I want you to think about this…When I started my company in 2009, one of the first things I did was to understand what I didn’t know how to do. I loved people, I could sell, and I wanted to make a difference and always wanted to bring value. All sounds great so far, right? What I didn’t really know how to do was to create a company or a business that would support me in loving people, selling, making a difference and bringing value… The truth was I couldn’t do this myself. While I didn’t really understand what it meant to have a Personal Board of Directors at that time, I did understand that it took a village and that village began with and still includes having a coach.
The first step in starting my business was knowing what I needed and then realizing I didn’t know what I didn’t know and that is where my business coach came in. The phrase, “It takes a village” was loud and clear but honestly, who would ever think that you would need a business coach? I knew exactly what I wanted to do, with whom and why… what else would I need or want? Well, in a word, EVERYTHING! I found one who was tough but fair, had been there done that and bought the t-shirt and would hold me accountable… no matter what nonsense I threw her way. Here’s what happened. She sat me down and asked me a lot of questions, listened to my goals and dreams and together we worked together to put that in place. Again, sounds great so far, right? Here’s the REAL truth. You have to know listen to your coach. They have the experience and expertise. If you had an athletic coach who told you to hit the ball or kick the ball or catch the ball or whatever with the ball and you thought you knew better, where do you think that would end up? Ok, not much different with a business coach.
Everything she told me to do made perfect sense, however, I already knew that, already tried that and was all ready to dismiss that. Let me just say that if you asked me what type of person I don’t want to coach… it would be the ones that say I’ve done that already, I’ve tried that already and the rest of that nonsense. During one of my sessions, it was decided that I would write a book. It wasn’t necessarily my decision as it was never on my radar, but my coach suggested that since I had 30 years of “stuff” in my head, why not organize it and share it with others. I finally agreed, and she told me to have an outline, not the book itself, just an outline, completed by a certain date. I sheepishly agreed and didn’t really give it another thought. Remember, I knew better… The date came, and we were having a session over the phone, and towards the end she asked me to read her the outline. It was not completed; or really, it was not even started. She was less than happy but very professional. She didn’t say what she probably wanted to say but she did say this, “Do you know the busiest street in Dallas?” to which I replied “Yes” and she continued with this, “Drive there and stop your car. Roll down your window and throw all the money in your wallet out the window, roll up the window and drive home.” I thought she had lost her mind and asked if she was serious. To which she replied, “That’s what you do with me every week,” and then she finished with, “Why are you paying me all this money when you don’t do any of the work? How will your business ever get off the ground? How will people know who you are? How will you ever make a difference or bring value? Do you not understand that you can’t do this alone?” That was the day I realized how important a coach really is and how “It takes a village” made sense to me.
The truth is, that coaching helps people focus on the things that are contributing to their being stuck, and then move beyond them. I knew I was stuck in a place that I didn’t recognize, and I needed someone who knew better than I did and who was totally objective to move me along. Harvey Mackay said, “Athletes and actors have long hired coaches to help prepare for a specific competition or role. But they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from expert advice. Coaches are available to help people in any field improve their ‘game.’” You see we all need to improve our game… no matter what field that is in.
There are so many reasons to have others surrounding you to support you and, in my case, having a coach for your business… no matter what level of business you are in. I put together a Slide Share about the qualities you should look for in a coach, so you would know how “It takes a village” really rang true for me. Here is the list:
As Bill Gates said, “We all need people that will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
Other articles you may be interested in:
- Don’t Bully Accountability – Live It by Kristin Kaufman
- Success Is Not Logical by Valerie King
- The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned As A Business Coach by Rebecca Liston
- If You Are Going to Play the Game, You Need a Coach by Jan Norton