Hiring a business coach was one of the best investments in my work-at-home mom venture. Here’s why you might want to consider hiring a coach–and what to do if you can’t afford one!
Although it’s not the main theme of this blog, from time to time I enjoy giving you an inside peek into my life as a work-at-home mom and homemaker. I know so many of my readers are looking for ways to increase their incomes without leaving home, and it’s something I’m passionate about helping them figure out. I hope today’s post will encourage those of you with this aspiration!
When you’re a work-at-home mom, you may have no idea what you’re doing at first.
You might know something about the subject matter of what your business is going to be, but when you get into it there might be a lot of ins and outs of the business that you just don’t know about. That was me!
So in 2015, after four years of being in the blogging business, I hired a business coach.
3 reasons why you might want to hire a business coach
There were three specific reasons why my husband and I decided it was time for me to hire a business coach:
1. A business coach can help us be stronger than we are on our own.
Isolating yourself is one way to sabotage your business! Learn from others. Have the humility to realize that you don’t have all the answers. Be willing to pay for insight into the expertise that others can offer you!
2. A business coach has walked your road.
A business coach or mentor has walked the road you are walking now. They are going to come with experience and wisdom that you don’t have. And, hopefully, they’ll be able to save you from making some mistakes and maybe even save you from some heartache.
3. A business coach will be able to tell you hard things.
A business coach can point out things that you may not be able to see yourself and that other people may not tell you.
If they are a really good coach and they see you making mistakes or bad decisions, they will tell you.
You need someone to do that for you. Otherwise, you might make mistakes that could ruin your business down the road.
One of the things my business coach helped me with was scaling back.
Instead of really focusing on growing my business bigger over the course of 2015 (and really into 2016 as well), in one of our very first conversations she told me:
“Erin, you need more margin in your life, or you are going to totally burn out.”
She was right.
She helped me to get foundational things in place, so I could scale back.
The results were that I started working less, and we worked through a lot of areas where I needed to build more margin in my life.
Hopefully, in the future, I can build my business more with those foundational things that weren’t in place during the first four years.
Then my business will be more long-term sustaining–and I’ll have more energy to run it!
What if you can’t afford a business coach?
When I first started my business, we barely had money to eat.
I bought my domain name for $10, and I am not kidding you, it was a sacrifice.
Buying a domain name was the only investment I really did in my business for the first year. I didn’t even have a WordPress site (what I recommend for professional bloggers) that first year because I couldn’t afford web hosting.
I certainly didn’t have enough extra income to hire a business coach!
If you’re in that position now, here are a few practical things you can do:
1. Take classes.
Take online classes, in-person courses, or read books as a more affordable option. Those are some things I would recommend you do if you cannot afford a business coach.
For a limited time, you can sign up for a free mini eCourse from Elite Blogging Academy called Blogging Made Simple. Check it out here. Or join the waiting list for the full Elite Blogging Academy 3.0 eCourse! (Will and I will be taking this course together!)
2. Absorb free content.
Read good business books from your library. Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine is a good one. Read business blogs. A really good website that I recommend is MichaelHyatt.com. Although, I will say that his advice is more focused on male entrepreneurs and not moms making an income from home.
Some favorite resources of mine for Christian women in business include:
Check out business podcasts, too!
There are a lot of free resources that you can seek out in the beginning if you don’t have the money to invest.
3. Join a mastermind group.
I am in several mastermind groups with fellow bloggers, and I will tell you that has probably been the best thing for my business over the course of the past several years.
Whether your business is blogging or something else, try to surround yourself with a core group of like-minded people who can encourage, advise, and challenge each other.
Starting a private Facebook group is a great way to stay connected with your mastermind team.
If you don’t know of any available mastermind groups, I would suggest just approaching four to ten people in your niche who share a similar vision to you, and asking them if they’d like to form a group!
Once your business begins to grow and you do have the money to invest (and you get to a point where you feel like you are going to burn out if you don’t do something soon!), it’s probably a good time to hire a business coach.
How do you find a business coach?
A lot of the people who have business-type websites have some kind of coaching that is available as the next step up from their free advice. Look on their contact page to see if they have coaching available.
Most coaching is not cheap. It’s going to be an investment. But hopefully it will be an investment in your business, and you’ll be able to see your business grow as a result.
Even if you personally know the coach you are contacting, I would still go through the website contact form when asking about coaching services. You want to respect them and have boundaries, as well.
I have been asked by quite a number of people recently if I would be willing to coach, and right now the answer is no.
Currently, I am trying to build some margin in my life with running my business, being a wife, and being a mom.
I would love to take every single person out to coffee that e-mails me or sends me a message and wants to know if they can ask about blogging or running a business. I love people, and I love to help people.
But I don’t feel like I am at the place in my life where I have the bandwidth to help. However, I did write a mini-series on blogging that will hopefully give you some good resources and things to think about!
I do love occasionally sharing blogging, business, and writing tips through my free blogging and writing tips newsletter. This newsletter goes out sporadically right now, but I would like to get it to where it goes out monthly. You can sign up for my free tips newsletter here. It’s just one way I can invest in other business owners while still maintaining margin in my personal life.
Be mindful of who you choose as a business coach.
I chose my coach because I knew our values were very similar. We want God first, family second, and then our business. If that is how your priorities line up, you don’t want to choose a coach that is going to put making more money above being there for your family.
Seek out someone who is truly experienced and has success in their field. There are a ton of “experts” online who don’t have a lot to show for their expertise.
I have seen bloggers who have started giving out blogging advice after three to six months of blogging. I’m sure they have information to offer, but if I am going to pay a hefty price to invest in my business, I want to go with somebody that has experience, and the more experience the better.
And it feels icky to even write this, but I’ve seen some bloggers have the lightbulb moment that they can make more money by blogging about blogging–writing eBooks, selling eCourses, etc. and charging lots of money for them. Again, look for people with the proven track records (I’m talking YEARS of experience!) before investing in an eBook or eCourse written by someone who might have had a small success but not the longevity to go with it.
Want to know more about my business coach? It was none other than the amazing Crystal Paine, blogger behind the uber-successful Money Saving Mom and author of Money Making Mom! Crystal no longer does private coaching, but she does group coaching on occasion. Sign up for my blogging tips newsletter, and I will notify you of the next time Crystal opens up more spaces for group coaching!
That’s true with motherhood, too. I am a huge advocate of surrounding yourself with mentors, with those who are in the next season of life from you. In addition to having a blogging/business coach for my business, I also have a real-life mentor for being a wife and a mom and a homemaker.