When someone is interested in working with me, I give them the option to do an analysis and report of recommendations before they make a full commitment; this allows them an opportunity to try me out, get a feel for how I work, and taste the process for just a nominal investment.
I also provide different levels and price points for my services to accommodate those with a tighter budget that want to start with a smaller commitment and progress at a slower pace as well as those who prefer to jump right in and hit the ground running.
Ultimately, what I do is remove the risk of uncertainty, help them understand the benefits of hiring an experienced professional, and see the rewards that come with investing their time and money in working with me. Not everyone I speak with becomes my client. I’m not a good fit for everyone. And that’s okay. Anyone needs to choose what’s right for them.
Jeremy: Can you give an example of how you helped a client overcome an obstacle and what the result was?
Catherine: I have a client who started his own business from the ground up several years ago. He’s a very motivated and driven individual and has done well in his business yet he’s operating well below his potential because he is lacking structure and organization. Much of his energy is spent on putting out fires rather than growing his income. He recognized that this was holding him back, so he decided it was time to hire a coach. When we began working together, I analyzed his business; while we found that there are processes that he can implement to run more smoothly, he struggled with connecting with his customers. The first thing we did after completing the analysis was to help him gain clarity around who he is both on a personal level and within his business. We then brought these two pieces together to create a mission statement which he now uses a springboard in which to engage with his customers. His mission statement also acts as the foundation for many other areas in his business such as ensuring his branding and marketing are consistent and offering the appropriate message to his prospective clients. He now has a plan to follow and a mission statement in place so he’s able to effectively focus his efforts in the areas of his business that bring him money.
Jeremy: What was your inspiration for becoming a business coach and consultant?
Catherine: My life experiences have played a big role in what I do today. As a young child, I loved playing office manager, business owner, or teacher with my younger siblings. By the age of ten, I began working to earn my own money through jobs such as housecleaning, babysitting, and newspaper routes. I learned at a young age how to get out there and make things happen. Soon after beginning my college studies I realized I wanted to start my own business so I chose to get my degree in accounting with the intent to eventually open my accounting firm.
Over the past several years I’ve worked in many different areas of business, learning the various aspects of running a business from finance to HR to Accounting. While I’ve enjoyed all of these experiences, I felt I was lacking an ability to make an impact in the world in a way that was meaningful to me. When I succeed, I don’t want to succeed alone – I want to bring others with me. Through several years of searching for that ‘one thing’ that fulfills me and allows me to make a difference for others and by always keeping my options open I discovered it wasn’t an accounting business that I wanted. When I was approached with an opportunity to become a coach, I knew instantly that was the path I wanted to take. As my business has evolved, I’ve realized I get to create it how I choose and I’ve been able to bring together the vast experiences and skills I’ve gained all into one business where I’m able to facilitate and encourage the success of others.
Jeremy: Can you share a lesson that you learned early on that still impacts how you do business today?
Catherine: I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes, which is a big reason why I do what I do. I’ve been in a state of confusion about what steps to take, where to put my focus or how to spend my hard-earned money. I have chased after what many call the “dangling carrot” and have experienced the “shiny object syndrome”. I was wandering all over the place, without a plan, inefficiently spending a lot of money and time without getting the results I wanted. What I found most frustrating about this was that all the programs offered were different yet they all claimed to be the solution and they offered the same program with the same steps to everyone; there was no customization. I didn’t find any that took a look at all my business processes and goals to see the full picture of where I was and where I wanted to be to determine what would be most effective for me. It was unclear how the various pieces fit together and very difficult to know whether or not their program was right for me or if and when it was the right time for me to implement it.
I found that I wasn’t alone in this dilemma.
There’s a big gap that wasn’t being filled, and I wanted to fill it. This is why I offer my clients an analysis as the first step in doing business together. The analysis gives you a structure for determining if a particular program or process fits your needs and if the timing is right to execute it, thus giving you the power to accelerate the progress of your business.
Jeremy: What do you think is the most important question entrepreneurs should be asking themselves as they’re considering working with a coach?