Why You Should Building Teams Around the Talent Not Based on the Confines of Traditional Roles

Why You Should Building Teams Around the Talent Not Based on the Confines of Traditional Roles

At the start of the pandemic, over 120,000 businesses temporarily closed and left over 30 million US workers unemployed. Though job openings have steadily increased, millions of Americans left the labor force in the Great Resignation.

As the labor shortage seemed to rebound, we faced the Great Reshuffle. People quit jobs in droves to pursue dreams, seek better opportunities, or enjoy better work-life balance.

Employers need positions filled, however. Attracting and retaining talent is no small feat, especially at a time when candidates are in high demand.

Pay and benefits are a big part of the equation, but they’re not enough. Employees are seeking opportunities where they feel valued, respected, and invested in – and that starts with the hiring process.

Stop Hiring Based on Traditional Roles

No matter the company or position, the hiring process is usually the same. The position needs to be filled, HR writes a job description, and it’s posted on a job board. Candidates apply and are screened based on impersonal algorithms or required fields, narrowing the list.

The candidates that make it through are interviewed to narrow the list further, sometimes over the course of several interviews, before they’re sent an offer. These interviews often include the same tired questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “why do you want this job?”

Are these questions the best way to find out if a candidate is a good fit for your company? They may offer some insights or show creativity, but they may not be effective for getting to the ideal candidate.

But still, you send out offers and rejections, hire an employee, onboard the employee, and put them through training. This could take weeks or months, on top of all the time spent in the hiring process.

That’s a lot of money and time. The employee will take time to adjust as well, which could add about six months to the process before you see return on that investment.

If the employee doesn’t work out, then it was all for nothing. You have to start the whole process over again.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Why Do Employees Leave Jobs?

As of February 2022, self-employed workers made up about 11% of the 157 million employed workers in the US. This is a dramatic increase over the past two decades.

These workers left their stable full-time jobs and took the risk to get more job satisfaction and control. They wanted the opportunity to develop skills and tackle challenges, which they didn’t have in their current positions.

Employees don’t want to go to work, take orders, and go home. They want to take on new challenges and find opportunities for growth in their careers. If they don’t have a role they can grow into, they move on.

And it all starts with the hiring process. Instead of always being behind the problem, you can get ahead of it and attract talent by providing the satisfaction they’re looking for.

Find a Better Way to Hire

The traditional hiring process isn’t ideal. Here’s another approach.

You have a role you need to fill, general requirements, and a benefits package and salary range to create a job listing. It’s that job listing that prompts a change-up.

Instead of outlining arbitrary requirements, focus on what you really need for the role. Some positions will need licensing or education, but not always. Think about whether you’re eliminating possible candidates based on requirements that are really more preferences.

For example, do you need 5+ or 10+ years of experience? Is a degree required for the role, or just a nice bonus? Do you need just that specific degree, or would related degrees provide a lot of the same information?

Most importantly, are any of these requirements so set in stone that you’re willing to prescreen based on them, never seeing a portion of the applicants?

The years of experience is a particularly tricky one. If you need a mid-level employee and ask for 5 years of experience, you’re getting an employee who’s squarely in the middle of where they need to be. That shortens your training time, but how much can you get out of the employee before they outgrow their role?

If you hire someone who’s approaching that experience level, you have an opportunity to help them grow into it. Remember, the skills that can’t be taught, such as adaptability, teamwork, and personal engagement, are more important than teachable skills like proficiency with a specific software.

Once you figure out what you really need, you can screen candidates effectively and start your interview process. And here’s where you really change things up.

Instead of asking the standard questions, consider a new approach that tests creativity and gives you an idea of how they’ll perform in the position.

Present them with a problem your company is currently facing and ask how they would solve it. For example, tell them you’re struggling to attract a certain audience and ask what they would do differently.

The answers they offer will showcase their creativity, how well they understand your company and the role, and how they can be an asset to your team.

Revamp Your Hiring Process for Long-Term Success

Talent has a bit of an upper hand in the job market now. The interview goes both ways, so if you want to attract the best talent, develop a better hiring process that tests creativity. 

Compassionate Leadership: Why Putting Your Employees Well Being and Mental Health Is Vital to Long-Term Business Success

Compassion comes from the Latin word compati, which means “suffer with.” Showing compassion has been a key component of nearly every religion as a way to connect with others and spread harmony.

In psychology, compassion is an action more than an emotion. It combines elements of love, care, and empathy with the intent to alleviate the suffering of others or share in it with them.

