#1 You have unrealistic expectations
Now, that could be the time it's going to take or the results that you're going to get. Sometimes you'll get referred to a coach or a coaching organisation because a friend of yours that owns a business has had an amazing result working with their coach, and you think you're going to get the same result.
It's important that when you work with a business coach or advisor, you have a realistic expectation as to the time it's going to take, or the results you’re going to get.
Both of those things, while possible, are very unlikely.
If I was to 10 x your business in the next 12 months it would probably kill you. So, make sure you've got realistic expectations when it comes to working with anybody helping you grow your business.
#2 You get the ‘What’ but not the ‘How’
What I mean by this, is you'll meet with your advisor or your coach and you'll have a discussion, a cup of coffee, or whatever it might be, there'll be accountability, and you'll decide what it is that you need to get done, and you probably know what you need to do anyway, most people do.
If I said to you write down the 10 things that you know you should be doing but you're not doing, I'm sure you could come up with that list within the next 5 to 10 minutes.
It’s not necessarily what's got to be done, what you need is the ‘how’. Most business coaches don't give you the how, and if they do tell you how to do something, they typically don't give you the tools to make it happen.
I think it's important that if you're going to work with somebody, not only do they help you identify what needs to be done and prioritise those things but then they show you how to do them, and then they give you the tools and shortcuts. Whether it's checklists, templates, scripts, it could be spreadsheets or software, they should have the tools to be able to make it happen for you in a much quicker way, you want a shortcut, that's why you've come to them, right? You want their shortcut, you want to get there faster.
#3 Lack of community
I have seen business coaches that are afraid to bring their clients together because they don't want them to mix and mingle in case somebody's not happy, then they’ll tell somebody else!
As an entrepreneur, as a business owner, the most powerful thing you can do is network with other like-minded people. I'm a big promoter and fan of connecting all our members, we've got hundreds of members that come together on a regular basis, whether it's online or offline. In our community we see some amazing, powerful things happening, relationships getting built, networks being built, referrals being given and a lot of learning happening from each other.
In fact, we see a lot of accountability and buddying up because members share their goals and their progress with other members, that inspires them to keep moving forward and to see that it is possible.
The other thing that happens when you consume yourself or immerse yourself into an entrepreneurial community is you see other people having their failures as well, going through the same dips and troughs that you're going through and that helps you understand it's okay.
You may see people that have been through the same challenges you've had right now but they've gone through them in the past and they've come out unscathed and in fact, a better business owner for it, so I think community is an important part of any programme that you're thinking about joining.
#4 The business coach that you've decided to work with has little or no experience
Now, I'm not talking about experience building a business, whilst that is important, I'm talking about experience in coaching. If you're going to work with somebody one on one, you want somebody who has some runs on the board, somebody who has the experience or is at least getting trained by somebody with experience and working one on one with a business owner.
The reason for this is that the hardest part of working one on one with someone like yourself is not the knowledge part, it's not transferring knowledge about how to do a strategy or how to grow a business, it's more about how to understand working with an individual, what are your strengths and your weaknesses, getting you to overcome your fears or challenges, and so a coach must learn these skills.
If you've got somebody who's lacking that experience, you're going to be their guinea pig, you're going to be the one that they're going to practice on.
My way of training new coaches or new Business Excelerators™ in my firm is to make sure that they buddy up with somebody else and they get to work alongside somebody that's got at least 1,500 hours’ experience of working one on one with business owners, simply because that experience is invaluable, not to mention the experience of running a business.
I think it's important that if you've got somebody working with you that they've helped other business owners grow. They don't need to have had a mega big business. If they can build their own mega big business they’re probably not going to be coaching or working one on one with you. That's the reality. Most coaches are great coaches because it's what they're good at. It's like a sports coach. They wouldn't be a sports coach if they could run the fastest four-minute mile or if they could swim the fastest 50 metres, they'd be in the pool or they'd be on the track. The reason they're a coach is because they're great at getting results for others. So, you want to make sure that they've got that experience, they've got the runs on the board and that they can help you get runs on the board too.
