Angela Jia Kim

Savor Beauty + Spa / Savor the Success - CEO + Founder
New York, NY

    5 Red Flags To Look Out For Before Hiring a Coach

    November 30, 2011

    As you know, I am a big believer that we as entrepreneurs need a support team to we grow both professionally and personally. It's not always easy to sit as CEO, so having that support is such an integral of feeling supported and not having to do it alone. God knows that without my "Board of Advisors", I would not be a happy camper. :)

    Many of you have contacted me over the years to ask how to know if a coach is legitimate or not. While there is a plethora of amazing coaches out there, there are also a lot of them who use questionnable techniques to get you to sign on the dotted line.

    I've put together a list of 5 Red Flags to look out for when hiring a coach:

    1. Pressure. You should never feel harassed or bullied by someone to work with you. Listen to your gut instinct... it is strong and smart. A coach or colleague should never email or call you multiple times to try to get you to work with her. Never feel pressured on the spot to sign on the dotted line. If you feel you need time, take the time. Incentives are fine (buy now and get 50% off) but you owe it to yourself to do your due diligence first! 

    2. Over "Generosity". If someone gives you a lot of time for free, just remember this: that person has a low self esteem (and you are taking advantage of it) or has an ulterior motive. If you are getting a lot of private time that's free from someone, it may end up biting you later. 

    There's a time for generosity and then there's a moment when it crosses the line. "Try before you buy" is sometimes necessary, and when someone is just launching a service or product, it's common that they would give it to you for free in exchange for experience or feedback. 

    But when it crosses the line, you have to wonder why someone is giving you so much free time... do you want to work with someone who does not value her worth? If she cannot value her own time or worth, how will she value yours? 

    3. Expert in Everything. What is that person known for? How much time has that person dedicated to her expertise? Do your homework and do a background check (references and google). You should find at least two or three people who are happy with the work. Do not go off of perception, image, or what the person tells you. Find the happy customers first, ask questions, and then if it feels good, sign on the dotted line. 

    Be wary of people who talk a big game. People who really have the goods do not need to talk about it all the time... their reputation or work speak for themselves. 

    Just remember this: Jack of all trades, master of none. 

    4. Too Personal. If someone gets too personal too fast, put the brakes on. Some personal questions include: 

    • What are your fears? 
    • How much money did you make last year?
    • How much money do you want to make in the next year? 
    These questions are personal topics that, I believe, should be dealt with in a private coaching session in a safe place. Never indulge this information to anyone unless you know it's 100% safe. 

    Here's why I don't like the "fear" question. Some people like to use it against you to close a sale. They will ask you questions like, "What's your fear? Let's deal with that." To me, this is below the belt. (Kind of like when you are in a fight with your loved one and you use their weakness against them. That's not fighting fair, and in this case, using someone's fear against her is not closing a sale fair.)

    5. Not Adding Up. If you are looking for someone to write your blogs, and her written bio is filled with grammatical mistakes, the writing is on the wall. If you want to hire an organizer and she has a messy purse and shows up late all the time, her system does not work. If someone tells you she is a millionaire and is willing to do a lot of private work for just thousands, it doesn't add up. 

    Are there other red flags that I've left out? Please comment below so we can help one another make the best choices! 

    Angela Jia Kim is a woman entrepreneur advocate, organic lifestyle guru, doting mom to Sienna (the best negotiator ever) and author-in-the-making.

    She uses her organic skincare business, Om Aroma, to empower and inspire other business owners by openly sharing mistakes (the kind most sweep under the rug) and lessons learned (the kind that most keep as secrets to get ahead).

    She believes that building business is directly tied to self growth, that it takes a village to raise a business, and that extreme self care is the single most important thing you can do for your business and your life. 

    Read Angela Jia 's other blog entries >

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