Episode 59. What IS a Business Coach (and Should You Hire One)?

If you have no idea what a business coach is — or if you’ve been thinking about hiring a business coach, this episode is going to be really helpful in making sure that you hire the right one for your goals and your business!

 

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The first time I heard this concept of a business coach, I had no idea what a business coach actually did. Being very naive at that time, I didn’t feel like I needed a business coach, especially because I have an MBA and have worked in business for almost a decade. 

Why would I need someone else telling me how to do business? 

However, after starting my business and running it on my own for about 15 months, I finally decided to work with my first business coach because I was done trying to figure it out all by myself. Six months after working with that coach I started working for myself full time. 

Before working with that coach, I had also tried launching a membership and a course — both were major flops. 

Then after working with that coach for just 10 weeks, I successfully launched Advisori Insiders Pro. 

Working with a business coach, whether it’s taking their course, going through their coaching program, or working with them one-on-one, is what can exponentially accelerate the success of your business. 

 

Having a coach is something that you should really consider if you want to be a high performer and elevate your business so you can get to where you want to be really quickly. 

 

What is a business coach anyway?

According to thealternativeboard.com, a business coach will assist and guide the business owner in running a business by helping them clarify the vision for their business and how it fits in with their personal goals; business coaching is a process used to take a business from where it is now, to where the business owner wants it to be. 

So really, a business coach is there to help you figure out what you really want, and then help you figure out how to get there. They also help you find the shortest path from where you are to where you want to be.

I think sometimes as entrepreneurs, we tend to get really tight tunnel vision, so having someone from the outside can help us see a different perspective and see opportunities that we might be missing.

Having a coach is actually a really normal thing for high performance people. Even a lot of great athletes have multiple coaches for different things, so I think having a coach — and the idea of a coach — is something that you should really consider if you want to be a high performer and elevate your business so you can get to where you want to be really quickly. 

 

Is it really worth hiring a business coach?

If you want to go further faster, a business coach is going to help you do just that — but hiring a coach isn’t free. You have to actually pay someone for their expertise, their knowledge and their help. 

A qualified business coach will motivate you to do more, which means you’ll accelerate faster to reach your short and long term business goals. An added bonus is that you have someone to hold you accountable to complete certain tasks within a specific timeframe, so you’ll be much more likely to follow through. So is a business coach worth it? Absolutely!

Again, think about an athletic coach. There are definitely days when an athlete isn’t going to feel like training, but that coach is going to push that athlete to train anyway.

That’s exactly what a business coach does. You might have a lot going on in your personal life that could be distracting you, but a business coach is going to help you stay on track to reach your business goals.

I 100% believe that hiring a business coach is worth it, and you should absolutely do it if you want to go further and faster in your business. 

 

The thing is, anyone can call themselves a business coach, so you need to make sure that whoever you’re working with is qualified to do their job.

 

What should you look for in a business coach?

There are a lot of business coaches out there. If you just take a look on Instagram, there are tons of people who are calling themselves a business coach, which is why I think it’s really important that we talk about what you should look for in a business coach.

There are three main things you should look for: someone who is qualified, a clear framework of the program that you’re thinking about purchasing, and a successful track record for getting clients results.

 

Make sure your coach is qualified

The thing is, anyone can call themselves a business coach, so you need to make sure that whoever you’re working with is qualified to do their job.

Some things that you need to look at are their level of experience and track record of success.

Now, something that is unfortunately very common among business coaches is that a lot of them actually don’t have any experience building or running a business besides their own coaching business.

When you’re thinking about working with a business coach, you need to look for a coach who has successfully built the type of business that you have and want to have. For example, I offer courses and coaching programs, but I built a very successful service business as a solopreneur, prior to starting to coach other people on how to start and grow their own businesses.

So when you’re working with a business coach, you want to make sure they’ve built a business outside of their coaching business. If you’re a service provider, work with someone who has built a successful service business that has a good track record; if you’re a photographer, work with someone who has already built a really awesome photography business, and then started coaching photographers. Just keep this in mind when you’re looking for a business coach!

 

Make sure they have a structured framework and specific outcome to their program

The second thing you need to look at when you’re considering working with a business coach is the framework of the program they’re selling.

Since starting my business in 2016, I have been in four different coaching programs and have taken countless online courses. I’m a huge believer in working with people so that I can go further faster, but through that experience, I’ve also learned that there are definitely coaching programs that have better frameworks than others.

Some are way too big — they have more than 100 people in them, they’re not individualized, and it ends up being just a really expensive course.

If you’re looking for individualized coaching, you’re going to want to be in a program that doesn’t have 100 other people in it because there’s no way a coach can keep track of everyone all at once, and give you the individualized support you want and deserve.

You also want to make sure you’re in a group with people who are at your level. If you’re already making $100,000 a year, you don’t want to be in a group with people who haven’t even started their business yet. So just make sure you look for a coaching program that includes a group of people who are at your level and have similar goals.

The other thing that I’ve experienced myself is being part of coaching programs that have no structure or specific outcome. I see this a lot with one-on-one coaching — there’s no curriculum or framework to help guide you through the process to a certain outcome. That makes you really reliant on that coach, and doesn’t really give you a specific goal to work towards. Making sure that there’s some structure or specific outcome to the program or person you’re working with is really important!

