Posts tagged ‘Seattle Executive coach’

August 4, 2008

Working on your business

Most business owners are great at doing something.

Maybe you can create great graphic designs or cook well or maybe you have an eye for art? Somewhere along the way, you have taken what you are great at and turned it into a business.

If you have been successful at selling your product or your services, your business has likely grown over time, so you need more employees, more space, defined process and systems, and you probably need a vacation.

Because you have been a great designer, handyman or sales person there can be a strong pull to keep doing that work even after your business has grown after all its what you love to do, it is what you are good at. This is an example of working in your business. This happens to most if not all small business owners at one stage or another.

You may feel overwhelmed and overworked because you’re trying to take care of all areas in your business (making sales, your finances, customer service issues, even cleaning the toilets, etc).

You are like a one- man show even when there are people there working for you! This scenario is typical but it is not healthy for either you, your employees or the growth of your business. Why? Because you can only grow as big as your own ability to handle, everything and you most likely need to get a life.

Its time to stop working in your business as a technician and start working on your business as an owner!

Here are a few steps to get you started. Take a hard look at yourself and ask whether you are working in your business or on it.

·        Ask yourself “what are the two most important areas for me to focus on?” Are you sure? Are these in or on the business issues?

·        Now spend two hours a day at a minimum focusing on your top two “on the business issues”.

·        Make a commitment to remove yourself from repetitive tasks and assign them to competent employees.

·        You may need to redefine job descriptions, roles and accountabilities.

·        Be accountable to someone like a business coach or a key employee on a regular basis about the time you spend working on your business.

Working on your business will include activities such as;

·        Strategic planning for the next few years

·        Anticipating industry trends and positioning your company

·        Documenting business operating systems

·        Writing and implementing your marketing plan

·        Budgets and projections, recruiting and hiring key employees, evaluating your company culture.

·        Creating a plan for the culture you want and seeing it implemented

·        Networking in your community

·        Training for you and your employees


These are the activities that will keep your business healthy and growing, allowing your employees to thrive and develop. Best of all bringing you more time, freedom and probably more money!


Alicia Marie
Business Coaching and Training
Profit Consulting Co


Recommended reading – E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

August 4, 2008

Real Power

So what is real power, what is the nature of power? How do we access power? When do we feel powerless? Is there a difference between real power and conventional power? Dwelling in these questions has in and of itself affected my life. When I ask these questions, I am filled with insights into my own internal and external motivations. It is my intention to share these insights here and to leave you knowing that you already have all that it takes to be authentically powerful!


It seems part of our confusion about power is in the different meanings we have for power and how we view power.


So, “What is power”? The conventional view is typically expressed as control, authority, status or strength. Often, when using the word power, we have in mind the idea of controlling the actions of someone or something. We speak of will power or controlling our behavior or controlling our children, etc.


In George Orwell’s 1984, the main character Winston (I named my oldest son after him) is considering the control based society in which he lives and comes to the realization, “they can make you do and say anything but they can’t make you believe it.” So perhaps power, viewed as control is an illusion.


Frequently we mean strength when we use the word power.

We refer to physically strong people as powerful. We might call a nation powerful based on its military strength. In other words, the ability to inflict harm by a person, group or nation. At its very core all this is, is intimidation, bullying and it generates fear. So perhaps power, as strength is an illusion.


Power as authority? Most of our society is set up as such. We all know that just because someone has authority, it does not give them power. How many figureheads have we seen in large companies? How many times have we “pulled rank” on our children “because I said so!” just to have it backfire on us later?


What we have learned and often teach our children is that by virtue of position, people in authority have power. For example: teachers, parents, and police officers. Power through authority, an illusion maybe? At its best, it is not consistently effective or sustainable. I would also say that this belief system leaves the vast majority of us feeling powerless!


Climbing the ladder of success? This is the one I believe to be the most addictive, the attempt to find a suitable place for ourselves within a hierarchy or ranking system. Could be in our neighborhood, could be in the PTA, could be at your place of business, or even within your family. Ranking or status can be based on wealth, prestige and physical attributes. Look at how we revere our athletes or education, a PhD behind your name, now there is power.


