I was at a meeting the other day when a man approached me to introduce himself. We started talking about business coaching when he asked me quite bluntly, “why would a small business owner like myself ever need to have a coach?”. He proceeded to tell me that “small business owners become our own bosses for a reason…we do not like to be told what to do… we need to make decisions on our own every day…all of the time”. He shared that as a small business owner, he was in control of everything – his business, his future, his life style and his life choices. He was able to work the hours he wanted to be home for his kids when they were young…to be able to go to their school and sports events because he was the master of his own schedule.
All I could say was that it was great to hear how he has been able to create a life that apparently was one of his own choosing and a fulfillment of his own vision. How awesome is that? I truly mean it. Many small business owners do not have that great of amount of clarity as he apparently has had over the years while he was developing and running his business.
Interestingly enough, as we continued to talk, he had a bit of an AHA moment (and if you ever checked out the “about me” page on my blog, you know that I love AHA moments)! He looked at me and said “you know, there was a time when I was trying to decide if I should grow my business larger or if I should keep things on a smaller scale…a coach may have been helpful at that time…”
Not everyone or every business is looking for a coaching relationship, nor would it make sense for them. However, for many small business owners, hiring a coach could be a powerful way to move towards creating the vision of where they would like to take their business. Some reasons a small business owner may benefit a coaching relationship are:
» figuring out how to balance priorities of family life with building the business
» processing through the decision to grow big or stay small
» creating an action plan to move the business in the direction they want it to go
» developing a good understanding of what their personal strengths are and how to best to use them
It is important for a small business owner to understand that a coach will not tell him/her what to do or make decisions for him/her. What a coach will do is support, encourage and ask deep questions to aid in finding clarity in those areas that may be a bit muddy for him/her. A coach will also be an accountability partner and celebrate the successes that the are achieved.
As a small business owner, I have personally experienced the power of having a coach. My coach asked me the deep questions to sort through my thoughts and encouraged me to re-frame my thinking when I wasn’t acknowledging my own strengths. She also supported me as I was creating my action plans and held me accountable in keeping those actions in front of me, ensuring that I continued to move in a forward movement.
If you happen to be a small business owner, please don’t discount how a coach might be an awesome resource for you as you are moving through the various transitions within your business!