Coaching For Entrepreneurs Transcript


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A new study sponsored by The Entrepreneur’s Source finds 5 universal reasons why businesses fail no matter what their size. They are:

* Poor financial management
* Mismanagement of human capital
* Pursuit of projects that are incompatible with resources and capabilities
* Underperforming sales people
* Lack of communications leadership.

On this show Tom interviews guests who have successfully guided entrepreneurs in the past, focusing on how coaches can help entrepreneurs overcome their blind spots, see the big picture and improve their overall performance.


* Andrea Garfield, Entrepreneur, Advisor, and Coach

* Patricia Kelly, President and CEO, Limerick

* Terry Powell, Founder and CEO, The Entrepreneur Source

* Paul Williams, Strategist, Business Consultant, and Coach


A 2004 report by the Small Business Administration (SBA) on Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century found that small businesses will play a major role in shaping this century’s economic landscape. However, according to a 2005 report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 45%
of new independent business ventures fail within two years of opening.

Many of us have dreams of running our own businesses and taking more control of our destinies – but what does it take to be successful?

And how can coaches who specialize in entrepreneurial development and growth help us realize our dreams?

Our guests discuss how coaches can guide entrepreneurs in both running their businesses and dealing with the challenges that come up along the way.

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Coaching For Entrepreneurs Transcript

  1. 1. Insight on Coaching Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: Insight Educational Consulting Ubiqus Reporting (IEC)
  2. 2. 00:28 Tom Floyd Hello everyone and welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, flavors and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I’m Tom Floyd; I’m the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting and your host for today’s show. Well this week our topic is Coaching for Entrepreneurs. We’ll talk about everything from the challenges that many entrepreneurs face as they’re starting out to how coaches can help them tackle these challenges and how coaches can work with entrepreneurs to achieve their goals while making sure they don’t throw their businesses, or for that matter their lives out of balance. With me to explore this topic are four guests, Andrea Garfield, Patricia Kelly, Terry Powell and Paul Williams. Let me give you a quick overview of each of their backgrounds. Andrea Garfield is an entrepreneur and adviser to business creators. Through her own consulting practice and as a program leader and entrepreneurial coach with the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Management Development for Entrepreneurs Program, Andrea has worked successfully with hundreds of entrepreneurs to help take their companies to the next level. Andrea and her companies have been featured in Fortune’s Small Business magazine, the Los Angeles Times and on CNN. Welcome to the show, Andrea. 01:35 Andrea Thank you for having me. Garfield 01:36 Tom Floyd Our next guest, Patricia Kelly, is the President and CEO of Limerick Incorporated, a privately owned company located in Burbank, California which she started in 1992 with her daughter. Limerick provides a company-sponsored workplace lactation program for women returning to work after giving birth, as well as related products. Since Limerick’s opening Kelly has appeared on CNN and NBC and in many newspapers for both nutrition interviews and for her workplace lactation program. Welcome to the show Patricia. 02:03 Patricia Kelly Thank you. 2 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 2 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  3. 3. 02:04 Tom Floyd Terry Powell is the founder and CEO of The Entrepreneur Source. The Entrepreneur Source is a global coaching and advisory firm with over 275 franchisees assisting people to find self-sufficiency through business ownership. Terry also created, now the Google of the franchise world which is fast becoming the Internet’s leading resource for franchise and business opportunities. Welcome to the show Terry. 02:29 Terry Powell Thank you Tom. 02:30 Tom Floyd And our last guest, Paul Williams. is a strategist, business consultant and coach based in South Florida. Since 1989 he has coaches over 1,000 entrepreneurs in financial, manufacturing and technology industries. He has senior management experience in finance, manufacturing and marketing industries and has been published in Million Dollar Practice and Registered Rep. Welcome to the show Paul. 02:51 Paul Williams Thank you Tom. 02:51 Tom Floyd Well to set the stage I want to start today’s conversation by reviewing some statistics that our research team pulled. The U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, says that in 2006, new business start ups totaled 671,800. In a Report on Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century published in March 2004, the SBA also noted that Small businesses will play a major role in shaping the 21st century’s economic landscape. They account for half of the U.S. non farm private gross domestic product, and employ half of the U.S. private work force Over the past decade, small firms have provided 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs in the economy However ,according to a 2005 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 45% percent of new independent business ventures fail within 2 years of opening. Andrea, I’d like to start with you. Can you set the stage for us, how true are these statistics ringing to you? 3 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 3 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  4. 4. 