Do you Need a Business Coach?
You have decided to build your business. Bravo! Great achievement. You have a clear vision of what your business will be in five, ten or fifteen years. Everything works like clockwork. You hold the course, but there comes a time when, alone at the bar of your ship, you feel very alone. You stagnate, you do not know where you are at. You go through different emotions: fear, excitement, uncertainty, discouragement. Tell your friends and family? Why not? But those moments that should be moments of relaxation are transformed into working meetings, and friends, meaning well and trying not to offend you, do not always tell you the truth. This is where the business coach comes into play.
It is a person who will give you 100% of his or her attention (after all, you are paying for it). The business coach is someone who will help you to grow on your own terms; to help you start from where you are and go where you want to be by focusing solely on YOUR goals. This person has no other goal than to help you reach yours and support you in good and bad times.
You never really know what you’re capable of until someone pushes you out of your comfort zone. Sport coaches know that.
A business coach allows you to:
- Have a brainstorming partner – this helps you generate new ideas and see new perspectives for situations that seem blocked.
- Express your ideas without fear of judgment –acting as your own sounding board. The coach asks questions that will allow you to widen your vision without passing judgment.
- Be more accountable – it is easier to break promises we have made only to ourselves than to break promises made to others.
The coach is there to challenge you to set goals, develop strategies and align your efforts to achieve them. This person keeps track of your accomplishments.
This is my vision of business coaching:
- I am not your friend (you don’t pay your friends, do you?), although we will have a friendly relationship.
- I am not your consultant, although I might suggest improvement ideas . It will be up to you to use them or not. It might actually help you to generate your own ideas, since they will be the best.
- I am not your therapist. Obviously behind every entrepreneur, there is a person with emotions. I will be compassionate to your pain, but the ultimate goal is your success. Going on and on about things doesn’t necessarily help a situation.
Am I a bit harsh? My only goal is your success. Let’s work together to make you succeed.
45-60 minutes weekly/biweekly work sessions by phone/Skype/in person
- Focus on today’s issue – what is problematic right now?
- Think out loud about problems and solutions
- Keep long term goals in mind whilst working on today’s opportunities
- Feedback and questions from your coach
- Review and appreciation of previous weeks’ work
Define 2-3 tasks to push business forward during coming week
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the most frequently asked questions I get from potential clients. Contact me anytime if you need more information.
What Kind of Clients Do You Work With?
I like to work with small business owners who are MOTIVATED to make a change. Coaching takes some time out of a schedule. Not much, but it might look like too much in an already busy schedule. Motivation and its close friend commitment, are key to success. Obviously, there will be ups and downs, and part of my job will be to keep you in the ups. However, it is important that a new client has really decided to make a leap of faith and turn his or her life around if need be.
What is the Difference Between a Coach, a Mentor and a Trainer?
There is quite a lot of confusion about the roles of a coach, mentor or consultant.
Mentoring – involves a developmental relationship between a person with direct experience in the area they are mentoring and a person new to the field who wishes to acquire more knowledge and wisdom about that subject area. A mentor can at times use coaching skills and competencies but is really showing the ‘client’ how they achieved their success.
Training – involves teaching a set of specific skills to a person who does not currently have those skills. The training material and program is set out and decided upon by the trainer, not the student.
Consulting – involves assessing or diagnosing the needs of an organization or individual and offering their own solutions based on their specialized expertise to ‘fix’ the problem, which they often implement for the client as well.
Coaching as defined by the international coaching federation:
“The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
Coaching honors, the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.
Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve;
- Encourage client self-discovery;
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies; and
- Hold the client responsible and accountable.
Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.”
Do we Meet in Person or is it Over the Phone?
Obviously, it all depends on where you and I are located. I live in Vancouver, so if you are in that area, we could decide to meet in person at my office or your place of work (although some travel time might be added to your bill). Because of their busy schedules, some people find it easier to meet over the phone or Skype. We could also test one option and then change to another one if necessary.
What Makes you a Business Coach?
I have been in business for myself for 15 years. Although I used to exclusively focus on web design and social media training, I found that my clients would call me for clarity on other subjects. I am naturally a good listener I am also a very resourceful person by nature, and like to find solutions to problems. Building on these strengths, I decided to complement them by acquiring new skills and certification and thus took various coaching trainings. I completed the Co-Active coaching training, and have been awarded coaching certificates from the Case Western Reserve University and Coaching Out of the Box.
A coach is not there to give you solutions but to help you find your own. However, my clients value my experience and I would consider it unprofessional to withhold information that could be useful. I simply make suggestions–it would be up to you to decide what to do with that information. A lot of times, I find that clients don’t implement my suggestions outright, but they trigger something that allows them get unstuck and come up with even better ideas.
You Already have a Successful Business, so Why Adding Business Coaching?
Although I very much enjoy my other activities, I am always looking for new challenges. The first time I heard about coaching, my first reaction was “what the heck is that?” But being curious by nature, I decided to discover what was in it for me. I hired a coach, I took coaching courses, and the experience positively changed me. I had a new vision of what I wanted my business to be: more connected to humans and less to computers.
Frédérique helped me to better define my needs and business ideas. She made me believe in myself. Her comments are unpretentious. That is what makes her different from others. Her sense of humor and professionalism made ours sessions motivating and interesting.Amélie H.
Hiring a business coach was the best decision I had made in a long time. Thanks to Frédérique, I was able to get out of my comfort zone. I like that she has actual business experience. I appreciate her input when I am stuck, but there is never any pressure. I am still making my own decisions and action plan.Lisa L.
Right from the get go, I could see how having a business coach was going to help me. For once, I had someone without her own agenda to talk to. Just voicing my ideas and dreams helped me figure out where I wanted to go. Frédérique helped me to make rapid, measurable, positive changes.Isabelle C.