Anyone who can claim to be someone has had a coach or a mentor in his life. Coaching is the anchor and the engine of an entrepreneur. Coaching is the vehicle that takes you from where you are to where you want to be.
Without coaching it is just plain difficult to understand who you are, what you want, your true talents and the extent of your potential. Just like entrepreneurs often overlook the importance of their community because of the principle of familiarity overshadowing or occluding opportunities, they also tend to make inaccurate evaluations of their capabilities. They either score themselves too high or too low. And operating without a complete and correct inventory of abilities and resources is like running a car without knowing the capacity of the gasoline tank. Stalling is inevitable!
In case you do not feel compelled to invest in a coach or a mentor, here is a little bit of background on my journey from chaos to clarity. I honestly do not know if I could have achieved the same degree of success that I enjoy today if it hadn’t been for the knowledge that I have gathered from my coaches.
I have always been a serial startup junkie and at one point of time I had six profit making endeavors, draining me of life and vitality. Because I was doing the right things in terms of marketing and strategic decisions, but I simply was NOT paying heed to my work life balance or taking the time to assemble a community of supporters to cheer me on.
The plummet came soon afterwards when I woke up on the cold stone floor in Mexico. And realized that I would need to make some drastic changes in my life if I wanted to enjoy the fruits of my entrepreneurial labors!
Providence was on my side and soon afterwards, I connected with Joe Polish and became a part of his Piranha Marketing Program. The tips and techniques I picked up were gold! But even better, more powerful was the community that Joe painstakingly built. Within a few months I had:
- People I could turn to for advice and direction
- People I could look up to for inspiration
- People who could help me make the most of my networking dollars
- People to help and encourage (which led me to my true passion of being a hands-on guide for entrepreneurs)
If you have a business and you want to grow without:
- Having to reinvent the wheel all the time
- Making rookie legal and financial mistakes
- Plateauing and struggling to take yourself up a notch higher
- Fostering self-defeating notions like: ‘I can fly solo’
Coaching is a convenient and engaging solution that comes highly recommended.
COACHING IS YOUR CCAR:
It gives you:
And this confidence comes from a number of reasons.
First and foremost, you are no longer an individual who is striving to survive, one who has to depend on his own limited knowledge and experience to find solutions to problems. You mingle with dozens of business people and entrepreneurs at various stages of their journey to freedom. And you eventually grow your own network of rock solid connections that can back you up if the need be, introduce you to the movers and shakers to get your jobs done and in general share their pearls of wisdom with you freely and openly. You take your lessons from a repository that is rich with the inputs of so many peers and seniors. Automatically your thought processes change and you find the strength to take bigger risks because the resources available to you are infinitely superior.
Secondly you do become better educated in the ins and outs of the game. More capable if you will. A coach hands you insider’s secrets. He gives you the processes without you having to experiment to hit upon the right formula. When you go through enough examples of how to derive fail safe ways to tackle problems and automate the various aspects of a business, you have a set of precedents to emulate and draw inspiration from. Suddenly the looming obstacles seem smaller. Because your awareness and experience grows in size!
Lastly, coaching shuts down the extraneous mental chatter – both around your business and around your personal life. There is no longer any doubt where growing your company, improving your profits, grabbing a larger market share or indeed having better mental alacrity are concerned. The ‘ifs’ and the ‘buts’ are silenced. And in this silence you understand who you are. And where your talents lie! It was as a result of my time with Joe that I made the decision to open Prodromos Marketing. Because I felt I had the life experience, the articulateness, the intelligence and the empathy to transcend the realm of staying stuck as a service provider and find my place as someone who could be a go-to person and a thought leader in the niche of heart centered entrepreneurship. Watching Joe work his magic sparked something within me. I was deeply influenced by his work. I always had a notion that maybe inspiring and motivating others was what I was built for. But I could never see the steps that could take me to that dream. Coaching helped me envision and map out my journey. And it has been a successful one so far!
True confidence comes from the bedrock of capabilities. The enhancement of your abilities, skills and tools is the beating heart of your coaching experience. Everything that you see and hear contributes to fine tuning and honing your unique mix of perceptions and knowledge. In my opinion, your capabilities grow in two key areas:
Business Strategies: This is the obvious. This is what you enroll into the coaching program for. You pick up on strategies, best practices and innovative twists pertaining to every stage of your buyer’s journey. You learn how to attract them with rock solid offers and risk elimination. Convert them with your credibility. Close the deal with a user experience that is above and beyond anything else on the market and ultimately turn them into long term clients who come back as repeat business and offer a wealth of referrals. Joe taught me to think in terms of cost of client acquisition, life time value, average ticket price, retention rates and promoter’s score. With my innate ability to charm prospects and essentially offer a superior end deliverable, these strategic insights worked wonders. I also found out about the leverage potential of testimonials from my Piranha Marketing days and worked at it, turning social proof into a profitable business model. And oh yes, I also opened up EthicalPro as a complement to the model.
Survival Strategies: Business strategies alone do not amount to stunning success. They can make a good company man but NOT a competent entrepreneur. A well rounded coaching program offers a plethora of survival strategies as well. These are either disseminated directly as part of the curriculum. Or acquired by rubbing shoulders with giants! The bottom line is you get information and insights that is not easy to come by on your own.
Linda Galindo, author of The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success (Jossey-Bass, 2009), says accountability partners can help entrepreneurs achieve accelerated growth and lofty goals. Just imagine where a whole community of people holding you accountable can get you. When you become a part of a coaching program, there is a definite sense of give and take. You take the strategies and the understanding and in return you are expected to show results. To prove your worth and turn into worthy helping hands for the next generation of entrepreneurs!
Accountability also has to do with our mental programming. To value the generosity of the coaching community, we feel compelled to give our best and hit the mark. Anything less lets down the dreams and expectations of so many wonderful people. There is nothing like a large dose of accountability to help you stick to the most arduous commitments and emerge victorious.
Reciprocity is the mutual exchange of favors or benefits. It is not as binding as accountability but just as important since it pushes entrepreneurs to take action and thus eventually better their lives. Accountability grows with time and requires the recipient to engage with the community. But what about those who just can’t get started? Accountability is not a factor for them. Reciprocity is. Great coaches always offer some quick and easy wins for their mentees to trigger the sense of reciprocity which in turn drives the first action. And once that is ensured, the rest happens spontaneously through incremental improvements that the entrepreneurs notice, appreciate and then proactively seek.
Simply put, coaching takes you from point A to point B.
The road is never straight. And it is always paved with frustrations. But the community, the confidence, the capabilities and ultimately the accountability keep you ticking. And the best part is you start to improvise and re-purpose. You can’t help but do so. Even if the strategies that you are taught fall out of practice, the underlying concepts remain the same. Coaching teaches you the art of tailoring approaches so that they can be applied to your business, your clients and your market…even 10 years down the line.
Want to know more about how coaching can take you to your entrepreneurial destination? Want detailed insights and actionable strategies about fundamental concepts like coaching and the marketing paradigm that turns your business into a profit making machine, check out The C Loops – A Process-Centric, Experience-Driven Framework for Exponential Business Growth here.