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On this blog, we talk about frugality, cutting costs, and saving money. Pretty much the exact opposite of spending money. But, here’s the deal:
Over the last three-ish years of budgeting, being frugal, and then starting a business, I’ve learned a very important lesson. There’s a time to be frugal.
And then there’s a time to make the right investments in yourself to attract more money. One of the best investments I’ve ever made for myself and business is hiring a business coach.
Although I believe investing money is a good thing to do, I also believe it’s important to make very smart investments. To do this, I recommend taking the time to carefully choose the right coach, mentor, business strategist, or trainer to make sure you get quality results.
Here are three key things to look for before hiring someone:
1. Hire Someone Who Has Experience in Your Specific Industry
I’ve always been a “cut corners to save costs” type of person. I started out my business with the mindset that I could figure everything out myself without investing in advice.
I found out somewhere around the end of the first year that leveling up would be difficult without some guidance, so I hired a business coach.
I made sure the person I hired was well-known in my specific industry. This way I would not only get her amazing expertise, but I would also get access to her business contacts which was invaluable. Let’s dig into a specific example — because you know I love those!
Andrew Argue, the creator of the CPA training program at AndrewArgue.com, is an example of a strategist in a very specific industry.
He started his own CPA firm after moving up the ranks at PricewaterhouseCoopers — a super well known consulting firm. After having success with his own business, he began helping accountants, bookkeepers, and CPA firms strengthen their own sales and marketing skills.
For me, this is key. Sure, there are plenty of general sales and marketing coaches out there. But to be taught sales and marketing techniques from a niche perspective is a double whammy.
Whatever industry you’re in, find someone like Andrew who’s highly familiar with your type of business model.
2. Hire Someone Who Has Social Proof
Be sure to look for a coach or mentor who has testimonials of people who’ve used their service and gotten actual results.
My coach had coached many people I knew, so the social proof aspect was pretty easy for me. Usually, coaches have a website page or social media feed devoted to client reviews.
For instance, there’s an Andrew Argue YouTube page with several reviews from satisfied people. Sometimes, I also take a step beyond watching or reading testimonials to check out the website or social media accounts of the person who left the review just to see what they’re up to.
3. Hire Someone Who You Can Identify With
A huge part of the mentor and mentee relationship is simply finding a good fit.
I was very fortunate in finding a coach that I automatically clicked with because she could identify with some of the troubles I had in my business a few years ago.
Back to our example: Although Andrew had all the proper accounting chops from working at PwC, he had trouble filling up his client roster at first which is pretty common for all new business owners.
He invested in his own sales mentors, webinars, and training which took his accounting business to the next level — quickly. Andrew can pull from this experience and instruct accountants on steps necessary to get through a business plateau. Coaches typically offer a free introductory session. Use this session to see if a connection sparks!
Invest in Yourself
In closing, don’t be afraid to spend money on yourself or your business.
I had a fear of investing money at first. I thought I was the smartest person ever because I was saving money. But the reality is, my business probably would have grown faster if I had hired a coach sooner.
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