Disqualified! How to Find the Best Business Coach -

Disqualified! How to Find the Best Business Coach

If you’ve ever typed “business coach” into a search engine, you’re likely familiar with the overwhelming flood of results – over half a million, to be exact. Even if you had the time, sifting through all the options can be exhausting. So, how do you find the perfect coach for your unique needs? Here’s a streamlined approach to make your quest manageable and successful.

Disqualifying the Theoretical Business Coaches

The first thing you do when scouting for a business coach is kick the theoretical ones to the curb. You know the type – they’ve read all the books and attended all the seminars, but they’ve got zilch when it comes to real-world business experience.

Book smarts don’t beat street smarts in business coaching. 

No matter how much they know, armchair experts will invariably fail for several reasons:

  1. Theories sound great on paper, but the business battlefield is different. You need a coach who knows the terrain, not just the map.
  2. Theoretical coaches might have strategies, but they’re untested in the fires of real business scenarios. You need tactics that have been through the wringer.
  3. A coach who has been in the trenches understands the emotional rollercoaster of running a business. They bring empathy and understanding that a purely theoretical coach can’t.

In short, you must disqualify the theoretical coaches immediately and look for someone who’s been in the arena, fought the battles, and has the scars to prove it. That’s the kind of coach who can lead you to victory.

Avoid Affiliates

Beware of coaches who are mere affiliates of big-name gurus. These are the type who’ve hitched their wagon to some big-name guru, thinking a sprinkle of stardust makes them coaching wizards. Newsflash: it doesn’t.

While they’ve often bought into a program and got their certificate, the affiliate coach is just peddling someone else’s playbook. For instance, while Tony Robbins is phenomenal, not all coaches trained under his philosophy may guarantee success. These affiliate coaches might have excellent training, but:

  • They often echo the teachings of their gurus with little personal flair or adaptability. You need originality, not a parrot.
  • They tend to have a one-size-fits-all approach. Your business isn’t a cookie; you shouldn’t let them treat it like one.
  • Many affiliates skim the surface. They’re more about motivational speeches than diving into the nitty-gritty of your business.

To get real results, you want a business coach who’s been in the trenches, not one who’s just walked the seminar aisles. Here’s how to spot a genuine one:

  • Unique Philosophy: Look for coaches with their philosophy and methodologies. Original thinking is key.
  • Breadth of Experience: A top-notch coach has a rich tapestry of experience – not just a certificate from a weekend course.
  • Customized Strategies: The best coaches tailor their strategies to fit your business, not vice versa.
  • Beyond the Buzzwords: A real pro talks substance, not just buzzwords and guru jargon.

No Part-Timers: Full-Time Commitment or Bust

When you’re in the market for a business coach, you’re not looking for a weekend warrior or someone who treats this like their side hustle. No, you need a coach who’s all in – someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes business coaching.

Part-time coaches are like dabblers – they’re testing the waters but haven’t plunged into the deep end. Here’s why they’re a no-go:

  1. A part-timer’s focus is split, and you can bet your bottom dollar that their best effort isn’t exclusively yours. You want a coach whose mind isn’t wandering to their other gig.
  2. Full-time coaches have skin in the game. They’ve seen it all and then some. This experience is gold and part-timers; they’re still collecting nuggets.
  3. When the going gets tough, you need a coach who’s a call away, not someone juggling jobs and can only “get back to you” when it’s convenient for them.
  4. Full-time coaches constantly upgrade their skills, stay on top of trends, and invest in their development. Part-timers? They’re more likely to be playing catch-up.
  5. A full-time coach has a certain air about them – confidence, a sense of purpose, and a laser focus. It’s unmistakable. A part-timer may need more time you don’t have to perfect their technique. That can cost you more than you’ll ever gain from them.

Evaluate the Business Coach’s Testimonials and Success Stories

A solid, full-time coach has a history and a client list that speaks volumes. They’ve been around the block and have the success stories to prove it. However, avoid falling for just any success story.

Testimonials are like those five-star reviews on a product; they look shiny, but you must dig a bit. You’re looking for stories that resonate with your situation. Did this coach help someone out of a rut that sounds like your Monday morning? That’s the information you want to know.

