The entrepreneurial spirit that drives many business owners imbues them with key advantages. Entrepreneurs are resilient. They are creative. They are willing to separate from the herd and take the path less traveled.
This nonconformist mentality is an advantage in most cases, but it leads to high levels of skepticism and resistance to coaching. Business owners can be so accustomed to going it alone that they overlook the advice of experts. Sometimes the problem is a matter of changing mindsets—shifting from the leader of a business to a student, albeit temporarily. In other cases, the roadblock is ego, not wanting to admit the need for help or ignoring the advantage that can come from having help.
Regardless of the cause, the result can mean lost growth opportunities. To reach new heights in your business or your career, you sometimes have to drink the Kool-Aid and commit to taking the advice of an expert. (Just to be clear, I am not talking about joining an actual cult but rather having the commitment to jump in with both feet.)
#MSP owners can be so accustomed to going it alone that they overlook the advice of experts, which can mean lost opportunities @BradStoller @SmarterMSP
The right mindset
In sports, seeking expert insight is a given. Despite the notorious egos of top-tier athletes, they continuously pursue coaching. For example, Freddie Roach has trained some of the best fighters in the world. Oscar de la Hoya came to Roach to prepare for a bout with Floyd Mayweather, and the UFC’s Georges St. Pierre relied on Roach’s insights to carry him through his comeback bout against Michael Bisping, the middleweight champion at the time.
The best athletes in the world know that their chances of success are far greater when they have coaches in their corners. And that means committing to those coaches completely. When a boxer hires an expert like Roach, Roach stipulates the training and the drills. When Roach calls for a certain combination between rounds, fighters don’t stop to argue. They get off their stools and throw the combination.
The same level of trust and commitment can be a rarity in the business world. In our own work at The PT Service Group, we recommend that our clients meet with our sales coach before launching an appointment setting campaign. We know, from our decades in the industry, that the return for our clients is far higher if they follow the advice of a sales coach during these meetings. The clients who drink the Kool-Aid see better returns, resoundingly, and the clients who don’t often come back to take the coaching later after months of flailing with their appointments.
Do your homework
How do you know, though, which experts to trust and which experts will derail your business with snake oil?
This question may be at the heart of your resistance to trust the direction of your business with an outside expert, and it’s justified. Here’s a checklist you should follow:
- Research the expert. Reputation matters. Look at who they have helped and what the industry has to say about them.
- Check references. While you explore the reputation of an expert, ask for the contact information for current and past clients and follow up with them.
- Explore thought leadership. Most experts today share some of their insights for free in the form of blogs or articles for industry publications. Read up on what your expert has written to get a feel for how well their philosophy and approach meshes with yours.
- Set expectations early. Before work begins, talk about goals and timelines. If you know ahead of time what your return should be (if everything goes accordingly to plan) and when that return should come to fruition, you can plan accordingly.
When you do your homework on an expert, you can take the “blind” out of “blind trust.” At that point, you know who you are working with, what makes them an expert, and you can take a full swing at implementing their advice instead of stopping halfway out of hesitation.
Photo: Yuriy Seleznev/Shutterstock.com