Article posts of '2017' 'January'





When you’re busy taking care of other people its hard to look at what you need for your own self. That’s how I saw Alana and Rose. Two very capable natural therapists who were dedicated to helping their clients feel fantastic and have a new lease on life. Problem was as successful as their business was, with repeat clients, new services to offer and new products flying off the shelves, the business they were so attached to wasn’t looking after them. I see this kind of thing all the time. Amazing technicians who can give the highest levels of craft and service but they aren’t looking at what really matters in their lives, which in the case of Alana and Rose it was their incomes to support their family commitments.


They had almost had enough when they decided to find me and we met over a coffee in their local shopping haunt. Trendy, inner city spot with lots of hipsters. It was a perfect location for servicing professional, high income earners, baby boomer retirees and people who want to pamper themselves after a long work day. Their business idea was certainly not the issue.


“We work really hard Brett, and we love it. When the business can pay us after all our expenses are taken out, we get a little bit of pay, but it’s not much.” Alana and Rose wanted to have a regular income stream but it just wasn’t happening. That’s why they asked for my help. They worked for the business, paid its expenses, rent, equipment, supplies. I could see that it brought them down and they felt there wasn’t anything they could do about it.


So many business owners get stuck in this cycle so I was pretty confident when I told both Rose and Alana “if I show you some things and you learn how to look at all the different parts of your business, you can make regular payments to yourselves come out of your business”. They looked a little bit like they were beaten down by daily grind of their business and didn’t believe what I was suggested. Luckily they were willing to come on board with me and give it a try and give it 12 months to see what we could do together.


The first very big leap the girls made was that, with my guidance and support, they employed other specialists. Yoga teachers, remedial massage therapists, pilates instructors. It wasn’t all done overnight and took gradual careful consideration because it was a small team and they didn’t want to be in over their heads. What amazed them the most was the more services they put on the higher the volume of customers that came into their business. The position of the business was perfect!


After a few months, the girls experienced a solid customer volume at a good regular rate. This meant that we could work on the rest of their business. When we meet up each month, I found a gradual lift in their spirit and they started to feel like they could really make a go of building a fantastic service for their local community. They were all about customer service.


At the 5 month mark I sprung a little surprise on them by saying “now let’s look at your numbers”. They both looked at me, there was a silent pause and then Rose said “OK, where do we start”. And that was it. For the next few intense meetings we did it all. P&L and balance sheet management, liability management, asset protection. You name it. They weren’t afraid of anything financial in their business. In fact they went along to intense training workshops I sent them on so they could really get on top of their numbers. Coaching business partners like Rose and Alana was so much fun, they didn’t take their business for granted, they wanted to learn and it was a case of the more I gave them the better they got at leading their business.  


By the 10 month mark the girls saw a complete turnaround in their business. The coaching they received from me made a business less than a year prior, now able to give them a regular income, they had more staff on board and they were no longer breaking even anymore.


“We want to tell you two things Brett - first. We made a profit!! And it’s not even been a year!!” Alana said to me when she called me up before our meeting to review their goals and targets. “That’s fantastic!” I told her, but between you and me, I knew they had already hit their targets and I was already working on some profit maximisation strategies to share with them. This is the best part of my role I have to say - seeing “business owners” turn into Business Leaders. They didn’t know it but both Alana and Rose were well on their way to running a strong sustainable business.


“Great! Congratulations Alana! What’s the other thing you wanted to tell me?” I asked her. “Well…..Rose is taking time out of the business because….she’s pregnant! Last year she was so worried and nervous and it was all too much. We are now relaxed and know what we’re doing thanks to you, and look what happened!” That was a surprise. Mind you, I don’t profess to help people feel that they can expand their family, but I did believe I had something to do with developing their peace of mind! Did I mention they were both already working mums of small children?


Alana and Rose’s business was set up to support them in their existing family life. In the beginning there was no real take-home wage so they couldn’t rely on the business to give them the stability they were after. Now, only 10 months down the track with regular income, actual profits, and a caring team, it is more than possible.


As a business coach, finding profits was the easy part for me, the harder part for the people that I coach, is to help them find a better work life. When that happens I know I have done a great job.

