I once read a Henry Ford quote that I thought epitomized navigating the coaching industry well: “I am not the smartest, but I surround myself with competent people.”
My imagination was even further sparked when I read THE ORGANIZED MIND: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload… by Daniel Levitin, an award-winning neuroscientist, musician, and best-selling author.
In his book, Daniel mentions that “highly successful persons” such as rock stars and Fortune 500 CEOs, all tend to have exceptional organizational systems.
They have many of the daily distractions of life handled for them,” so they can “devote all of their attention to whatever is immediately before them. They seem to live completely in the moment.
And all I could think about was not only how absolutely incredible that sounded, but also how nice that would be as a coach working in the coaching industry.
The thing is, though, is that I’m not a rock star. I’m not a Fortune 500 CEO.
And even though I had been surrounding myself with some of the most incredible people in the world for a while, the thing I wanted to accomplish next honestly seemed truly outrageous.
I wanted to have an EPIC Personal Assistant.
Someone who gave me a chance to live like a “Rock Star.”
And as I thought about what this Personal Assistant would like, it dawned on me: I shouldn’t wait until I had made it to the highest levels of success in the coaching industry. Rather, it was by hiring one at that moment that I knew my life and my business would be taken to otherworldly heights.
So, I wanted to tell you how I hired a millionaire as my Personal Assistant.
Here are some pieces of advice from my own, personal experience.
1. WHEN WORKING IN THE COACHING INDUSTRY, YOU MUST MAKE A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE. NOTHING LESS.
Years ago, when I was designing the layout of my book, I hired the first member of my team to help me do so.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had hired an absolute Visionary. We set out to create a book with the quality of a New York Times bestseller.
As time passed, the publisher we were working with kept getting more and more frustrated with us. We continued to push back our deadlines so that we could perfect every single detail, no matter how small.
And it was all worth it. We did a fantastic job on The Prosperous Coach. I know that because we’ve sold over 100,000 copies across the coaching industry without any marketing at all. The only marketing that has been done for this book has been done by word of mouth.
I set the bar high.
Thanks to a team member who was even more committed to excellence and I was, the bar we reached was even higher.
2. CRAFT AN ENORMOUS VISION AND GET OUT OF THE WAY.
When I wrote The Prosperous Coach, I set a secret goal: I wanted it to be a million dollar book. I wasn’t trying to sell one million copies as the book is aimed at a unique market. But I wanted the book to create the relationships and the clients necessary to lead to $1,000,000.
I accomplished my secret goal in less than 18 months.
It was easy to see that there was something special in my first team member. With the book complete, I asked her to stay on as my Director of Creativity.
I didn’t know what this would involve. What I did know, however, was that it was great having someone more creative than myself on the team. I also knew that I wasn’t ready to let her go.
Plus, this was a freelance role! I figured she’d either create something remarkable while building more and more success and opportunities for herself or that the job would eventually just fade away.
It was most definitely the former. Over the next two years, she injected her creativity into everything I worked on in the coaching industry. From helping me to plan, fill, and run 100-people events and designing materials for my high-performing clients to setting up back-end tech systems to support the business as it grew.
I even paid for her to fly out to London with me. Almost single-handedly, this remarkable woman helped me put on two extraordinary events!
3. HIDE NOTHING. HOLD NOTHING BACK.
This is the name of my “Honesty Policy.” I require this for anybody who works for me.
Once I’ve hired somebody, I make it a point to tell them that their job is not to impress me. I also tell them that their job is not to say “yes” to me.
The truth is, that I’ve hired them because they ALREADY impressed me. And why would I want to surround myself with a bunch of “yes” people? Which is an important thing to remember when you’re coaching a client. Don’t be afraid to tell your client “no.”
In the coaching industry, you have to take risks in order to stand out. So, I encourage my employees to do just that! Take risks, make mistakes – live by the idea that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. And don’t be afraid to challenge me, as well.
I once had a team member write me a letter that was so powerful that she wept while writing it. She wrote to me, recommending that I pull out of a specific business opportunity. While this opportunity was profitable, she felt like it didn’t fit with the integrity of my brand.
I was so touched that I sent her a gift to thank her for her honesty. I also shared the letter with the members of my community to publicly acknowledge her.
Since then, this woman has:
- Pushed me to raise my rates.
- Set the bar higher than I’d ever dreamed about for coaching ideal clients in the coaching industry.
- Consistently held everything we produce to the highest standard possible.
4. ACTING PROACTIVELY VS. REACTIVELY IN THE COACHING INDUSTRY.
Over the years, I’ve hired multiple Virtual Assistants. For some reason that I was never able to put my finger on, though, they always seem to frustrate me.
That is, of course, until I met Sarah Neumann.
Sarah referred to herself as an Online Business Manager. Speaking to Sarah for the first time, she helped me understand a distinction which shifted everything for me.
It was thanks to Sarah that I finally understood why I was getting frustrated with even the best Virtual Assistants.
They were task oriented, reactive and needed a great deal of guidance. They also got the job done.
So what was I missing?
