Category Archives: Business Coaching

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Large group of people with relationships

You Can Build Wealth – But You Must First Build Relationships

Relationships are the key to a fulfilled, successful, and yes even wealthy life.  Life is 100% relationships. Think about the people you come in contact with every day. Each one of those people plays an important role in your life. Whether it’s your spouse, children, customer, business partner or even the casual acquaintance. Build the right relationships and you will ultimately build your wealth.

1. Participate in a relationship-based referral group such as Core Dynamics

The key word in that statement is “participate”. You must get actively involved. Just showing up to the weekly or monthly meetings isn’t enough. Will you get some business by just your attendance? Yes. However, if you want to truly grow your business based solely on your referral partners you must get to know them and allow them to get to know you, the real you. People never, and I mean never, like to be sold on product or service. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. They want to know how you can help them. Schedule at least 2 lunches or coffee meetings every week before you leave the group meeting. Otherwise, life happens and you’ll be sure to be meeting-less that week.

2. Know, like, & Trust.

Zig Ziglar said it best “If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you they will do business with you”. People have to trust you. When was the last time you went to a car dealership to purchase a new car? Did you feel a little uneasy about the process or did you work with someone who you ultimately trusted to help you through the process? Building trust can take months or even years. But I can assure you once people trust you they will refer you to their family, friends, colleagues, and other business owners.

3. Keep it to coffee.

Just about everyone drinks coffee. Meeting for coffee requires less commitment than meeting for an hour over lunch. Within 20 minutes or so you can begin to build the relationship. Schedule your next coffee meeting before you leave. Remember, this is relationship building, not a one and done stop to spew your product or service all over them.

4. Always ask.

Too often I’ve witnessed meetings where the 2 parties involved talk over each other to talk about themselves and their products or services. It becomes a series of bad commercials and no one is listening. Ask them how they got into the business. Find our what their challenges and successes have been as a business owner. Inquire about their family. Get to know them. While it may sound simple refraining from sharing everything we can offer and asking about the other person can be a real challenge.

5. Listen and listen again.

Now that you’ve asked the questions clear your thoughts. Don’t try to think about what you’ll ask them next. Do not think about how your product or service could help them. Just listen. Listen intently. People love to share their stories. Let them share. Building relationships takes effort on your part. Listening and truly hearing what the other person is saying is key.


6. Take notes.

Yes, take notes. Let’s face it. The average person only remembers 50% of what they hear after 3 hours and only about 50% of that after 24 hours. If you really want to build the relationship take notes and study them as if you were studying for an exam. People have a genuine need to know people care. Remembering their birthday, their favorite restaurant, their pets name goes a long way. I always ask permission to take notes and share that I can remember things much better if I write it down. Most people consider it a compliment that you would actually want to remember what they’ve told you.


7. Keep your word.

Maybe this one is so simple people undervalue the power of doing what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it. Remember, if people trust you they will do business with you. Miss a scheduled meeting, forget to send information you promised you would send or fail to meet a deadline that you assured them would be easy to meet and you’ve probably lost their trust. You may gain it back eventually. However, the process of building the relationship and the trust starts all over again.


8. Understand the power.

Many business owners don’t understand the power of relationships. Everything you do in life can be successful or fail because of a relationship. Marry the wrong person and end up divorced. Chose the wrong CPA and end up with a drowning business. Chose and build the right relationships with the right people and it will change your life. Business is an ever evolving target and so are your clients. If you are a small business that relies on local shoppers your time is better-served building relationships than your marketing campaign. Yes, it’s that serious. Small businesses can live and die by a referral. Do a great job for someone who knows, likes, and trust you and you’ll get more business from them. Break their trust and you will lose more business than you will ever know.

See the power.

Here’s a simple example of the power of relationships. Ms. Jones purchased a house. Mr. Ross was her realtor. Mr. Ross recommended Mrs. Davis to provide the financing for the home. Mrs. Davis recommended Miss Scott to provide the home inspection. Miss Scott recommended Mrs. Wright to close the loan. Mrs. Wright recommended Bob Green to help the Jones move. Bob Green recommended Mr. Smith to provide the homeowner’s insurance. Mr. Smith recommended Ms. White to provide the move in and move out cleaning. The Jones family was taken care of through the entire process. Each business gained a client and new business…with zero marketing. All they did was build the right relationships with the right people.


9. Block time.

We all have the same amount of time. So, why are some people so successful and others are not? The difference is simple. Successful people block the time to do what’s important. Building relationships is important. Even if you only block a couple of hours a week, block it. Make a half of one day a week your meeting or relationship building day. If you block every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. to build relationships you could meet 4 people every week. That’s 16 new or a combination of new and existing relationships every month.


10. Go give!

We live in a society of go-getters. Be a go-giver. Look for opportunities to help others achieve their goals or just meet their needs. Ask who they would like to meet. Make the introduction for them. Ask what you can do to help them and then do it. Another favorite Zig Ziglar quote of mine is “you can get everything you want out of life if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want”.


So, the next time someone invites you to a networking group, get excited for the opportunity to create and build a new relationship!

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loyal customer

6 Must Do’s to Get and Keep Loyal Customers for Life!

In this day of abundant choices, instant access, and competition galore how do you get and create loyal customers?

