How to Tell if You’re Working with a Good Business Coach

And yes, you’ll go further much faster if you hire one!

Linda M. Lopeke
2 min readMar 23, 2022
SMARTSTART | Smart business. Simplified.

Sometimes I’m a business coach. I say “sometimes” because it’s not the only way I spend my time for money. In the tens of thousands of hours I’ve occupied that particular role, I’ve noticed a thing or two I feel compelled to bring to your attention.

First, a good coach does not tell you what to do. That’s not really what you’re paying for. And, if that were to be the only thing your coach did for you, you would have wasted your money. Your business won’t make any great shifts and neither will you.

When you hire me to work with you, you receive business ideas you don’t already have and likely wouldn’t come up with on your own. I’ll share perspectives you cannot see and help you create opportunities to produce results you otherwise would not produce.

But I’m not going to tell you what to do.

Instead, I’m going to ask you the hard questions that take you to your own truth. The truth about who you are, what you’re capable of, and what you really want. (Chances are your truth is going to be very different from mine anyway and I want to keep our relationship honest.)

Then I’m going to do my best to keep you from getting in your own way while (lovingly) insisting you face your reality and either defend or redefine the critical decisions that will make or break your business.

Rambling aimlessly won’t be tolerated. You’ll learn how to ruthlessly hone your thinking. When I’m done with you, you’ll be able to describe what your product does and who buys it in one sentence.

In a second sentence you’ll be able to state exactly why someone buys your product. And you’ll have the hard evidence to prove it.

Expect it to take more than one session to work this out. It’s hard, hard work. But, if you don’t have solid answers to these questions, nothing you do will move your business forward. Nothing. Your marketing will be one big disconnect. That’s what’s holding most entrepreneurs back right now.

Not a tough economy. Not a lack of capital. Not a lack of time.

Simply, not knowing.

Most entrepreneurs are reactive which keeps them bogged down by details; the successful ones are proactive and are always looking at the big picture. Why not start drafting your big picture now? I’m here for you if you need help with that.