Business Owners Toolbox Blog Discussions and articles to help the small business owner solve the challenges they face as they grow their business.

August 13, 2012

Using a Business Coach or Life Coach

Question from Amanda Carter, on LinkedIn. Have you ever sought the assistance of a Business or Life Coach?

My answer. I’m in the coaching and consulting business, but even so, I have used a variety of coaches. For example:

Business owner round tables. First, my business is leading groups of 10 business owners who act as informal advisers for each other. I have belonged to one of these groups led by another. Getting feedback and accountability from hard-headed biz owners each month is invaluable.

Even though I lead these groups for others, I need one for my own business just as much as anyone else.

Mastermind groups. Secondly, I have belonged to informal mastermind groups. Right now, five consultants and I have a “social media acceleration group” which meets virtually each month to help each other master various aspects of social media. We’ve helped each other with Twitter, Facebook, blogging, webinars, ebooks, video clips, etc. We stay focused on just these issues.

Accountability partners. I’ve had accountability buddies, where we help each other do something tough. Most recently, we’ve both been completing ebooks and getting them published. Knowing I’ve promised her to have the next section completed by Tuesday keeps me on it.

Writing coach. Finally, when I was writing a book, I hired a writing coach. She helped keep me on schedule, but also gave feedback on arrangement of material, etc.

Life coach. I’ve never had a life coach per se, because I’ve never had uncertainty about my life goals or how to pursue them. I have three lifetimes of things to do. My issue is getting things completed.

Why do I use coaches? I’m a collaborator, and collaboration is my catalyst to creativity. I work much more effectively by talking things out than by working away by myself all the time.

Don’t be the Lone Ranger. Small business owners get stuck in this trap of not having anybody to talk to about challenges in their business. If you work isolated, you make dumb and expensive mistakes.

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