Elevating Your Coaching Business: Practical Wisdom from Donald Miller and Mike Michalowicz

Donald Miller and Mike Michalowicz recently had an insightful conversation about the value of coaching and how coaches can effectively grow their businesses. Mike, a successful coach himself who now trains and certifies business coaches in his methodologies and frameworks, shared his journey from small business owner to respected industry leader, offering valuable perspectives for both new and experienced coaches.

At the heart of the discussion was the fundamental question: why do people hire coaches? Mike believes the answer lies in specialization. By focusing on a specific niche and developing deep expertise, coaches can position themselves as the go-to resource for solving particular problems or serving specific industries.

Interestingly, Mike advises against giving direct advice to clients. Instead, he recommends sharing personal experiences and relatable stories that allow clients to draw their own insights and apply them to their unique situations. This approach fosters a more collaborative and impactful coaching relationship.

Another key aspect of successful coaching is finding your purpose. Mike encourages coaches to reflect on their life experiences, particularly the challenging ones, to uncover the driving force behind their work. When coaches are fueled by a genuine sense of purpose, it enhances their passion and effectiveness in helping others.

From a practical standpoint, the conversation touched on several strategies for growing a coaching business. Creating a menu of coaching products tailored to different needs within your niche can help structure your offerings and make it easier for clients to understand how you can assist them. Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system early on is also crucial for effectively managing client information and supporting marketing efforts as your business scales.

To identify the most impactful coaching opportunities, Mike suggests looking at your own experiences or those of your immediate community to pinpoint pressing problems you are uniquely positioned to solve. By focusing on areas where you have confidence and expertise that others may lack, you can create coaching products that bridge the gap between insecurity and confidence for your clients.

Ultimately, the conversation highlighted the significant opportunity coaches have to make a meaningful difference in their clients’ lives. By specializing, sharing relatable experiences, operating with purpose, and strategically developing their businesses, coaches can deliver transformative value and build thriving practices.

If you want to watch the whole interview, click on the video below.

About the Author

Ron Tester is a Certified Executive Coach and Book Yourself® Solid Coach who helps service professionals and solopreneurs grow their businesses without sacrificing their personal lives. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ron provides practical guidance on marketing, sales, operations, and work-life balance. Learn more at https://www.rontestercoaching.com/about.

Read This: Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible

Are you a solopreneur or small business owner searching for that elusive ingredient that will make your ideas resonate and your business thrive? Find Your Red Thread by Tamsen Webster is a transformative book that unveils the secret to turning your big ideas into irresistible propositions. Whether you’re struggling to stand out in a crowded market or seeking a more authentic connection with your audience, Find Your Red Thread could be more than just a book—it might be the blueprint you need to bring clarity, purpose, and success to your entrepreneurial journey. Read on to discover how this book can be the catalyst for your next big breakthrough.

  1. Target Audience: Anyone who has a big idea and wants to communicate that idea clearly. Because I work with solopreneurs and small business owners, I find this book particularly helpful for the kind of people I work with,  individuals running their own businesses looking for effective ways to communicate their unique value proposition and stand out in the market. I do think this book would also be enormously helpful for marketing professionals,  coaches and consultants— people who are looking for better ways to articulate their ideas and concepts to clients.
  2. Key Points and Action Steps:
    • The Concept of the Red Thread: The book introduces the ‘Red Thread’ as a metaphor for the underlying message or theme that ties together an idea, story, or business strategy. It emphasizes finding and articulating this central thread to make ideas more compelling and understandable.
    • Defining Clear Goals: Webster stresses the importance of having clear, well-defined goals. For solopreneurs, this means understanding what they want their business to achieve and what unique value they offer.
    • Problem Identification: A significant portion of the book is dedicated to identifying and articulating the problems that a business or idea is solving. This is vital for targeted marketing and for ensuring that the business is addressing genuine needs.
    • Establishing Core Truths: The author encourages finding a core truth or principle that defines your business or idea. This truth serves as a guide for both personal development and business strategies.
    • Actionable Steps for Change: The book outlines how to define the change your business promises and the actions needed to realize this change, providing a roadmap for business growth and strategy implementation.
    • Effective Communication: Webster provides guidance on creating a compelling statement or pitch that encapsulates your ‘Red Thread,’ essential for effective marketing, networking, and brand building.
  3. Themes:
    • Clarity and Purpose: The central theme is the importance of clarity and purpose in business and personal endeavors. Understanding your ‘Red Thread’ helps maintain focus and direction.
    • Storytelling in Business: The book emphasizes the power of narrative and storytelling in making business ideas resonate with the audience, an essential aspect of marketing and brand building.
    • Alignment of Personal and Business Growth: There’s a strong theme of aligning personal values with business objectives, which is particularly relevant for solopreneurs, whose personal and professional lives are often closely intertwined.
  4. Unique Insights:
    • Unique Value Proposition: Solopreneurs can use the ‘Red Thread’ concept to clarify and communicate their unique value proposition, setting them apart in a crowded market.
    • Authentic Marketing: The book’s focus on storytelling and core truths offers a more authentic approach to marketing, moving away from traditional sales pitches to narratives that genuinely connect with the audience.
    • Strategic Planning: Webster’s framework can assist in strategic planning, ensuring that business actions are aligned with the overarching goals and values, leading to more cohesive and effective growth strategies.
    • Personal and Professional Synergy: The book encourages solopreneurs to find a balance where their personal beliefs and business objectives support and enhance each other, leading to more sustainable growth and personal fulfillment.

