Coaching can be a double edge sword.
What do I mean by that?
On one side it is a necessary evil to really succeed. Perhaps evil isn’t the right word. Let’s go with a necessary step on your journey to success.
The other side is no matter how good the coach is, it is ultimately up to you to work things out.
I have been a coach for many years and have had coaching throughout my years as an athlete. The challenge now is trying to figure out the transition from coaching an athletic skill to a business skill.
I am of the belief that most skills can be learned. In business, I have found the difficulty is in identifying the skill that is most important to you at any given time. Business is dynamic as a result you need to be prepared for the idiosyncrasies you will encounter. You cannot possibly be the expert in all that is your business. Your business is constantly faced with changes in the marketplace.
Social media platforms are constantly changing their rules of engagement. The government is now becoming more involved in what they perceive to be necessary guidelines you are to follow. And then there are the watchdogs, unknown entities who roam the internet with the belief they know best. In some cases they do.
You may or may not have employees but you will definitely have eyes on you. The skills you thought you had may be outdated or even obsolete. And if you are just entering the online entrepreneur business you may not even have any of the skills necessary yet.
Therefore, the trick for you is to understand where you are currently and find the ideal coach for you at this particular time. Your coach or mentor you chose at this time most likely will not be the one you have for your whole journey. Understand that. Your business is a dynamic force. Your coaches will also be dynamic forces throughout your journey.
YES, business is full of skills. Unfortunately, we quite often fail to understand quickly enough when and where we need this help. In most cases, we did not learn them or identify with them during our formative years.
Athletes already know the ultimate skills they need to excel in their chosen sport. Depending on their sport there were finite things they had to do, had to learn to progress. Finding someone who could identify their weaknesses and their strengths, build on them, improve on them was critical for their development. The athletic world was ripe with those who could help most athletes achieve their potential.
That being said, you and you alone determined which sport and which activity in the sport you wanted to excel in. In many cases, this journey began at a very young age.
Did you ever start playing baseball by first learning to hit with a ball on a T? Perhaps your journey playing basketball started on the playground courts tossing the basketball at a worn out hoop? Maybe you found yourself on the mini-putt running around with the colored balls tossing them through the clown’s mouth. Or just maybe grabbing your parents’ racquet, being content on batting that tennis ball against the school wall in the summertime. The point is, at some time you, as an athlete, found a sport you could spend all day playing and found people around you who encouraged you to do so.
Some of you got good enough to play on high school teams, some on college teams and some even lucky enough to earn a living participating in an activity that you have loved throughout your life. All through these stages you were taught, coached, encouraged to be better, to get better.
This does not only describe the athlete’s journey. There’s the musician who discovered a love for piano, guitar, violin or simply singing. What instrument got your attention? Did you love it enough to spend your waking hours playing it, or imagining yourself playing it? Did you lay in bed dreaming of entertaining thousands of adoring fans?
What about those of you who took part on the chess team, or debate team. Those of you who had an urge to be creative with arts and crafts, the drama club or even literary club? Did you find yourself looking forward every day to participating in these activities?
Now I am going to ask that you remember while you participated in these activities what made the activities so special, and then what if at any time did you find that you regretted your decisions, your choice, your activity? Who helped you along the way? Was there one special person or were there many? Did you change your “Tutor/Teacher/Instructor/Coach” along the way?
You see, to learn a skill, you not only need to know where you are starting from but even more so, where you want to end up. This knowledge allows you to determine who you seek out to help you on your journey. Will you stumble with your choices from time to time, absolutely? However, if you know where you want to go and understand the skills you need to learn you will always have the ability to pick yourself up and start again. Question is, will you?
What makes an athlete great? Along with that line, what makes an entrepreneur great?
Each needs to learn various skills. Neither will succeed alone. There will be many coaches, many mentors along the way. Each level learned will mean in most cases a new mentor or coach will be required to move forward. It is a rarity that one who is considered to be an elite ( master of their profession) will have done it either alone or with only one person by their side.
Yet, with online marketers, that is quite often the case.
The new online entrepreneur quite often tries to go it alone. There may be many reasons for this but in many cases, it is through a lack of knowing what they don’t know.
I know this is cliche but don’t roll your eyes. Most online entrepreneurs are entering a business world they are not prepared for hoping to find that magical solution to all their problems.
