Originally Published in Forbes, 3/5/18 The Entrepreneur’s Source: Terry Powell’s 8 Tips To Find The Perfect Career Coach
I’ve been reflecting on Alabama’s win over Georgia in the college football national championship game, and I’m still marveling at how they did it. They were missing several injured stars and had fallen into a deep hole on the scoreboard. Further, Tua Tagovailoa, their freshman quarterback with no experience in any meaningful games during the season, was suddenly thrust onto the biggest stage. All Tagovailoa did was become the biggest star of that game, coolly throwing the winning touchdown in overtime and adding his name to college football lore.
But the fascination for me was to see head coach Nick Saban’s famed “Process,” his coaching philosophy, in action. Saban turns attention away from the end goal — like winning a national championship — by focusing on the little things. He preaches that doing those little things correctly, every day, will build confidence and lead to success.
Saban and his team invest in their players: teaching, supporting and encouraging them while keeping them focused on the moment. Because of Saban’s “Process,” the moment for Tagovailoa was never too big, even though he was a rookie. That’s why Saban was comfortable bringing him into the game.
In the new year, you may be looking for a great coach or mentor to help you either enhance your current career, further explore your entrepreneurial itch or direct you to something completely new. And, as someone who may be exploring entrepreneurship for the first time, it’s critical to find a coach who can help you focus on your possibilities and help you to explore your goals, needs and expectations in a safe space.
What qualities must this coach possess? After more than 30 years of helping people achieve their professional goals at The Entrepreneur’s Source, I have defined eight specific tips to help you choose the best coach:
- Your coach will have a direct interest in you. They will want to take the time to find out what your career 2.0 is so you can achieve your income, lifestyle, wealth and equity goals. That’s basic relationship and trust building. After all, it’s only your future you’re talking about. Don’t you want someone invested in your “why”?
- Your coach will uncover areas of strength, as well as opportunities for growth. If you truly want to stretch yourself, your career and your attitude, you must have someone who will work with you to explore every aspect of your professional life: work history, philosophy, skillsets and even professional relationships — and be candid about it. Having someone just tell you how wonderful you are is not coaching. Challenging your current thought processes and offering new ones is.
- Your coach will be experienced. Nothing teaches like experience, which teaches life-long lessons — some good, some awful. Be wary of those who talk a great game but have never been in the trenches where you are. A coach who has been where you have been, asking the same questions and looking for help along their career path is invaluable. They have the gravitas you need to help you conduct deep dives into the opportunities around you.
- Your coach will believe in you — maybe more than you do yourself. Coaches and mentors can see real potential in the people they lead, even though it may not be readily evident to those following. They will work to uncover your hidden talents or gifts being ignored in your current situation to maximize your confidence levels, positioning you for success.
- Your coach will provide clarity.There will be many voices during your transition clamoring for attention and claiming to be the best possible change for you. In these times, you will need to make sure you’re considering every option and not just being attracted for the wrong reasons. It helps to have someone provide the clear education, awareness and discovery you need to help you decide for yourself.
- Your coach will offer unbiased feedback. Far too often, people in coaching roles have ulterior motives and hidden agendas, trying to sway you into making a quick decision benefitting them, not you. Avoid them. A good coach provides you with every scrap of unbiased information, allowing you time to make a smart decision about yourpath.
- Your coach will not be afraid to give you a kick in the tail. Your search for career fulfillment won’t be quick or easy. Discouragement and doubt will creep in and rent space in your head. Your coach will not abandon you at times like these. In fact, they will become even more involved by encouraging you and challenging you to keep moving forward. They will have the tools and resources you need to provide candid dialogue, to refresh your search and to renew your march to the goal.
- Your coach will remain with you. You should not be just another number or transaction for your coach. They will want to remain in the picture for you after you have made your final alternative career choice just to help you with the details that always come with a significant transition. They will want to remain available to you to provide meaningful help, answers and contacts in support of you and your new opportunity.
While legendary sports coaches like Saban get all the buzz, there are so many other coaches out there who help others embrace possibilities and change their lives. Find your coach today, and make 2018 the year you become “you” version 2.0.
For more information on The Entrepreneur’s Source, please visit http://www.EntrepreneursSource.com/.
About The Entrepreneur’s Source®. Established in 1984, The Entrepreneur’s Source has been North America’s leading alternative career coaching franchise dedicated to the entrepreneur for more than 34 years. The Entrepreneur’s Source offers in-depth advice to individuals striving to become self-sufficient with the release of our new book, Your Career 2.0: A Survival Guide for The Battered Career and Investor Syndrome. The book is a thoughtful examination of how you can make your dreams of self-sufficiency a reality. Authored by Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source Terry Powell and E-Source alternative career coaches, the book is a must-read for any individual who has ever considered taking the path less traveled and embarking on the journey to small business ownership.