Back in the 1960s and 1970s, authors started a massive trend of publishing self-help books. Baby boomers were enthralled in learning better ways to take care of themselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But self-help has been around for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians had an entire genre of instructional books on life called “Sebayt,” which translates to “teaching.” (You can find The Teachings of Ptahhotep, reportedly the oldest book in the world, on Amazon.) The Mirror of Princes books from the Middle Ages where stories about kings with lessons on ways that we should imitate or avoid their behaviors. And, of course, The Art of War by Sun Tzu (my husband’s favorite book) has been read by tactical military leaders and civilians alike, as all of the concepts can be applied to everyday life.
We are all looking to better ourselves in at least one area of our lives. Sometimes, though, we simply don’t know where to start. Maybe you want to expand your business, start hiring employees to help you out, or perhaps you’re looking to begin a new business venture. One place that you can start is by reading any number of the business-minded books out there. However, if you’re still struggling and need a push in the right direction – or maybe even just some accountability – then you may want to look into a business coach. A business coach is a specialized life coach who focuses on helping business owners; in some cases, they also assist high level executives in becoming their most productive selves or moving up in their companies. As with any other type of life coach, a business coach can guide you to pinpointing your goals, discovering your obstacles, setting up an action plan, and following up to hold you accountable.
Now, you may have seen an article on Forbes’ website outlining why Clay Clark (writer for Forbes) believes that business coaching is a waste of time and money. Personally, I agree that most business coaches focus on the same thing as general life coaches: motivate and encourage the client. However, just as with any other specialized coach, a business coach needs to know the specifics and proven methods for their niche. If you are paying someone as a health coach, yet they know nothing of proper dietary needs and proven exercise regimens, you are simply throwing your money down the drain. Likewise, a business coach needs to be familiar with business plans, marketing, ROI, and more. Otherwise, they won’t be able to truly help you achieve your goals.
If you’re interested in finding a business coach who can lead you in the right direction, look carefully. Check out credentials along with testimonials. Have they written a book or received some sort of certification in business? Once you feel comfortable that they know what they’re doing, call for a free consultation. Most coaches request an initial call before beginning anyway – which is the sign of a good coach. Talk with several coaches to see which one you “click” with best. Just remember, a coach – just like any other form of self-help – is not a cure all. You have to do the work… and only then will you truly be able to appreciate the changes that you will see.