Today's Coach | Subscribe | Unsubscribe | 23,169 subscribers | | archives | advertising


Lesson #19 from the "How to Coach Anyone eCourse"
How do you coach a first time business owner who is completely
over his/her head?

GSC Members receive discounted CoachVille Conference Tuition
 Click here for details






Monday, April 22, 2002


Do you have a client who is starting his own business?  or, perhaps you have a newbie coach client who is building her practice? I'm guessing, but from what I hear from you, you likely have one or more of each!  Well, today's issue is for you.

Taken from the How to Coach Anyone eCourse, today's issue is a great one to take to heart, not only for your clients, but for yourselves.  I hope you enjoy it.

Also in today's issue is an exciting announcement, also about coaching small businesses, and that is the opening of CoachVille's Business and Corporate Coaching Conference being held in Toronto, Ontario this fall.  If you are hoping to take in a live coaching event this fall, I encourage you to peruse the detailed agenda below...

As always, your suggestions and feedback are welcome.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Reading,

Andrea Lee
GM, CoachVille

Lesson #19
How do you coach a first time business owner who is completely over his/her head?

Given almost no one had Entrepreneurism 101 or Running a Small Business in high school or college, it is completely natural for business owners to get in over their heads from time to time.  Here's how you can help.

Where ignorance and optimism meet, arrogance follows.
The great part of entrepreneurs is that they are quite optimistic, naturally driven and open to learning by doing.  The downside of entrepreneurs is arrogance (meaning that they overestimate their ability to handle things well, or they can't collaborate/learn essential things until it's too late).

Entrepreneurs are different than you and I.
Most entrepreneurs are idea people and in some cases, idea-chasing people.  Ideas breed opportunities and opportunities breed ideas.  A dizzying loop if you're not an entrepreneur yourself.  Logic, linear planning, management and follow through are not generally the gifts of the entrepreneur.  The wise ones outsource these functions or have been lucky enough to attract folks who can handle the entrepreneur's ways.

Entrepreneurs are prone to get in over their heads financially.
This again, because they are naturally optimistic if not dreamers.  That is their function in life.  Entrepreneurs are key to what drives innovation in many countries and are the backbone of business creativity in the U.S.  Remember, entrepreneurs have a different relationship with risk than you or I.  To them, it's a greater failure to have not tried their best, even if the project/business didn't make a lot of financial sense to the accountants of the world.  Entrepreneurs see so much that could and should work out.  And, on the downside, entrepreneurs are often ahead of the marketplace or get more excited about the idea/product/service/opportunity than they do about testing it out to make sure enough people will actually buy it, and buy it quickly and often enough to keep them in business.

How to coach the entrepreneur when they get in over their head.
There are two types of "in over their head." 

The first type is when they are bouncing around from idea to idea or business project to business project.  What they most need is to experience some modicum of success.  Without enough people buying their product/service, the entrepreneur loses faith in themselves and to compensate, comes up with another 'great idea.'  And the cycle can continue until the deep hurt kicks in. 

The second type is the entrepreneur who's in trouble but can't admit or or can't admit all of it.  And believe me, by the time the entrepreneur even hints to you that they are in trouble, they are likely days away from a financial crisis.

What I've found that can work in these situation are a combination of...

  1. Get their attention.
It's not easy to get the attention of an entrepreneur who is in panic mode.  They tend to dominate their surroundings as a defense mechanism.  Rather than clamor for their attention, ask "Bob, how can I your attention?"  It works.

2. Help them switch their focus.
From idea/revenue/project/opportunity to the actual customers. Not an easy shift at first, but once made, the entrepreneur often thrives on this new focus.  They apply their creativity to fixing customer and product/service problems.  It also keeps them out of idea mischief for a while.

3. Be very, very positive and encouraging.
Entrepreneurs are like kids; even when they mess up, they need love and encouragement.  You can be highly positive and encouraging and still 'force' the entrepreneur to face the facts and get to work to solve their problems.  But whatever you do, don't b.s. them.  They are acutely aware of b.s. given they are often on the broadcasting side of that.

4. Ask them to sort out the problem and come up with a solution.
I'm all for being directive with clients, but entrepreneurs seem to do better when you ask them to come up with their own solutions.  I've also found it works really well to challenge the entrepreneur to solve the problem and then some within 30 days.  They LOVE a challenge.  Give them one.

