Saturday morning jogging afterthoughts

28 09 2009

KFC doesn’t mean Kentucky fried Chicken but can be a nice little formula to get things going in the right dierction

So you think you are a crazy being an entrepreneur ? (part 2)

25 08 2009

4.-I-m-the-king-of-the-world!_imagelarge“I’m king of the world”

Entrepreneurship is quite a roller-coaster ride. Going from the top of the world to the bottom of the sea can happen in a sudden shift, specially in the beginning!

In this second post we’ll see where you are and what to do to prevent sailing a sinking ship

Excerpt from the article from Pam Slim

Square Two: Dreaming and Scheming

Description: Once you get more comfortable with your shift in identity, you begin to brainstorm a bunch of different business ideas and scenarios. The sky is the limit as you imagine yourself as a software genius, media tycoon, or rich inventor.

Mantra: There are no rules, and that’s okay.

Recommendation: Don’t edit your imagination. Run wild and think up new ideas for products and services. Don’t worry if they don’t make sense, or that no one you have ever known has ever been successful at it. The important thing is to brainstorm as many possible ideas as you can and gather lots of data from different sources.


The coaching:

When you have reached a “closing” with the Just Over Broke market, when your brain is boiling over with ideas, when all you see are opportunities, when all you breathe is freedom, sit down for a moment and try this.

Write a letter, dated 2 years later. You write it a the present tense. Using the “Magic Wand” (what if you we’re sure to succeed), you transport yourself 2 years from now. Writing to a friend you haven’t seen in  along while, telling him\her where you are, what you have, what you do, what you have accomplished, so on and so forth.

From there, you work your milestones backwards. Where you have to be in 18 months, in 12 month,s  in 6 months. It will give you a set of beacons to guide your decisions. Those miles stones are the general direction. Just make sure there is some kind of possible alignment between those milestones. Try to align the planet (so to speak) to get maximum “attraction”.

Remember to shoot first, aim afterwards. As I said before, when you start, there are no successes or failures, there is only feedback. It’s what you do, how you react to that feedback that will keep you moving forward.

The rest is the “put your money where you mouth is” attitude. Get an accountability partners (coaches can be ruthless ones), and keep moving towards your dream, towards what you wrote in that letter.

The coaching will put emphasis on short term marketing tactics. Working on getting those first clients, the “evangelists” that will talk about your product and services to anyone they meet, that will talk about you in their social media groups. Their feedback will be paramount on coming up with upselling and crosselling that work for your core product/services. It’s from that base that you will develop a “unique customer experience” (instead of a unique selling proposition) Your coach will help you keep an open mind on tweaking you product/service to fit the market.

Conversation will revolve around the fit between “you” (your values), your “ideas” and the environment.

So you think you are crazy being an entrepreneur ? (part 1)

24 08 2009

iStock_000001419386XSmallIn her excellent post “You’re aren’t crazy you’re just an entrepreneur” for Open Forum, Pam Slim quotes Martha Beck.

She talk about the four stages of an entrepreneur.

Let’s look at them and how coaching can help

Square One: Death and Rebirth

Characteristics: This first stage of change happens when you consciously choose to move from employee to entrepreneur. Nothing is familiar anymore, and you grasp to both feel normal and explain your new work identity to others.

Recommendation: Stay focused inward, on your own insights and creativity. Exercise, eat right and stay grounded. Don’t worry about figuring everything out at this stage, just pay attention to how you feel, and stay open to possibility.

The coaching: It’s easy to get in information overload at this stage. So much stuff to think about. The fist phase of coaching has to be centered on “why” you chose that business, that way of “‘earning a living”. Making sure a purpose is driving you, energizing you. filling up your “energy tank”

Second phase, It’s also a moment where it’s easy to loose a lot of energy doing everything and being everywhere. Working on monitoring that loss of energy and making sure short term goals keep you in “focused action” and celebrating small victories. “Staying open to possibilities” means to “shoot” with confidence because you are looking for feedback. The feedback will help you “aim” better.

Third phase: It’s the time to put in place the “rituals” that will ingrain to good habits necessary to succeed. Either getting rid of bad habits that prevent you from moving forward; bad habits that are constraints, bad habits related to unproductive beliefs. Or, developing good habits to adopt to make sure results will be showing!

