When the company started expanding, I knew there was a bunch I didn't know yet. I was drawn to EOS, or Entrepreneurial Operating System. I had read Traction by Gino Wickman. The book really spoke to me. It offered me a path forward to becoming a purpose-based leader.
For our growing business, this framework helped us focus on culture, routine, and processes to give us a clearer structure and goals, which were just what we needed to mature.
We used EOS extensively. Still, I knew I wasn’t getting all I could out of the EOS framework because we were doing it on our own.
Any time you’re guided by self-reflection, you're limited by your own blindspots. That’s a truth you can’t get around.
There’s a reason the best athletes in the world hire multiple coaches, trainers, nutritionists, and more. Those experts can see things that the athletes can’t see themselves. They can provide discipline, organization, and accountability in a way that is otherwise impossible.
At the time, we couldn’t afford to hire an EOS coach, so we went without. As a result, our outcomes were not what they could have been.
We grew more slowly. We made more missteps. We had less productive conversations.
Why I choose to invest in coaching
Now, years later, I keep that in mind. Granted, we have more capital at our disposal, so we choose to invest some of it to work with coaches.
When I read Scaling Up by Verne Harnish, I knew how big an effect this business model could have at IMPACT. I also knew, from my EOS experience, that we’d get the most out of it if we hired experts to guide us through it.
So we did.
Next, it was Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand. The same thing happened: We hired a StoryBrand guide to lead us through the framework. Even though we do web design for our clients, we found that we were just too close to our own company to create a clear marketing message.
With outside guidance our conversations were richer, our outcomes were greater, and our progress was faster.
For learning to stick, it has to be active
If you can think back to when you were a student, what did it feel like when the teacher lectured to the class? I tended to zone out. Why? Because the learning wasn't interactive at all. It was passive.
Don't get me wrong, you can get a lot out of a lecture or a video. But the real magic happens when you work directly with an expert.
I can read a book about golf and watch a dozen YouTube tutorials, but I'm going to get a heck of a lot better when someone actually watches my swing and offers feedback.
Watching videos is passive. Coaching is interactive.
The expert is evaluating your progress and spurring your growth.
For learning to stick, for growth to happen, it has to be active — and interactive.
Why you need a marketing coach, not a marketing agency
When you think about it, all education is aimed toward independence. Whether you’re taking a business class in college or you're apprenticing to an expert, you're learning so that you can eventually do it on your own.
As IMPACT grew and became an agency, we became frustrated with the way most clients were treated by agencies. In almost all cases, education was absent. Agencies were not teaching clients to update their own website, write their own content, gather their own data, or schedule their own emails.
Instead, the client was dependent on the agency for success.
We imagined a different model, one that went beyond the too-common "hire and agency and wait" approach: