Super Secret Zombie Fighters (AKA Business Coaches)

My business coaches are one of my secret weapons in the fight against success-stealing zombies.

I’ve worked with several coaches for different aspects of business over the years and without them I end up spinning my wheels and spending time on the wrong things.

Coaches are fabulous for pushing you to recognize your own value and take consistent action to keep moving forward.  Knowing I’ll need to “report in” on what goals I’ve accomplished this week helps motivate me to get things done.

Working with a coach can also help you get outside your own limited view of your business.  Big picture.  How many of us are really good at pulling ourselves out of that unmotivated state or realizing when we’re being held back by false fears?  If zombies are attacking you need someone to help you spot ’em so they can’t sneak up behind you!

Coaching can come in many forms:

  • in person coaching with someone local
  • coaching by phone or email
  • weekly, monthly or other regular coaching
  • single coaching sessions to get you out of “stuck”
  • group coaching programs
  • … and more

So, if you’re wondering whether you need your own zombie fighter, I grabbed one of my coaches and asked her the questions I hear most about business coaches.  Enjoy!

Interview with Jill Hart, Founder of and Business Coach

1. What is a business coach?

A business coach is someone who asks lots of questions in order find out where you are in business and what is holding you back in any areas. The coach then uses that knowledge to create a plan and challenge you to push forward toward success.

2. Who can benefit from working with a coach?

Truly anyone can benefit from working with a coach. I’ve worked with women in every different season of business – from taking a business dream and making it a reality to working through what may be holding a business owner back to helping someone through burnout to find their passion again. It’s so incredibly rewarding to watch women succeed!

3. What should we look for in a coach to find someone who’s a good fit for our businesses and where we’re at?

When looking for a business coach there are a few to things keep in mind:
* Find someone whose beliefs and ethics match yours. If you’re a traditionally minded businessperson then working with someone cut-throat, who pushed you to do whatever it takes to get ahead, won’t be a good experience for you (and vice-versa).
* Find someone who will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear. A coaches job is to push you, not be your buddy.
* Find someone who has had success building a business. There are many coaches out there today and for other kinds of coaching (like life coaching) it’s not necessarily important that they have a big, successful practice. However, for business coaching – if they haven’t successfully built a business, how can they help you?

4. How do coaches and coachees work together if they live in different areas geographically?

Generally, when the coach and coachee live in different regions they meet either via the phone or Skype. It’s amazing the amount coaches and their clients can accomplish even having never met in person.

5. What’s your favorite aspect of coaching?

One of the things that I love most about coaching with watching my coachees grow and change. I can look back over the past months and years that I’ve been working with someone and see how they’ve grown into a new, stronger person. Each success for one of my clients feel like a success for me as well. I can honestly say that I think I have the BEST job around!

(end of interview – thank you, Jill!)

Are you working with a business coach? Have you worked with one before?  What tips do you have for someone looking for a coach or thinking about enrolling in a coaching program?

If you haven’t worked with a coach yet, do you have questions about it? Post ’em in the comments!

Photo Credit: PetrMalyshev at StockFresh

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  1. Michelle,
    This is a terrific overview of what coaching can do for you and your business. I love to hear the success stories! I am a coach that helps women get unstuck in different aspects of their lives and I also use a business coach! She has moved me along faster than I ever could alone most certainly. She also has called me out on doing too much at once and saved me heartache and frustration. Coaches LOVE getting their own coach because we know the impact it can have.

    First tip I always give is to talk with the coach you are thinking of working with before you commit to a longer term relationship. It is a very personal and intense relationship at times and you need to feel open and comfortable. Any decent coach will insist that you have a ‘first’ meeting anyway. I call them discovery sessions; we talk about what you need and what I can offer but it is also a chance for us to feel out the relationship. And yes, I’ve referred people to other coaches if I think we don’t fit!

    Thanks for such a great article! Keep on being fabulous Michelle!

    1. That’s a wonderful tip, Bonnie. Some coaches we’ll click with and others we won’t. It’s important to get to know a coach a bit and make sure there’s a comfort level and connection there.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Bury the Zombie Fear FabricatorsMy Profile

  2. Great advice, Michelle. Not that you need approbation…
    And, for those of you reading this- if you don’t choose the right coach for YOU, you are better off without one entirely!!!!
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted… The Breakfast EffectMy Profile

    1. Roy that is so, so true! I’ve seen people work with business coaches and end up further behind than when they started because the coach wasn’t a good fit.

  3. Michelle, this is an ideal post. I understand and agree in everything you’re saying. A business coach is someone that can help you make your dreams real. I personally have a mentor. His words have power driven me to success! We don’t need to push, if we push nothing’s happening. We need something or someone to pull us. This has to do with personal development too. A coach can take you from where you are, to where you want to be in a short period of time!
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tips.
    John Mak recently posted… Bistro MD Discount Coupon CodeMy Profile

    1. Mentors are another great resource, John, thanks for mentioning that. And personal development is definitely key in all of it.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Bury the Zombie Fear FabricatorsMy Profile

  4. Michelle, thanks for the excellent guide on how to choose a best fit coach. A coach is somewhat inevitable if one really wants to accelerate rapidly to the next level.

    Having a coach is just like apprenticing for a master in the game – and having a close opportunity to see inside the backend of what drives a successful business, and be guided too.

    I have it my plans to get a coach as soon as I can afford one – there’s no point wasting months/ years trying to figure it all out when a guide and direction from someone who’s been there before would have got you there in 1 month instead of 2 years (all by yourself). And time wasted is income denied to self.

    I liked that you said to “Find someone who will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear”. This is so critical in my own opinion.
    Stella recently posted… Interview Famous Blogger- Mavis Nong Reveals Her Underground Blogging Success SecretsMy Profile

    1. Right! It took me a while to realize that — it’s so worth it to skip that learning curve and figuring it out on our own when we can learn from someone’s who’s already got it figured out.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Bury the Zombie Fear FabricatorsMy Profile

  5. […] Super Secret Zombie Fighters (AKA Business Coaches) […]

  6. Hi Michelle,

    Great discussion. My wife and I worked with two coaches as we built our guesthouse business and now I too am a business coach. (It’s a little bit like ‘I loved it so much, I bought the company!). I agree with almost all of what Jill said except when she said this ‘The coach then uses that knowledge to create a plan..’. I find the key to coaching is for the coachee to develop awareness and to take responsability. With this in mind, all the planning I do with my clients is a collaboration between us – far better my clients ‘own’ their plan. Most of us know, deep down, what we need to do to achieve progress – in our lives and in business. A coaching program provides clarity, support, persective and accountability, all powerful enablers – but the answers lie within us all.

    Love the discussion.

    Richard Everson

    1. Hi Richard, I’m glad you brought that up. There’s definitely a difference in the styles of coaches and some rely more on the coachee to find the solutions and take action.

  7. Hi Michelle,

    Great interview questions for Jill and I really appreciate her straightforward responses.

    What can I say? I teach for a living. :)

    And I feel teaching and coaching are closely related. Business coaches probably do what I do when I first meet new students — make a commitment to share every trick of the trade and see them through a process. If I’m remiss in my responsibilities to give them the information, guidance, and help they need, I’ve failed and I’m left with a group of unhappy campers.

    I’m anxiously looking forward to finding just the right business coach for me some day. And, who knows? I may end up being a coach myself! :)
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… This Is Not What I Signed Up ForMy Profile

    1. Yes, they are related for sure. A skilled teacher coaches the best out of his or her students. :)

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