What is a coach? If you’ve ever had a really good one, you’re fortunate indeed. If you ask me, a coach is someone who always has your back. Your coach knows how to speak your language, how to communicate with you according to the way you need to hear things.

Your coach knows just how far to push you out of your comfort zone—enough to facilitate your mental, emotional, and even spiritual growth, but not too far to cause you problems. A great coach can diagnose your weaknesses, help you improve them, and show you how to utilize your strengths to the best effect. A good coach doesn’t force his or her perspective on you; they know how to tap into your goals and show you how to reach them.

It’s intriguing to me that entrepreneurs believe that they can be successful without a coach. It doesn’t mean that no entrepreneur has ever been successful without one. If you’re a prodigy, that’s great, but you’re also an anomaly. A business coach for entrepreneurs can guide the rest of us to an exponentially better result than we could ever achieve without them.

Entrepreneurs can be stubborn; that’s kind of our nature. It’s part of what can make us achieve big things. It’s part of what makes us willing to sacrifice so much in order to live a life that’s above and beyond the ordinary. But our stubbornness can also make us myopic, closing our minds to opportunities that could take our business to the next level.

As a business coach for entrepreneurs, I’ve developed many tools to teach entrepreneurs how to get ahead. I help them think beyond the immediate needs of their business and capitalize on opportunities that they may not be able to see clearly.

It’s trendy to be an entrepreneur. Basically NO ONE wants to be a slave for “the man” anymore, and that’s admirable. It’s one of the greatest things about the oft-maligned millennial generation. At the same time, we’ve got a ton of entrepreneurs running around who think a pretty logo and a social media presence make them entrepreneurs.

Anyone who’s achieved even a modicum of success knows this is, frankly, BS. Entrepreneurship requires courage, intelligence, judgement, a healthy skepticism, a willingness to fail, a knowledge of when to take risks, and, truly, a big heart. Some of these elements may sound abstract, but they are ingredients that every entrepreneur needs to succeed.

To help my coaching clients develop these important attributes and experience financial success, here are some things I ask them to do.

Business Coach for Entrepreneurs Lesson #1: Define Your Vision

I’m starting off with a big one here: What is your vision for your business? Many young and not-so-young entrepreneurs believe that they know the answer to this question—without ever having actually thought it through.

“I want to create a social media platform that brings dog lovers together.” “I want to revolutionize at-home learning for school children.” “I want to manufacture custom tiny houses.” Any idea can feel great in your mind. But have you really sketched out what your business will look like?

Flying by the seat of your pants is the best way to end up in the small business graveyard. Did you know that as many as four out of five small businesses fail within five years? A big factor is that many, even most entrepreneurs, jump first and look second.

As a business coach for entrepreneurs, I show you that It’s simply not enough to have a great idea. You need to go deep into planning to delineate a strong picture of what your business will look like, in year one, year two, and even year ten. Many entrepreneurs neglect the step of even asking if there’s a need in the marketplace for their idea. Remember, you are not necessarily your customer.

Once your idea is fully fleshed out, it’s important to research your potential market thoroughly and honestly. Vetting an idea is fully a part of responsible entrepreneurship and can save you a ton of time, money, and heartbreak. Some things in your life can and should stay in the hobby zone; not all ideas will make it to actual businesshood, and that’s OK. Let’s define your vision and vet it before you try to create a business out of it.

Business Coach for Entrepreneurs Lesson #2: When to Pay Contractors and When to Do it Yourself

How many entrepreneurs do you know who feel the need to do absolutely everything themselves to save money in the early stages of building a business? It can be a tempting thing to do and make you feel like you’re mitigating risk. However, it’s vital that you learn how to value your time.

Does it really make sense to blow hours and weeks on learning to create a website that, in the end, doesn’t represent you properly or doesn’t have the functionality you need when you could pay someone else to do the work? How about running social media ads or creating content that is valuable to search engines? Even mowing the lawn or cleaning the house can be a liability if the time you spend doing those activities limits the time that you have to do high-value revenue-generating activities.

Let’s say that you’ve worked it out that every hour you personally put into your business generates $50 in profit. Does it make sense, then, to spend four hours cleaning your house per week when you could pay someone else $20 per hour to do that work? If you’re great at creating content but not so great at getting eyeballs onto it, put extra time into creating awesome marketing materials and leave the social media marketing to those who know what they’re doing.

