Why You Need to Hire a Coach - Even if You're Broke

Dropping $10,000 on my first business coach wasn’t easy. In fact, I opened a company credit card just to do it. But I made the commitment, and it has made all the difference to my business. Even if you’re broke like I was, you will benefit from hiring a business coach.

Seriously, guys. To get a business coach, I dropped $10,000 that I didn’t have when I first started Think Digital. That’s the biggest investment I’d made up to that point, other than my car and my house.

I had to take an extra deep breath before opening a company credit card just to pay for Casey Graham‘s services. But I did it, and I would do it again and again. In fact, I am doing it again already. I dropped another $8,000 at the end of 2014 for the coaching program I’m going through now, Strategic Coach. After reaping huge benefits from my first coach, it was a no-brainer to make the commitment this time around.

I’ve got five reasons why hiring a business coach is worth it, even if you’re broke (like I was). The podcast says it all, but as always, we like to give you some tasty tidbits in the post. Eat up!

A good business coach…

1. Is a Shortcut to Success

I don’t like waiting. I like succeeding. If you’re like me, you would happily get the goods from someone who is further along down the road to success. Why slog through making your own mistakes when you can learn from someone else’s?

After one intensive coaching session with Casey, he said to me, “You’ve just fast-forwarded three years.” And he was totally right.

2. Can See Your Blind Spots

When I was in 6th grade, for some unknown reason one of our teachers handed out box cutters to a bunch of 10-year-olds so we could make stuff in our “inventing class.” She cautioned us to cut away from ourselves so we wouldn’t hack off any appendages.

Well, what did I do? I promptly ignored her advice and nearly sliced off my thumb.

Don’t slice off your thumb; let a coach look out for you and say, ”I’ve been down that road. I can see where you’re headed, and here’s what you should do differently.”

3. Will Hold You Accountable

As someone who does some digital media coaching myself, there is nothing worse than underperforming clients. They pay me their hard-earned money to coach them, I give them the tools to succeed, and then they don’t do anything with what they’re given. I don’t let that happen to me when I’m the one being coached.

A coach holds you accountable in a way you can’t do for yourself. Especially as an entrepreneur, you have such freedom to set when and where you work, and what you work on. It’s easy to take that freedom for granted, but not when you have a coach asking, “Did you do the thing you said you would?” If not, then, “Why not? What failed and how are we going to set you up for success this time?

4. Will Keep You Humble

This is the toughest part of having a business coach, but it’s also one of the most important. You’re being coached by this person because they’re more successful than you are. Your coach is where you want to be.

Having a coach reminds you: Don’t get fat and happy. Keep pushing for the next level.

5. Will Expand Your Network

This is the best part about having a business coach. Not only do you get to reap the benefits of your coach’s wisdom, but you also get access to their network. Casey was the Infusionsoft Marketer of the Year in 2013, same year he was coaching me. This year, I’m speaking at ICON, Infusionsoft’s annual conference.

I’m not saying that your business coach will automatically hook you up with the right folks to skyrocket your career. It still takes a ton of hard work on your part. But your coach will want you to succeed, and will help you out when the timing is right.

Oh, and by the way, I paid off that first $10,000 over the course of four months. That’s it! I benefited from hiring a business coach, and so will you. Take a listen to hear more.

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There is a component of business that could support or derail your entrepreneurial goals depending on the amount of intentionality you bring to it.

One of the reasons why a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses don’t make it is because they don’t have a support system, which we’ve already discussed. Failing to build a system of systems is another lesser known reason why people fail.

The further I get into my own business, the more I’m starting to see some trends emerge which will derail any growing venture if they go on without accountability.

I’m way more interested in building something that is sustainable. That means building solid systems for each component of the business. Even if that means it may not grow as fast, I know it’s more sound from a principles aspect.

At this stage, it honestly means that at times we are just slogging it out as we build these systems. But we are building them to a point where eventually the business will be self-sustainable. That is my goal!

I’ll cover one system that I know you can all implement on some level today. The rest of the systems will be discussed in Part Two, coming Thursday.

The First System

Content needs a system. As an entrepreneur you are learning so much every day – and the world NEEDS your experience!

But be honest – part of being an entrepreneur is devoting resources to moving the business forward. When it comes to making choices on how to spend your time, creating content around what you are learning is too often cut.

