Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual

It’s likely you’ve said at least one time “life doesn’t come with an instruction manual” – probably at the same moment you’re conversing about “adulting.”

And yet, most people seem to manage fairly well in life without that instruction manual.  We “attend the school of hard knocks” or we “learn on the job” or we just “wing it” and somehow manage to get through the day, week, month, year, and life mostly unscathed.

And though this is true, there are people out there whose job title is “coach.”  They help others through some aspect of living.  Sports coaches may support a children’s soccer team, a high school, or an MLS (or La Liga) team.  Health coaches may support individuals in their goals of weight loss or stronger bodies.  We respect these roles and don’t blink our eyes at the recipients of that coaching – we don’t expect the team or individuals to “figure it out” on their own.  In sports there are many types of coaches – “Strength and Conditioning Coach,” “Defense Coach,” “Health and Wellness Coach.”  Tiger Woods, when he was at the top of his game the first time, went to a coach and changed his game – and came back an even better golfer.  Perhaps he should have considered a coach for other aspects of his life as well – they exist!

When we look at “workers” though, we don’t think of coaches.  We think of Managers.  And unfortunately they’re seldom coaches or even have “a coach approach” mentality.  They might be good teachers for industrial work skills, but the strongest managers are, in fact, coaches – listening to, inspiring, and advocating for their team members.  For Entrepreneurs like us, we don’t even get the bad managers, much less the good ones!

Enter the role of a professional coach.

Yesterday I interviewed Lillian Zarzar for our Facebook Live show Building Blocks.  Lillian is a professional coach.  I’m a professional coach.  And during the episode, we both remarked how we had coaches.  You see, we know the value of having someone whose only motivation is helping us be better at being us.

  • We want a coach because we recognize (through our own training and practice) that we have blind spots that it’s simply impossible for us to see alone. [Remember my post about the JoHari Window?]
  • We want a coach because while we might reach our goals eventually, we’ll get there faster and stronger with the aid of someone who will hold a mirror up to us, call us out when we set up self-limiting boundaries, and challenge us to see our path differently than we might ourselves.
  • We want a coach because we want a partner who will help us to have all of what matters most to us – and that can be different for both of us.

And ultimately, wouldn’t it be really strange to tell a prospective client “well, I don’t need one myself?”  Steve Chandler, a world-renowned coach, preaches “A coach without a coach is like a doctor who won’t see a doctor.”  You bet he has one too!

The reality is that none of us know everything about the game we’re playing, whether it’s soccer, golf, or life.  Even experts like Tiger Woods at the top of his game recognized there was room for improvement and innovation.  Coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”  To engage with a coach is to recognize that we can’t always see our own shortcomings until someone helps point them out to us and guides us to overcome them.  In professional life, Japanese businesspeople have been utilizing coaches as a matter of course for over 20 years.  It’s a proven advantage.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out in business or are well established in your company.  Whether you’ve been an Entrepreneur for years or it’s a goal for you a year from now.  Even if you are succeeding beyond your wildest imagination a coach will help you get to the next level.  This is exactly what I do.  If you haven’t thought about how a coach can accelerate your impact and help you reach goals you haven’t even dreamed yet, today is a great day to do so (during your Weekly Review!). Contact me today for more information.


David H Sherrod, MBA, PMP Managing Partner, LNA Enterprises, LLC Organizational Specialist. Process Wizard. A connector of People and Ideas. Business Geek. Nice Guy who never finishes last. Avid Cyclist. Business Coach. I pull from considerable experience in project management, change management, and personal growth strategies, to create strong businesses and support Entrepreneurs and those who would become one.