VANESSA BARON
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Business tips + advice to inspire the dream chaser within you

Don't Make Blind Decisions When Hiring a Business Coach

After reading about an absolutely insane amount of women who were ripped off and left hanging by a certain 'business coach', I'm left feeling a great amount of sincerity for these women. My heart aches because many of these women gave up their last dollars to work with someone who was full of promises and didn't deliver on them - correction - didn't even attempt to deliver on them because she apparently never showed up to her sessions and would then block her clients from contacting her! 

I KNOW what it's like to be down to those last couple dollars and put all your trust into someone. When I worked with one of my first business coaches, I actually used my kids' college fund (we had a really good chunk of change in there for them), and I remember it being such a big decision for me because I was essentially risking the future of my kids. There has been quite a lot of slack against coaches in general lately and how it's so hard to trust anyone these days. Having worked with 3 amazing business coaches myself, and investing over $20,000 in their knowledge + guidance and in becoming certified myself (end of 2016), I'm here to offer my experience and advice in finding the perfect business coach for you.

  1. NEVER hire a business coach unless you without a doubt know, like and trust them. If those 3 things are not present together, don't do it until you're certain - or start looking elsewhere. FYI - gut feelings, at least in my experience, are 99.9% always right. If something about this person doesn't sit well with you, explore that feeling, feel into it, and if it still doesn't seem quite right, listen to that inner voice and move on.
     
  2. Do your research + ask questions (lots of 'em!). Does this coach actually know her stuff? Does she walk her talk? Is she honest? Is she transparent with her own journey to success? Has she invested in herself and continue to do so? What do her clients have to say about her when she's not around? Is there a contract or terms of service you can view before investing?
     
  3. Don't expect perfection, but do expect the service you were promised. I get it, you're investing a lot of money into someone who better have her shit together and is able to help you. The reality though, is we as business coaches hold ourselves to a high expectation on how we deliver, but we're still human and we make mistakes from time to time. One thing that sets the great coaches apart from the mediocre ones, is how these situations are handled.

    For example, last Thursday I met with a client even though I was feeling under the weather. Just under 30 minutes into our session after working through one of her struggles, all of a sudden I could barely get 3 words out without having a coughing fit (something that I honestly had zero anticipation of happening - and truthfully was kinda embarrassing because we were video Skyping). I knew it was a disservice to my client to continue the session, so I asked her if it was alright for us to end the session and reschedule for next week when I could be there for her 100%.

    Rather than simply saying "so we'll just bank these remaining 30 minutes and add them to your next session", I told her the 30 minutes we had together that day was on me, free of charge, and that she still had the same amount of sessions left that she had started with at the beginning of the call. It wasn't my client's fault that I couldn't fully deliver on that call, it was mine, and that was my way of making amends in that regard. She still received her Action Plan and some handouts to help her with the other topic we didn't get around to discussing - this way she could take immediate action moving forward in her business without feeling held back until our next session. Sometimes our actions speak louder than our words and in doing this gesture, I kept our coaching relationship strong and her trust in me unwavering.
     
  4. Book a discovery session. During these sessions, take note of how the coach interacts with you. Does she ask you what you would like to receive out this session, or does she go straight into pitch mode before offering any value? Does the coach actually help you feel more confident in an area you're struggling with, or does she provide you with super vague answers because if you want the real answer you'll need to sign up for her program? (keep in mind that some topics actually do require 60+ minutes to arrive at an effective solution). Does the coach lead well? Does she sound uplifting and like she enjoys being on the call with you? Or, do you get a sleaze vibe and question her intentions?

A great business coach will believe that you have the answers within yourself and will facilitate the process in helping you discover these breakthroughs. She will be your support system, call you on your BS, and truly desire to be your partner in success on this journey of yours. I hope I've helped to shed some light on what to look for in a business coach and how to find the best one for where you're at right now.

-V, xox