Even if you’re thriving in your industry, it’s a mistake to assume you'll never need a coach. Even the highest functioning global leaders and founders often need help to think clearly about their business, or benefit from an objective third party — a neutral, outside perspective — to discuss personal and family matters.
"Thank you very much for the coaching session today. I have been shown a lot of blind spots that in all those years of working with business mentors, I hadn't seen.”
Business coaches can support anyone — whatever the size or scope of the business. A coach will often locate and pinpoint things to fix or improve, simply because they have that objectivity of distance and perspective. Everything from pricing, to culture, to structural and personnel issues, to brainstorming ideas: a good business coach is a non-judgmental sounding board who will bring clarity and fresh thought.
"Rifa is authentic and exceptionally effective in her quest to bring the best out of others, particularly women and people of colour, who are pushing ahead in business. She has pretty much faced everything already, and dealt with it within the creative industries."
Your Coach as Your Accountability Partner
With a plan already in place for creating your new project, package or product, hiring a coach to work as a supportive accountability partner is a wise investment. We all tend to work more efficiently when we know there’s a deadline looming. But it’s too easy to ignore that deadline, if you are the only person who set it and checks it. Instead of allowing a deadline or a strategy to slip further and further into the future, a coach can keep your productivity and project development on a schedule.
This kind of compassionate accountability is a powerful tool, not just with creative projects. Whatever goals you have set for yourself, your coach can be invaluable to hold you responsible for meeting those deadlines and goals — and to clarify your thinking when goals do need to be moved and re-shaped.
Your Coach as Your Guide
A thoughtful and empathic business coach has the ability to challenge your thinking and your goals in a constructive, non-judgmental way. Instead of staying inside your comfort zone, a coach will help you to explore the roots of your hopes and fears, to encourage you to learn if aspects of your working life could benefit from a change in approach. The best coaches can be skillful in breaking down large tasks into smaller chunks that don’t seem so overwhelming. They can also intuitively guide you, offering instructions for how to do or implement something key in your business. They can even recommend contacts, pass on opportunities and recommend work or potential clients, if they have a large network.
Your Coach as Your Mentor
When it comes to hiring a business coach, think about it the same way as if you were seeking a personal mentor: look for someone you consider to be further along in terms of success or experience, perhaps at a higher income level. After all, those who've already reached a certain level of success will have the best cache of experiences to draw upon, to share about reaching that same level. Your coach is a confidente but they will also informally teach skills you need.
Get Your Plan Started Ahead of Time
Before you spend good money on a coach, assess your personal and business plan and ambitions, with your goals and your action steps spelled out clearly. You will want to provide your coach with good idea of your starting point — your current achievements and challenges. Quite often that task would be your first assignment anyway with a new coach. As an exercise, it also gets you into the mindset of thinking about your business, or project, as a whole.
If setting up a business plan sounds daunting, or you don’t know where to start, contact me now for a one-to-one session. We can discuss how planning can keep you focused on your next steps; why taking action is so vitally important if you want to reach serious goals; and how to break down your overwhelming tasks into do-able chunks, to improve your productivity.