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Since its inception, business coaching continues to grow in popularity, sophistication of techniques, and outcomes obtained.

Any business coach worth their weight in salt (i.e., their fee) wants you and your business to benefit greatly from the coaching relationship. This brief guide helps maximize the value of your coaching engagement.

Make a List of What You Really Want

When your goals are clear, progress comes quickly.

Success is not about what you should achieve, but rather what you want to achieve based on your desires, needs, and values.

If your vision is cloudy, have a conversation with your business coach to ensure you’re clear and focused during your coaching engagement. You’ll be glad you did!

Get to Know Yourself Better

Working with a trained and knowledgeable strategic business coach is a healthy way to grow. Most clients hire a coach to accomplish several specific goals. Much of the time and focus is on these goals.

However, don’t be surprised if you find your vision and goals adjusting to who you really are and what’s most important to you. This discovery process is natural. There is no need to rush it, just know it may happen.

Accelerating your personal and professional growth is the hallmark of working with an experienced coach.

Be Willing

During your coaching engagement, there may be times your coach makes a request that, in the moment, seems like a BIG ask. Not too much but certainly more than you have previously asked of yourself. Other times, instead of asking for more, your coach may ask for something different from what conventional wisdom dictates.

Through years of working with thousands of entrepreneurs, we’ve discovered the quickest route to achieving your goals isn’t always by doing more — or doing what you’ve done in the past. Many goals are realized by taking a fundamentally different path.

Don’t worry. You and/or your business will never be placed at risk. Plus, the final choice for implementing any request rests with you.

Be open to experiment with fresh approaches such as:

  • Put yourself first
  • Tell yourself the truth as you see it
  • Stop working hard
  • Remove all sources of stress
  • Ask for what you need from others
  • Set goals that are different than originally intended
  • Expect more and different service from your vendors
  • Change your behavior
  • Simplify your life
  • Drop all current projects
  • Stop tolerating

Come to Your Strategic Coaching Appointments Prepared

Your time is valuable. Make it count by investing time to prepare.

Prior to any coaching appointment, create a written list of things to discuss. This ensures you obtain what you want.Items to include:

  • Achievements since your last appointment
  • What you’re currently working on and how it’s going
  • Insights and new awareness that excite you
  • Report on commitments made
  • Advice you want regarding a specific situation
  • New skills you want to develop
  • Strategies you wish to develop

Time spent reflecting on your achievements, insights, and challenges — and planning — provides the clarity you and your coach need to maximize your results.

Showing up for a coaching appointment unprepared is a waste of valuable resources!

Enjoy the Give and Take of the Meeting

There’s a lot of information to cover during a coaching appointment, especially in the beginning. After several meetings, you may take a little time to catch up on parts of your business experiencing change or growth.

Meetings aren’t exactly gabfests, and are meant to be enjoyable and uplifting. They don’t need to be intense or difficult to produce that which you know is possible. Feel free to set the tone of the meetings.

Get Healthy – Stay Healthy

Growth, whether it’s business or personal, requires energy – mentally, emotionally, intellectually and physically. Given this, take extraordinary care of yourself during this process of growth, innovation and synergy.

Only you know what that looks like, but we suggest some of these habits to keep yourself fit:

  • Say ‘no’
  • Read
  • Underpromise
  • Eliminate sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol
  • Listen to great music
  • Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes daily
  • Eat more vegetables and fruit
  • Reduce fat intake
  • Meditate
  • Take vitamins
  • Write in your journal
  • Eat six (6) small meals daily
  • Schedule 10 minute breaks every 1 ½ – 2 hours throughout the day

Honor Your Commitments

At the completion of each appointment, you’ll co-develop a plan of action with your business coach. This isn’t the dreaded homework like high school. These are tasks, actions, results, or changes that support the achievement of your goals.

Honor yourself — and your commitments — to maximize your coaching results.

Coaching is exhilarating, fun, productive, informative, and scary all at the same time. And, there’s nothing more gratifying when you begin to see major progress towards goals that previousl eluded you. Now, that’s success!

Last Thursday, I hit a wall. It was late morning with lots of projects with my name on them. With little oomph to execute my well thought-out, time-sensitive plans, I became worried.

Fuzzy thinking. Lack of focus. Inability to become centered. Flitting from one task to another without traction or forward movement. Sound familiar? This medley of symptoms is much more common than we, small business owners, are willing to reveal.

I couldn’t quite figure out (i.e., name) my experience. Without an identity, how would I find a fix? Stumped, I had no idea how to rise above it and get back to the necessary business of the day.

The Coach Whisperer

I invested four years in education to become a coach. For several years, I taught coaching competencies to other coaches. And, I’ve been coaching small business owners for 20 years.

bigstock-Problem-Solution-Concept-Asse-optimized.jpgWhen you’re well-versed on the 200 + coaching competencies, coaching is second-nature. When such an occurrence arises, I do what any self-respecting business coach does. I engage in a round of self-coaching. After all, how bad can it be? (Sounds a bit frightening, doesn’t it? Like a surgeon performing an appendectomy on themselves.)

Confidentiality is key in a good coaching relationship. Minus my responses, this is the coaching conversation between me, myself, and I.

