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A common difficulty that business owners face is finding clarity of purpose.
Many underestimate the need for a strategy, and put their businesses at risk. Watch this video to use the 5 key elements an efficient business strategy is comprised of.
Would you rather drive your business blindfolded, or craft the most efficient strategy for it?
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Given a choice, human beings often choose the easiest option. We tend to go for the instant reward or gratification instead of taking a more difficult long-term road. If you are a master procrastinator, I recommend to watch this TED talk by Tim Urban.
It makes sense: why would we take a more complex direction, especially if we are going to experience discomfort along the way? Why would we want to suffer?
"Be the change you want to see in the world" said Gandhi. The truth is profound change will be mentally or physically painful. So instead of resisting it, embrace the pain: it is a sign that you are actually moving into the right direction.
Discipline, day-by-day, month-by-month, one small step after the other, is the tool that will get you through the change process. Do not listen to the voice in your head that says you can't do this: it is lying.
Here are 3 steps you can take to be more disciplined:
PS: The underlying purpose of coaching is to build confidence and show you that your goals can be reached. You are ready to start a conversation? Then book a time with me, and we will discuss how success looks like for you.
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The holiday season is upon us. It is not too late to treat yourself, and your team, with a nice end-of-the year gift, and start 2020 on the right foot.
Below are my book recommendations:
Next books on my reading list: This is Marketing by Seth Godin, The Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters, and Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ by Daniel Goleman.
Take care of yourself
As a CrossFit addict and a CF-L1 Trainer, I must emphasize the importance of exercising regularly. Being healthy and in good physical shape will significantly improve your efficiency at work and at home.
I was not really taking care of myself before I found this sport. It has transformed my life, to the point where I know I am not going back to the previous me. I feel stronger, I am more relaxed, I think sharper, and I work faster.
There is no age to be the fittest version of yourself.
Stop procrastinating and buy yourself a membership for the most suitable physical activity for you, something you can perform minimum 3 times per week. It should not feel like a burden. Instead, it should be the moment to be with yourself, forget everything else, and simply enjoy the challenge.
The secret weapon
I will conclude by the best gift you can reward yourself with: A notebook and a pen! Entrepreneurs' minds are always full of ideas and things to do. Go back to the basics: write them down to get them out of your brain, archive them, and free up mental space for new stuff.
Enjoy the holiday season!
PS: Of course business coaching is an excellent gift to put yourself on the right tracks for the new year. Training courses, in Leadership for example, are a nice way to reward your team while improving their skills. Book a time with me to talk further about it.
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One of my first entrepreneur clients had reached a point where his company was stuck because of a lack of qualified people. Money was no issue, but he was too much involved in operations to take a step back and see the situation. He loved project management and could not resolve to give it up because he thought the customer service quality would suffer.
Both business owners had attained some sort of a plateau, where action was required to start a new growth cycle. They needed a plan, which they could not come up with because they were overwhelmed with day-to-day operations.
Do their stories sound familiar to you?
Entrepreneurs usually have to do everything at the early business stages, and do not necessarily realize that their responsibilities must evolve with growth. Focusing on quality is important, but having a solid structure where people will strive for even better quality is essential. There comes a time where entrepreneurs' role has to switch from doing the work by themselves to building the business under them to do the work. By not letting go, entrepreneurs may become the main bottleneck of their own companies.
I'd like to suggest 3 options to tackle that challenge:
PS: Ready to talk about coaching? Book a time with me and tell me about your issues.
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20 years of working in business management has taught me the importance of mapping out the company’s journey. ⅔ of that time spent in the market research industry has provided me with one key tool: asking questions. Successful entrepreneurs understand their weaknesses and acknowledge they don’t know everything. They know that with the right questions comes the right answers.
Often, we get stuck in a situation because we aren’t asking ourselves the questions that lead to the right answers. This video will provide you with 4 practical steps to help you think clearly and ask the right questions in any situation.
So, are you asking the right questions?
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I am sure you have heard the saying “the shoemaker’s son has no shoes”. That is because shoemakers dedicate their time to repair their customer’s shoes and neglect their own children’s. I have the feeling that the same saying can be applied to the coaching industry: we spend so much time providing clarity to our clients that we forget to clarify what we do. This situation can lead to misunderstandings about what coaching stands for.
A Definition of Coaching
The best definition of coaching I know comes from Timothy W. Gallwey, the author of The Inner Game: “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”
Coaching, regardless of the specialty, focuses on the individuals. It assumes that people already have the answers in them, but sometimes need external help to dig them out. Coaches recognize that the internal obstacles are stronger than the external ones, facilitate the removal of such internal obstacles, and provide guidance to implement remedial actions.
