Two questions run through people’s minds when they hear ‘business coach’:
· What can a business coach do for me?
· What will it cost?
At Acuity, we call answering those two questions ‘The Big Why of Business Coaching’.
Take a moment to think back to when you first decided to start your business. People’s motivation varies but there are some common themes:
A better life for my family
Make some money for myself instead of my boss
I’ve always wanted to be my own boss
To do things the right way and do great work for customers/clients
Having the freedom to do what I want, when I want to do it.
Whatever the specific motivation, there was a ‘dream’ that was sufficiently powerful that it pushed you to decide to get going. Deciding to start a business is hard. Starting a business is harder. Running a business successfully is the hardest of all. Businesses are typically built from the ground up. One client at time. One job at a time. One challenge at time. You’ve undoubtedly had challenges that you didn’t expect. Perhaps things that you didn’t even know were challenges you would face one day.
More hours and more sweat can solve a lot of problems. And when they do, it can make you think ‘work harder’ is the answer to all challenges that come along.
But sweat can’t fix everything. There will always be something outside your knowledge or experience. Some problem that keeps cropping up. Something that makes you wonder whether your dream is worth it.
The realisation of this gap between the dream and the reality can be very confronting. It is worse when you can’t see the path forward because you don’t have to tools to assess what to do.
This is often when someone you know will say, “Why don’t you talk to Oscar? He’s a business coach. He’s good at this stuff”.
And you think, what can a business coach do for me and what’s that going to cost me?
Welcome to the Big Why of Business Coaching.
A business coach won’t run your business for you. That’s your job. And they don’t work for free. But you need a business coach to give you the best possible prospect of succeeding in your business. Of achieving your dream. Think of someone successful. Anyone will do. It is near certain that they have had, formally or informally, one or more mentors or coaches during their career.
Sport is the obvious analogy. Roger Federer and Serena Williams are the two best tennis players in history. More than 40 Grand Slam singles titles between them. And both have had coaches throughout those careers. They still do to this day.
Coaches teach you what to do. They teach you how to do those things. And most importantly, they teach you why to do them. A business coach is the impartial eye looking at your business and the confident hand of experience. They’ve seen these issues before. They’ve helped other people through these challenges. They know tools that work and how to help you learn when, how and why to use them.
Coaches don’t bring specific technical expertise for your industry. They bring business skills and knowledge. Their coaching enables your success. It helps lift you from the day to day of your business and develop you as a businessperson. Coaches transition you from a technical expert in your field to a business expert.
Coaching doesn’t come free. The price tag varies – typically in proportion to the experience of the coach and how much time they are going to work with you in a given period.
Regardless of the initial price, you probably don’t think about a critical piece of machinery in your business (be it an actual machine or a skilled tradesman or employee) in terms of cost. You think about the return that you make from your investment in that machinery.
In exactly the same way, business coaching is an investment in your business. If you find an appropriate coach, experienced in the types of challenges that you are confronting. If you listen to their inputs and debate with them the what, the how and most importantly the why. Then you will reap multiples of your investment in coaching – in dollars, in peace of mind, in realising your dream.