I’ve been coaching business owners for years. I’ve trained hundreds to be marketing coaches. I believe in the process of strategic thinking, planning and doing, but I had never employed a coach myself.
Highly paid athletes and performers are really only on stage or in the game for very short amounts of time. The rest of the time they spend practicing for the show and resting. Business owners on the other hand are always on, rarely practice to perform and, sadly in my case; don’t spend enough time rejuvenating or even thinking strategically.
Recently, I engaged my own coach to help me perform at a higher level and the payoff has been immediate in three very distinct ways.
Figure out the things I can’t do
You know, I have lots of answers. My problem, and the problem with most business owners, is nobody is asking me the right questions.
One of the things that engaging a coach has done is give me someone who will ask questions about what’s not getting done according to plan and why. So often the answer to these kinds of questions is that there are things I can’t do well.
The great thing about acknowledging these things is that most of the time they are also things that I don’t enjoy trying to do either. This simple acceptance has me fully engaged in finding team members who can and do excel at these things.
Figure out the things I won’t do
Lots of people know what they should do, what’s good for them and what’s prudent. The problem all too often is that left alone they do what feels good in the moment, what makes the most noise or strokes their ego.
That’s why we’re overweight, stressed and burned out.
In my case a coach is helping me understand what I won’t do on my own and providing me with a level of accountability that I can’t muster through pure will power.
Figure out the things I shouldn’t do
Spending time analyzing where I make my money is a pretty eye opening exercise. Like many people most of my income is derived in a couple of 30 minute blasts during the course of the day. Of course, part of the reason that is true is because of the fact that I’ve been doing this for a long time and part of it is true because I do a lot of little things all day that don’t pay – or at least not at the level I need to reach my plans.
Let me ask you this? If given the opportunity to identify three and only three of your highest payoff activities, what would be on that list?
Now, let me ask you another this? How much time do you spend doing those three and what would happen to your business if you spent twice as much time doing them?
Figuring out what you shouldn’t do and delegating or deleting it is just as important as figuring out what you should do.
If you want to take your business to greater heights in 2012, find a coach, consultant or someone that can force you to see what’s real and where to go to think and be bigger. (I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest a group of marketing consultants I’ve played a role in training.)