In honor of International Coaching Week (May 16 – 20, 2016), I thank all those who dedicate their lives to helping people strive to be their best self. It is more successful to work with a coach than to go it alone. I am living proof! Thank you!
In September, I broke my toe. As you may know, it is very painful. As an entrepreneur and business owner, life does not slow down, even for a broken toe.
So, as my leg was elevated for the better part of 2 days, I did what every entrepreneur does at some point. I reflected, analyzed, and assessed my business from the top down – using the only tool on earth that will tell the truth – Excel spreadsheets.
After being in business for a little over 2 years, I realized something wasn’t working. The hours were long, debt was stacking up, bids were being turned down because of pricing, and I was not exactly happy; neither was my family.
It was time to have a 1:1 with Excel. She answered my questions and my fears. After a day of calculating expenses, invoices, taxes, income, and the ‘friends and family’ discounts, reality stared back at me in black, white and red. I was working about 50 hours a week at $6.00 an hour.
Whaaaaaat? Whyyyyy? And the even louder question, HOW??? Well, any successful business owner knows the answers. I didn’t. Yet. I knew there were areas in my business that were not my strengths. Building relationships, getting projects and executing the work were not problems. When we love what we do, we know how to do it, and we get it done.
It was the financial know-how, accurate pricing, and the behind the scenes management that was lacking. Unbeknownst to me, without the proper ‘behind the scenes’ functions, my business was a hobby, not a business. Ahhh. That is what Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, from the television show, “Shark Tank” meant. He often tells striving business owners, “This is not a business. It is a hobby.” Ouch.
Yes, that was me! Now what?
I went to the wizard behind the curtain and all around cure-all, Facebook. It’s Calgon for the 21st Century. Oh, but what do I see? It is a super cool, sponsored ad for a class by Wise Chick Network. Cool branding, cool logo, cool name. What is the class? It’s for women entrepreneurs who want successful businesses. Wait, what? That’s me! Oooo. I rubbed my hands together, and look! The class covers two of my financial misfits! Financials & Pricing! I must meet this “Wise Chick!”
The ad led me to Wise Chick Founder, Sandra Price, Business Advisor / Consultant for Women Business Owners who want to be successful entrepreneurs. At our first meeting, she must have thought I was crazy. I laughed, cried, swore and shouted. I was a mess. This was my dream and it was falling to pieces in front of my face. I walked out of the meeting, and decided I would give everything I had until 12/31/15. On January 1, I would either close down the business or move forward successfully. It was not going to be easy, but I promised myself I would give it my all.
Coach Has A Plan
Sandra stepped me through the class. She was firm, she was tenacious, she challenged me beyond comfort and pushed me beyond what I thought I could accomplish. In 90 days, we
- streamlined my services from 6 to 1.
- created mission, vision and value statements. This is a number one rule, which I thought wasn’t necessary since it was a small business. Mistake number one.
- restructured services and business operations.
- established new and accurate pricing that I felt good about.
- developed processes for the various tasks and procedures required to run a business.
By January 1, I was on the right path and back in business, ready to move forward to be successful! I would not have made it without Sandra. There was so much knowledge that I was lacking that I didn’t even know. I had know idea how formal a business needed to be in order to be successful. Sandra stepped me through it, led the way with guidance, advice, solutions and encouragement.
Within the first month, my client base quadrupled more than any single month during the previous 2 years. This year, business, life and family has improved dramatically. It is not easy, by any means. I learned that continuous business development is necessary each week, and there are always areas to improve.
Tips To Find A Coach
Whether you need a little or a lot of help in any part of your life, there are all types of coaches that devote their life to making ours better. Be sure to find the right fit for you with these tips:
- Acquires more knowledge than you in the subject to be developed
- Demonstrates experience helping others in this subject
- Pushes you beyond what you think is capable
- Operates with a supportive approach, not demeaning
- Understands and agrees with your goals and objectives
- Offers a roadmap to get you to the end goal
May you find the right coach for your needs, and may you find all the success you deserve!
Be sure to check out all of the International Coaching Week events! Contact Cheryl Proctor-Rogers, President of the Chicago Chapter for ICF at Cheryl@ICF-Chicago.org or Evie Burke, Marketing Director at Evie@OneInsightCloser.com.
Thank You to These Coaches That Have Been Most Impactful in My Life
Coaches I Highly Recommend from My Network
Author, Speaker and Life Coach