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As you all probably know by now, in addition to this fabulous blog ;-) I run a scrap-for-hire business called Artistic Albums By Nicole. I recently joined in a blog ring called Making Work at Home Work . What this means is I will get useful and informational articles from author Mary Byers and share them with you! :) I hope that you’ll enjoy them and that they’ll be helpful for all my fellow work-at-home gals out there! Here are 2 of her lastest articles, I requested both since they go together. And I wanted to add since the second article talks about referring a coach to others, MariLee Parrish who is the head honcho at Christian Mom’s Business Resource is a phenomenal coach that I would highly recommend!

Working with a Coach
By Mary M. Byers
I took the plunge and hired a coach late last year. She’s been a fabulous addition to my team and is worth every penny. Here’s how I’m benefiting:
Accountability: At the end of each session, we identify 3-5 activities for me to complete by our next session. I don’t want to disappointment my coach or embarrass myself so I find I’m highly motivated to get my “homework” done each month.
Advice: I’m able to outline my thoughts and then ask for her advice. Though she doesn’t always say, “This is what I think you should do…” she is always able to ask pertinent questions to help me come to a decision I’m comfortable with.
Expertise: My coach has small business acumen and more importantly to me, is an expert in online marketing, something that intimidates me. I have a lot of questions about how to implement my online marketing ideas and she’s a great resource for getting the answers I need. When I’m stuck, she reminds me that I don’t have to know how to do everything and that between us, we can find the resources to implement even the craziest ideas.
Companionship: Let’s face it, being a solo-preneur can be a lonely endeavor. My coach gives me someone to bounce ideas off of as well as the comfort of having someone along on the journey with me. Knowing someone else is rooting for me encourages me to continue to strive for excellence.
If you’re looking to help your business reach new heights in 2010, consider hiring a coach. Doing so is a great way to stretch yourself and grow your business!
Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing to Mary’s free blog at http://www.makingworkathomework.com/. Interested in more articles like this? Join the blog ring here.

Find the Right Coach

By Mary M. Byers

In my last post I talked about working with a coach. This time, we’ll address how to find the right coach for you. I suggest the following:

Ask friends and colleagues if they can recommend anyone to you. Listen to conversations. If you hear someone mention that they work with a coach, ask if they’d be willing to share the name and contact information. Referrals are by far the best way to find a coach.

Referrals.

Do you need help increasing your income? Decreasing your expenses? Someone to brainstorm marketing ideas with? Or, do you have plenty of ideas but lack the follow through to do them? In this latter case, you’ll want someone who can use a little tough love to hold you accountable for getting things done. The more specific you are regarding where you need help, the more likely you’ll be to find a coach that’s a good fit for you.

Identify specifically what you need help with.

Do a search for coaches online. You’ll find plenty! Pick a few sites to go to, read about each coach and his or her philosophy, and watch the videos. You’ll get a sense of who you might feel comfortable working with. Narrow the list to these possibilities.

Search online.

Request a complimentary introductory session. This is THE most important step. I “met” by phone with several coaches before finding mine. One coach spent the whole conversation talking about herself. Another spent the entire time saying, “If you decide to work with me, then…” And a third was not at all focused during our conversation, which led me to believe our coaching sessions would be the same way–frustrating for me.

Make the decision. Know that your coaching relationship won’t last forever. This makes it easier to decide who you will work with. Pick the coach you are most interested in. Then, ask if you can sign up for a limited number of sessions (a minimum of three). You’ll have a good sense of how the relationship is working after several sessions.

Be willing to do the work. When you enter a coaching relationship, you’re making a commitment to help your coach help you. And you’re making a commitment to doing homework between sessions as well as to do the heavy thinking required to help take your business to the next level. Coaches see lots of people who are willing to pay for help, but fewer who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Your work with a coach only pays off if you’re invested and willing to sweat along with your coach.

Good luck!

Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing to Mary’s free blog at http://www.makingworkathomework.com/. Interested in more articles like this? Join the blog ring here.

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