5. Help the entrepreneur to honestly and accurately define the problem.
Entrepreneurs have tons of 'reasons' (aka excuses) for why things aren't going the way they should be going.  I've found it helpful to push/put heads together and figure out the real source of the current problem/stress/mess.  It's usually one of these 5 things.
1. The entrepreneur is too idea/opportunity-based and isn't customer focused enough.
2. The entrepreneur's overhead or variable costs structure is too high.
3. The entrepreneur is impatient/overly optimistic about sales/revenue.
4. The entrepreneur's lifestyle is too expensive, causing performance pressure.
5. The entrepreneur isn't going deep enough with one business or product and instead is scratching the surface of several opportunities, doing none of them justice.  The real revenue and high profits occur when you do deep, not shallow.

6. The entrepreneur doesn't know how to market or sell well enough, or he/she hasn't outsourced this function.
7. The entrepreneur is trying to sell the wrong product/service.  It's truly hopeless and the plug should be pulled.

I hope this was helpful.


copyright 2002 by written by thomas j. leonard. all rights reserved. distribution welcome with attribution intact.

Access to all of the How to Coach Anyone Ecourse is available as part of CoachVille's $79 Lifetime membership.  Click here to find out more.

CoachVille sponsors the largest business and corporate coaching conference this September in Toronto. 

Special pricing is only $279 for early registration: now available!
If you are coaching small business or corporations, or plan to sometime over the next several years, then THIS is the conference to attend this fall.

Dear Today's Coach Reader,

Yes, it's official!  

CoachVille is now serving the business/corporate coaching market in a very big way, starting with the Fall Conference in Toronto.  If you have enjoyed what we have created for the personal/success marketplace, just wait until you see the tools that we are crafting for the corporate coaching marketplace.  It's all fresh. No blah.  No recycling.  No tired 90's stuff.

Details about this conference are below.  Given the meeting room size limits of the Sheraton Towne Centre, we have only 500 seats available.  (Remember, 850 coaches attended the Las Vegas Conference last month, so space is going to be limited in Toronto.)

And, note that you can register now and you have until July 31, 2002 to change your mind with no service fee, and as always we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for this and every training and event we offer.  We stand behind the quality of content and experience, which is virtually an exclusive in the coaching industry.   

Benefits of Attending the Fall 2002 CoachVille Conference
o Learn how to break into the business and corporate coaching marketplace.
o Learn how to position yourself and your services to meet corporate needs.
o Gain practical, real world wisdom from the successful biz/corporate coaches.
o Get introduced to the newest Coaching Programs for business/corporate clients.
o Receive lifetime/royalty-free rights to conduct these programs within corporations.
o Meet and network with hundreds of other business and corporate coaches.
o Come to understand exactly what corporations will (and won't) hire a coach to do.
o Learn how to think like an entrepreneur and executive so that you can coach them better.
o Be introduced to the newest, and most popular, assessment tools for companies.
o Learn how enter the corporate market through the backdoor.
o Enjoy the high level of intellectual stimulation that this CoachVille event will provide.
o Leave with several years' worth of ideas, opportunities, programs and knowledge to accelerate your success as a business and corporate coach.

Announcing the Fall 2002 CoachVille Coaching Conference
The largest business and corporate coaching conference ever.

Thursday - Saturday
September 12, 13, 14, 2002
(Wednesday, September 11, is a bonus day; see below)
9am-5pm all days
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Maximum capacity: 
Conference fee:  $279 super early bird registration fee until
June 30, 2002.
$379 from July 1 to August 31, 2002, $479 as of September 30, 2002, $579 as of October 1, 2002. 
Full payment is made upon registration, but a full refund is available if you withdraw prior to July 31, 2002.

Click here to register.

Link not working with your browser? Go here:
If you want to register for the Wednesday boot camp, click here.

Who is the Conference primarily designed for? 
While everyone is most welcome, the conference content has been designed for:
1. Coaches who are interested in mastering what it takes to coach Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, Executives, Managers and Leaders.
2. Coaches who would enjoy hands on situational training, strategies and specific approaches to coaching in a corporate environment.
3. Coaches who have an interest in improving the coaching skills related to coaching tomorrow's leaders.
The conference is fitting for both newer coaches and experienced coaches.

