Could you work with a business coach?

Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand

By Terry Sage, Trades Coaching New Zealand


There’s a regular question I get asked after somebody enquires about what I do for a living.

So I say I am a business coach, and they either get it straight away because they have used one or, more commonly, they ask “oh yeah, what’s that then?”

This question comes in varying formats — what’s that, what do you actually do, how does that work then, or the blank look followed by “a what?”

I am never sure if I should be flattered that my job is so elite that not many people know about it, or devastated that my chosen profession is looked upon as a non-entity.

On the bright side, I console myself by thinking that the ones that know are in the know, and the ones that aren’t are potential clients. A bit cliche sounding I know, but it keeps me getting up in the morning and wanting to go to work.

We could look at it another way and consider the fact that those who know about business coaching know the endless benefits it can present, and those that don’t are missing out.

Or, and this is probably more accurate, they don’t realise they need a coach.

Which brings me to another regular question I get asked: “Why do I need a business coach?” So let’s explore who needs a coach and why. 

There are two ways to look at this — the first, and by far my favourite, is that everybody needs a great business coach (although I might be slightly biased here).

The second is, if you’re a great businessperson and doing well, then keep going on your own (which is the way a lot of people think).

So let’s take number one, and use a sporting analogy. We have many world-beating sports stars who are fantastic at their jobs, are the best worldwide, and all have a busload of varied coaches that handle diet, strength, high performance, skill etc — plus a manager and a business coach.

Without this busload of helpers would they have achieved their number one status and been able to stay there? That’s not an easy question to answer, and it brings up yet another question — is having the right skills all we need these days to sustain greatness?

The second way to look at this is where most businesspeople are — great at their jobs and running good businesses, but where could they be with a little help?

Maybe Paul, Ringo, John and the other dude were wannabe business coaches when they sang “I get by with a little help from my friends”.

Perhaps if they sang “I’d get by much better with a little help from my friends” they could have made thousands from business coaching and not millions from have pudding bowl haircuts (what do you mean, songs have to rhyme? Nobody told Sid Vicious or Johnny Rotten that).

So, where am I going with this story? I would like to say everybody should have a business coach by their side, and I strongly believe that (so does my bank manager), but, truth is, business coaching is not for everybody.

Whether you need one or not (and everybody does), if you don’t have the mindset or are not willing to work alongside a coach, then there will be absolutely no positive benefit — and, quite possibly, a negative impact.

Yes, unfortunately like everything else in your kingdom, it all comes down to you. Tough at the top, but that’s why you get paid the big bucks, right?

How do you know if you can work with a business coach or if you really need one? We’ll be looking at those questions over the next couple of issues.

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