To Coach or to Be Coached… What's Your Path?

Business coaching is emerging as a fast-growing industry in an age where entrepreneurship is seen as one of the most lucrative paths to success. ActionCOACH is the biggest names in business coaching today, operating in dozens of countries with over a thousand coaches. Business coaches aren't there to tell you how to do your job; the relationship between a coach and the person under them is more of a mentorship than a boss-employee dynamic. Business coaches assist and guide aspiring entrepreneurs so that they discover and unlock their own potential. They are not there to tell you what to do or to give you answers, but instead they give you the guidance and advice you need to make your vision come to life. So To Coach or to Be Coached?

Business coaches come from every walk of life and every profession - literally anybody can become a business coach with the right experience and drive. For people who are desiring a change in their career trajectory, some people look at business coaching as a viable second career. Others choose to go into business themselves, but are unsure of how to proceed with making their dream a reality. The path that you want to take will dictate whether you are better suited as a coach or the person to be coached.
If you are uncertain as to the direction you want to take, the following sections will present some tips and questions that will help you come to the answer that suits you best.

For Those Who Want to Coach:

When people hear the term "business coach", a common image is that of a person in a suit and tie who possesses some kind of a business degree. While there are business coaches who fit this mold, just as many do not. At ActionCOACH, the people who work as coaches for aspiring entrepreneurs come from every profession and walk of life you can think of. Accountants, marketing executives, engineers, sales representatives, business owners - this is just a partial list of the professions these coaches filled before they made the decision to become an ActionCOACH.

If you're leaning towards becoming a coach, consider what it is that you bring to the table and how you can best leverage that experience. An engineer and a sales representative both have a considerable amount of experience and knowledge that is well-suited to mentoring aspiring business owners. The difference lies in knowing how that knowledge is best applicable to the person you are mentoring. The differences in perspective and background knowledge will change and inform how you approach your mentorship, so if you decide that coaching is what you want to do, have an idea as to how you'll translate your real-world experience to knowledge that will help the people you are mentoring grow into their desired paths.

For Those Who Want to Be Coached:

Business coaching is not for everybody. Whether it's a personality difference, a perceived lack of relevant experience or a desire to take a different path in life, not everybody wants to bear the responsibility of mentoring other people. There is nothing wrong with this at all - many business coaches were once coached by other people. Coaching is an excellent way to develop and unlock the potential that lies inside you; people who have extensive experience in a field similar to your own are often happy to share the experiences, mistakes, and successes that led them to where they are today.

Once you make the decision to hire a business coach, you'll then need to have an idea as to how you'll use them to achieve the dreams that you want. Business coaches are a considerable investment in time and money, so you want to get as much value out of them as you can. Are you looking to improve at the job are currently doing? Do you want to start a business? Do you want somebody who will help you decide what you want to do next? If you haven't asked these questions, you won't know how to best utilize their experience and perspective. An aspiring entrepreneur and a person looking to work towards upper management in their company will have two very different sets of needs, so knowing what it is that you want to achieve will allow you to make the most of the coach that you have.

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