. Running a business should also be fun and empowering! A business coach can help you set your priorities straight so you know exactly what to work with – instead of multitasking on a hundred different tasks! Sounds familiar? It might be time for you to hire a coach to help you structure your time!
Over to you: have you ever considered hiring a coach or a mentor professionally? If you think we might be a good match, I’d love to hear from you! You can send me an email and I’ll get back to your shortly.