I want to talk about coaches today. I often hear women say that having a coach is a luxury, but having gone through phases with coaches and without, I can honestly say it’s a necessity, especially when it comes to building a business.
As I sat down to write this, I spent some time thinking about all the coaches I’ve had in my life. There have been a lot, and every single one has been instrumental in shaping the path I’ve taken. Every single one taught me something I didn’t know about myself, helped me see a weakness and worked with me to develop a plan to compensate for it, and challenged me to grow in ways I would never have on my own. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
My dad was my first coach. He taught me to play softball, and coached my 8 and under team, and the one after that. It was through him I gained a baseline understanding of what it meant to have someone push, support, and challenge me. He was equal parts gentle and firm, and one of the best listeners I’ve ever known.
In high school, I played volleyball and had two female coaches. Both different but equally awesome at pushing us to the brink and showing us the why behind what we were doing. Suicides were a brutal, but important tool to building strength… and learning to listen when the coaches were talking.
All four years of high school were dramatically shaped by my speech and debate coach. “D” helped me kick my Oklahoma accent to the curb, held me to the highest standard, and pushed me waaaaay out of my comfort zone when it was time to do my valedictory speech. She taught me to view people for who they are and to be gentle in my judgement, to recognize that we’re all coming to the table with what we’ve got. She will forever be one of the most influential people in my life.
While I was in the corporate world, I had professional development coaches who worked with me to tackle blind spots and opportunity areas. I’ve had life coaches and several business coaches, and like all the others, they helped me see things in myself I was blind to. They pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone and helped me reach goals that had once seemed insurmountable.
The value of having a coach cannot be overstated. And in spite of the valuable experiences we’ve all likely had, we quickly discount our own need or the potential benefit of investing in a coach for ourselves and our businesses. As the end of the year draws near, I want to spend some time talking about why making this investment in your business is vital to your success, give you some practical things to think about when selecting a coach, and a good dose of encouragement about your worth.
Coaching, by definition, is the practice of providing deliberate support to another individual to help her clarify and/or to achieve goals. There are a lot of ways this can be done, but typically, most coaches develop or follow a system that forces you to set a goal, find the best way to achieve that goal, and through dialogue helps you reveal hidden aspects of your potential as a person.
I see how every single coach I mentioned above followed this process in some way, shape, or form. So, why do we balk at making the investment?
“But it’s expensive, Jess.”
“It takes time, and I just don’t have a lot of it.”
“I’m barely treading water as it is, and you want me to spend precious time and money I don’t actually have?”
I get that it’s an investment of both your time and money. Christy and I have each spent thousands of dollars on coaches for 2 Smart Girls and our own lives, and I do not regret a single second or cent. Because here’s what I’ve learned: coaching is the fastest, most straightforward way to get the results you want.
6 Reasons You Need to Invest in a Coach:
1. Coaches help you establish and actively work toward your goals.
As business owners, especially solopreneurs, we tend to either set goals that are so audacious they’re hard to achieve or goals that are barely going to move the needle. A good coach will challenge you to set the bar a little higher and help you take those big, hairy, audacious goals and make them doable when you are reaching for the stars.
2. Coaches give you their entire focus. You and your success are their priority.
The beauty of a coach is that she is there FOR you. Whether you’re in a one-on-one coaching relationship or with a small group, the individualized attention you receive is worth the investment alone. It’s there that the coach makes you and your success their number one priority, helps you problem solve, and overcome obstacles.
3. Coaches provide a safe place for you to bring your fears, uncertainties, and challenges into the light. They allow you to be vulnerable without shame.
Real talk. Running a business isn’t easy. There are days when I’ve wanted to give up. Days where I’ve made massive mistakes and just wanted to curl up and eat a gallon of ice cream (and I’ve come close). Days where I’ve felt weak and insecure, uncertain I really had what it takes, and at every turn, my coaches helped me get out of my head and down to business. That is the GIFT a coach gives you… unwavering belief that you have what it takes, even when you’re struggling to see it, in a space free of shame. It’s honestly the most beautiful thing.
4. Coaches provide real perspective about you and your situation by revealing blind spots.
When you’re too close to a situation, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. The same is true with behaviors and beliefs that may be holding you back. A coach helps you clean the lens you’re looking through, so you can gain a deeper, richer perspective. They help you see your own limiting beliefs and the barriers you’ve constructed that are keeping you from reaching your goals.
5. Coaches hold you accountable for what you said you want to do, and they keep you moving forward.
When you commit to working with a coach, you are committing to be fully engaged in the process. To learn, grow, and change… and the only way to do that is to do what you’ve committed to do week in and week out. There’s no getting off the hook.
6. Coaches are the ultimate cheerleader.
They believe in you. They believe you are FULLY capable of reaching the peak of the mountain, even when you don’t. They want you to succeed, and they’re literally there every step of the way with pom-poms and a cow bell.
This is a deeply personal process. Not every coach is right for you, and you are not right for every coach. In order to make the investment – and that’s truly what it is – you have to believe that the coach you’re thinking about working with is the right coach for you. You have to believe that this person or team can help you get where you want to go, and you have to believe that the process they’re going to take you through will close the gaps in your business. And lastly, you must be fully committed to doing the work.
As you wrap up this year, this decade, and you are stepping boldly into 2020, here’s what I want you to hear. If you have big goals for your business, then make the investment. It’s the cheapest, fastest way to get there. And you know what they say: the shortest distance between two points is a… straight line.
Go boldly into the new year and know you and your dreams are worth the investment.
Until next time, be present, be strong, be you!
P.S. If having someone completely dedicated to you and your success resonated, we would love the opportunity to walk alongside you and you make your big dreams a reality. Let’s schedule a time to talk about what coaching might look like for you.