About two years ago I told my friends that I was going to coach small business owners. They thought I was mad!
“Don’t you know that entrepreneurs don’t need coaches?! They will never pay for your services!”
“Why are you making your life difficult? You have so many corporate clients and you are fully booked for the next few months!”
“I’m sure 99% of business owners will never even consider hiring a coach!”
Those were just some of the comments I heard from my friends. Some of them were even worried about me. They thought that I was going through some mid-life crisis! Were they right? Well, to be honest – to a certain extent – they were!
It is true that:
- 99% of business owners would never hire a coach – they prefer to figure things out for themselves, or they think that they don’t need one.
- Just 1%, or even fewer, entrepreneurs are ready to invest money, time, and energy in their development. The others are too busy, or they have more important things to invest in.
- I was going through some sort of crisis. I was just changing planes, trains and repacking suitcases and heading off to London, Frankfurt or Gdansk to run yet another leadership development workshop, which did not change anything – as most of those leaders were just interested in maintaining the status quo. I was so tired of the “corporate initiatives”, which looked very good on posters.
That was exactly the moment when I understood that my target group is that ONE PER CENT of entrepreneurs, who are absolutely committed to developing successful businesses, who make the conscious decision that they will succeed, no matter what, and who know they need someone who’ll challenge them the way they have never been challenged before.
That was also the time when I discovered something really interesting: The most ambitious entrepreneurs do need “supervision”, no matter what they say! They are actually happy to pay someone who’ll make them feel accountable, as they know that it is an investment that will help them achieve their goals faster!
At the beginning of our cooperation, I always tell them: “I’ll challenge you, you’ll need to dig deep. Tell me, when it’s too much”. And you know what? Having supported over one thousand two hundred businesspeople from eleven countries over the last ten years I have never heard “Please be less challenging.”
To sum up:
- Yes, my friends were right.
- Yes, 99% of business owners don’t need a coach.
- Yes – that 1% is definitely enough.