04:02 Andrea Well I’ve done a little research on this as well and it’s really interesting when you—I Garfield don’t know this report exactly but I’ve read some other reports. And when you look at the fine print of how the research is actually done, they count businesses that change their names or that merge or go through some other type of change as technically out of business. So I think that sometimes the statistic on failed businesses are a little bit misleading because I don’t think that every study is—I think the number are kind of high for shock value at times and some of them may be true. But I think that it depends on how the study is done. 04:48 Tom Floyd So it’s like they’re painting a grimmer picture and that’s not what the reality might actually be. 04:51 Andrea Yes. Sometimes that is true so I’m not sure about this study. Garfield But it is true that many business owners who are launching new ventures do get in over their heads and there are certainly a lot of challenges to running your own businesses, as I’m sure everyone here knows, and a lot of our listeners do as well. 05:08 Tom Floyd Did it surprise you to hear things like—this certainly surprised me, in a good way, it was something that made me smile, especially as a business owner myself, is that small businesses employ half of the US private workforce? 05:23 Andrea That’s not really that surprising to me. I think it’s wonderful and I think it shows how Garfield important small business is in the US and how important it is to grow these companies to employ more people and really grow and strengthen our economy here. It really relates to the topic of the show. And coaching is so important as it can help these companies grow and reach their potential and be a big part of what’s going on in US business. 05:51 Tom Floyd Yes, absolutely. Patricia, tell us a little bit about your experience starting Limerick in 1992. Did you ever think in your wildest dreams that you’d be running your own company? 4 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 4 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  5. 5. 06:04 Patricia Kelly Yes and no. I always wanted to but never thought I, to be honest with you, would have the nerve to do it. And then I just looked at what I wanted and figured if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t know. So I think what surprised me more was going into manufacturing because I had no clue as to what that involved. And it was my CPA who encouraged me to go forward with this because we had so much information on products from the mothers in our workplace lactation program that that was the most challenging part for me. But after I got into it I just really enjoyed it immensely. 06:47 Tom Floyd What were some of the steps you took to overcome some of those challenges and fear around manufacturing for example? Going into a completely new area, I can imagine how scary that was. 06:59 Patricia Kelly Well I was fortunate enough to have friends that were employed at large medical manufacturing companies. And they just took me on a tour of their company which gave me a feel for what that was like. But I think overcoming my fear was just not looking at the big picture, it was just taking small baby steps. And as I went through the process and look back, I thought “okay, I can do this.” And every step I took just validated that I could do what we had to do to start the manufacturing company. Then I was lucky enough to find some good employees who knew a little bit more than I did. 07:44 Tom Floyd So it was really letting yourself not get overwhelmed by the big picture and focusing on smaller, accomplishable tasks. In other words, learning your way along the way. 07:56 Patricia Kelly Exactly right. When I first looked at the big picture I got overwhelmed. But then when I just broke it down to the first step it just makes life a little bit easier for me to see that I could do this. And as the success—you build on successes, basically is what it was. 5 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 5 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  6. 6. 08:14 Tom Floyd I want to build a bit upon the statistic while taking into consideration Andrea’s point that it could be painted a little more grim than it actually is. But the statistic around a significant portion of new business ventures failing within two years of operation. A recent study by the Entrepreneur Source found that five universal reasons why businesses fail regardless of what their size is, included poor financial management, mismanagement of human capital, pursuit of projects that are incompatible with resources and capabilities, underperforming sales people and lack of communication with leadership. Terry, I want to turn to you next. These are the results of a study or a survey done by your organization. Can you walk us through each of these a little bit, highlighting what you did. Some of the information and scenarios behind each one? 09:14 Terry Powell Thank you Tom. Yes. Well we did the study because we were very entrenched in the B2B coaching and advisory aspect of our business. We spent six years doing our own research. And what we found in working with so many, literally thousands and thousands of small to medium sized business owners is that although they all felt that their own particular issues and problems were unique, there were common threads. And then we hired an independent research firm just in the last year and a half to see whether our research was valid. And they really came back with these five key areas what we like to call the five top dangers that affect over 90% of all small to medium sized businesses. Quite frankly until these five areas are addressed and a process and system is put into place to manage these, nothing else really matters from the standpoint of customizable solutions or in depth evaluations of their business and so forth. So either now—[Interposing) 10:13 Tom Floyd Are any of those listed more painful than others? For example when I see underperforming sales people for example, I can tell you from my own experience as a small business owner, that sales is probably one of the most critical, if not the most important factor than can really sail or sink a new business. Are there any like that that are particularly painful, or the most painful or critical? 6 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 6 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  7. 7. 