Don’t we always think that we have all the answers? Or that within our circle of confidantes and mentors we can find them – we learn through others mistakes and we apply those learnings in our own businesses. Right? We won’t make the same mistakes as everyone else… Or so I thought.
It wasn’t until I took the plunge and really applied myself with my business coach that I started seeing results in my business, and it isn’t the things that you might think that made the real difference.
Here are three of the questions that my coach asked me which turned my approach to my business around:
QN 1: Why do you want to grow your business?
Well, surely it’s to make money right? Wrong. Because making money is never the real reason that you apply yourself in work – it’s the things that we want to do with the money that drives us. And what my coach helped me see is the real reason that I wanted growth. I thought it was about creating flexibility to spend time with my family and setting ourselves up for the future. But, at that point in time in my life, actually building my business had nothing to do with the money at all, and when I focussed on how I could increase the revenue I was generating, I lost motivation because that just didn’t excite me.
My coach did what all great coaches do, and she kept digging and it turned out that for me, I loved what I did, but it was the ability to make a difference through the types of clients that I was working with that really got me excited. When I stopped focussing on the money (I even stopped running my revenue reports!!) and just focussed on working with the clients that I was passionate about making a difference for, the revenue growth doubled.
Do you know what is really driving you in your business right now?
QN 2: What does success mean to you?
This is a funny question because it can mean so many different things depending on which facet of our lives we are thinking about, and they are all interlinked. Our home life, our families, our hobbies, our jobs, our businesses, our friends, our professional standing, our learning and skills – each one influences the others and success means something different in all of them.
For me, I am pretty driven, and I love knowing that I have achieved a great outcome for the clients that I work with, but I don’t love being the centre of attention. Actually, as I worked through with my coach, I realised that for me, success is being a trusted advisor – knowing that my clients trust my advice and my integrity to deliver a great outcome for them. And when you work with people like I do, your relationship with them is everything, I learned that that is how I can win more work – through relationship based sales. So by focussing on what made me feel successful in my delivery of work, I found out how I could be successful in the revenue side of my business as well.
What does success really mean to you in your business?
QN 3: What goals do you need to achieve to deliver the results that you need?
This was another one that surprised me as I worked through it with my coach. It was easy for me to put a revenue number on the table, I knew how much money I needed to make, and what profit margin it needed to be at, but those weren’t the right goals for me to be focussing on. Instead I found that to deliver on that revenue number, I needed to be winning a certain number of jobs, which meant talking to a certain number of clients to build relationships and understand their businesses, which meant a certain number of calls etc. When it all boiled down to it, I needed to be meeting with five different clients independent to the work that I was already delivering each week to generate the business to hit my numbers. That was a goal that I could actively work on achieving and holding myself accountable to. The big goals are important to have, but I needed my coach to help me work out what goals I needed to deliver on those big goals.
The other thing that was invaluable to me in working with my coach was the accountability. Having someone there who I trusted and confided in who could call me out when I was b-s’ing myself, and someone who could encourage me to keep doing what I was doing when the results weren’t rolling in yet. Because I could have confidence that I was doing the right things, but I needed help having the patience to do them for long enough to get the results.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was my successful business – but I definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of my business coach!
Have you considered getting the help of a business coach to work with you to establish and grow your business? What I love doing now is working with other small business owners to help them to grow their businesses, contact me if you would like to learn more about how we can work together!
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