Business Coach for Entrepreneurs Lesson #3: How to Feed Your Relationships

I’ve created multiple seven and eight figure businesses, and I can tell you this with zero hesitation: relationships are the most important factor in your ultimate success (or failure). The right business partner can make or break a business. And your business means nothing if the personal relationships in your life aren’t stable and fulfilling.

Let’s say that you have the opportunity to align with an established player in your space and gain access to a list of potential customers that has tens or even hundreds of thousands of emails on it. But the list owner wants you to cough up 50, 70, even 90 percent of sales on the initial product, say a book or course. Do you see the money you’ll be paying out as a loss—or as a marketing cost, an investment in your future sales, and, most importantly, a vehicle for developing a valuable relationship that will pay for itself over and over again?

Relationship capital is your most important asset.

Business Coach for Entrepreneurs Lesson #4: How to Define Success

I decided early on in life that I didn’t want to punch a time clock. I didn’t want to wait until I was 65 to start living. I wanted to create a business that would allow me to set myself up with multiple streams of passive income, one that would allow me to compound the value of an hour of my time many, many times over.

Every hour that I am working means that I’m away from my boys and my wife, and I make sure that those hours count. I’ve created a life that allows me to pick up my kids from school and go to their games without being beholden to the clock. Did I work my ass off to get to that place? You bet I did. But I never would have gotten there if I hadn’t defined early on what was important to me.

Giving back is as important to me as getting from my various enterprises. I give 10 percent of my profits each month to my spiritual community, and I know that I get every cent of that back and more—not directly, but in ways that most people might not recognize as receiving. Because I know who I am and what I want, that check is an easy one for me to write every month.

Business Coach for Entrepreneurs Lesson #5: Move on From Mistakes

There’s nothing that wastes more time than licking old wounds. Even worse, it can take your head out of the game, causing you to lose focus and perpetuate additional losses from sloppiness. It can also cause you to make poor, emotion-based decisions from a place of scarcity.

Learning from your mistakes is a sign of maturity, and analysis is always your friend. Wallowing in mistakes, however, is the enemy.

As a business coach for entrepreneurs, I teach the skill of analyzing not just the fail, but what led to it. Was your initial due diligence solid, but the market performed in an unexpected way? Did you have unrealistic expectations, or did you genuinely make a wrong move?

I’ve had some big losses in crypto investing recently (who hasn’t?). I could choose to get emotional about these losses, but instead, I look at my position from where I am now in relation to the money I spent to get into this investment space. I also remind myself that I’m in it for the long haul; I know where crypto is going because I understand the market and the problem that the technology solves. I’m going to hodl. I’m not saying that big losses don’t suck. But if I’m not willing to experience the big losses, I’m also not going to have any gains to speak of.

Business Coach for Entrepreneurs Lesson #6: Invest in Yourself

This piece of advice is entrepreneurial gold, and what’s exciting is that it can look different for every single person.

The younger you are, the more resources you can and should be putting toward enriching yourself and your knowledge of business. For the first few years, it may even make sense to invest most, or all, of your returns back into yourself.

This could mean straightforward continuing professional development. It could also mean travel, which not only enriches you as a person but could be instrumental in investigating new markets, making new contacts, or sourcing new products. It could mean learning everything about how to take your manufacturing in-house. There are as many ways to invest in yourself as there are individual entrepreneurs.

You might be surprised by this anecdote. Of my approximately 16 streams of income, one of them is my poker winnings. It’s not like I’m a professional level player, but over the last several years, I’ve taken in over $100,000 in poker winnings alone. Not too shabby, right? Now, if I would have denied myself the pleasure of learning and playing poker over the years, thinking that I should be “working” (whatever that means), I would have missed out on this income stream. Am I getting rich from these games? No. But is it my least-profitable income stream out of 16? No, it isn’t. So I consider that a win.

Join My Business Coach for Entrepreneurs Mastermind!

Hopefully it’s obvious now that a coach for entrepreneur business is not a luxury—for most, it’s a necessity. Jumping into entrepreneurship is like jumping into the ocean without knowing where the bottom is. All of us need a life preserver at times, and that’s why I offer entrepreneurial mastermind groups. You should always have a mentor who’s been in your shoes, and I’ll humbly submit that I think I can offer insight into any decision, hardship, or question you encounter.

Once you know what your vision for the future looks like, I want to help you get there. Once you know what success looks like for you, I want to help you leverage your talents and strengths so you get there faster. I want you to start enjoying your life more, knowing that for every hour you put in, you’re creating Indestructible Wealth for the future at the same time.