High performers in any field typically have a coach or a mentor. A business coach is very similar to a sports coach. In sports, a coach pushes an athlete to achieve optimal performance, provide support, push them further than they would on their own, tell it like it is and actively listen. Business coaching does much of the same thing but is focused on creating a successful business.

The role of a business coach is to coach business owners through guidance, support, accountability, and encouragement. They should ask more questions than they answer and force you to think about your business in ways that you wouldn’t on your own. Business coaching helps business owners with their sales, marketing, and time management among other things. Don’t obsess over finding a coach from your own industry. Sometimes the best coaches know nothing about your industry. It’s their status as an outsider that makes their perspective so valuable. Unless your looking for a specific functional skills based coaching (i.e. how to be a better engineer, how to improve your golf swing etc) resist hiring someone from your industry. You’ll end up sharing the same knowledge of your industry, the same thinking, the same presumptions. Sure, it will make for a comfortable relationship but staying in your comfort zone is not what you are looking for. Personal and professional growth never stems from comfort zones and ideas need to be challenged to help foster that growth. People from the same industry will have the same thinking process and biases. Have an open mind, hire someone outside your field, and allow your leadership style to be challenged. You may gain a whole new perspective on your business that will surpass your competition!

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