You know, because my writing sort of sucked compared to his and he was so busy that his desk was stacked with novels and history books and literary journals that wouldn’t fit on the shelves or the stacks around the room and he was trying to write his own novel too.
But all the same, I would send him crappy drafts of chapters of my novel and he would comb through, suggest clearer ways to phrase things, challenge my character development, and ask questions.
I would sit in his brightly lit office and I was always so surprised that the questions in my story were actually getting at stuff that was more profound than I was giving it credit for.
He helped me realize that the project had a soul of its own. A beating heart. A beautiful mind. And it was worth sharing.
But…he also didn’t hesitate to tell me that the draft was a definite ten full drafts away from being published. But somehow that didn’t make me more worried. I guess it’s because it just made me think, “okay, so it’s just a matter of time and energy. Not a matter of whether I suck or not.”
So why do we often try to build our business on our own? Without someone to help who’s been there?
That’s definitely what I was trying to do in the beginning.
And it wasn’t working at all.
Things clicked when I sort of found a coach on accident. I didn’t go looking for one. But then I felt like I was back in my masters program, ready to soak in every word from my new mentor and take action and I finally felt confident.
The call would sustain me with hope, confidence, and clarity through the next week. Except for sometimes when I would wake up in the middle of the night, feeling sick to my stomach, wondering if I had made the right decision or if I was just freaking crazy for trying to build this. Wondering if people would actually buy my products. Wondering if my putting my family’s welfare on the line would be our doom.
Any barriers I felt before the call just weren’t there for that glorious hour and after. I’d come out of my studio wide-eyed and full of energy and recount everything we talked about to Michael.
Almost every time he would just say, “you have to do everything she says!” And I would just nod like, “of course!”
And I did.
And then when coaching ended, the momentum continued. I was actually making money. Way more than I had expected.
I wanted to write this blogpost because I know a lot of people hear about business coaches and they’re not sure what coaches do or if coaching is right for them or if coaches really make a difference. But a coach changed my life. And I wanted to pass that on.
Want to know what a coach does in a nutshell?
Finding a coach might be right for you if:
I have so been there with all of these! And for me, coaching was the answer.
When you decide it’s time for a mentor, you’ll want to make sure you choose wisely. Not every coach is right for everyone.
1. Remember that your coach will have a lot of influence on your brand, business, and life. Because chances are, she’ll be teaching you based off what has worked for her and what’s worked within the network she’s surrounded herself with.
Useful questions to ask:
Do you like what she’s building? Y N
Do you like her products and the way she sells? Y N
Is she making the kind of money you want to be making at her stage in business? Y N
Do you appreciate the way she communicates? Y N
Do you like the life she’s building? Y N
Does she value what you value? Y N
Is there something about her that just connects with you? Y N
Do I like the kind of impact she’s making in her industry? Y N
2. Is she too far ahead? This one is surprising. Sometimes business coaches who have been in the game for a long time may have used strategies that don’t work anymore. If that’s true for you, it’s really important to know whether they keep up on all of the latest strategies. For example: if she already had tens of thousands of followers before the Instagram algorithm and before it became such a noisy platform, she probably used totally different strategies than the ones people are using to grow now.
Useful questions to ask:
Do I want to be where she is when I’m at her stage in business? Y N
Am I already past her stage in business? Y N
How quickly has she been able to grow? _____
Is she too far ahead? Y N
3. When you trust your coach, you’ll do things you never thought you had the confidence for, knowing you’ve got someone you trust rooting for you and helping you be accountable. At first, my husband didn’t quite trust her because he often thought my coach was an overpaid cheerleader until I explained again and again that (
even though I know my coach was so giving and encouraging) that the way for my coach to grow her own business beyond the money I had paid for coaching was to help me achieve amazing results. And you know what? My success story brought her tons of new clients.
Do you trust her? Y N
When you get on a call with her, does she make you feel like your dreams are possible? Y N
Do you feel like her content is honest? Y N
Your coach should feel like someone who will help you remove obstacles. Do you feel that lightness and hope when you talk? Y N
If you keep those 3 things in mind when seeking your business coach, you’ll find someone who will help you create the meaningful business that’s in your heart.
Emma Natter is a business coach and writer. Her work intersects entrepreneurial strategies with the creative process so career hopefuls can find success, impact, fulfillment, and confidence in going their own way.
I’m Emma Natter, a path-to-success paver and art-trained business coach who first shattered her own career expectations by selling out of handmade styling goods from her little NYC apartment. Now as a strategist to thousands of creatives, I teach you to harness your passion so you can do the same.
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