Recently, research has indicated that compassion is an important aspect of a productive work environment. Showing compassion to managers, colleagues, and employees is essential for job satisfaction and motivation.

Understanding Compassion

Showing compassion for others depends on three factors:

  • – We must feel that the troubles causing suffering are serious.
  • – We expect that the sufferer’s troubles are the result of external circumstances (not self-inflicted).
  • – We must be able to empathize and picture ourselves in the circumstances.

Compassion isn’t a give and take. In most cases, the person showing compassion rarely expects to receive the same or get something for their expression. Basically, compassion is “empathy in action.”

In the workplace, showing compassion can lead to reduced stress and more job satisfaction for employees. It also inspires more loyalty, dedication, and engagement, reducing employee attrition and low morale.

We can express compassion in the workplace by:

  • – Actively listening without judgment
  • – Noticing when colleagues are experiencing personal stress or pain and making an effort to help them feel more comfortable and secure in the workplace
  • – Accepting criticism and addressing underperformance or failure without unnecessary harshness

Showing compassion in this manner not only benefits the people involved, but it has a positive impact on the company’s performance culture. Empathy and kindness upgrade the value system of the employees and they feel more involved with the team.

Benefits of Workplace Compassion

Employee Retention

One of the key benefits of a compassionate workplace is employee retention, especially with compassionate leaders. Employees who receive empathy and support from their colleagues and leaders regularly are more likely to stick around and put effort into the organizational goals.

Conversely, if employees are treated poorly or receive no professional cooperation, they will eventually lose motivation and productivity will suffer.

Stress Reduction

Compassion creates space for active communication. Employees in compassionate workplaces can vent out their professional stress (appropriately) and socialize to improve productivity. Compassion can also help with managing work stress and burnout in fast-paced environments.

Physical Well Being

Feeling compassion not only offers psychological benefits but physical ones. Employees who spend time interacting with their colleagues show steady blood pressure and heart rate, according to studies.

Less stress also means better immune systems, reducing the number of sick days and illness. Employees can better manage their work-life balance and enjoy a healthier work and social life.

Interpersonal Bonding

Leaders who take compassionate approaches to work have employees who are likely to reciprocate and work harder for the company. They form healthier and stronger professional relationships and feel that they are part of a team, contributing to better work performance and satisfaction.

What Is Compassionate Leadership?

Compassionate leadership is focused on the individual and their needs, as well as the needs of the team. These leaders can inspire a journey of personal growth and development, no matter how tough the challenges get. They understand that no one is perfect, but they see potential in others and help them reach it.

Modern-day leaders who want to navigate their people and organizations toward success require compassionate leadership. In the past, compassion was seen as a weakness – compassionate people were “soft.”

Now, leaders must treat their colleagues and teams with care and kindness to help them succeed, as individuals and as a team.

Tips for Showing Compassionate Leadership at Work

If you’re wondering how you can apply these skills to your own workplace and teams, here are some tips:

Self-Compassion

Positive vibes start with yourself. You must prioritize self-care and kindness to yourself before you can show it to others. Forgive yourself for past mistakes, focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, and pay yourself compliments.

Effective Communication

The key to being compassionate at work is communicating effectively. No matter who you’re speaking to, communicate openly and clearly to avoid confusion. You should also listen to employees or colleagues who feel comfortable confiding in you and show patience and neutrality.

Appropriate Contact

Touch can be powerful when you’re expressing empathy. Physical contact is minimal in the workplace, but you can use it appropriately with a light touch on the shoulder or holding a hand while listening to a story.

If physical contact isn’t appropriate or comfortable in the situation, show nonverbal cues that express compassion and empathy like eye contact or turning your body toward the person speaking.

Initiation

It takes one person to make the first move and show compassion. Whether you do it with personal support, feedback, or an open discussion about opinions, you can set an example to the entire team and teach them to be more open and empathetic to each other.

Thoughtfulness

Being in tune to the emotions and thoughts of others is an important aspect of compassion. Consider how your words or actions may affect your colleagues, subordinates, or managers and think about how you’d feel in their situation.

Encouragement

Compassion in the workplace is most often reflected by verbal encouragement and motivation. You can show compassion in the workplace by supporting your colleagues and cheering others on for their work and achievements. This type of positive reinforcement can bring about favorable changes.

Flexibility

Compassionate leaders need to have an open mind and realize the power that small changes in daily routine can influence productivity. Instead of being “stuck in their ways,” compassionate leaders are ready to tweak their leadership policies, lifestyle, or strategies to benefit an individual, team, or the entire organization.

