The Business Edge Blog

December 20, 2012

The 4 Presents I Would Put Under Your Tree This Christmas

Christmas Presents

If you own or manage a business there are 4 presents that I would put under your Christmas tree this year. Successful business owners would agree that if I could box these up and put them under your tree you would be well on your way to growth and prosperity.

Present  #1: Clarity

Clarity of your Vision, Mission and Values.  A clear vision of who you are, what you are and what you stand for is at the core of every successful business.    Of the four packages under your tree, this present would be the largest one.   It is the foundation upon which everything else in your business is built.   Before you open any other gifts, open this one.   Until you establish clarity for your business it is hard to move forward with a purpose.

Present  #2: Focus

Focus on what matters most. As a business owner you probably feel like you are being pulled in 10 different directions at times.  Once you have clarity you can begin to focus on what is really important and what path you need to be on to reach your goals.  Stopping to analyze if what you are doing is the most important thing for you to be doing at that moment will help you to prioritize and decide which of those directions you are being pulled is the right one to focus on.  Decide what your goals are, then write down the action steps you need to take to get there.  Set achievable goals in terms that you can measure progress along the way.  Define dates for reaching the goal and identify who will be responsible for monitoring progress in a fun way.  Think of the charity’s Christmas stocking thermometer billboard with a clearly defined goal and updating along the way to clearly show what has been achieved and how much more work needs to be done.  Find something that works for your goals.

Present  #3: Momentum

Momentum to achieve your goals. Avalanches start from one small section of snow breaking away from a slope.   Something causes the first section of snow to break away. Focus can be the start of the tremendous growing force in your business.  The focused momentum that you start ignites excitement in your employees and customers and is contagious.

Present  #4: Accountability

Accountability for success. Your fourth present is the one that can sit in the back of the pile and get overlooked.  If you don’t open it and implement it with the other 3 presents, all the presents may as well be packed up with the Christmas ornaments and not be looked at again until next year.  Without accountability, all the gifts and all your work can lose their luster and end up collecting dust on a shelf somewhere as a partially implemented project.  You have great intentions for the year, but without accountability the year flies by and before you know it the Christmas tree is up again and the year is almost over.  This may be where you are right now as 2012 is ending.  Don’t let it happen again in 2013.


As you open the gifts under your tree this year, remember that you can give the biggest gift of all to those that are most important to you – a thriving growing business that fulfills your dreams and theirs and makes a positive impact on the world.

Let me know how I can best help you achieve your dreams for your business in the comments below.


April 10, 2012

1 Thing You Need to Know About Coaching

Business Coaching, Executive Coaching or Retirement Coaching…..

The role of the coach in Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, or Retirement Coaching is always the same.  It’s to help the person being coached see the options ahead of them and to make the best choice from among them.

Like a coach in any individual or team sport, the business coach, executive coach or retirement coach does not jump in and play the game – or jump in and do the work of the person being coached – or tell you exactly what to do.  Sometimes consultants are hired to do that, but not a coach.

Most of my sessions with clients contain an element of brainstorming.  If we are looking at options, we walk down the path of the options that look like the best alternatives.  We talk about the pros and cons of taking that path.  If we hit a roadblock, we back up and take a walk down another option’s path.

It’s all about bringing CLARITY as you look down the alternative paths that lie ahead.  With clarity the unknowns are reduced which in turn reduces the stress of making a decision.

As you look at your business today, what options do you see?  How will you determine which path to follow?  Post your thoughts below and we’ll do some brainstorming together!

June 7, 2011

I Love What I Do

I Love What I Do –

As a Business Coach and Retirement Transition Coach I have the best job in the world!  I love what I do!  I help people achieve their dreams!

Most small business owners and entrepreneurs, get into business because they have a dream of how working for themself will be so much better than working for someone else.  They dream about the lifestyle that their own business will provide; much more easily and much more rewarding than slaving away for someone else.  Sometimes the actual work of running a business gets in the way.  It leads to sleepless nights, no vacations and tight budgets.

I get to meet with business owners over a cup of coffee or tea and relight that flame of passion for their business.  We talk about the problems and brainstorm solutions.  They get to talk out loud about the ideas they have and use me as a sounding board.  I ask the tough questions that they might not have thought of and help them see implementation more clearly.  I get to witness their transformation – the energy level comes back, the eyes light up even if there are dark circles under them – and see them head off with clearer ideas and implementation plans.

I love what I do!

Take a moment and think about what it is you do.  Are you loving it?  Are there changes you can make to rekindle the passion you once had for the work you do?  Let’s talk.  I bet together we can find a way to make the changes you need to make to love what you do once again!

Share your thoughts below.

