The right coach at the right time makes all the difference. I wholeheartedly believe that we all need a coach. We need training, mentoring, and support. Since I come from a background as a counselor, I also believe that we all need counseling too, but that is another blog. We need someone to help us walk the path that is foreign to us. We need someone to hold our hand and keep us from venturing down the wrong road when the light is dim. We need a guide for this business journey.
I remember when I hired my first business coach, how scared I was. Could I afford her? What was she going to ask me to do? But I also knew that I had done all that I could figure out “on my own” lone ranger style. It was time. If I wanted to grow, I needed to figure out a way to afford her services. And I did. There is a time and season for each coach that you work with. There is also a time and season for group coaching versus one on one coaching. I just hired a new coach to work with me privately. It was time.
Here are 10 things for you to consider as you are looking into hiring a coach for the next part of your business pilgrimage:
- Alignment: Does the coach understand your values and/or have the same beliefs? Is this a MUST for you or does it depend? Do they understand the basics about your business? I don’t believe that you have to be in the same field in order to coach with them but do you feel like they “get you” and “get your business”? Do you feel like they know where you are trying to go?
- Timing: As with all things in our lives, there is a time and a season. The right timing is crucial for moving forward with a coach. For me, it is often a “God thing” that leads me right where I need to be. Trust your instincts and be watching and listening.
- Length of contract: Coaching is a process and I am understanding this more and more. Most coaches ask for a 3-6 month commitment. Other programs are for 6 months to a year. This is crucial. My current coach and I have committed to a year together. This scared me at first but I understand it completely now. I know we are together for the series of ups and downs, highs and lows that will inevitably come during my growth process. That comforts me.
- Materials provided: What do you get with your coaching package? Is it all by phone? Any training manuals, webinars, audios, or books? What about LIVE coaching by skype or in person? Is it group or one-on-one? Is there a guarantee or a exchange option?
- Process: Do you get to connect weekly? How often can you email and get an answer? Are the sessions recorded? What happens in between sessions? Is there a group forum for discussion? And does the way your coach works, fit with what you need right now?
- Feedback: Is the coach willing to provide you with honest feedback and are you willing to receive it? I have many friends who are coaches, but I cannot coach with them because we are “too close” and they cannot coach with me in that way. It is important to have healthy boundaries and enough distance so that the “friendship” will not interfere with the coaching.
- Referrals: Who else do you know that has worked with them? What results did they experience? What testimonials are provided on their website? Having a personal referral to a coach from someone you know and trust makes a huge difference. Be willing to ask.
- Success: Do you see something that they have done, “a success” that you want them to help you to do? Until we have done something once, we don’t know the way. It is important to find a coach that is WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. And this is very subjective so know what area you want to work on. What “success” are you looking for?
- Investment: What is the financial investment for your coaching experience? It is more than you can afford? I say “good”. You have to get uncomfortable financially to really get engaged in the process. You must be willing to invest in coaching that provides value to you. The “cost excuse” is often more of a question of willingness and timing. As a recovering “underearner”, I am aware of how complicated the dynamics of money is for most of us. Consider what the “COST” would be to NOT hire the coach.
- Accountability: The big A word. This is honestly what I hear most from my clients and members of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. We all need accountability. Coaches need coaches. What kind of accountability do you need to move your business to the next level? Are you willing to get it by hiring a coach to help you get there?
Ask for the help you need. Invest in your business and in your future. Let me know if you need help or coaching or have questions for me.
Diane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist”, plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend.
Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.nacwe.org. Connect with Diane at www.facebook.com/
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