So, how do you separate the gold from the glitter? Here are some pointers:

  • Specifics Matter: Look for testimonials that get into the nitty-gritty. General praise like “great coach” is excellent, but what you want are the specifics – what exactly did they do to turn the tide for someone?
  • Relatability: Can you see your own business in these success stories? If the coach has a history of helping businesses like yours, that’s a green light.
  • The Before and After: What was the business like before the coach stepped in, and what changed? You’re looking for transformations, not just touch-ups.
  • Consistency is Key: One hit wonder? No thanks. You want a coach with a track record of consistent success. If they’ve repeatedly helped businesses level up, chances are they’ve got a secret sauce that works.
  • Skepticism is Healthy: Take every testimonial with a grain of salt. Remember, they’re marketing tools, so they’re polished to shine.
  • The Personal Touch: Does the coach have a knack for personalizing their approach, or do they apply a one-size-fits-all method? Tailored strategies are usually more effective.

Assess the Chemistry

If your coach’s presence doesn’t spark excitement in you, and their words don’t make you sit up and listen, then what’s the point? You need a coach who’s not just a brain full of strategies but also someone who gets you. They should understand your drive, passion, and what makes you tick. Without this connection, you’ll be just going through the motions, and let’s be honest, nobody’s got time for that.

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Tips for Sizing Up Chemistry in the First Meet

So, how do you figure out if this coach is your kind of person? Here are a few pointers for your initial consultations:

  1. First Impressions Count: Do they come across as someone you can respect and admire? Or do they seem like they’re just reciting a script? Trust your gut on this one.
  2. Communication Style: Are they speaking your language? I’m not talking about English or Spanish here. Do they get their points across in a way that resonates with you? Are they clear, concise, and on your wavelength?
  3. Challenge Accepted: A good coach should challenge you – but in a way that energizes you, not makes you want to roll your eyes. Do they ask tough questions that make you think?
  4. Inspiration Factor: Do they leave you pumped and ready to tackle your business hurdles? It might be a miss if you’re not feeling inspired after a session.
  5. The Laughter Test: It might seem trivial, but can you share a laugh? Humor is an excellent indicator of a comfortable rapport; you’re likely on the right track if you find humor in the same things.
  6. Respect and Relatability: Do they respect your views and experiences? Can you relate to them and their stories? Mutual respect and relatability are essential for a fruitful coaching relationship.

Leveraging Networks and Online Resources in Your Search

If a Google search leaves you with more questions, try your existing networks. Your LinkedIn contacts, professional groups, even that old college buddy who’s now a business hotshot – these are invaluable resources.

First, you’ll get personal endorsements. As any entrepreneur knows, nothing beats a recommendation from someone you trust. If they’ve had a great experience with a coach, that’s a lead worth exploring.

Second, you’ll get real insights into the coach. People in your network can give you the lowdown on how a coach operates in real life – beyond the shiny testimonials.

Third, and most importantly, you get the inside scoop. Sometimes, the best coaches are the ones who only advertise a little because their reputation keeps them busy. Your network can help you uncover these hidden gems.

Then, there’s the world of online resources. Websites, forums, and professional coaching directories are all there waiting to be explored. Places like industry forums can be goldmines of information because people are usually more candid about their experiences here than on official testimonials.

Additionally, check out their educational content, if any. Many top coaches put out blogs, podcasts, or webinars. Consume this content. It’s a free sample of their coaching style and expertise.

Final Thoughts

Remember, every business coach will tell you they’re the best. But, the best coach for someone else might not be the best for you. It’s your game, your rules. Don’t settle for just any coach – find the one that makes you eager to jump out of bed and crush those goals. When you find that person, you’ll know.

Larry Vivola is a successful business coach who coaches entrepreneurs anywhere in the world via Zoom. If he’s not coaching he’s making meatballs and entertaining friends and family!

Free Advice Sucks! Invest in a one-time strategy session and pick Larry’s brain to help solve a pressing problem, discuss an idea, or brainstorm how to give your business performance a Turbo Boost!!! In the end your investment will yield you more money, time, and happiness! 

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