Note:  GSC Members receive discounted CoachVille Conference Tuition.  Click here for details

Conference Agenda/Schedule
Please note:  There is also a pre-event day available on Wednesday, September 111, calld the Coaching BootCamp.  Details at

Day 1. Coaching Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses


Coffee, Tea and Networking With Thomas and the Other Presenters


o The 4 Critical Things Every Coach Should Know about Coaching the Entrepreneur
How they think and operate, and how they are different than most people
What they need and want from a coach, and what they don't want
The special gifts of the entrepreneur and how to leverage those gifts
What not to say or do with your entrepreneur clients
1020-1035am Morning Break
1035-1200noon o The 5 Situations Entrepreneurs Finds Themselves In and How to Coach Them Through it
New business/startup, where chaos is the standard
Rapid growth, with the operational and stress problems that come with that
Flat growth, where boredom causes mischief
In trouble; a serious turnaround situation
Company overly dependent on the entrepreneur for growth and leadership
1200-1230pm o Coaching the Business Owner who is "The Problem"
Getting their attention and keeping their respect
Helping them to grow and change because they want to
Outsourcing the entrepreneur's weak areas
1230-200pm Lunch Break
(on your own)
200-245pm o The 3 Things You Can Teach The Entrepreneur
How to strategize any goal in 3 simple steps
How to convert ideas to revenue streams in record time
How to use customers as a personal R&D Team vs resisting input
245-315pm o Coaching the Business Owner To Make the Most of the Opportunities in Front of Them 
Separating "good ideas" from revenue opportunities
Reducing the opportunity costs of delay and indecision
Designing the business so that it is scalable without the owner being the bottleneck
315-330pm Afternoon Break
330-500pm o How To Market Yourself to Entrepreneurs
The 5 Hot Buttons (and they are not what you think they are)
Offering a Coaching Program like eSurvivor for their employees
How to price, package and customize your services for Entrepreneurs
Where to meet and how to network with Entrepreneurs/Business owners
How to set up your new entrepreneur client so that the relationship works long term


End of Day


Day 2.  Coaching Executives and Senior Management


Coffee, Tea and Networking With Thomas and the Other Presenters
The Morning Coaching the Executive
break at 1020am
o Understanding the 10 Primary Challenges that Executives Face, and How to Coach Them Well in All 10 Areas
Challenge #1: Short term results, with long term revenue sustainability
Challenge #2: Implementing structural and cultural change
Challenge #3: Inspiring management/staff to self-motivate
Challenge #4: Carving out the time/space to think beyond the immediate
Challenge #5: Designing a culture that learns rapidly, automatically
Challenge #6: Maintaining key employees long term
Challenge #7: Replacing revenue streams via creative destructionism
Challenge #8: Instilling the company vision/mission throughout the firm 
Challenge #9: Updating the products to stay ahead of the competition 
Challenge #10. Resolving personal issues and lifestyle stresses
1200noon-130pm Lunch Break
(on your own)
The Afternoon Tools To Use with Executives & Management
130-300pm o Selecting the Best Assessment Tools to Use With Executives and Management
Learn the uses and benefits of 7 popular assessment tools.

360 Tools
5 more to be added, including an Executive Dashboard-type enterprise management tool
300-315pm Afternoon Break
315-500pm o Executive Development Programs
Full use/rights of these 2 new client coaching/development programs are included in your conference fee.
The Modern Leadership Program: The 15 Proficiencies of Advanced Leadership
Visionary Thinker Program: Looking, and Acting, 10 Years Forward.
Universal Trends: The 10 Trends That Are Shaping Our World, and How To Change Your Thinking to Make the Most of Them


End of Day


Day 3. Coaching Within the Corporation/Enterprise


Coffee, Tea and Networking With Thomas and the Other Presenters
The Morning Understanding Why Organizations Hire Coaches

break at 1030am

o Understanding the 25 Reasons That Corporations hire Coaches
We've polled both coaches and companies to arrive at this eye opening list of 25.  
During the morning, you will learn these 25, and learn how a coach can package and deliver coaching services and programs to meet these real world needs.
We will also weave in the 10 universal Trends which are affecting corporations worldwide.  This information will add wisdom to your coaching.
1200noon-130pm Lunch Break
(on your own)
The Afternoon Marketing & Success as a Corporate Coach
130-320pm o How to be Successful as a Corporate Coach
Backdoor Marketing: The Fastest Way To Get Into a Corporation
Packaging Yourself As a Solution Machine Who Just Happens To Be a Coach
Offering graduating programs to corporations
No corporate background? No problem
Avoiding the Mistakes: What Not To Do In a Corporate Setting
320-335pm Afternoon Break
335-410pm  o Creating a Coaching Culture in an Organization
Training managers as coaches
Designing a collaborative environment
Connecting the company's vision with all areas of the company
410-500pm o Coaching Programs for Corporations
These programs are available royalty free to all attendees.
Vision Development: Thinking Ahead of the Predictable Future 
Mission Statement: From Yawn to Yowza
Coaching Teams: Energizing the Enterprise with Collaborative Teams
Business Foundation for Corporations (adapted from Personal Foundation)


