Both Melissa and I have Coaches. We figure, if Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have coaches, that it would be pretty silly of us to think that we couldn’t also benefit from one.
Here are some tips and suggestions for why coaches should have a coach, too, from both of us.
I just started with a new coach and I’m happy! happy! happy!
Note that I said “new coach” as I feel that the coaching/client relationship is a fluid and evolving thing. In my opinion, to stick with the same business coach or mentor forever will limit you.
The problem that I’d been having was finding a coach for ME. Once you get to a certain level of income/success in your business, it can be very difficult to find a coach who you trust and who is someone that you can be honest and direct with – as well as who has knowledge in areas where you want to get stronger.
Could I have found a coach to help me become a better speaker? In a heartbeat. I’ve definitely got room for improvement at that.
Could I have found a coach to help me write and publish my book? Absolutely. In fact I have one.
But, someone to teach me to be a better marketer? Well, I’m kinda awesome at that – so it’s a little more difficult.
One normal alternative, and what I’d been doing was to create private masterminds with peers which worked well.
But, I really wanted something different. And, I’ve tried to coach friends and be coached by friends — it just doesn’t work as well as I’d like. I wanted to work with someone who I admired – but who wasn’t a girlfriend (and someone who I was paying so they had to be honest instead of just being nice).
So, I’d been on the hunt for a coach for me. And, I knew several other friends who were looking as well.
My criteria at this point in time for a coach included:
1. My coach must have built at least two successful profitable businesses, and also have a great relationship with his/her list.
2. My coach could not be working 80 hours a week. I’ve built my business so that I can work when I want to but I have plenty of recurring income streams and systems in place so I make money ongoing. Having a coach who was flying all over the country and working 8-18 hours a day wasn’t going to be a good fit.
3. Similarly, I wanted someone who doesn’t work off a jam packed calendar. I like to have my schedule mostly free except for a few coaching calls and any interviews that I’m doing. Otherwise, I feel trapped by my business.
4. Someone uber-productive.
5. A businessperson with low overhead. I didn’t want someone who had a staff of 15 employees and an office building. I wanted someone running a tight, lean, profitable business.
6. A person who rocks at positioning. I felt stuck in a decision about rebranding and how to move forward with it. So, I wanted someone who was very clear in his/her positioning and in putting themselves out clearly in the marketplace.
7. A great public speaker/presenter. I am getting more and more speaking opportunities and I know that I can improve in this area.
8. A person who I trusted to not blab to others and who I felt comfortable being honest and open with. (Someone safe and kind.)
9. Someone who was familiar with and who would understand my business model, with CoachGlue.com as well as my other areas of business.
10. He or she must offer email coaching. Again, I’m not a fan of scheduling calls and I prefer flexibility. Plus, I wanted private coaching, not group. Sometimes more opinions are not necessarily better.
11. Funny helps. I wouldn’t mind having some laughs, too.
12. My coach must also have MASSIVE amounts of integrity in business and in personal life. This is not optional.
13. He or she must also be making the world a better place with the platform that they have built. (Using the opportunity of having an audience to get the word out about ways to impact the world.)
Not too hard, right? Well, when I was stuck in Icelanta during the storm,my friend Kelly and I brainstormed and one person JUMPED out at me as the right person. And, I was so sure that I was making the right decision that I jumped on the lifetime coaching option. It was the best and easiest money that I’ve spent in a long time. (Watch for new greatness to happen soon.)
My personal and business coach for this year is Jennifer Longmore, and I’ll share more about why I chose her in a moment, but first…
I say “this year” because as I grow both personally and professionally, my needs change.
Choosing the right coach shouldn’t be taken lightly. I don’t go out looking for a coach to be my personal cheerleader, I have friends like Nicole for that and mastermind groups. I choose a coach who is going to help me get to where I want to be next.
And I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong with coaching. They hire a coach who isn’t in a place to get them to the next level, or they think a coach is going to be all “rah, rah” and so they don’t hire one.
