As a business owner, it’s natural to see your company go through many phases of growth. And as a leader, it’s normal to ask yourself if you’re leading your team to the best of your abilities. Is there more you could be doing? And what are you not doing that you should be doing?
Over the past two years, our company experienced a tremendous amount of change. At times, I felt like I was merely getting through the long list of to-dos, with little to no time left over for guiding the overall direction of the company.
In addition to feeling like you aren’t focusing on what you need to, being a business owner can often feel lonely. Although support networks of people you could talk to are available, sometimes it’s just easier and more efficient to reach out to an expert. Whether you’re a business owner or just looking for some guidance in navigating your career path, here are three steps to finding a career coach that might make the process a touch easier.
Step 1: Identify the need.
Several months ago, I finally realized that the overall success of my business was more important than my lack of desire to ask for help. So, I decided it was time to seek the help of a professional. I wanted to find a coach I could talk to about the issues our company was facing, do so at my pace, and ultimately get a plan in place to move forward quickly. I honestly didn’t know what a career coach could do for me, so rather than assume, I asked.
Step 2: Do your homework.
It’s important to find a counselor with whom you have good chemistry; someone you could trust, and someone who will hold you accountable. I have a very busy schedule and I’m used to being in the driver's seat. I knew, however, that if I were going to make progress, I would need to let go a little in order to let them help me uncover where I needed the most work. I reached out to some colleagues for recommendations and then interviewed the candidates. You will know when you find the right person or program.
Step 3: Make the commitment.
Once you find that person, the real work begins. Don’t expect change to happen overnight; it will be a work in progress. I commit the time each week to do specific action items she asks of me, and then we talk about how it’s affecting my goals.
Seeking the help of a professional isn’t always easy. It takes effort to find the right person, and it's a time investment. I can say from personal experience, however, that the journey thus far has been well worth it. I’ve seen quantifiable results and I know I’m tracking better than ever before to achieve my goals. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Written by: Kasie Smith, president and publisher of West Michigan Woman magazine.