We wanted to find out what you, our dear blog readers, thought about coaching
One response stood out.
I want to share it because it speaks to a challenge we can all face when seeking to engage new people into getting advice.
Answer: "We've thought of engaged a coach, but not until when we have more revenue. First, we need to nail our systems, got our marketing right, train our team and all that stuff"
Answer: "No idea. We probably couldn't afford it"
First things first, this isn't a crack at the person giving the feedback.
It's not the first time I've heard this, and the point of sharing this isn't to take aim at anyone but to use this as an example of a certain way of thinking about advice.
To me, this thinking is utterly contradictory.
"Before I work with someone who specialises in doing the things I need to get done to progress, I believe the best approach is to have a go all by myself. When I've achieved it (sooner or later), I believe that's the best point to circle back and get help, as then I'll be able to afford it"
"I actually have no idea what getting help might cost - nor any sense of whether the help might actually unlock a return on investment - but I believe I can't afford it and haven't investigated further because of that belief"
It's interesting how easily assumptions stop us from exploring the possibilities.
In February, we ran our first two-day Excelerator program event of the year at BridgeClimb Sydney.
We actually ran the event within the facility then, at the end of Day 2 experienced the climb ourselves.
This was more than just an activity in between sessions. There was a very specific reason I chose to do it this way.
For years, I've been using BridgeClimb as a real-life case study of a business that is:
Spotting the link?
I've been using this example for years but had always written off the possibility of doing an actual event like the one I just had for one simple reason.
I assumed it would be too expensive.
Guess what? It wasn't expensive at all. It was completely reasonable.
All those years running events and, sat in front of me, was the perfect venue to run a workshop on client experience... and I'd discounted it all that time.
The first is probably the most important.
How many clients out there do you think made a decision that they might need help but instantly make the decision they can't afford it?
If the many research surveys I've read are anything to go by, a lot.
It makes little sense because the action itself of asking usually doesn't cost anything.
So, what is it? Are people:
I think this is one of the more widespread challenges that we can face in advice. I know it's one of the most significant challenges I have in coaching.
Like me, you've probably worked at your ability to sit down with someone 1:1 and, in the space of an hour, walk them through a framework which will, at the end of the meeting, provide them a roadmap, help them decide what they actually want and start them on that all-important first step toward achieving clearly defined outcomes.
My guess is you're willing to do this with most clients you feel you can help, regardless of whether they begin with the intention of becoming your client or not, right?
I'm also guessing you don't expect them to outlay anything to take this initial step either?
That first engagement, when done well, can be a complete game-changer when...
Some of them startups we agreed together weren't ready for coaching
Some were mature businesses who I told they had more important things to get done first.
Some were advisers who thought they needed my help but discovered the solution was much simpler, because I told them so.
We're kind of in the same boat.
The knock-on effect is I will never, ever hesitate again.
(Well, until I forget the lesson and need reminding again...)
If there's something I want to achieve and someone else who knows how, and I hear that voice inside start with the whole, "You can't afford it..." line, that'll be my trigger for asking first.
At a client level. I'll be working really hard over these next months - both through market research and looking at how I position those initial steps - to remove whatever I can that might stop the people I love working with reaching out.
PS: That client survey I mentioned, is something I'm doing both with people who've been on a program but also those who haven't. If you would be willing to help me out, I'd love to know a little bit about;
If you're willing to help me out, the link is here.