As I moved up in my corporate career, I sought out mentors.  It is amazing what I learned that helped me grow, improve and maneuver sticky situations.  As a business owner I enjoy mentoring young business men and women and seeing them grow in their career with me, above and beyond what I can offer them.

I had a call today where another business owner told me she spoke with a woman who worked for me. My former employee and she said I had helped her build her confidence enough to apply and interview for  a job she had really wanted. Guess what, she got the job.

Being a mentee and being mentored is all well and good, but  what do you do when you are at the top of the business?  You can't look to someone up-the-ladder for guidance.  This is when your enlist a coach.  
Finding a Business Coach For Any Budget

Having a Business Coach isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity your business must have.

Here are a few types of coaches and mentors that fit into any business need or budget.  You may find that a combination of these styles will not only improve you business, but your life.

1.  Hire a Business Coach

I have a client I have worked with for a year now and he implements Lean manufacturing tools for business owners in manufacturing, construction and healthcare. What sets Shannon with Texas Lean Partners apart is the coaching he does with leadership teams.  He has found that business operational improvement goes far beyond implementing the right tools, leaders must also change and guide their teams to do so as well.

After interviewing Shannon's clients and writing several case studies, I find each client attributes its Lean implementation success to Shannon's business leadership coaching.

Even if you don't own a large operational company, a business coach can still offer you great advice for growth.  I recently met with Jerry Kezhaya a true entrepreneur who is a successful business owner of The Auto Shop, plus several other businesses.  He shared with me how his coaching business had taken off.  I think he was as excited by the success of the business owners he coaches, as they were of new found their growth.  He coaches several business owners who have all grown their business by leaps and bounds.

2. Join an advisory group

Most business owners do not have the luxury of a board of directors, and my guess is many would refuse, even if the opportunity existed.  But what if your board was a group of peers who could offer you the advice you need to run your business?

Vistage is a peer-to-peer membership organization for CEOs, business owners and executives of small- to mid-size businesses. Multiple disciplines come together for the betterment of each business.

3. Join a professional organization

If you read my blog very often, you may have seen that I was planning to go deeper not wider this year.  Meaning I wanted to dedicated myself to a few things and not be spread too thin in multiple organizations or directions.

I decided to select a few organizations to join where I could really engage.  Going to a meeting every once in awhile does not qualify as 'engaging.'  One such group I decided to join was Working Women of DFW.  I'm already excited by the people I've met and I look forward to contributing to the organization.

4. Create your own

Sometimes the budget just don't allow for a business coach or advisory board, and Lyda or Periscope and every other online tool can't tell you what you need to hear.  So create your own coach, mentor or advisory group.  Now you also have to give, not just be a taker.

There are several people I meet with on a regular basis and we share business advice and coaching.  The great thing is we also share leads.  Once you really get to know someone, you are more likely to refer your friends that just a person you may have met once at a mixer.

Overall, my advice is don't walk the path alone as a business owner.  Enlist a leader or gather a group and go farther than you ever expected.

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