Four Steps to Find the Right Coach for Your Business

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Before I tell you about the four steps for finding the right coach for your business, I want to let you know how irritated I was the first time I worked with a coach.

I remember the first time I hired someone to help me with my business—I was really mad. Here I was, running a business with multiple offices, multiple employees, and hundreds of thousands of dollars moving through it, and I was supposed to know what I was doing—right? I was telling clients every day that I knew what I was doing, and admitting that I needed help (and I did need help) and hiring a coach (and I really did want to hire a coach) made me feel like a fraud. I had grown so used to “faking it till I made it,” I couldn’t even admit to myself that there were things I just didn’t know.

I put it off as long as I could. When I finally did hire a coach, I told her I was mad that I had to hire her. She laughed and told me something I’ll never forget—something you may have heard me say before, to you.

She said,

“Marcia, even the sharpest knife can’t carve its own handle.”

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, I felt a flood of relief. She was right! And more than that, her words let me off the hook.

Those ten words:

• soothed my guilt about not knowing everything (crazy, right? What is it that makes us think we can just magically “know” everything?),

• lessened my paranoia about people finding out I might not know everything (more craziness), and

• upheld my hope that even without knowing everything, I could still be a “sharp knife.”

That first consultation with a coach changed my thinking, and moved me further ahead, faster than I could have gone on my own. It was so refreshing to run things by someone who knew what I was going through, and who could actually help. I never looked back, and have worked with coaches and consultants in many forms ever since.

It’s normal to feel weird the first time you reach out for help in your business. Here are some steps to help you over the hump, whether you’d like to find out about working with me, or find someone else to help you through the rough spots.

(And now is the perfect time to reach out, during my Holiday Coaching. From now until Wednesday, November 30, you can register for special pricing on my Holiday Coaching and other select coaching packages. Hurry, because spots are limited. Click here for more information.)

Four steps for finding the right coach for your business

Step 1. Find a coach with a coaching style you like. There are many coaches out there, and each one coaches differently.

A.) Some are certified to use a certain coaching method, and will “coach” the solutions out of you.

B.) Some are coaching from their own experience, and may mix consulting in with the coaching, where they guide and advise as well as coach.

C.) Some are pure consultants, who will bring their expertise to solve your problems for you, and you will follow their recommendations.

Since many people use the words “coach” and “consultant” interchangeably, make sure you understand what you’re getting.

Step 2. Find someone who has actually had success in what you want help with. It’s kind of the old story of hiring a dirt-poor financial planner to invest your money—you wouldn’t do that. You want someone who can show she has a track record of investing successfully. There are coaches and consultants who learn things in books and then teach what they have learned, and maybe they do okay—but in my opinion, you’ll be much better off if you work with someone who has actually been in the trenches and can show you their own successes (and have learned from their failures).

Step 3. Find someone who speaks your language. Some people are easy to understand because they talk like you do, and some people use words and jargon you don’t use. It’s difficult enough to work on your business without having to try to translate what your coach actually means by what she says.

Step 4. Find someone you feel comfortable with. You’ll be sharing intimate details about your business with this person, so you need to totally trust her, feel supported by her, and feel comfortable talking about uncomfortable topics. A coach or consultant who barks at you, makes you feel bad, or doesn’t align with your values isn’t going to be much good in the long run. You want to work with someone who listens, understands, and has true empathy for your situation, and may have been in your situation herself.

You can find all this out by having an initial session with a coach you’re interested in.

To register for one of my complimentary Instant Insight Sessions, check out my Holiday Coaching here.

I only make these special coaching offers once a year, and spots are limited, so register before November 30 to save your spot.

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