Business Owner Coaching
Get the important stuff done then knock off early!
When I first became self-employed I was excited – but naive. I hadn’t anticipated working within a tight budget, being isolated and not having support and expertise around me to help fill gaps in my knowledge – things I’d taken for granted when I worked in a large organisation! So excitement and passion turned to overwhelm as I tried to master every skill from accounting to web design and marketing, and my vision for my business became buried beneath all the detail and clutter.
Recognising I needed help I tried many strategies including reading hundreds of books, listening to numerous audios and attending countless training programmes, but rather than gaining the skills I needed, they just highlighted how much I didn’t know.
The Small Business Consultants I turned to next tended to be employed people, so they knew the theory rather than the practice of self-employment. They didn’t understand the issues or know the right questions to ask and may even have been giving advice that was damaging to my business. (I guess if they had what it took to work for themselves they’d be self-employed not employed!)
After 14 years of continuous struggling I finally started working with Coaches, and while I’ve worked with individuals on specific tasks (like working on the internet) most of my progress has been made working long-term with a Coach who understands the challenges of self-employment.
This experience eventually led me to work as a Coach myself, helping other self-employed and professional people to achieve the success they want. My main qualification is the years of experience I’ve had on the way to setting up my own businesses, including the change in mindset that’s an essential element for success. I believe that my experience of the transition from employed to self-employed is broadly true for most people – including you perhaps?
Happily, your success could be closer than you think – you may just need the right combination of knowledge, skills and habits. The exact mix depends on the area you’re working in (a surgeon’s needs would be different from a salesperson’s.) You may have all the technical skills you need but recognise there’s something missing – and that could be as simple as just one new idea or a connection between the different ideas and principles you already have.
There are basically two things that distinguish professionals from amateurs – skills and habits:
Skills: Professionals develop their skills and these skills give confidence. For example – as a web designer who knows they have the necessary skills to produce the website your customers are looking for, you are confident you can do the job. As a result your self-esteem rises and you have less need to market yourself, since people become more attracted to who you are, have confidence in your ability to deliver and recommend you to others
Habits: Good, positive habits give us freedom – even simple ones can improve your life (like brushing your teeth daily and automatically putting on a seat belt.) Success also requires good habits, things you do without needing to think about them. So for instance, the surgeon knows how to use the knife; the web designer knows which software to use without referring to manuals.
Skills and good habits take time and persistence to develop. When you work for yourself, or where your income or professional reputation depends on what you do, finding the space and time to develop them can be difficult and challenging. It’s also important to take the time to step back occasionally so you can see what you’re doing and identify any distractions or deviations from your goals.
You may do this when you take a holiday and your mind is clear of everyday clutter and details. You can see more clearly and come up with many new and innovative ideas. This, however, is a random, hit-and-miss event! That’s why many people turn to regular coaching.
Your Coach is a strategic partner who works with you to speed up and simplify what you do. They help you to clearly identify the areas of knowledge, skills and habits you require, and provide the support you need to develop them so you achieve the success you’re seeking.
Working for yourself can mean long, lonely, unrewarding hours but it should, and ultimately can if you get the right support, make your life easier, give you more free time and be far more fulfilling.