Since I was young, I’ve always known the value of having a mentor. It makes perfect sense to have a person that can guide you through both business and personal situations. I have also always believed in listening to the advice of those qualified to give it. Why not learn from their mistakes and experiences? However, for some reason, I was never able to grasp the idea of a business coach. The thought of paying someone to help me make decisions just didn’t make sense to me. I thought, “I’m a smart guy right? Why would I have to pay someone to discuss topics and offer advice?” I’m not a cheap person, so it was never about the money. It was more about not seeing the value in it.
About two years ago I was fortunate enough to meet a respected person in my industry that I got along with well. He was the President of a beverage company that has since been sold. We have stayed in touch and I now consider him a friend. In one of our conversations, he mentioned that the biggest reason that he was successful in his role was because of his “Success Coach”. Needless to say, I was shocked by this statement. It made me rethink my previous opinion on the subject. He then referred me to his former coach and promised me that the coaching would change my life. With a promise like that, from a guy like this, I had to check it out.
The first time I spoke with Robert Alderman, I knew that I wanted to work with him. In a very even, non-boastful voice, he told me that he would only consider working with me because I was referred to him by Bill and that he was “too old and too rich to deal with any bullshit”. I loved it and knew that this was the type of person that I needed to work with to really see some results. He went on to explain that the first step in his coaching is to do an assessment to determine your behaviors, values, and emotional intelligence. He encouraged me to go to his website and take the free mini-analysis first. I did and was amazed at the results. After answering a few seemingly meaningless questions, this program generated a behavioral summary about me that was like reading an unedited autobiography. It even included some of my unflattering behaviors. However, when I was honest with myself, I knew they were true. I was sold.
The coaching lessons, which at first consisted of debriefing me on all of the different reports, were like peeling of my own layers. It allowed me to really get to understand who I really was and why I acted the way I did. A great thing about Robert, at least for me, was that he was very blunt and didn’t pull punches, but in a nonaggressive or threatening way. All of these revelations really helped me improve both my business and personal relationships. As I later learned, the most common attribute of successful people is their ability to interact well with others. Social interaction is the key. Even more surprising was that fact that Emotional Intelligence, or your ability to recognize and control your emotions, is even more important than your Intelligence Quotient, or basically what you know. The great news about Emotional Intelligence is that it can be changed and improved. This was the focal point of my coaching. The results were immediate and recognized by both my coworkers and friends. As with any coaching, it takes practice. I’m not perfect, but the most exciting thing to me is that I can see the changes in myself. As my coaching continues to progress, we’ve discussed specific business topics. Robert provides me with different perspectives to consider and offers alternative approaches. Success Coaching is basically an interactive self help book. Just like when I read those books, sometimes I’m reminded of things that I already know, often I learn something completely new, and occasionally my initial thoughts are just reconfirmed. All of these are valuable. However, with coaching I can go much deeper to discuss and work through more complex problems. Even professional athletes need coaches to steer them in the right direction. Why do we, as entrepreneurs, or just as people, think we can’t benefit from some guidance? With that being said, I will give you the same advice that my friend Bill gave me. Get a “Success Coach”, it will be the best thing that you’ve ever done for yourself and your business.