1. Stop advertising and start innovating.

Too often the business owners spend countless hours and dollars on advertising and marketing with very little if any return. Very seldom does it result in a new client, and rarely does it result in creating loyal customers. In order to begin to dominate the market with your product or service, you must first become the innovator.

In the 1930’s a new brand of bread arrived. It was called Wonder. Wonder became the innovators in bread. Yes, innovators in bread. There are thousands of varieties of bread. How did they innovate something as simple as bread? They were the first to sell sliced bread. In today’s world it seems so simple but in the 1930’s it was innovative and changed how bread would be sold forever. How does your product or service compare to that of your competitors? What could you do to become the innovator in your market?

2. Create the Purple Cow.

If you haven’t already read Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow. Get a copy and read it today. Seth refers to creating a purple cow for your company. Americans see thousands of cows every day, black cows, brown cows, spotted cows, and don’t think anything of it. However, if we saw a purple cow we would immediately stop and take notice. We would take pictures, spread it to our friends and family, share it on social media, and probably even call a few reporters to get some pictures for the local paper. What about your product or service has a purple cow effect? What makes your customers want to talk about it, share it, or sneeze it all over everyone they know?

A local restaurant offered wine with every meal. They didn’t charge by the glass or by the bottle. They merely had a note with a bottle of wine at each table that said “Please enjoy the wine with your meal. Just let your server know how many glasses of wine you’ve enjoyed and he or she will add $3.50 per glass to your ticket accordingly.”

The reality is their customers may have never ordered wine with their meal. However, since it was right on the table it was easy to enjoy.

They also found that most customers, once opening the bottle wanted to take the entire bottle home and paid for it. In addition, an average bottle of wine cost the owner $7.00. With a $3.50 per glass charge, if the customer said they’d each only had one glass of wine the entire bottle of wine was paid for by the consumer. If they said they had 2 glasses of wine each the owner made a great profit. And their customers told everyone about it! One of the first questions customers asked when walking in the door was “is it true that we can tell you how much wine we have and you’ll only charge us for what we say”?

With a $3.50 per glass charge, if the customer said they’d each only had one glass of wine the entire bottle of wine was paid for by the consumer. If they said they had 2 glasses of wine each the owner made a great profit. And their customers told everyone about it! One of the first questions customers asked when walking in the door was “is it true that we can tell you how much wine we have and you’ll only charge us for what we say”?

What’s your purple cow? What will you customers want to share? What will turn every lead into a loyal customer?

3. Define your target market.

Americans are bombarded with over 30,000 advertisements and logos a day. Yes, a day! Think about it. Just driving down the interstate you often see thousands in a matter of an hour. Mercedes, Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Audi, McDonald’s, Wendys, Burger King, Shell, 7-11, Gas-Mart, Wal-Mart, Sony, Bose, XM Radio, Sirius Radio, Samsung, Apple, Mac, ….the list goes on and on. Turn on the radio, television, or laptop and it’s a blizzard of advertisements. Small business owners can’t compete by simply advertising. However, you can compete if you market directly to your target market. But you must first define who they are.

What is there gender? Women are most often the decision makers in child day care. Where do they live? Is your product or service available in a certain demographic? How old are they? The geriatric physician should market to a different target audience than a pediatric dentist. What form of media do they use? Does your target audience read the newspaper, use the phonebook, research information on google or bing, do they use social media to make buying decisions?

It all goes back to knowing who your potential customers are and then deciding how you will reach them.

Once you reach them, and they buy from you, give them a reason to come back, again, and again. Give them a reason to become loyal customers. If you’re unsure of how to design a marketing plan to reach your target audience we’ve got that too! Get 90 Marketing Strategies for Small Business Owners with Little or No Budget.

4. Give your loyal customers a reason to come back.

Do you give your existing customers a reason to buy from you again? Something as simple as a loyalty program can be a game changer for your business. The average consumer will buy from you again if you’ve made them feel important. 68% of customers leave a business because they feel unimportant. How do you make your customers feel important? Do you send thank you cards? Other Special Occasion cards? Do you give them special treatment such as customer only private events? How often do you even ask them to buy from you again?

Chances are if you provide a good product or service, your customer feels they matter to you and they trust you, they will buy again.

Give them just one more reason to buy from you again and you’re sure to get their next purchase. They already know your product or service and like it. They’re already there buying. Give them a special “thank you” or “next visit” offer. They (and you) will be glad you did! Remember if you want loyal customers you must give them a way to show their loyalty!

How do you make your customers feel important? Do you send thank you cards? Other Special Occasion cards? Do you give them special treatment such as customer only private events? How often do you even ask them to buy from you again? Chances are if you provide a good product or service, your customer feels they matter to you and they trust you, they will buy again. Give them just one more reason to buy from you again and you’re sure to get their next purchase. They already know your product or service and like it. They’re already there buying. Give them a special “thank you” or “next visit” offer. They (and you) will be glad you did! Remember if you want loyal customers you must give them a way to show their loyalty!

5. Give them the Pickle… or the Coat.

In Bob Farrell’s book Give ‘Em the Pickle he discusses a letter a restaurant owner received from one of his lifelong customers who decided that he would no longer be a patron of his establishment. The reason? The customer asked for a pickle on the side. The server, who was new to the position, stated that he would have to charge him .25 for the pickle. After several minutes of unsuccessfully trying to explain to the argumentative server that he had never, in 25 years, been charged for a pickle he decided to leave. He also decided at that minute that he would write the owner and make him aware of his decision to not visit his restaurant again.He explained that it wasn’t the cost of the pickle.

