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Roger Federer has a coach. Is that a sign of weakness?

Roger Federer has a coach. Is that a sign of weakness? 

I certainly don’t think so. 

We go to the dentist, doctor and potentially the optometrist & hearing specialist. We take our car to a mechanic. We seek a builder if we’re renovating.  We ask an Insurance broker to consider our needs and find the relevant products.  We refer to a lawyer for a raft of things.  We have teachers to educate our children and grandchildren.  We expect the sports teams that we admire to have someone responsible for getting the best from the players. We might even have a personal trainer at the gym. 

Oh and we spend money on those things.  Sometimes a lot of money. 

Our businesses are no different.  Some people might even argue that their business is more important than a few of the other things on the list above.  

In many cases, our business is our most valuable income producing asset or we hope that it has the potential to be, particularly if we’re spending so much time in and on it.   

Maybe we even wish to leave a legacy for future generations. 

Creating, building and even selling a business takes smarts, hard work, hard knocks, energy, vision, relationships, money, sacrifice, resilience, patience, countless other qualities, requirement and experiences – and usually just a little bit of luck somewhere along the journey. 

The reality is that we simply can’t and shouldn’t do some things in life all alone, no matter how good (and successful) we are.   

In my experience, asking for help with your business is not a sign of weakness.   

To the contrary, I genuinely believe that it’s a sign of honesty, reality and strength.  It can help us improve and also excel. It’s also an opportunity to continue to re-energise passion for your business. 

When it comes to your business asset and considering whether to work alongside a business coach on your journey to ensure your best shot at success, then there are a few things I’m keen to add here to finish up. 

  • Decide that you’re open to being coached. I mean it. If you doubt it and think that it might somehow demonstrate a sign of weakness and you’ll worry what others think, then you are simply not open to being coached. So please don’t waste anyone’s time pretending that you are. 

Now back to Roger Federer for a second.  

Would he trust a tennis coach who didn’t have a successful track record on the tennis court?   

Not a chance.   

Roger Federer’s coach is a former world #3, who won 10 ATP titles.   

  • Work alongside someone who has a successful track record as a business owner. If that person has ridden the roller coaster, experiencing the highs and lows that come with the territory, then that person will have genuine empathy for you and also your team. 

Then once you get underway, you’ll know whether –
a) you trust the person;
b) you have the right fit;
c) the person is genuinely listening to you and
d) you feel motivated and accountable. 

It’s not all one way traffic though. You have to work at this. 

  • Commit. Make it part of your business journey and recognise that someone has got your back when and if you need it. 

1) Decide that you’re coachable
2) Find a coach who has ridden the real business roller coaster
3) Commit and feel accountable 

Good luck! (And no, Roger didn’t appear to consider me as coach material. You win some, you lose some.) 

Richard Poole, Co-Pilot 

With 25+ years in business, spanning being 4th generation in a family business, to selling his online start-up to the 13th largest Fortune500 company, Richard has ridden the ups and downs of personal & business life.  Working 1:1 with 150+ owners & managers over the last few years, he focuses on their Health & Wellbeing, alongside bringing sound business strategy to life. 

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