When you run a business, the weight of the world seems like it’s on your shoulders. Every decision and every problem piling up with no one to share the burden. Sometimes it gets so overwhelming, it feels like you’d be better off with an ordinary 9 - 5 job. In some cases, people decide to shut it all down and go back to the corporate world they hated so much — just to rid themselves of the stress of being a business owner.
Thankfully, a secret force exists in the business world that can help multiply your successes, build your confidence, minimize stress, reduce your failures and keep things in perspective: Coaches and consultants. These people act as a secret tool, hidden behind closed doors, for many business chiefs and executives. Top performing bosses swear by their coaches and high grossing companies have healthy budgets set aside for consultants every year. Clearly for good reason: they are the forces that can drive a massive change inside their organizations. But what are they, really?
The title “business coach” gets thrown around a lot these days. It’s important to iron out exactly what they are, which is nothing more than someone that can help you go from where you are at this very moment, to where you want to be. And they’ll help you do it faster than you ever could alone.
They aren’t always business geniuses, they definitely aren’t magical “gurus, and they aren’t even always experts in your specific field. Take Vince Lombardi, for example, a coach so good at what he did, the NFL named the Super Bowl trophy after him. He is arguably one of the best coaches of all time, and he never actually played true professional football — only semi-pro ball with the Wilmington Clippers. How is it possible that the greatest coach of all time never truly played his own sport at a high level?
Simple: You don’t have to be the best at something to help other people be the best. That’s the special skill of a good coach. Just look at every professional athlete. They use a coach and are probably way better at their sport than the coach ever was. Even the best-of-the-best, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods employed coaches for different parts of their game.
What about consultants? In my opinion, a good consultant is a business coach that also does hands-on work for you as much as it’s needed. They guide you, push you and help you make the best decisions just as a coach should. But if you need help growing your tech team, accumulating more money, gaining more users, making sure your equipment doesn’t crash or getting the best security measures, a consultant will roll up their sleeves and get it done with you. But not just personally, like a coach would do. They do it for your entire company.
The burning question still remains: Why use them instead of just hiring an employee to do get you there? Honestly, you’re probably too wrapped up in your own world to see the bigger picture and your employees are too. A new hire would just become immersed in that world too in a surprisingly short timeframe. It happens to all of us. We work so hard within our businesses, that we need some help overcoming the roadblocks we face when working on our businesses. We need someone that’s not stuck in the middle of it all. Someone that can see the forest through the trees, as they say. Someone to see the bigger picture that we’re missing when we’re so focused in on the details. Hell, even consultants and coaches use consultants and coaches.
I’m a startup consultant, and I coach executives. Yet I still have a business coach, and I hire consultants whenever I need one for a specific problem that one of my companies is facing. Why? Because they help me see the bigger picture that I may miss from being so zoomed in on helping my clients.
People are just too focused on their work. Businesses are too involved with their problems. The best way to rise above it all is to work with someone that has a top-down view and a fresh perspective. That’s where coaches and consultants thrive.
Coaching isn’t just for newbies in business either. It is a tool used by some of the most successful CEO’s around, even the likes of Bill Gates (Founder, Microsoft) and Eric Schmidt (CEO, Google.)
This is such an easy success hack that you can apply it to your businesses right now. Need to scale your startup? Find a consultant that focuses on scale. Want to start a web store? Find a consultant that can elevate your e-commerce skills. Want to be a better executive? Find a coach that fits your style (and can keep you in check.) Tony Robbins says that “success leaves clues.” Take this as a cue and go find yourself the outside resources that can take you and your business to the next level.
Steve Eakin is a speaker, investor, startup advisor and the founder of Startup Black Belt, where he helps tech startups launch, grow and scale