The Truth About Coaching


YEAR IN REVIEW! Business Coaching Cheat Sheet!

“The only time you need to hire a business coach is when you want to succeed in your business.” —Me

I’ve compiled my best research and knowledge about why working with a business coach, especially in the beginning phases of your business, is so important.

Use this cheat sheet to:

  1. become a better business coach
  2. hire a better business coach

This cheat sheet is a compilation of my research over the last 25+ years and a refresher course from this year’s posts on coaching. I hope you enjoy it and use it to get the best (or become the best) coach ever.

To Your Success!

What is your Cost of Inaction?

If you’re making $5000 a month but your goal is $10,000 a month, why aren’t you making $10,000 a month?

Well, maybe you’ve only been in business for 6 months or a year. Ok, you’re gaining momentum.

What if you’ve been in business for 5 years and you still haven’t reached your goal? Do you keep doing the same things over and over again in your business expecting different results?

The difference between the $5000 a month you’re currently making and the $10,000 a month you wish to make is the Cost of Your Inaction, your COI.

How much are you willing to spend to start reaching your goal?

What Do You Really Need A Coach For?

What’s the point of hiring a business coach? 3 points really.

1. To Get from Point A to Point B – If you’re making $5000 a month but you want to make $10,000 you need to figure out why you’re not there.

So why aren’t you making $10,000 if that’s your goal? If you don’t know why, that’s a blind spot.

If you’re having repetitive problems with your team and you don’t know how to fix the problems you need some objectivity. That’s a blind spot.

If you’re not letting yourself or your organization grow you need to find out what’s holding you back. What aspect of growth are you afraid of? Not knowing is a blind spot.

All these scenarios are real. They are all products of blind spots either in you as the head of your business or in your organization. Either way they need to get handled.

A blind spot is one of 3 areas of concern:

  • What you know that you don’t know
  • What you don’t know that you know
  • What you don’t know that you don’t know

These sound like riddles but trust me they are the foundation of denial and ignorance and they need to get handled if you’re a business owner.

Handling blind spots will get you from point A to point B.

2. To Help you Close the Learning-Doing Gap – Mind the Gap.

The Learning-Doing gap costs billions of dollars yearly in pretty much every industry.

For instance, in the medical industry scientists learn something new and it takes sometimes a generation to implement the new information. That’s crazy and also commonplace.

We see it in education. We see it in federal legislation. We see it in social policy-making, etc. etc.

There is a gap between learning new information and then implementing that information to make our lives and businesses better, healthier, fairer.

Don’t fall into the gap.

A great coach will help you learn new strategies and tools and then she’ll work with you over and over until you’ve mastered them.

That way, when you’re under duress you won’t fall back on the familiar and worthless. You’ll leap forward with your new tools and strategies because they’ve become habit.

Your coach just helped you leap over the gap.

3. To Create a Repeatable Blueprint for Success

You’ve gotten to your goal! You’re making $10,000 a month!!!! Huge!

Now what?

A successful organization needs to repeat its initial success over and over and over. If you can’t duplicate your results you will wither and die. You won’t grow as a company. Most importantly, you won’t be able to scale your business.

You have to duplicate, grow and scale to be successful.

If you’ve got a good coach she’ll get you from point A to point B. A great coach will create a blueprint of your journey so you can go back, follow the blueprint and do it all over again and again and again.

A great coach gives you the blueprint.

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So What Does a Good Coach Do?

There are four distinct areas of focus for a business coach. They are:

Identifying Strengths

A great coach helps her client identify their strengths and learn to refocus their business so that the majority of the client’s energy is spent in those areas of strength.

A strength is not just what you’re good at, it’s also what you enjoy doing. A strength isn’t just about your talents. It’s about how you like to spend your time in your business.

You may be good at doing your payroll taxes but if you hate doing your taxes it doesn’t matter how good you are at it. You won’t want to do it because it’s not enjoyable. So that’s not a strength.

You have to like as much as be good at it. That’s a strength.

Identifying Weaknesses

Just as importantly, you have to identify your weaknesses. Those are the things you hate doing whether or not you are good at them. If you hate it, outsource it.

Identifying weaknesses helps you focus on the stuff you love and are good at, which gives you the energy for the marathon of entrepreneurship.

Identifying Obstacles

Identifying where a client is stuck is a coach’s biggest game. Many times the obstacles an entrepreneur faces are not outside of their control.

They are things they’re not willing or able to face alone. It’s the coach’s job to face those challenges with the client. Fear of success, fear of failing, fear of looking bad, fear of disappointing others are all real fears that entrepreneurs face.

It’s up to the coach to uncover, discover and discard those fears with the client and pave the way around those obstacles.

Identifying Blind Spots

What is a blind spot? A blind spot is one of 4 areas of knowledge, or the lack thereof, in your client.

What does your client know about himself and what does he not know about himself?

It’s these areas that take the most amount of work to unearth and the have the biggest payoff in results.

The four areas that can help you identify blind spots are:

  • What you know you know
  • What you know that you don’t know
  • What you don’t know that you know
  • What don’t know that you don’t know

You need an objective witness when working to uncover the blind spots holding you back in your business. You can’t do this work alone. It’s impossible.

