If you’ve been thinking about whether you need a coach in your life, particularly a business coach, keep reading. You see, the benefits of a business coach are two-fold: (1) You learn their strategies and methods, drawing from their skills and their experience (2) You build your “business muscles” which help you beyond the coaching program. How? Through the power of questions.
When you work with a coach, particularly when you work 1:1, your coach will ask you questions that help you clarify your thoughts, your goals, your next steps, your vision – pretty much everything you need to get done in your business. These questions are not one-off questions. They will come back again and again throughout your business life and entrepreneurial journey. And it is these questions that you will learn to ask yourself whenever you’re feeling confused, lost or at a crossroad.
So you might be thinking: well, can’t I just ask myself these questions now? And the honest answer to that is, sure, you can ask your questions… but will they be the RIGHT questions? Because the power of questions is in asking the right ones at the right time. And that takes experience, skill, practice and working with different clients and different stages of their business. But the good news is that once you know what these questions are, you can absolutely begin asking them to yourself and exploring your answers, every time they’re needed.
So let’s look at some places where the power of questions will help, and more than that, let’s look at HOW they can help. We’re going to explore three business “phases” and break down the way in which the right questions will help move you through them. This is by no means all the phases nor is it all the possible questions or ways in which coaching questions can help you. These are a sample of what’s possible.
Phase #1: Questions to help you find your purpose, your aligned business idea and your vision
When you’re starting your business, and even before you’ve taken the first step, you’ll be going through a phase where you’re still building that business idea. You’re probably trying to pick something that aligns to your future vision of your life and your lifestyle. (If not, you absolutely should be!) And you’re trying to figure out whether it’ll work and how exactly it’ll work.
At this stage of your business lifecycle, you should be asking yourself questions around what you would be best suited to start, what your future life looks like, and whether your business fits in with that future vision. Questions around a day in your daily life in the future will help you explore this area deeply and see whether you’re working towards something that is truly aligned with your purpose and your life vision, or not.
Phase #2: Questions to collect feedback to improve your product/service
As you begin to build your product or service, and you start testing or even selling it, you’ll want to know what your customers or clients really and truly think about it. This is when you’ll want to collect feedback from them.
The questions that you ask your customers should serve three purposes: understanding their impact of your product or service on their lives, gathering feedback on the actual product or service, and lastly, finding out what else they would like. It’s this combination of three groups of questions that will help you create better products and services, market them in a manner that makes them irresistible and develop new ideas for your business.
Phase #3: Questions to help you gain clarity on your strategy, your next steps and the path you choose to pursue
As your business takes off and you start selling your products or services, you’ll find yourself having to make many, many, many decisions along the way. These decisions vary from how to spend your time, to what to focus on next, to whether you should pursue a partnership or start a YouTube channel. The possibilities in business are endless, and so your options and the questions to help you decide how to move forward will be as well.
So at this point in your business, you’ll want to be exploring the paths that are most aligned to where you are and what you want to achieve at that time. You’ll also want to make sure you’re picking strategies and tactics that are aligned to you and your strengths. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen path is still in alignment with your larger vision.
Why questions work
There is something about being asked a question and having to formulate your response to it. Often, we give a response and it sits well with us. Sometimes, even as soon as we respond, we back-peddle and say “no, that’s not what I meant”. If this has ever happened to you, then you’ve experienced the real power of questions – the way in which they make us really explore what we want and what feels right.
Without questions, we often find ourselves mulling over the same options, over and over again, thinking and re-thinking about scenarios, decisions to be made and paths to follow. It is only when asked to provide a solid answer, that we finally move into making that decision.
How to use the power of questions
I mentioned earlier that a coach can help you, precisely because coaching is all about asking questions to guide a client to find their path. A coach is also skilled and experienced in their coaching niche and so will be able to choose the right questions to ask. But there are other options as well. I have found two great options outside of coaching that have helped me tremendously.
The first option is journalling. Whenever I find myself at a crossroad, I journal it out. I write down my question. I explore options. I map out scenarios. Sometimes, I do this over and over and over again, until I find the answer that resonates best with me. Journalling combined with coaching is extremely powerful, but it’s also great on its own.
The second option is starting a mastermind. You can easily do this, on your own, for free. All you need is 2-3 more members to start it. Every week, you’ll meet, and one person will be allocated the “hot seat” for the session. They present a challenge they’re facing and the rest of the group begins to ask questions to help them find clarity. They might even share resources or provide an experience-backed point of view or piece of advice. Masterminds made up of the right people are an excellent place to get asked questions you might not have thought of before.
Leveraging the power of questions
Armed with this information, it’s now up to you to take action. Will you start journalling? Will you create a mastermind? Will you hire a coach? Whichever path you choose, remember this: you stop growing when you stop asking questions. So keep those questions coming, seek new ones and ones that really push you to think, explore, learn and grow.
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