It was the principal.

After 25 years of patronage, he was going to be charged for something that he had always perceived as an added value to his experience at the restaurant.Once the added value was taken away, in such a manner, he no longer felt a desire to visit the restaurant for lunch. As business owners, you must know when to give your customer the pickle. You must train your staff to add value to any experience your customers have. This may be an old concept. However, it still stands true today. Provide value and show your customers that they are valued and you will create loyal customers!

6. Empower your team.

Finally, if you truly want loyal customers you must empower your team to add value to any experience your customers have. A customer of Zappos received a phone call from a customer who wanted to return a winter coat. It was too large. The Zappos customer service representative asked that she not return the coat in exchange for a smaller size. He asked that she donate it to a local shelter because there were so many people in need, especially in the winter. He also explained that he would ship her a new coat in her size at no additional charge.
That’s an empowered team creating loyal customers for life!

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business owner

Be a Business Owner and Stop Letting Your Business Run You! 6 Keys to Owning a Successful Company!

Do you want to be a successful business owner? Are you tired of the business running you? Owning a business can be challenging. It can also be extremely rewarding. So why are some businesses so successful while others seem to struggle along until they finally close their doors?

Here are the top 5 things successful business owners do, and you can too!

1. Get a mentor.

A great athlete and successful business owner have many things in common. One of which is they both hire a professional to mentor them. Think about it. Tiger Woods has 5 coaches. Professional football teams have an offensive coach, a defensive coach, a special teams coach, a head coach, and a series of professional trainers. While you may not need to go to this extreme. It is imperative that you seek the guidance of other experts. If you’re considering hiring a Business Coach do your research. Here are 5 Things You Must Consider When Hiring a Business Coach.

2. Build your professional team.

While you are certainly the expert at your craft, I bet you’re not the expert at finance, insurance, business planning and projecting accounting, or human resources. Nor should you be. Ask for the referral of a successful business owner or business owners in your community. Ask for their business partners such as Business Bankers, CPA’s, Insurance Advisors, Business Coaches, and Human Resource Specialists. Meet with your team on a regular basis. I recommend meeting monthly in the beginning and then quarterly after you’re established.

Then meet annually at a bare minimum. Remember, it’s your business, your livelihood, and your life. You need to drive the bus and have the right people on the bus to help you reach your destination.

3. Systematize it.

Too often the business owners …. business…is dependent on the people it employees. Don’t be left hanging if a key employee leaves you. Build a system and workflow process for everything from how to open the business, close the business and everything in between. If you lose a key employee another employee can easily step in until you’ve hired a new employee. Systematizing everything also increases productivity, efficiency, and consistency. Want things done the right way every time? Building the systems is the key.

4. Train and retrain.

Business is an ever evolving machine. Technology, demand, competitors and market demographics (just to name a few) all play a part in the success of your business and your success as a business owner. As a business owner, it’s imperative that you stay ahead of the curve. Educate yourself, educate your team and then re-educate often. Build a training program for each area of your business. Make sure that it’s documented in either, or better yet all, written, audio, and video format. This allows for anyone who joins your team to get up and running very quickly, reducing the learning curve and ensuring consistency in every aspect of your business.

5. Know your numbers.

Your business can live or die by the numbers. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is if it’s not profitable. As a business owner, you should understand your fixed expenses, your variable expenses, and your profit margins per product and service. Budget each year. Always include room for “if this then that’s”. If equipment breaks down. If we get a blizzard. Trust me. Planning ahead for such incidents will allow you to budget for those events and be prepared in the event they happen.

If you have a product or service that is loss making you have two options. Stop offering it or make it profitable. Too often the business owner likes to make offers to get people in the door. Let me be very clear about this. If you offer it once. They will expect it every time.
Meet with your CPA on a very regular basis to review your numbers and plan for the future. They are the experts. Partner with them for the financial success of your business.

6. Acquire the right talent, assign the right roles and develop their talents. 

Too often the business owner will focus on the skill set required for a role in their organization. Skillset can be taught. However, natural strengths and abilities cannot. Gallup latest State of the American Workplace shows that 51% of the American workforce is actively looking for other opportunities. If you think employees are looking for opportunities for higher pay think again. They are leaving, actively looking for an opportunity to be able to do what they do best and do it in a way that fits their life. Discovering the natural talent, then developing the talent of your team is vital to the success of your organization.

So, are you ready to start running your business and become a true business owner? Contact Crystel at to schedule a complimentary consultation!

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5 Signs That You Bought Yourself a Job…J-O-B…Just Over Broke and Just Overwhelmed by Business!

Job. That dirty 3 letter word! Do you really own a business or do you feel overwhelmed and underpaid for your efforts as a business owner? Did you buy yourself a job?

Too often people open a business with great dreams and then soon find themselves working longer days for less pay with far more headaches than when they worked for someone else. If this sounds familiar you may have just bought yourself a job.
Here are 5 signs that you bought yourself a job!

