As a mental strength trainer, author, and speaker, I don't have a set schedule. Every day is a little different.

While I love the freedom and flexibility, the lack of structure makes it easy to forgo exercise. I can easily put off working out until "later" only to find something better once "later" rolls around.

Sitting behind my laptop all day isn't exactly good for the body. To stay in shape, I have to make a healthy diet and exercise a priority.

During this past winter, I ran about three miles per day every evening (that's when the temperatures in the Florida Keys dip low enough for me to venture out).

My goal was to shave some time off of my mile run--and over the course of a couple of months, I was able to do that. But running a few miles a day didn't really balance out all that sitting I was doing.

So, when I headed north for the summer, I needed a new challenge. The gravel roads and potholes in the backwoods of Maine weren't exactly conducive to running as fast as I could.

I set my new sights on trying to get 6-pack abs in 30 days. And I'm pleased to say my challenge was more successful than I ever imagined. Within a month, a few layers of fat were replaced with clearly defined ab muscles.

But I didn't do it on my own. The only reason it worked was because I hired Robert Brace, a New York City trainer who who was voted  as one of the top 10 celebrity trainers in the world. He's known for getting people into shape fast.

When I announced on social media that I'd hired a coach, I kept getting the same question over and over again: "Why would you need a trainer when you're a mental strength coach? You can get the information you need online."

Why I Hire Coaches

Not only do I have a trainer who helps me with my fitness, but I also have a speaking coach who assists me with my speaking engagements.

Just because I can read books and watch videos on how to get 6-pack abs or how to deliver an awesome speech, these materials are no substitute for one-on-one coaching.

My coaches tell me when I'm making a mistake. They watch closely and monitor how I'm doing. They customize their recommendations based on what they see.

Without a coach, I might not recognize the mistakes I'm making. Consequently, I'd likely waste a lot of time and energy doing things that aren't helpful.

Even if I practice more speeches and perform more reps, if I'm not doing things correctly, practice isn't helpful.

I want to work smarter, not just harder. And hiring a coach helps me shave off a lot of time. It gives me peace of mind knowing that my effort is sharpening my skills and helping me become better.

Find Coaches for Yourself

Yes, you can find a lot of valuable information in books or on the internet, but that information isn't a substitute for hiring an expert.

Whether you're looking for career, financial, or general life guidance, there are plenty of coaches out there. And while the price tag associated with a good coach may cause you to think twice, think about how much time hiring a coach might save you.

Hiring the right coach might cut years off of your learning curve. Or, you might save a lot of money because a coach will help you avoid mistakes along the way.

So while hiring a coach isn't a decision you should take lightly, gaining fresh perspective and valuable expertise might be key to crushing your goals.

Published on: Sep 26, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.