Find Your Red Thread provides a framework that can be exceptionally beneficial for solopreneurs and small business owners in clarifying their business’s purpose, enhancing their marketing strategies, and aligning their personal growth with their business goals.

Caveat: the effectiveness of these concepts largely depends on the business owner’s ability to introspect, adapt, and apply these ideas in the context of their specific business challenges and opportunities. And that requires time. And that’s something many of us feel like we don’t have enough of.

But my question to you is, if not now, when? When are you ever going to take the time to do the important but not urgent work in your business? And how long will you be able to go on, struggling to get your message out there in the world? Take the time now to do this right and you will reap the rewards far into your better future.

About the Author

Ron Tester is a Certified Executive Coach and Book Yourself® Solid Coach who helps service professionals and solopreneurs grow their businesses without sacrificing their personal lives. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ron provides practical guidance on marketing, sales, operations, and work-life balance. Learn more at https://www.rontestercoaching.com/about.

Read This: Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

If you’re obsessed with productivity (and I’m going to assume you are), and you’re struggling to improve your habits (again, I’m assuming you are), then you should read this book. For the record, I’ve read almost all of the popular habits books over the past 15 years or so (did I mention I’m obsessed?). And while all of them are helpful, none is better than Tiny Habits by B. J. Fogg.

1. Target Audience

The target audience for Tiny Habits is really anyone who wants to improve their habits. But I’m recommending it to small business owners and solopreneurs who are looking to improve their productivity, efficiency, and overall well-being through small, manageable changes in their daily routines. This book is especially helpful for:

  • Solopreneurs and small business owners who often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities.
  • Busy Small Business Owners who struggle with time management and are seeking ways to optimize their daily habits for better business outcomes.
  • People Seeking Work-Life Flow who want a rewarding work life AND a rewarding personal life (seems selfish, I know).
  • Start-up Founders who need to establish productive routines and habits as they grow their businesses.

2. Key Points and Action Steps

  • Start Small for Lasting Change: Focus on tiny, manageable actions to create sustainable behavior change. This approach is more effective than attempting large, drastic changes. Yes, I know in some circles this idea is controversial, but it’s backed by science. (FYI Dr. B. J. Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University.)
  • Fogg Behavior Model (B=MAP): Behavior is a function of Motivation, Ability, and Prompt. All three elements must be present for a behavior to occur.
    • Motivation: Often unreliable and less crucial than commonly believed.
    • Ability: Making a behavior easier is key to the Tiny Habits method.
    • Prompt: Acts as the trigger for the behavior.
  • Behavior Design Process:
    • Define clear aspirations or goals.
    • Brainstorm a variety of specific behaviors to achieve these goals.
    • Identify impactful and doable behaviors (Golden Behaviors).
    • Scale down behaviors to their simplest form.

3. Unique Insights

  • Fogg’s approach challenges the common belief that significant changes require high motivation and drastic actions. Instead, it emphasizes the power of small, incremental changes.
  • The book takes a scientific perspective on habit formation, moving away from moral judgments of “good” and “bad” habits, focusing instead on the practical aspects of behavior change.
  • Fogg’s method stands out for its simplicity and ease of implementation. Unlike other self-help methods that may require substantial shifts in lifestyle or mindset, Tiny Habits focuses on tiny, non-intimidating steps that can be integrated easily into daily life.
  • The B=MAP model offers a unique, structured way to dissect and understand behavior, providing a clear framework for habit formation that can be applied in various contexts, including business.

Transforming our habits and, by extension, our lives, doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming. Whether you’re a solopreneur struggling to balance work and personal life, or a seasoned business owner looking to refine your daily routines, this book offers a practical, science-backed roadmap. By breaking down habit formation into small, manageable steps, Fogg not only demystifies the process but also makes it accessible and achievable for everyone. For those looking to make lasting changes with small, confident steps, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by B.J. Fogg is your go-to guide.

About the Author

Ron Tester is a Certified Executive Coach and Book Yourself® Solid Coach who helps service professionals and solopreneurs grow their businesses without sacrificing their personal lives. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ron provides practical guidance on marketing, sales, operations, and work-life balance. Learn more at https://www.rontestercoaching.com/about.