1. You though you could make more money than what your company was paying you.

I’ve found that more often than not the businesses were started because the owner once worked for a company. Yes, you were someone else’s employee. The company you worked for appeared to generate a much greater revenue than they were paying you. You were required to be in the office or on the job for a certain amount of time each week. You knew that you were great at your craft and could go into business yourself and make as much if not more money than the company you were working for. Voila! You started a business! AKA bought yourself a job.

2. You thought you could work less.

First of all, let me tell you that you’re not alone. I hear this from business owners almost every day. “I thought I could work less.” The reality is being a business owner, if not done properly, can result in the owner working far greater hours than their employees for much less money. In fact, I’ve calculated the value of many business owners’ hours. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were master plumbers, each making $65 per hour in their roles at ABC plumbing. They knew ABC plumbing charged their customers $150.00 per hour.

So, Mr. and Mrs. Smith thought if they had their own business they could charge $120.00 per hour, giving them more income in fewer hours each week. The reality? Mr. and Mrs. Smith were each working over 84 hours a week in and on their business. When it was all said and done they were earning $8.03 an hour. If you’re working more than 5-25 hours a week or making less than you could as an employee you’ve bought yourself a job.

If you’re working more than 5-25 hours a week or making less than you could as an employee you’ve bought yourself a job.

The reality? Mr. and Mrs. Smith were each working over 84 hours a week in and on their business. As a result, they were earning $8.03 an hour. If you’re working more than 5-25 hours a week or making less than you could as an employee you’ve bought yourself a job.

3. You thought you could operate the business the way you wanted to.

Many business owners truly believe that they can do it better. While many actually can, many don’t understand what it takes to do it better. They get so focused on selling their product or service that they lose sight of what is truly important to run a successful business. They wake up each day looking for the next sale rather than projecting, planning, and strategizing for the future of their company. If you spend more time acting as an employee you’ve bought yourself a job.

4. You wanted to be your own boss.

Well, how’s that going for you? Is your new boss (you) demanding? Does he or she make you work long hours? Do you get the pay you deserve on a consistent basis? Are you able to truly do what you do best or are you responsible for too many areas of the business like sales, marketing, finance, technology, product and service development, and operations? Are you able to take vacations with your family or does your boss convince you that you can’t leave the business because you have too much work to do? If this is your new boss you’ve bought yourself a job.

5. You wanted freedom.

Maybe, just maybe, you were tired of being tied to a desk or business location. Are you truly free now? Can you take long vacations while your business still runs and continues to grow without your presence…completely without you? I don’t mean you go on vacation with your laptop and work here and there. I mean the business truly runs and grows without any contact with you for an extended period of time. If you can’t take extended vacations you’ve bought yourself a job.

So, if you’re like many businesses I’ve coached over the last several years you can relate to all 5.

However, you can become a true business owner.

Finally, you can have a successful business that runs and continues to grow without you. There are 6 key elements to creating your new future as a business owner. If you’re tired of the rat-race, ready to make a change and committed to success find out what it takes to Start Owning Your Business and Stop Letting it Run You!  Or contact me today at for a complimentary business success consultation!

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Business Coach

Choose Your Business Coach Wisely — They Can Make or Break Your Business. 5 Things You Must Consider When Hiring a Business Coach.

So you’re considering hiring a business coach?

A business coach will lead you, guide you, direct you, and mentor you toward the success of your business… or run it into the ground. I’ve seen many instances of both.

So, for the run it into the ground business coaches or as I prefer to call them…

The Expensive Bad Advice Coach

I met with a gentleman who owned a retail store. As business coaching is not just my job it’s my way of life, naturally, the conversation led to questions about his business challenges and successes. When I asked what his greatest challenge was he replied, “trusting people”. I asked what he meant by that. His reply was “I hired a business coach about a year ago ran up an $18,000 line of credit to pay the coach and almost lost my business taking his advice. And if you can’t trust a business coach, who can you trust?”

The Nickle and Dime Coach

I spoke to another business owner who had just established her business. Her business coach charged her $500 to form her LLC. She asked him for a copy of the certificate. In addition to charging $500.00 for forming the LLC, her coach charged her for a copy. Finally, when I recommended that she retrieve the username and password from him to log on to the State Corporation Commission website, he refused to give it to her. Which meant he had total control over the renewal of her business status forever – or at least until she took measures to remove him as the registered agent. Without the account information that can be a long tough road.

I should mention that in our state the cost of forming an LLC is $100. And there’s nothing wrong with having a registered agent. I often recommend it. However, the business owner should always be in total control of the SCC account.

The Pay Me More Than Your Business Net’s Coach

Another business owner hired a business coach who offered to take a portion of her sales as payment. She asked me to review the contract. I must admit. I was shocked and angry. The contract stated that the coach would receive 25% of all GROSS sales. We quickly ran a few numbers and saw that she was headed straight out of business. Her profit margin per product was only about 6%. Her net income after expenses was approximately 3%. 25% of her gross sales immediately made every sale greatly loss making.

The What The Heck Happened Coach

Another remarkably successful business closed its door after 7 years in business coaching. When I inquired as to why they closed. The coach stated that “it wasn’t his fault. They just didn’t expect so much competition in the market.” WHAT?! First, this was a unique business. This was a long-standing, highly profitable business. People flew from all over the world to become a client of this business, paying tens of thousands of dollars to participate in their program… for dozens of years. I still don’t know what truly happened. I just know that competition should NEVER be the reason for a strong, reputable, profitable business to close – especially after 7 years of working with a business coach!

