By Brett Farmiloe
I never thought I’d work with an executive coach. I’m a first-time CEO of a small startup with less than $1M in annual revenue. Why would I need a coach?
I’m sure you can dissect why I’d need a coach if you read that sentence closely. “First-time CEO.” “Small startup.” “Less than $1M in revenue.” In hindsight, all strong reasons to be aligned with an executive coach who can help change those adjectives to “Seasoned CEO.” “High growth startup.” “Insanely profitable.”
Fortunately, I had a couple of opportunities to work closely with an executive coach. For anyone on the fence about working with an executive coach, here are a five ways you’ll benefit.
Entrepreneurs hold themselves back mentally. They are their own worst enemy in breaking through from six figure annual revenues to seven or eight figures.
Great coaches help entrepreneurs break through the mental barriers.
They take them through the necessary exercises and ask the right questions to help entrepreneurs and executives embrace what’s on the other side of success – instead of fearing it.
This is perhaps the biggest benefit of working with an executive coach. You can work through the mental hurdles that hold you back.
It’s lonely being an executive or entrepreneur. There’s not a lot of people that you can talk to when you’re thinking about firing an employee, selling your business, sunsetting a service, or any of the other “major” issues that have an impact on an organization.
An executive coach is your confidential, conversation confidant.
Sometimes, an executive just needs to air it all out. A coach catches everything in that conversation, and provides you with a couple questions to think about going forward.
You can’t discount the value of verbally expressing the big stuff that mentally weighs you down. You need an outlet to find a solution. Coaches are one of those outlets that helps you find the solution.
Self confidence is a top priority when you’re in the first stage of business growth and have less than 10 employees. Confidence is also pretty important throughout stages of business growth, but when you don’t have a lot of assets at your disposal in a startup, confidence is one of your most valuable assets.
Coaches help build up that confidence. And as a result, you are able to reach your optimal performance as an executive.
There’s really not more to it than that. It’s hard to self-produce confidence. You sometimes need a stimulant and successes to build up confidence over time. Coaches can be that stimulant by setting you up for success.
Entrepreneurs and executives have ideas. Lots of innovative ideas. Which, is great. But at the same time, can be distracting to helping you accomplish your main goals. And when there’s distractions, nothing gets accomplished.
Coaches help you get back on track while not entirely dismissing the new ideas. They’ll learn about the idea, listen to it, and then help you determine where that idea falls on your list of priorities.
Your life is more than just “work.” It’s also about Health. Family. Finances. Personal enjoyment. Charity. For some, Spirituality. And then of course, Business.
Most executives and entrepreneurs are one-sided in certain areas (looking at you “Business”). Coaches help balance the spectrum to give visibility to all areas of your life.
As a result, your life improves because it’s more whole. Coaches can help you get to the goals in other parts of your life that you don’t often think about.
As a first-time CEO, that’s my take on what I benefited from while working with an executive coach. It’s a tremendously valuable experience that I’d recommend for other first-time entrepreneurs and executives. Hopefully, you’ll benefit as much as I did.
Brett Farmiloe is the CEO of Markitors and an advisor to an organizational leadership degree program. He used to coach a fifth grade basketball team in Tucson, and now he just coaches his kids and employees in Scottsdale.