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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyWant to Get Ahead?
Consider a Coach
By Victoria Munro

Printable version

Being the boss can be lonely. You can’t always share your trials and triumphs or discuss crucial issues with employees or others. But someone with whom you can talk through a situation or challenge you’re facing and can prove invaluable. Hiring a coach may be the answer.

In addition to acting as a sounding board and offering an objective perspective, a coach can help in other ways. For example, most of us know what we need to do, but may struggle to get it all done. He or she can work with you to clarify your goals and create a plan to reach them faster. Also, small business owners are seldom accountable to anyone else. A coach will hold you accountable to do what you’ve committed to do.

What’s the Win?

Your coach can help you stay focused and on track, overcome obstacles, recognize and avoid potential hazards, and identify blind spots and self-defeating patterns that will hinder or sabotage your success.

With the right coach in your corner—someone who will listen, draw out solutions, challenge, motivate and strategize with you—your business can leap light years ahead. Whether you’re a business of one or a hundred, you’ll profit from the support and encouragement. Having someone to spur you on to reach your goals, and celebrate your successes with you is a big win!

Find the Right Coach for You

If you decide to hire a coach, start by clarifying what you hope to gain. Ask for referrals from those you trust, take time to call and interview them. Find out about their background and whom they typically work with. It’s a good idea to have a list of questions ready to ask. You need to be comfortable with this person and feel that you “connect.” Make sure he or she has similar values to your own, understands and will support you. Ask for at least three references and check on them.

Make the Most of Your Coaching

Remember, coaching is a two-way process. You may receive the best advice and suggestions, but you will have to do the work. Set aside time to work on assignments and your weekly meetings. Be open to learn, see and do things differently. Discuss issues, problems and opportunities you’re facing; often the process of talking is all you need. Always, keep your goals clearly in view.

Coach, Consultant, Strategist—What’s the Difference?

John Zentgraf of Catalyst Performance Group LLC explains, “A consultant brings outside expertise, usually in specific areas, that the client needs. Whereas a coach assumes that the answer lies within the client—his or her role is to awaken clients to the possibilities they may not be aware of and to expand their options.” With more than 20 years as a successful business owner, John sees himself as both a consultant and a coach. He emphasizes the importance of clearly defining what you’re looking for: a coach, a consultant or a blend of the two.

Terri Starck of Point B Strategies agrees. She views her role as a strategist. “A coach may give you pre-defined business solutions,” Terri says, “But a strategist listens to where you want to go and then leverages your strengths, obstacles, and life experiences to launch you to levels where you always wanted to go but were afraid you would never reach.”

Hire Your Own Cheerleader

Having the right coach to encourage, challenge and support you—your own personal cheerleader—can save you years of hard work, frustration and missed opportunities, and help you avoid mistakes and get where to want to go.

(602 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

Click here for printable version.

About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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