I’ve had several people ask me that over the years. Why should I hire a coach? I mean, do I really need one? They’re costly, they’re demanding, they’ll tell me things I don’t want to hear and they push me to do things I don’t want to do. Yes that’s all true.

However, if you’re not satisfied with something in your life, whether it’s personal or professional, you need a coach.

Newsweek magazine describes a coach as, “Part consultant, part motivational speaker…coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals.”

This is why having a coach makes sense. Most of the time, business professionals know what they have to do; they just don’t do it.

Think about it. If you wanted to improve your golf game, what would be the best way to do that? Go to the driving range with your buddy who’s not any better than you to get pointers or hire a pro to teach you. I hope you thought, “Hire the pro.”

Interestingly enough, most people will think hire the pro, but they won’t actually do it. They’ll go to the driving range with their buddy. Better yet, they’ll try to become friends with the golf pro to get free advice.

Yes, people do this all the time and not just with the golf pro. It happens most often in the business world. Have you ever tried to get free advice? Of course you have.

It usually doesn’t work though. The smart professional will give you a little bit of advice, but they leave the good stuff for their paying customers… as they should. They’ve worked hard to get their expertise and should be compensated for it. All professionals should whether it’s a coach or a doctor or an accountant.

We tend to devalue professional coaching. I think it’s because you can get a coach for almost anything these days. There are personal coaches, success coaches, life coaches, health coaches, relationship coaches, sport coaches, business coaches and the list goes on and on.

The thing is that no matter what kind of coach it is, they all do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on your health, a relationship, a sport or a business.

They may have some technical knowledge for their area of expertise, but the technical stuff is easy. The hard part is changing your thoughts, actions and habits. Have you ever heard the old saying, “if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”

Your coach helps you change your thoughts and actions so you can get a different result.

That’s it. That’s all a coach does. Whether it’s your golf game or your managerial skills, the key is in learning how to make changes. I know some of you are thinking, “well, I can make changes on my own.”

Yes you can, but it’s a lot easier when you’ve got someone there to help you stay focused.
Someone who will help you think outside your box; a confidant and independent sounding board.

Someone who makes you more aware of your opinions of others and helps you to hear what you may be saying without realizing it.

Your coach will guide you through the thought process to analyze the steps you take and the decisions you make to determine whether it’s a good idea or not.

Last, but certainly not least, your coach works with you to focus on where you are and see obstacles; then determine your best course of action.

Ask yourself this question “Is there some aspect of my life that I really want to change? Do I want to move up to the next level?” If you answered yes, then you need a coach.

Since I know that all of you said yes; let’s think about how to hire one. Because there are so many out there with different expertise, it can be a little intimidating.

Do you need a life coach, a success coach or a business coach? They all overlap a little bit. It’s hard to find the right one.

Here’s some tips.

First of all, try not to think about cost too much. Of course it comes in to play and expect to pay more than you want. This is important.

Don’t be cheap and don’t think that because you’re up line or your boss helps you that it’s the same thing. It’s not.

Hire an individual to help you get to the next level. Those other people mean well and yes, when you succeed, they do too, but it’s still about them.

Your hired coach’s agenda is your success and yours alone. The entire relationship is about you. There’s a huge difference.

Second, find someone you can relate to and can understand what you’re going through. Every coach has a focus of expertise. Yes, I know I said that we all do the same thing and we do.

Some people work better with executives, others work well with small business owners, some coaches focus on a specific topic; health, fitness, weight loss, leadership, communication etc.

Find someone who can help you with the changes you want to make and make sure you like them. You’re going to be spending a lot of one on one time over the phone or in person with them.
Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t like them? Yikes!

Finally, do a test run. Most coaches will offer you a trial run either at a reduced rate or for free. Try out several coaches to see which one best suits you and make a decision to go for it. Take the leap! I promise, it will be a life altering experience.

Author's Bio: 

Mary Dee Freeman is a Professional Success Coach, Trainer, and motivational speaker with WOW – why ours works.

She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. In addition she has taken master degree courses in leadership and interpersonal communication.

She has been a teacher and coach for 12 years in Colorado Springs where she founded and developed the leadership and community of caring programs at Mesa Ridge high school. After that, Mary Dee began working for a fortune 500 company where she and her team shot to the top 2% of the sales force within six months. In 2005, she, along with her mother and sister, founded WOW, a coaching and training firm.

She has worked with many small business owners as well as large companies like AT&T, MoDot and Shaklee to help them become more successful. Mary Dee is a teacher, a motivator, a master communicator, a problem solver and a creative thinker. Her motto is “you can be successful too!”