Stuck in a rut or in an uncomfortable growth phase? Overwhelm at the sight of your to do list, no joy anymore at the dye pots and terror when thinking about posting on Instagram? Hanna Lisa Haferkamp shares when and why it might be a good idea to find yourself a business coach.
You’re stuck, and you don’t know what to do.
I firmly believe that a business doesn’t have an “end point”. Every business changes and evolves and we need to change with it. Often, though, these change periods are hard and messy and scary and we’re deeply uncomfortable, heck, even unhappy, when we’re in the midst of them. Sometimes, these periods come by themselves. Other times we realize that we’re stuck in processes that no longer serve us, in a structure that is too rigid for our current life or with a product line we no longer love and we are the ones who need to kickstart a change.
Dealing with these changes is scary, but necessary part of building your own company. But: It’s really hard to do on your own. Why? Because it’s almost impossible for us to have the distance to our own businesses that’s necessary to figure out what needs to change about them.
When we’re stuck in our day to day business, it’s hard to have the headspace to think about change. Photo Credit: David Schreiber
Having a coach by your side who can gently guide you through these hard phases and provide a much-needed outside perspective (as cliché as that might sound) can work wonders! They’ll help you figure out where exactly you need to go for you to find joy again in your business and how to get there - and if they’re really good, they’ll also build up systems and structures with you that help you deal with these growth phases on your own the next time around.
You’re overwhelmed, and you don’t know how to fix it.
The beautiful and at the same time terrifying thing about a lot of the small creative companies we’re building is that we’re creating our jobs ourselves. What we do didn’t exist in this form 20 or 10 and not even 5 years ago. It can (and does) often feel overwhelming to figure out all the bits and pieces of running a business on our own, and sometimes there are things we’re just not very good at.
A business coach helps you deal with this overwhelm in a few very practical ways: They can help you prioritize which bits and pieces are really important for you right now. They can challenge you to look at outsourcing the things that need to get done, but that you simply don’t have time for. They can help you find someone who can do the things you’re not very good at for you - and tell you if you really need to do them.
A good business coach helps you set up structures to deal with overwhelm early on - like a whiteboard to keep track of goals and to dos. Photo Credit: Hanna Lisa Haferkamp
Hear me out - I’m not saying you should pay someone just to listen to you for an hour. But the reality is that running your own creative business is hard, not only because the day-to-day work can be exhausting, but also because we very rarely have people directly in our life who really get what we’re doing. If we’re lucky, we have a partner or a friend or a local business owner group who can relate to our struggles and ideas, but more often than not I’ve found that that’s not the case.
So having a coach who functions as a sounding board for your ideas, someone who you can ask if the inkling to extend your product line is crazy or whether selling wholesale makes sense for you, can work wonders! A regular check in with a coach also helps you stay accountable to your goals and plans - and takes out a bit of the loneliness of creative business owner life.
Photo Credit: Jill de Dieuleveult
Hanna Lisa Haferkamp owns and runs two creative companies and coaches business owners in the fiber world. You can read more about her coaching work, her passion for women-owned companies and how to build a business based on your values on her website, Instagram and Patreon.