The coaching conversations will make sure you stay on track, on purpose!

Stay tuned for the next steps…

Good news

11 08 2008

I’m scheduled to speak at the annual Canadian Association of Business Incubators this autumn. The topic? The “new” business plan and the role of coaching in “working” with entrepreneurs. I’ll keep you posted on the presentation.

Are your skills and knowledge static or changeable ?

10 02 2008

An article in this week end’s Montreal’s The Gazette talks about a research by social psychology professor Jason Plaks of the University of Toronto and Kristen Stecher of the University of Washington that says that the way people view their skills can have an impact on how they respond to career success.

If they see their skill as static, any indication that they may be better that what they think they are will be self-sabotaged!!!

Now what about entrepreneurs ?

My partner in Tac-Coaching, Ken Ingram was featured in that article. His take on it was that most successful entrepreneurs believe they can achieve anything.

Now, if you are in a static environment, in a static group of employees, you won’t get to stretch yourself too much. But an entrepreneur ?!?!

Maybe, self-sabotage puts limits on what he (she) can do. Is it possible that an entrepreneur chooses an environment that limits his/her chances? That an entrepreneur can be satisfied with the level of “success” that he/she has ?

Now, I’m not completely immune to a little self sabotage myself. I live my life in my comfort zone most of the time. But as I said to a former coach of mine (Gilles Barbot from Esprit de Corps ; “It’ great to be outside of our comfort zone, it’s a marvelous opportunity to grow…but can we go back once in while, just to rest ? ” 😉

So I can understand….

When you are starting out, you have moments you feel out of breath, so stretched that you are about to break and then, somehow, somewhere, you know that you’ll have to stretch it a bit more….99 degrees is very hot, but it won’t produce boiling water…just one degree more and you have steam… energy! What a difference one single degree makes…

Who remembers the 4th places at the Olympics ?

And what about results, earnings, recognition ?

For a fraction of a second, that ultimate stretch, the difference between 3rd and 2nd place…between 2nd and 1st place….some get fame and fortune…others, well…glory days. (Here Clara Hughes at the Torino Olympics springs to mind…)

Do your skills keep you at 99 degrees ?

Do you think that your lack of knowledge may keep you from getting to the boiling point ?

Does what do you think prevent you from reaching your full potential ?

If you have any doubt, talk to a professional coach!

A new partnership

17 01 2008

2008 starts with a big improvement.

I just started a partnership with Ken Ingram a well known and respected business coach in Montreal. He’s the president of Tac-Coaching, a top-notch training and coaching group.

Well known by the Montreal business community, Ken as been working with The Achievement Center.

This partnership will allow me the boost the number of trainings I can offer my clients. The opportunity to be surrounded by such expertise is an asset for each client that I will coach or every corporation where trainings will take place. To my usual startup and web 2.0 trainings I can now offer

  • Sales and business development
  • Leadership development
  • Organizational development

I look forward to working with such a terrific team of individuals.

Tiger’s lesson

2 10 2007

Last winter Tiger changed his coach.

Does Tiger Woods still needs a coach? … euh well, YES! …

Somebody he trusts must look at his swing, his game.
As an entrepreneur, who looks at how you plan, you organize, you manage, you control, you delegate etc ?

Tiger decided he needed to change his swing, SERIOUSLY DECIDED… not the coach, Tiger himself. The basic premise in coaching. The customer WANTS to change. From there, it becomes a matter of opening and patience. Being ready to hear what you don’t want to hear and see what you don’t want to see. To change the way you do things to change the result.

Even while being champion, there can be things that annoys us. In the case of Tiger, it was his back swing. Why the change of coach then? For a change of perspective.

What follows is action. Not just a discussion and some advice. Action and practice. Correct and continue, again and again.

After a “nothing seems to work anymore” moment, his swing returned, better than before, on the road to a stellar year.

In business coaching, sometimes the same thing happens. Specially when you try to do the shift from entrepreneur to manager…

The “nothing seems to work anymore” moment… are you ready to pay that price?