Successful young entrepreneurs are coachable. Learning from others and accepting feedback helps you strategize and overcome obstacles while building confidence and achieving your goals. Coaching strengthens your business planning process and the outcome of your efforts. Entrepreneurs need to understand coachability directly impacts your rate of success.
Successful entrepreneurs are coachable. People of accomplishment share this trait. They do not have time to waste and know we don’t live long enough to learn the hard way.
Coachable entrepreneurs recognize the potential issue and the effectiveness of being in learning mode and applying what they learn.
Being coachable matters. Coaches elevate your performance by helping you learn using added know-how and by practicing a technique.
It’s you authoring the story as they hold a red pen and circle your errors or show you areas that could be more impactful. It’s still your story. They aren’t writing it for you. They help you develop skills and strengthen them.
How coachability benefits an entrepreneur
- You learn to stay on task.
- Your goals are clear.
- Job satisfaction improves.
- Coaching helps solidify your values.
- It defines strategies to overcome personal obstacles.
- It builds confidence.
- Eliminates uncertainty.
- You remain highly engaged.
- Coaches unlock your potential.
- You develop a growth mindset.
Coaching channels your energy and effort, therefore maximizing that potential.
Coaching is directive, whereas mentoring is non-directive. In other words, coaches specifically guide you in a direction. They provide that extra push from behind from someone who knows where you can – and need – to go.
How to be more coachable:
Don’t assume you know it all or have the right answer. Personal development is a lifelong need and expectation of a founder, no matter how great the business model may be. Successful people maintain a continual willingness to learn.
- Ask questions.
- Request constructive criticism.
- Have an open mind.
- No victim mentality.
- No passive aggressiveness.
- Offer no excuses.
- Get rid of your ego.
- Show up.
- Seek to grow.
- Listen. Listen to answers. Don’t listen to respond.
- Take the suggestion.
- Follow through, practicing as your coach suggests.
Coachable entrepreneurs recognize gaps and ask for help.
Maybe start with:
- I need to learn…
- I want to learn…
- I would appreciate your counsel…
- I would appreciate your help…
- I would appreciate your suggestions…
- Tell me 3 things about my marketing plan that I can improve.
- Give me 3 ways to improve my go-to-market strategy.
- Give me 3 suggestions to save money which will help me fund my business.
- What do you consider financially wasteful? I need to get by until I make more money.
- Show me how to find the drain in my spending patterns.
- My ROI is not improving. How did you handle this when you first started out?
- Give me 3 suggestions to make my operations more efficient.
- I am not meeting my deadlines. Help me prioritize.
- I don’t understand these financial documents. Please help guide me to answers or further support.
The 10 steps in creating a business plan offer you 10 ways to be more coachable.
Understand the necessity of having a business plan, and ask for help strengthening your plan. Have a willingness to understand the academic aspect of it, while crafting, and then using your plan to guide your business development.
Similar to the mindset of an athlete, a coachable entrepreneur has the mentality of a winner.
Each step provides a perfect opportunity for a coach to inspire you.
As a successful entrepreneur, your business plan is the document that captures your reality – and – what you are working for, working on, and working toward.
STEP 1: PREPLAN
Preplanning is the step where you take the time to consider and think! Gather your thoughts, gather your details, and buy-in.
- Literally, how do I plan?
- There are so many business plan formats. Which one will work best for my business needs? Why?
STEP 2: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Summarizes your plan. Briefly captures the opportunity at hand, your target market, the competitive landscape, and how you will approach sales & marketing, operations, expected milestones, as well as who makes up your company and your financial plan.
- This is step 2? I don’t get it. How do I write this before I do steps 3-10?
- My business is new, and I have to make assumptions to write this. Is that okay?
- Aren’t assumptions bad?
Be humble. Uncontrolled ego makes you uncoachable.
Go out of your way to remain open-minded. Top-performing individuals know coaching plays an important role in their success. It doesn’t mean they aren’t already great, but they know what a coach offers. They’ll boost their network and find ways to advance that take them out of their comfort zone without being defensive.
There’s no time to waste in a world requiring high productivity. Take your efforts to the next level. Be the finalist.