December 7, 2010

1 Hour to Better Clarity

What can you accomplish in an hour?  Clarity! 

I met with a prospective client over her lunch hour.  She’s working for someone else at a “regular job” while striving to get her small business to become big enough so that she can exit her employment situation.  She has had her small business for a number of years, but it just never seems to get off the ground enough to allow her to make it her full time business.  Sound familiar?  I meet with a lot of people who are in a similar situation.

So we talked.  I asked a lot of questions and she had good answers for many of them.  She really does have a passion for what her own business is and it showed.  In the meantime the “job” pays the mortgage.  I asked her what dollar value of business she would need to book in her own business to feel comfortable leaving her employer.  She thought a while then answered the question.  It’s a little over 75% of what her current pay is.  So, she has a measurable goal.  Great!  Clarity discovered!

I asked who her competition is.  She knew the local competition, and knew how she differs from them.  She has scoped out competitors in the surrounding area and knows what she needs to do to be different from them, and has checked out their websites to know what they charge.  She’s been doing her research.

She knows roughly how much she can make with each project.  It’s a big range from helping out for a day all the way to being involved for months, and her income can be 5 times as much.  So she has a start on developing packages.  People like to have options, and developing packages helps them to quickly determine what you have that fits their needs. 

She has done some marketing – having a booth in trade shows.  She has some materials for those shows – brochures and giveaways.  What I gleaned is that there is nothing that makes her booth stand out from any other booth at the show.  Need work here.  She has gathered names and needs at these trade shows.  What has happened to them?  Follow-up is the issue, and doing so without feeling “salesey”.  We talked about how she can ask permission to check back in with her prospects and not feel like a used car salesperson.

She has a website, but no blog.  Having a website without attracting people to it is not the most effective use of that resource.  Need some work here.  She agreed to find something in her professional experience that would help her prospective clients even if they did not choose to work with her.  She agreed to find a Top 10 list to share – for free- with anyone who visited her website.

I noticed it was almost time to end the meeting.  She needed to get back to her job.  I asked her what the top 3 things were that would help her to move forward in her business and what she would commit to do in each of the areas.  She named the areas; a follow-up system to deal with the names and information she collects at trade shows, improving the look of her trade show booth so that people would be attracted to her booth and the visit would be memorable, and developing strategic alliances with other professionals who serve the same clients.  She stated her commitments; develop a spreadsheet to track the information from the trade shows, improve the look of the booth with the ideas we talked about and commit to being in a trade show with the new look by year end, and meeting wtih 8 strategic alliance partners before the trade show where they might also be.  We talked about cross-marketing with those alliances at the show – they have her card in their booth and she has theirs in hers to show that they work well together as a team.

Whew!  That’s what we accomplished in the first hour.  And, the first hour is complimentary.  She was kind enough to pay for my lunch.  Thank you.

I asked her if she found value in our meeting.  What do you think she said?  And at our next meeting as a paying client we’ll work on her 2011 Marketing Calendar! 

She is phyched!  The next few steps to reach her dream in her own business and eventually replace her current “job” are clearer.  Ah clarity!

Ready to move forward with your business?  Let’s talk!

July 27, 2010

The Top 5 Benefits of Working With a Business Coach

A popular question prospects ask when considering hiring a business coach is…..”What will I get from working with you?” 

The following Top 5 Benefits are taken directly from comments made by my clients on what they have received from coaching together.

First – Clarity.  We take the time to create an image of your ideal business situation.  Who is your ideal client?  How many do you need?  Where can you find them?  Once things are defined we know where we are going.  It’s not just putting out fires and working hard each day, it’s working toward something we can envision.

Second – Values.  What are your values?  Can you actually write them down? The most successful business owners incorporate their values throughout all they do, including their business interactions.  Once you articulate your values you can instill them in your business and if you have employees, ensure they conduct business the way you would.    

Third – Goal Setting.  What are your goals?  Are they to grow your business, improve profits, or ready your business for sale as your exit strategy?  Once you know your goals, you know where to focus.    

Fourth – Milestones.  How do you get from where your business is today to where you’d like it to be?  In achieving most goals there are steps to take along the way.  These are called Milestones.  They are the stepping stones to get to the ultimate goal.  When you know the next milestone, you know more preciously where to step when options, distractions and detours are placed in front of you.

Fifth – Balance.  My clients tell me they acheive better Balance in their work and in their life.  I can see they are less stressed.  They know what they want to achieve, they know what their values are which guide them in their decision making, they have set goals, they know the next step to take, and they sleep better.  Priorities are in line.  I see them relax and enjoy work and life more.

Do any of these resonate with you?  I’d be happy to talk to you about your issues and how business coaching may be a benefit.

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