I had lunch with a professional who had gone out on his own within the last year. Going solo generally presents huge challenges, but my friend faced his own personal tests as well. For example, like so many other professionals in the current economy, this individual became an entrepreneur because he could not find another position in the corporate world. He’d much rather be receiving a regular paycheck. In addition, he came from a family of respected physicians whose “marketing strategy,” as he described it, involved “just standing there and letting patients come to them.” And, since networking beyond the corporate environment isn’t seen as a necessity in the corporate world unless one is in business development, my friend has had little experience in that area.
In his mid-forties, this professional is in a situation where for the first time, he has to network and build a clientele or suffer. The silver lining, however, is that when your back is up against the wall, you will—and must—do a lot of things you don’t want to do.
After giving him some marketing food for thought, I also suggested that he find a business or marketing coach. He’s in a perfect situation to work with one for several reasons.
He needs to get into action with accountability.
Most of what he needs to do now, must be done by him. He is the one who needs to network. Only he knows who should go in his database to begin communicating with regularly. He is the one who needs to start putting the pieces together. He needs a website, but without the foundation – who is he targeting, what does he say on this website, who does he need to see the website, what good does it do him?
He needs the encouragement and guidance that a coach who is skilled in working with attorneys on their business development can bring.
While there is a coaching aspect to what our firm does do, our focus is on the implementation based on a strategic foundation. A coach might refer someone to us, for example, to develop a basic website. The coach’s role would be to close the loop: Did you talk with them about a website? What stage is your website in? By what date will you have the edited copy?
Because I am a big believer in the effectiveness of having a business coach and having worked with one for a long time, I’m certain that a coach could be extremely helpful to this fellow professional.