We all know it’s important to invest in our futures. Grab any financial guide off the bookshelf at Barnes & Noble and you’ll be taught the value of investing. Forego that Starbucks frappuccino latte in lieu of a deposit into your 401K, or RRSP. You’ll be rolling on a mattress of cash by the time you are 65.
That all makes good financial cents. (Pun intended)
And less touted but equally important is the value of investing in continual learning. Sure, when you are in high school…investing in post-secondary education is all anyone talks about. But once you’ve settled on a career path, a university route, landed your first job… less emphasis gets placed on the value of education. Not as many people appreciate the importance of continually investing in lifelong learning once the dust settles on their diplomas.
Some people do get it. I’d say you are one of them. Otherwise, you wouldn’t still be reading.
And yet, this article is not about ETFs or Index Funds, or the price of admission to Berkeley. This article is about another type of investment that largely goes unpromoted.
Why it’s time to hire a coach
One of the most important investments you can make for your success is hiring a coach. The best of the best, all have coaches.
Caeleb Dressel has Gregg Troy leading him to Olympic gold-medal success.
Leonardo DiCaprio credits acting coach Larry Moss, not only for his tutelage in evoking a moving performance as Howard Hughes in the Aviator, but DiCaprio says that Moss also became his lifetime mentor.
And if you have any plans of playing the oboe in the Vienna Philharmonic, you are probably going to need a coach.
Yet, for most of us, we get up every day, put on our pants, fire up our laptops and go about our lives. We wouldn’t think of hiring a coach. Who are we to be special? Who are we to deserve the best out of life? We aren’t going for gold, hoping to walk the red carpet, or looking to slay Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major.
I’m reminded of the quote by Marianne Williamson that has always struck a chord with me.
Each one of us is here to achieve greatness. Why do we expect that we should be able to reach it without our own personal Yoda?
Can’t I just pick up a self-help book or watch a motivational video?
Many of us believe in the merit of personal development. We buy a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s, “The Power of Now,” and think that should do it. Maybe we take a class in transcendental meditation. Some of us rely solely on motivational posts on Instagram as fuel for our daily mental nourishment. We try to DIY our personal development because…
To invest in a coach? Really? It just seems utterly decadent.
Or at least, that’s what I thought.
Until one day, I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts, The Impact Theory, with Tom Bilyeu. Bilyeu had fellow podcaster, Lewis Howes, as his guest. Both of these guys have achieved incredible results in their lives. The conversation explored the many facets of finding success.
Then at one point, Tom laments to Lewis that he doesn’t really see the value in hiring a coach. His reasoning was similar to mine. What can a coach offer that couldn’t be acquired from a thorough Google search?
And that’s when Lewis reminded Tom (and me) about the concept of blind spots. I’ve taken many self-help seminars in my life, so the concept of blind spots was not entirely new. But I hadn’t thought of my blind spots in this way.
Within all of us is a Circle of Knowledge that goes something like this:
The blue slice – What we know we know
You might be a travel agent who specializes in the wine regions of Italy. You know the best vineyards to visit. You know the most fascinating hidden locations guaranteed to please any client in Bel Paese. These are things you know you know.
The red slice – What we know we don’t know
As much as you love flying in first class, getting lulled to sleep by the white noise of the airplane engines…no way in hell, are you able to land the plane if the pilot goes into cardiac arrest. You know you don’t know how to do that. Therefore, you wouldn’t raise your hand if the situation ever occurred.
This is an example of an area of knowledge that you know you don’t know.
The yellow slice – What we don’t know, we don’t know.
What we don’t know, we don’t know, is the largest slice of the sphere of knowledge and it’s what trips most of us up the most. How do we know what we don’t know if we don’t know we don’t know it? Oh, my aching head. 🤦♀️
The experts refer to this enormous expanse of missing knowledge as our Blind Spots.
Blind spots are the thing that no self-help book, or podcast, or Ted Talk can ever reveal to us. We can listen to someone else talk about their personal obstacles and look on in sympathy and think…poor SOB. Phew…at least I don’t have THAT problem. That ain’t me. But often, it is. 😳
A great coach will hold a mirror up to those imperfections, biases and shortcomings that we have no idea we have. In other words, our blind spots.
The best coaches have the ability to shine a light on our darkest crevices where the metaphorical thorns hide that cause us the most grief. They are hidden from our consciousness. Sometimes, it can be something so small that hinders us from getting that next job promotion. One tiny tweak and we could be rubbing shoulders with the C-suite of players in the boardroom. Yet we are unable to make that leap because, when it comes to our deficiencies, we can be completely myopic.
Or what about the option of ditching our 9 to 5s and launching our own ventures, thus giving us the freedom to answer to nobody but ourselves? What is holding us back from taking that calculated risk?
Can’t my bestie or my mom be my coach?
It’s doubtful that Caeleb Dressel’s mom, Christina, was the woman behind his gold medal performance in the 100 m freestyle. She probably drove him to the pool every morning as a kid – but a coach…no, she’s not that.
Our friends and family members love us. They want the best for us but they don’t make the best coaches for many reasons and here are the top three:
1. Our friends are too close to us
Half the time, our besties are swimming around in the warm water with us like frogs. They’ve heard so many of our stories. They’ve bought into our bullshit. The water is heating up and, like us, they can’t see what we can’t see until it’s too late.
2. Our friends don’t want to hurt us
Your best friend will always be on team YOU. Or at least they should be. A best friend is the person who is willing to grab a tire iron and knock out the taillights on your cheating boyfriend’s SUV, Thelma and Louise-style. Their job is not to point out your failings in that relationship. They need to have a bottle of wine open and breathing and a box of Kleenex at the ready.
A hired coach is someone who remains unbiased. They have no skin in the game. They don’t care if you like them or not. Their sole purpose is to help you get the best results by sometimes sharing hard truths that only a paid professional can share.
3. Our friends aren’t trained professionals
And even if your bestie had the ability to recognize your weaknesses and the courage to point out your shortcomings, there is a whole art to doing so that they just haven’t been trained to do. Get this type of therapy wrong and they could mess you up long term. Trust me, it’s better to leave this to the experts.
A friend is a friend. A mom is a mom. A coach should be a coach. Period.
You owe it to yourself to invest in a professional coach
Why shouldn’t you expect the same greatness from yourself as what you’d expect of the greats that came before you? Why NOT you? What if you were only one small tweak away from making an easy 6 or 7 figure income and living a luxury lifestyle and travelling the world?
And guess what? I finally took the plunge and hired a coach. It was one of the best decisions I ever made and I’m not looking back. Even coaches need coaches.
Right now, I am offering complimentary discovery calls. While I would not be the best choice to help you tune your oboe, or land the lead in Shakespeare’s Mid-summers Night Dream, I am very good at getting great results out of travel advisors just like you.
Why not schedule a 30-min call below?