"If it really was a no-brainer
to make it on your own in business there'd be millions of no-brained,
harebrained, and otherwise dubiously brained individuals quitting their
day jobs and hanging out their own shingles."
WHY COACHING IS CRUCIAL FOR BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
It's the big dream for many of us -- owning our own business.
And why wouldn't it be? After all, when you own your own business you no longer have to answer to anyone! You're the boss. You get to do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it. It's an exhilarating and exciting feeling.
Of course, there are always two sides to everything. In order to experience that freedom, you must be able to survive as a business entity. Easier said than done. Statistics on small business consistently show that more than a third fail during their first year, and close to nine out of ten fail before their tenth year.
And what sends them to their demise? According to Dun & Bradstreet, over 88% of all business failures are related to "management mistakes".
Yikes! As Pogo, the famous cartoon character of years ago, used to say, "We have met the enemy, and he is us"!
The problem is that while most owners are smart and have good experience, skills and abilities in key areas of their businesses, few have any training in the fundamental skills required to run a small business or professional practice. As a result, they are quite susceptible to making all kinds of mistakes.
You're probably aware of some of the classic types of mistakes that can put a company out of business, such as not having enough financial reserves or not having a good plan to market the business.
You may not be as aware, however, of what I call "stealth" mistakes: those that fly completely under the business owner's radar. Stealth mistakes usually stem from the owner's "baggage": his or her personal likes, dislikes, prejudices, blind spots, fears or personality quirks. As an example, you've probably seen situations where an employee, perhaps because he or she is in an important position, has a lot of sway over the owner; to the point where the employee is allowed to get away with behaviors that are abusive to others or disruptive to the organization. What the owner can't see is that by condoning such behavior, he may be creating a very damaging morale situation, one that is likely to result in a cascade of turnover and other problems in the future.
Stealth mistakes may not have serious repercussions immediately, but they can gradually erode a company's foundation.
Businesses are fraught with situations that are ripe for stealth mistakes. Which is why I think every business owner ought to have a coach to help uncover and address potential mistakes before they bear serious consequences.
When I became a full-time coach in 1998, it was only natural that small business owners were one of the groups I felt most drawn to help. After all, I had owned several businesses over a period of 25 years. In addition, for 10 years, I had participated in a roundtable-coaching group of small business owners. We met once a month, all day long, to give and get advice on our most pressing issues. It was in this environment that I really began to see how prevalent stealth mistakes are, and what they could do to small businesses.
Bottom line, all of that experience, combined with my formal coach training,
has given me unique insight into knowing how to coach business owners
and professionals through their day-to-day challenges and opportunities.
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"You are a good listener. Non-judgmental
and non-threatening, yet tenacious. Underneath this mild-mannered man
is a very fearless entrepreneur."
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Paul O'Connor, MCC
Executive, Career and Life Coaching For High Achievers