How to Choose The Right Business Coach
Hey! This post was originally on my old blog – I’ve brought it over and updated it with even more important tips on finding the perfect business coach for you!
Here’s a question I get asked a lot: how do I know who I should be working with to help me achieve my goals?
Well, there’s no easy formula to figure out if someone’s the best choice. Some of it will be personality – if you mesh with them, if you mesh with their methods, etc. But more of it will be as Marie Forleo says figureoutable. If you’re thinking about working with someone, run through these questions, see what your gut says, and consider scheduling a free call with them to make sure it’s a right fit.
Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Biz Coach
I’m going to start with a doozy:
Have they had a business before?
or… Have they worked in a career where they would guide businesses?
If they’re a blog coach, do they mention having other blogs? What’s their past experience?
If it’s a different type of coaching, replace blog with that.
If the answer is no – be cautionary. What gives them the experience to help you?
I’ve had this discussion with some great entrepreneurs lately. We’ve all seen the coaches who are offering great deals…but then you realize they’re six months into their first business – as a business coach. In general, that simply doesn’t work.
Unless they’ve been doing it as a career before going solo, their first business shouldn’t be coaching your business.
For a real life experience example: Starlit Strategies is technically my 4th business. The first was awesome at everything but making money. The second rebranded into this. The third is my corporate business which is doing awesome, but admittedly feels much more restricted than SS.
I’ve also spent 15 years in biz + marketing strategies, worked for global companies, been in charge of huge pieces of multi-million dollar marketing strategies, and helped small businesses reach 6 figures.
Do they work with your strengths?
On a discovery call, I had a coach tell me I HAD to do something in order to succeed – namely, follow what she did to get to 6 figures EXACTLY. Needless to say, I didn’t hire her. While it might be right for some people or for some aspects of your marketing strategy, I didn’t want a coach who can only help me reach success if I repeat the exact same plan she uses for everyone else.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Your business is not like anyone else’s – your marketing strategy shouldn’t be either.” quote=”Your business is not like anyone else’s – your marketing strategy shouldn’t be either.”]
Don’t want to blog? I may suggest a heavy dose of social media + optins, or Instagram as a live blog.
Don’t like services? Sure, create some courses – you’ll just need a different launch plan than someone who has both.
The right coach for you will likely help you figure out why you don’t like that task and if there’s a way to make it authentic for you. In my case, there totally was – it just took me a few months and a strong support team to figure it out.
Do they do everything?
Business isn’t an one stop shop. Someone can be multi talented, but they shouldn’t be doing absolutely everything, unless they have a team/are an agency.
There are various things that I’ll make recommendations for, or being in an outside resource. If it’s not in my wheelhouse, or if I don’t enjoy it, I’m not doing it. Why? Because you’ll get better results from someone else.
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I’m not a virtual assistant. I’m not a designer. I’m not an accountant. I’m not a lawyer. There’s a lot of things that I’m not – and I’m not focusing on any of them. Neither should your coach.
That said, some of my Constellation clients on do get special services that no one else does. Without working regularly, I’m not going to map your sales funnels or design your new packages. I can do these things – and do them well – but I prefer to focus on soulful strategy. So don’t be afraid to ASK your coach or potential coach about other specialties – you may be able to work something out. Just be mindful that it’s not absolutely everything. No one can specialize in everything.
Do you like their voice?
When doula shopping for Baby 1, we asked: What is the one thing you would look for in a doula? The best answer was totally “a voice and laugh that I enjoy hearing – and doesn’t annoy me.”
Valid. If you’re working with someone for a long time, you want to know they won’t grate on your nerves. Not everyone is going to click with you – and that’s okay.
Most of my clients don’t work through phone or video (but they do get voice messages from me sometimes!), but if that’s the method you choose at least hop on the phone with the person before committing!
Do you like their style?
If everything someone does make you cringe, they are not the right person for you to work with. No matter how much money they make, or tell you that you can make.
On that note…
Do they guarantee you’ll make X amount?
The moment someone GUARANTEES you can make a large amount, raise up your spidey senses. No one can guarantee what you make. We’re not doing the work for you. We are handing you keys. It’s up to you to unlock the door.
Guarantees sound great – but often they’re just pushy sales techniques.
Did that business coach guarantee you’ll make six figures this year? Run away now.
Do you disagree with them morally?
I don’t think you have to agree with someone’s personal beliefs entirely – or even at all to work with them. But if it makes you uncomfortable, they might not be the right choice.
I am not the right business coach for everyone.
I create soulful strategy…and that changes a lot from person to person depending on their beliefs and needs. For some, that might just be scheduling self-care tasks that are as top priority as the biz tasks. For someone else, there might be success rituals or attracting client meditations.
If the idea that I will help someone incorporate tools like astrology or energy work into business strategy makes you uncomfortable, find someone who doesn’t make you uncomfortable. It’s as easy as that.
You don’t have to put up with anything. If someone is “too woo woo” for you, keep looking. If someone isn’t woo woo enough, keep looking. You’re looking for someone you resonate and click with.
Who lights your soul up?
Who reinvigorates your excitement about your business?
Do they show income reports?
It gets a little dicey here – income reports don’t necessarily mean that someone isn’t the right choice.
Buttttttt I have been seeing a pattern on some lately, so I will bring this up.
If all of their profits are going to expenses, and they’re left with pennies a month – watch out.
Especially when you factor in that they still need to pay taxes on all money earned – which means that small profit…could be a net negative. (For generalities, assume 30% tax. This will be different in each state and dependent on your business structure. I’m not an accountant.)
Example using easy numbers:
They make: $1000 a month
After expenses, profit equals: 200
After taxes, they’ve made… -100.
Most businesses aren’t hugely profitable the first year. (But do you want to be like most businesses?)
Open honesty is great. (But are they touting their income as a great win, or acknowledging that they’re still not profiting?)
This example would be a red flag for me. In this case, I’d also take a look at their expenses to get an idea of their structure. Could they have made a positive profit if they stayed trim and lean? Or is it just a case of sometimes growth takes money?
All in all, it’s about:
– What someone can do for you
– How well you work with them
– If they support you in a way that benefits you and your business.
Are there any other things you question when looking at a new coach?
Any red flags you particularly look for?
PS: If you LOVE the idea of soulful strategy, check out how to work with me. 💖