Small Business MentorS        d

Transforming and leading people into restored, productive, and prosperous lives

 

 

An Interview with John

 

How long have you been doing what you do?

I have been coaching and teaching all my adult life… it's just part of who I am and what I do.  Additionally, I have been mentoring select individuals for the past 30 years.  I have been in this business (aimed at helping small business owners) since November 2009.  I got my coaching certifcation (Certified Professional Coach) in April 2010.  
 
Prior to my special focus on small business, I had a broader focus that included corporate customers and internet marketing.  In November of 2009, I decided that I really wanted to focus on small business… partly because I resonate with them so well.

I have had other businesses prior, as well as working in small and large businesses (including corporate) throughout my life.
 
What makes you qualified to mentor small business owners?

As I just mentioned, I resonate with them. But, even more to the point, I have acquired most of the skills, tasks, and duties that small business owners have to do. I didn't always acquire them in small business (I have been in many companies of various sizes -- from small, family-owned businesses to large, mega-corporations), even though I have owned my own small businesses.
 
Additionally, I have been in a variety of industries and positions, so I can bring to bear a wider variety of experience than most of my peers. For instance, I have been in banking/finance, industrial/defense, oil and gas, writing/publishing, healthcare, Information Technology, consulting, network marketing, sales, wholesale/distribution, and internet marketing to name a few.
 
Even more than that, my clients testify to the RESULTS they achieve with me.
 
What kind of clients do you work with? (Who are your clients?)

I work with the owners and leaders of small-to-medium sized businesses (including solo entrepreneurs).  Some are very small consulting businesses (one to five people.)
 
They are in service businesses, in retail, in healthcare, in franchises, in craft businesses, in manufacturing and construction… lots of different kinds.  

 They are looking to make more of their business and are willing to work to make it happen. Often times, they never prepared to run a business, so they find that they have a lot to learn… but because they are so busy running their business, they don't have a lot of time to spend learning it all. As a result, they really appreciate someone who can direct their learning… teaching them directly, recommending appropriate reading for a specific set of issues, and applying the wisdom of experience for what is relevant to their current problems.
 
What happens if you haven't yet worked with people in my field?

The chances are actually very good that I have either worked in your field myself (see the previous answers), or coached/mentored/consulted clients in your field. I also have a number of people that I can draw on to get expert answers to the questions I can't answer directly.
 
Finally, most of the issues that owners and leaders of small-to-meduim sized businesses encounter are not special to an industry or business type, but ones that can be seen again and again in business after business. Most likely I have already encountered the problem and helped with the solution.
 
How are you different from other coaches, especially other business coaches?

I am more than a coach, I am a mentor. That said, I am certified as both a business coach and a life coach.

The reason it matters that I am also a life coach is that 60 to 90 percent of the actual things that hold us back from success in business revolve around life issues, not cut-and-dried business decisions.
 
I have a strong empathy with my clients and bring the life coach aspect to support the client and to address the internal issues that cause us to get in our own way.
 
At the same time, I have a lifetime of experience in business and understand the success factors for that. I bring real-world experience from large and small businesses to my guidance and solutions for clients.
 
My lifetime of teaching lets me bring the information my clients need, in a way that they understand -- without jargon or confusion. I don't try to teach what you won't be able to use for two years. Instead, I teach you what you need right now for the problem, situation, or next step in front of you.
 
Alright, since you brought it up, what's the difference between a coach and a mentor?

First, let me share with you partial entries from Wikipedia to highlight the difference:

"mentor: a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person… someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague…. Today mentors provide expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks." - Wikipedia - "Mentor"

"a coach supports an individual (often called a coachee or client), through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional result." - Wikipedia - "Coaching"

So, you can see, a mentor is designed to be a longer-term relationship than a coach. Mentoring has broader aims than coaching. Also, a mentor brings a wider array of experience, wisdom, and expertise to the relationship -- which is exactly what my clients want. They don't have time or desire to filter through advice (often competing advice, by the way) from 15 different sources and try to figure out what the best course of action is.

What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?

I work best with people who are teachable and have a willingness to learn. Additionally, they are people who are determined to succeed in their business.

They are good at what they do, but they realize that there is so much they have to be good at (besides their primary skill) that they know they need help… and they are willing to accept help.
 
Some (but by no means all) of my most successful clients originally had self-confidence or the "impostor syndrome" issues. They were talented, compentent, and capable people who didn't realize how good they were... until we worked together.

I expect my clients to make a good-faith effort to do their assignments, openly admit their mistakes when they make them, be open to growing personally, and to be committed to their business and to their success.

 
For what type of business owner is this program NOT going to work?

Because I don't just dispense advice and leave my clients to sink or swim, I carefully evaluate who I work with. I become emotionally invested in my clients and share their pain in their struggles. I also share in their joy as they succeed.
 
I am committed to my clients' success and have a strong ethic, so I only take on clients who I will be able to help and who will be a good match for my programs (which I talk about in the previous answer.)
 
There is, of course, the obvious group of people who are the opposite of those in my answer to the previous question. These include:

People who are not determined to see their business grow and succeed… especially if it means they have to be uncomfortable occasionally or to grow personally.

