I’m a strong believer in the value of coaching, and I’ve implemented that belief in my own career.
I’ve studied the words of some of the greatest business coaches, theorists and entrepreneurs – I’ve read their books, I’ve diligently kept up with their blogs, I’ve watched their videos – and I’ve actually USED their advice, incorporating their recommendations into my own way of doing business.
But I recently learned that there is an additional level of coaching that comes with one-on-one mentoring, that simply cannot be achieved through a second-hand study of the experts.
In May, I was fortunate enough to attend Year 1 of the Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP), hosted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) and the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Enterprise Forum, in Boston, USA.
This astonishing opportunity for learning consisted of presentations, discussions and workshops geared towards already-successful global entrepreneurs, with the goal of providing these entrepreneurs with the tools and methods needed to bring their businesses to the next level of success. I was lucky to learn from Verne Harnish, Warren Rustand, Cameron Herold, George Naddaff and Geoff Smart.
During these sessions, I quickly realised that there was an enormous difference between absorbing information from a third-party source, like a book or a website, and actually hearing the words coming out of someone’s mouth. And better still, being presented with the opportunity to actually talk to someone directly, asking questions and receiving answers.
The value of coaching
Athletes have always known the importance of a good coach. In fact, professional athletes often have many specialised coaches to help improve their performance. In a footy team there are assistant coaches, midfield coach, defensive coach, kicking coach, tackling coach, etc. Each coach works on one aspect of a player’s performance, and there are overall coaches as well, to help with motivation and other mental aspects of the game.
Successful entrepreneurs also know the value of employing a coach, or even more than one. An entrepreneur might have someone to help him with his sales skills, with his employee relationships, with his leadership qualities. Even though at WE our business advisory offer is one of a kind, we still have business coaches ourselves as we need to keep improving, be challenged and most importantly be held accountable.
Coaches can be essential to improving your business in many ways:
- A coach can objectively analyse your business and point out your strengths and weaknesses.
- He/she can suggest how to build upon your strengths, and how to eliminate your weak points.
- A coach will provide you with necessary and honest feedback about your own performance, feedback that might not be readily forthcoming from your co-workers and subordinates.
- A coach who has experience with other companies in your industry can suggest new ways of conducting business, or new markets that you have not considered.
- A coach can be the key to a network of people that will be able to help your business.
- Through your coach you can meet potential clients, suppliers, and partners. He/she might introduce you to someone who can provide financing for your business’s expansion, or an investment adviser, or even a government official who has influence in your industry.
- Your coach will push you to define your passions and desires, to develop a set of goals that are measurable and achievable, and he/she will hold you accountable, making sure you are reaching the goals that you set for yourself and your business.
- A coach will challenge you to bring out your best qualities and abilities. He/she will push you to achieve things you never thought possible.
If you find the right coach, he/she will help you unlock the potential that is hiding within yourself and within your business. With his help, you’ll find your focus, set your goals, and be able to achieve the level of success that you know you are capable of achieving.
Finn Kelly is the CEO and co-founder of award-winning Gen Y financial advisory firm, Wealth Enhancers, along with the parent company, premier private wealth management firm WE Private.