As a business coach, one of my guiding principles is that I should always keep learning and growing. I want to be the best coach I can be for my clients. Superstar athletes at the top of their games have coaches to help them stay focused, competitive, and constantly improving. They want to continue experiencing record breaking success. Don’t we all?
Success Tip: Model successful people you’d like to become more like. Studying their success can give you next steps on how to craft your path.
As a personal guiding principle, I always have a business coach to support me and my business. It’s not about not knowing enough or not being able to run my business solo, it’s about having support, perspective, and accountability.
I want to take you behind the scenes on how I chose my business coach, plus give you some tips and tricks that will help you find your perfect coach match. Over the journey of my business, I’ve worked with 5 different coaches, each in different types of programs and for different lengths of time. Currently, I’m working with my coach privately, but I’m also active in a mastermind she leads. Best of both worlds.
Because I’ve had a lot of experience in hiring coach, I’ve looked for common denominators among my choices and came up with 5 tangible guidelines I can share. I hope they’ll help you on your search, too, but remember that choosing a coach is a really personal thing. So when all else fails, follow your heart.
HIRE FOR REALNESS
This is my #1 biggest tip. When I first connect with a potential coach, I ask them questions to learn more about who they are as real people. Are they grounded? Do they utilize common sense?
While I definitely look for optimistic, high-vibe energy in my coaches, I really value the perspective of those who have overcome challenges in their businesses (and lives). We grow out of struggle, and when I hit a rough patch in my business, I want to know my coach will be able to withstand the pressure alongside me.
On some of my hardest days, I’ve shown up to my coaching calls in tears wearing pajamas and a pink bathrobe. I can do that because I know that my coach can hold space for my sadness, confusion, and fear. She’s been there and her resiliency gives me strength and courage.
If I can’t find evidence that a person I’m considering hiring has had some life experience and has worked through real challenges that have built their character and resilience, I won’t hire them.
1:1 VERSUS GROUP SUPPORT
Whether you’re looking to hire a coach for direct support or wanting to be inside a group program to get access to their knowledge and energy, it’s important to establish how important one-on-one attention is to you.
For me, it’s everything. At this point in my business journey, I won’t consider a program unless I can get direct support from a coach. I currently have 24/7/365 access to my coach, and while I definitely don’t need support every day, I value being able to check in with her before I get off track.
There’s a big difference between a group program where associate coaches are doing most of the interaction with clients and hiring a high-level coach in order to work with them directly. There’s no wrong answer, but definitely consider what you need before you begin the process.
It’s true that direct support often requires a higher level of financial investment, but with it comes high-quality, personalized support that you just don’t find in huge group programs.
CONSIDER THEIR TRIBE
One of my favorite ways to get an understanding of what to expect when working with a coach is to see who’s hanging around them. My coach’s tribe is full of women who are conscious, high-vibe, goal focused, and most importantly — action takers.
Because I know that I’m willing to do whatever is required to get the results I want, I know that the exact results others are getting aren’t exactly important. After all, other’s results have little bearing on the results I’ll get. But chances are good that if my coach’s tribe is full of successful people, that coach is helping them cultivate the pathway toward their success.
I also love to ask current clients of a coach I’m considering to share their experiences. When someone happily sings someone’s praises when they aren’t on the spot (testimonials & case studies), they give real answers. Those answers help me get a full picture of what that coach is like from someone who doesn’t have a financial stake in the answer.
Success Tip: Referrals rock when it comes to business coaches. If you’ve cultivated a trusting relationship with someone who wholeheartedly recommends a coach, you’re one step closer to a successful match. Remember, like attracts like.
GENERALIST VS. SPECIALIST
When I’m looking for a coach to help me with a very specific thing, or if I need to hire someone with deep knowledge in a particular area, I’ll look for a specialist. Often though, once I’ve achieved the goal, learned what I needed to learn, or I’ve gotten the desired end results, I’ll call our relationship complete.
Success Tip: You can get amazing results when you’re working with an outstanding generalist and a top-notch specialist at the same time
Because I always have a business coach, I’ve found it really helpful to hire someone with a broad range of experience who can walk alongside me on a more extended journey. For that, I look for someone who knows a lot about a lot of things.
Consider the example of a general contractor versus a plumber. When you’re building a house, you need a plumber during some stages, but you always need a general contractor.
My business coach is a great example of a really talented generalist. She’s experienced so many situations and scenarios in her business, and via her clients, that there isn’t much she hasn’t seen. This gives me confidence because I know there’s very little she can’t support me with on a day-to-day basis.
CHOOSE A CONFIDENT SALES PERSON
When you get on a sales call with a potential coach, the conversation should flow and be enjoyable. They should be able to guide you through your fears and answer your questions with conviction.
Sales is one of the things that most business owners struggle with, so even if you’re hiring an energy coach, for example, the confidence and expertise they bring to a sales call can tell you a lot about what you might expect while working with them.
While there are certainly coaches who aren’t proficient at sales, I believe finding one who is (especially if you’re hiring a generalist) is a really, really smart move.
BONUS SECRET: CONNECTION IS QUEEN
You need to like your coach, and really connect with them. If you don’t resonate with them, or if it feels like they don’t actually care about you, then in my opinion, your results will suffer.
Success Tip: If a business coach talks more about themselves on a sales call then they ask you about you, beware.
There’s a big difference between hiring a coach to work with 1:1 or in very small groups, and a group coaching program that might have hundreds of people, so sometimes this doesn’t matter quite as much, but I truly believe that when the likeability and connection factor is present, you get better, faster results because you actually want to be around the person and do the work.
So there you have it, some behind-the-scenes tips for hiring a business coach. Tell me, do you have more to add to the list?