People who already know everything and need to prove it to everyone they meet. (And, yes, I have met plenty of business owners in this category.)

Additionally, people who already have a strong advisory person or system will get much less out of the program. Some Network Marketing (MLM) systems have a strong mentoring program for their members that is tailored to their system. I encourage those members to utilize it.
 
Likewise, some franchise systems have a well-developed system, with a strong training program, and require close compliance with their system. Franchise owners in these systems are advised to work the franchise program and obtain help when needed from the franchise office. (After all, that's why they are paying their franchise fees.)
 
Conversely, some franchise systems offer little-to-no training and the franchisee is largely buying a brand name. These franchise owners, who have the leeway to run their business pretty much as their local circumstances dictate, CAN find benefit from working with my programs.
 
Does this really work?

Yes! There are so many things that can be done to boost your bottom line. I don't know of ANYONE who is doing all of the things that can be done. I had a training called 57 Ways to Boost Your Business. I didn't know of anyone who was doing all 57. Then it grew to 67 Ways. Then to 77 Ways. At last count, it was at 97 Ways. However, you don't have to address anywhere near 57 things in your business. Usually, just a few (strategic) things will make a huge difference in your bottom line.
 
See the Raves (Client Testimonials) page for more confirmation that this really works.
 
What results can I expect? 

You can expect to

  • Have a plan for your business including 
    • Where your business is going 
    • What your business will look like 
    • How to get there 
      • Including strategies and 
      • Specific tactics 
  • Understand what your driving motivations are and how they affect your business 
  • Understand the things that are holding you (and your business) back 
  • See your revenue increase 
  • See your net profits increase 
  • Find more time for yourself to 
    • Spend on yourself 
    • Spend with your family 
    • Do the things that are important to you 
  • Increase morale 
    • Happier employees 
    • Happier owners 
    • Happier family 
    • Happier customers 
  • Make smarter hiring decisions 
  • Make smarter promotions 
  • Improve your marketing 
  • Improve your networking 
  • Improve (or create) systems that let your business grow - without extra effort on your part 

Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it's like to work with you?

Certainly. Be sure and read the client testimonials. I will be happy to put you in touch with clients who have faced challenges similar to yours… or put you with ones that you specify, if you wish.
 
How quickly can I expect results?

Results will be begin to happen almost immediately. My goal is to get you quick results, but also, long-lasting ones. That said, the solutions we put into place build upon each other which is why my mentoring programs require a commitment of at least 6 months.

How can I guarantee myself that I will get results, quickly? 

Be open, be honest with yourself and with me, and be ready to do the work.  Have a mindset of "How can I achieve this?" rather than "I've tried that before and it didn't work."  (When people tell me they already know that or they already tried that, it turns out we aren't talking about the same thing.) 
Do your assignments and take ownership of the process and of the results.

Will I recover the investment I put into this mentoring program? 

Yes.  My goal is to for the client to earn their fee back in the shortest amount of time possible.  For some clients, it happens in the first month, others take another month or two, depending on what their business is and where they are in the development of their business.  Most clients get $5 to $10 back for every dollar they invest in my mentoring.
 
 
How will we work together and what does the program entail? 

The Private Mentoring program opportunities are here.  On the page you will find the details of each program.
 
 I do my client work by phone and email.  My clients call me (Skype is also an available option) for their appointment.  Some clients have a standing appointment, others have variable schedules and use my online, electronic calendar to set up their appointments.  We may touch base between appointments via email.  I will also give assignments to be completed between appointments.
 
 Each call has a structure to make sure we accomplish what we need to.  At the same time, there is flexibility built in so that we go just as fast as the client is ready to go without overwhelming him/her.  Additionally, the agenda anticipates crises and works to defuse them.

How long is the program? 

My programs are 6 months long because even though results start happening right away, it takes that long to fully implement all the learning that occurs.  
 
Do people ever "re-up"? 

Yes, quite often.  Many clients find the value that I bring to be so great that they want to extend our work together.

It's also true that some clients get all they need in our first 6 months of work together.  And that's okay with me.

My goal is to help my client acheive what they want to acheive... in as short a time-frame as it can be done. 
 
What are your mentoring programs like? 

A description of them is here.  

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. I also accept debit cards. And we can arrange an automatic debit (auto-draft), as well.

OK, I know which program I want. How do we get started?

Contact me (email is the best) and tell me you want to schedule a Get Acquainted Call.  I (or my staff) will set up the appointment with you for a time that will work for both of us. We will talk and make sure that we are a good fit for each other and that you will get the results you are looking for.

If I'm not sure I'm ready to get started, how can I sample your work at low cost to see if it's the right solution for me?

First of all, sign up for my free newsletter and the free report that comes with it. Every issue I share a tip for improving your business.

Periodically, I teach at local venues, as well as conducting teleseminars, and facilitating masterminds and business building sessions. These are announced on the newsletter, website, and social media sites.

Finally, I have made some of my training available as home study courses. The website has the latest on what is available at any given time. (See the Programs section to locate them.)

OK, I'm ready to do this for myself, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can I call you?

Certainly.  Because of my client schedule, it is best if we set up a time to talk so we can get all your questions answered.  You can call my office or email me (my contact info is here) to get a time set up.  I look forward to talking with you.

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

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