As a small business owner it is all too easy to get stuck thinking from paycheck to paycheck.  I’ve written about this dilemma in my other posts about “working on your business, not in it parts 1 and 2. There are a few different ways that we can work to break out of that narrow mindset and broaden your horizons: networking with other professionals in our field, going to conferences, or getting involved in your local business community.  But there’s no substitute for actually having someone whose profession is to help you break out of that mindset and work on your business.  That person would be a business (or life) coach.

So how are they going to “save” your business?  Well, I’ll warn you, it won’t be easy, and certainly isn’t for the faint of heart!

 

They will call you out.

You know all of those little lies we all tell ourselves about our business?  They typically have to do with ways in which we are compromising our values or goals in the interest of “getting by”, when we should be thinking about the greater success of the business.  Well, your coach is going to call you out on each and every one of those, and hold you accountable for them!

They will challenge you.

Once you’ve been called out, prepare to be challenged to come up with not only the real reasons why you made those decisions, but what you can do to fix them.  This is one of the most difficult and exciting aspects of the coaching experience because it challenges you to point your detail oriented nature scrutiny towards examining your own business.  Just like the coach of a sports team, they want you to win, and if you aren’t winning, they need to know why, so they can coach you to victory.

They bring a fresh perspective.

It’s not about having all of the answers, but of having the right questions.  A coach is not leveraging just their own business savvy and experience- they’re using carefully honed questions to tip your world on it’s head a bit and force you to think outside of your comfort zone.  The result is thinking that breaks free of your day to day concerns and starts addressing the larger problems of which the former are but a symptom.

They’ve got your back.

Prior to getting down to work your coach will take the time to get to know you, and your business, and the goals you have for both.  The ultimate goal for your relationship is going to be for you to be running the best business you can- both from a financial, and personal perspective.  When you start emphasizing one side of success over the other, your coach will be there to offer perspective and clarity to keep you on track.

They will share your victories.

Your coach is invested in both your business and personal success (as it relates to your business), and has a perspective on both that is unique in that it is focused on creating solutions for problems you may be facing in both sides of life.  Because of this they will share in your victories in a way that no one else can, and there’s something undeniably thrilling about having someone who really knows where you’ve been, see just how far you’ve come.

It’s all about breaking through.

For us, working with a coach has been all about the breakthroughs.  Breakthroughs in the way we think about our business, breakthroughs in the goals we set for our selves and for our business.  Thinking bigger, and bolder than we imagined possible, while also focusing on building a business that is as effective at being personally fulfilling as it is at paying the bills.

And of course I can’t go through this entire post without thanking Jennifer Bailey at Jennifer 365 for challenging us, bringing her perspective, having our back, and of course, sharing in our victories!  She’s currently working on a ‘life by design’ bootcamp style program to get her clients thinking about what matters most, and building their life around those goals and principals.  We’d highly recommend shooting her an email if you are thinking about breaking free and starting your own business, or embarking on any new chapter in your life, she is just that great.

Published 01/19/12 by Ian Wilson