The Rookie Coach

I took on one of my very first clients as a coach years ago. While I was proud to win ActionCoach Rookie of the year, I was truly a rookie. Sure, I had a background in cash flow projections, financial and business analysis, management, and a whole host of skills too long to mention. However, what I did not know at the time was that this particular client didn’t understand how to calculate profit margins. I assumed, and we all know what happens when you do that, that since she was a business owner she had priced her services with the profit margin she stated. Boy, was I wrong!

We systematized the entire business and began marketing. This client gained about 1 – 2 new clients per month before coaching. Very quickly (with the strategic marketing we put in place) they began to average 3 – 7 new clients a DAY! Sounds great! Who would want to grow their client base by 5,000%? Everyone right? Well, everyone except the business that is loss-making for every new client.

The client did not understand how to price her services. She did not understand how to include an overhead percentage. This business owner did not understand the effective labor rate of an employee. So every time she gained a new client she was losing money. As a result of my assumption and her lack of business knowledge, the business was bleeding! Rookie move coach! I learned very quickly to first check the financial health and profitability of a business BEFORE creating a marketing machine.

So when I say a business coach can make or break your business. I mean they can make or break your business and you.


That’s just a few examples of the “breaks” – now for the makes.

Loss Making to Profit Making

My very next client was in for a treat. First things first! We run all of the numbers! Sure enough, almost every project they did was loss making. Their gross revenue was in the millions. However, they were broke. They were losing about 19% per job.

I recommended that the client immediately (based on our calculations) begin job costing and increase his prices to include overhead, effective labor rate, variable expenses, a 20% profit margin, etc. I thought he was going to fire me. He said if he raised his prices he’d never get another job. I said “Good! Then we can stop losing money!” That drove the point home. He did, in fact, take my advice and is now a very profitable business.

From Overwhelmed to Super Successful

After coaching for about 6 months I was approached by a woman who owned a small home based company. She had approximately 14 employees. Their revenue and profits were pretty substantial for a small home base business. This woman had her Masters. She was a former executive. Needless to say, she was one smart cookie. So why would she hire a business coach? She was overwhelmed, exhausted, and ready to quit. She was so overwhelmed with the day to day of running a business that she was at the point she was willing to take a reduction in her income to just work for someone else. But she had a passion for what her company provided.

We met and I’m ecstatic to say that today she employs over 100 people, works about 20 hours a week, now has 4 businesses (that run without her), several means of passive income, and spends more time traveling and with her family than she ever imagined she could.

Changes in REG’s Created a Questionable Future – Changes In Coaching Recreated The Future of Success

I received a call from a business owner one day who was worried about a few changes she made in her business based on recent regulation changes in her industry. She called to ask if she could just hire me to help her figure out if she had made the right changes and if her company was going to survive. For 2 years this company had been very successful. Now, since the changes in regulations, which changed the model of her business, she was seeing a decline in her net income month-over-month… not a good sign.

I told Betty that she could not hire me to review her new model and finances and offer her advice. However, I would gladly do that for free. A good coach, an honest coach, a compassionate coach, doesn’t nickel and dime business owners. A good coach will offer their time as a way to give back for that one and done situation. Betty and I met for about an hour. By the end of the conversation, Betty and I realized that there would need to be many adjustments to her once successful company in order to survive. We realized that the majority of all of the clients were now loss making after the change.

Betty had never calculated overhead or profit margins.

Within 90 days, yes it took that long to uncover where the issues truly lied and to make all of the adjustments, I’m happy to say that Betty’s business is profitable with positive cash flow once again! Betty is excited and has even started another business that will provide her with additional passive income. She often reminds me as we look back at how things were when we started working together that her company would have had to close it’s doors in November if we had not made the proper adjustments.

Trading Time For Money To Passive Income

Another local client was trading his time for hours. His rate was $95.00 per hour. Which means if he wasn’t working then he wasn’t generating income. We all know that’s no way to live. Although, that is exactly how most people live. Money is just an idea backed by an action. There is always a way to generate income that provides a means of passive income (income that continues to be generated without you physically being there, such as rental income). Passive income should be a large part of your conversations with your business coach. Life is too short to spend your life, your time, in exchange for money.

This client has projected approximately $106,000.00 in net passive income for the end of 2017. This company’s net income, trading his time for money, prior to coaching was about $8,000.00 per year and zero passive income. This is a life changer for this gentleman.

That is exactly what the best business coach does.

They will lead you, guide you, direct you, support you, motivate you, encourage you, empathize with you, push you, activate and ensure that your achieve your dreams.


So, what should you consider when hiring a business coach?


While there are many certification programs for coaching, my experience has been that the majority of the programs focus on teaching the participants how to sell coaching, and a few basic coaching skills, not business skills. Don’t be fooled by fancy certifications. Because a coach is certified does not mean he or she is qualified.  Interview several coaches before hiring. Here are the top 7 questions you must ask a coach during your interview.

