5 reasons a small business owner should consider a coach or mentor


In my business, one of my offerings is executive coaching. I spend time with leaders helping them define success, get clarity on goals, decide what is important to them, develop effective behaviours and grow their emotional intelligence.

As my business has grown, I have found myself increasingly time poor and starting to feel a bit scattered. I am suffering from “not enough time in the day” syndrome. Which, coincidentally, is often what my clients are struggling with. So I have taken my own advice and engaged a coach / mentor. My reasons?

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1 Time Commitment. It is very easy to book calendar time to work on your business (or your leadership), however other priorities have a nasty habit of overtaking. I might have a half day blocked out to do some business planning and a client calls me with a request. I find it too easy to book the client into that half day. A booked time with a coach is a commitment that you can’t easily overbook with something else.
2 Clarity. My coach and I are going to review how I work. We will look at systems, outsourcing and solutions to free me up to do what I do best. We will target my efforts on the sweet spot – what I love doing, what I am good at and what people and businesses will pay me to do.
3 Implementation. My coach has templates, systems and contacts to help me get all the important but not urgent things cleared off my to-do list. Web redesign? Sorted. A photographer to do new headshots? Done. Yes, I could do or source all these things myself, but it all takes precious time (my excuse for not having it done already!)
4 Accountability. It is not easy to let things slip when you have your coach expecting an update on your progress. We agree on an action list, and I get on with it because I know that someone is keeping an eye on my progress. Because I am paying my coach, I have skin in the game and that is a big motivator to make progress.
5 Reinforcement. Sometimes when working on new products and services, a bit of self-doubt creeps in. A coach is someone to bounce ideas off, someone who can ask the right questions to keep me on the right track.

So, those are my 5 reasons for engaging a coach. I am interested in hearing your experiences. Have you got a business coach or mentor? What is your main reason for having one? What has been the biggest benefit to you?

photo credit: International Information Program (IIP) via photopin cc

Rosalind Cardinal

Rosalind is the Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, an Australian consultancy, specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations. Ros works with leaders and managers who are experiencing challenges truly leveraging the talents and skills of their people. She is a solutions and results oriented facilitator and coach, with a career in the Human Resources and Organisational Development field spanning more than 20 years. Ros brings an energetic and proactive approach combined with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Her expertise spans leadership development, organisational culture, team building, change and transition management, organisational behaviour, employee engagement and motivation, strategic direction and management.

Ros is a talented executive and leadership coach, with current coaching clients at Executive and Senior levels in Government agencies, private enterprise and the community sectors. She is a sought after guest speaker and subject matter expert at events and conferences.

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2 replies on “5 reasons a small business owner should consider a coach or mentor

  • Sally Asnicar

    Great article and very true. After shopping around (because mentors can be very expensive) I found a great business coach through Smallbiz Connect. The logical steps, the homework, the confidence building; it was all extremely helpful in getting me focussed, setting goals, hardening up (rather than being hard on myself) and learning to manage my time better so that I can focus ON my business as well as working in it. I would recommend it to anyone starting out. My only regret is I waited so long to engage his services.

  • roland Hanekroot

    Great article Ros,
    I came across a discussion about the article in Linkedin and contributed there, but I thought I’d add another thought to your 5 reasons for taking on a coach (business or otherwise).
    I often say (partly in jest) that it’s actually not my brilliance that creates the amazing outcomes that my clients nearly always have, I am firmly convinced that (one of ) the biggest factors that drive the changes and positive developments for my clients, is the commitment they’ve made. Taking on a business coach is a big commitment of time, energy and money, often quite big. I like to say: “Engaging me is full on, it’s intense and it’s made grown men (and women) cry… but it works”. Making the decision to invest the time and energy and money means that the client becomes completely invested in making the engagement work… Because of that I have seen many instances and experienced them myself where coaching and mentoring relationships haven’t worked because either the client didn’t have to pay for them or the engagement wasn’t structured so that there had to be a significant commitment to get involved… The contradiction is that the easier it is to take on a coach, the less likely it is that the engagement will deliver groundbreaking change and development… So I make it really hard to engage with me… haha

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