#5 The coach you're working with has absolutely no support
Whether they’re part of another organisation or group, maybe they're in a mastermind group themselves getting other peers or other people in their industry to work with them, if they don't have any support whatsoever then they're on their own.
I don't care who's helping you, nobody can profess to know everything, nobody does and there's no such thing as a guru or expert. Everybody must learn and be guided and driven by other people when they're stuck.
If your coach or mentor doesn't have a support network behind them then that's going to cause things to fail for you because they're not going to be able to give you the best advice, they're not going to give you the best mentoring, they're not going to give you the best assistance or guidance because they're going to be guessing, and anybody who uses guess work as a strategy is in trouble.
At the end of the day it's about having somebody who can tap into resources and help drive you forward in the right direction based on their own experiences or the experiences of others. You want to make sure they've got a good network.
#6 You're not doing your part
We might call it homework, we might call it strategy implementation, whatever you call it, if you're not doing the additional work that it takes to grow your business, you're not going to see the results. The reality is you've trained yourself to work ‘IN’ your business in most cases, that's your comfort zone, it's the place where you'll jump back to very, very quickly. I see time and time again business owners aren't getting results because they're not spending the time working ‘ON’ their business. If you're not working on your business, I can tell you now, nobody else is going to do it for you.
You’ve got to set time aside every single week otherwise you’re going to fail. Business coaching is not going to work unless you do your part of the bargain. It's like joining the gym. If you join the gym and you don't turn up to exercise, use the equipment and get in the classes and educate yourself about how to be fitter, then it's not going to work.
It's important that you participate, that you do the work that you've agreed to do. You implement agreed strategies. It doesn't mean that you've got to do all the work, it just means that you've got to make sure that it gets done and you can delegate to your heart's content. I'm a big fan of delegating work but make sure no matter what that you getting the work done, otherwise, it’s not going to work.
#7 You're not doing additional training
Just because you've got one person working with you one on doesn't mean that you can't be reaching out getting additional training, help or resources, get in the mastermind groups, find other people to network with, go to lunch with the CEO of a bigger company or whatever it might be, you need to make sure that you're continually broadening your horizons.
Buy a business book a week, get an audio book, listen to podcasts, go to workshops or seminars, watch TED talks on YouTube, whatever it is for you, find the thing that works for you that you can do on a consistent basis and continually improve your own education because if you do want to earn more, you truly have to put that ‘L’ plate on and LEARN more.
The difference between where you are now and where you want to be in five years as Charlie Tremendous Jones said "is the books you read and the people you meet" Books aren't the only way to get information, so I say the only difference is the information that you consume and the people that you meet because it's really important that you make sure that you continually educate yourself so you can be at the top of your game.
If you want to be an ‘A’ grader, you got to train like an ‘A’ grader.
#8 BONUS eighth reason! You don't have the time or the money to do it
I always say to people when they ask me about whether they're ready for a Business Exceleration™ Program (the program we offer at maxmyprofit.com.au) We help business owners like you take your business to the next level and build the business you imagined.
I always say to people you've got two things to invest, you've either got money which means that you can pay other people to do it. We're big fans of that! If you're in a business where you've got the cash flow to be able to invest and get professionals to do what needs to be done, you're going to get the results faster, they're going to do it better than you in most cases.
If you don't have money though, you've probably got time. So, you're going to invest your time and that means that you're going to learn how to do what needs to be done and you're going to get it done yourself, you're going to invest your time, put time aside in your diary and you're going to implement the strategies, you're going to go out and get the sales, you're going to train your team, whatever it might be.
If you don't have the money or the time, all you've got is a busy job that doesn't make you any money, then you're in trouble. It’s important that if that is the position you're in, stop kidding yourself and make a change, because if nothing changes, nothing is going to change!
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.