They were not the budding “build it in the garage” entrepreneur who at least had a dream that already motivated them. They more than likely answered an ad. “Sign up for this done for you, business in a box”.
The problem is if you have been an employee for most of your life you will not be able to understand the “what you don’t know”.
You did not start your business journey with the ball on the “T”. Nor did you start two feet away before moving back further and further with subsequent catches and throws.
I am surmising here that you probably did not even tell anyone you were jumping into the online marketing world afraid of the backlash. Does that mean you are destined to fail?
Statistics say yes. Like the outside business world, a significant percentage of online businesses will fail. However, after listening to Jim Rohn’s lecture (Building Your Network Marketing Business) where he talks about the farmer sowing seeds (apparently a biblical story) I started thinking. Perhaps it is not that so many businesses fail, it’s that so many entrepreneurs quit. One reason your “why” is so very important.
The analogy is simple, eventually you will find that field that is right for you, where your seeds will grow the way you want them to and you can depend on the continuing relationship. He states “the farmer keeps on sowing”. If you can keep getting up and dusting yourself off. Working, again and again, eventually, you will find using all your knowledge you have learned, learning from your failures, you will succeed
The internet has created an indelible platform that allows so many more entrepreneurs to succeed. You are no longer limited to you surroundings. Your only limits are the limits you place on yourself.
This brings me to my topic of coaching. Mentoring for some who feel more at ease with that term.
Business is ripe full of skills. You may have some already but invariably there will be some you do not have that you will need.
Once again assuming you are new, that you were not brought up in the business world, knowing all the vernacular, all the must do’s and must haves you will be tasked with not only understanding but implementing skills you probably were unaware of.
Daunting, but not impossible.
There are many systems out there that will offer training to help you get started on your journey. Following their appropriate steps should get you started. Your level of success will depend on you learning more. Learning what you don’t know, so you succeed at a level that will satisfy you.
Start with a plan, know where you are starting from and where you want to go. If this is still not something you can do seek out someone who can help you. Once you have created your business plan decide what you know versus what you do not know. Find the appropriate mentor for the areas you do not know and proceed to implement the tasks that you can.
Your business plan will include your budget, web design, marketing, and education. Your education must include coaching. You cannot nor should you do this alone.
There are areas that you can sub out. Meaning there are services that can do many of the business activities you may not be experienced in or have the time for. You may be afraid to seek them out so before you sign up, learn all you can for the service. Why should you use them? What can they do for you? Is it worth spending the money on them or is there a better one out there for you? Your mentor or coach can help you with this.
Seek out others who have been there and done that. Who do you know working the same or similar business that is very successfully? Ask them. Are they able to recommend services that they may use? Could they recommend someone who could help you with choosing a service? Perhaps they may even be willing to walk you through the steps. Quite often they themselves may offer a coaching program of their own. Be sure they are someone you want to work with. The know, like and trust comes up with this as well.
One thing that is hard for the new online entrepreneur is becoming overwhelmed. That is why your business plan is so very important. Your plan must have blocks or steps that not only take you where you want to go but must be small enough that each step will lead you to success. Create that checklist of must do’s and when the tasks are done, check them off and celebrate.
You may find you will want several coaches. A coach for your mindset, a coach for your business, coach or mentor to keep tabs on your analytics and maybe even one for your health. Ultimately it is up to you. Where do you want to start?
There are basically several steps for a successful business. I have created videos on each of them. If you are interested, start with the first one, subscribe to my YouTube channel and you will have access to them all: Challenge, Commitment, Comfort, Collected, Confidence, Control, Credibility, Change, Connected and Contribute. These will be your building blocks.
As much as this pains me to say, this journey of being an online entrepreneur is one which will take time. You will have successes but like any skill that you learn, there will be plateaus. Don’t quit. Stick to your plan and if your plan needs changing revisit it with your coach to determine where and how.
Keep your goals front and center at all times. This will help you move past the muddy waters. If your business plan has been realistic, well thought out then maintain the confidence to keep going. Your journey starts with your WHY and keeps going with the right mentors.
As I mentioned many programs have their own systems that will guide you through the initial part of your journey. Not a bad place to start your entrepreneurial journey.