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Focus On What You Know
Every day we read about this coach and that coach. This one helps you build a better network; that one helps you to train in one area or another. Don’t get me wrong; the right coach, at the right time, for the right reason is worth its weight in gold. I have even personally referred my friends and clients to one coach or another when the time was right for them. The perfect coach can help you develop in an area where you may have struggled before. They can even save your life or the life of your business.
Yet some of us float from mentor to mentor, coach to coach, never fully implementing the tools they provide. Why that? Sometimes it’s scary, plain and simple. But most of the time it’s because it’s not something we’re able or willing to do at the time.
The best result is the result of focus, determination, ability and action. When even one of these areas is lacking, no amount of training will help you reach your goal. Focus and determination are almost the same thing; but without skill and action the intended result will never be achieved. Felicia Slattery, communications consultant and coach puts it this way: “Sometimes what many people need is less of a coach and more of a consultant or teacher. Coaching is a fabulous resource for unstuck, but when you don’t know how do it. do something, even the best coaching won’t do the trick. You need a teacher, a consultant or a coach – in short, someone to teach you how to do it, the easy way. And then you have to follow the plan you have. create.”
Felicia has a wonderful tool on her website that I think is perfect for helping you determine if you really need a coach or not. It’s a simple questionnaire that every coach should offer to their potential clients. Be sure to check out their “Are You Coachable” quiz on their resources page.
Your coach can only take you so far. If you don’t have the ability to understand and implement the training, your efforts will be futile. For example, I am very good at math. I can easily understand most any new concept the first time I read it. However, when it comes to science, my brain literally shuts down. You’ve heard the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Well, it’s a lot like that when you try to force yourself to become something you’re not capable of becoming.
So what is the answer? Sign up and admit; there are just things you don’t have the time, talent, skill or desire to do. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t.
One solution is to hire someone, even if only part-time, who can help you in the areas you need. Then leave it in their capable hands.
Another option is to form a strategic alliance with another employer who has the knowledge and skills you are looking for. For example, if you want to promote your business through public speaking, but even the thought of it gives you panic attacks, find someone outgoing to partner with who promotes both of your businesses. It may seem like you can’t put pen to paper; the words just don’t flow. Hire a ghostwriter or partner with a copywriter/editor who can help you in this area. You could offer to publish the article if they write.
Carol Deckert, Networking Coach puts it this way: “When you start your business, it may not be financially feasible to hire someone to help you do everything. You may be forced to do everything yourself with possible help from your family.However, if your idea is simply to start a business, take from that business the income it produces, your business will never grow.
For growth to happen, you as the owner must stay focused on what you want this business to be.
Forming a strategic alliance with another company that has a comparable target market could be the best way for your business to grow. Sit down and write a detailed plan, outlining the duties/responsibilities each of you will be responsible for, focus on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The exchange of skills between the two of you is the perfect alliance, as you each control the growth of your own business, but you’ll have help doing some of the work you don’t want to do, don’t have time for, or just don’t know how to do. The devil is in the details, so be specific and clear about what you expect from each other, and then each of you can focus on what you want to achieve with your business. Focus on your strengths and a plan of action and you can move forward and grow your business!”
I have used both of these techniques in my 30+ years in business and have never regretted it. Instead of wasting valuable time and effort trying to learn something you have no predilection for, you can hire an assistant. Hiring a virtual assistant can be a good business move. This option allows you to save time and money, when you consider that you do not have to pay for your health insurance! They can handle the most tedious tasks you don’t have the patience or motivation to do.
Decide for yourself what is more valuable, time spent learning something you neither want to learn nor can implement, or focus on what you love. To decide which method to use, look at the big picture. Is it something that has to be done or is it an area of your business that will allow you to diversify? If diversification is your answer, partnership may be your best bet.
On the other hand, if you really want and need help learning, a coach or mentor in the specific medium is absolutely your best bet. For the example of wanting to learn how to improve your public speaking skills, you might consider hiring someone like Coach Slattery or simply grab a copy of his recently released e-book titled “Cash In On Speaking”. Another helpful resource and one of my personal favorites is my book, “Presentation Skills for the Next Generation.”
Remember that to get the most out of your training you will need to commit to learning and implementing the suggested strategies. Their knowledge and experience will enable you to achieve even your highest goal only if you put what you learn into action. Otherwise, you should stick to what you know and love and leave the rest to others who are more capable.
Felicia Slattery’s eBook Cash In On Speaking is available here: http://www.documantdesigns.com/CIOS-splash.html.
© Copyright 2008 Ginger Marks
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