People go into self-employment for many reasons, often following redundancy or having difficulty in finding employment after a career break or bringing up a family & being out of the workplace for a few years. It may be that they are simply fed up with being undervalued and want recognition of their skills & talents. Whatever the reason, they are encouraged by those around them to “Go it alone” & dive into self-employment. They may get off to a great start with support from family, friends & contacts buying their products or services. What then? How do we then go on to create a long term sustainable business?
Creating a successful business requires a great deal of planning, time, dedication, effort & money and some people may think it’s going to be an easy ride & that they can do everything themselves. The reality is quite different, of course. Great support to help us through the difficult times can prevent a very quick downward spiral, loss of business & damage to both our mental and physical health.
It is crucial to recognise that starting a business is a very big undertaking! To be successful we need to build a strong supportive team around us, not just from our family & friends, but also from those with experience of the challenges that face every business owner and who have the skills that we may don’t have but will need to access.
This is often referred to as “The Mastermind Principle”. You will often hear me refer to this as a “Success Alliance” - a group of people, specifically drawn together, with the skills and experience that are crucial to your business being successful. This pool of individuals is not employed directly on a permanent basis, but are people contracted or contacted on an “as and when” basis when their skills and knowledge are required. Experts in their field, they may be networking colleagues, suppliers or subcontractors.
The Mastermind Principle:
One of the first individuals to coin this term, was Andrew Carnegie, a very successful American Steel Magnate, who knew nothing about Steel manufacturing but knew how to bring together some of the best brains at the time to create his vision.
Understanding the importance of the Mastermind Principle is covered in a fascinating book I’m reading just now: “Napoleon Hill is on the Air” ISBN 978-1503942912. It’s a written collection of radio interviews that Napoleon Hill gave in 1953, which took listeners through the “Big Five” of his 17 Principles of Success – not just applicable in business but in our personal lives too.
Think of the most successful companies today: Microsoft, Apple, Virgin, Lego, Google etc. Every successful company in the world works on this principle, bringing great people together for the common purpose of creating great success – why should yours be any different?
Business Coaching – an essential part of your Mastermind Principle.
Part of your Mastermind Principle or Success Alliance should most certainly include a Business Coach, which leads me to the purpose & title of this blog – Do you need a Business Coach?
YES! Everyone in Business needs a Coach!
A great Business Coach will help to guide us along the rocky road to success, helping us see possibilities for expansion or diversification in products & related services. Having a Business Coach is not about someone telling you what to do either! This is having someone in your corner, someone who has experience of being in business and can help you to negotiate obstacles and challenges. They discuss your ideas and help you to develop those ideas into strategies, recognise and avoid potential pitfalls. A coach will actively listen, guide you back on track if you lose focus (which happens to all of us from time to time), help you keep your focus and passion, and support you to create systems and procedures you can then implement to strengthen your business products and services.
While there are no “one-size-fits-all” answers in real business coaching (as every individual person and business is different), there are principles to follow. Challenges and solutions will be unique to the individual business / person. Business coaching is essential to business success because it will help you to remember your WHY and your WHAT - why you started your business, what your talents really are, what it is that you are truly great at and they will keep you focused on your journey to success!
Having a Business Coach should be seen as a long-term relationship. A great coach will want to be an integral part of your success & they can’t achieve that if they don’t get to know who you are, understand how you think and really get to know your business. They are an independent voice – independent of your friends and family, able to give us the honest advice needed from a position of integrity, one fully invested in our long-term success.
Even a Business Coach needs a Business Coach!
So, do you have a great business coach?
My varied background gives me a wide range of knowledge which I use to help many different businesses. I’m always available for a no obligation discussion to see how I can help you, and as always, I welcome your thoughts & insights: firstname.lastname@example.org