10:42 Terry Powell Well I would say that you hit on the key one. Obviously sales and marketing of a business model or a business venture is the key element. Volume cures a lot of ills and a lot of the other factors that will come up behind underperforming sales and sales management or marketing strategies will just lead into the other problems that we talked about in the top five. So if you can drive revenues and you can continue to market yourself and be competitive and you have a good understanding of the human capital associated with your sales and marketing team. And you can leverage that, that’s going to over come a lot of the problems that lead to the lack of success or more importantly, as Andrea pointed out, although it may not be quite as high as it’s cast to be, where businesses fail to be able to operate ongoing. 11:32 Tom Floyd And when people are typically starting out their own businesses, do sales and marketing skills tend to come naturally for people, or are those newer skills for most folks? 11:43 Terry Powell It varies tremendously. Most people make the drastic mistake of going into their own business because of their own technical skills or their background or interest or love of a particular product or service or industry. And then they go into business only to find that being the technician day in and day out doesn’t give them the opportunity to pay attention to some of the entrepreneurial skill sets that are in force— 12:06 Tom Floyd Got it. So they’re really starting based on their backgrounds and expertise. 12:10 Terry Powell Exactly. 12:11 Tom Floyd Okay. Well let’s go ahead and go on pause. I’m hearing the music for our first commercial break. Stay tuned everyone, more from Insight Coaching when we get back. 7 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 7 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  8. 8. 15:05 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I’m Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Coaching for Entrepreneurs. With me are Andrea Garfield, entrepreneur and program leader and coach with the UCLA Anderson School of Management's Management Development for Entrepreneurs Program, Patricia Kelly, President Limerick, Inc., Terry Powell, Founder and CEO, The Entrepreneur’s Source &, and Paul Williams, President, E Odyssey, Inc. Well for those of you just joining us, in the first part of our show we talked about five reasons why businesses can fail. And just to recap real quickly what those were, they were poor financial management, mismanagement of human capital, pursuit of projects that are incompatible with the resources and capabilities, underperforming sales people and lack of communication with leadership. I’d like in this next segment to spend some time talking about how a coach who specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs can really help with each of these. And let’s go ahead and start with poor financial management. Now Paul, you’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs. Have you coached them through financial crises or situations where the way money was getting managed or other things like that had just gotten out of hand? What were some of the actions that you took in that scenario? 8 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 8 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  9. 9. 16:23 Paul Williams Well I’ve certainly seen it many times. I think part of the problem is, and Terry made the comment that a lot of people get into their own business because they have the particular technical skill and they think that that’s the key to having their own business. And then they get into it and realize that there’s more to it than that. What I have found is that in the area of financial management, most of the people or let’s say a lot of the people have no fundamental understanding of accounting or how to read a financial statement. And so what happens is months will go by and they haven’t looked at their monthly financials to find out are they doing better, are they improving, what areas are a problem. So one of the things that I get people to do is to say “okay in each of our monthly reviews, and certainly our quarterly reviews, let’s look at the financial statements. Let’s see what the financial statements are telling us” and can they relate those numbers on that sheet to what is actually happening in their business. The other thing that I think is a part of that is understanding, for example, how do you use a program like QuickBooks to say here’s how you can—even though you may not be entering the data, I wouldn’t expect the entrepreneur to be entering the data, but being able to look at the data and click and expand and say what is this telling me and being able to derive some meaning from the numbers that are on that screen or on that P and L. 18:00 Tom Floyd Well it’s funny you used QuickBooks as an example. When I first started IEC, my business, in 2001, QuickBooks was overwhelmingly overwhelming, to use the word twice, for me. Like just going through it, looking at the numbers and things like that. I can remember I was like “wow, wow. I haven’t quite used a program quite like this before.” 18:19 Paul Williams. One little anecdote story, I had one situation where it was a partnership; it was a husband and wife team. The wife was supposedly the bookkeeper but apparently didn’t know bookkeeping. She was using QuickBooks. She would create an invoice for a sale. When the money came in she would create a cash sale. And what would happen is they had this huge, obviously, unreconciled receivables and sales that were almost 60% bigger than they really were. 18:45 Tom Floyd Oh no! 9 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 9 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  10. 10. 18:47 Paul Williams And this couple couldn’t sleep because they could not make their Quick Books reconcile with their bank statement. And I spent an entire day with them going through, because I was trying to figure out what had gone wrong, and yet there was a perfect example of how they probably could have spent $1,000 to get some instruction and training on how to use the program and some basic accounting understanding. And instead they didn’t do it because they didn’t want to spend the $1,000. And instead ended up with several weeks, if not months, of high anxiety because they really didn’t know where they stood. 