Elayne Whitfield, BA, MVA ~ VA Industry ExpertSubscribe Now

Do You Need a Coach?

CoachingToday, more and more people are hiring life and business coaches. Coaches can help you set goals and create a plan for you to work towards achieving them. Similarly to fitness or athletic coach, life and business coaches help you develop your strengths and work around your weaknesses while getting you to a point where you are at your best.

Almost anyone could benefit from having a coach, but people who operate their own businesses from home may reap more rewards than those who work in offices. This reality is partially due to the fact that working from home will generally make you more isolated. If having someone to bounce ideas off or brainstorm with is something that you’re missing, a coach should be something to consider.

Coaches will also hold you accountable for your actions. If you are in direct sales for example, and your goal is to sell $400 worth of product each week, your coach will help you set mini goals to accomplish what you set out to achieve. When you meet with your coach and they ask you what you have done, you need to be honest. There is no convincing yourself that failing to reach a goal is no big deal when someone else is holding you accountable.

To name just a few, coaches can also help you with time management, leadership, and customer service skills. If you tend to procrastinate or struggle with fears of success or failure, a coach can help you work through it. Some other issues that coaches can guide you through are: creating a better balance between work and life, becoming more organized, and improving your communication skills.

Good coaches will also give you truly honest feedback. They will let you know where you are lacking and give you tips on how to improve. It can be hard to hear criticism, but if it makes you a better business person in the long run, it is worth it. And if dealing with criticism is something in-and-of-itself that you struggle with, a good coach will help you with that too!

Many coaches will offer a complimentary session or trial period to help determine if your personalities mesh well or not. Different coaches have different styles, so you may want to talk to several before you choose the right one for your needs. You may also want to ask them about their accreditation and experience. If you are having specific issues with a certain aspect of your business, ask if they have experience in that area.

A coach may choose to work with their clients via email, one-on-one telephone calls, or group calls. If you feel intimidated to speak up in a group session, let your coach know. Many people however enjoy group sessions as it allows them to see what other people are going through.
Coaching rates can vary quite a bit. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50/hour to several hundred per hour for the more accredited names.

It is important to remember that a coach is not a therapist and cannot fix your problems directly. They can guide you along the way to success, but you will need to be fully committed to making a change if you want to see real results.

Self Sabotage – How to Recognize & Overcome it

Self sabotage – how to recognize and overcome itAre you your own worst enemy? As hard as it may be to realize, maybe the reason you aren't achieving the success that you want is because of self-sabotaging behaviour. The good thing about this however, is that you are the person who can fix it, the only person who can fix it!  It’s important to identify what you’re doing to yourself and then turn it around.

Playing the Waiting Game

If you find yourself saying, “I’ll do that once xyz happens” you should stop it right now. You may have always done this and not even realized it was a bad habit. “Once I lose weight I’ll go hiking.” “When I finish this client’s work I’ll write that book I've always wanted to.” “When I do x then I’ll do y.” It all makes sense but it’s just another one of putting things on the backburner indefinitely. If you don’t take action now, nothing will happen.

You Hang Around the Wrong People

Yes, even as an adult you can choose the wrong group of people to be friends with. If you often find yourself at odds with your friends’ values and life goals, or you find yourself apologizing for other people’s behaviour, then you’re likely just making excuses to avoid the inevitable conclusion. You've outgrown your friends and they are holding you back.

Saying: “I’ll never ….”

Fill in the blank with what you’ll never say, do or feel. Much of life’s success starts with your state of mind. If you don’t believe you’re business will grow or you’ll never lose that extra weight, you likely won’t. You have to envision the success you want to achieve to make it happen. If all you see is negative, that’s all you’ll get.

“I Don’t Want to Do It Alone”

Ultimately, you have to work for yourself. If you wait around for everyone to be on the same page as you, you may miss out on a great opportunity. Whether it’s starting a business, seeing a movie, or trying a new restaurant, don’t be afraid of doing anything by yourself.

Thinking You’re Not “As Smart As….”

In reality, someone out there is always going to be smarter, prettier, or better than you. By saying that you’re not something, you’re just putting yourself in a box that you will have a hard time getting out of. Forget about who you think you are, and do what it is that you want to do. There’s no need to hold yourself back worrying about perfection.

You Hide Your Feelings

When someone asks you a question about your feelings, it is important to not simply say “I’m fine” and leave it at that – especially when you are not fine. If you avoid negative feelings like this you can actually get stuck in a certain mindset. This is true whether it’s about work or something personal. You have to acknowledge things before they will change.

“My Client Needs Me”

Everyone is replaceable. If you find that you’re working with someone just because you think they need you, even when the relationship is not working for you, you’re really wasting your time. A client who is not compatible with you will drop you the moment they find someone they’re compatible with. Don’t do anyone any favours unless it is in your best interest and you really want to.

You Lack a Support System

Support can come in a variety of forms, from human support to electronic support. If you set up a good system to help you stick to your schedule (whether it’s for work or fun) and get help when you need it, you will be a lot more successful and a lot less stressed about time management.

Being self-aware enough to notice self-sabotaging behaviour will go far in helping you reduce it. Give some thought to how you’re running your life so that you can kick self-sabotaging behaviour to the curb.