Coaching/Mentoring FAQs

Below are some common questions about my business coaching services. If you have other questions, comments or concerns, please contact me.

 

As a coach/mentor, what will you do for me?

I see a coach and mentor as being the person that sits between where you and your business are now and where you want to be.

As your coach/mentor I will:
(1) On a business level, assist you to grow your business, strategize goals, improve operations, increase profitability and overcome obstacles.
(2) On an individual level, help you be the best you can possibly be, while improving your personal skill set in leadership, strategic thinking, problem solving, communication and overall competence.

Why should I engage a coach/mentor?

I will answer that with a few questions for you:

  • Have you ever considered asking for help?
  • Do you have a place where you can be 100% honest, vulnerable and not feel judged?
  • Do you have a person you trust and who is committed to your growth and helping you succeed?
  • Are you comfortable that all decisions you make are the best under the circumstances?
  • Do you have the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable person, who has the demonstrated capability of having “been there and done that”?

If the answer to any question is No, then I can help you.

Think about this sports analogy. If a team or individual are going to improve their skill or performance, they have a coach. This is true for professional teams to top golfers and from high school athletes to little league. Business is the same. Why not invest in the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable person, who you trust and has your interests at heart, who will assist you in reaching your highest business and personal potential. This is the value of a coach and mentor.

How much will it cost?

My hourly fees are flexible depending on the nature and length of the engagement. These will be discussed right after the first free exploratory meeting.

How long is an engagement?

I will be able to give an estimate right after the first exploratory meeting. A specific issue that needs addressing can be accomplished in a few hourly meetings. Other clients prefer longer term engagements that involve weekly or monthly meetings to discuss, solve and affirm different aspects of company activities or individual personal growth. Either way, it is your call when to continue or terminate.

Do you coach teams?

While most of my clients are individual, I have and will coach management teams, particularly when conflict resolution or better communication is required.

How does coaching/mentoring work?

It starts with a no charge initial meeting to determine if the services I offer fit your needs and circumstances and we are a fit for one another.

Next it is establishing a relationship based on trust and mutual respect. Everything said and discussed is absolutely confidential. In the beginning there is a lot of asking questions. Once business issues, problems and concerns are quantified and mutually understood, I will offer solutions that we discuss and a resulting path forward is mutually strategized. Follow up will ensure that you are kept motivated, on track and inspired as you to move successfully towards your goals.

As I get to know you better as an individual, including your strengths, weakness and personality profile, we can work on your personal skill set in areas such as leadership, strategic thinking, problem solving, communication and overall competence.

What are some examples of how you can help a business owner?
  • You have an idea for a new business and need guidance through start up.
  • You need to raise capital.
  • You need help in presenting to a group of investors.
  • You need to be profitable.
  • You need a plan to expand your business.
  • You need a new marketing strategy.
  • You have been in the trenches too long and need clarity about your business vision.
  • You have no one to bounce ideas off of.
  • You are so busy you do not have time for “big picture” or strategic thinking.
  • You have a specific problem that requires brainstorming.
  • You have forgotten how to “have a life” and no longer have a work/life balance.
  • You have a successful business and need to figure out an exit strategy.
  • You need help in evaluating an offer to buy your company.
  • You are a young successful company and require expertise in company structure to enable the next level of growth.
  • You need to establish an international market presence.
I am an executive and not a business owner, how can you help me?

Here are a few examples of circumstances I have helped executives with:

  • You are facing career options that require clarification.
  • You lost your job and now what.
  • You need help with a resume.
  • You want a second opinion on a major business decision you are strategizing.
  • You are embroiled in corporate politics.
  • You need new sources of energy and intelligence and break the cycle of decline.
  • You have “toxic” employees.
  • You have a terrible boss.
  • You want to determine annual career goals.
  • You are in a stage of life/business transition and are unsure how to proceed.
  • You are thinking of retiring and have concerns.
Is there anything you won’t do?
  • I will not tell you I can solve all your problems or have a magic bullet.
  • I will not make up your mind for you or tell you what to do.
  • I will not judge or insist you do something.
  • I will not lock you into a long-term contract.
  • I will not condone or approve any unethical business practice.
  • I will not run the clock on you.
  • I do not provide therapy of any kind.
Do you provide Life Coaching?

This is an interesting question. I have provided individual life coaching over the past twenty five years but not on a fee based or official basis. Life coaching comes naturally out of the business coaching/personal mentoring relationship. While dealing with business issues a coach becomes very familiar with the character and competence a client possesses. After all, a coach not only tackles business problems but mentors clients to be the best they can be. In so doing, the coach and the client form a trusting relationship that can lead, at the client’s request, to mentor the client outside of business world. I have found that this to be the case in a number of my longer-term engagements. As a disclaimer, I do not provide therapy of any kind

Why is coaching/mentoring not more prevalent in the business world?

I can come up with several possibilities. Is it as simple as just not being on anyone’s radar? Is it an ego problem? (as in not asking for directions). Do we not want to admit we need help? Is it a perceived sign of weakness.? Is it a perception that it too expensive or misunderstanding the ROI of coaching? After all it is an investment in the business AND the person being coached. Is coaching confused with consulting? (see detailed explanation) in the following question.

From experience I do know is that there is always more than one way to respond to a business situation or refine strategy to reach a smarter decision. I submit that having the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable person, who you trust and has your interests at heart, can be a good thing. And, just as in sports, a coach will assist you in reaching your highest business potential.

What are some of the things you have learned after 47 years in business?

Here are a few:

  • Business principles are pretty much the same, only the marketplace and products are different.
  • Reputation is everything. It can take years to get and one minute to lose.
  • Know the importance and value of impeccable references.
  • Know the value of maintaining “clean” financials.
  • Regarding venture capital – be very afraid unless you have professionals alongside you.
  • Be prepared to frequently remake product lines.
  • Adhere to the maxim “whatever is best for the customer is also best for the company”.
  • Always be proactive in addressing adverse customer issues.
  • Bank financing is only obtainable if you have good collateral and plenty of it. Also, personal guarantees.
  • Always have an “exit” strategy.
  • No matter the problem, there are always options.
  • Always ’fess up when you mess up – then fix it.
  • Three key words: focus, focus, focus.
  • Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Know what it takes.
  • Being undercapitalized is usually fatal.
  • If anyone should ask you “so what can I do for you?” Have an answer.
  • Write mission and values statements that are simple, easily repeated, mean something and then live by them.
  • Know the value of running “open books”.
  • Get signed agreements on important deals. You will need them when things go wrong.
  • Don’t just hire people who think like you do.
  • Know yourself, your capabilities and limitations.
  • Take a personality test – like Myers Briggs and DISC.
  • Seek a partner or employees to cover areas you are not good at.
  • Understand the difference between marketing and sales.
  • Understand the value and pitfalls of social media.
  • Never burn bridges (other than for dishonesty), for what goes around, comes around.
  • Embrace the latest proven technology.
  • Value recurring over onetime revenue.
  • One of your main jobs is to replace yourself.
  • Taking sabbaticals – no one is indispensable.
  • Remember, “Managers do things right, leaders do the right things,” John Maxwell.
  • Keep a balance between work and the rest of your life.