19:26 Tom Floyd And I can tell you the stuff in that scenario - I so outsourced that. I realized looking at that, I thought “you know what, I bet I can find somebody who will deal with my QuickBooks file for me and keep it up to date each month.” And my god did I sleep better after that. 19:38 Paul Williams Oh yeah. And I think the key here is, to your point, outsource it. I don’t think anybody, and I think I said it earlier, I don’t think anybody who’s an entrepreneur should be entering the data. But be able to be conversant and comfortable with going in and looking at it and then saying “okay, here are the numbers, what do they mean?” 19:57 Tom Floyd Got it. Andrea, anything that you would add around the theme of poor financial management in terms of a challenge that small business owners or entrepreneurs in general are struggling with? 10 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 10 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  11. 11. 20:08 Andrea Yes I would definitely echo that “outsource it” sentiment. Garfield I think of all the things that entrepreneurs tend to struggle with, financial management tends to be right up there. But it is also important to remember that even though you’re going to outsource it you need to have tools that you can use, that you are comfortable with. So if you do have an outside bookkeeper or accountant or whatever you use, work with them to develop reports that will help you to run your business properly. Figure out what the key drivers of your business are and key metrics and ratios and things like that. Where you can look at one sheet of paper every week and figure out what’s going on with your company. Because the numbers do tell a very important story. So I think just because you’re not creating all those numbers every week doesn’t mean that they’re not very useful to you. You want to make sure you know what’s going on. And then a second part of that would be to make sure that those numbers are being checked by somebody else. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and I’ve been hearing a lot of stories lately about entrepreneurs who are taken advantage of by people who are running their books. And if they’re not keeping an eye on things it can get a little out of control. And lots of people have had a lot of money taken from them. 21:23 Tom Floyd That sounds scary. 21:24 Andrea Yes. Garfield 21:24 Tom Floyd Can you give us a few examples of what you mean by folks getting taken advantage of? 21:28 Andrea Well I think the stories that I’ve heard really range all over the place. Garfield Some of them were bookkeepers that had worked for them for many, many years and people that they trusted completely. And they never even checked the work that was going on. And sometimes there was a personal crisis, the bookkeeper had gone through and borrowed a little bit of money and then they borrowed a little bit more money and then— 11 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 11 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  12. 12. 21:53 Tom Floyd Yikes. 21:53 Andrea Suddenly millions of dollars were disappearing from these companies. Garfield And it was a really scary thing, particularly from an entrepreneur who was working with someone that they felt was a partner in their business and that they really trusted, that they’d given a lot of help to and just really helped to get the company off the ground over the years. So having that second person like a CPA or somebody else checking things periodically is very important. Making sure that the entrepreneur themselves is getting in there with that weekly report, checking things, looking at them, trying to understand them and asking a lot of questions. And I think that’s what it comes down to. Ask a lot of questions, try to figure things out, you don’t have to be a financial genius but you have to get involved and do what you can and get help. 22:40 Tom Floyd Got it. 22:40 Andrea Like Paul said, you can get training relatively inexpensively. Garfield Don’t reinvent the wheel. Get help from people who have done it before you. 22:48 Tom Floyd Got it. Yes, I’m definitely nodding a lot on this end of that. Moving onto one of the other themes, the one around pursuit of projects that are incompatible with the resources and capabilities. Patricia, from your perspective, how do you know when a project is the wrong project, so to speak? Or the wrong endeavor for your organization? 12 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 12 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  13. 13. 23:11 Patricia Kelly Well I think I’m very focused on what we do which is the workplace lactation program. And so most of our products that we develop are based on the input that we receive from our mothers in the program. Because they send us their comments after they end the program and they’ll tell us what they think we need to do next, which we look at. And if we feel it’s right, we do it. But I don’t make the decision independently. It usually is a group decision. And it’s usually anything that has to do with breastfeeding that will enhance the mother’s ability to do this and make it easy for them. 23:59 Tom Floyd So it’s actually looking at the requirements from your customer in this case and saying “okay this would match what I’m hearing from the people who are buying my product.” 24:07 Patricia Kelly Exactly. Everything we did is based on input from our marketplace basically. 24:13 Tom Floyd Got it. 24:13 Patricia Kelly So we’re pretty sure that we’re in the right direction. And we test everything before we even make a prototype and put it out for the mothers to test to see if this is something they would want before we go too far. 24:26 Tom Floyd What about if it’s an external project. Let’s say you’ve got a vendor who comes to you and says, “hey I have a great product. I help businesses just like yours and I think you should consider it.” Is it the same thing? Do you look at that and say “does this help get some of the issues and things we’re trying to address with our customers?” How do you handle situations like that? 13 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 13 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  14. 14. 