The eighties was a magical time for so many, whether you were an eighties child or at the height of you big hair days, the music, the clothes, the Don Johnson Miami Vice coolness or Tom Cruise rockin what would become retro black shades today…Either way things were cool and the world was expanding.

These exciting times saw the space shuttle breaking into space and the internet with a speed equivalent to a Fiji island welcoming party. Then something started to change, things started to speed up, the world become focused on growth and as the famous words shouted in the Michael Douglas box office smash Wall Street, “Greed is Good”. The age of making money had come into it’s own. Now agree or disagree I’m not here to judge whatever works for you is cool however I believe the eighties started to pave the way into Entrepreneurism (the word everyone uses today with very little knowing what it actually is)

Some of the people that otherwise would have been stuck in the grey offices by the lure of a golden watch and climbing the corporate ladder made the exodus and joined the”self employed” ranks of society and as Forest Gump says” that’s all I want to say about that”

Fast forward 20 years and you’re now in the fast lane. 750,000,000 people + on the net and business is starting to change, people are actually starting to buy online. I actually thought it was really just chat rooms and games. The first time I heard that you can order a book of this site called Amazon I was like “ WTF and they deliver it to your doorstep as well within a week or in some cases overnight”?

And then…

The world went and got itself in a big hurry. Businesses started to change, selling wasn’t as much about belly to belly anymore, advertising wasn’t just the newspaper it had a new outlet, it could reach people all over the world and boy that’s exactly what it did…

Which brings me to the present. Today being a business owner is so much more complex than it’s ever been. It’s not just here’s product / service you buy, it’s marketing online/ offline, sales online/ offline, outsourcing, being super competitive, online trading, brand management and then the big boy…social media. You really need to be jack of all trades and master of all of them to compete as an Entrepreneur today. Adding to the confusion is the volcano of spewing information bombarding you as a business owner of do it this way or do it that way that most of the times ends in frustration, stress and maxed out accounts.

Enter the age of coaching
Today as a business owner you have the luxury of having expertise in literally every field known to man. I mean everything from life coaching through to marriage coaches, spiritual coaches even pick up coaches (teaching the art of sleaziness to pick up women) so the question is simple “do you want a coach to help you”?. See doing it alone is a relic from the past.

Think of it for a second…

Why would the best of the best of sporting teams, Fortune 500 companies, Olympic athletes, academics and so on all have coaches? Cause they want to be the best in their fields …right? It’s not like these athletes, CEO’s and top business owners don’t know what to do, it’ s they seek guidance to make them better, drive them and importantly keep them accountable to do their best. So doesn’t it make sense that as a business owner you utilise the expertise of coach that comes with an outside perspective, strategy, knowledge and accountability ?

The decision is whether you want to join the ranks of not only the top tier companies, more importantly up and coming business savvy Entrepreneurs.

Here are the 5 key factors to look for when choosing a business coach:

Applied Expertise:

It doesn’t matter how you cut the cake, expertise and the knowledge of how to apply those expertise is paramount. What has the coach learnt and applied in his or her career and the businesses that they’ve worked with. What skill set are they bringing to the table, example: If they are talking about online marketing, how much of it have they done and what are the metrics they have achieved? It’s easy to talk a good battle but if you haven’t been on the battlefield you are never going to know. So once again applied expertise is the key.

Failure:

What the? Why would I talk about failure in choosing a coach? Well the simple answer is, if you’re about to work with someone that’s simply played it safe, never pushed the boundaries and failed at some point in their business career I would question their ability to guide you through the tough times your could face in the future. There are so many lessons to gain through setbacks and failure that it gives a dual perspective to running and growing any business. Most importantly it allows for clearer planning and obstacle avoidance.

Growth:

If coach is still doing the same old same old as what they were doing 10 years ago even 2 years ago for that matter , we’ll guess what things have changed and are constantly changing. What happened back in the day isn’t the same today. A key factor is to look at what growth the coach has demonstrated in the last 5 years. By growth I don’t only mean business I mean personal and evolutionary. the more you grow personally the more you grow as a coach and the better your ability to share your experiences.

Humility:

I can’t tell you how many so called coaches i have met that have their head so far up the A…e. Having not only a positive attitude but more the attitude of patients, care and respect are signatures of a great coach. The ability to inspire a client with a never give up attitude is what differentiates a coach to a leader. A coach that has a leader’s attitude is worth their weight in gold.

Results:

Results trumps the lot. Like Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry Maguire “ Show me the money” it’s hard to work with a coach that hasn’t applied his learning to his or hers own business. If they are barely scraping along making 6 figures or under ( Over 95% of all coaches make $90K and under) how can you expect to build your business if they have in income ceiling? Results in their business and that of others they work with are a clear indicator of what to expect when working with them.

Whether you are a start up business or a seasoned Entrepreneur you need to seriously consider working with a 3 rd party that keeps you highly committed and focused. Coaches are a vital key to your business, as much if not more than an accountant or a bank manager. You have all the ability you need to be successful and fulfilled a business coach simply speeds up teh process and limits your exposure. Think of them as insurance for your company…happy hunting!!!