    1. How do you analyze the financial health of a business? Insist that they be specific. Keep asking questions until you see their level of expertise.
    2. What is the average profit margin in my industry? To be honest there is no right answer from a good coach on this one. A good coach doesn’t care what the averages are. A good coach will blow average profit margins out of the water.
    3. How many passive income avenues do your current clients have?
    4. Who are your past and current clients and may I meet with them to discuss their experience with you? Trust me, you’ll want to talk to their past clients. There’s a reason that they’re no longer clients. Yes, they may have achieved what they set out to OR they may be out of business. Or they may have had a poor experience.
    5. Who are some other coaches in the area that I should interview? Again, a good coach will share the names of other coaches. I encourage anyone who is interested in coaching to interview the other coaches in the area. There are two reasons for this. We all have different styles, expertise, and engagement levels. Reason one… you need to find the right coach for you. Reason two… As a confident coach who is more than a coach to her clients, I am certain that after given an informed choice of coaches their choice will be me.
    6. How long have you been coaching? Years in business doesn’t equate to a good business coach. However, if you can gauge the time he or she has been coaching, with their number of past and current clients, you will have a pretty good idea how successful he or she is.
    7. What is your retention rate? Good business coaches build long-term relationships with their clients.


Because birds of a feather truly do flock together… Who does the coach associate themselves with? A good coach will have relationships with pillars of the community, with admirable people. Look at all of the coaches social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, just to name a few. See who they are connected to, read their conversations. Take the reviews with a grain of salt. Most business coaches ask for reviews. If a client isn’t happy or goes out of business chances are there won’t be a review. Because the business coach didn’t ask for one.


While in every industry, there are many honest and ethical people — and many dishonest and self-serving people. Business Coaching is no different. There are business coaches that will sell you coaching just to make a sale. Some will offer advice just to give advice. There are some who will take advantage of business owners who don’t fully understand agreements. Many will keep adding lists of to-do’s just to keep you paying month over month. They will make guarantees that hold no merit.


A good coach will be transparent with you. They will put your best interests first. Your success will be their report card. My success is gauged based on these areas of my clients success: Increase in net profit, Increase in passive income, decrease in number of hours worked, increase in family time (or the leisure of my clients choice) number of new jobs created, goals achieved, dreams achieved, and the happiness of my clients and their teams. Read the fine print about their “guaranty”.


In addition to interviewing a business coach. Write down what your expectations are, what your goals are, (You can begin setting smarter goals here.) what your dreams are, and how hiring a coach would bring value to your business and your life. Be very clear with the business coach when you meet. Ask him or her directly how they will meet your expectations, how they will ensure your success, and what immediate steps you could take even if you didn’t hire them. Remember good business coaches love to give back even if you decide not to work with them. 


Finally, each of us has different values, morals, and ethics. We all have unique talents, strengths, challenges. Every one of us communicates with a different style. Look for a connection with your coach. Do you share the same values, morals, and ethics? Those things should never be compromised. Your business coaches talents should compliment yours. If you’re great at marketing, but challenged when it comes to numbers. A business coach who is talented with numbers but not strong in marketing may work for you. If you are a naturally reserved person, an outgoing business coach who will push you out of your comfort zone may be a great fit for you.

If I were to hire a coach today. I would expect what I provide to my clients – friendship, encouragement, excitement, motivation, skill set, ability, expertise, drive, and commitment!

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Time Management

The Top 7 Time Management Strategies….That are Proven to Work!

I’ll get right to the point. You cannot manage time. Go ahead. Give it your best shot. It will never happen. It is unmanageable. Like it or not, we are all given the same 24 hours in a day. It comes and goes no matter what we choose to do during that 24 hours. So, if we cannot manage time how do we get more accomplished in less time or in the time allotted to make our accomplishments?

Therefore, you, my friend, must manage YOU! It may be tough to hear but I don’t share to make people feel better. I share to make people BE better.

Here are the facts. The average American lives to be 77 years old. That’s 4004 weeks. Yes, let that sink in. You may be blessed with many more years. However, since this is an average you may have less. By the age of 30 if you live to be 77 you have about 1924 weeks left.  Are you in your mid 40’s? You may have about 1664 weeks left. In your mid 50’s 1144 weeks. By age 65 (when most people retire) we have approximately 624 weeks of life left…if we live until we are 77.

Furthermore, subtract a number of hours you sleep, if you sleep 8 hours a day, and that only leaves about 417 weeks of living….of time. Once again, you can’t manage time. You must manage you and what you do with your time.

First of all, determine the value of your hour. If you’re a business owner and spending an hour gaining a new client would generate $1,000.00 in revenue why would you spend an hour driving to the bank, making a deposit and then driving back? What value is there to an hour of time with your family?

If you only had one hour to spend with them what would that be worth? Priceless right? Yet we spend countless hours on tasks that generate no true value. Sure, we can provide reason after reason for doing all the things we do throughout the day. “Someone has to to do it.” The reality is someone may have to do it but it may not HAVE TO be you.

2.Delegate, delegate, and then delegate some more. Make a list of all of your daily responsibilities. List them in order of most challenging to least challenging. Then drill down even further. Note the responsibilities that you enjoy doing, that come naturally to you. Finally, write the name of the person who has the talent and ability to do the least challenging and least enjoyable things. Then, let them do it! Remember, if your hour is worth $1,000.00 then paying someone $10.00 or even $20.00 an hour to accomplish some of your responsibilities is a great investment!

Schedule your success. This was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever accomplished in my career. A schedule? How could I? I had to generate new prospects, complete call logs, attend company meetings, collect financial data (tax returns, personal financial statements, Profit & Loss, Balance Sheets) analyze all of that data for every customer, for every business, write credit memos, complete applications, service loans, close loans, attend closings, converse with underwriters, attend networking meetings, review appraisals, support my administrative assistant,…the list went on and on.

