While I work for Keller Williams, for all intents and purposes I have had my own business for more than 14 years. I set my own goals and no one is going to knock on my door tomorrow if I don’t show up to work and complete the tasks on my to-do list today. That is one of the things I love about my career—I wake up every day and create my own job. There is so much responsibility inherent in that, but also a ton of freedom and joy.
I doubled my business in 2016. No one told me to do that. I decided I wanted to set that as a goal for the year and I did it. I could decide to double it again in 2017 if I want to, and if I did, I would reap the rewards of that achievement.
But being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place sometimes, and often we can’t see ways we could be improving or pushing ourselves because we’re too close to have any perspective or objectivity.
That is the beauty of a coach. They can help us with those things and much more. So here are a few benefits of a coaching relationship.
You learn from someone who knows more than you or has a different area of expertise. This is the most obvious benefit of a coach—you have access to information that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Knowledge it took that person years, or decades to gain can be yours in minutes or hours. It can be a super-efficient means of learning, which should appeal to the busy entrepreneur you are!
You get honest feedback on your own performance. This is something that we have ready access to when we work for someone else in the typical boss-employee paradigm. But once you’re working for yourself, or in an autonomous job (like real estate), opportunities for external feedback can be non-existent. As much dread as an annual performance review has conjured up for me in previous jobs, there can be great value in hearing where there is room for us to improve, grow or change professionally. Coaches can serve that function for you.
You have a sounding board and cheering section. Again, these are often lacking in the world of the entrepreneur. It can be lonely being a one-person shop, or being the boss. Even the most introverted among us needs to bounce ideas off of other people from time to time. And even the most confident of entrepreneurs sometimes need to hear some words of encouragement or a pep talk. Just as a coach can see places where you can grow and improve, so can they see places where you are rocking this whole business-thing! We can be hard on ourselves and sometimes we don’t see just how far we’ve come or just how great our successes have been. When you’re feeling discouraged or overwhelmed, hearing words of support and encouragement from someone you respect is invaluable.
You expand your network. Networking is a word we hear repeatedly as entrepreneurs. I think it often gets conflated with “schmoozing” which we all have differing levels of comfort in doing. But really, networking is just about interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts. Building a relationship with a coach is a form of networking. They are learning about you and what you do—you are exchanging information. They might then refer other people they know to you for your services, or they might know people who can help you in some other area of your business.
You get inspired. Think about it. You saw the value in coaching and after the needs analysis, you were assigned a coach. And then they chose to coach you because they saw something in you worth the investment of their time and energy. Wow! How do you not find the motivation to get up, get going on that project and succeed when someone like that believes in you? That has been hugely motivating for me over the years.
Have you had a coach before? If so, what did you appreciate most about them? Where did you find them?
Have you been a coach to someone before? What tips do you have for prospective protégés for approaching a prospective mentor and making the most out of the relationship?
Please share your answers in the Comments section below.
Keller Williams matches new agents up with an experienced coach right out of the gate. This coach helps the new agent to decide on their goals for the year, and to develop strategies for achieving them. It’s one of the reasons why I love Keller Williams so much, and why 4 out of every 5 agents to start with us are still in business after the first year. Mentoring and coaching is an incredible gift to give and to receive.
Okay, that’s it from me this time! I’ll see you back here again soon.