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I Finally Hired a Coach…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

Don’t you find it odd that a consultant would hire a consultant?

For many years, the thought of hiring a coach/consultant never crossed my mind. As “an expert marketing consultant,” I figured I should know everything I need to know about running a successful and powerful business. I’m THE LAST GUY that should have to hire “an outside expert” to help me run my business.

Boy was I wrong!

I never really had much trouble getting new clients, developing new strategies, writing good copy, etc. In fact, as “MYM consultants” go, Rich Harshaw (the founder of MYM) will tell you I’m up in the top 2% of MYM Agents in the world. (I’m not bragging; I’m just saying that my marketing skills for the swimming pool industry are rarely brought into question.)

But here’s the rub –Just because I’m a good “marketing” person doesn’t mean I’m a good “business” person. Hey, it’s hard to admit, (especially in a public forum like this), but the truth is I really suck at:

  • Accounting and payroll
  • Documenting procedures
  • Training my employees
  • Overall “business management”

It’s not that I CAN’T do the above, or that I DON’T KNOW HOW to do the above. It’s just that it’s not my favorite thing. I would much rather develop and implement a new strategy, build a new website, or fine-tune some copywriting, or work with a client to turn around some other aspect of their marketing system.

Meanwhile, the accounting / documenting / training / business management side of my business suffered.

Ironically, I’ve “talked” with LOTS of good business coaches in the past (including my good friend, esteemed colleague and business management guru Mr. Rex Richard, founder of the Pool Genius Network). And you know, they all gave great advice that would help me do a better job managing my business. I learned lots of great things from them that I knew I should start doing immediately.

The problem? “Old habits” have a way of eroding and destroying “The best of intentions.”

A few months ago, I happened to run into (yet another) company of business coaches. But this time, something was different. These guys seemed to understand my business and my predicament, and they knew exactly what it was going to take for me to make some significant changes in my business.

In my case, it was going to take a mean, stubborn, ruthless and iron-fisted personal coach who was going to hold me accountable for every single idea, plan, new habit and/or commitment that I was willing to make.

Wow! What wake-up call!

In less than 60 days, my attitude, my focus, my personal work habits, and my business success had all changed dramatically. (And ironically, I’m actually working fewer hours, I’m feeling better about what I’m doing, and I’m spending more time on the things that matter, like my family.)

Without question, over the last eight years of my consultant business, hiring a coach was by far the smartest and most powerful thing I have ever done. It also taught me two very valuable lessons:

  1. “Hearing, learning, and understanding a great new idea” is nothing compared to the power of actually IMPLEMENTING that idea.
  2. Sometimes, you need a trusted outsider to “hold your hand” and also “hold you accountable” to do the stuff you know you should do.

That’s why I’ve added a “Marketing Coach” program to my portfolio of services. I see hundreds of pool business owners struggling in a strikingly similar predicament. They love to design pools, build pools, and sell pools. And they usually have a basic understanding of how they should be marketing their business. But somehow, their “best of intentions” in marketing get eroded and displaced with the tasks of designing, building and selling pools.

I can’t blame them. I know exactly how they feel.

So here’s a recommendation: If you know someone who might need a little “hand-holding” or “iron-fisted ruthlessness” to help them build their marketing system up to where it really needs to be, please have them check out my new marketing coaching program.

And don’t be afraid of hiring a coach. (I wish I’d done it much sooner!)

Brett

2010 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin Inc. May not be used without permission.


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