When I am asked to explain what coaching is all about I will often refer back to the concept of apprenticeships. Today we focus almost solely on lecture-based education and very little on apprenticeship “hands-on” learning, though many individuals learn much better that way and people come to the job with real world experience. To earn your CPA certificate as an accountant used to require little formal education and a lot of experience. Now it requires five years of formal education and very little practical experience. The new accountants are much less prepared to step into productive
roles in CPA firms than was once the case.

Internships are meant to duplicate some of the benefits of an apprenticeship-but many are far too short to be of any real value. There is something to be said for apprenticeship-walking alongside and learning from a real experienced mentor that you’ve established a long-term relationship with.

Given that education itself is going through some serious transformation (it is flawed and expensive primarily), it is no surprise that more people are seeking new ways of gaining skills than through traditional university education. More individuals are seeking DIY style education and more families are opting to home school their children. Coaching and mentoring can step in to supplement the lack of “hands on” training many people in a corporate business environment or young entrepreneurs fail to get through their university education. Building a successful business or career isn’t just about the information. It’s about relationships, communication, processes, and problem-solving that you simply aren’t trained to for. This became very apparent to me when I was teaching at the college level as I watched students come into my classroom without any of those vital skills.

If you feel like you are struggling with your business, or you are ready to escape corporate America, and you just don’t have the language or real world experience that you feel you need, a coach/mentor can help. They can be just what you’ve needed to make the breakthroughs you’ve been seeking. Feel free to contact me to discuss how coaching can work for you.


by Steven Schlagel