What would you expect to achieve in two hours?

- or how about the most productive stress you will ever experience?

Since starting my consultancy as a business coach and mentor, I have offered a two-hour introductory session to business owners to establish their key business and life goals, and help them to see a direction for their businesses going forward. It’s hard work, and I regularly receive feedback that the initial meeting is exhausting, but also very rewarding. The following statement I received quite recently I think puts this in a nutshell…

“Thank you for the encouraging words this morning, believe me I haven’t felt this confident, but also stressed and disorganised in a long time, which is actually strangely OK”

Two hours certainly is a long time to focus so deeply on a business, so my role is to create that confidence that my client so eloquently stated. Yes, it brings about a level of stress, and puts some realism into the tasks that lay ahead but I don’t see anything negative about this type of stress. It’s exciting, daunting, but hugely empowering for the individual to feel fear and trepidation, but excitement around what they can achieve.

The most fundamental things we achieve usually come with strong emotions. Ask Ellie Simmonds the highly accomplished Paralympic Gold medallist how she felt just before winning gold in the 200m individual medley in Rio last week. She told Channel 4 “I was so nervous going into that race...I was like I’m going to be sick but it’s not sunk in what I’ve done yet. I know my time was under three minutes so I’m really happy with it. It’s a target I’ve set and I’ve wanted to go under for a long time. I’m really chuffed.”

So are you ready to take the first step to a winning business?

Before I get into the detail, I thought I would share with you some feedback from clients after their first meeting with me…

“Stuart made me realise how much I didn’t know about my business. All in my head, but just carried on. It was a real insight into how much more there is to running a business.”

 

“After the meeting, I felt absolutely shattered, and a little nervous, but also felt good. There is a big sea and I am a little fish in it, but a big eye opener, and showed me in no uncertain terms that I needed to pull my finger out.”

 

“In our first meeting, I became acutely aware that our rates weren’t enough for the work we do, and the service and advice we provide to our customers.”

 

“After the first meeting, we realised we had to commit the time needed to move the company on. We had always bumbled along, but now we had to take steps to be better than we are.”

 

How much work do we get done in two hours?

Every business is different and every business leader has unique issues to deal with, so my initial two hours is not only an exploration process, it starts to get business owners thinking not just about their achievements so far, but how to take that success to the next level. We discuss a great deal including…

  • Achievements and the history of the company
  • A bit about me; I really have been there and got the t-shirt
  • An honest and frank discussion around the owner’s concerns – it’s a really good place to get started
  • We look for some immediate answers and direction around current concerns – there is always an abundance of positive outcomes
  • We look at the business owner’s strengths and weaknesses – yes weaknesses, we all have them of course
  • We look to establish their one, three and five year plans – both for the business and personally
  • We take an honest look at the financial position of the business – we need that starting point, whether it is keeping you awake at night or in great shape
  • We discuss the current strength and weakness within the team, and what improvements could be made through training and motivational strategies
  • We explore the aspirations for growth – we need these to set the short and long-term aims for the business
  • We all at some point have concerns around operations and functionality of the business. The operational strengths and weaknesses need to be established
  • Marketing and sales – the lifeblood of all businesses needs to be succinctly analysed and eventually optimised. We need to find out how good the company is at both, and suggest improvements
  • Solutions discussion – Invariably we have established positives and negatives by this stage, and it is a great time to start looking at solutions to any negative aspects of the business, but also an overview of changes that can transform the business going forward.

I tend to cover a great deal in those two hours, and don’t deviate from the task in hand. It’s a lot to cover but it provides me with a valuable overview of the business, and gives a level of empowerment to the business owner. I find the last part fascinating, and what can be quite an intense meeting can see some highly creative and interesting ideas come to the fore.

Sounds expensive?

Because I see so much value in this two hours, I offer it completely free of charge. This two-hours is the starting point to making positive transformational changes in your business and I can’t put a value on that. If you’re in business, are ready to feel excited and empowered and are willing to invest two hours of your time, I’m waiting for your call.

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