When I was in college, I decided to become a professional photographer when people started asking if I would photograph portraits and events for them. I had very little idea what was involved in starting a business. I knew I needed a business license and a state tax permit. I didn’t know much about bookkeeping but I could balance a checkbook, so I figured I was good.
Then I saw an ad in the back of a local photography magazine for a workshop called “The Business of Wedding Photography.” I immediately signed up, figuring it would tell me all I needed to know. It was a good workshop, but there’s only so much you can get from a three-hour presentation. But, not knowing any better, I was in business.
I struggled a lot in those early years. I made a little money, enough to keep me going but not enough to give up my day job. I made a lot of stupid mistakes. I wasted a lot of time, a lot of money and took a lot of hits to my reputation while I tried to figure out how to run a successful photography business. Over time, I got to know other professional photographers, and eventually, one offered to mentor me and help me improve both my craft and my business. This was a new concept for me, as I had never really heard of business mentors before.
It was an eye-opening experience. Suddenly, I could see all the things I didn’t know and all the things I was and wasn’t doing that were holding me back from the success I longed for. Within a short period of time, not only was I booking more jobs at higher prices, I was in a position where I was able to mentor other aspiring photographers. Soon, I was able to open a full-service photography studio and have other photographers working for me.
Having someone to show me the way and help me develop the habits and skills of success in the business world made all the difference for me and my business. Having a mentor or coach (the terms are fairly interchangeable these days) gave me the boost I needed to become a successful, confident businesswoman. Sometimes I wonder how much farther ahead I would be if I had had a mentor from the very beginning.
Today, when you are starting a business or thinking about starting one, a coach or mentor should be at the top of your business must-have list. Taking advantage of the opportunity to work with a coach at the outset of your entrepreneurial journey has many benefits. But today I am focusing on just four of the reasons you need to hire a business coach.
A Coach Can Help You Improve Specific Skills
An entrepreneur wears many hats when she starts her business. Few, if any, entrepreneurs possess all the skills they need to be successful in all aspects of their business. While the ideal solution would be to outsource those aspects they aren’t good at, many new entrepreneurs do not have the capital to hire out. Your next best solution is to develop those skills. A coach can help you with that.
When you hire a business coach they can help you identify the skills critical for your business success and work with you to improve those skills so you can feel confident in your abilities until you have enough cash flow to outsource your less-liked tasks.
A Coach Can Help You Learn to be Accountable
We generally make more progress on our goals when we have someone to help us stay on track. While the first accountability partner we think of is our spouse, our partner or our best friend, none of these is really a great choice.
When you hire a business coach, she will hold you accountable for your progress on your goals. She won’t be worried about holding back or walking on eggshells because she doesn’t want to hurt your friendship or sleep on the couch. She’ll do what you hired her to do: coach you, guide you and hold you accountable to your goals. She can also teach you how to choose a long-term accountability partner who can help you stay on track long after your coaching is complete.
A Coach Can Help You Identify and Remove Limiting Beliefs and Blocks that are Holding You Back
One of the biggest stumbling blocks many new entrepreneurs (and established ones)must overcome is right in their own brains. When you are struggling, working as hard as you can, and still not enjoying the success you long for, those struggles often come from limiting beliefs and mental blocks we’ve subconsciously placed in our own way. A coach can help you to identify and remove those limiting beliefs and blocks, and equip you with the tools you need to move your business forward. As Yogi Berra once said, “Ninety percent of this game is half mental.” It applies to running a business too.
A Coach Can Help You Shorten your Path to Success
I was a professional photographer for more than 10 years before I was in a position to quit my day job and go full-time with photography. That’s a long time to wait to turn your side hustle into your main gig. It’s a good thing I was really young when I started. If I started now, 10 years would be much too long. When you hire a business coach and implement their instruction you can cut your learning curve considerably and help you move toward success much more quickly.
I can’t quantify it in exact numbers, because every entrepreneur is different and every business is different, but I can assure you that starting yourself off on the right foot with a good coach will definitely shorten your journey to entrepreneurial success.
Now that you know how critical a business coach is to your success, what’s holding you back from working with one? Would you like to learn more about the benefits of using a coach and experience firsthand what it’s like? Message me through the “Contact” link at the top of this page to set up a complementary no-obligation coaching meeting and learn how I can help you move forward with your business or business idea and why you need to hire a business coach now.