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As a business coach (and contributor to the book “Secrets of Great Success Coaches Exposed!”) I find this conversation fascinating and insightful.

I totally agree with the comment that a coach needs real experience (life & business) not just having done a course. Having said that I think it is important that a coach has some sort of training to support their experience.

Also, because you and your business are often the same thing a values match is crucial. When looking for a coach it must be someone who’ll challenge you but will also support you. For that you need someone you feel you can trust and can be open with.

I see my role (in a coaching context) of holding the vision of the client to allow them to focus on the doing part. As soloists it’s easy to get lost in all the different roles that you’re required to fill. Often this causes us to lose the sense of why we’re doing these things. While a business plan helps, it needs to be a dynamic document as it will need to change and adapt. Also, the business plan can’t give you feedback or ask questions you hadn’t thought of. Having a coach enables you to focus on getting things done while still knowing that the vision is in place.

My ideal program is 12 sessions, ideally weekly or at most fortnightly, to get things started. For this, the client has a clear set of goals or objectives which we agree as our target to be completed by the end of this series. This builds momentum and establishes supportive habits. I consistently find that around session 8 or 9 there’s a quantum shift in the person and the business.

After the initial 12 sessions we will often move to once a month. This serves a different role which is to have someone outside the business (and you) who will help you get clear on what’s happening, what areas need to be addressed and will get you thinking differently. A classic example is someone who is so focused on getting that big contract they don’t think about the implications of what happens when they get it – do they have the capacity to fulfill it? A coach would be looking at what is happening in a broader context than what is happening right now and will help you shift your thinking accordingly.

My objective is to save my clients time and money and they should be able to easily recover my fees in the benefits to the business.