24:47 Patricia Kelly We just started something like that. And it was a person that our marketing people knew and they called us in and showed us the product. We tested it with our mothers in the workplace. It worked beautifully. And so we did take it on but the marketing department really helps us. It’s almost like what Terry says, when you go into a business, you do what you think you know best. And marketing is not, I mean I think I know my area of marketing. I think every entrepreneur needs help in that area with the marketing because there’s more to marketing than just getting a product. It’s the branding, how you’re going to put it out there. Where’s the marketplace? And you have to look at whether the investment is worth what you’re going to be getting on the return. 25:42 Tom Floyd Absolutely. Terry, how would you counsel an entrepreneur who might be pursuing the wrong project so to speak? 25:49 Terry Powell That’s a great question. Yes, the key here is when you look at the five dangers that we’ve outlined several times here on the program, what we have to understand is that as coaches we need to help entrepreneurs understand that basically 20% to 40% of the areas that need to be addressed in the five dangers, most entrepreneurs have some skill sets or comfort level with. The other 60% to 80% of those areas, they don’t have skill sets. They don’t have backgrounds or enough information to become comfortable with it. So they tend to avoid it. The key in the coaching process is to get entrepreneurs to look beyond their blind spots. In terms of the pure sense of coaching, it is really geared to helping people see things that they don’t typically see on their own. When you’re talking about projects and incompatibility with resources and capabilities, in almost every case where I’ve been coaching entrepreneurs, if they look at the project based on their own internal resources and capabilities, financial resources and capabilities from a human capital standpoint, the projects are the wrong projects. The key is to help them understand how to insource and outsource, and leverage resources and capabilities so they can do a Blue Sky project. 14 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 14 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  15. 15. 27:01 Tom Floyd Okay. Well let’s go ahead and go on pause; I’m hearing the music for our next commercial break. Stay tuned everyone. More Insight on Coaching and Coaching for Entrepreneurs when we return. 30:26 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching. I’m Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Coaching for Entrepreneurs. And with me are Andrea Garfield, Patricia Kelly, Terry Powell and Paul Williams. Well I’d like to continue our conversation today by talking a little bit about the pressures and stress that some entrepreneurs may experience as they venture into their new business. In an article from Fortune Small Business from this past April 1, 2007, cites the annoying habits of entrepreneurs, including how “entrepreneurs, almost by definition, are obsessed with achieving their goals.” In interviewing executive coaches on that matter, one expert said, “Entrepreneurs kill themselves, literally. Their health goes straight to hell. For what? You have to find balance.” Now that was certainly one that I smiled at when I read and not necessarily in a good way. Because you know balance as a business owner for me has certainly come into play many times throughout my career over the past six years running my own business. I definitely want to talk about this a little bit more. I want to start by addressing the point the article makes about entrepreneurs being obsessed with achieving their goals, first. Andrea, what’s been your experience with this? Is this something that you’ve seen? 31:49 Andrea I think it’s a positive thing. Garfield And I wouldn’t say obsessed as much as focused on reaching their goals because if you’re not focused and you’re not sort of consumed at some point with reaching your goals then you’re just going to be another person who thinks about starting their own business and then sort of just resigns themselves to having a corporate job. Like Terry spoke about, a lot of people are very, very interested in being in control of their own lives but when they find out that they have to be self-employed they might not be as interested. So I think having that focus and having that drive is the key part to actually becoming an entrepreneur. And making it through a lot of the tough things that everyone goes through. 15 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 15 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  16. 16. 32:36 Tom Floyd When is there a point though when that clearly gets out of hand? I mean when you find yourself, and I hope I’m not making myself sound like the most unhealthy person in the world saying this, but those points where you are at Sunday brunch with friends or family and you’re sitting there thinking, “okay I’ve got to get back really fast. I have to do this, this, this and this. Yes. I’ve got that meeting on Wednesday and I have to get that done.” 33:00 Andrea Yes. I see that a lot with the entrepreneurs that I work with. Garfield Both the management development for Entrepreneurs Program that I work with through UCLA, Anderson, as well as my own consulting practice, we focus on entrepreneurs that are in a growth phase. Maybe they’ve been a mom and pop sized company for a while and now they’re starting to become a professionally managed organization and really grow. What we se a lot of at that point are people who can’t put their Blackberry down. They’re working 100 hours a week. They never see their families. And it’s really difficult for them. And a lot of what’s involved with that is again what Terry spoke about, technical people who get involved with something that they’re very good at and then they continue to try to do that technical part of the business while also having to run the business which is another full-time or more job. So they’re trying to do everything. And a company will only grow so much while the entrepreneur is trying to do everything. At some point they need to step back, they need to create a strategy for growth and getting themselves out of doing every little thing. Delegate some of that work, focus on running the company and that’s when the company’s really going to grow. And I’m sure that there are a lot of coaching techniques associated with getting people’s heads out of the sand and realizing that they’re missing their lives. But another aspect of that is showing them what they can achieve if they create a strategy, in little pieces, and helping them to let go of parts of the company. And they can see what will happen and they will see what it’s like to get their lives back. And we’ve had a lot of really great success stories with people who have emerged from that obsession and have been really successful. 