Why I became a business coach…

 

Actually, because my business coach suggested it!

After being a client for around six months in preparation for a (yet another) new business, my business coach said that with my experience – approaching 20 businesses – that I should “consider being on the other side of the desk”.

The other reason was that I had never really been involved in anything other than small business ownership. From a career perspective, I knew (know?) little else.

Yet another reason was the enormous respect I have for people who risk so much to follow an idea, a passion, a lifestyle.

Looking back, I guess it was a fairly natural path to follow.

(Until that point in my business life, I had never considered the use of a business coach. However, my recent experience left me knowing that, while that business had been successful by most yardsticks, I knew that it could have been better – I just could not put my finger on the means to improve it. The principles that became obvious during the coaching process enlightened me. Unfortunately, it was too late for that business – I had sold!)

 

I became accredited to use two different coaching programs within the first five years. As with anything new, I blindly followed the concepts and the manner in which they were made available to clients. And there was nothing wrong with the content – nor the underlying principles. However, it struck me that the process was far too academic – too much reading, too much theory to get through, too much process.

Finally, after I decided that my past and current clients should be surveyed on the matter, the message came through loud and clear: “I don’t want a darned MBA, I just want some tools and support to help me run more efficiently and to grow my business!”

This, and the other responses, led me to the place where I find myself, having produced my own coaching programs directly as a response to client demand. The content of these programs will always be a work-in-progress as new client challenges arise constantly.

 

However, much of the information and knowledge I have gained is based on the work of others; I read daily – blogs, books and articles; I seek out YouTube videos on various topics and I am always asking the opinions of others.

Herein lays the challenge – and no small amount of frustration: the vast majority of this material is written and otherwise produced for the big end of town. Larger corporations and businesses that can afford to have staff take off-site courses; that have the resources to allow people the time to read, digest and implement appropriate strategies; that have whole departments that meet and discuss their business models and their strategic approach.

My interest lies with the emerging business owner – those who do not have the luxury of time or the resources to allocate to investigate new, more effective ways of managing their businesses, so that they can become the best at what they do. What of these people? Where is the help that sorts out the wheat from the chaff, that wades through the overly verbose and gets to the point of what is needed? Hopefully, to an extent, that is my role: to provide meaningful, useful, practical tools based on sound principles tested by business academics, former CEO’s of successful businesses and experts in their fields of specialty.

In this way, I try to be a conduit between the world of big business on the national and international stage and that of the real world of the small business owner convinced of the potential of their burgeoning enterprise.

It seems to work. I have been fortunate enough to have been entrusted by business owners who fell into this category and I have seen them grow and develop, not just as successful business owners, but as individuals, more confident in their lives.

It is actually, a privileged position; one that allows me access to the inner thoughts of business owners; one that contributes to the machinations required to growth an expansion of smaller enterprises; one that sees what happens when a passionate, talented and determined individual transforms knowledge into a business that has a positive influence on its people as well its customer base.

This is why I continue to be a coach for business owners.

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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