Have you thought about getting a business and life coach to help you with your business? Or is someone already coaching you? How would you define how the coach is helping you?
Coaching can be very beneficial to the overwhelmed small business owner and those in corporate management and executive positions. You get help in channeling the stress. Working with a coach forces you to stop. You have to take a break from the everyday matters and talk to your coach on a regular basis. That talk can be amazing in helping you get clarity and focus on what matters most in your world. It can be amazing at helping you with time management and priorities.
What many business owners do not always understand is that coaches are not telling you something you don’t already know. At least, I am not telling you anything new when we are talking in the coaching mode. A business and life coach is someone who helps you work on your goals and objectives, bring focus and clarify to those goals and objectives and maintain a system of accountability when reaching those goals and objectives. They are your cheerleader and your listener when you just need to talk through things. But a coach does not set out to tell you something you don’t already know.
Many people have a problem with stopping to think about what is important. Many people have a problem with prioritizing what is important. They do, do, do, and keep on doing because there are so many fires to put out. They don’t know how to say “no” when someone asks them to do something and then don’t know how to ask if it can wait until an appropriate time that works in their schedule. Coaching, therefore, can be very beneficial. But there are times in a business life when outside help is needed. You need more than a coach. You need a mentor and a trainer. You need someone who can offer advise and an objective opinion. You need someone who can help you with getting your business to the next level. You need someone with knowledge you don’t have, such as from a business or management consultant.
If you are starting to ask questions that you can no longer answer, or have tasks to do that have nothing to do with not prioritizing but instead need help in determining how to do those tasks, you might benefit from talking to a consultant. Lack of experience and knowledge are often things that impede business owners from moving to the next level. A consultant can help to mentor and train you so you can do things, creating the experience by doing. Because a consultant is working with you specifically, he or she can then determine what specific knowledge you need that he or she can share.
A consultant provides expert advice such as in management, marketing, human resources, environmental, safety, business strategy, and other key areas of a business. Often businesses will bring in a consultant instead of hiring a full-time professional to work on a specific project or issue. By doing this, businesses can access more expertise than they may find in-house. At other times, a company might desire that a third-party review and advise a group with change management assistance, developing policies and procedures, analyzing strategies, improving operational services, or building team players.
At 4QR, we recommend sitting down to discuss what you are looking to obtain from consulting. You want to find a consultant that feels like the right fit and can communicated effectively to help you succeed. Consider the language — a consultant working with executives in medium to large corporations will use terms much different from a consultant working with small business owners. You want someone you feel comfortable with.
No matter who you go to for coaching or consulting, it is a good idea to get some background information on how he or she qualifies. Both a coach and consultant should have a plan to get you to a better place by building a nest and nurturing you, but you should eventually be able to fly on your own. Think of what you would get from coaching and consulting as Bob Nelson refers to in this quote, “You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.”