Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
to Get Ahead?
Consider a Coach
By Victoria Munro
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
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
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
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.
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
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,”
and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get
More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics
You’re welcome to “reprint”
this article in your ezine, print publication
or on your website, as long as it remains complete and
unaltered (including the “about the author”
info at the end). Please send a copy of your reprint