I keep in contact with both Rose and Alana and had the pleasure of meeting Rose’s new arrival, baby James. As far as their professional life was concerned, I can certainly say that I helped them fill in all the blanks on how to manage their business better, they not only did that brilliantly, they managed to add an extra special ingredient of their very own. Well done!





I’ve worked with Eric many times before. He’s what I’d call a focussed, intelligent and a high energy kind of person with depth to his talents. The last time he called me was when he needed someone to share some insights to a team. The team were interested to hear about some ways they could improve together, and after having a chat with Eric, he suggested I was the man for the job. The business I visited was a multi national corporate, lots of people in suits everywhere. When I met the group I have to say, it was a common theme - tired people working the usual corporate hours, feeling over stretched, under resourced. I could count on one hand how many had recently gone on holiday. Like many businesses of their size, they try and get a healthy margin from the same amount of output, and when times are tough it means there are less people to utilize. But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today. The business I found myself speaking in wasn’t Eric’s place of business either.


Eric was in the business of helping people learn how to live healthier lives. That’s why were were both there together. We complimented each other in sessions like these because he talked about physical health and I focussed on the business side. We’ve both held many of these sessions together and how I got to know Eric wasn’t through speaking to groups, but working with him one-to-one.


Not your average health professional guru by any means, Eric is pragmatic, enthusiastic and was really interested in sharing what he learned in his own life with other people. Problem was he wasn’t getting any traction in his business. He had other ventures that I helped him build and sell on, from technology all the way through the health business. But this business was different for Eric on a personal note. He told me in a couple of our one-to-one meetings that he liked making a difference in people’s lives and creating a new ethos of living in different environment, including people in a corporate culture. The business started off with just him and he was keen to plan it out that’s why we got down to brass tacks fairly early.


Over the course of about eighteen months, we had discussed how this service-based business could be created and I helped Eric put his ideas on paper. There were financial considerations, recruitment, sales strategies and marketing he had to factor in. Basically our job together was to work out how his startup could get off the ground, grow and be viable for the long term. Eric had good instincts and was constantly thinking about untapped markets. The corporate sector had long been underserved when it came to health. Unless the organisation was a health organisation by its virtue, it was pot luck whether the HR department head would take on activities outside of fun runs once a year and the occasional gym membership.


The more Eric talked to different organisations that he felt could use his health advice and services, (even if it was a program that he put together for a short burst activity), the more he received calls to come back and present again. He knew my strengths were in building businesses and in building the people inside those businesses so because of our history with each other Eric would call me in. I would present in motivational sessions on how to better work together as a team (personality profiling, planning sessions, team building exercises) so the job of everyday business was easier for them.


I remember how many people who completed his sessions and were revved up and ready to change their routine. I noticed when I returned back to some of the same businesses that they had adopted healthier lifestyles changes across the business e.g. 10 day challenges, morning yoga session, lunchtime 1.5km runs, newly installed facilities for bikes, yoga, healthy food in the tea rooms. The more Eric built his business the busier he got, to the point where he wound up employing a whole raft of different people to assist him.


Eric’s health and nutrition advice business was so popular that one large corporation offered him a tidy sum to hand the entire business over to them. That was a tough one for Eric, the years he spent learning what he knew finally translated into a start-up business he was quite attached to emotionally. He was in that dream position many entrepreneurs work solely toward - getting an amazing buyout offer.


But he couldn’t decide straight away. This was a business that represented him as a person, so unlike his previous business which was more technical and easier to detached from and sell, he found himself picking up the phone to me more often.


We both reflected on the way his business went from one person to a team of health advisors over the years. And we spoke about the challenges he overcame to get to this unique position. I worked with him through the process of the pro’s and con’s and we reviewed the terms of his offer. After we finished I said “over to you mate”.


It took Eric about 3 weeks to come to a decision about selling. In the end he decided it was a good move so he accepted and he made an amazing profit gain that validated all his hard work. I’m really happy to have been the support that he needed to build his business and an additional resource he used when he was running his seminars. He left on top of a business that did all it could to educate people on improving their health and wellness. Coaching people like Eric was rewarding for me and I had made a good friend out of that the journey too.