- Do you feel your business should be further ahead than it currently is? A coach could be the one thing you need to reach your full potential. In this episode, we’ll go through six reasons why your business needs a coach.
- Number one, you might need a business coach because you recognize something needs to change. Maybe you feel overwhelmed, or the work is already affecting your personal relationships. Maybe the company is not hitting its goals. You recognize these as reasons for a coach to come in and help you create change.
- Second, you want that competitive edge against the odds. 96% of businesses will fail in their first 10 years. Even high-profile athletes and performers need a coach to get to and stay at the top. Hiring a business coach could help you achieve and maintain that edge.
- Number three, you recognize that you want to reach that next level. It could be about advancing higher up the corporate ladder, or transforming your business into a leader. That next level might be the inspiration for you to bring on a business coach.
- Number four, perhaps you want to go faster with less pain. Progressing through a business is an arduous ordeal. A coach can help accelerate your progress more quickly, identify mistakes so you don’t repeat them, and hit your goals faster.
- Reason number five is you recognize you need to be working more on the business rather than in the business. You may need to free up some time to think of strategies and grow your business. If you’re constantly caught in the details and not having enough time to work on the business itself, that’s another great reason that you need a business coach.
- Last but not least, you need a business coach because you need support and accountability, or perhaps some camaraderie and a bit of a challenge. A coach provides a unique business relationship and an outlet that you can’t get with anyone else. A coach can push you or hold you into account, or be a confidante for your plans.
Do you own and operate a business but feel that you should be further ahead than you currently are? Maybe you’re not pleased with your progress today. The truth is unless you bring in an outsider, unless you bring in a coach, you’ll never reach your full potential.
Hi, I’m Eric Partaker, and I help CEOs, entrepreneurs, leaders, and even individuals close that gap between who they are and who they’d like to be, or where their company is and where they’d like their company to be, drawing on my experience from advising Fortune 50 CEOs at McKinsey & Company, to helping build Skype’s multibillion dollar success story, and while founding and building several of my own businesses. And today, I want to take you through six reasons why you need a business coach and how to choose one.
Number one, the first reason that you might need a business coach is because you recognize that there’s a need for change. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed with your work that you just don’t have enough time to get done what matters most. Perhaps you feel imbalanced and that it’s all about work and it’s coming at the price of your health or relationships. Maybe you’re tired of constantly having to go home and saying that same thing over and over and over, “Yes, I’ll be more available later. I just need to get this done. I just have to finish that final email.” Maybe you have goals, but you’re not properly hitting them, or maybe you don’t even have any goals and you’re tired of recognizing that you should have goals, but every single quarter goes by where they’re not in place. Or perhaps a company’s performance or an individual’s performance or the team’s performance is not exactly where you think it should be. All of those reasons and many more could be reasons that you recognize that there’s a need for change.
Number two, perhaps you realize that you want that competitive edge against the odds. What do I mean about against the odds? Well, here’s the simple truth. 96% of businesses will fail in their first 10 years. Or let’s flip that around, only four out of 100 will still be around 10 years after they started. Here’s another thing to think about. Imagine Tom Brady or Lionel Messi during their career, looking over to the coach and saying two games into the season, “Hey, you know what coach? I think I got this. You could take the rest of the season off.” It would never happen, right? And so think about this, if even the very best need a coach to both get to and stay at the top, what does that say about the rest of us? So if you really want that competitive edge to beat the odds, that’s another reason why you should be thinking about hiring a business coach.
Number three, maybe you recognize that you just want to reach that next level. Maybe you’re a founder and you want to transition to becoming a CEO. Maybe you just want to be delivering much, much, much more strongly within your industry or sector or transition from being number six, five or four to number two or number one in your industry. Maybe want to transform your company from a follower to a leader. Whatever it may be, that next level might be the inspiration for you to bring on a business coach.
Let me tell you a quick story about how that impacted me. During one of my entrepreneurial journeys, I recognized that I was finding a lot of gaps in my leadership. It was one thing to start a company as a founder, it’s obviously entirely another to scale one as a CEO. And I recognized this and I voiced these concerns with my business coach at the time and he set my sights on this CEO of the Year award. And through his counsel and through his help, I structured a two year bootcamp, if you will, to shore up my leadership abilities, to turn me into a better leader. I interviewed other top performing CEOs to see what drove their success, did 360s with my team to understand what they thought success looked like, and all of that was used to transform me from a founder to a CEO and it culminated in receiving that recognition of CEO of the Year. So, whatever that next level is for you, that could also be a reason to bring in a coach to help you get there.
