Michelle* had been working in the family business for over 15yrs. She was well known and well liked in the industry. In fact you could say she was a ‘go to’ person. Her father was no longer involved in the operations and Michelle had been running things for the past 5yrs or so. While the business had been growing consistently, Michelle was exhausted. She was working long hours and felt like she was living the business every moment. She wanted to just get away. In fact when we first started she said if someone came along with a cheque for the business it would be an easy decision to sell it.
Michelle was still fairly young, not yet 40 so she had plenty of working life left. But she felt like she was ready to retire. Michelle says she engaged us “to teach her how to run the business properly. I get by by working my ass off but I don’t feel it is sustainable”.
Michelle’s situation is very common. She wanted more time and freedom and the reason she didn’t have it is because she had a need to be ‘in control’. Being involved in all aspects of the business is how she was keeping it on the rails.
Michelle’s problem was that she was not leveraged enough through people and systems. She was the system. And as her business continued to grow she became more and more swamped. Enter coach.
One of the key reasons for Michelle’s success through coaching was she is very open to learning and new ways of doing things. This is not to say the changes were easy. As we helped Michelle develop the systems for things to run smoothly without her there, there were definitely fears that needed to be addressed in order for the execution to be successful. We identified the areas where Michelle needed to be involved and where she needed to delegate. This alone freed up over 20% of her time.
Hiring additional people was the next step and this is where Michelle found some BIG wins. After implementing our hiring process, Michelle landed a controller from heaven that truly freed up some time.
It was not too long before Michelle started to have a new perspective on the business and it again became fun. She had a 2 week no contact vacation that was the first ever.
As we progressed through coaching, Michelle’s vision became bigger. We had worked on ‘what is possible’ and Michelle was starting to accumulate a mini-empire. She continued to add real estate, started looking at other businesses and opportunities and really started to ‘play the game’. Michelle is now in a position where she can be remote from her business. She receives a dashboard via email that shows her where her key numbers are trending, and a call into the office gives her the finger on the pulse feel that gives peace of mind. The only difference is now she can do it from her boat at the cottage or her villa in Honduras.
Today Michelle’s business continues to grow strongly and she continues to add more people. The difference is now she has a system to do it and managing the growth is a lot easier. She is now clearly in control vs feeling like the business is driving her.