3 Skills Great Coaches Must Hone
Coaching requires a set of specific skills. Below are what I consider the 3 most important ones.
The 4 Phases of Coaching
The coaching process can be divided into 4 stages:
What can you expect from being coached?
Coaches are not advisors, lecturers, teachers or consultants. They act as mirrors, sounding boards or facilitators. If you are hesitating whether you should hire a coach or not, consider the following benefits coaching can provide you with:
We are always better than what we think we are. Coaches help find the way.
PS: Ready to try coaching and see the results by yourself? Then book a free Coaching Discovery Session with me.
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Joakim Achrén is the founder of Elite Game Developers. His passion is to help people build successful games companies. He has been a game's entrepreneur for 15 years, previously founded Next Games, Ironstar Helsinki, and he was an early employee at Supercell.
In his podcast, we discussed tactical and philosophical topics, everything that goes into leadership, company culture, values and taking care of oneself. We also explored why we both believe that CEOs, taking the game industry as an example, should all hire a Business Coach.
Questions that we cover in this episode:
Listen to the podcast now.
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Finding clients can prove to be a tough challenge for many entrepreneurs.
I recently talked to a friend who, after enjoying a long and comfortable period of having projects come to her through referrals, had to go on the road again.Because she was not prepared for such a situation, she was suddenly taken out of her comfort zone, feared rejection, and did not know how to proceed.
Selling is hard, granted. One can easily get discouraged trying to meet prospects who do not necessarily want to see you. Waiting for the phone to ring is an easier option. The problem though, is that you could have the greatest product or service in the world, if the phone does not ring, you have absolutely zero business.
When clients do not come to you, then you need to go to them. They will start coming to you once you have created enough trust so that others recommend your brand. And even then, you need to remember that selling always continues: What you don't do today will impact your business in 6-month's time. Unlike my friend, you should maintain sales activities regardless of your business economic conditions to reduce future risks.
Here are 5 actions you can take today to avoid such a situation tomorrow:
Switch your sales mode on at all times.
PS: Selling is not a one-off event. You need a process to both getting clients and keeping them on board. For instance, how to deliver on your promises, build relationships and close more deals? Assess your selling process efficiency: book a time on the calendar for a free coaching session with me.
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This month I am celebrating my business 2-year anniversary. I thought it would be a tough journey, and it has kept its promises.
Being an entrepreneur is like being on a roller-coaster of emotions. Some days are filled with greatness, others are simply discouraging.
To keep moving forward, I always remind myself the following 2 things:
1. What I do or don't do today will influence my business in 6-month time. I am running a marathon, not a sprint. I need to act, slowly but steady. As Albert Einstein said: "In the middle of every difficulty, lies opportunity"; when I face adversity I ask myself: "What is my opportunity here?" Then I turn the answers into a small plan of concrete actions. Looking for opportunities, rather than staring at the challenges, gives me focus and boost my motivation.
2. I love what I do. I know that coaching and training have a real impact on my clients. I particularly enjoy those "ahaaaa" moments, when they have a breakthrough, learn something new, come up with a brilliant idea, or do something they did not think was possible. I constantly try to reproduce these situations and help my clients become better than what they think they are.
To celebrate this anniversary, I am offering you 2 gifts:
- Read online or download The Entrepreneur Alphabet. It is a guideline for successfully running your business. It lists the 26 words, A to Z, I believe are the most useful for entrepreneurs. Send me your feedback: I'd love to hear the words that inspire you.
- We are often better than what we think we are. Let me show it to you: book a free online Coaching discovery session. Best thing that will happen to you: ending up with your own small plan of concrete actions.
Thank you for your support.
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In a recent training course I was delivering, I remembered this participant writing an email to her boss while her colleagues were brainstorming in a group exercise. I requested her to inform her manager she was in a training. She replied: "My boss knows, this is urgent". What's the point of investing in a training course for your staff and expecting them to be reactive on their emails while they are supposed to be off learning? Internal communication was one of the issues on the training agenda. l let you appreciate the irony of the situation.
I have often heard people complaining that they spend too much time with emailing, or being frustrated because recipients were expecting them to reply faster. How efficient can they be?
I do not think that you assess your people's performance based on the number of emails they read and write every day. Emails should improve communication, but they often create the exact opposite.
You need to implement a process to properly managed emails within your business so that they remain an efficient communication tool.
Here are some good practices you can apply:
No emails are urgent. Use the telephone for emergencies.
PS: Do not wait any further to take action. Book a time with me now to discuss communication efficiency for your business. It's a 100% free real human conversation.