If you’re not hiring a coach for the right reasons, you’ll end up disappointed.
If you’re not hiring a coach because you don’t think it’s for you, you’re missing out.
The right coach brings more to the table than just helping you one-to-one in your business, they can bring:
- Connections – They can personally connect you with the movers and shakers in your industry, and get you in front of people you’d never get in front of on your own. Whether it’s to get you an interview, some kind of promo, a speaking engagement, or for a JV.
- Resources – They’ll share their personal recommendations for people and tools that they wouldn’t share with their list or blog readers publicly. You know, the kind of stuff they normally hold close to their chest, but as their high-level coaching client, they’re more than willing to share them with you.
- Money – They’ll become invested in your business, and they’ll really get to see what you’re doing and the value you’re bringing to the market. And so, more often than not, they’ll promote your products and programs to their huge lists, exposing you to a whole new group of people that can result in a lot of money for you.
- Smarts – They’ll, more often than not, have their own business coach, and so there’s a trickledown effect that happens because of that. They learn from their super-duper successful coach, they try and test new things, and then that knowledge ends up trickling back down to you. They’ll tell you about all the things they’re doing in their business, what’s getting results, what’s going on behind the scenes, and more. You’ll get an inside look at how they’re running their own business, and why they’re doing what they do. Plus, they always have so many crazy good ideas for you, so you’re going to make a lot of money.
You see, you don’t get all those things in a mastermind group. When people are in a group setting, they’re not as open and trusting as they would be with a private coach. And the mentor running the group, isn’t likely going to lay all their cards down on the table because some stuff will only be shared with their private high-level coaching clients.
Think about it. If you were running a group of 25 people, would you send an email to your list promoting every single one of them? Would you send them all to your best writer or VA? Would you connect them all to the go-to people you worked really, really hard to build a relationship with? Would you really share all of your hard-earned top secret tricks and strategies?
Maybe with one or two of them, but I guarantee you won’t open yourself up to all of them. It’s just human nature.
Now I’m not saying there isn’t value in mastermind groups, there totally is. But a group like that by itself, won’t get you to the next level as quickly as a well-chosen coach can.
At the end of 2010, I hired Carrie Wilkerson as my coach for 2011. She was more successful than me, she had a ton of connections, and I really wanted to see what she was doing and why.
I invested $20,000 in her yearlong program, and what do you know, I added another $100k to my income that year. It ended up being my best year up to that point, for all the reasons I mentioned above.
I don’t pick coaches to cheer me on. I pick coaches who have what it takes to make me money and grow my business.
In 2012 I didn’t work with a coach, because I took almost the whole year off.
Then in April of last year, I purchased some info products from Jennifer Longmore, which then led to private one-to-one sessions with her for the remainder of the year. At the end of 2013, I made the leap into her yearlong coaching program, so I’ll be working with her all of this year.
I chose to work with Jennifer this year because I’ve been working on a lot of inner personal / business stuff that was stalling me out. I say “was”, because since working with her, my business has taken a quantum leap in growth and income. But I still have a lot more internal work to do.
But what I’ve found, is that as you get ready to up-level your business, fear and other niggly’s will come up, and if you don’t work through those and clear them, you’ll stay stuck below the glass ceiling instead of busting through.
I really can’t explain how Jennifer does what she does. I just know that she’s freaking brilliant, and she’s changed my life in so many incredible ways.
I don’t know what the next year will bring. Maybe I’ll want to keep working with her, or I may be on the lookout for someone else. Again, I choose a coach based on what my goals are and where I want to be in the next year.
So my last piece of advice? Figure out what your needs are, and where you want to be personally and professionally, and then find someone who can bring a crap load of benefits to the table for you.
We do hope you found this post to be interesting and informative.
Please share your tips for finding an working with a coach on our Facebook page. Also, feel free to give a shout out if you have a coach that you are working with that you love.
Big hugs to you!
Nicole Dean (and Melissa, too!)