Could life coaching help you achieve business success?

One way of keeping motivated and stress-free

One way to keep yourself motivated and stress free is to find a mentor, often a partner but – increasingly – a business or life coach. Coach David Deeming points out that coaching is huge in the US, and growing fast here too as entrepreneurs realise the boost it can give business.

When the initial motivation of setting up a business wears off, says Richard White, executive director of business coaching firm Pro Excellence, business goals of turnover and profit are not enough. “Owner-managers often set goals that are compelling in their own right, and yet do not consider other things that are important to them, like their family and their health,” he advises.

At LifePaths, coach Adrian Green agrees: “We ask clients what they really want to achieve, and that can be quite different from what they think motivates them. We work with people who are earning half a million which they think is for their family, and they turn round and think, ‘Where is my family? Where are my friends?'”

When self-motivation dips, or goals become confused, there is plenty of help out there. At M2R International, motivational training specialists, management consultant Darren Broad advises people to examine what he calls “self-talk – you know, that little voice in your head which talks to you all day. What it says can be 80% negative, and arguably the other 20% is about sex.”

The trick, argues Broad, is to transform that emotional and negative voice into a logical one. “We teach people to visualise the outcome they want, as top sports people do. When Tiger Woods stands three feet from the ball, he’s not practising his swing – he’s visualising the ball going into the hole. Yet some golfers look at the trees and the water and think of how it all went wrong last time, and set themselves up to fail.”

Proper training can help you succeed, says Broad. “We teach people to see their own success, and in business terms that means going into a key meeting without worrying about drying up, losing notes.”

While self-motivation among owner managers is generally strong, concedes Broad, the goals are often too long term. “You need to break down a clearly defined goal into manageable chunks, and divide it on a daily basis – that you’ve made so many cold calls, or written a couple of crucial letters.” Owner managers have to dwell on their what they have achieved, says Broad: “If you have 11 things on that day’s list and manage nine, don’t go to bed worrying about the two you missed.”

But owner managers live with responsibilities around the clock: “I toss and turn in bed worrying about the day that’s gone and the one that follows,” is a frequent complaint, says life coach Mo Shapiro, author of “Shift your thinking – Change your life”. She has a simple solution: “Set aside five minutes before going to bed and write down, record or some way collect all your concerns. Then put them away until tomorrow and forget all about them. Chances are that they will have lessened greatly after a good night’s sleep.”

Lifestyle changes

Simple lifestyle changes are crucial, argues Leonard Tondel, of the Home Business Alliance. “Give yourself a set of daily guidelines and try to stick to them. You WILL switch off by 10pm, for example. You WILL give yourself enough sleep every night. You WILL eat regularly and properly. You WILL spend time with your family and friends. The fitter, the healthier you are, the greater will be your sense of well-being which will impact directly on your confidence.”

Highly-motivated owner managers typically work long hours and enjoy the flexibility, says Mike Cannell, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development adviser, who runs his own management consultancy. “Stopping work on a Friday night is unimportant, unless it affects your home life,” he says. “Sometimes I work through Sunday because I know I want to sit and watch the cricket on Thursday, and that works well for me.”

When self-motivation dips, or goals become confused, there is plenty of help out there.

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