Updated: Jun 21, 2018
Coaching is important. Coaching is value. If you are running a business, you should have a coach.
But not all coaches are created equal.
While most coaches, like myself, are out here genuinely trying to change the world and help people improve their lives, there are a couple that aren't. Whether they're in it just for the money or simply aren't very good at what they do, there are some major red flags that should alert you that you need to run far, far away from one coach and into the arms of another, better coach.
Here are the top 3 that stand out to me:
1. They don’t understand your lifestyle
The reality is that 2 people with the exact same business will have to manage their individual businesses in different ways because their lives are different. If one is a wife and mom, her life is going to be VERY different from a single person without kids. That means the extra time the second person has simply isn’t available to the first - and it’s vital that your coach understands this.
The most upsetting thing a coach ever said to me was that I apparently “didn’t have time build my business, much less to coach my clients.” OUCH! And this was because I wasn’t willing to sacrifice a ton of time with my family to do 2 networking events, plus 1 speaking engagement every week on top of social media, prospecting calls and actually coaching my current clients - or do my administrative tasks during “after hours.”
Hello! I have a husband, 4 kids and a part-time job - there is no such thing as after hours!! That’s not an excuse, that is a legitimate reality!
So the key is making sure that during the initial sessions and meetings with the coach, you get to know them, their life and their strategy for clients like you. Maybe they’re not a busy parent, but perhaps they started their business while working full-time, doing Uber AND photography on the side. More than likely, their get your busy lifestyle.
But if being a busy parent, an active member of the community or other super important commitments is viewed as an excuse in their eyes, instead of an opportunity to get creative with how you do business, RUN!
2. They make you feel like you cannot succeed without them (or you feel otherwise strong-armed into coaching)
This is going to seem like an unwise thing for me to say, especially when I AM a business coach, but speaking in 100% honesty and being true to who I am as a person, I have to say this out loud... YOU CAN SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT A BUSINESS COACH!
Yes, I said it... and business and career coaches around the world are groaning aloud as I say this. But it’s true.
You are perfectly capable of building a powerful, impactful and profitable business without a business coach. Millions of people around the world have done so, so do NOT let a business coach deceive you into thinking you can’t do it. I’m here to tell you that you can.
The purpose of your business coach is to help you get there sooner with fewer mistakes. They help you reach inside of yourself to find the skills, talents and strengths that you didn’t know you had. They help you figure out how to grow in the areas where you’re weak so that you don’t tank your business and have to dig it out of a ditch later. They’re your cheerleader, your teacher and the person that holds your hand. They give you new ideas that you probably could have researched on your own once you FINALLY figured out the right question to ask.
A coach helps you create the life and business that you want FASTER and EASIER! That’s it. So if a coach is trying to make you feel like you won’t be able to create a successful business without them, RUN. It’s a manipulation tactic that I absolutely despise because it is based on 100% falsehoods.
3. They don’t understand your vision for the type of business you want to build (and won't even try).
A person cannot help you build what they do not understand. That goes for coaches too!
There are some coaches out there who will try to change your vision because they believe, for whatever reason, that what you're doing cannot or will not work. They will pressure you over and over again to change directions and go the way THEY want you to go instead of being true to you.
DON'T LET THEM DO IT!
If you want to build a business that’s geared towards low-income families, victims of abuse or some other group that may struggle to pay for your services, your coach needs to understand that. In that case, the coach needs to manage your expectations (because those are difficult markets to be profitable in, but not impossible) and help you figure out HOW to make it profitable.
Or maybe what makes your business tough is the industry because it has a lot of manual hours, a lot of up-front capital or just isn’t “sexy”. Your coach’s job is not to discourage you from your vision or tell you it won’t work. Their job is to help you make adjustments to your business to give it the BEST CHANCE of working.
Think about it - there is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle!! How many people do you think told that person it wouldn’t work? What about when Bill Gates created Microsoft? Or Jobs and Wozniak started Apple?
Maybe your business is not going to be a multi-billion dollar enterprise, but the truth is that someone saying it can’t work is not necessarily true. It can and it’s your coach’s job to help you figure out how.
In fact, if they don’t even bother to try to understand your vision for your business before you start coaching, they’re a bad fit. At the point, it’s about making a sale and getting a new client, NOT making sure they are truly able to help you build something great.
At the end of the day, your business coach works for YOU and is responsible for helping you discover how to make YOUR business grow into a profitable entity that helps you build the life you have been dreaming about. So interview any potential coaches and before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that you feel comfortable with them and their ability to help you.
You dreams deserve a coach that really care about your success, so running from a bad fit to the right coach for you is totally worth it!
Tiana B. Clewis
Ready to become a #dreambuilder in your money, your life and your business?