34:45 Tom Lloyd Excellent. Patricia, as an entrepreneur yourself, are issues like this some of the things you’ve faced? And if so, what steps have you taken to deal with them? 16 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 16 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  17. 17. 34:58 Patricia Kelly I think every entrepreneur does face them. And then what I did was I went to UCLA, Anderson School of Management Development for Entrepreneurs. And it was easy for me to let go. I was ready for that. I think the key is to know that you can let go and that your company will survive if you have the right people in place. And I did have the right people in place. It was just a matter of me saying “okay you know your job, just do it” and let go of it. The other thing I found too and this is not something that anybody mentioned yet, was, my background is in dietetics and so I think eating healthy and I also exercise daily which relieves a lot of stress for me is the exercise portion. So I think it’s important to go to a school like UCLA, Anderson School of Management, and to take care of yourself and to trust that you have hired the right people, and to keep an eye on things so you know you have the right people. Let them come to you. Keep your doors open so that if they have an issue or are not sure of something— 36:12 Tom Floyd Well I’m really glad you mentioned the exercise piece. That’s something that I learned myself as an entrepreneur. If I don’t get that in, I mean I am nasty. My mood noticeably changes. I’m a bear to work with. I don’t sleep as well. And there’s times a day or so will go by where I won’t be able to and that drives me nuts. But you’re right, it has such a big impact on mood and motivation and things like that. I’ve realized getting that workout in is just as important as getting that deadline met. 36:47 Patricia Kelly It truly is. I have my exercise equipment at home. So that makes life easy for me so I don’t have to run to a gym. But exercise for me let’s my mind relax and the tension comes out and actually I get new ideas when I’m exercising. 37:02 Tom Floyd Yes. 37:03 Patricia Kelly Problems that I was trying to figure out, it’s just like the answer comes real easy then. 17 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 17 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  18. 18. 37:07 Tom Floyd I have somebody in my social circle actually who owns her business and there’s times we’ll go hiking together. We’ll get up at 6:00 o’clock in the morning and get exercise in that way, and talk, and I find that gives me fuel for the fire in terms of new ideas. 37:27 Patricia Kelly Well anything outside does that, I think you have to just take a look around and stop and smell the roses. 37:33 Tom Floyd Literally! 37:38 Tom Floyd Paul, what are some of the symptoms or signs that new entrepreneurs should watch for in terms of their business really starting to take a toll on their health? 37:49 Paul Williams Short temper, frustration, high level of anxiety, not sleeping, manifestations of attention deficit, I think all of those. 38:04 Tom Floyd As a coach, how do you get some entrepreneurs to recognize some of these things when they might not see it themselves? 38:26 Paul Williams Well you’re right. It is a sensitive subject. I think that what I have found is that, and I think Patricia and Andrea have said similar things, is that people end up trying to do too many things. And so one of the questions that I’ll ask people is “okay what are we trying to accomplish here. What’s the overall objective?” And then let’s stratify what some of the tasks are that need to be done to accomplish this. And then saying to the entrepreneur, “okay now, of all these tasks, which are the ones that you’re good at. And which are the ones which we ought to farm out or delegate to somebody else. And what are we going to do to give you some alternate experience. Some exercise, some relaxation, some rejuvenation time, to take your mind off all of these things?” And I think that, I mean, I’ve had an experience once where a fellow was working 80 hours a week and was not accomplishing what he wanted to and when we sat down and talked it through and said here’s what was really important to accomplish in the next 90 days. And then one of the things I threw in there was that the first thing you need to do is take a long weekend vacation. And he looked at me like I was an idiot. And I said “trust me, if you will just take this 18 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 18 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  19. 19. time and detox and relax and rejuvenate, some of the things that you’re trying to accomplish will come into focus.” As Patricia said, she sometimes goes off and does some exercise and some answers will come to her almost subconsciously. And I think getting people to say “wait a minute, step away from the issue.” What are you trying to accomplish? What are you good at? And then let’s build some balance into your schedule going forward. People don’t need to taste too much of that to realize “you know what, that works.” 40:32 Tom Floyd Well for some people, it’s not just step away from the issue, it’s like step away from the Blackberry for gods sakes. 40:36 Paul Williams Yes that’s true. Very true. 40:39 Tom Floyd I’m a big advocate of the enneagram tool that I’ve gotten introduced to actually on this show. We had several folks bring it up. Gosh it was in our second season that it came up and ever since I have loved the enneagram as a self-realization tool. And when you go through it, I’ve been through the first 25% of their certification. And when you go they take your laptop, your cell phone, everything from you. And man I was like crying. They took that away from me. 41:03 Tom Floyd I was like a little kid fighting over his blocks getting taken. And it took me—I was resentful for several hours. I was angry that I didn’t have that stupid piece of equipment. And then halfway through the day it was like “god this is great.” I mean it was completely freeing. It felt wonderful. 