When I first started to hear about high-end coaches and consultants and service providers, I was so shocked. Why do you need a coach? Why would I fork over $10,000 to someone? What advice could they possibly offer that would be worth THAT much. Let’s be real. I’m sure you’ve thought that too. You may still even think that. But you know what?

I hired one.

Then I hired another one.

(And in between I hired half a dozen other professionals too.)

During the first year and a half that I was in business, I built my business with free resources that I could find online. I invested in some inexpensive courses then slightly more expensive courses. (I now know that I totally went through said blogger’s funnel and thank goodness I did!) Free resources and self-serve courses helped me teach myself the foundations of online business. Spoiler alert! I needed more.

Free courses were a great place to start, but I started to feel like I needed more advanced information than what I could get from freebies and automated courses. So, I invested to work one-on-one with a biz strategist and got so much more than strategy.

That’s right, I got a self-induced mental push to take concrete action that would move my business forward. It turns out that investing for real, spending money is what held me accountable to finally take action. Every time I’ve worked with a coach (or contractor), they’ve always had me fill out a survey prior to starting our work together. Each survey alone justified their fee because it helped me find more clarity in my brand, my strategy, and ultimately with my goals.

Let me tell you, there is nothing like paying a copywriter who makes you fill out an 18 page turned 100 page survey about your business (with a contracted deadline) that made me take action and get seriously about actually defining my biz goals and direction.

Each time I filled out a survey, it was proof to me that I knew what I was doing, but that I needed to do it. And guess what?

If you’re thinking about bringing someone new into your business, whether that’s a contractor to handle tasks that you want to delegate, or a business coach, it can be a ridiculously strong motivator. Newsflash: someone you pay is usually more committed to your success than a free mentor. You can get more done when you provide someone else with incentive to complete tasks too.

When you work with someone who is not so intimately intertwined with your business, you’ll gain clarity. Why? Because as a business owner, you can’t always see the blind spots in your business. We can’t see ourselves objectively. (Guilty? Or it is just me?) There is so much to learn from people who are further ahead of you, even if they are just one step ahead. These people often have a different specialty than you do, and that brings a different perspective. And let’s face it, there is only so much biz advice your mom can give you. (I’m going to go ahead and guess that I’m not the only one who talks to my mom on the phone about major business decisions . . . and smaller ones too. Okay, all of them.)

When you choose a coach, strategist, whatever and you really connect with that person, you’ll find that they can change more than just your business. Often the biggest issues that coaches help you address are mindset issues you don’t even know you have. At an event recently I saw an incredible coach help everyone in the room break through people’s limiting beliefs about what they could charge for a project. Everyone in the room left not only believing that they could charge top dollar for their services, but had actually outlined their product offerings.

A true expert can help you to cut your learning curve and allow you to hit the ground running much more quickly. Athletes are great examples of this, partly because most of us are already familiar with the concept. The best athletes in the world still have a coach. In fact, many professional athletes often have multiple coaches. They know that even though they are the best in the world that they will be even  better if they have experts to help them.  No matter where you are on your business journey, a strategy sesh with a branding coach or a professional to help with another aspect of your business literally change everything.

The right coach can help you focus on the right actions so you can hit income goals 10 times quicker than if you were trying to figure things out on your own.  Isn’t that kind of shortcut worth the investment? It certainly was for me. It positioned me to help people more quickly, and to build a successful, profitable business much more quickly than if I had chosen to go at it alone.

But for me, the biggest benefit of investing in myself? I instantly started to feel differently about my business. I started to take it more seriously. I started to finally feel like I had a professional brand and not “just a little online business.”

Look at business investment from your future client’s perspective . . . 

Here’s something else to think about: as a business owner, you people to invest in you, right? Would you, as a consumer, patronize a business that didn’t invest in itself by upgrading broken equipment, or fixing things in their shop that don’t work well? If the answer to that question is no, then you can believe that if you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, no one else will be either. You can’t conquer the world (at least not as quickly) until you invest in you.

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