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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Hire a Business Coach?

Last week on Facebook, one of my friends posted the following expressing his negative opinions about business coaches. As a business coach/consultant, I felt the need to reply ... I’d be interested in your thoughts on the exchange.

NOTE: In my response, I refer to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. That’s because my friend is a die-hard Ravens fan. While reading this, to make the point, you can substitute any pro athlete you  particularly like.

Facebook Post from Tom P.

A Public Service Message: anyone gullible/desperate enough to seek out a Life or Business Coach needs to do a simple bit of due diligence:

1: Get a detailed validated resume of the so-called coach (what have they done in life to qualify themselves to presume to advise anyone?)

 2: Get a financial disclosure (have they themselves been successful at creating anything in life other than selling pop-culture snakeoil or feng shui for idiots?)

 3: Realize there is no fairy dust or magic wands a charlatan can produce to improve your life or business (if they held any useful information they would use it themselves and be billionaires and be married to <insert your personal fantasy here>).

 4: When they say "learn from my mistakes" realize any asshole can make mistakes and figure out how they fucked up. Success comes from creativity, vision, talent and determination - none of which a "coach" can give you!

 5: Unless you are hiring Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or the Dalai Lama you are wasting your money - the library is full of the wisdom of the ages AND IT IS FREE.

My Facebook Post Response:

Tom – why the vitriol? Where would your Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco be without a coach? Make a list top performing atheletes ... do you see any of these professionals working solo - without at least one pro coach? No. Never. Why? For the same reasons successful businesspeople have coaches:  they realize the value in taking the fast track to the success they desire. They don't pretend to know it all, and then never reach their full potential. They welcome professional support with open arms. And, as proven a millions times over, it works!

As a business coach and consultant, my proven real-world systems, results and experience have helped many businesspeople reach their goals faster and have guided a number of small business owners to the top of their fields. And my clients have felt their resources (time and money) were well invested.

Let me address your points one by one:

1: Get a detailed validated resume of the so-called coach ...

Excellent advice. I agree with you that anyone should do due diligence before hiring a coach. Just like they should when hiring any professional from a contractor to lawyer to a plumber to an accountant to a realtor. Bad Coaches = Bad Investment. Good Coaches = Good Investment.

2: Get a financial disclosure ...

Again, I totally agree. Check out any professional’s bona fides before investing any time or money in their products or services whether it be coaching, accounting, or housepainting.

3. Understand that there is no fairy dust of magic wands ...

You are correct. There is no magic. True success takes hard work, focus, persistence, discipline, passion, motivation, etc.  I disagree however that if a coach/consultant “had any useful information they would use it themselves and be billionaires ...”). Following that kind of logic would suggest that Joe Flacco’s coach should be playing the game, not coaching Joe. Speaking for myself, I make good money coaching /consulting and I continue to be successful because my clients make a lot more because of my contribution to their company or personal development than I charge. And I like what I do. Just because I am an effective and successful coach/consultant doesn’t mean that I should be doing things like starting up businesses that are not my passion just because I can make money doing it. That being said, I do own a couple of other businesses that are quite successful, thank you ... but I enjoy coaching and consulting, I’m good at it, and I’ll continue to do it even though some other opportunities  might offer higher remuneration.

4. When they say “learn from my mistakes” ...

You can learn from other’s mistakes. You should; just like you should learn from your own. In many coaching/consulting situations I am dealing with a business or businessperson who is making a mistake that either I or one of my other clients have made. By helping a client avoid that mistake or recover from that mistake properly, I create value and impart a lesson -- that might have been expensive -- for somebody else with far less negative impact that if I had not faced a similar situation.
5. Unless you are hiring Bill Gates, Warren Buffet ...
Well that’s just silly. Those guys are incredibly successful, but that doesn’t mean that they would be good coaches or have the knowledge necessary to help a specific business with a specific need. Aside from the fact that the advice would come at an unreasonable price (unacceptable return on investment), how would Bill Gates’ skillset help a regional dry cleaner, local printer or tire retailer?
And, yes, the “library is full of the wisdom of the ages and it’s free” ... and I believe that success-oriented people use the library and other sources to augment their knowledge base – and if not, they should. But with that logic, why do we have teachers in schools? Just send the kids to the library. Why do we have football coaches? There are books in the library about playing football. And so on.
Tom, maybe you or someone you know had a bad experience with a coach or consultant. That doesn’t mean that all coaches/consultants are bad and that the only people who take advantage of their services are either the desperate or gullible.
If you are ready to help reach your business goals faster, maybe I can help. Call me. But don’t be insulted if I turn you down ... I turn down a little more than ½ the people who bring me in for an initial consultation (no charge to them) because I don’t feel that my experience, skillset or personality is a good fit with the person, the business and/or their current situation.

1 comment:

sigsoog said...

A good business coach is one that has extensive knowledge and expertise in a variety of business areas. They will also have to amalgamate there business coaching skills in such a way that they can incorporate them into the core and culture of an organization.

Small business coach

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