by Pamela Lund | Featured Contributor
Entrepreneurship attracts independent people who don’t like to be told what to do or how to do it. We’re rule breakers and rebels who got where we are with hard work, dedication, and the ability to figure things out on our own. That independence is a key factor in our success but what if it’s holding us back, too?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for over a decade and always took pride in being self-taught and self-made. I knew could figure out how to do anything I needed on my own, from building a website to accounting to business development, so I did. Then last year a group of friends asked me to form an accountability group with them so we could all help each other grow our businesses and stay on track with our goals. I hesitated at first because I didn’t want to commit my limited time to something that I wasn’t sure would be worthwhile. Within a few weeks the group had already proven valuable by giving me a direct line to honest feedback, support, and encouragement on top of client referrals.
I was pleased with the results I was getting just from this free group when a woman that I’ve been following on social media for years announced she was launching a small group business coaching program. I couldn’t apply fast enough. I’d gone from ‘I don’t need help’ to ‘I want to pay for help’ in the course of two months. I’m four months into a six month program and have made more progress, both in actual production and in mindset growth, than I made in two years of reading books and doing self-guided instruction. I have personalized guidance and accountability to someone else now which have made all the difference.
My aggressively independent nature was holding me back and as soon as I let it go I was able to grow, personally and professionally, faster than before. It was like discovering a new gear.
Choosing a Coach
The woman I’m working with isn’t known as a business coach, she’s known for fitness and this was her first time offering business coaching. I’m not in the fitness industry so why is working with her so beneficial for me? Because she has skills that I want to develop, regardless of the target market. She has an engaging, interesting social media presence and uses content marketing effectively which is important for any industry.
Coaches and mentors don’t have to be experts in your industry, they just have to know how to do things you want to do. You’re already an expert in your industry so you can adapt what they teach you to your market.
List three to five things you want to focus on and look for a coach that has those skills or traits. You can look at their social media accounts, subscribe to their email lists, or set up a consultation if you want to ask direct questions. You may need to vet dozens of coaches before you find the right one and you may not find the right one the first time so don’t get discouraged.
Hiring a Coach Isn’t Magic
Remember that you get out what you put in with any kind of coach. If you hired a personal trainer and weren’t honest with them about your goals or didn’t do anything they told you to do, you wouldn’t get results. The same thing applies with a business coach. You have to be honest (with them and yourself), vulnerable enough to admit your weaknesses, and willing to do what they recommend. Don’t disregard what they say or make excuses for why it won’t work for you. If you’re paying someone to help you, take the help.
If you’re not ready or able to hire a coach right now you can find a free mastermind, accountability group, or local meetup to try out first, but remember that you get what you pay for.