Number four, perhaps you want to go faster with less pain. Maybe the journey today has been quite tough and full of hardship. Maybe you’ve questioned many, many times, why am I doing this? Am I really cut out for this? That’s normal. Those types of feelings we all have. I certainly had a lot of them as well, but with the help of a coach, they can accelerate your progress so you can go more quickly, so you can not repeat some of those same mistakes, and so you can just hit your goals faster.
The number five reason that you need a business coach could be that you recognize you need to be working more on the business rather than in the business. Are there a myriad of things that you’d like to be doing strategy-wise, but you just don’t have the thinking time? Are you constantly doing the work shoulder to shoulder with your team members and with the rest of the company when you should be coming up with that next good big product idea or thinking about that next partnership or organizing that next round of funding or thinking about who’s the next strategic addition to the board or to the team? If you find yourself constantly caught in the details of the business and not having it enough time to work on the business, that’s another great reason that you need a business coach.
Now, let me just give you one caveat here. Working in the business does have its value and you should never completely distance yourself from that. You still want to be making sure that you spend time shoulder to shoulder with people and seeing what’s going on on the front line and also what’s going on from a customer point of view. But if that is your entire life, if you feel like that’s 80% of your time and that only 20% of your time or less is available to work on the business, you will never progress as quickly as you need to. That ratio needs to be flipped around. 80% on the business, 20% to keep in touch in the business.
And the number six reason why you might recognize you need a business coach is because you need some support and accountability, or perhaps some comradery and some challenge. Now, one of my favorite quotes is Mike Tyson’s everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. And what I really value in a coaching relationship in the relationship I have with my coach, for example, is that support for those punches in the mouth or that accountability or that challenge to help keep pushing me through those moments, right?
When I was a CEO, I didn’t feel that I was lonely, but I certainly felt alone in the role. There was things that I didn’t feel comfortable, perhaps always discussing with board members or investors or with team members, but I always had that outlet with my coach. And similarly, on the challenge front or on the accountability front, I trusted that my coach in the spirit of service would dare to say to me the things no one else dared to say, would push me and hold me to account where others couldn’t because he had an inside track into what was exactly going on on a day-to-day, weekly basis through the strength of our relationship.
So those are six reasons that you might recognize that signal you need a business coach. And let me wrap this up by telling you how to actually choose a coach. Number one, look for a coach that actually has experience in the trenches. Here’s a dirty secret about the coaching industry. Most coaches out there have never run a business. Yes, maybe they’ve been in a leadership position before, yes, maybe they have a coaching certification, but they actually haven’t built and run a business. That’s a fact. If you go into the CVs or the resumes behind coaches, you will see this for yourself.
So instead, what a lot of coaches are doing is coaching based on theory and there’s not enough practice. Many of those coaches haven’t experienced what it’s like to be running out of money, or what it’s like to be up against tough competition, or what it’s like to be working grueling hours, or having to face tough decisions, or the highs and lows that are just part of an entrepreneurial journey. So the first thing you should be looking for to choose the right coach is choose someone that’s actually been in the trenches.
Number two, look for a coach who’s going to help you holistically. If you really want to achieve high performance, peak performance, that next level, if you really want change, if you really want to crush the competition and beat the odds, then we can’t just look at what’s going on on the pitch. We have to look at what’s going on off the pitch as well. Or we can’t just look at what’s going on on the field of play. We have to look at what’s going on off the field as well. And what I mean is that traditional business coaching typically just focuses on helping you scale the company. Let’s get the strategy right, let’s get the execution right, let’s make sure that people, the metrics are all right. All of those things are important. All those things should be focused upon, but there’s two other areas too that should be focused on as well.
And number one within those areas is helping make sure that you’re reaching your full potential. Are you operating at the highest possible level? Are you showing up at your best? Not just on the work front, but also the health and the home front so you feel balanced and sure and rested and confident within your position? And then also, secondly, are you scaled up as a leader? Are you reaching your full potential as a CEO, as a manager, as someone who’s running and operating, whatever it is that you’re doing? So look for a coach who’s going to provide that holistic lens, helping you scale up yourself, your leadership and your company.
Last but not least to help you choose a coach, choose somebody that you like. If you’re not going to get along with somebody, if you just absolutely can’t stand them, what do you think is going to happen with the relationship? If you don’t trust the person, if you can’t be vulnerable with them, what do you think will happen with the relationship? Of course, you’re not going to get what you need out of it. So choose someone who’s been in the trenches, choose somebody who can help you scale up yourself, your leadership and your company, and choose someone that you like and you’ll be on your way to finding a great business coach that’s right for you.