Six Gears Why Entrepreneurs Need CoachingMar 10, 2021
By Teresa Peters
What do Apple, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and Olympic Gold Medallists have in common? Their founders have an entrepreneurial way of thinking and acting that makes their businesses wildly successful. They take bold risks to accomplish something outstanding and they get the support they need. The cost of that support is considered an investment, not an expense.
When it comes to coaching entrepreneurs, they’re often very driven and already brilliant at setting goals. They tend to have a ‘JUST DO IT’ mentality.
However, NOT having a coach could be limiting your business success. Here are 6 ways that coaches enable entrepreneurs:
1st GEAR - FOCUS AND SWITCH ON THE HEADLIGHTS
Most entrepreneurs have chosen that way of life because they are bursting with creative ideas. This is what helps you create your business, and you certainly don’t want to stifle your creative juices when running a business. But those creative ideas are also what can slow your growth. Having lots of ideas makes it hard to focus on one at a time.
Many are often alone with their thoughts; they need a safe confidential space with time to think, are often working with family and friends, and need to address where the boundaries fall, feeling overwhelmed because life and business are intertwined.
A good coach will enable an entrepreneur to look at the big picture and place their thoughts into their hands so that they can see clearly. The entrepreneurial wheel, as shown in Fig. 1 below, (copyright ‘Accelerator Coaching’ source Kim Morgan) offers a helicopter view of Entrepreneurial Traits. It’s a useful tool when taking into account the bigger picture.
Once you’ve completed the wheel, a great question to ask yourself is: ‘Which area will have the greatest impact on my life and business right now?’
2nd GEAR - BLINDSPOTS AND BETTER COMMUNICATION
Entrepreneurs may lose sight of why they started their business, and are driving through a thick fog, wondering how to communicate and manage effectively.
I’m currently (January 2021) working with four male analysts and academics, and whilst they’re wildly creative and successful, they can get caught up in day-to-day details, and can develop tunnel vision. This can cause us to miss opportunities that someone with the big picture can catch for them.
Coaches elicit core drivers and align these with goals. But before doing this, a coach will reflect limiting beliefs and what is holding them back.
Using behavioural science and tools, we uncover the natural communication style so that they understand why they communicate in the way that they do and decode the people puzzle. We unlearn and start again when it comes to communicating effectively so that they can save or manage time, grow their business and increase profit.
Scientific profiling combined with skilled coaching questions not only raises awareness of blind spots but embeds these learnings so that they can set the right goals for them right now, in life and business.
3rd GEAR - PERSONAL GROWTH AND FUEL
The ICF defines coaching as:
‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential’.
Coaching is about facilitating learning and unlearning in an entrepreneur. We don’t give advice because entrepreneurs usually have all the answers and don’t like being told what to do!
Coaching is not about tasks or even fulfilling dreams but more about the changes within the person being coached. You must feel they are not being judged and expectations must be set out and managed, a contract must be agreed, and TRUST is of paramount importance in this ‘sacred’ setting.
Coaching is a useful way of developing people's skills and abilities as well as boosting performance. It can also help to deal with issues and challenges before they become major problems. At the heart of coaching is a creative and thought-provoking process that supports individuals to confidently pursue new ideas and alternative solutions with greater resilience.
4th GEAR - ACCOUNTABILITY AND GROWTH
Statistics show that the number one reason why people hire a coach is for accountability. You would think that if a person decides to go into business, they will already consider themselves accountable, but apparently this is not the case. It comes back to all of those ideas an entrepreneur has. Without someone to help them focus, an entrepreneur can get pulled in too many different directions. But with a coach, you define specific goals, develop action steps for achieving them, and are held accountable on a regular basis for completing those steps. The entrepreneur is therefore more focused and has a much better chance of success.
At ‘Accelerator Coaching’, we consider learning styles and drivers before assigning workbooks. And we select carefully from our 100’s of available tools ensuring that they’re relevant to each client.
