Last week I had lunch with a colleague, turned client, turned friend. As we ate some yummy sushi he shared with me that his photography business is celebrating 20 years in 2019. As he said out loud that the year he started his business was 1999 I thought, “wait a minute… that is the year I started my coaching business!” In that moment I realized that this year I too am am celebrating 20 years of being a business coach. Wow, that went fast!
It also reminded me that it’s been 19 years since we “survived” Y2K - remember when we all thought the world was going to end because the computers wouldn’t know how to change the date to 2000? Now we think the world is going to end because of the rapid rate that artificial intelligence is learning. 20 years can change a lot!
Over the past several days I have dug into the roots of my coaching practice: where I have been, what I have learned, and what has served my clients the best.
As I dug into the archives of my office I began to find many hidden coaching treasures. I had long forgotten a number of programs I had taken and also developed. While some are innately a part of me, the details were sitting on the shelves of my office closet. The experience has been like running into a dear friend I had not seen in some time.
How I Became a Business Coach
I decided to become a coach when I sold my company Business Answers (a telephone answering and executive suites business) after 16 years of ownership. In addition to creating a couple of other business ventures, I decided to follow the work of one of the pioneers of the personal and business coaching world, Thomas Leonard. His book, The Portable Coach, awakened a new fire in me and still sits front and center on my bookshelf.
The ideals in his book hooked me on the potential of myself becoming a coach – something that I wanted to share with other entrepreneurs that I knew could have saved me so much time and money along my entrepreneurial journey. I then took his coaching certification program and started diving in to real world experience.
Powerful Insights Take Time
I have decided to share with you a variety of secret tips that I have found from not only those materials, but also from the many other experts I have had the honor to learn and mentor with over the years. My hope is that you will find this list beneficial in helping you along your journey.
One thing I find for sure with us business folks is that sometimes we run out of ideas on how to enhance our businesses. Fresh ideas are essential to enhancing our business and personal lives. If you need that creative spark, this list will help to get you on the right track! Here’s to cleaning out our closets - which also happens to be #18 on the list! ;)
Also note that this is the first Victory Letter we are doing in an audio version of, thanks to a request from a reader, Patricia Hope. Thanks Patricia and we hope you and all of our readers enjoy this option!
102 Ways to Create a Thriving Business
by Cheri Ruskus (and friends!)
Select 1 idea from the list below which you can implement today…
The 1 that idea that after reading the list you can’t stop thinking about!
Mark an “X” next to your top 25 favorite ideas, then use the “My 25 Ways to Thrive” on the last page of the PDF worksheet version and reorder your top 25 ideas in the order you want to achieve them in.
Ask 5 key clients for referrals - think having more fabulous clients like them.
Lead a workshop for clients, prospects, and public for a very affordable cost.
Join 1 to 2 clubs or organizations that you enjoy and where your ideal clients may also be members.
Deliver 20% more than your client expects.
Conduct business in an office that inspires you to do your best work.
Offer to help 3 people who are in trouble who cannot afford your fee.
Become a known resource to at least 25 highly qualified and respected people who provide services that your ideal clients need.
Orient at least 75% of your business around your special gift.
Host gatherings with your “competitors.”
Educate your clients about the full extent of the work you do.
Become known as someone people can trust.
Write an article on something new in your profession.
Mentor an apprentice in your profession.
Hire an assistant. Even if it is for only 5 hours a week.
Know and articulate your 3 basic messages.
Tell people at least 10 things you want for them to achieve.
Set your business standards high and honor them.
Clean out your closets.
Send out a monthly newsletter.
Stay connected with clients at a minimum monthly.
Speak to groups at least once per week.
Live in a home you love.
Send birthday and holiday cards.
Write a book that breaks the rules.
Send request emails to positive minded colleagues for coffee, lunch, etc.
Become known for 3 special things, and deliver all you can.
Invest 10% of your revenue in training, coaching and development.
Be a professional.
Know what you are attached to that isn’t serving you and release it.
Know your vision and be able to share it.
Establish yourself as a center of influence.
Deepen your relationship with 10 centers of influence.
Make your clients and others right even when they aren’t, because they are.
Raise your fees.
Get your personal needs met outside of your business.
Give the right gift for each referral.
Master the skill of converting leads to clients.
Immediately acknowledge a referral.
Don’t just offer your business card as for permission to call.
Focus on having a full business.
Ask, never plead or demand for more business.
Be interested, not just interesting.
Under promise and over deliver.
Do complete work – leave nothing unfinished with a client.
Brand your materials to stun people.
Have something worthwhile to say.
Have referrals call you; don’t chase them.
Sincerely acknowledge others often.
Do more work for your current clients.
Know what services you cannot or will not offer.
Expect a lot from your clients.
Package your services to create an annuity stream
Upgrade your clientele. (see number 35)
Drastically cut personal and business expenses to be 25% more profitable.
Get more permission than you will ever need from everyone.
Address the elephant in the room.
Speak benefits not features!
Speak from the You not the I.
Put the relationship ahead of the result.
Establish your value on time. No more useless errands.
Don’t hide behind a brochure (or website or other online marketing tools).
Advance your profession.
Take a vacation each quarter.
Have something to look forward to each evening.
Be straightforward, but don’t spill your guts.
Volunteer wisely – time is important when owning a business.
Know exactly what you can do for others and let them know it!
Invite key people out.
Ask people what they need.
Take rejection like an angel.
Be fully caught up.
Have time slots open and automate your calendar if your business is service driven. In other words, make it easier for the client to see you and save time.
Automate your client enrollment and follow-up.
Communicate and over inform with great information.
Anticipate and respond to client needs before the client even knows.
Use written agreements in all cases.
Budget 10% for marketing including advertising, gifts and referral sources.
Value each client as a key asset: A 10-year revenue stream.
Decide to be attraction based versus promotion based. Givers Get.
Co-design work to be performed let the client contribute to your success.
Think holistic, act specifically.
Align your goals with your values so that you can own them.
Reduce the hidden human costs of delivering your services.
Automate where needed and use the human touch where needed.
Make a list of your top 10 clients and how they became your clients.
Design a plan to fill your business quickly.
Introduce yourself in 10 words or less.
Know what would make you irresistible to your ideal clientele.
Serve, don’t sell.
Cut out the distractions.
Plan on having 50% more business than you think you need.
Identify the 20% who can get you the 80%.
Believe in the work you do.
Be responsible for how you are heard, not just what you say.
Dress well, even when you don’t have to.
Smile often, it makes you and those around you feel better.
Feel gratitude every day for what you do already have!
Create a Morning Momentum practice.
Gain confidence and clarity in your business…
Join the Victory Program!
Need more help with your goals? It’s time to get the confidence and clarity you desire for your business. Hire me as your business coach and in return I’ll provide the strategy, support, and accountability to take your business to the next level in the year ahead. After joining this program you will get instant access to all of my online courses and will be able to schedule your first meeting as soon as next week!
How the program works: we meet twice every month via phone/skype to discuss your pain points along with custom solutions to resolve them. I’ll provide simple homework for you and your team to execute in order to achieve the complex results you desire. This is for committed entrepreneurs only and space is extremely limited. Let’s partner up!
Have a few questions before diving into something new? Schedule a 15-minute phone conversation with me to discuss if this is the right fit for your growth in the year ahead.