That’s one of the biggest payoffs in working with a coach. A coach will help you see what you could not by yourself. You simply will not get there alone.

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Okay, but How Do you Find a Great Coach?

There are so many formulas for great coaching. Every great coach has their own style and their own processes.

This list I’m about to share is my personal coaching credo. It’s how I treat every client, whether I’m coaching or consulting with them.

And this formula is the most successful formula I’ve ever used. It’s a formula I’ve tweaked and enhanced for 25+ years. And it’s why people hire me for $100,000.

With this formula:

  • I take them from point A to point B
  • I close the learning-doing gap so they get their faster
  • I create a blueprint for my clients to follow long after they stop working with me

How much are you willing to pay someone to do this?

If you’re looking for a good coach make sure they’ve got some of these qualities and use some of these strategies.

Communication – Being a good communicator is a prerequisite for coaches. But I have found that being a compassionate communicator leads to better results. Why?

Because your empathy will elicit vulnerability in your client. Unless your client is open to your feedback and wisdom they won’t grow.

Objectivity – Your objectivity is what will allow you to see your client’s blind spots. These blind spots are what create bad habits and dysfunctional patterns.

If you aren’t objective you won’t see them either. You’ll both be inside the jar unable to read the label on the outside.

Accountability – You must hold your client accountable for all of her actions. Even being late to one appointment with me is a no-no. And when it happens (and it almost always does) I ask them 3 questions:

  • What happened?
  • What should’ve happened?
  • How can you make it right?

This conversation raises awareness and helps break a pattern if one exists. But do this with compassion so the client stays open to the lesson.

Caring – Take care when you’re giving feedback whether it’s praise or a critique, do it with specifics.

Don’t be vague, be detailed and particular. After all, it’s your job to be specific. No one is going to trust…

“Hey great job last week!”

But they will trust…

“I’m really proud of the huge risk you took last week calling that high-end client. You faced you biggest fear! That will have a big payoff!” Be that guy.

Honesty – If you can’t be honest with someone you can’t be a coach. Full stop. And you know what’s hard? Being honest. How hard is it to tell someone their actions are undermining their employees’ work and faith in the company?

How hard is it to tell someone their unchecked spending habits are causing their business to fail?

That. Is. Hard.

And it’s one of the main reasons I continue to get coaching for myself. So I can continue to face the hard work I have to do with my own clients. That’s my biggest game as a coach and I play it to win. I never play to lose.

There are four ways to play every game:

      1. Refuse to play
      2. Pretend to play
      3. Play not to lose
      4. Play to win

In my opinion, the only one worth remembering is #4. Never come to the game with the other three. And if you do then you definitely need a coach.

So how are you playing the biggest game of your life?

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4 Red Flags of Bad Coaching

No matter what credo a particular coach lives and coaches by there are specific qualities to look for when hiring a coach.

  • Result-focused not Action-focused – It’s the client’s job to get excited and take off in the direction you want them to go. It’s your job to stay the course. You cannot get caught up in the excitement of your client and stay objective and root out blind spots. Those two positions are diametrically opposed. Stay focused on the small actions that lead to success or failure so you can stay on the path you want your client to pursue.
  • Telling not Asking – Telling your client what to do may lead to success but it won’t create a blueprint to keep duplicating that success. Asking questions and probing your client for answers will create the blueprint your client can follow over and over to keep repeating success. This will teach them how to succeed over and over.
  • Solving not Leading – When challenges arise it’s your job to get granular and lead your client through the blind actions that created that challenge or obstacle. You’re not there to solve problems. You’re there to uncover the blind spots that led to those problems so they aren’t duplicated.
  • Not getting Coached in your area of Expertise – If you’re a coach and you’re not getting ongoing coaching for your area of expertise that’s a mistake. Believe it or not this is the biggest mistake a coach can make.

If you’re not a student of the game how can you keep playing the game? Every person playing at an elite level in their industry has some sort of coach, consultant or advisor. They have to in order to stay competitive and relevant.

The best athletes know they have to continually improve and uncover their blind spots to keep winning. So if you’re a coach and you’re not working with a coach learning to play the biggest game of your life, what are you teaching your clients?

Coaching is a zero-sum game against yourself. You can hobble along for a while fooling people, even yourself. But you won’t last 25+ years if you don’t play your biggest and best game.

The Wrap Up

How much are you willing to pay an expert to take your business to the levels of success you’ve been dreaming about?

How much do you beat yourself up for not having attained those levels yet?

There is not reason for self-flagellation if you don’t have a roadmap.

If you’ve never been somewhere before what do you do? You look at a map and then use GPS to find your way there.

A great coach is your GPS to the land of entrepreneurial success.

How confident and certain are you at attracting premium clients as an entrepreneur? Want some help? Click here for a fool-proof discovery session script to attract those high-end clients that will take your business to the next level.

What game are you playing in your business?

Are you playing to not lose?

Are you only pretending to play while you figure out your blind spots alone?

Are you playing to win?

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