Working with a coach: part 1

As I’ve mentioned before, in the second half of last year I worked with a business coach. I always intended to write a blog post about what I learned from that experience, but it turns out I learned a WHOLE LOAD, far too much for one post. So it’s going to be a little series of posts instead, if that’s OK. Or even if it’s not. It’s my blog.

Anyway, my coach. I found her via a local women’s business network I belong to on Facebook. Initially I was looking for someone to help me to, basically, stop wasting time. I found I was always getting my client work done, but all the other stuff in my business, and in my life, kept getting pushed aside. I needed a taskmaster, so that’s initially what I asked the group for. The lovely Gina Trick replied to my post, and even though she was in the process of changing her business focus to helping child-free women entrepreneurs achieve more freedom, she must have taken pity on my child-encumbered self and agreed to work with me (side note: a reminder that having a niche doesn’t mean you have to close yourself off to all other opportunities altogether).

It was really hard to take that initial step and start working with Gina. It’s a difficult thing for people like me (a typical Virgo) to admit they need someone else’s help to do things better, and another difficult thing for people like me (a typical skinflint) to spend large amounts of money on it.

I agonised over the money for ages. I had been planning to spend it on a new computer, a much more tangible benefit. I knew a new, faster computer would save me valuable time each day (by all means, Word, take five minutes to load one file). But what if a coach could help me save even more time than that? In the end, I figured that learning new ways of working and focusing was likely to be a good investment, so I took the plunge.

I was right, thank God. With Gina’s help, I found ways of taking control of my working day and becoming more productive. And I learned a lot more than that too – I learned the value of thinking strategically about what activities I invest my time and energy in. I learned to look at how far I’ve come and be proud of that, instead of despairing at how far I’ve got to go. I learned how to have more confidence in myself and what I have to offer. I learned to plan for the things I want instead of just vaguely hoping they will happen. (I’ll talk more about all these things in future posts.) So while I can’t put a specific number to the return I’ve made on my investment, I feel pretty confident in saying it’s been a good one.

I still need a new computer though.

 

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