What Is Coaching?
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
In one episode I welcomed one of my first out-of-state entrepreneurs who is an actual coach to entrepreneurs, Carl Gould, owner of 7 Stages Advisors. Which got me thinking about coaching.
What is coaching, why is it important, and why should an entrepreneur care?
I believe I have mentioned before in this show – I have a mentor, but I do not currently have a business development coach. First let me explain a little bit of the difference and then we’ll get into coaching.
Think of mentorship as a relationship-oriented rapport with an individual focused more on professional development of the mentee. Coaching is more task-oriented, focusing more on goals and developing specific skills to achieve those goals.
For example: in this episode we discuss creating a business plan. These do not need to be done individually behind closed doors in a locked room where nobody knows about the idea. Quite the opposite in fact.
Having a coach who has written business plans, financial plans, a former entrepreneur of a said profession, is very beneficial.
Honestly when I first started this podcast, I reached out to one of my first guest who runs a very successful podcast Shain Brendon of Assville – if you have not listened to the episode please do so, it’s great – and asked how him and his partner started their podcast, what equipment they used, mics, etc.
As I say in this podcast often: I wanted help spotting my blindsides and weaknesses. I want to learn how to avoid pitfalls and potholes to be successful in my business ventures, whichever ones I decide to pursue.
That’s what a good coach can help with. According to Entrepreneur magazine, “a coach assists you with guidance to narrow down and target spots that you might miss. Identifying your weak and blind spots prevents you from future threats and prepares you to first understand yourself better to benefit your business”.
Again, starting this podcast I knew nothing of making a podcast, but I knew about my community, I knew about business, and I know how to talk…a lot. Maybe too much for some, and for those of you I am sorry, but I still love you.
Ok back to the topic…
Coaching is also valuable to an entrepreneur because of the amount of business knowledge being shared. In fact, I hope this podcast acts as a form of a digital business coach – learning new business acumen in an episode or two. I know I have been learning a great deal from former guest myself.
In fact, many guests, in particular angel investors like Jon Loomis of Baseballism and Darius Monsef of BraveCare, discuss the need for entrepreneurs to share their ideas with others.
I know, the thought of it sounds weird – like you are selling the farm by giving away your idea. But it is important to know quickly if your business idea if going to be successful, and a coach can offer an unbiased third-party view.
According to Amine Rahal from IronMonk Solution, “If you ask your co-workers, colleagues, friends, or family members what you need to do better, they may be biased in their opinions and they may not understand the strengths and weaknesses of your organization, where your company fits in with your industry, your management and leadership style or the way you run your business.
However, if you hire a business coach, they will understand what your wants, needs and desires are.
They will understand why you react the way you do in certain situations. And if they have industry-specific experience, they will be able to offer you insights that other people in your circle may not be able to.”
Lastly, a good coach will help keep you on the right track. From meeting your goals, to carving out a path to success, to identifying new business habits and ideas, a business coach can be beneficial. However, there will be a cost for business or life coaching that can range from $75 - $200 an hour, but some coaches may offer package deals.
I would encourage who are interested in hiring a coach to explore multiple options and find a coach that you trust, that is knowledge in your area of business and that wants to see your business succeed and not just their business succeed.
A coach’s success is directly linked to client’s success.
For the aspiring coach out there, here is some unsolicited advice: do not assume clients will come to you. Marketing and networking to your niche of expertise is key to being a successful coach. If you are sitting around waiting for clients to come to you, you may be sitting around awhile. As the old saying goes you won’t sell if you don’t market.
And remember as a coach you truly have an opportunity to change an individual’s life in a meaningful way. It is very important to meet the needs of the client just like any business.
Ask specific questions. Make time to observe the works of the business and the entrepreneur. Define areas of development and circle back to those if the coaching gets off track.
Never lead an individual down an inappropriate progression by trying to fix everything or just telling the entrepreneur what to do.
“Coping” was not helpful when I was in school