Lessons Learned from the Worst Business Coaching Experience of My Life
Disclaimer: All the details in this article are based on my real personal experience without any details changed except for one tiny twist you will discover if you read until the very end (don’t you cheat!). I hope this story will lead to reflection and intentionality if you ever plan to hire a business coach.
When I started my own solo business, I did the most logical thing in the world: I hired a business coach. And another and another. In fact, I had multiple coaches over approximately three years. I felt them for various reasons: sometimes, it was simply graduating out of a coaching program without them offering students to continue. Other times, I didn’t feel I could learn more from them. But also, deep down, I felt that sooner or later, I’d met the mentor of my dreams -”the one” — my guru. And I did, except it was more of a nightmare than a dream.
Here are the ten things that made this business coach the worst I’d ever encountered:
Red Flag 1: She Expected Me To Pay (Quite a Bit)
She wanted payment upfront and on time. I mean, I was expecting to pay a coach when I had the money so it could be any time someday. I couldn’t really give her a specific date. Her fees were also higher than I’d paid in the past. Between you and me, coaches shouldn’t earn more than a qualified virtual assistant. I mean, all they do is talk to you, not do all the “real” work. At least my VA does something. Who did this coach think she was?
Red Flag 2: She Didn’t Deliver Enough Feel-Good Praise
A good coach should devote the session to listening to the client’s problems with a mixture of empathy, genuine care, and wisdom and never point out the things they could do better at. I expected her to give me a strong pep talk about how amazing I was and I could do it and end with a powerful piece of advice that would solve all my woes, like magic. You won’t believe what she did instead! She actually looked at what I was doing and gave “constructive feedback” on….everything! She reviewed and commented and marked up things and gave me all kinds of…