I quickly realized the answer to my question as soon as I discovered what Sarah brought to the table. In addition to expertly handling every task she was given, Sarah was able to anticipate my future needs. Sarah provided me the opportunity to be proactive in the coaching industry as opposed to reactive. She also didn’t need the hand-holding that a lot of my previous Virtual Assistants did.
I hired Sarah almost immediately as my Director of Client Astonishment.
And in return – Sarah has astonished me.
I once ran an event and after it, Sarah created a 75-point checklist for me. She turned this checklist into a spreadsheet and made sure that every detail was handed at all future events.
Sarah created a task management system for the team. This system had every detail tracked and ensured that no tasks were missed any longer.
I had Sarah kick me out of my own email account (for good reason). Now, she handles all incoming inquiries, only sharing those that I truly need to see.
And we make sure to stay connected on a daily basis. Which is more about her making sure that I’m on top of things instead of me checking on her.
I truly can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything Sarah has done for me.
5. ALWAYS PUT YOUR DEEPEST VALUES FIRST.
Each week I hold a team meeting. During this meeting, we always start with something fun that we’ve accomplished that week.
You see, I have THREE top values:
I know that if I don’t put these front and center, week after week, then I will go off track.
I remember YEARS ago at a point when we had just accomplished our biggest event to date. Without hesitation, we launched straight into launching a new program within the coaching industry. Without even noticing, we dove straight into the logistics of the new program at the start of our next meeting.
15 minutes in, I caught ourselves. And I immediately put an end to the meeting.
I know the entire team, myself included, was eager to handle every pressing issue we had. Despite this desire, I instead had each of us share a fun story of what we’d done that week.
I reminded my team that we are here to live a FUN life. And that included at that moment.
Our lives are not meant to be fitted in around the edges of work.
6. INVEST IN THE VERY BEST. NO EXCEPTIONS.
A few years back, I hired an extraordinary man as my coach. This man charged $150,000.00/year, in advance, up front, without any refunds.
Oh, and I had to fly to Phoenix, AZ every couple of weeks for my coaching sessions.
After that, I hired a 23-year old as my coach – a man who was far younger than me and who had less experience in the coaching industry.
He told me that he considered himself to be a “Productivity Coach.” But I told him that I didn’t want to be, nor did I NEED to be, more productive. I take a lot of pride in my productivity and instead I wanted him to help me be more CREATIVE.
So, instead of calling him my Productivity Coach, I called him my Creative Coach. He helped me learn how to slow down and practice the idea of, “Less. But Better.” I now even have what I call an “Avoid at All Costs” list, thanks to this coach.
Finally, I hired a business coach who helped me craft a vision that inspires me more than anything else in my life. Through this vision, we’re mobilizing $!00 MILLION for charity through the connections I’ve made. We’ve already raised the funds to build multiple schools in Africa. I was also able to create the Four Percent Club (4PC). This club is a mastermind of the top 4% of coaches in the world.
7. HIRE ONLY EXTRAORDINARY TEAM MEMBERS.
I’m not going to lie – this one has been a STEEP learning curve for me. Here’s a list that I’ve created over the year, though, that’s worth keeping in mind:
- Nothing beats a great referral. I’ve hired multiple coaches, team members, bookkeepers, accountants, lawyers, you name it… all based on referrals from close friends and colleagues that I know and trust.
- Ask for what you want – precisely. Be bold in your requests and don’t accept anything less.
- Don’t be afraid to readjust what you want.
- Ask for the outrageous – you might just get it!
- There’s power in questions. THEIR questions. Provide new, potential team members with the opportunity to ask you questions. I promise, you’ll learn a lot more about them this way.
8. FINALLY – JOIN TRANSITION EXCELLENCE.
I know that this has been a long article (almost 2,000 words at this point).
Like everything I write, though, I hope that you were able to find that it was worth your investment of time. Which, if you read last week’s article, you’d know that investment of time is something that I don’t take lightly.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level of success then Transition Excellence is right for you.
If you’re looking to get started in the coaching industry then Transition Excellence is right for you.
Whatever you’re looking to do, let us help you transition into excellence.
Transition Excellence is a 6-month, self-paced training program that focuses on client creation. Additionally, you’ll learn how to maneuver through the coaching industry more efficiently. Think, “Less. But Better.”
Transition Excellence is designed to be completed in 100 days but it truly is a work-at-your-own-pace program. With 13 modules, live weekly calls with myself and my leadership team and access to a private community full of some of the most INCREDIBLE people that you’ll ever meet, Transition Excellence is perfect for anybody who is looking to take that next step towards the extraordinary.
Transition Excellence is also an ICF accredited program for those of you who might be interested. You can learn more about the ICF by clicking here.
As Greg McKeown once said, “Very successful people are absurdly selective.”
So, if you’re looking to join a group of very successful people then look no further. Book a Call with a member of my Admissions Team to see if Transition Excellence is right for you.
PS. I would like to invite you to take my Coaching Excellence Scorecard. This quiz is designed to score you on the 4 pillars of coaching excellence. There are no right or wrong answers, only areas for improvement. Which is where Transition Excellence comes in.