Imagine that you are cruising across the state in your favorite muscle car. It might be a vintage Camaro, ‘Cuda, or even a classic Boss Mustang.
No modern connectivity and you decided to leave your cell phone behind because you wanted to take a technology break. Classic rock blares from the single speaker in the dash and you love the rumble from the exhaust (though not necessarily the lack of cushioning in the bucket seats).
As you cruise along, you think you are on the right path but something you misread on a map caused you to take a wrong turn some 50 miles back – now you’re in the middle of nowhere and not quite sure how you ended up so far off the beaten path. Your significant other suggested to you a while back that you might be headed somewhere you didn’t want to go but you pressed on instead of asking for directions.
Now, you have burned precious fuel and time. Because you hesitated to listen, then ask for help, you won’t make it to your destination on time so you’ll miss the sole reason for taking your road trip.
Similarly, operating your business without an outside voice might prevent you from arriving at your goals and personal desires on time.
As a shop owner, I know firsthand how debilitating it can be to make a wrong turn when operating your shop. I also know that without having my coach’s voice I would have never achieved the results I did at my shop in the same amount of time.
As a long-time Buffalo Bills fan, it kills me to say this, but I must admit that Tom Brady is our generation’s greatest quarterback – he might be the greatest ever. He has single-handedly dismantled many great football teams throughout his career and has the Super Bowl rings to prove his dominance.
One interesting fact that many don’t consider though, is that he doesn’t do it alone. Brady, even today, has a quarterback coach. Why should the Greatest Of All Time still have a coach? The answer is simple: he is looking to continuously improve an independent voice that drives him forward, which ensures his continued growth even as he nears the twilight of his career.
If Tom Brady comprehends the need for a coach, should you?
I assembled a trio of coaches to help me answer some of the questions you may have pondered as you considered a coach and if you haven’t, perhaps we will encourage you to seek out a coach to help you and your shop take the next step towards your success.
Murray Voth, Brian Gillis, Bill Haas and I have all walked in your shoes as shop owners. Some of us had tremendous success with our first coach, while other shifted coaches. Either way, we all know what it is like to seek out a coach.
Selecting a coaching company is a lot like looking up at the menu board of a new fast food joint. Like coaching organizations, there are a lot of items on the menu and you are not quite sure which one will be best for you.
What should a client look for in a coach to make sure there is a good fit and the coach is right for them?
“Understand your personality and the characteristics of the coach’s personality,” says Bill Haas. “Make sure the coach is not just like you. Look for a coach who is strong in areas you are weak or don’t enjoy. Those are areas the coach will help you improve the most.”
Brian Gillis of You Net Results says experience matters, adding, “You should look for guidance, accountability, proven methods for success, encouragement, experience, how to lead vs. manage, and group support with other like-minded members. Look for a coach who has personally overcome financial and career obstacles.”
What should the shop owner be prepared to do after engaging a coach?
“Transparency is key,” says Murray Voth of RPM Consulting. “How else can I help you if you aren’t entirely open? Admittedly, we don’t want anyone to see our flaws and we often think they don’t. But, as a coach, I know when something is off, and in a lot of cases, I see the issue before it’s brought up.”
Haas adds, “Be prepared to do the hard work. Change is hard and you should expect to be making changes. Things only improve when you are willing to make changes. Be prepared to be held accountable. A coach will remind you what you committed to do and push you to fulfill that.”
Is coaching for everyone?
I believe that everyone needs a coach to help them see what they don’t see. How else would Luke Skywalker achieve Jedi status? No Yoda, no Jedi knight. We all have blind spots but not everyone is ready to be taught. Only engage a coach when you are ready to take the next step and put in the work to get there. Remember these five key words : There Is No Silver Bullet. You have seen what happens when a tech attempts a shortcut only to come up behind the 8 ball. Shortcuts to a successful shop do not exist. The benefits of a coaching relationship are that your coach knows the potholes because he’s stepped in them!
Are coaching and training the same thing?
Training is event-based, and could be one or multiple classes, either in person or virtual. It occurs over a specified period of time which might be hours or a couple of days. In most cases, the knowledge learned doesn’t last.
Coaching, on the other hand, is relationship-based. Over the duration of the relationship, you and your coach will gain an understanding and mutual trust which enables the coach to press for increased performance and on the client-side, you’ll learn new habits and behaviors that cause you to reach levels you would never reach on your own.
If you’re ready to take the next step, here are some key areas to watch out for as you evaluate a coaching organization.
- Long-term contracts that are nearly impossible to get out of.
- Promises that seem too good to be true.
- The relationship just doesn’t seem like a good fit.
- Are you being pushed into a decision?
- Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee?
A few years back at ATE in Seattle, Bill Haas and I were chatting with a couple of coaches when a prospective client walked up. He began asking us a lot of the questions you see in this article. As we wrapped up the discussion we all indicated to him that we as coaches wanted just one thing for him and his shop, and that was for him to engage a business performance coach. To each of the coaches present, it didn’t matter if he chose one of us or any of the other top-level coaches. We simply wanted him to choose a coach and do it sooner rather than later.
So, what are you waiting for? Each day you are not at the top of your performance ability you are leaving a ton of opportunity on the table. Reach out to our contributors to ask a question or see what coaching is all about.
For More Information, contact:
Bill Haas, Haas Performance Consulting
Murray Voth, RPM Training
Brian Gillis, You Net Results
Vic Tarasik, Shop Owner Coach