End of Day/Conference

How is the Conference organized?
We are keeping the conference material as hands on and interactive, effective, and simple as possible.  You'll have plenty of free time for networking.
1. Everyone is in the same event room during the training.  
2. Thomas Leonard is coleading the segments with experienced business and corporate coaches.  
3. All sessions are interactive (and include step-by-step handouts).
4. You are on your own for meals. Beverages are served both days during the breaks.


The conference is being held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, located in what is referred to as "the best location in the City" at 123 Queen Street West. The Sheraton Centre Toronto has received more hospitality & awards than any other hotel in Toronto. Among its many honours, the Sheraton Centre is the only hotel to have received the coveted Gold Key Award from "Meetings and Conventions" magazine for twelve consecutive years!

Room Rates!
We've arranged for special room rates with the Sheraton for conference attendees. $143.00 US per room double occupancy. Call the hotel at
(800) 325-3535 to make your reservation today!  Do mention that you are part of the CoachVille Conference in order to obtain the special rate.


Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2M9
Phone: (416) 361-1000
Fax: (416) 947-4854
Number of rooms: 1,377
Number of floors: 43
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: Noon


We suggest you fly in on Tuesday evening (if attending the boot camp day) and depart on Sunday. The major airport serving Toronto is Pearson International airport, and it is less than 45 miles from the hotel.  We've had good luck with if you're looking to book your flight online. The airport code for Toronto is YYZ.

Airport Express Shuttle
For your convenience, Pacific Western operates a 24-hour Airport Express shuttle bus between Pearson International Airport and The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, seven days a week.

And for your return to the airport on Saturday or Sunday, the Airport Express bus leaves The Sheraton Centre every 20 minutes, beginning on the hour. From 2am to 5am daily the shuttle leaves every 30-40 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at the Tour Desk in the lobby, or with driver. One-way adult fare to Pearson is CAD$14.25, round-trip is $24.00. Children ride free with adult. Pick-up is located at the Richmond Street side of the Sheraton Centre's main Motorcourt.

From the West

Also Toronto International Airport - Use 427 South
Follow Highway 401 East to the 427. Take 427 South and follow signs for QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way). QEW turns into the Gardiner Expressway (eastbound). Follow along on Gardiner and watch on right for York St. Exit. Take York St. exit ramp slowly. Stay on left side of ramp and follow York Street until it ends at Queen Street. Turn right onto Queen and you will see motor entrance for hotel immediately on the right. Welcome!

From the U.S. and Niagara Region
Follow QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) into Metro. QEW turns into the Gardiner Expressway. Follow Gardiner and watch on right for York St. exit. Take York St. exit slowly. Stay on left side of ramp and follow York Street until it ends at Queen Street. Turn right on to Queen and you will see motor entrance for hotel immediately on the right. Welcome!

From the East
Follow Highway 401 West to the Don Valley Parkway. Take DVP South all the way to the Richmond St. exit. Get into right lane of Richmond once at Bay Street - the hotel is on the right at the corner of Richmond and York Streets.

Conference Cancellations/Transfer
Full payment is made upon registration, but a full refund is available is you withdraw prior to July 31, 2002.

Guarantee of Satisfaction
If, at the end of the Conference, you feel that the conference was not worth the fee you paid, you will be refunded your Intensive fee in its entirety, no questions asked.  (We're quite serious about this.)

Please watch for announcement.  Thomas is coleading most segments with corporate coaches.

Need a roommate?
When you register, we'll let you know how to connect with other attendees to share a room.

Looking to volunteer? Great! A call for volunteers will be coming out later this summer.


We'll offer a free networking table/area for anyone who wishes to offer products and services.  Watch for details.

Click here to register.
Link not working with your browser? Go here:
If you want to register for the Wednesday boot camp, click here.

Please email