Hey, Lucky Bee. Here’s a question I hear all the time:
“How do I choose the right business coach for me?”
Prefer to listen? Click here.
Lucky Bitch Video Transcript – How to Choose the Right Business Coach for You
I’ve been working with business and life coaches for a long time.
I saw my very first life coach when I was 19. He was a really cheesy guy. He wore a purple shirt and a purple tie and he would read out of a book called NLP for Dummies.
A bit weird, right?
Since then, I’ve worked with a lot of coaches and I’ve learned some lessons along the way.
The first lesson is a really important one:
Don’t choose a coach based on somebody else’s recommendation
You might think, “Well how in the hell do you choose one?”
Check in with yourself
People ask me all the time, “Denise, who should I coach with for business?” I say, “What do you need? Our needs might be very different, and the person I like to coach with might not work for you.”
One of the things you need to do is have a good look at where you’re at in your business:
What income are you making?
What stage of business are you at?
Are you a beginner, or do you need more advanced strategies?
What gaps of knowledge do you have in your business right now?
I’ve invested in coaches – and maybe you have as well – just because they had a really good sales pitch or because everybody else was working with them.
But they really weren’t aligned with where I was in my business and what I needed to learn at that time.
Self-assess before you invest!
Where am I in my business right now?
Where do I want to go to next?
What skills do I need to learn right now to get there?
This will really help you determine if a particular coach is right for you.
Ask questions to find the right fit
The next step is to have a trial or discovery session with the potential coach to see if they’re a good fit.
Ask good questions
You’re not just there to be sold to. Really, they are pitching themselves to you, so you have the ultimate power to say yes or no.
Here are a few things that I like to ask potential coaches:
“What’s your business model?”
A lot of coaches teach one business model and what works for them might not work for you.
You might aspire to be like someone who you think has got an amazing business. But if you ask them what their business model is and what their lifestyle is like, you might realize that they travel all the time and that’s not going to work for you.
I remember talking to a potential coach and she said, “You’ve got to get out there. You’ve got to go and speak at every event that will have you. In big cities, hours away – fly places!”
I thought, “I don’t want to do that.”
So I said, “Well, I’d prefer an online model”
Her response? “Well, how are you going to get clients?
WRONG COACH FOR ME.
Not only am I an introvert and don’t like leaving my house – I wanted to open my market up internationally, and having an online presence was the best model for me, especially when I wanted to have kids.
But she made me feel that the only way I could be successful was with that particular business model.
Luckily, I declined to work with her because it would have been such a horrible fit. I would have been working with a business model that I didn’t like – something that wasn’t sustainable for me – and I would have felt like a loser if I couldn’t make it work.
So it’s okay to ask about their business model and their lifestyle.
Ask how many hours a week they work and find out what their philosophy is in business.
Again, it might be a complete mismatch for you.
They might be someone who works 100 hours a week or they could be someone who works 10–15 hours a week and is still able to create an amazing business. It really tells you what their values are right now.
Also, it might tell you about how well they outsource or how good they are at creating shortcuts in their business.
And they can pass all of that knowledge onto you
Your coaches success can shortcut yours
Another question you might want to ask is whether they have kids, because that can have a huge impact on the way that someone does business.
That might be really important to you if you’ve got a young family like I do.
It’s important for me to work with someone who understands and gets the fact that there’s a little bit to juggle, and that you have to really compress your work into short blocks of time.
I remember when I was starting out as a coach, I had clients with kids and I’d be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Just get a babysitter.” Or, “Why are your kids screaming in the background?”
I didn’t get it as a coach who didn’t have kids, and I can see now that there’s real value in coaching with someone who already has the kind of lifestyle you want.
Another valuable question to ask someone is:
“What’s your coaching style?”
How do they coach? Are they someone who never shares their own personal experience? Who holds a space for you and asks questions, rather than sharing any of their own stuff?
Again, you can decide whether or not you like that.
Are they someone who is really onto you all the time, keeps you accountable and emails you, or are they someone who’s more hands-off and needs you to ask them for stuff? What’s your personality, and what do you need?
For example, I’m very independent. I have coaches and they say, “Email me anytime in-between our sessions,” and I say, “I probably won’t. I’ll just figure it out myself.”
But you might be someone who likes a little bit more hand-holding, so find out their coaching style before you sign a contract only to realize that they aren’t a good fit.
Find out when they work. Are they someone who’s in a different time zone to you? Find out what their coaching hours are.
I learned this the hard way
I signed on with a coach and the sessions were at 6:30 a.m. and I thought, “That’s not too bad.” Then there was a time zone shift and suddenly the sessions were at 4:30 a.m. and I thought, “That’s not going to happen.” If I had found this out beforehand, I really would have asked myself, “Is this the right coach for me?”
Hopefully these tips are helpful to you if you’re thinking about investing in a business coach right now. Don’t be afraid to really ask – because it’s a huge investment and you deserve to expect a return.
The power of discernment
It’s okay for you to pick and choose your coach carefully, and to practice discernment. It’s okay to say no because they aren’t what you need right now.
It’s so easy to fall for a good sales pitch or for someone who is sexy and shiny – they might be a great coach for somebody else, but might not be a good fit for you.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
What lessons have you learned from hiring business coaches? Or, if you’re not there yet, what’s holding you back from hiring a business coach?
I think business coaching is brilliant. I think it’s great to have someone in your corner to hold your hand and help you go to the next level.
SO GOOD LUCK!!
Need a simple business plan?
Part of knowing what kind of support you need is being clear on your business and where you’re going.
I’ve got a REALLY simple business plan template for you – download here:
Even if you do have a business plan, it’s still good to go through it and to see if there’s any bits and pieces that you’re missing. And then GET INTO ACTION.
Did you miss last week’s post? Check it out here: How I’m Preparing My Business For Baby #2