‘Walking the talk’ is also important when choosing a coach. I have personal experience of running a business, growing a successful business, pivoting a business, dealing with bereavements, working with my husband and employing friends, whilst trying to juggle 3 kids and bring in the money! I get it! I ‘walk the talk’, through balancing life and business and taking care of my health. I write this article at the weekend because it doesn’t feel like work. Coaching is my passion. It’s my IKIGAI which means ‘a reason for being’. What’s yours?
5th GEAR - STEP INTO THE STRETCH ZONE
It can be hard to step outside of your comfort zone to go places, meet new people or try new things. As an entrepreneur, they have all those creative ideas flowing constantly but they don’t always have the motivation or courage to try them out. This is one of best things about having a coach supporting them; they will give a gentle push to explore themselves and their ideas more, whilst giving them that tough love not to quit.
One of my clients is brilliant at digital SEO and has grown his business online. He dislikes networking and the word ‘sales’ makes him grimace. Through our coaching, he has identified that he’s comfortable talking to new people when physically moving and so he uses this technique. A simple solution where he has had to move from his comfort zone in order to get results.
6th GEAR - CLARITY AND RESULTS
Even before the pandemic, 93% of CEO’s did not know their WHY and 71% of employees would leave their job if another job was offered to them (CIPD 2018). Never has it been more essential and relevant for people in business to have a safe space with an independent coach where they can unlock their potential and empty their thoughts and see them in the palms of their hands.
Below are some facts and figures using the ICF and CIPD data. The following is proven as a result of organisational and leadership coaching:
- Increased productivity - 70%
- Improved work performance - 61%
- Improved business time management - 57%
- Positive people - 80%
- Improved self-confidence - 73%
- Improved relationships - 72%
- Improved communication skills - 67%
Coaching dramatically improves leadership performance whether they’re a solopreneur, SME Owner or CEO of a large company.
PIMP UP MY 6 GEARS
This brings me to my final reason for working with a coach.
Your coach can also give encouragement when they just want to throw in the towel. Building a business takes time and our society has been trained to want it now. Patience is key when building a business, and a coach can remind them and encourage them when they need it most.
Sometimes it’s support they need. They think they have a great idea but aren’t sure whether to put the time and effort into implementing it. That’s when it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. A coach can help them determine if it’s congruent with their overall plan for success and support them with it if it is.
Once we have uncovered values, blind spots, self-awareness and aligned goals together, an entrepreneur is on a clear path to learning, earning and growing.
It’s become a source of pride for executives to have a coach, so why not entrepreneurs. Before hiring a coach in business, do make sure that they are credentialled with a recognised coaching body, that you have rapport, trust and feel that they will have empathy through ‘walking the talk’. They may offer an ‘ignition call’ or ‘chemistry session’, so that you have the opportunity to get to know them individually - this is essential!
Group Coaching and Team Coaching with like-minded entrepreneurs is also a cost-effective and highly impactful intervention. When coaching groups, I cap the group at 8 people which enables rapport, true coaching and confidentiality, where everyone gets to be right and everyone is equal.
I wish there were 25 gears on a car gearstick because there are so many more reasons why entrepreneurs need a coach.
I use car metaphors to drive my clients through my programmes at ‘Accelerator Coaching’. I work with both male and female entrepreneurs mainly, but also senior management and those looking to change career. There’s an abundance of coaches in the world, so to get it right just ask them for some time and check out their experience. Rapport and trust are key!
‘FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE AND DO IT ON PURPOSE.’ - Dolly Parton
Teresa Peters is accredited at Senior Practitioner level with the EMCC, as an Executive Coach and Personal Performance Coach. She is also highly trained in managing teams effectively in a virtual world. She empowers Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs and Teams to find clarity, focus and transformation, both professionally and personally, using a solution- focused approach and DiSC profiling.
Teresa offers a range of online and face to face support services using an empathic, human centred approach combined with her corporate experience, 20 years in sales development and her business acumen. She cofound another successful business where they've published 32 recipe books.
Teresa is an ethical coach who has 500+ hours coaching individuals and she has regular coaching herself. You can find out more about Teresa and her brilliant Accelerator Coaching here.
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