Choosing to Use a Coach Has Been One of Smartest Business Decisions I've Made
Sometimes we solopreneurs can be stubborn. Many of us think we have to do everything, well, solo! We might scoff at hiring a VA (virtual assistant) to help us with creating graphics, scheduling social media, setting up shopping carts or payment systems, or creating content. We try to do everything ourselves. We think we can't ‘afford' to have a team. We might think that investing in coaching is too luxurious. Or maybe we're skeptical of all the people out there selling their services as coaches – not knowing who to trust if we DO decide to make that smart investment in coaching.
I've been there. I still do most of the work in my business myself. And I have the late nights and foggy head to prove it! But I KNOW that hiring help can really HELP me and lead to growth. I have goals to get there in terms of hiring a VA to do routine tasks so I can spend more time with clients. But one thing I jumped on pretty early in my solo career – hiring a coach.
In fact, it was hiring a coach that led me to starting my solopreneur business in the first place.
I had finally made the decision (a complicated and bit painful one) to leave the path I'd been on to becoming a professor and teaching at the graduate school level. I'd spent a lot of years grinding away on that path. It was very hard for me to clearly see what my other options were or where my passion really lay. My husband suggested I work with a former colleague of his who had become a coach, and Lauren helped me work through what I was great at, what I wanted, and where to go next. And voila, more than 6 years ago my LLC was formed and I was officially a business owner and my own boss. I'm still grateful for Lauren's help – a big part of it being showing me the power of coaching.
I could tell you my new solo path was smooth, straight, and led right to happiness, joyful clients, and plenty of income.
That's not how life, or business, works most of the time. And certainly not for me. There were downs, and twists, and ups and successes too. But I hit a point where what I had first created my business to do, wasn't serving me, or making the impact I wanted.
At first, I tried to learn my way out.
I joke that my MLS means I have a graduate degree in ‘finding stuff’. As an info pro and researcher at heart, I kept researching, studying, and reading. That always worked in the past. I was a pro at being a student and life-long learner (remember, I had spent YEARS working to be a teacher/professor and to basically stay in school forever).
I bet you read a lot too. Blog posts, emails, magazines, internet news articles. You’ve probably taken some online courses or a few webinars. Maybe a LOT of webinars. Maybe shelled out more than your wallet wanted for some fancy courses that promised the moon.
I know I did. Ouch.
Did that work for me?
Well … sort of.
I DID learn a heckuva lot about how marketing works today vs. my long ago days in advertising.
I learned what’s different for small business and B2B vs B2C (it’s all really H2H—pssst ask me what that means!), about marketing services vs. products, online businesses vs. bricks-n-mortar, marketing automation, how email marketing isn’t dead, content is king, and don’t build your business on the shifting sands of social media. whew.
And that there is NO magic bullet, NO one-size-fits all solution, NO single right marketing solution. I DO believe that, whole-heartedly.
I saw a lot of ‘gurus’ that contradicted each other and operated in ways I didn’t like.
I spent A LOT of time on this. Heck, I’ve spent the last 6 YEARS listening, learning, observing, testing, practicing (and now teaching) marketing. I should have another degree by now. 🙂 You don't have that kind of time, nor do any of us need any more degrees or formal coursework.
You know what REALLY helped?
What got me unstuck when things weren’t clear or the ideas jumbled together?
Getting help. Asking for assistance.
Investing in a coach again was what cleared my confusion and reset my business.
Coaching refreshed my marketing mindset. And got my marketing mojo back!
Sure, I got tips from mentors, from my professional association memberships, and from those zillion webinars over the years. But sometimes we need more. We need a more personal touch and support. We need that cheerleader or wise guide on our side. We need info that's more current than a book.
I choose coaching.
Coaching combined learning, seeing skills in action, being in a supportive environment, and often a hefty dose of accountability to get me to take ACTION.
Coaching guides me out of thinking and studying and into TRYING and DOING.
I’ve had several business coaches over the years and learned a lot from each. Different coaches for different stages of my career and my business. I had different questions and needs. You do too.
My current coach helps me evaluate which options make sense for me RIGHT NOW and we always ask, “what if it were easy?”
Right now, you’re here reading this blog, visiting my site, and joining my community because you have questions about marketing. Cool! Welcome!
What's next for you in marketing YOUR solopreneur business? Could you choose coaching too? Coaching with me? I hope so!
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