41:15 Paul Williams Yep. 41:17 Tom Floyd Terry, anything that you would add? 19 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 19 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  20. 20. 41:19 Terry Powell Yes actually, Tom, I think I’d like to go back to the point you talked about at the beginning of the topic was the entrepreneurs being obsessive. And I think one thing we need to make sure we understand is that it’s not all business owners or entrepreneurs. And those that are true entrepreneurs, the rest being technicians, really are passionate to the point of obsession about what they’re doing. And the thing that we help coach entrepreneurs on, or people who are business owners who think they’re entrepreneurs, they’re technicians trying to mask themselves as entrepreneurs, is to surround themselves with an entrepreneurial team. And to realize that business is all about results. And they’re not going to be able to balance all of the items that they need to do, no matter how obsessive or how passionate they are about their business. They’re just basically, the good majority of the business owners are technicians that are avoiding entrepreneurial tendencies and uncomfortable with the entrepreneurial elements of running a successful business in today’s economy. 42:16 Tom Floyd Well I can think of one client that I have, actually, there’s three people that founded it and it’s obvious which one is like that. There’s one who’s the mastermind behind the operation, the technical genius. Literally meetings head down, laptop open the entire time, not even speaking. The other two are the ones that have completely different focuses, one on customer services, one all about strategy and marketing. I think it seems to be a good balance of them really playing to each others’ strengths in doing that too. 42:45 Terry Powell That kind of equated to today in business being the entrepreneur or business owner, it’s sort of like the gentleman in the circus trying to spin as many plates as he can at the same time and keep them spinning. And that’s what it becomes, trying to keep up in today’s business environment as an entrepreneur or business owner. And involving other people and helping coach entrepreneurs to develop good teams and to have those good human resource capitals available to be able to draw into the business. 43:12 Tom Floyd In the meantime you’ve got an elephant standing behind you and you’ve got to make sure the lions are all in their cages too. Well let’s go ahead and go on pause. Our next commercial break is coming up. Stay tuned everyone. More on Coaching for Entrepreneurs when we return. 20 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 20 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  21. 21. 45:56 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching. I’m Tom Floyd. For those of you just getting tuned in today, today’s topic is Coaching for Entrepreneurs. I’d like to spend the last segment of our show talking a little bit about how coaches can help entrepreneurs build a more solid social networks for support. Going back to some research that our research team pulled up, according to’s Brad Sugars, who writes in his Entrepreneur Column “Startup Basics”: “The most common mistake people make when starting a business is trusting their gut too often. Not that instincts aren’t important; they’re essential. But it’s even more important to talk out your ideas, your trouble points and your opportunities with skilled individuals. Often, just the process of explaining a situation to someone else will spark alternatives that can give you a new perspective. Discuss, listen carefully and then go with your gut.” According to MSNBC this past week (August 22, 2007), a recent study by Intuit, working with the Institute for the Future, found that small business owners and entrepreneurs, peers helping peers is on the rise. With an increase in social networking, it’s much easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to find each other and get help. With business networking sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo, Ryze and more, it’s much easier to get help from your peers or a coach. Turning to our panel today, and the first question to get to the first data point, are many entrepreneurs trusting their gut instincts too much and not bouncing ideas off enough people first? Terry, you’d started to get in a conversation a little bit about this. Can you talk about that a little bit more? 47:31 Terry Powell Yes, absolutely. I would agree that most business owners and entrepreneurs tend to trust their gut a little too much. And sometimes because they’re so focused on the—really what they want to do is become comfortable with the kind of ideas and thought processes that validate why they did what they did, is they trade off good reasoning and good business practices for that comfort level. So it really is crucial that as you’re coaching entrepreneurs, it really becomes more of a discovery process of helping them discover their blind spots and realizing that it’s not for them to be the all encompassing answer for everything. And how to start to bring in mentors and embrace training and have advisors that they work with closely, develop that sort of director influence in their business early on. And draw in some of those resources so they can get beyond some of those limitations. That their desire to be comfortable and stay within their own background and knowledge as a technician will drive them to do. 21 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 21 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  22. 22. 