“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended with diligence.”
The purpose of learning is to grow better and stronger than you were yesterday. Are you better today than you were yesterday? Are you making the most of your potential?
If the question is no, this post could be exactly what you’re looking for.
A coach comes in many forms. This can be a friend, a sibling, a colleague. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s someone that can help you. Of course, most people close to you will gladly help at no cost. While this is great, sometimes you need a little more.
I’m talking about paying someone who’s an expert in their field to help you get better. Yes, it’s an investment b/c people’s time costs money (and sometimes it’s a lot). My experience has been that it’s well worth it. In fact, I would put the Return on Investment of hiring a coach at 10x (10 times what you paid) in most cases.
Here are 5 reasons to hire a coach:
1. Receiving another person’s perspective is invaluable
A lot of times we operate in a vacuum. We only see things from our vantage point. This can be a trap. You get sucked in to a way of thinking and it’s really hard to get out of it. It may just take someone that’s an expert in a particular field to help you change your outlook and propel yourself forward. People are experts for a reason. The beauty is that you can leverage this.
2. Learn about what’s made them successful
What better way to improve on something than to work with someone that’s successful at what you’re trying to accomplish? They’ve all been down the road you’re traveling. They work with many other people just like you. They see the good, they see the bad and they see everything in between. They know what makes the difference between good and great. That leads me to number three….
3. Learn about what their obstacles were
Either the coach has experienced the bumps a long the way or they’ve seen a lot of others in the same pursuit you’re in. They’ve seen the successes, but more importantly they’ve seen the failures. My golf coach, Pat Bernot (at Golftec in Columbus),works with a lot of other golfers. He sees a lot of bad swings. He knows what to look for….and, of course, how to fix it. Every golf swing is different, but when you’re around it everyday, you start to pick up the little tricks to make progress. There’s no greater teacher than failing at something and picking yourself back up. A coach has either done that or has seen it. They can help you learn from your mistakes and get back on your game.
4. You will be more accountable
You have someone that you’ve committed to. You won’t want to let them down. It’s one thing to let yourself down (that’s another topic for another day), but when you’ve committed to someone else it makes it much harder to live with failure. At my Crossfit gym, we have a trainer that oversees all of the classes. They get on us quite a bit, both about form and also to push us. You don’t want to let them down and I definitely push myself more than I would if I was alone doing a workout. They also teach us the right way to do things and help us break bad habits. Without them, the workouts would be average.
5. Simply being pro-active leads to inspiration
Resistance is everywhere. I recently wrote about this in My Five Keys to Defeating Resistance. It’s a tough thing. We face it everyday, whether it’s procrastination, eating habits or working out. If you take ownership of something and actually take a step forward in pursuit of your goal, this will undoubtedly lead to inspiration. Think about a workout you had recently – how did you feel? I bet most of you felt great about it. I bet most of you made better choices when you ate. Why? – b/c that workout just inspired you to make better choices. That’s what being pro-active does.
I thought I’d share some real-life examples of ways I’ve vastly improved. All from taking the step to hire a coach.
Golf – I’ve always wanted to be a good golfer. I’ve played since I was about thirteen (recreational). I was bad. I’d go a whole round with maybe 4 or 5 good shots, if that. At times it was embarrassing. I started to play a lot of golf through work and I was sick of being bad (about a 22 handicap). I started taking lessons about four years ago and I’m now a 12 handicap. Anyone that plays golf, knows that’s a hefty improvement. It took consistent lessons, including my coach analyzing my swing via video. It also took a lot of work outside of the lessons. It always does. By the way, I highly recommend GolfTec and can’t thank my coach enough, Pat Bernot. If you live in OH, there’s no better instructor out there.
Getting Things Done (GTD) – I decided that if I was going to make this my personal productivity platform, that I mine as well do it the right way. I struggled quite a bit with implementing it and just took the plunge to hire a coach. I worked with Julie Ireland of the David Allen Company. It was awesome. I learned so much. We got down into the weeds and, once again, the return on my investment was at least 10x.
Presenting – I thought I was a pretty good presenter. Then, I took a two day class on presenting from a company called Baker Communications. This wasn’t an ordinary class where everything was happy go lucky. They absolutely drilled us. We would present, they would video tape us. One guy would be in the room with us and then another guy would be in a room across the hall. That guy didn’t see us live. We would take a flash drive with the video and sit with the guy across the hall right after we presented. He would critique the hell out of us. It was humbling and it was awesome. It made me better. It made me realize I was mediocre compared to what the potential was. Now, I’m striving to get better all the time. Since then, I’ve joined Toastmasters to continue to refine and practice.
Negotiating – This is a big part of my job in corporate sales. I went to the Karrass Negotiating class a couple of years ago. Again, a two day training that was very intense. The cool part is that it wasn’t just people in sales; there were a bunch of people on the buy side of businesses (purchasing/procurement). We would role play, which I typically hate, but this was awesome. I highly recommend this course for anyone. We all negotiate in life (anyone buy a car recently?) and this helps in all facets of life, business or personal.
Working Out – I mentioned my Crossfit gym above. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a functional workout where you’re performing a workout together with a group of people and there’s a trainer that presides over the class. It typically involves a combination of weight training, body weight movements, running and the like. As I already stated, you get the benefit of having a coach teach you the proper form on certain movements. And, of course, the benefit of having someone yelling…I mean motivating you during a workout : ) Most Crossfit gyms come at a premium expense. They’re typically more than regular gyms, but I find that it’s well worth the money.
What is it that you want to reach your potential at? Think about it. Where are you stuck or what are you good at, but want to be great at? Chances are, what got you where you are today isn’t good enough to get you where you want to go tomorrow.
In closing, if you don’t have the funds to invest in a coach, I recommend doing the one thing we all learned how to do early in the life – read. The average book is probably around $15 these days. Reading has changed my life. I’m pretty avid, maybe too much so at times. My wife makes fun of me b/c I sometimes read many books at a time. It’s a running joke. Last year, I wrote a post on tips for reading: 9 Tips on Reading Non-Fiction. This may be useful for you.
If you do have the funds and you’re thinking about hiring a coach for something you want to be great at – don’t hesitate. It just may be the one thing that gets you over the hump.
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All the Best,