Lara Wellman is my business coach. She recently spoke with me about how working with a business coach can help new business owners or those experiencing a plateau in their business.
I have worked with Lara for about two years now. Prior to working with her, I knew I needed education, resources and guidance, but I didn’t know where to look. It was looking into these needs that I discovered what a business coach is.
Lara has been an entrepreneur for 10 years. She knows what it is like to grow a business as well as what it is like to work with a business coach—in fact, she has a business coach as well. It was through her prior business as a social media marketing coach, that Lara discovered many business owners think one thing, such as marketing, is the problem with their business, but most times it is just one piece of a larger puzzle. These pieces include setting goals, pricing, how to look at numbers, etc. A business coach helps you look at these individual pieces so that you can see the larger puzzle.
How can a business coach help?
I like working with a business coach because they can help work with a business owner’s mindset blocks. A business coach can help business owners identify an entrepreneur’s blocks around confidence, money, visibility, etc. Often a business owner knows they need to get past their block to succeed, but they do not always know how—this where a business coach can help.
It doesn’t matter how much you know about your business. Sometimes you need someone to look at your business from the outside to ask the questions you need to hear to get things done. A coach does not need to know what you know about running your business. Instead, they have the tools and resources to help you figure out how to get past a block or reach a certain goal.
In this day and age, there are more opportunities than ever before to start a business, however most people, while they are good at what it is they do, i.e. writing, it does not mean they have the background or education to successfully run a business. This is another area in which working with a business coach can help.
How do I know I am ready to work with a business coach?
When a business owner is ready to work with a coach they are willing to pay for the work they will be doing with them—and they are willing to work hard with their coach to reach their goals. As soon as you start working with a coach and getting clarity, the value of a support system, such as that of a business coach pays off.
You also have to have the mindset that although you are running a business and earning money—you need to spend money to make money. You need to know your numbers and invest in your business—it’s a part of the game.
Spending the money and entrusting your business to a business coach can be scary, but once you recognize that you cannot grow without help, you will know it’s time.
A business coach will be supportive of your business, which can be especially helpful if you do not have a support network in your personal life, i.e. if your spouse, friends, or those around you do not understand what it is like to run a business.
What is group coaching?
Group coaching comes in many forms. Lara offers a group-coaching program that includes a community of fellow business owners who are able to offer support, assistance and experiences as well as one-on-one coaching that creates accountability and motivation for participants. By having a group that you can go to, you are creating a safe place where you can share where you are at in your business—a place where you can say more than “Great!” when someone asks you how business is going.
There are also masterminds—some masterminds you can organize yourself and some are paid mastermind programs. If you can find 4 or 5 other entrepreneurs who are willing to get together on a regular basis that you trust to confide in and bounce ideas off of–that’s great. The problem is, not everyone will be committed, especially if there is no financial investment involved.
Some business coaches offer paid mastermind programs that include the group mastermind component as well as a group-coaching component. Members of paid programs are more inclined to be committed and focused on growing their business as well as offering support to other business owners.
There are also free support networks you can lean on. Lara runs a free online community, The Biz Studio, which is filled with hundreds of business owners who are looking to be surrounded by other entrepreneurs from all different areas and interests.
How can I find the right business coach for me?
When it comes to deciding to work with a business coach it is important to choose one you are comfortable with and understand what their ultimate goal is—as well as your own goals in working with one. To find one that works for you, find someone you can relate to. Think about how you work best: in person or online via Skype? Make sure the business coach you work with understands how you work well and can work the way you need them to.
Talk to a few different coaches and make sure you feel comfortable with their style and methodology. Don’t just read their website copy and think that’s all you need to know—you need to talk to them.
Do you work with a business coach? If so, how is working with one benefiting you? If you don’t, but would like to start, what is holding you back?