As a result, I was overwhelmed on a daily basis. UNTIL I created my own schedule and I made the best use of my time. Beginning with blocking  time on a Google calendar (a recurring schedule that I would stick to every week) I scheduled blocks of time for email, blocks for making calls and returning messages. Also, I scheduled time for networking and time for financial analysis, and any other “paperwork”. Finally, I scheduled time for meeting clients. Then,  I stuck to the schedule.

Position your customers, clients, and anyone else who needs your time. Remember, it’s YOUR time.If someone wants to meet with you. Look at your calendar and schedule them during one of your “meeting time slots”. Most people relinquish their time to accommodate everyone else’s demands of their time. How often have you said “Sure, we can meet. What works for you?”

Consequently, you are giving them control over choosing what time you will give them and when. On the next occasion that someone wants to meet with you check your calendar and say “Sure, I have this day at this time or that day at that time. Which one works best for you?” Continue to offer them what YOU have available on YOUR schedule until something works for them.

Only check email 2 to 3 times per day. Do not check your email first thing in the morning or as the last thing before you leave. Sounds crazy huh? It did for me too. But this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Look, email is just a filing cabinet for other peoples’ agendas. And your time is valuable.

Position your clients, customers, and anyone else who emails or calls you. Set up auto responses on your email and change your voicemail today! An auto-response sets the expectations for your customers. “Thank you for your email. I will be checking and responding to email at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm daily.” Now your customers know not to worry. They know precisely when, and that you will get back to them. I can assure you this will stop the “did you get my email?” “did you get my message?”

It will also provide time for you to focus on the task at hand rather than trying to multitask. Multitasking is Inefficient, Ineffective, and Ultimately a Terrible Way to Work!

Learn to say “YES”. You’re probably thinking “I need to learn to say no.” The reality is if you are thinking that you’re already great at saying no. Because every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. Here’s what I mean by that. When a customer asks if you can stay late or and just can’t say no, you have just said no. By saying yes to your customer, you may have said no to going home to your family on time. Maybe you said no to having time to cook dinner. You may have said no to being able to help your children with homework. Learning to say yes is a must! You must learn to say yes.

When someone wants your time you must consider if you say yes to them what you are truly saying no to.

Be conscious. Be aware of what the “no” will be if you say yes to someone. There’s always a no. When I’m asked to give someone time I always ask myself if I say yes to them, what am I saying no to? If the answer is family I will choose to say yes to my family and thus no to that person. If it means saying no to doing laundry….then it’s a yes I’ll be there!

I’ve applied all 6 of these in my personal and business life. I’ve coached countless business owners and teams to manage themselves….not time. This takes practice and a lot of it. But I can assure you if you continue to practice these 6 steps until they become your lifestyle, your life, your business, and your days will be much more productive, profitable, and fulfilled.

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shocked at competitors

Who your greatest competitors are may shock you!

Before we begin, take one minute and write down all of your competitors that comes to mind.

Do you now have a list of companies that offer similar products and services? Do you have about 10 of your local obvious competitors?

My guess is that you’ve missed your largest competition and who they are may shock you.

Most business owners only consider the obvious direct competitors, missing their potentially largest competitors.

Ask any salon owner who their competitors are. They quickly rattled off 25 other salons. While the other salons are competition, they are not their greatest competitors.

Ask any attorney. I can assure you they will provide a list of other attorneys. Again, not their greatest competition.

What most businesses overlook when it comes to their competition is the educated consumer.

A salon owner would never consider Walmart to be their competitor. The salon owner would argue that Walmart is not their competitor. Why? Because the salon provides at atmosphere, quality products, services, and a level of expertise that the box color on the shelf of Walmart could never provide.

They may be right. However, the consumer, who wants to change the color of their hair has access to thousands of options within seconds. One search using the keywords hair color and 10 different box color options appear on the first page. Try it for yourself. Unless there’s a salon in your area who understands the power of and how to optimizing their site based on consumer searches, you’ll find box color options for pages.

Attorneys seldom, if ever, consider their greatest competition. Again, it’s the consumer. Every legal document known to man is available, accessible, and downloadable in seconds, usually at no cost. Even the large box stores carry a vast variety of legal documents.  Let’s not forget the Legal Zoom and Legal Shield. For about $19.99 a month the consumer has legal access at their fingertips.

Sure, there is a vast difference in the value of the advice, guidance, direction, and experience of an attorney vs the downloadable document. Salons provide an experience that box colors can’t.

However, unless you educate your consumer, they will continue to be your greatest competitor!

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confused about vision and mission

Is There Really a Difference Between a Vision Statement and a Mission Statement?

First of all, if either of these is just a statement to you don’t bother writing them. Too often companies write lengthy meaningless vision and mission statements merely because they’ve heard they need one, for marketing, a business plan, or just because they “should”.

Yes, there’s a difference.

Your company’s vision is exactly that.

The overall purpose, of your company. The big picture that drives every aspect of your business. The why in what you do every day.

Every product, service, system, team member, action in your business should be to achieve the vision of your company.
It should be simply stated, making it easy for consumers and your team to understand, remember, and recognize.

