May 28th, 2019

Business coaching is forever. Once you find the right partner in growth, you are unstoppable. Unfortunately for many business owners, you might have to work your way through a few business coaches until you find the right fit for the success of your business and your personality style. Over the last 25 years, I have coached thousands of business owners and heard it all.

Here are the top 3 reasons that an entrepreneur should break up with his or her current business coach and go in search of another one.

1. You Are Unable to Be Honest.

When you meet up for coaching sessions, it’s human nature to want to put your best foot forward. You might say your plan is X, but your day-to-day actions say something different.

Do you tell your business coach that you missed the mark? Or do you sugar coat it and tell her that all tasks were successful and your to-do list is complete?

If you feel unable to be honest about the true state of your business or financials with your coach, it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship and look elsewhere.

Gut Check:

Before severing ties, think about why you are withholding information from your coach. Is it that you don’t trust him or her?  (You need to find another coach.)  Or is it that you are afraid of what they might think or how they might judge you?  (This should NOT be a concern for you because any capable coach cares about helping you achieve your business goals, and doesn’t judge.)  So if it’s the latter (i.e. you’re scared of what he or she might think) this is one for you to work on and just get over.

To get the most out of your business coaching sessions be honest and forthcoming. Share the good, the bad and the ugly so that they can get a more accurate picture of areas for improvement.  This is how you get the most from your coach and the best results for yourself.

2. You Don’t See Progress.

Working with a business coach allows you to get an outsider’s perspective on your business and your own leadership growth. A good business coach will help you see your progress along the way and really feel your successes.

For instance, we make it a priority with our clients to spot and verbalize success and then teach them how to freeze the victory and really feel the impact of such an action.

Instead of “We finished out the quarter 25% above our projections, which is great, but next quarter I hope for 35%….”, we teach our clients to say “We finished out the quarter 25% above our projections.”

This matters because if you don’t give yourself permission to feel your progress, you’re team likely doesn’t feel they have permission to feel successful either.  This is not the kind of leader you want to be –someone who they can never please.

So you need to both be making progress through your coaching sessions and growing your ability to see and feel those successes.  You then need to learn to transfer these feelings to your team so they can feel the same inspiration that you do.

Gut Check:

Most business owners tend to be perfectionists. We are really hard on ourselves and internalize mistakes and failures. So, some of the responsibility for feeling progress does lie in your court. If you coach is taking the time to freeze your victories for you, you have to take the moment to focus on that feeling.

3. You Define Success Differently.

When it comes to business success there are generally two schools of thought.

First, the Time and Effort Economy where you get results by working harder.  

Want to accelerate your success?  Put in more hours.  Still not enough?  Take business calls or respond to work texts and emails at nights and on weekends.  Vacations?  Sure, just make sure you bring your phone, tablet, or laptop with you so you can stay in touch with the office. In the Time and Effort Economy people get paid for hours, effort, and attitude.  It’s the nose-to-the-grindstone world of sweat, blood, and sacrifice.

The second school of thought has to do with value economy.

This idea considers success not by logging hours, but by creating value for your company.  You need time to create value, but a very different kind of time.  You need blocks of your best, uninterrupted time to strategically focus on those things that you do for your company that create the most value.  Low value email and third-party requests?  You’ll get to them, but only after you’ve invested the best hours of your week into your highest value creation activities.  The low value stuff gets your remnant time, not your best time.

There is no one right way of course, but if you measure success by one method and your coach measures success by the second it is most likely a poor fit.

Gut Check:

Before deciding on your definition of success, think back to why you sought out a business coach in the first place. Your reality and your end goal might vary drastically, and your business coach can offer insight as to why their method is best for your needs.

Finding the right business coach can really change the trajectory of your business. With a few gut checks, you should be able to find the right fit for our business and meet your goals. Good luck!