I believe good business coaches can change lives and transform businesses. There are individuals out there with a wealth of niche expertise capable of saving entrepreneurs decades of time with effective shortcuts and tactics they’ve learned over the years. I personally use several coaches and consultants to make sure my own company is as effective as possible. One of the most valuable things a business owner can do is lean on the experience of those who have come before them.
The Business Coaching Epidemic
That being said, the coaching industry today looks a lot different than it did 20 years ago. Thanks to the rise of internet marketing and the ease with which audiences can be reached through social advertising, there’s now a surplus of coaches in the marketplace giving advice on subjects they have little (sometimes zero) experience in.
At least once a week, I speak to an entrepreneur who has been or is being burned by bad coaching. Perhaps the worst part is that these entrepreneurs are led to believe that they’re the problem. More often than not, they’re simply experiencing the consequences of hiring a coach who’s far more gifted at marketing themselves than they are at actually coaching to results and desired outcomes.
So for those of you asking: “Should I fire my business coach?” Here are four bad signs that can help you pull the trigger.
Your business coach makes you feel overwhelmed
It’s your business coach’s job to help you lower Pressure and Noise. This helps you focus your attention in the right areas to create momentum and work in your strengths. If your coach’s demands make you feel more scattered and overwhelmed, you should question how effective their methods really are.
You don’t feel heard by your business coach
You and your coach should be able to communicate clearly and transparently with one another at all times. You need to be able to express your frustrations or challenges and know that your coach is actively invested in helping you overcome them. If your coach can’t offer you new ideas on how to move past obstacles, and continues to repeat the same advice in the face of new situations, it may be time to look elsewhere for direction. Many coaches take on too many clients at once and aren’t able to devote their full focus to the needs of each individual. Don’t put up with distracted, unfocused direction. Your time is too precious.
Your business coach makes you feel inferior or incapable
Business coaches should never make you feel incompetent. If your coach is condescending, or it feels like they’re not fully invested in what you’re trying to accomplish, communicate your frustrations to them. If nothing changes, this is a sure sign to end that relationship as fast as possible. You should never take business advice from someone who is consistently increasing Pressure and Noise in your life. You need business coaching that encourages and inspires you to reach your full potential.
You can’t tell if you’re making progress (and your business coach can’t prove it)
When you enter into a coaching relationship, it’s important to establish your goals and lay out the metrics or milestones you want to hit. Many coaching clients can’t tell if they’re moving forward even though they’re doing everything the coach tells them to do. Make sure you and your coach have a means of tracking progress. If it becomes apparent their tactics aren’t moving you toward your ultimate goal, it’s time to look for a new coach.
One of the reasons this coaching epidemic is so frustrating to me is because I’ve always viewed business as sacred. My entire career, I’ve worked hard to help people grow their businesses. I’ve been in the trenches with clients – from startups to the Fortune 500, and just about everything in between – and I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. It took me years of trial and error to iron out the strategies and tactics I work with entrepreneurs to implement today.
It makes me sick to see so many fake, inexperienced “coaches” try to cash in on the hopes of budding entrepreneurs. These imposters have perfected how to draw susceptible audiences toward them. They create beautiful webpages and write compelling copy with promises they’re unable to deliver on. They’ve even hired coaches to coach them on how to coach others, even if they have little or no experience. And when their “proven methods” don’t work, the client is always blamed.
Hiring the Right Business Coach
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to always ask the right questions and verify a coach’s track record before signing a deal. The right coach can do wonders for your business. The wrong one can tear it down. Don’t let these marketers take advantage of you – call them out. Escape the relationships that aren’t giving you momentum.
My company focuses exclusively on results. One of our Core Tenets is “Success through the success of others,” so when a client faces challenges, we work to change the process – not the individual. If you’re looking for coaching, I’ve created a catalogue of products designed to help optimize entrepreneurial performance, because they’re built around your unique perspectives and learning style – the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT). And every single one of them has a money-back guarantee.
If you’re unsure about whether your business coach is helping or hurting, take our proprietary business diagnostic. This foundational questionnaire is one of the first tools we give clients so that they can figure out of we’re a good fit for their needs. After you’ve taken it, you’ll be able to gain clarity on the most vital areas of your business so that you can identify points of leverage and start moving forward.