A local company with a clear vision states this “Simplify Life”.

Talk about clear, direct, and easy to understand, and identify! Every decision made in the company for a new product or service should “simplify life”.

Your mission is how you will achieve your vision.

Your mission should be clear, direct, and briefly stated.

The above company’s mission? “Taking care, custody, and control of our customer’s belongings.”

This company provides storage for local residents.

Their why is to simplify life. Their how? By taking care, custody, and control of their customer’s belongings.

As you put your vision and mission into writing, remember this.

Know your why. Make it clear to all those who know or may need to know you. Live it every day. Be very specific about your mission, your how. Act on it every day.


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Finally, an Easy Way to Project Cash Flow and the Sustainability of Your Business!

How many times have you been asked for cash flow projections only to throw something together based on what you think the banker or CPA needs? One time is too many!

If you’re ready to see the future of your business, verify that it’s sustainable, this article is a must read!

While most business owners see cash flow as a daunting process it doesn’t have to be. As a matter of fact, it can be very exciting to see the financial future of your business! Projecting cash flow allows you to see the financial picture, allows you to create a budget, and arrange your ebbs and flows of cash in order to sustain a profitable business. Sounds more exciting now doesn’t it?

Here are a few simple steps to successfully projecting cash flow.

  1. Create an easy to use template. Something as simple as excel can be a very useful tool for projecting. You will need tabs/pages for the following. You may also download a cash flow projection sheet if you’re not the expert in excel.

    1. Cash In (All of your revenue broken into weekly columns)
      1. This will be a weekly forecast of all expected income
        1. Columns
          1. Sources of income such as retail sales
        2. Rows
          1. The week ending date for 3 consecutive months
        3. Cash Out (All of your expenses broken into weekly columns)
          1. This will be a weekly forecast of all expenses
            1. Columns
              1. Sources of expenses such as rent
            2. Rows
              1. The week ending date for 3 consecutive months
            3. Cash Flow Summary (This is the page that calculates a combination of your cash in and cash out tabs.)
              1. Columns
                1. Beginning Cash
                2. Cash In
                3. Cash Out
                4. Available Credit
                5. Available Cash
              2. Rows
                1. Corresponding weeks
  • Let excel do the calculating for you.
    1. Sum each column on the cash in and cash out pages
    2. Connect the corresponding total to the cash flow summary columns
  1. List all of your reoccurring expenses with monthly amounts and due dates. Such as…

    1. Rent
    2. Insurance
    3. Payroll
    4. Marketing
    5. Professional Fees
    6. Dues
    7. Subscriptions
    8. Auto Expense
    9. Loan payments
    10. Owners Draw
  2. List all of your expected revenue with expected amounts and dates of receipts. This can usually be easily found in your accounts receivables.

  3. Enter the data into your template weekly. For example, if your rent is due on the first of every month, enter the total rent due in the first week of every month on your template. In the same manner, enter all of your expenses on their corresponding due dates. Likewise, enter all of your projected income on the dates you expect to receive them.

Viola! You’ve successfully projected cash flow and the sustainability of your business. Well, for the next 90 days. You must continue the process every 90 days. Review, update and manage your cash flow on a weekly basis. Schedule recurring time weekly to do this.  Do you want to take the fast track? Email me at for a complimentary cash flow projection workbook!

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generating and closing leads

9 Must-Do’s to Generate and Close More Leads in Today’s World!

9 Must do’s to generate more leads in today’s world!

Marketing in it’s simplest form is buying customers. As a business owner you must know what you’re willing to spend to gain a new customer, create a budget, set goals, market, track, adjust, and market again.

  1. Determine the lifetime value of your client.

    1. Average Dollar Sale
    2. Number of times your client buys from you
    3. Average number of years your client buys from you
Average Dollar Sale $100.00
Average Number of Purchases in One Year 6
Average Number of Years We Retain Our Clients 3
Lifetime Value $1,800.00


  1. Determine what you are willing to spend per client.

    1. If the average lifetime value of your client is $1,800.00 would you be willing to spend $100.00 to get them in the door? Would you be willing to spend $300.00? You must determine what you’re willing to spend for a new customer.
  2. Create a budget with an allowable acquisition cost per client and set a target goal.

    1. If a marketing strategy requires a $300.00 investment and your allowable acquisition cost per client is $100.00 then your goal should be to gain a minimum of three clients. Any less than three clients and your acquisition cost just went up.
  3. Target your client.

    1. Since you know your target market, use mediums that they actively use. If you are unsure of who your target market is, stop and DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET!
  4. Create the offer.

    1. Be clear and specific in your strategy. Tell your client what the specific offer is.
  5. Give them a call to action.

    1. So often advertisements lack a call to action. Customers are left with basic information about a company with either no offer or instruction to get the offer.
  6. Track your leads.

    1. If your strategy isn’t generating any leads you may want to change your medium,  your offer, or your call to action. If it’s generating leads as you expected you may want to boost your marketing with the medium.
  7. Track your conversion rate.

    1. What good are leads if you don’t close them. They are absolutely no good. As a matter of fact. They are costing you time and money. If you’re not converting leads you may not have set clear expectations. Or you may just need to just get better at closing the sale. If your prospect decides not to buy ask them why. Be sure to explain that you’re collecting this information to improve your message in the future.
  8. Wash-Rinse-Repeat

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