One of the very first things that we learned when embarking on our entrepreneurial journey is to find a coach.
A coach helps us to cut short our learning curve by many years. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel. We learn from someone who has been to where we want to go. These days, we can pay to buy experience. But it doesn’t come cheap.Having said that, it helps us reach our goals faster than having to do it all on our own.
I can still recall how a young man retorted when I shared with him the values of hiring a coach.
‘I don’t need anyone to teach me. I can learn all these from the YouTube videos.’
My first response was: Can this really help him cut short his learning curve? Which mentor or coach should he follows? Can he learn everything that he needs to know by just watching the videos? What videos should he watch? What about those finer points or so called ‘tricks of the trade’ that he should know in order to succeed in whatever that he is aspiring to achieve?
In short, hiring a coach is definitely an essential key element to success.
Everyone needs a coach like how we needed our parents to guide us when we were growing up or how teachers taught us at schools and universities.
While hiring a coach is essential, attending coaching seminars and workshops is another matter. Coaching seminars are a good source to acquire knowledge and are excellent for motivation. So are workshops. But how effective are these?
I know of friends who love to attend seminars and workshops. It has become a way of life. Attending two to three seminars and workshops a year is not unusual. These attendees get really charged up at the end of each seminar and workshop. They are always eager to put into practice what they have learned immediately after each event. However, what I have noticed is that such eagerness and excitement dissipated two to three weeks after each event. Life went back to normal.
In short, are seminars and workshops worth the investment? Yes and no.
I believe that in order to reap the full benefits from seminars and workshops, there must be a follow-up action after each event. The follow-up action should be between coach and student. We all know that knowledge will remain as knowledge until and unless we put into practice what we know or be able to apply effectively.
Having the coach to look over the student’s shoulders and watching and giving him or her advice will help to ensure that what has been learned is put into proper and effective practice. This process can be long and painstaking with both parties having to work closely together.
Coaching seminars or workshops tend to fall short of this expectation. If at all, one would have to invest yet again into another part or extension to the program in order to benefit from such a follow-up action. Even then, this follow-up action will most likely be conducted in groups and may not be as effective as it should be.
So, think twice the next time when you are deciding whether or not to attend a seminar or workshop. Make sure that you have follow up action. You need someone to look over you to ensure that you are kept in track with the changes that you want to make in your life, permanently!