Never Be Without a Coach

Coaches kind of suck sometimes.

They yell at you. They push you. They don’t go easy. They pick out failures.

Of course, this is also what makes coaches great. They fill in the unenviable role of confronting your massive ego and telling you that you need to do better. As Ben Horowitz pointed out recently in an interview with Tim Ferriss, a CEO who says only what his/her subordinates want to hear is superfluous.

I’ve had multiple coaches throughout my life – and not just in sports . Sometimes I’ve run away from them – and I’ve almost always regretted it.

I struggled to swallow my ego when it came to physical fitness, guitar, and acting when I was younger. I missed out on what might have been a great time on stage, years of muscle development, and important years of musical skill because I didn’t follow through.

Sometimes I’ve listened, and I’ve been glad. With coaches at work, I’ve swallowed my ego to become a better writer and a better marketer.

Of course, it’s possible to *have benefitted from* a coach *and* to recognize the value of coaching without actually building coaching into your life.

When you are younger, coaching is an almost inevitable part of life. School and family provide you with a vast array of mentors and coaches in everything from etiquette to grammar to sports.

But past a certain age and experience level, no one is going to force a coach onto you. They will be content to let you perform as you are.

This is both a comfortable and a disastrous way to live.

If you are not being made a bit uncomfortable with your current quality of performance or skill, you probably aren’t being coached. And if you aren’t being coached, you might not be getting much better.

Life is short, and any time not spent getting better is opportunity missed. Do you want to reach the end of your life never knowing what you could have been?

No? Good. Make sure you’re getting coaching – someway, somehow.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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