If you are in a hole you don't need a shovel
by Gary Clark
A business owner is walking back to his office after lunch casually reading the headlines of the newspaper he just picked up. He fails to notice an open manhole and falls in. The ladder has been removed and the sides are slick, and he is unable to climb out.
A doctor walks by and the man yells up "can you help me get out of here" The doctor yells back "call my office and set up an appointment" and keeps walking.
A little while later, a priest walks by and the man yells up "hey can you help me out here?" The priest yells back - "yes my son - I shall pray for you" and keeps walking.
Time passes with no assistance. Another man walks by and notices the man in the hole. He yells down "do you need help?" which the man promptly yells back "yes" Immediately the man jumps into the hole. Now they are both down in the hole and the original man yells at the new guy "how could you do that? You fool! - now we are both stuck"
The new man calmly answers, "yes - but I have been in this same hole before, and I know how to get out"
Has the making of a good joke doesn't it? However, it strikes close to home when you think back on the times when you were in a hole, and people simply walked by, or turned their head.
In business, just like in life, we are going to find ourselves in a hole. It does not matter how we got there, be it our own stupidity, the stupidity of another, or simply because we were not paying attention and allowed life to catch us off guard. Either way, we end up in a hole we can't get out of.
And it makes us sick, mentally, physically and spiritually. But none of the professional healers we talk to, want to help us out of this hole. In most cases, they make money when you're in a hole.
The task of getting you out of a business hole is charged to the business coach, especially a business coach who has failed their way to success. They know how to get out of the holes you find yourself in, because chances are they were in that hole long before you.
Business coaches are always asking if you need help. But unlike the parable above, in most cases, we are too proud to admit we do. The business coach understands that, for it is usually the same reason they ended up in that hole before you. If you find yourself in a hole, and the coach asks if you need help, you will find out that the true professional coach will shut up and walk away if you say no.
They also understand pride all too well.
We are business coaches, but that is not the issue when it comes to asking for help. There are many resources other then us. Yes, we have failed our way to success time and time again. That is because as entrepreneurs, we push the limits. Just about every one of our mentors/coaches have been in holes so deep, we couldn't see daylight.
In most cases, the person who ended up helping us is now a member of our group, and who at one time or another helped another member of the group. We got here despite the occasional hole, and if you don't get discouraged, you will too.
How do you work with a coach? Easy - it starts with dialog. A good coach does not care what you did in the past. All they are going to do is get you out of the hole and help you become successful for the future. If you are not in a hole yet, but recognize the need for a mentor, then the coach's job is to steer you clear of the holes
Because you got yourself into a hole however, you have to understand that what ever you did, it wasn't right. But there is no need for an excuse, or a reason. Everyone tries something sometime that doesn't work out. That is why they call you entrepreneurs. Do not beat yourself up because it didn't work. After all, it could have just as well succeeded. The fact that you tried, speaks volumes towards your credentials as an entrepreneur.
Can't afford to hire a coach? How do you know? If the hole you find yourself in is a financial hole, a good coach will show you ways to better work your finances so that you get rid of that worry. A coach could be your banker, or your CPA. Yes, it is going to take money to make money, but hiring a coach has the same requirements as hiring an attorney when you are in trouble.
You wouldn't hire your brother-in-law if you were being wrongly prosecuted, (unless your brother-in-law was Melvin Belli) but you would hire an attorney - would you not? Then, when your business is in trouble, would you seek assistance from a business professional?
As logical as this sounds, many people still believe they can fix the problem all by themselves. To that we say - good. You have that entrepreneurial spirit we find refreshing. Give it a shot and just keep our name on file. We don't think that you should run for help just when things get stressful. However, set a turn-around milestone for yourself, (a financial low point, or sales low point) and if your reach it without relief, then call us.
Gary Clark is a Copywriter and Web Content writer (http://www.gaclark.com ) who for over 25 years has been involved with Small Business as a Lecturer, Consultant and Credentialed Instructor of Small Business Entrepreneurship.