48:34 Tom Floyd Andrea and Patricia, anything that you would add? 48:38 Andrea I would say that in my personal experience, I’ve had a lot of success and gotten a lot Garfield of support from peer groups both sort of informal and organized. There are groups like the Entrepreneur’s Organization, The Young President’s Organization, Vistage, and other groups which have been around for a long time. And they’re focused on the idea that as an entrepreneur or as a business owner, you don’t have as many peers as someone else might because there just aren’t as many people around and the challenges that you go through are very unique, both personally like how do you deal with your personal life and who do you talk to when you have hundreds of employees as well as some of the technical business challenges that you go through. So these groups were created to provide a framework for learning from each other and interacting and sharing ideas and supporting each other and creating structures and accountability. And I think that they’re absolutely wonderful. I don’t think they’re necessarily a substitute for a coach. I myself am involved in some of these groups and I have a coach myself. But they’re definitely a great way to learn from people who have come before you and just the shared experiences on current issues that other people are struggling with. It provides a lot of comfort to people and it provides a lot of help and expertise that we all seek. 50:01 Tom Floyd You know, that’s actually something that one of my coaches had suggested to me as well. In terms of really telling entrepreneurs out there in our audience, some good examples of places to really go to form some of those relationships and networks. The study from MSNBC mentioned LinkedIn and Plaxo for example, but what are some good sites, good sources, good places to really go and start to build those social networks? 50:29 Andrea The ones that I mentioned have branches and groups all over the world. Garfield So The Entrepreneur’s Organization for companies that have over $1,000,000 in revenue would probably be the first that I would go to because I’ve had extensive experience with them. 50:45 Tom Floyd Okay. 22 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 22 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  23. 23. 50:46 Andrea I believe it’s Entrepreneur’ or Garfield That would be the number one thing that I would do. 50:54 Tom Floyd Any other good associations or sites or networks that come to mind for anyone else? 51:02 Paul Williams Well Patricia mentioned Vistage which I guess had its genesis in tech, the executive committee. And I think that one, their website and their newsletter that comes out, I think, weekly or monthly, is extremely informative. But I think the neat thing about their mechanism is that when you join, you join probably 10 or 12 other CEOs and you meet once a month and there is a subject on the table. Whether it’s marketing strategy or whether it’s human resources, whether it’s recruiting, sales management, you name it, and they get together once a month, typically it’s a four to six hour program, and with the use of a facilitator and discuss these issues. And then in addition to that once a month, the tech chair or rather the Vistage chair goes around to each of the members and spends a two hour session with them discussing whatever is germane at that time. I know quite a few people who belong to that and have found it extremely valuable in that it gives them a peer group and yet it gives them a structure to discuss issues. 52:04 Tom Floyd I’m frantically taking notes here. Definitely going to look into that myself, I have to say. Well in the last few minutes we have left here, about two minutes before we wrap up our show, Patricia I want to turn to you next. Now in 30 seconds or less, what advice would you give to any entrepreneurs listening in to today’s show? 23 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 23 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  24. 24. 52:27 Patricia Kelly Well I think we’ve covered a lot of it, but first of all you need to get the support of your family if this is something you want to do. Then I think I would tell them to go to UCLA Anderson School of Management, Development for the Entrepreneurs, because that is such a help to get a great understanding of all the areas you have to take a look at when you’re going into business. It just doesn’t mean you have a desire to do something and you have this project or product you want to put out. You have to know everything about what you’re doing before you make any investment in your business. So I think I would tell them to do that. And I think a coach is also very important. So they can help you with the family life. They can help you with the business. They can just walk you through each step that you’re going to be taking so you have a good understanding of what you’re going to do before you make the big investment of financial investment and time. 53:27 Tom Floyd Got it. Terry, same question. Anything that you would add in, gosh, 15 seconds or less here? 53:34 Terry Powell Yes. I think the key is to have a good coach advisor and some of those resources. Obviously I’ve spent the last 25 years developing over 300 companies around the country that help entrepreneurs and people who want to become them. We’ve created a methodology called The Advicoach. And is a great resource for getting that coaching advisory type of assistance. And of course if you want to become an entrepreneur or start your first business, there’s the which is a resource for people who are not in business yet. But the key is to have a coach advisor develop that relationship. Somebody who can really help you get beyond your blind spots and broaden outside your comfort level so you can really take that business venture to the heights that it deserves. 24 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 24 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript
  25. 25. 54:22 Tom Floyd Fantastic. Well huge, huge thank you to the four of you. And as always, huge thank you for our listeners as well, for joining us today. For more information about our show you can look us up on the Voice of America business channel. You can also visit our website at and feel free to e-mail me at as well. And for those of you who use Apple iPods, don’t forget you can access the podcast version of our show as well. Just go to iTunes, go to the iTunes store, click podcast on the left side of the screen and enter Insight on Coaching. Thanks everyone. We’ll see you next week. 25 | Confidential June 19, 2008 Page 25 Coaching for Entrepreneurs Transcript