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So You've Got The Team - Where's The Coach?

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

✦ You’ve done all the things: built the team, established the systems and developed your offering. But do you still feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Maybe what you’re missing is a business coach.

Taking the step towards bringing in an advisor for your business is a tough one with lots of conflicting emotions:

  • Am I even ready for a business advisor? Maybe I should wait?

  • How do I know if they’re any good?

  • Can’t someone just do it for me?

  • What the heck have I gotten myself into!?*

*Ok, that last one just sounds like you need a nap and a hug. Maybe a holiday. Here’s something to cheer you up - meanwhile, we’ll focus on the first three!

But you can’t shake the niggling feeling that, unless you do something radically different, you’ll keep spinning your wheels until - well, they spin off?

I like to take real world perspectives when it comes to breaking down big concepts (a nifty trick from my accounting days). When it comes to business advice - and whether it’s right for us - there’s a lot we can take away from the similarities between us as business owners and elite athletes.

They never outgrow their need for a coach.

Ever noticed that even the best in their field never get SO GOOD that their coach becomes redundant? It's because they know that they can't do it all - be in the moment, in their zone of genius, as well as be across all the strategies and hurdles coming up. And it starts from way back in the beginning:

  • It's starting with a passion, then turning it into a vision.

  • It's working towards the grand final, one game at a time.

  • It's the combined effectiveness of big picture strategy and micro-tactics.

  • It's constant self-discipline & self-improvement.

  • It’s the cheering from the sideline (or the ‘GET YOUR @SS BACK UP!’, depending on what you need at the time).

A business advisor can keep the bird's eye view on the long term objectives, the strategy and how it all ties to the here and now. They can support you in perfecting your technique, honing your skills and making the tough decisions needed to get ahead.

The Goldilocks Principle: you are just the right size, right now.

We often talk ourselves out of investing in business supports like coaching because we tell ourselves we’re not there ‘yet’. We’re not making enough right now, our team’s not quite big enough, we’re only just starting out.

Many of us think we need to be turning over (insert amount of money you're not making yet here) before we can justify a business advisor. But let's examine that thinking for a second:

  • Do you need to be able to read and write in order to enrol in preschool?

  • Do you need to pass the HSC in order to get into high school?

  • Do you need a degree in order to start university?

Of course not! These are the ways in which we acquire the knowledge needed to achieve these outcomes.

In the same way, working with a business mentor is EXACTLY how you will grow and scale a perpetually profitable business.

If this sounds like you, my question to you is this: if not now, when?

Spoiler alert: you STILL have to do the work.

If you want someone to tell you exactly what to do, you're not ready for business advice. Because in my mind, that's not what business advice really is (probably why I often find that phrase a little bit cringey).

A business mentor isn’t there to give advice per se. You really know everything you need to in order to do big, amazing things (you just don't know it yet).

Their job is actually to ask the right questions.

I get it. Many business owners are often so time poor and rung out, they just want someone to tell them what to do next. They're sick of being the boss of the to-do list. You spend all day figuring stuff out. You're at decision making capacity.

You just want someone to tell you what to do to make it all work.

Hate to break it to you friend, that attitude won't really move you forward. Not in an authentic, sustainable, profitable way anyway #sorrynotsorry.

Your business is incredibly unique. Like an artwork. So no one can honestly walk right into it, give you a templated framework and just tell you to paint by numbers.

My philosophy with my business advisory clients is instead to step into your world with eyes wide open and ask lots - and lots - of questions.

  • “Why have you decided to do it that way?”

  • “Why are you managing it with that system?”

  • “Have you considered trying this approach?”

  • “Do you think you'd be better off outsourcing that?”

Rather than telling you, a good business coach will be ASKING you, which requires your input. To rationalise, reason and run the hypotheticals. Their job is to help you look at your business with fresh eyes, to rise above the daily doing, take a moment and give everything a good, hard look.

How do you find the right coach for your business?

'Coaching' in the business space has seen an explosion in the last few years. And much like an explosion, it's not been without carnage.

I'm not sure what to put this down to - maybe it's social media and Google Search suddenly elevating everyone to expert status. Whether we realised that a degree isn't always synonymous with expertise. Or maybe it's the minority of people who realise they can turn their confidence into cash, even if they don't really have the life experience to back it up.

Suffice to say, it's an industry that doesn't have much standardisation and regulation. Which can be both fantastic and terrifying.

So how do you bring someone into your business, one that's taken you years to grow, and trust them with the path forward?

Life experience and runs on the board are big indicators for me.

I've worked with hundreds of small businesses over my career as both an Accountant and a Business Advisor - I know first hand how unique each business' ecosystem is. And I also know there are some universal truths that apply to us all.

Yet even despite all MY experience, I still engage coaches and mentors for all different aspects of my life. And this is another thing I look for. Working with someone who is still actively learning means they’re constantly building their bank of mental resources, which will have a flow on effect to their clients (YOU!)

See what’s possible.

I like to invite business owners to have a FREE 30 minute chat with me, so I can get a sound understanding of their business and they can get a clear idea of what I’m like to work with.

Because much like the athlete / coach dynamic, we’re going to be pushing each other to the limits. We need to know we can build trust, be honest with each other and value our different perspectives.

The added joy of my approach is that it's backed by 35+ years as an accountant. So we can run the numbers on virtually any possibility and make some educated estimates.

Now, are you ready to not be given all the answers, but to work together to find them?

Book a FREE 30 min discussion (and brace yourself for questions)

Disclaimer: These are yuck and boring but unfortunately a legal requirement for professionals in my industry. So just a reminder, the information contained here is general in nature and you should seek financial and business advice tailored to your own personal circumstances. Which, by no small coincidence, I can help you out with. Head over to my website and book a free 30 minute chat with me:


Liz Jarvis BEc CA

Better Business Decisions


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