How do I find the right business coach?

Photo courtesy of Pexels.com

Photo courtesy of Pexels.com

Each one of us has been stuck at least once in our business. It’s during these times that we can either (a) take the time to figure things out for ourselves or (b) hire a professional to help get us over the hump.

Quitting is not an option.

As entrepreneurs, we are prone to digging in and solving every problem on our own. If you’ve tried that and gotten nowhere or if time is of the essence, you may want to consider getting a little help.

First – I think it’s important to recognize whether you need a consultant or a coach. I like to think of a consultant as someone who tells you what to do to complete a task, while a coach is someone who gives you the mental and emotional tools you need to reach your goals. This is an essential distinction.

Example:

  • A consultant will lead you through the steps to start a business (they may even do some, or all of it, for you). This person will tell you HOW to do it. <– Hire this person when you don’t know what to do, or don’t have time to do it.
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  • A coach will help you identify and remove the mental saboteurs that are blocking you from being successful at starting a business (e.g., negative self-talk). This person will help you understand WHY you haven’t done it. <– Hire this person when you don’t know why you’re not starting your dream.

Second – Once you decide you need a coach, you should then look for certification. There are thousands of “coaches” out there who decided one day that they give great advice; however, many don’t have established processes, tools or methodologies to pull from. That toolbox is there to help you get the best outcomes.

Third – Look for experience. This can come in the form of formal coaching or years of mentoring others. Those who have been mentors for a long time often have a self-made toolbox similar to what one would learn in a certification program. The best-case scenario is to find someone with both a certification and a displayed history of being a mentor.

Fourth – Get a FREE sample session. Any reputable coach will want the chance to see if you are a good fit for each other. If you don’t have an “a-ha” moment or at least feel the beginning of a transformation in your sample session, bid that coach adieu. Otherwise, you could end up paying $150 or more per hour to get no results…and that’s just not useful.

Hope this helps!

About La Juana Whitmore

La Juana is a small business strategist and accredited consultant who thrives on developing business strategy, startup ideation and counseling small business owners. As a business owner herself, she is the founder of Black Twin Cities (BlackTwinCities.com), a social venture whose mission is to bring visibility to small, minority-owned businesses and events. As a podcast host, she gives answers and advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs at ASKLaJuana.com. La Juana holds a Certified Specialization in Launching Innovative Businesses, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration. La Juana belongs to many professional organizations including The Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants (AASBC), The Association for Strategic Planning (ASP), and Metro Independent Business Alliance (Metro IBA). She also serves as Business Development Director of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota. Online at Twitter@LaJuanaWhitmore and LaJuanaWhitmore.com

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