Questions

Where can I find a business coach or mentor to help me gain clarity and direction in setting up a business?

Over the last 2 1/2 years I was involved in a start up from the get go - creating the whole look and feel for the brand to taking it to market. My skills and experience are broad and varied and I am now doing my own thing creating Visual Identity for individuals and small businesses. But I am seeking someone to work one on one with to help me gain clarity on my long term goal.

8answers

Finding a coach is easy - there are many of them out there. Finding the right coach is the challenge. There are several factors to consider:

Working with a coach that has similar experience in their background is not absolutely necessary, but can be very valuable. Having someone that can truly understand what you're trying to accomplish, and can empathize with the challenges you face, will help smooth communication.

Coaching skills are equally important, though. Many experienced business people position themselves as "coaches", but they aren't actually very skilled at coaching - they're more likely to tell you what *they* would do, rather than truly help you dig deep and find the right answer for yourself. The result is that you end up pursuing your version of someone else's goal, or someone else's version of your goal. Neither is totally fulfilling.

"Fit" is also really important. Personality, communication style, sense of humor... - these all factor in to the quality of a coaching relationship, and are very personal and unique to each coach. Take the time to meet several potential coaches and see who you connect with. Also, don't ever feel bad about saying "this just isn't working".

I used to be very skeptical of coaching as a profession, for a number of reasons. Once I found the right coach, though, the experience was transformational for me, and pivotal to my success as an entrepreneur.

I'd be happy to have a conversation to determine if there's a "fit". I work with dozens of entrepreneurs, having been one myself for over 12 years. I'm not right for everyone, though. You have to make that determination for yourself.


Answered 2 years ago

Getting a clear idea of your long-term goal is valuable. It will help you work out whether short-term decisions are in keeping with that vision.

One problem I've encountered is people having no long-term goal (other than, maybe, "make some money"). Another is having long-term goals that are vague.

If you do speak to a business coach, I'd recommend you get some specifics short-term goals that you own, and, of course, that are in keeping with your long-term goal.

You could look at financial benefits, even emotional ones (you don't want your business to run you!), physical (working remotely, holidays, etc.) and even spiritual.

Of course I'd be happy to help you work through this, or recommend you speak to an existing business coach you know or a colleague or friend.


Answered 2 years ago

Visual Identity? Sounds like a highly experienced graphic designer will help. Not a coach.

Don't expect this to be cheap. Anyone can make a logo. You're looking for the whole package: anything the target market interacts with needs to surround them with the world you want them to be experiencing.

Your long term goal is simple: set a revenue target and figure out how to get there. Once you're there, decide whether you want to sell or raise the target and continue. Knowing that you want to build a business to sell it later on is a good thing to be aware of at the beginning, though, and there's a flowery-but-good book called Built To Sell that talks all about that process.


Answered 2 years ago

I wrote an article on this exact question on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-do-i-find-good-ceo-coach-mentor-bob-norton/

First make sure they have done what you want to do, multiple times, they are not just a "Certified Coach". Second the size of the businesses they have RUN will determine their abilities. You want someone who has worked in (run) a startup and grown it successfully, not someone with Fortune 2000 executive. VERY different skills set, mentality and style.

As a CEO and Serial Entrepreneur for 14 years I grew two startups to over $100 million in sales. I have coached over 200 CEOs and trained hundreds of executive teams and senior executives in my CEO Boot Camp, Management Best Practices video Series and AirTight Management Systems. I also wrote The Startup Manual for Entrepreneurs to show them how to plan, launch and scale a new business. Read, read, read too. I have read over 1,000 books on business, leadership and management. My top book recommendations are listed here: http://clevelenterprises.com/Recommended_Reading.htm

I coach one-on-one weekly starting at $600/month for startups. Half my rate for profitable and larger companies.


Answered 2 years ago

For coaching, start by identifying what you want from a coach and ask around for recommendations from peers of people who match what you want. Do this first, before you start seeking a coach on boards like this one.

For mentoring, spend some time specifying what you're looking for a mentor, and identify people who are senior to you in similar, but not competitive careers. Then, conceptualize how you yourself might help the mentor in what he or she is doing, perhaps as a junior collaborator. Ask yourself the question, why would this person want to mentor me. After researching the prospective mentor thoroughly, look for a go-between in your network who'll arrange an introduction. Ideally, approach several people until you find the right person.


Answered 2 years ago

Definitely imperative that you find someone that not only understands your goal and the task at hand but someone who's mentally on the same page with you, this is important when building but on your end have broad experience is a huge plus, you'll know exactly what to do and your mentor should be one ready and willing to guide you.


Answered 2 years ago

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