  • What is it I’m feeling?
  • When did it first start?
  • What symptoms do I have?
  • What occurred earlier that may have triggered this?
  • What else occurs as you consider the pattern?
  • Is this a pattern of performance you want to continue?
  • What is your plan moving forward?
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of your plan?
  • And, today? What is your plan for today?

The Big Takeaway

When stuck, most people ask “why” questions. Why do I feel this way? Why is this happening to me? Why? Why? Why?

Questions starting with “why” are like a dog chasing his tail chasing the dog. You’re taken around a maypole without any hope of escaping the garland-festooned activities.

Rather than chase your tail ’round and ’round, coach yourself to better outcomes. Ask questions that begin with “what” or “how.”

“What” or “how” questions stop the round about and unwinds the confusion. It creates forward movement which you experience immediately. But don’t take my word for it….

What is your focus for the day?

How will you avoid distractions?

What will you do to celebrate yourself?

Get my drift?

I had the pleasure of spending time with my great-nephew and niece recently. Mom and Dad attended a sales conference, and the “granny nanny” had jury duty. Not knowing what to expect beyond the twice daily Suburban drives to and from school, my mind was open to whatever the experience would bring. Little did I suspect THIS would happen…Before launching my coaching practice, I spent quite a stint in sales. Back then, it was a common practice to write one’s goals on your bathroom mirror with lipstick. It was an easy and fun reminder of commitments and goals.

My nephew and niece are avid athletes. My 10 year-old-nephew is quite an accomplished goalie, and my 13 year-old niece has a wicked overhand serve she uses in volleyball.

Once the kids were in bed, I decided to get a little creative. With lipstick in hand, I headed to their bathroom with quotes, thoughts, and words of wisdom. When their feet hit the floor, I wanted their day to start with a dose of inspiration and motivation.

Little did I suspect that messages of motivation would be left for me a few days later.

The first message crafted for me said, “Jackie, always try your hardest even if you can win.” (Truthfully, it started out as “…even if you can’t win” and was later edited by the publisher.)

Even so, I thought, been there, done that. As a more mature entrepreneur, I did my time of hard work.

Even though his gesture was thoughtful, I wasn’t interested in the advice of this pint-sized business coach.

On day two, this message appeared. “Still have fun even if you lost. Really? That’s great advice for a 10 year-old hockey goalie, but could someone with my tenure in business still have fun?

As you might well imagine, by this time my attitude was enjoying an adjustment. I was touched by the messages my nephew so carefully and thoughtfully crafted for me, I felt it was my responsibility to take them seriously. 

As you might imagine, by day three I was anxiously awaiting the words of advice from my “business coach.” I was not disappointed.

Not only was it the most poignant, it would prove to be the most challenging.

Let’s face it. The easiest thing in the world is to call it quits—give up—fold your cards—when exhaustion sets in and it appears that failure is imminent.

“Push yourself even if you can’t go anymore.” 

Each day brought me a renewed energy as I thought of all the ways I could apply the insight my 10 year-old business coach provided.

What a truly delightful and unexpected gesture of kindness—and a hardy dose of learning—I received.

Truth be told, regardless of your age, everyone needs a coach. Everyone needs someone to inspire, motivate, guide, support, mentor, and encourage them.

Have you found your business coach? Who knows? It may be lurking within a scrappy 10 year-old hockey goalie.

As an entrepreneur, you have taken on the task of a lifetime and you want to make the most of it! That’s why you’re considering a strategic business coach. You’ve likely heard about the many benefits associated with business coaching and, what’s most important, is what you want to achieve with the business coaching relationship. It’s more than just about the results—it’s also about the type of business coach you need and the extent of the coaching they offer.

What You Need Help With

Before you decide what you need from your strategic business coach, you want to determine what you want to achieve. Do you need to organize and improve efficiency in your business? Are you looking for coaching for team-building? Do you want to grow your revenue with coaching on pricing strategies, lead generation, and/or client acquisition? Understanding your business needs helps determine what you want from a business coach. Still not sure what you most need from your business coach? One of my clients described her inability to clearly see her business needs as, “I’m all tangled up in my socks.” Aptly put! Even a strategic business coach can coach you through unraveling your socks.

Objective Perspective

You count on your friends and family members for lots of things but, unfortunately, they are incapable of providing that objective feedback your business needs. A business coach is fair, interested in your success, reasonable, and knowledgeable when it comes to coaching your business through the various stages of business growth and development. Coaches are also willing to tell the truth rather than what you want to hear. Although this is the sort of feedback that may be difficult to hear, it can have the greatest impact on the business as a whole. And, if you and your business coach are a good match, you’ll welcome the feedback.


Let’s face it, not everyone’s personality, or level of knowledge and expertise, may work for you. An otherwise perfect business coach may not fully understand your business or mesh with your personality. Look for a coach you can trust and confide in and a person with whom you feel has the skill and knowledge you need. After all, you’re using strategic business coaching to better your business.

As an entrepreneur, you want to interview and select the right business coach for your business. You worked hard to get your business up and running, and as a small business owner operating in a complex marketplace, you want to feel confident about your business coach selection.

Want to experience business coaching first hand? Schedule a “get acquainted” 30 minute strategic business coaching consultation today. It’s on us!

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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