In first half of 20th century, Napoleon Hill interviewed dozens of business giants like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, and Charles Schwab to write a book called “Think and Grow Rich”. He along with other pioneers of that time started a new thought movement that is still alive and growing fast like never before. It did lead to tremendous research and creation of literature unparalleled in human history with countless books on every conceivable area of self development and entrepreneurship. Today, we have cutting edge information on workings of mind, role of thoughts and habits in our life, psychology of success, negotiation skills, sales and marketing, buying habits of people based on income-age-gender-country-religion, venture capitalism, pitching, visualization so on and so forth. Widespread use of computers and advent of internet has brought people around the globe so close that you can easily work with team comprising of people from all corners of the planet. Development in communication and transport technologies has made each person walking on earth your potential customer.
Today, there are many business schools which prepare the students to handle the businesses successfully. There are startup accelerator programs, entrepreneurship seminars and networking events. Entrepreneurship is “in”. No one looks down upon entrepreneurs even when they are experimenting and still haven’t reached there. Venture capitalist and banks are more open to new ideas and players. Most of the progressive governments are backing innovation and entrepreneurship knowing it is only way forward.
This kind of change in social perspective about business, awareness amongst general population and easily available knowledge has lead to more people from all walks of life trying their hands in entrepreneurship. We have countless middle class success stories as well as rags to riches stories from around the world, which are attributed to business ventures, doing rounds of TV channels, social media sites like You Tube, Facebook and thousands of blogs. They fuel the ambition of even more people to ditch their 9 to 5 jobs and dive in world of businesses. Seeing so many others making it big, certainly bring smile on many faces.
Unfortunately, this is just one side of story and proverbial tip of iceberg. You must have heard the grim statistics given by Bloomberg and Small Business Administration respectively – 90% of startups fail in first 18 months and 65% percent of small businesses fail to go beyond 10 years. (Please note that the purpose of providing the statistics in not to dissuade you from going ahead or to put fear in your mind but to make you aware of realities so that you can prepare well and be part of successful group which did well. Or rather increase the overall percentage of people who do well). To make the most sense of the numbers shared above, let’s try to understand the background of individuals who are venturing into businesses.
New businesses are started by people who already have run other ventures as well as the first time entrepreneurs. The first timers come in all shapes and sizes. On one hand, we have professionals (who have just left their jobs) who have virtually done everything that they would be required to do in their own business. On other hand, we have youngsters (who are still in their schools) working on some app/website/food recipe and want to convert that into money making business. In between we have everyone else – former employees with skills in particular area of business, young entrepreneurs with no experience, stay at home moms, people who can not work because of health challenges, members of families who have lost their jobs to recession, individuals working on their ideas while still having a full time job, those who can not get jobs anywhere else, fresh graduates, dropouts, retired people, homeless people, senior citizens, experienced friends-siblings with complementary skills who want to work together, those who want to change domain of work, artists, sportsmen, new immigrants so on and so forth.
Many times they read business related books, watch videos, and attend seminars to prepare themselves and when they feel ready they take plunge. Could you imagine people going on a war without getting trained?
Why is a Business Coach so important?
Every venture has two major entities – The person running it and the business itself.
A business is an extension of a person running it. If the person is limited in his thoughts so will be his venture. A doubt-ridden, unclear founder can’t create a grand organization. Every individual goes through positive development and growth which is reflected in the success of his business as well. A person’s health in different areas matters a lot, like – professional, physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual. Being strong in these areas is essential for overall development of an entrepreneur.
E.g. a person who has issues with anger is less likely to have cordial relationship with the clients, particularly during challenging times.
Having faith and working towards your vision even when the reality seems very grim is more of a spiritual exercise.
Entrepreneur can have issues like procrastination, imposter’s syndrome, negative subconscious beliefs etc. These issues need to be addressed at the very beginning of the journey.
The business side of venture deals with writing a business plan, creating quality services or products, following laws of land while setting up the business, hiring right people, raising funds, finding clients, saving money through efficient outsourcing etc.
A lot of first time entrepreneurs fail to appreciate the fact that there is a lot more to creating a successful business than just having groundbreaking products. If they have been phenomenally successful in providing certain services at their jobs, it means they have the potential and the services are in demand but unless many other things like those mentioned above are taken care of, they could not taste the success.
You can not go on the war and expect to win without physical, mental and emotional training. Neither can you do good if you don’t have the understanding of the war itself and expertise in using the weapons. Unless you are ready on both fronts, the odds are against you. A business coach understands it very well and can help prepare you early on. That is why a coach is so important. There can not be a cookie cutter solution. Every individual is at different level and need individualized attention based on his needs.
A good business coach is similar to sports coach in many ways. He knows what it takes to succeed. Most likely he has done it many times and has enjoyed the joy of success.
He is aware of the challenges one would face along the path. You may be someone who just became aware of the fact that you want to try out the game or someone who has already done quite well and want to go to next level. A coach would know exactly where you are and lead you all the way to your dreams.
Your Business Coach’s Instincts:
We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them – Albert Einstein.
A good business coach should be many levels above you. He must have experienced the business lifecycle in so many forms and varieties, that he has developed sixth sense and could see things even before they happen. In the movie Spectre, James Bond comes to a point at which he could not trust people around him. He shares some secrets with an associate who goes by the name Moneypenny. On her asking how could he trust her? He answers – “Instinct”. A good mentor has developed certain instincts. He is not infallible and all knowing but he still tremendously improves your chances of taking the right decision whether you want to try time tested strategy or brand new approach.
A good coach acts as a mentor, and serves as your guide on your journey and is as invested in your success as you are. A good mentor is essential because he increase the chances of your success by helping you unlock your own potential and keep you from making mistakes which he has already seen others make. He saves a lot of time and money which you may loose if you go by the route of trial and error. He gives you the roadmap which can lead to success beyond your dreams.