There is also a sweet spot to the length of a program. I’ve been in coaching programs that are only 10 weeks, I’ve also been in coaching programs that are 12 months, and I personally have found that 10 weeks is too short, and 12 months is too long.

 

Look closely at their track record

The last thing you need to look for when working with a business coach are results. Now remember, there isn’t a specific certification that qualifies someone to be a business coach, so understanding your business coach’s past results is really important. 

When you’re looking at the results that your business coach has gotten for their clients, you need to take a deep dive to find out what they have achieved for themselves and what they’ve helped their clients achieve.

For example, don’t just look at how much money they’ve made in their business. There are a lot of coaches who may claim to be making $100,000 a year, or even $10,000 in a day, but what you really need to be looking at is their profit margin. 

I’ve seen so many coaches talk about making $100,000 per year, but if you actually look behind the curtain, they’re only making $30,000 in profit. I’ve seen coaches say they made a million dollars from their course, but what they’re not talking about is how they spent $950,000 on Facebook ads.

I’ve also seen people say they coach six and seven figure entrepreneurs, or coach people to hit a million dollars, but they’ve never actually hit seven figures themselves.

No one wants to make $100,000 but have $70,000 in expenses, so when you’re thinking about working with a coach, make sure you ask them what their profit is — not just the big sexy number — but how much they’re actually putting in their pocket at the end of the day.


See if their lifestyle aligns with the lifestyle you want to create for yourself

Again, you need to look behind the curtain. If your coach is hustling and working 80 hours a week, then you should know that before you start working with them; if you don’t want to work 80 hours a week yourself, then you don’t want to choose a coach who is financially successful, but at the cost of ignoring everything else in their life.

Trust me — what people post on Instagram is not the full story, so a great way to find out more about someone’s lifestyle is to ask them the last time they took a vacation, where they went, and how many days they actually took off from work.

If it’s been five years since they took their last long weekend, then you have your answer. That means they’re working all the time.

So again, when you’re looking to work with a coach, there are three things that you need to think about: what are their qualifications? What is the framework of the program and is it what I’m looking for? Have they actually gotten the results that I want?

 

How my experience shaped my own coaching programs

I’ve had a lot of experience working with coaches and taking courses over the last four and a half years, and the way I’ve put together my own coaching programs is based on my personal experience.

I started my business as a service based business offering done for you services; specifically, I was running Facebook and Instagram ads for small and local businesses. I started my service business as a side hustle and I grew it to six figures per year, while still at my 9-5 job. 

Then after leaving my 9-5, I grew it to multiple six figures per year, working less than 25 hours per week — without building a big team or having to hire employees.

Then I took my expertise as a service provider running Facebook and Instagram ads for small and local businesses and I turned it into a digital product that has helped me grow my business to a multi million dollar business — again, without a big team or employees.

Prior to the pandemic, I took two international trips spanning over five weeks and one long weekend, all within nine months.

I think the best compliment I’ve received from one of my team members (who is a contractor) said, “Anna, you’re one of the only people who I know that practices what they preach, you truly value your life outside of your business before your business, and you take that time off.”

Right now I’m only working two days a week; the rest of the time, I’m hanging out with my family — and that really does mean I’m hanging out with my family — I’m not sitting in my office.

 

I really believe that a great business coach can completely change your business and your life. Some of the coaches that I’ve worked with have done the exact same thing for me, and I would not be where I am today in my business if I had not worked with a coach.

 

So what can you can expect from my coaching programs?

When it comes to the framework of my coaching programs, Successful Solopreneur School and Powered by Passive Academy, this is something I really thought about.

Successful Solopreneur School and Powered by Passive Academy (which is launching next month), are high touch small group six month coaching programs, specifically for service providers. 

Successful Solopreneur School is for those who want to grow their freelance or solopreneur service business to $100,000 or more per year, working 25 hours or less per week. Powered by Passive Academy is for service providers who are ready to turn their signature service into a digital product, such as a course or membership so they can continue to scale without having to build an agency or hire employees.

These programs include three really important things.

First and foremost, they include a detailed curriculum: the curriculum breaks down my frameworks into distinct phases, each with step by step videos, templates and worksheets. These also provide you with coaching that is specific to your business and your goals.

So although my programs are group coaching programs, you get individualized feedback on the work you’re doing based on your individual goals. I’m not going to tell you that there’s only one way to do things because every one of you has unique goals and enjoys working on different things.

The third most important thing that my programs include are a small, tight knit, super supportive, qualified community.

In order to even be invited to join my coaching programs, you have to go through an application process. This is to make sure that the program is the right fit for your business and where you want to go.

Additionally, we only open applications a few times per year, so each class is truly a class. It only includes at most 25 people and all of you start and graduate the program at the same time. In addition to our coaching calls, we also host study halls to give you a chance to really get to know your other classmates, bounce ideas off of each other and build relationships with other amazing entrepreneurs who are in the program.

I really believe that a great business coach can completely change your business and your life. Some of the coaches that I’ve worked with have done the exact same thing for me, and I would not be where I am today in my business if I had not worked with a coach.

Just make sure that when you decide to work with a coach, you hire the right one. If you’re interested in learning more about my coaching programs, just click here!

 


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