Imagine that you do not know how to swim and someone throws you into a pool.
You are splashing around frantically, trying to grab onto the water, to pull yourself out so you can recover but instead the water does not support you because it is not solid and instead your efforts just expend more energy and create more panic inside.
Your fear consumes you and you feel like you are seriously about to drown.
In walks a swimming instructor, she jumps in the pool and says “It’s okay, let me teach you how to swim.”
The first thing you do is reach out and grab onto the instructor but you are so afraid that all you do is succeed in pulling her under the water too as you frantically try and save yourself. The instructor tries her best to help you but you are too far gone. The only thing she can try to do is let go and save herself.
Sometimes this happens in business too.
You own a business, you are behind on payments, sales are down and you are struggling to stay afloat financially. You are stressed and completely overwhelmed and realize the end is near unless you do something drastic.
You are afraid you are not going to be able to survive so you hire a business coach to help you and you negotiate a payment plan because you think if ONLY you hire this person, you will be saved, your business will be transformed.
Your business is already in deep trouble and the timing of hiring a coach could not be worse. Your situation is critical and you do not have the time, energy or funds to take action on the direction you are given.
Instead, you stall.
You stall on payments and you stall on taking action. You avoid the coach and go into hiding.
Then you blame the coach. It is the coaches fault because they did not save you.
This is a lose/lose situation.
It is a losing situation for you as a business owner because you did not take action soon enough. It’s like trying to unclog your arteries five minutes before you need surgery after eating fast food for forty years.
For the coach, it is trying to be a miracle worker instead of a coach and it will leave you exhausted, irritated and sometimes doubting your abilities.
The timing of coach and client could not be worse.
Business owners need to seek help before their businesses reach a critical situation that is beyond repair. Coaches need to learn when too identify when someone is too far gone to help and say no when they are financially unable to hire you.
These situations are usually tied to money.
The business owner cannot afford the coach but is desperately looking for help. The coach wants to help and dives in without payment and then becomes resentful when the business owner does not follow through.
This is a recipe for disaster, I know because it has happened to me and by sharing I hope it can help both business owners and coaches to see these situations for what they are and make the best choices for themselves.
What business owners should do is hire help early on to set themselves up for success.
You wouldn’t jump in a pool and try to learn how to swim all by yourself because you know chances are you might drown. You don’t want that to happen so you would take lessons either with a group of people or privately with a proper qualified instructor.
When you start a business there are many skills you need to learn including sales, financial management, cash-flow, operations, leadership, marketing and more. Trying to dive in and learn all of this while you start a business is a painful and risky way to start off.
Hire someone who has the experience to help set you up for success. It could be the best investment you make in yourself and your business when starting out.