Unlike CEO appointments who get handsomely rewarded with great perks for the hard work they do, while having the company’s management team and board of directors at their beck and call, entrepreneurs aren’t that lucky when it comes to matching the effort they put into running their establishment and the compensation they get hence the high small business failure rate that we all know about, currently sitting at 63% according to ABSA small business unit. In terms of executive management failures, entrepreneurs are the hardest hit, statistics-wise because most of them are either one-man bands or highly understaffed. Truth is they just cannot afford to hire the extra help they need to keep them lucid, sane and thriving.
Professional executive coaches can help entrepreneurs to stay focused and avoid unnecessary distractions that can take them off track. Ray Williams in Wired for Success explained that “Professional executive coaches can help leaders grow and improve performance, reduce or eliminate their blind spots and be open to constructive feedback, not only reducing the likelihood of failure, and premature burnout but also provide an atmosphere in which the executive can express fears, failures and dreams. Smart CEOs and progressive organizations now realize the value of a good CEO coach.”
Here are two top reasons why every entrepreneur needs an advisor:
- To help with business development growth – The role of the coach here is to make sure that the entrepreneur behaves professionally at all times and to steer him back in the right direction should he get distracted and lose focus. The best way to execute this objective is by making sure that the entrepreneur sets business development goals, complete with time lines and activity sheets to allow for progress tracking. The professional executive coach’s job involves the scheduling of regular meetings with the entrepreneur where performance will be monitored and doubts, distractions as well as aspirations will be explored in order to keep the entrepreneurial spirit positive and performance level high.
The coach will often remind you not to take things personally and that haters are the order of the day when climbing the success ladder in business. A professional executive coach will act as your voice of reason when things get pretty hectic for you to prevent you from losing your footing. He will teach you to listen to what haters they are telling you as opposed how they are telling it.
- To help with personal development growth– Entrepreneurs often fail because they cannot disassociate their small business from themselves. They and the business are one in their mind. They personalise every blunder and every failure. And this is where the professional executive coach comes in. He teaches the importance of emotionally distancing oneself from what’s going on in the business and the art of tackling every challenge with the highest level of objectivity possible.
Through the use of a professional executive coaching every entrepreneur can learn to develop a more positive approach in how they handle negativity.
Running a business is hard work and without the right team of experts on your side, you run the risk of becoming a small business failure statistic. When choosing a coach, choose someone that is passion-driven as opposed to money-driven. It doesn’t matter who they have coached in the past, what matters is whether or not they are committed to your success and are willing to walk this journey with you all the way to the top. Sound business experience also plays a big role in how effective your mentor/business advisor is going to be. Because there are so many people out there who play the role of mentor and are misleading entrepreneurs because all they have is textbook experience and they lack practical experience.
A true advisor must have a track record to prove his claims. Most businesses fail because they don’t have the discipline necessary to pick a winning team. They’d rather choose a friend or a family member to manage them even though it’s clear that the family member is not as committed to their life goals as they would have liked their manager to be.
A true coach will push you to do better and increase the bar each time it feels like your capacity to deliver is growing as your experience and knowledge grows. A true coach will tell you when it’s time to take a vacation because you have been working so hard, but he will never push you to the point where you literally snap. A true coach is there to build you, grow you, teach you and increase your business’s bottom line. His intervention must somehow help in upping the company’s revenue. Monitor this closely, if months and years go by but there’s no significant improvement in the company’s revenue, maybe it’s time to find yourself a new advisor. One who will make financial goals a priority area in his coaching.