How Coaching Empowered Me to Flourish, Fail, Pivot, and Lead
As small business owners, we often fly by the seat of our pants, hoping nobody notices when we skip a beat here and there. But the reality is while we are trying to grow our business, there are people in front of us who have been where we've been on the journey. We can save ourselves a lot of headaches and heartaches by leaning on people more experienced than us. And we don’t have to take every piece of advice, we can just take what we need. And it makes a real impact on our business, allowing us to make a real impact on others.
Hiring a Coach
In the last couple of years, I hired a few business coaches - some who single-handedly showed me what I was looking for, and some who showed me what I didn’t want in business, and to be honest - I needed to see that too. Overall, I recognized the value of hiring a coach. Now, I can make decisions and be reassured that someone coaching me has already been in my shoes. They know the same feelings of fear and drive all balled into one mega emotion.
Often, we lean on the wrong person for that kind of advice. Not on purpose, but because we may rely on friends or employees to help us. The day you launch your business suddenly all these advisors appear and you find yourself channeling the noise they’ve created in your brain. But they've never been there. For me, I had to carve out time to find a coach in the fields I was struggling with and lean on them for expertise. Game. Changer. These people will be most honest with you about your failures and where you miss the mark because they can spot it a mile away. They can be unbiased because they are a third party and don’t have a financial stake in the company they are helping you make decisions for.
Using Your Community
We should see the benefits when we become a part of someone else’s community. When we consult clients on their marketing strategy, they seek reassurance. That they've got the right messaging. That they're on the right track. Someone to let them know how to pivot their campaign by talking with someone that has been in the same position before.
When working with our coaching clients, I provide marketing advice and answers to questions like, “What do you think? Here's a video that I did,” ”Do you think this will help me move the needle? What tweaks can I make?” “I added a page to our website, is it missing anything?” or “Here's the copy I was thinking; is it the right tone?” And sometimes that’s all we need! A sounding board. Not someone to tell us how to create the Facebook post, but someone to assist with our marketing efforts and help it fit with the overall strategy. Take our pulse.
So that’s what we can offer as a small business marketing consultant - helping someone figure out how it works. And we do it every day. We are in the backend of things, whether it be writing out a content marketing strategy, programming blog posts, or trying to improve conversion rates for ecommerce. As a team marketing investigators, we are there figuring it out.
And I know business owners don't always have time to do that, but they should have time to execute some marketing tasks. Consulting is a benefit if you need to save time; you get marketing tips directly. No need to scour the internet looking for the latest trends. No need to try a bunch of things to fail. Have someone help you find the best solution or the best way forward. Right to the source, and someone who is experienced in helping you solve your exact problem.
Related: Business Tips: What preventing workplace burnout has to do with marketing
My Best Business Owner Advice
Just being in business is mission work. You need to solve a problem for a specific group of people. You know those groups; you've talked to them and know that your product or service is a solution for them. Then just remind yourself of that: regularly. You'll get knocked down a little bit, face big winds, and experience pitfalls. But you always know your target audience and potential customers. They are your people! And if you forget, talk to them. Surveys, interviews, ask them at check out. Get to know them again.
Keep your eye on the prize - you can help so many people. Find the actual niche of people seeking your product, service, and organization and get them to invest because that will be the easiest, fastest, and best possible way to success.
And a little personal advice here - start by making small decisions each day. What I mean is, don't lose sight of your goal. You may want to increase your revenue by 20% by the end of the year and you think paid ads is the solution. So you spend your days scheduling meetings with every digital media buyer who paints a picture of you swimming in money. But, then you find yourself waiting and waiting, spending and spending, wondering, 'When is it going to rain Benjamins?' And next thing you know, you've spent months of time and energy on tactics that didn't align with your goals.
It is easy to say I need to make projections for five years or that you need guarantees in every decision. News flash - you’re not going to get it. But what’s worse is that while you’re doing all of that planning, you miss the small details or variables you weren’t prepared for, and then what? You spend so much time figuring out the next big move. No. Don’t do it. Stick with small decisions each day toward your goals and you'll nail it.
The good and the bad news is we will all fail along the way. You're going to fall, you're going to trip, you're going to scrape your knees, but you've got to get back up and remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing. We've all been there from one business owner to another; it’s all about who we surround ourselves with as resources when we need help.