Running a business is hard work; there is no doubt about it. And sometimes, it can become quite solitary. Even if you have employees, you are still the business owner and CEO, and they aren’t always able to support or help you in the way you need.
It’s also easy to lock into the feeling that it’s your way or the highway when it comes to how you do things. And this is the biggest danger for business owners in this blind spot. If you’re not constantly learning, then you’re just doing the same things over and over again, and it’s guaranteed that your business is stagnating.
Where there is a lack of learning, there is a lack of innovation. You may have not adopted new technology. Or, you might have surrounded yourself with a bunch of ‘yes men’ to turn to for advice, only they just repeat your own thoughts.
As a business owner you’re also usually not accountable to anybody. But having deadlines and someone to hold you accountable is often extremely helpful. You might be missing deadlines without realizing it, and you’re definitely missing out on the value of setting goals (which also helps build the strategic skills you’re probably also missing). Without accountability, we just don’t push ourselves to grow in the same way.
Or maybe you think you always have all the answers. Perhaps you do, but have you considered you might be answering the wrong questions?
“Coaches? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Coaches!”
I know that as the owner, you take pride in your business. You may even see it as a weakness to seek support or help from a coach.
I have seen this mentality in Las Vegas. Sometimes it feels like the Old West out here, and I know that’s because of the legacy of cowboys coming out to Las Vegas before it was Las Vegas. This has left a culture of independence and self-sufficiency amongst business owners, which at times is a double-edged sword.
It’s easy to become stuck in your ways if you’ve been in business for a long time, and it’s not always obvious when this is happening. However, if you are reluctant to bring on someone with new ideas, or work with someone younger, even, then you might be hanging onto the old ways of doing things and afraid to move forward.
A common reason I see business owners refusing to work with a coach is that they’re scared that learning and growing in this way will mean they have to work more, or work harder, and they have to take on new responsibilities.
You also might be asking yourself, “If I’m planning to exit, why do I need to worry about growth? I’m going to be leaving the business anyway. Why do I care what’s happening in the future? Why do I need to bring somebody on to help me? I don’t want to spend all this money now if I’m leaving.”
But this line of thinking is the same as questioning why you should bother putting a roof on your house if you’re getting ready to sell your house. Of course, you won’t be there to enjoy the new roof, but you can’t sell a house with a lousy roof!
A lot of business owners also think their business is so different or so unique that somebody coming in from the outside won’t get it. What I find to be true, however, is that a lot of businesses have the same problems. Truly, no problem is ever a new problem. Why deny yourself the wisdom of someone else’s experience when it comes to addressing the same problem you’re facing?