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Moment Of Clarity

Do You Need a Business Coach?

I get a lot of questions from entrepreneurs about how to select a business coach and thought it would be helpful to create a post for those of you who are looking for that extra business support and NOT therapy.

Being an entrepreneur can be tough, but if you have the right support, it can be one of the best experiences of your career. With that said, most entrepreneurs experience some ebb and flow in sales, goal attainment, and even motivation.

So, what do you do if you have done all of the research, are passionate about your business, and have a solid business plan but you can’t seem to stay on top of your game? The answer: Get a business coach.

Business coaches can be a great resource for entrepreneurs who need support in staying motivated and on track. Business coaches usually have specialties (e.g. marketing, sales, etc.) and help their clients focus on moving forward by creating action steps and timelines to help them achieve their goals. Coaching is different from therapy because therapy is focused on healing past issues that are preventing the client from moving forward.

BUYER BEWARE

Unlike therapy, coaching is not regulated and does not require certification. So, before you go out and hire the first coach you come across,  here is some advice I culled from conversations with life & business Strategist, Laura Knights, LCSW, and marketing expert, Summer Alexander, of Savvy Solopreneur.

1) Clarify the type of coaching you need.  Are you seeking a coach to help you navigate relationship issues, improve your health, or to make more money in your business?  These are just a few examples of what people may seek coaches for, and all of them require a different set of skills and expertise.

2) Check their backgrounds. Do some investigation to find out the person’s story.  Your research may include learning about his or her education or training, professional experience, or personal experience that gives them a level of expertise.  One caveat here: Have an open mind.  You want to check any educational or training background the person may have, but don’t be limited to this.  Many people have earned their expertise through solid experience producing results for themselves and others, and not necessarily from a degree or certification.  Your main objective is to identify if the person has the expertise to help you.

3) Check what others say about them. Check for any testimonials that are on his or her website and other marketing materials, or you can ask them for references and get contact information to follow up with past clients.  If a person is hesitant to provide references from past clients, that’s a major red flag.  You can also go the informal route if you know people that know the person or who have used his or her services.  Reach out to those people and ask them their honest opinions about the person’s professional reputation, experience, and character.

4) Go with your gut.  Before investing your time and resources into working with a coach, make it a point to schedule time to communicate with them in-person or over the phone before working with them.  The purpose of this is to identify if there is a connection, and ensure their energy resonates with you.  Ask questions about the person’s approach to the work, his or her motivation to do the work, and coaching style. Be sure to pay attention to your internal reactions and instincts.  Finding someone who is a good fit for you may take time.

I hope this was helpful. I wish you and your business pleasant journeys and much success!

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!