After many extended coaching sessions with entrepreneurs and small-business owners, I've found myself wondering if my value-add was anything more than you could get by self-coaching.

Of course, my years of experience in business have given me insights that you might not yet have, but I've found that the major value from coaching comes from getting you into the right mindset.

I still see some value from an external coach, but only after you make every effort to get yourself into a better mindset, and have a concrete idea of where you need specifics and an external perspective. The advantage of this approach is that it encourages you to take charge of your own life, as outlined in a new book, Take Charge of You, by David Novak and Jason Goldsmith.

In addition to feeling better about yourself, you may find that you are better prepared to face the unlimited number of future challenges every business brings, without a constant need for the time and cost of an external business coach.

I agree with the key points that these authors outline for self-coaching, from their wealth of experience in business and performance coaching.

1. Ask yourself the key questions every coach would ask.

Like any coach would ask, you need to brainstorm and write down the short list of things that are getting in the way of your joy and satisfaction at work, as well as the single biggest thing that would grow your joy in business and personal life. Envision and focus on getting to that destination.

For example, you may find out that being your own boss is a driving force in your life. Thus preparing for and making the tough business decisions will lead to more positive satisfaction and learning, rather than the negative burden you have felt up to this point.

2. Open up to growth and refuse to prejudge yourself.

Change your "nots" to "not yets." Define your higher purpose, and prioritize what you value most in your business. Let these beliefs drive you to a "take charge" action, and shift your focus to the positives that will override the negatives that have been holding you back, and learning what you need.

One technique that I have found useful in this regard is to practice reframing negatives into positives, by adding what it would take to make an unlikely into a likely outcome. It's all about getting your mind thinking in a new way, and then following through to success.

3. Do your homework to remove your own weaknesses.

Kickstart your learning curve by asking for and listening to the insights of those around you, and including yourself. Switch your mindset to problem-solving mode. Use what your single biggest thing is telling you to overcome emotional barriers, and reframe your weaknesses as opportunities to grow.

Another approach is to take a hard look at how you have handled roadblocks in the past. The more aware you are of where past instincts have led you, the more you will be able to shift your focus to where you need to go. It's all about changing a negative mindset.

4. Take incremental actions that approach your goals.

Turn the insights you have gathered into a list of actions that will move you forward. Create a roadmap from the current reality to the desired destination. Track your progress with frequent milestones, metrics, and physically checking things off the list. Celebrate every step of progress.

It's amazing how much strength and positive incentive can be derived from small rewards and positive feedback, even from yourself. That's just what you need to tackle the next big business issue now, rather than ignoring it or running away to wait another day.

5. Commit to constant and consistent improvement.

Build in positive motivation by constantly reminding yourself what matters, connecting with your future vision, and sharing your intent and progress with the team. Celebrate your wins, keep a flexible mindset, and raise your own bar often. It helps to partner with and coach others.

Procrastination is the enemy you need to fight here. Don't let discomfort, confusion, and distraction keep you from moving forward. Most often in business, any decision is better than no decision. Make a commitment to yourself to address all issues within a fixed time.

Following these recommendations will always help you find the strength to tackle the most important issues in your business, as well as your life. I'm convinced that there will still be room for business coaches like me, for more targeted issues where my experience will shortcut your solution. Believe me, having you start in the right mindset will be more productive for both of us.