The hard part I’m alluding to, for most people anyway, is deciding to hire a coach. But this is not the most difficult part; putting in the time and effort to improve yourself is far more challenging.
It seems the popular view about hiring a coach is tantamount to bringing your car into the shop to get the engine fixed. You hire a coach, and well, isn’t he or she supposed to fix ME? If you’ve been thinking that way, you may need to consider these four reasons why you shouldn’t hire a coach.
Many of us don’t like being held accountable for what we say we want to do. I’m convinced that entrepreneurs must somehow be born in a lab that makes this trait worse than the average person. Somehow, they think trading in their boss for an enterprise they create means they’ll never have anyone to answer to again. Well, that’s about as far as you can get from the truth. We all have people to answer to, and as an entrepreneur, it will be your customers, your vendors, and sometimes even your employees.
Also, your coach is not your friend. Even though you may tell your coach things that you wouldn’t dare tell your best friend, you are not paying them to feel sorry for you or to tell you what you want to hear. Your coach will (and should) challenge you, and even if they agree with you, you should be able to ardently defend your position to them. They will (and should) hold you accountable for things you say you want that your friends might otherwise say “Cool, do it bro!” because they don’t want to upset you.
You might get upset with your coach sometimes, and to a certain extent, that’s okay. You don’t have a right to get mad at her, though, if you say you want to get a project done by a certain date, and your coach asks you: “What happens if you don’t make that deadline?” and then she calls you out on it if you miss the mark.
Your coach can’t fix you; only you can do that. A good coach serves as a guide, giving you things to consider that you may not have thought about. In terms of improvement, they can’t want it more than you do.
I overheard a conversation with two other coaches venting to one another about their “problem” clients. One of them referred to a former client as “FNC.” Afterward, I asked him what that meant; he laughed and smiled sheepishly. “I had to fire him as a client,” he told me. “He was just not ready to put in some real work to advance himself.” In that case, FNC meant “Fired – Not Coachable.”
This runs along the same line as being un-coachable. If you’re too worried about looking good in front of your coach, you’re never going to improve. Part of learning and growing is failing, especially when you have a coach who helps you analyze your failures through a different lens. And few people take the time to analyze their failures.
Coaches want to hear your successes so they can understand what you’re good at so they can be repeated. But they also want to hear your failures because that’s where the learning lies.
A good coach costs what a good coach costs. You have to decide for yourself what is too expensive. If you have a problem that’s costing you an extra 12 hours and $2,500 every week, that $500 per coaching session might be a good value if the problem is resolved in four or five sessions. The math is pretty easy when you consider the savings over a year — staggering when you consider the savings in just three years.
Ultimately, whether you hire a coach or consultant is up to you. The problems you have in your life or business cannot be fixed with a magic wand. You need to be in a place where you can take ownership of what is going on in your world, even if the things going on are not your fault. This can be tough for most people. If you can set these things aside, you will set yourself up for much more success with your coach (and avoiding the FNC list!).
So you pay a bunch of money for a coach to help you work through things, and you’re done with the hard part, right?