The short answer?
If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you do.
What IS a Business Coach?
Business coaching has become sort of a hybrid between coaching and consulting.
First let’s define the difference.
A coach is an accredited certification. A coach works with you to draw out the answers to lingering questions you have about yourself, what’s blocking you, where you want to go, what you want to do, etc. They don’t tell you what to do.
A consultant has mastered detailed and specific knowledge of one or more subjects. A consultant gives you direct actionable advice on what to do and how to do it in order to achieve your goal.
Most business coaches these days, although they call themselves coaches, are really mentors who combine both coaching and consulting.
So from now on, I’m going to use the word mentor to encompass both a coach and consultant.
So, Why Do You Need A Business Mentor?
This big brilliant entrepreneurial world is not for the faint of heart, and quite often it’s difficult to navigate. Throughout the ages people in power have sought council from other more advanced or specialized individuals. Your mentor is your council.
Enlisting a mentor will grow your business two, three, four, who knows how many, times faster than if you were to do it on your own.
As entrepreneurs (or solopreneurs) we’re often working alone, and while masterminds are powerful (and I highly recommend having a mastermind relationship with others) a mentor is further along the journey than you, and can give an outside and educated perspective on how shorten the path you want to walk down.
Your business mentor will help you strategize and lay out a plan in order to maximize your efforts.
Your business mentor will show you how to take inspired, aligned action that will get the results you desire.
Your business mentor will provide guidance, support AND a high level of accountability.
Your business mentor is an invaluable asset to your team. There is not a single success story that didn’t include a business mentor providing guidance along the way.
What Do You Look For In A Mentor?
First and most importantly, you must like, respect, and trust your business coach/mentor. It’s a personal relationship, and trust me they will get into the nitty gritty about all the stuff that surrounds and influences your business (as well as what’s ‘underneath’ that you’d rather not take a peek at).
You really want to look for someone who is living the life you want to be living because they’ve arrived at where you want to go next, and, although no path is identical, if they’re already living out your ambitions, they’re better equipped to guide you.
Here’s another biggie: Make sure they possess the same or similar core values. This is important because those values influence how you operate your business. You don’t have to be the same person, but you’ll want to see eye to eye on how you function in the world and what’s most important to you as you create success.
How Do You Find A Mentor?
Now that you know what to look for, how do you find a mentor?
Ask for referrals from colleagues. Most successful business owners have coached with several people to suit them at different stages in their business game.
Once you’ve found some candidates, read their testimonials to see what kind of people they work with, and what they’ve had to say about them. Can you see yourself in there?
Then talk to them and listen to your gut. If you’ve researched them a bit, speak with them and see if you feel a connection.
When you feel the pull to say yes – based on a true knowing and respect for one another – you can’t go wrong.
If you speak with a coach who fits what you’re looking for, is within financial reach for your budget, and with whom you feel connected to, then there’s only one thing to do. Go for it!
All entrepreneurs (those who stick with it!) go through a variety of stages as they build their business. You’ll have different coaches and mentors for each of those stages.
No one mentor is “forever”. So don’t be shy. All you need to do is locate, interview, and hire your next mentor. The one who is the perfect fit for where you are now and where you want to go from here.
Remember, hiring a mentor is an investment in yourself, in your business, and in your brilliant future. Trust me, it’s an investment that is well worth it.
Oh and by the way, I’m a brilliant business coach and mentor (yea, I said it). If you’re curious about how we could work together, schedule a complimentary consultation call. There’s never any obligation to work with me after having a chat. And I don’t do any type of high-pressure sales pitch. If we’re meant to work together, we will. I trust that and so can you.