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Do you remember as a kid when your parents took you to your first Little League training and introduced you to the coach? Then the next season rolled over to soccer practice and you met a new coach. Throughout the high school, season after season, there were new coaches in sports, band, college prep, debate club, and so on. We all had coaches in our youth, but then we stepped into the world of entrepreneurship and you know what – we were alone.
I found my passion (digital marketing) early on in my career and started my own company. It didn't take me long to realize that I was really good at SEO, but not that good at being a CEO. I grew my business as much as possible, using all the tools, knowledge, and research I had. I knew where I wanted to run my business, but didn't know how to get there.
Find the one
I came across a TED Talk that inspired me. Here was someone challenging the way the world perceived business success. I realized that I could learn a lot from him. At the time, I couldn't afford someone like him to coach me, but I decided that this person would be my coach when I was ready.
I read his books, followed him on social media, and finally asked him to coach me. I explained that I need a good coach to double our sales. I didn't know how to get from our location to our desired location, but I was confident that he did.
On one of our first coaching calls, he explained that a coach would get me there faster, although a book could give me guidance on how to improve my business. It is important to find a coach who has the specialty you need. Growing up I always had coaches who knew more than I did and I needed their help to improve my skills. Executive coaching is no different.
Related: Why Executive Coaching is a Critical Part of the CEO Journey
What it takes to be trained: Desire, vulnerability, humility
The most important thing an entrepreneur needs to benefit from business coaching is the desire to be coached. It is easy to run my day-to-day business, but I have to want to improve everything about my business. This requires a willingness to interrupt my normal activities, acknowledge that I can improve from the guidance of the Executive Coach, and make changes. I had to remind myself that the coach had something I wanted: the skills I need to achieve my goals and the results to demonstrate its success.
The vulnerability of exposing my limits and lack of knowledge or skills to a trainer is a challenge. To be effective, I had to be vulnerable with my executive coach and realizing the reality of my stay. Without this vulnerability, my coach would not have an accurate picture of my business so he could guide me with the tools to get me where I wanted to be.
Related: Being vulnerable is the most daring act of running a business
It takes humility to be trained: understanding my personal weaknesses and asking for help. Just as I needed a trainer as a kid to teach me how to hit a fastball properly, now I need a trainer to teach me how to be an effective CEO. You don't know what you don't, and it takes humility to learn. An executive coach can show you the way because he has already experienced it.
The advantages of executive coaching
I can't even count all the ways I can benefit from executive coaching. I achieved my original goal of growing my business from $ 4 million to $ 10 million in one year. We have identified more goals and the steps that are required to achieve those goals. My COO and I have developed a direction for the business, a vision and a clear strategy. Our alignment has improved the efficiency and efficiency of the business.
Through executive coaching I have gradually improved my skills as CEO. When I was a kid playing baseball there was a lot of fame hitting the ball over the fence for a home run. I knew the crowd was cheering, and I was really proud and wanted to do it every time. But every time after that first home run I swung at the fences on the plate and hit. My coach told me that it's not the home races that win the game, but the singles and the consistency. And that's the same in business. As CEO, I've learned that I can't swing the fences every time I want to fix a small problem. Under the guidance of my executive coach, I learned that the singles I have to have every day are the ones I need to win in the business game.
I am grateful for the accountability my Executive Coach provides. My day is full of meetings and I am busy running my business. However, it is difficult to take the time to work on my company and strategically analyze and develop plans for its growth. At the end of each coaching meeting, I share my notes and action points that we have discussed. I jot down my five best takeaways from the meeting and share them with my trainer. At our meeting the following month, he asked me to report on the progress I have made with the goals I have set.
Related topics: An accountability partner greatly increases the likelihood of success
One of the perks of being an executive coach that I wasn't expecting was the networking opportunities. Through my executive coach's network, I was able to meet and work with professionals who have helped me and my company. I would not have met her without his introduction. In many cases, I didn't know I even needed your help. I've built a network of friendships with other CEOs and we encourage and support one another.
You may be thinking, as I did a little over a year ago, "I don't have the time or money to meet with an executive coach." But I'm so glad I found an Executive Coach who has seen the ups and downs of growing businesses, knows the CEO skills required, and helps me build my business strategically with integrity and work smarter (not just to work) heavier).
I encourage you to find an individual executive coach or executive coaching group. I think back to everything I learned from my Little League coach and every other coach I grew up with. Even though I run a successful business, I want the help of someone who can teach me things I never learned in school. Any CEO can benefit from the experience and encouragement of an executive coach in a myriad of ways.