So, you made the leap from being an employee to owning a business. Congratulations, you’ve just entered the ranks of becoming a soon-to-be entrepreneurial failure or a near-term startup success.
Of course, the question becomes how do you stay alive as a newfound business owner? After all, being a subject matter expert in a particular job is one thing, being a generalist for an industry (an organizational leader) is something else entirely.
There comes a point where stagnation sets in. You can take yourself only so far without the help of others. Hey, it happens. Consider it part of the startup lifecycle.
“If you are not clear on your vision, then every single opportunity will distract you and impede your progress,” says Tracy Cherpeski, an entrepreneurship and wellness coach.
After all, you’ll never really know what you’re capable of until there’s someone to push you outside your comfort zone. Just ask any professional athlete. If a business coach is something you’ve thought about recently but aren’t quite sold on getting one yet, here are four reasons why you should:
1. To brainstorm brilliance
There’s a common saying that goes, “nobody is smarter than all of us.” In other words, the collective power of many is far superior to the single power of one, which speaks to the value a coach brings in brainstorming new ideas. However, doing so is both an art and a science.
Anybody can go online and find brainstorming software for free with the goal to generate genius — that’s the science part. The “art” part, however, is excavating personal values and beliefs that you never knew existed and linking them to your desires and intentions. Sometimes it takes a new perspective to see an existing connection.
2. To bounce ideas
Nowhere else do you find somebody solely dedicated to acting as your own personal sounding board. A coach — well, a good coach — pushes out all thoughts from his or her own brain to be present and just listen. Doing so allows the coach to ask powerful questions that unearths deeply rooted values otherwise firmly planted.
The best part about this is the amount of judgment that the coach offers: zero. Unlike the local rumor mill in your neighborhood or office, it’s not a coach’s responsibility to opine about your position, but rather to suspend judgment in such a way that guides you toward your own goals.
3. To be accountable
Isn’t it strange how easy it is to break the promises we make to ourselves, but less so when we involve other people? A coach serves as an accountability partner who challenges you to strategize and develop your goals while aligning your efforts toward achieving them.
4. To receive guidance
A business coach will challenge your thinking, goals and willingness to grow. As somebody who has “been there, done that,” a coach also acts as a role model because of the experience that he or she shares. Additionally, a coach has unique insight that broadens your business awareness.
Think of it this way: When Santa Claus brings you a new toy, you get excited at the thought of playing with it but maybe a little disheartened at the thought of having to assemble all those ridiculously tiny pieces. So what do you need? Directions. You need guidance for how to get from where you are to where you want to be, and once you do, you play with the toy all morning.
The key metric for success from coaching isn’t so much the cool technical tools you learn — those will become obsolete in roughly 18 months. The value of coaching resides in the mental tools the coachee learns that help him or her navigate toward success both inside and outside of the business world.
Every athlete and every top performer uses a coach to bring out their best. Why don’t you?