I’m guilty of this myself! Which is why I’m building a system to capture these important moments and publish them. It is critical.

My Content System

My system is very straightforward. On Friday, I have an interview with one of my content writers. Blog post production occurs that weekend. Content is then scheduled throughout the week on web, email, and social channels.

Why this system? Because I wasn’t producing content. I knew that unless I built this system nothing was going to be different. It would be the exact same thing over and over.

I always said, “Publishing, blogging, and getting content out there is so important!” But my actions didn’t reflect it. Building this system was essential to getting my desired results. Sound familiar?

Your Systems Define Your Results

Often times we don’t see the results we want and can’t figure out why. The problem is not usually solved by making one or two or even three changes.

The problem is usually a system that we have allowed to be established by default. By default, it produces the results it’s created to produce.

Think of an assembly line. If you have an assembly line that produces widgets and one of the mechanisms isn’t working, you’d be silly to continue to let the system run without fixing the system.

What Systems are You Running?

If you are have a business, either part or full time, you have systems which are running by default. Systems running by default means they are running without intentionality. Without intentionality, you cannot steer a business. You have a broken assembly line.

I challenge you to take time this week to recognize the systems your business is running. What is working? What needs to be fixed?

Come back for Part Two of this post on Thursday!

The systems we’ll be discussing are:

  • Productivity

  • Time Management

  • Cash-flow

  • Marketing

  • On-boarding (for both team members and clients)
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An entrepreneur is someone that cannot work for somebody else. They are unemployable.

They are unemployable not because they do shoddy work or because they lack drive or focus. The reason entrepreneurs are unemployable is that they have a specific vision of what the future looks like. And usually they are the only ones capable of steering themselves towards that vision!

Working for others, no matter how much you like or respect them, is steering somebody else’s ship towards someone else’s vision.  For an entrepreneur, that role isn’t sustainable.

Look Back

When I look back on the history of my own life I see patterns of an entrepreneurial history. For example, I had a baseball card stand in my driveway at age 9. I started a house painting business with my friends at 16. Then we split up and did our own thing in college, BUT each with our own separate house painting business. That’s amazing! I even started a t-shirt company right out of college.

When I look at my life down the line there are those glimpses of entrepreneurship. Outside of being  a grocery store clerk, I’ve never had  a normal job for an extended period of time. Seriously – my first and only “normal” gig out of college lasted for 2 weeks. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do the clock in, clock out.

Be Certain About Your Calling

That tension of what I was “supposed” to do didn’t leave just because I left the grind behind, though. Thankfully Ben Arment, my first business coach, pulled me aside when I was questioning whether or not I could be an entrepreneur and said, “Justin, it doesn’t matter if you land the most awesome job on the planet. Within two years you will want to quit and do your own thing and you’ll feel that way until you actually try it.” He was absolutely right.

I had all of the symptoms of being an entrepreneur. It was life-changing for me to realize it, so I want to give you all a means of self-diagnosing yourselves as entrepreneurs, too. A symptom-checklist, if you will.

You Might Be an Entrepreneur If:

  • You’ve always struggled working for somebody else.

    • (Not because you’re rebellious, but because of your inner drive to create a something of your own.)

  • You have always gravitated towards entrepreneurial activities.

  • You are excited by risk. Drawn to it; not repelled by it.

  • You want to get paid for results not effort.

  • You like working at weird hours and from any location.

  • You live in the future (and day to day tasks go unnoticed).

  • You are not comfortable living out someone else’s vision for your life.

This list can be summed up by two questions: Who needs to make the decisions in your work-life? Why do you feel that way?

I use to let other people make decisions for me. Ironically, that wasn’t the right decision. Instead of just carrying on in that role, I listened to my inner vision. If you realize what you are doing isn’t the right fit, you cannot just stay put.

Final Thoughts

Remember: there is a difference between being an entrepreneur and being self-employed. Self-employed means you have to do all the work by yourself because you think you are the only one who can do it. Entrepreneurs see the value in finding others to take on tasks that those others shine in so that they can keep steering the boat. Entrepreneurs would rather work with somebody to achieve a common goal than do all of the tedious but necessary tasks themselves.

If you are an entrepreneur, you have a call to cash in on this. It’s time to start exploring where your passions and strengths lie. It’s time to focus your vision and flesh it out.