How many of you make a new year’s resolution to lose weight or go to the gym? How many of you actually reach your goals? This is a prime example of knowing WHAT to do but not staying motivated to actually DO it.
Intellectually we all KNOW that eating healthy foods and exercising is the key to losing weight yet many of us never seem to stick with it. The same is true with growing your business.
We all KNOW we should have a business plan and market our businesses consistently yet life gets in the way and our plans never materialize or we take a break from marketing because we’re too busy handling our customers’ needs.
I read numerous blogs and other business related websites on how to create a business and marketing plan but the one I created wasn’t professional and I didn’t know how to start and run a business either. I asked questions in forums and Facebook groups but the answers I got were vague, or I was offered a program or coaching I was not financially ready for, or it didn’t fit the situation and place I lived in.
And after having everything set up, I then had to work with my mindset. I had mindset blocks that really slowed me down in my business. I felt that I won’t have as many clients or a large audience because I didn’t have a professional diploma or degree (I am still working on getting a science degree).
I also felt I wasn’t ready to do other things in my business like participate in podcasts and interviews because I was so new in the online business world. But the thing is, there will never be a perfect moment and you will feel like you’re not ready most of the time. You can’t let these hold you back but step out of your comfort zone and take that chance to get closer to your goals.
Enter the business coach.
I took the longer route, like a year of research before I officially launched my business. It was about 4 or 6 months (can’t remember exactly when) before I worked with my first client as a virtual assistant.
Working with a coach or mentor, there are different types, will help you move faster in your online business journey.
In this particular instance, a business coach will keep you focused on your goal and the individual tasks at hand. Instead of getting distracted, you will have a plan in place for your next steps.
Plus, your coach will want an accountability report so if you get distracted, you’ll have to admit that and own up to wasting that time. For some people, writing down the next steps in checklist form helps keep them focused. Whether it’s a paper note or a list on your phone, knowing the next steps helps drive you forward in your productivity.
Of course, life can get in the way of business and you may have to take some time off or shorten your business hours when emergencies happen. A business coach can help you reconfigure your business plans as needed so you’re not losing progress. Whether that means changing courses altogether or simply hiring an independent contractor or virtual assistant to take over some of the tasks needed to be completed daily or weekly in your business.
Your business progress can also be halted by technology. For instance, you may KNOW that you need an online shopping cart but indecision about which software to buy and uncertainty about how to install it can halt your next steps. A business coach will have recommendations about software or, at the very least, the name of a technical person who can assist you with the purchase and installation.
Keep in mind that business coaches are available to give advice, not to do the work for you. Listen to your coach’s unique perspective on your business and her advice then take action and follow through with your next steps. Likewise, you shouldn’t be so timid about making decisions that you are afraid to take action without asking your coach.
Developing a coach/client relationship which allows you to feel confident in your own decisions is important to the growth of the business.
Being more productive and staying productive in your business
Business coaches are strong assets for business owners because they hold the owner accountable for their own progress. They offer different perspectives to problems, they offer guidance as well as challenges, and they observe objectively how a business operates and what can be improved.
Productivity is more than just performing your daily tasks. A business coach will improve your productivity in all aspects of your business life. Here are some examples:
1. You will step out of your comfort zone. Performing tasks that make you uncomfortable are often tasks that will push your business into forward momentum, such as real life networking or presenting to your local Chamber of Commerce. Performing these tasks will get easier with practice and will allow you to develop real life relationships with other businesses. If you gain new customers in the process, that’s quicker productivity than if you stayed in your online bubble.
2. Your coach will correct you as needed. Your business coach doesn’t want to take over your business; she wants YOU to become stronger in your ability to drive the business forward and she won’t be afraid to correct you if she sees a misstep. If you listen to your coach’s advice, you will become more effective in your leadership skills as well as your business skills.
3. Your company’s operations will run more smoothly. Your business coach will see through her objective third party lens where your operations can use improvement. That may mean automating certain aspects or hiring a virtual assistant to handle certain tasks. When your business runs effectively, customers are happy and you’ll keep your overhead costs down. Effective operations also allow your assistants or employees to be more productive because they have the proper tools to complete their jobs.
4. You’ll learn how to transform your ideas into reality. Instead of keeping all your product ideas stuck in your head, unable to decide which one to develop, a business coach will help analyze your ideas and ask questions about the viability and effectiveness of each product. She will also guide you through the production process to complete your product quickly and cost-effectively.
Smart business owners know they can’t know everything about every subject, especially if they have no experience in running a business. This is where a smart business coach can become the business’s top asset, guiding you to financial success.
Are you ready to work with a coach or mentor but don’t know which one to work with? I discuss more in this post about 6 Coaches You Don’t Have (But Should), where I also share some of my personal experiences working with coaches.
Do you have a business? If so, did you go through the longer route with little resources and a small network? Or did you go the faster route and work with a coach right away?