Its so fascinating to watch industries grow and die. Okay, so maybe it’s not fun to watch them die. Nobody likes to see thousands of people out of a job, but it is interesting and it can teach you so much. I think back to the record industry, when I was a kid a my parents had a record player and a stack of records. We didn’t own a TV, so we spent a lot of time listen to records. I can still sing some of the songs that my sisters and I listened too. The record industry thought they could never die, that they’d be around forever.
Next, I think about video rental companies such as Blockbuster. I remember so vividly going to Blockbuster and walking up and down the many, many rows of movies to pick just the right one. I also remember paying about $5 for the movie and racking up late charges like no tomorrow. Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, who ever thought they’d need to file for bankruptcy? But they did.
It is equally, if not even more fascinating to watch industries be created. The Eco movement has spawned an entire division of products from building materials and clothing to energy creation. The internet and it’s many, many legs reach from e-commerce to social media to email and more and have not only caused the creation of a new industry but have created an entirely new way to “do” business. Book writing is booming with the acceptance of self-publishing and the mere rise in entrepreneurship is fascinating to watch. There are so many resources available to a new or existing entrepreneur. And when I think of the creation of new industries, I can’t help but think of coaching and mentoring.
An article from Excelleron Consulting says,
“In the 1960′s, especially in the United States, the sports coaching model began to be adopted by the business world. During the last thirty years or so further morphing occurred, and learning and development have become critical features of businesses and organizations.”
We’re really talking about a 55-year-old industry. Granted, all successful leaders and experts have had coaches, mentors and the like for 1000’s of years, but the way we do coaching and mentoring is new.
When I was in my mid 20’s I had the fortune of meeting a very dynamic coach and mentor at a Chamber of Commerce event I was attending. I hadn’t ever known a business coach and it was obvious to me that if I worked with him the increase in my sales would more than pay for the fees he charged. I was right. I worked with him one-on-one for over a year and my sales skyrocketed.
Many years past and 2008 arrived. When the market hit bottom so did our sales, I told my business partner at the time:
“We have to get someone to help us, someone who knows what we should do to make this business succeed.”
We hired my past coach and mentor and it was by far the best decision we made for our company. The outside perspective, tools and general business knowledge I learned from him went directly to our bottom line. I know our business won’t have survived without him. He was the glue we needed, the knowledge, inspiration and shoulder to cry on (yes, many, many tears were shed in his office!) to put us on the right path. He helped us step up our game.
Recently, I decided it was time for me again to get the push I needed to really perform at a higher level and hire a new coach and mentor, so I hired a coach. I’ve already seen results from our mentoring sessions. I hear people say things such as – I just want to live. And that indeed is what they do, they JUST live, they just go day in and day out doing the same things, living in the rut of life. I couldn’t do that. I don’t want to JUST live. I want to thrive.
One day my coach and mentor said you are surviving, but you aren’t thriving and it hit home like a ton of bricks. We weren’t thriving. We were just getting by, day by day, but we weren’t growing, developing, we weren’t THRIVING. I want to thrive, don’t you? I want to be introspective. To examine my choices daily and know that I’ve done all I can do.
All people need coaches and mentors. As people we are myopic, we can’t see beyond ourselves and just as in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs tells us (Physiological needs, Safety needs, Love and belonging, Esteem, Self-actualization, Self-Transcendence), we need to eat before we can actualize. Mentors allow you to actualize. They take you out of yourself.
The great part about creating a business is it’s all about you. The bad part about creating a business is it’s all about you.
Often it’s difficult to see where your weaknesses are. It’s hard to tell yourself that you need to get off the couch and take action. It’s about accountability and doing the things that you need to do to make your business thrive.
Coaching and mentoring is one industry that I’m thankful for. I wouldn’t be the business owner that I am today without it!