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The Simple Truth That Everyone With a Coach Understands

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Robert D. Smith – Enjoy!

Coaches and Consultants

Image Credit: marcello99

After over 30 years in the artist management business, I’ve come to learn something about the difference between successful artists—whether they’re authors, speakers, singers, musicians, etc.—and unsuccessful artists.

The successful ones know a little secret that applies to much more than just artists and stage personalities. It applies to you, both in your personal and professional lives, regardless of the nature of your business.

Are you ready to hear it?

The brand cannot manage itself.

Why? Because the brand is blinded by its gifts. Not in a selfish way, but in a way that begs for guidance on how to maximize its gift’s value.

This applies to you because, no matter what you do (even if you do nothing), you are a brand. You give a feeling, a perception, to those around you. There are certain talents and gifts you possess, and nothing will serve them better than a trusted, outside perspective.

I’m talking about a coach.

Do You Need to Hire a Coach?

I’ll make this one easy for you by slightly rephrasing the response. You do NOT need to hire a coach if:

  • You do not want to advance your life
  • You do not have a dream
  • You do not want more
  • You are fully satisfied with your lot in life
  • You have already found your life’s purpose and feel you have accomplished it and are done

However, if you DO want more—to give more, be more, reach more people with what you are doing, it is imperative to have a coach, to get another person’s take on what you are doing.

You need to be able to see beyond the tunnel vision that we all have around the things we are doing.

At the very least, you need another person to be able to ask you the outstanding questions you have not thought of yet. And that’s what a good coach can do.

How to Find a Good Coach

There are certain qualities that you absolutely must be aware of and seek out when looking for the right coach. Exceptions are possible for every rule, but these are good general rules of thumb to help you on your search.

  1. Most likely, you don’t know them. Your friends are probably not going to make good coaches. That’s not to say you should never seek their counsel if you respect their opinions. However, the reality is that most friends are just too darn polite. And polite is something you do not need.
  2. You need honesty. Actually, what you need is a degree beyond honesty. It’s a kick in the butt, a 2×4 upside the head. You need someone who can look you in the eye and say, “What you are saying is not true.” If they can’t challenge your thinking, they’re not up for the job.
  3. They can be more affordable than you might think. Many people instantly brush off the idea of hiring a coach by telling themselves it’s just too expensive. That’s like saying a car is too expensive. Well, what kind of car? You can pay anywhere from $500 to $500,000 and get a car that runs. Coaches are the same way. There is a broad range of what is available to you.

The best part is that you don’t have to pay a ton to find a quality coach. There are plenty out there who do a great job and are still on the lower end of the price range.

Take some time and do the research. Most likely, you’ll be able to take coaches for test drives before you commit to anything. I’ve yet to find one who doesn’t do a free coaching call of at least 15-20 minutes to see if you’re gelling.

If you’re ready to take your brand, your business, your life to the next level, a coach can give you the map it will take to get there. Identify what you think are your needs, do the research, find the right person, and move forward with massive action.

It takes tunnel-vision-like focus to become great at something. A coach gives you the chance to keep that focus while also gaining access to the 10,000-foot view. Are you ready to see it?

Robert D Smith HeadshotRobert D. Smith is the author of 20,000 Days and Counting, a crash course in living every day with maximum purpose and intensity. He also writes on entrepreneurship, personal growth, and more at TheRobertD.com.

What is Duct Tape Marketing?

More than anything Duct Tape Marketing is an idea that started with the belief that marketing is a system and in order to operate that system there must be a very clear point of view about how to build a remarkable business.

I started my little marketing adventure over 20 years ago as a traditional marketing agency and soon found that I loved to help small business owners, but I just couldn’t do it with the model I saw everyone else struggling to use.

So I decided that what I needed, and ultimately what the world needed, was a turnkey system for installing marketing in a small business regardless of industry or size. It was an audacious idea at the time and it still is today.

What I believed is that there was a way to deliver marketing services where you could walk into a business and state – This is what I’m going to do, this is what you’re going to do, here are the results you expect and here’s what it’s going to cost.

I took that simple idea and belief and created what has become known in some circles as one of the most respected small business brands in the world

Today Duct Tape Marketing is a publisher – we produce practical content in the form of a highly read blog, a long running podcast, weekly email newsletter and columns for organizations such American Express Open Forum, Verizon, and Dun & Bradstreet.

We have published two best selling books, Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and will release a third, more management oriented book, The Commitment Engine, in fall 2012.

Duct Tape Marketing is a brand partner – We are often called upon to produce sponsored content, syndicated and cobranded eBooks, training, channel marketing programs and consulting – for brands such as HP, Dell, UPS, FedEx Office, Sage Software and Microsoft.

We bring the message of marketing as a system to tens of thousands of small business owners and marketers around the world through keynote speeches, seminars and workshops for associations, trade groups, customer groups, chambers of commerce and in numerous conferences related to small business and marketing each year.

Our commentary is frequently sourced by publications such as CNNMoney, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and the Wall Street Journal as well as industry publications.

Duct Tape Marketing is a small business marketing system that takes the form of an online training program including video lessons, workbooks, forms, examples and resources packaged to help businesses build marketing action plans to elevate their business.

Duct Tape Marketing is a network of independent marketing consultants that choose to license the Duct Tape Marketing methodology as a framework for building a marketing consulting practice. This select group works with small to mid sized businesses around the world installing the Duct Tape Marketing system.

Ultimately helping small business owners realize the full potential of what their business can offer is how our higher purpose is served, it’s why we do so much of what we do and it’s our hope that you find a way to access our content, our community and perhaps even our mission as your business grows and evolves.

3 Incredibly Useful Reasons to Hire a Coach

I’ve been coaching business owners for years. I’ve trained hundreds to be marketing coaches. I believe in the process of strategic thinking, planning and doing, but I had never employed a coach myself.

euthman via Flickr CC

Highly paid athletes and performers are really only on stage or in the game for very short amounts of time. The rest of the time they spend practicing for the show and resting. Business owners on the other hand are always on, rarely practice to perform and, sadly in my case; don’t spend enough time rejuvenating or even thinking strategically.

Recently, I engaged my own coach to help me perform at a higher level and the payoff has been immediate in three very distinct ways.

Figure out the things I can’t do

You know, I have lots of answers. My problem, and the problem with most business owners, is nobody is asking me the right questions.

One of the things that engaging a coach has done is give me someone who will ask questions about what’s not getting done according to plan and why. So often the answer to these kinds of questions is that there are things I can’t do well.

The great thing about acknowledging these things is that most of the time they are also things that I don’t enjoy trying to do either. This simple acceptance has me fully engaged in finding team members who can and do excel at these things.

Figure out the things I won’t do

Lots of people know what they should do, what’s good for them and what’s prudent. The problem all too often is that left alone they do what feels good in the moment, what makes the most noise or strokes their ego.

That’s why we’re overweight, stressed and burned out.

In my case a coach is helping me understand what I won’t do on my own and providing me with a level of accountability that I can’t muster through pure will power.

Figure out the things I shouldn’t do

Spending time analyzing where I make my money is a pretty eye opening exercise. Like many people most of my income is derived in a couple of 30 minute blasts during the course of the day. Of course, part of the reason that is true is because of the fact that I’ve been doing this for a long time and part of it is true because I do a lot of little things all day that don’t pay – or at least not at the level I need to reach my plans.

Let me ask you this? If given the opportunity to identify three and only three of your highest payoff activities, what would be on that list?

Now, let me ask you another this? How much time do you spend doing those three and what would happen to your business if you spent twice as much time doing them?

Figuring out what you shouldn’t do and delegating or deleting it is just as important as figuring out what you should do.

If you want to take your business to greater heights in 2012, find a coach, consultant or someone that can force you to see what’s real and where to go to think and be bigger. (I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest a group of marketing consultants I’ve played a role in training.)

Coach vs. consultant

Are you a coach or a consultant – does your business hire coaches or consultants?

The answers to the question above seems to spark a bit of passion in entrepreneurial circles depending upon the definition one uses of each.

To me a coach is charged with holding a client accountable to stated actions, goals and courses while a consultant is more likely to feel empowered to set the course of action. In my mind there probably is no pure definition because a marketing coach or a marketing consultant, for instance, doing the best they can for a customer, will likely fall into a hybrid service to get the ball moving forward in any way possible.

Whatever you call it, there is no doubt that having a trusted adviser, one that calls BS when it needs calling, is one of the most valuable assets an entrepreneur can obtain.

While I am on the subject this might be a good place to invite you to join my live Discovery call and learn about the opportunity to become a Duct Tape Marketing coach. The call is today (4/30) at 2pm CDT - Enroll here to join me

So, what’s your definition of coach of a consultant – or do we do a disservice to both trying to label and define the practice?