Yes, You Need a Business Coach
Here’s why Google’s CEO and other entrepreneurs say hiring a coach was the best advice they ever received.
Written by Scott Duffy, Founder & CEO Content.Market
Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, once told Fortune magazine that the best business advice he ever received was to hire a coach. He shared, “I initially resented the advice, because after all, I was a CEO. I was pretty experienced. Why would I need a coach? Am I doing something wrong? My argument was, ‘How could a coach advise me if I’m the best person in the world at this?’ But that’s not what a coach does. The coach doesn’t have to play the sport as well as you do. They have to watch you and get you to be your best.”
Eric Schmidt isn’t alone in his initial thinking. Many entrepreneurs balk at the idea of hiring a coach, and some even find it downright insulting. As an entrepreneur, you’ve built your business and achieved success because you understand your industry. Of all people, why would you need a coach?
In reality, that’s the wrong way to think about a business coach. A coach isn’t necessarily better than you and doesn’t necessarily know more than you do about your industry. Instead, a coach is someone who brings out your best by providing counsel, support, feedback, and advice. As long as you have an open mind, you can benefit from working with a coach in a number of invaluable ways.
The biggest reason to hire a coach is to gain a new perspective on ways to do business or accomplish certain goals. Think about the many times when you may have been only capable of looking at a problem from one angle. Sometimes, a coworker or even an intern can spot a solution by approaching the problem with a different perspective. It has nothing to do with someone being smarter; it’s just about looking at problems differently. Think of a business coach instead as a voice of reason or a support system as you map out your next business moves.
Think about all the projects you’ve considered pursuing but never did. One of the reasons why may have been because no one else ever knew about those ideas and, therefore, there was never any pressure for you to make something of them. A business coach expects you to make progress toward accomplishing specific tasks. They can inspire you to push harder, work faster, and think bigger.
Remember, there are two paths to success: you can figure it out on your own through trial and error, wasting valuable time and money. Or you can find coaches, role models, and advisors who can guide you. It’s ultimately your call, but I think we both know which of the two options makes the most sense.
The Significance Of Business Coaching
Business coaching is integral to the success of a company. Not every company can aim at a billion dollar initial public offering. Most companies would have a tough time during their startup phase and even after they have had a smooth sailing, untoward events and unforeseen challenges will apply the brakes on growth and profit. There are times when anyone needs a bit of a push, at times through motivation and at times through coaching. That is exactly what business coaching attempts to accomplish.
An entrepreneur, a manager or any employee is expected to be deft at a specific job or in a certain niche. It is quite unlikely for an entrepreneur to be the greatest coding mind in the world and also to be the best manager or coordinator or an outright efficient business administrator. An employee or manager may be amazingly effective at the job they do but they may lack skills when it comes to public relations or they may have certain shortcomings when it comes to farsighted planning and execution of various complicated modus operandi.
At times, it is the simple reality of pursuing a certain goal with the right conviction that entrepreneurs, managers, employees and small business owners struggle to attain.
Business coaching isn’t new. From the likes of Warren Buffet to Richard Branson, they have all endorsed it for years. All major companies, from IBM to Volkswagen, invest in business coaching and spend tens of thousands of dollars every year just to provide the fillip that their business managers need.
There is no reason why a small business owner shouldn’t invest in business coaching. It is more important for a small business owner because she or he is mostly alone, taking charge of more than one department and having no one to get some advice while taking a decision. Large companies have at least half a dozen brilliant minds working on a particular problem and then taking a collective decision. That luxury is nonexistent in a small business. Thus, it is through business coaching that a small business owner can hone her or his skills and become a better entrepreneur.
It doesn’t matter what one does. It could be sports or singing, acting or writing, sales or advertising, running a restaurant or operating a hedge fund, business coaching helps one and all.