My mind's the coach
The physical form's the team
The top's the destination
And I'm the cream
By Ismail Abdur-Rahman, CEO iVIBES
I'm going to let you in on a basic truth of human existence. Are you sitting down? Good. Come closer....closer. OK. Here it is: people are inherently lazy. Go ahead and argue all you want, but facts are facts. Let me explain.
I'm sure you're probably somewhat offended by my declaration, but the reality is that people tend to seek comfort. Convenience. Ease. The net result of that is that people are lazy. I'm not discounting that you can sometimes push yourself to stay awake all night to cram for a difficult exam the next day, or that you might regularly put in long hours at the office, or that you occasionally go out of your way to help someone else. That's great. However, it doesn't discount the original point: people are inherently lazy.
Technology is partly responsible. For example, when I was a kid (centuries ago), the first television I remember having in our house was a black and white set with a wire clothes hanger for an antenna, and...the best part was that it had a dial. An actual dial! Well, actually, our dial was broken, so we used a pair of pliers to turn the dial when we wanted to change channels. In fact, it looked a lot like this:
As you can probably imagine, there is a significant difference in the television watching experience of today. You can change channels with a remote control without leaving your couch, and with satellite programming and literally hundreds of stations to choose from, you can literally watch television 24 hours per day. That convenience makes people lazy.
However, lest anyone think that television is the only culprit, think about this - most of the technological advances of the last quarter century have been geared towards increasing our convenience and comfort. Now we have apps for everything from fast food delivery to purchasing eyeglasses to grocery delivery to mobile barber shops. The upshot is that we have become accustomed to comfort and convenience, and we have been conditioned to expect instant gratification.
This craving for comfort, convenience, and instant gratification is a serious impediment to achieving your aspirations in various aspects of your life. Work puts the human body in a state of discomfort that even the most talented individuals frequently try to avoid (Exhibit A: Allen Iverson's infamous practice press conference), so the reality is that we need external motivation to aid us in the achievement of our goals. Very few people possess the innate drive to push themselves beyond their comfort zones in pursuit of their goals. Sure, there are the Michael Jordans and Kobe Bryants of the world, but they didn't become world champions by themselves; that's why championship teams have coaches. In fact, a great coach can transform a championship team into a dynasty. The best sports coaches in history have the ability to identify, recruit, and inspire talent to achieve new levels in their performance, ala Bill Belichick.
Business coaches have the same ability.
And that's why, especially if you're struggling to gain traction with your entrepreneurial pursuits, you need a business coach.
So, what exactly is a business coach? People frequently confuse the roles of mentors and coaches, so without being too detailed, I will briefly outline what business coaches do.
A coach helps a client (a person or an organization) to enhance awareness for the purpose of setting and achieving goals in order to improve performance in specific areas. This is a behavioral approach to performance management that takes a holistic approach to overcoming obstacles the client is facing.
The coaching relationship is typically a short-term engagement that's focused on specific areas for development, and involves regularly scheduled meetings aimed at achieving immediate and near-term goals.
It is important to note that unless the help required is skills-focused, the coach isn't required to have specific experience in the focus areas being addressed in the coaching sessions. Also, this type of coaching doesn't seek to address any psycho-emotional issues, as this falls outside the purview of the services delivered by a business coach.
The best way to think of it is this way: a business coach is there to offer great questions to your answers, helping you work through specific issues and achieve greater performance through Socratic investigation and guidance towards the tools that will help you achieve your goals. By focusing the coaching sessions on the client's skills and psychology, the business coach helps the client grow and reach the ever-elusive next level.
A long story short: if you want to be the G.O.A.T., get a business coach.