See if you recognize yourself just a little here: “If I could just have some of these attributes like more education, more beauty or more money, I could have the power to control circumstances to my advantage; others will look up to me. I will feel happy and accepted.”


My definition of real power: Real power is about being able to transform results into a sustainable reality. It is also the capacity to translate your intention into reality. Webster’s definition, which I also like… the ability to act or produce an effect.


Conventional power has us react to life in fear, seeking control, force or status, hiding behind all the things we are not, the notion or belief in conventional power is in and of itself what holds you back from experiencing real power.


We have all experienced real power before. Some of us daily, some of us have moments at a time and others of us even less often. Take a moment and remember your last experience of real power. What were the qualities or circumstances of that experience?


Real power is identifiable by its absence of fear. Imagine the power of someone who is no longer ruled by fear, someone who is, therefore, immune to manipulation and control by others, someone who has moved to a new level of awareness. Imagine the quiet confidence and power of someone who is no longer addicted to the approval and affirmation of others, someone who is in touch with his or her real self. Imagine that this person is whole and complete even without their job, or their family or their status. Now imagine that this person with this quiet confidence, this person who no longer needs approval is you, think about it, what would life be like? What could you do in your business? Now imagine what you could do in your life!


Alicia Fruin – Owner of Profit Consulting Co.

Specializing in business education, all of our programs combine solid business strategy coupled with our expertise of how people learn and grow.

August 4, 2008

Well-Being: The missing ingredient to success!

Well-being is commonly used in philosophy to describe what is ultimately good for a person. Well-being is both subjective and personal.


I am so fortunate to work daily with successful, talented and passionate business owners! They are driven, have vision, work ethic and a strong moral compass. Far too often, their extreme business focus has left them unbalanced and often unhealthy. The effects are everywhere, in their relationships, their environment, and their finances and yes even their beloved business. Everyone around them sees the tired eyes with dark circles, the extra weight, not to mention the stressed out, adrenaline crazed look on their face.


Yes, we all see it, the employees, customers, the spouse, the children, and yours truly the business coach. In a very dignified way, my clients share their full schedules and often dialogue with me for strategic time saving techniques. Behind the words, the pragmatic tone, the professional guise, it seems as though they are really saying “please, I can’t take one more thing, I am exhausted, spent, when is it my time? HELP, I need space.” Through the telephone, I seem to be able to hear the quiet desperation behind each business conversation.


Maybe not the first call or even the first month but it isn’t long before I go there. “Tell me about how you take care of yourself?” or “How do you re-energize and stay focused?” I say. A loud silence follows then a muffled stutter “Well I took my kids to the zoo last month, ummm I guess I get my energy from work, ummm, that’s all I seem to do?” long sigh.


Remember these are highly intelligent, powerful and successful people, so of course, their employees do not say anything. Ditto for their spouses…maybe a thoughtful friend says a word or two about possibly needing time off but no one really says what everyone is thinking…take time off, you look awful, or even better you than me!


I understand. I really do, I own a small business too. The to-do list is never ending! Add to that the value we place as a society on self-sacrificing hard work, making money, getting ahead. Even the value “family first” can leave a well-meaning person feeling drained.


We all know we need to move our bodies and eat well to thrive physically. Add to that prayer or meditation for your spirit and mind. Let us not leave out loving relationships for our emotional well-being. So why is well–being seemingly expendable? Is the payoff worth the cost?


Each call I chip away at my hard working clients…getting them to take time off here and find some space there. Maybe they decide to go for a morning walk or stop drinking soda. Sometimes they just need permission from someone and make dramatic changes on their own. Always, Always, Always it elevates their business in both profit and productivity.


If you recognize yourself here, I ask that you use the same intelligence, creative spirit and drive that you used to start your business and take care of yourself. Trust that other entrepreneurs have taken the well-being challenge as well and have greatly improved their businesses but more importantly their lives!


Alicia Fruin

Business Coach