STEP 3: OPPORTUNITY
Your opportunity is the purpose of your company and your point of difference. It answers why consumers need or want your product, why now, and how you will change the world.
- I have many ideas for vision and mission statements. I’m not sure which words are best.
- If I write these now, can I change them later? How do I avoid that?
- Change the world? Do I have to feel like I’m changing the world?
STEP 4: TARGET MARKET
Uses your market analysis to show who needs your product, who will actually purchase your product, and when. Include your findings on how you expect your target audience to change, expand, develop further and why.
- I thought this would develop over time. How do I determine what is fact and what assumptions are safe to make?
- I think I should just make product and see where it goes. No?
- Does it continually change?
STEP 5: COMPETITION
Knowing your competitive landscape sets the stage for how you market and sell your product.
- My product is new. How do I figure out all my competition? Can you help me brainstorm?
- I hear people talk about a consumer’s “share of stomach” when it comes to selling food and “share of wallet.” How does this affect me?
- I need help recognizing all of the economic factors that might help or hurt my business.
- Do you recommend being subtle or very direct in advertising my benefits? Should I name names?
Ask questions of experienced people.
STEP 6: SALES & MARKETING
Capture how you will market and sell your product.
- My plan is to have a website, tell my friends and family who will buy and tell others. Isn’t that enough?
- I’d appreciate your guidance to motivate my buyers and drive engagement.
- I’m not sure how to accept payment and track it. I’m not sure how to safeguard my finances in these transactions.
- Is consumer loyalty a real thing? It seems people buy whatever is available and cheap on Amazon.
- Are social media trolls an issue for you? How do you make sure they don’t ruin your reputation?
STEP 7: OPERATIONS
Outline how your product is created, costs involved, how long it takes to create, and how it will reach the end consumer.
- My costs are high because I am starting out small. Should I invest in inventory to create a larger inventory to sell?
- How do I create an expectations for returns/refunds are expected?
- I will handle all manufacturing and customer service from home. Is it a smart strategy to do it all and use my home?
Constructive criticism saves you from wasting time & money.
The reward is significant and literally adds up.
STEP 8: MILESTONES
Include short-term and longer-term goals business goals, and define the timing as is best for your business. For example, short-term goals may be 3-6 months or 1 year, which can then determine the timing of longer-term goals.
- My first sale is a great milestone, but how do I predict when I’ll reach certain sales goal in dollars or units?
- What should I consider when figuring out when my I will generate a profit?
- I will have to work a 2nd job until I make enough to pay my bills from my own business. Would it be smarter to take out a loan and jump in full time now?
STEP 9: COMPANY
The Company sections is where you are located, your leadership structure, the number of employees and/or have formal or informal advisors. Early on, this section will be light and can be included simply as part of your executive summary.
- Do you recommend having this section? It’s only me.
- I’m not sure I want to share my home address. What did you do?
- I would like to figure out my growth possibilities though and if I should seek funding. Can you help me think through this?
STEP 10: FINANCIAL PLAN
Your financial plan is a high-level overview of how you are currently funding the business and how further support will move your business forward.
- As with the Company section, do I need a financial plan? It’s only me.
- There is no financial plan. What am I not understanding?
- The business plan seems like a waste for a business that’s so small. Why wouldn’t I just get started?
Coachable entrepreneurs maximize their potential. They help you see positives and obstacles that will help your planning and execution. Coaching will help entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinkers level up. As a business owner ask for help cutting through minutia to help you set clear goals, and maintain focus.
Since coaching is directive support, it offers entrepreneurs direction and concrete lessons that help them develop stronger skills, enabling them to get around or even eliminate obstacles that they’d struggle to manage alone. Entrepreneurship comes with a need to maximize resources, so it’s important to cut down on wasted time and over-thinking.
It’s more than saying you have a growth mindset – it’s living it. Using what you learn further unlocks your talent and potential as yours and your coaches efforts build your confidence and lead you to success. Coaches channel your energy as they unlock your potential, therefore maximizing your potential. Being coachable means you receive, and those learnings directly impacts your rate of success.
Don’t waste time. It’s too costly. Be coachable. You got this.
Learn more at the GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURS COUNCIL