According to a report released by IBIS world in June 2016, the Business Coaching industry generates over $11 Billion dollars in the US alone. By definition, this includes all companies that offer short duration courses and seminars for management and professional development.
I must admit, I found that to be a staggering figure when I first heard it. Awesome if you are a business coach, and demonstrates the appetite for seeking out advice to get that extra advantage over competitors.
It did though get me reflecting on a simple question - what is the best business advice that I have seen that costs absolutely nothing? For this I need to look no further than two childhood heroes that have been coaching many of us for many decades.
Goldilocks taught us a valuable lesson
To some, Goldilocks probably came across as a little fussy. The chair had to be just right, the porridge had to be just right, and of course the bed had to be just right. To others she would simply be considered decisive.
Over the years there have been many interpretations of what the story meant (see Wikipedia). The tale has even prompted terms like The Goldilocks Principle which suggests that a U-shaped distribution (where the majority are in the middle) is common in many circumstances.
As a business coaching guru, Goldilocks of course was teaching us a much deeper lesson - that every individual has preferences that are unique to them. One person's hot is another person's cold. It is whatever they think it is, not necessarily what you think it is. Reflect on this for a moment - it is timeless advice! In Business, the moment we forget that people are individuals, and that their preferences are largely unique, we will always be playing on the average field.
And then there's Yoda
There is hardly a person on this wonderful planet of ours that wouldn't have heard of Star Wars. Even if you have never watched a single movie, chances are you have heard of the great business coach Yoda. Many lessons in every sentence are there.
But lets jump straight to my favourite, one that is as simple as it is powerful.
Do, or do not. There is no try!
Such wisdom! In a world that is overflowing with management techniques, employee engagement initiatives, and leadership development fluff, this is surely advice that can underpin anyone's success. Take action and pass or fail, but simply trying, or simply thinking about it, doesn't get anyone anywhere.
Simple business advice is often the best
If there is a moral to this article, it is that there is a lot to be gained by listening to and seeking out advice that whilst simple, is highly effective. This is often how the strongest business foundations are laid.
How strong are your business foundations? If you are interested, you can check out our 3-video Essential Foundations For Leaders bundle here.