Entrepreneurship is not as easy as people make it look online. There is so much that goes into setting realistic and measureable goals, creating a viable plan, and growing a scalable business. And while you might have read a book or listened to a podcast on how to thrive as an entrepreneur, sometimes what you need to help you get to the next level is business coaching.
Whether you are feeling stuck or simply need someone to give you feedback along your journey, a coach can help you. That is why we are partnering with SCORE and individual coaches like Angelina Darrisaw Cheeks, founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, to help business owners get the support they need at the Entrepreneurs Summit. Next month, entrepreneurs and small business owners will have the opportunity to meet with over 20 business experts and coaches to provide real one-on-one guidance and feedback.
But before we head to Charlotte, Darrisaw Cheeks shares how anyone seeking to grow can evaluate where they are, prepare for one-one-one coaching, and access a clear pathway to success.
Determining If You Need Business Coaching
So, how can one identify whether or not they need a coach? For starters, Darrisaw Cheeks says that is best for entrepreneurs to ask and answer these questions to help gauge if coaching is something they can commit to right now:
- Am I ready?
- What do you want to get out of this?
- Why now?
- Why is this the time that you are looking to make this investment?
“Are you ready for the process of hearing feedback, which can be a great process for many but a bit challenging if you’re not in the right mindset to receive and grow? Ask yourself, ‘am I ready to grow and go through the changes that are necessary to get myself to the next level?'” says Darrisaw Cheeks.
This kind of pre-work can help you prepare and come up with a growth plan as you look for a coach. It will also help you save time and money if you aren’t willing to commit to the process of being motivated and pushed to new heights.
Finding a coach can be as simple as a Google Search or asking around for referrals. But Darrisaw Cheeks says that it is important to find the right partner for your growth and success.
“Having a partner in that early stage when you’re planning and having some accountability for the goal that you’re planning for can be really instrumental in getting you to that next point because the starting point is one of the hardest parts. And, that’s not the hardest part unfortunately, it’s a ride.”
Transparency is Key
Opening up about your business can be difficult but Darrisaw Cheeks says that establishing and trusting and transparent relationship is critical to the elevation of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“There is the need to make sure that the two of you can be honest and transparent with each other because if that’s not there, you’re not going to be able to grow. If you are being guarded and feel like you can’t put all of your cards on the table or talk about your greatest challenges and what you really want, and you’re shy about sharing those things for any reason, then it’s not going to be a helpful process.”
She also adds that, “Working with a good coach looks like you having transparent conversations that you aren’t able to have in your regular life.” Darrisaw Cheeks often finds that her clients value the time they spend together because it is rare that they get to have someone’s undivided attention.
Building Confidence Is a Part of the Work
Darrisaw Cheeks works with entrepreneurs all over the world through her partnership with Wix and says that a common issue that she finds with her clients is a fear of being a salesperson and presenting their ideas and visions to others.
“I’ve been in business for two and a half years, and a lot of people say that I don’t want to be a salesperson but you need that skill. You have to be the person that is the visionary, the spokesperson, and also the one that is going to be out there sharing the goals.”
As a coach, Darrisaw Cheeks prides herself on challenging her clients to build their confidence and expand their visions. It also helps them become comfortable with making big requests. In fact, a common activity she does with her clients is to put them into a situation where they have to make really big asks or negotiate for an entire week.
“I want you to make asks that you think people will tell you no to. So that could be walking up to a newsstand in New York City and asking, ‘can I have this water bottle for free?’ or going to Macy’s and asking for a 50% discount to see what happens. Almost every single time that the activity happens someone says yes. So the question is, why are we being so limited in our vision? Every day you have the opportunity to ask for really big things,” says Darrisaw Cheeks.
By being able to leverage this philosophy, she says that her clients are able to think about their goals differently and build more confidence. “I want my clients to be bold and not think about the smaller vision that you come to me with.”
Invest in the Return
The cost of coaching can vary depending on where you live. In some instances, coaching can be pricey but Darrisaw Cheeks says that it is best to think about the outcomes you want to have.
“The same way that you would get more skills training or another degree to make yourself more marketable—having deeper awareness and more clarity on your goals and a more focused plan helps you to be more marketable and will create a pathway to success in a more sharp way,” says Darrisaw Cheeks.
Partnering with a coach can also result in huge victories, whether you want to work on your confidence or on your negotiating skills.
“In one conversation with a client, we had a really good conversation about salary negotiation and after that conversation she felt prepared to negotiate her salary and got $20,000 more than she was initially offered.”
When you think of it that way, the amount you pay upfront is a drop in the bucket.
To learn more about the investments you can make as an entrepreneur, and to take advantage of access to experts, join us at the Entrepreneurs Summit to secure your spot for one-on-one coaching.