Learning

A compassionate leader never stops asking questions, prompting feedback, and learning from others. Gaining new perspectives helps you get closer to others and remove any barriers to their success.

Mindfulness

Leaders have an array of tasks to complete in one day. Taking a moment to slow down, breathe, and observe can help you gain the mindfulness of your team and work environment. If there are stressors or tension, you can identify and address them more readily.

Gratitude

Everyone wants to feel like they’re positively contributing to their workplace and that they’re appreciated. When leaders show gratitude, they earn respect from their employees. This can be done through mentoring, guidance, or merely recognizing a job well done or work put in.

Team Spirit

In the past, workplaces thrived with employees that came to work, did their jobs, and went home. Employees don’t want to just take orders anymore, not feeling like their work contributes to anything important. They want to feel valued, appreciated, and most importantly, useful.

Promoting team spirit makes a workplace more appealing and helps everyone involved in a project or team feel like they’re working toward a shared goal. This not only motivates better work, but it promotes healthier interpersonal relationships.

Top Examples of Compassionate Workplaces

Compassion is slowly working its way into modern companies. These three companies show how compassion can contribute to success:

The Hospital Corporation of America

The Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) is a leading healthcare organization in the US. With over a hundred hospitals and a vast number of employees working at different levels, it’s incredible that HCA has a strong track record of a supportive, positive environment.

In fact, the HCA’s codes of conduct include policies for compassion toward colleagues and clients. The company is proud of its emotionally rewarding culture and strives to provide everyone – from top to bottom – with equal kindness and empathy.

The UnitedHealth Group

The UnitedHealth Group is an American healthcare company that ranked fifth in the most successful companies in Fortune 500 rankings in 2018. The company’s tagline even encourages empathy by stating: “Walk in the shoes of the people we serve and those with whom we work.”

The Autism Research Center

The Autism Research Center (ARC) is an initiative of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom to promote awareness of autism, the benefits of early prevention, and the importance of extensive research.

Despite having a huge team of scientists, professionals, and support staff from all over the world, the ARC has a strong commitment to the principles of empathy and kindness. Education, collaboration, and support are the foundation of ARC and attract researchers, educators, and parents to the cause.

Compassion Is the Key to Success

If you want to be an effective leader, it’s essential to have compassion for the people who work with you. Compassionate leaders are not as common as they need be, but they’re an asset to the workplace.

Compassionate leaders listen, invest in their people, and create a collaborative culture with a positive attitude to help employees feel valued and appreciated. Through compassionate leadership, you can spread joy, connect with others, and resonate positivity in your organization.

How Business Women Can Claim Their Space Online

Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of information for how women can embrace more assertive personalities in the workplace, make themselves heard, and manage better work-life balance.

Women are also expected to defer to others by not taking up space in professional or social environments. This is not only a major contributor to the pay gap, because it decreases the possibilities for promotion, but it sets a dangerous norm in which women feel that they need to take up less space at work.

Because of this, women often struggle to hold their ground with men and stand up for themselves. Occupying space, physically or metaphorically, is a powerful skill and feeling that gives women more confidence and assures them that they “deserve” to be there.

To claim space effectively, you must practice respect. Here are some tips:

Maintain Good Posture

Posture is a key component of claiming space because it exudes confidence and demonstrates how you feel about yourself and how the world feels about you. People with good posture typically look more approachable and may get to know coworkers better.

There’s also a subconscious component. Women who have good posture and look at people directly don’t cower, refer, or intimidate easily. When you stand up tall, other people have to look you in the eye and acknowledge your presence.

Even if you’re home alone and just using audio on a work call, it’s always good to practice good posture. Your coworkers may not be able to see your posture, but your confidence will come across in your voice and demeanor.

Voice

The voice is a powerful tool both in and out of the workplace. Your voice is used to perform your work, to some degree, and find solutions to problems, but it can also be used to advocate for yourself. With the right tone, a voice can show strength or weakness, combativeness, submissiveness, and more.

Online, your voice is your primary means of communication. It’s all the more important for you to use your voice effectively to gain your voice back. If someone talks over you or interrupts, speak with conviction to bring the conversation back to you.

Body Language

Body language is a big part of communication and confidence. Most people notice the way we carry ourselves and how we interact with others, even without words. This can also affect someone’s level of focus or interest.

Think about it – most of us can tell if someone is ignoring us or not really paying attention to what we’re saying. Body language is powerful, and using strong (but approachable) body language boosts your physical presence.

Find Your Space in the Workplace

Women had to overcome a lot to regain their voice in the workplace and get the recognition they deserve. Now, women need to reclaim their space in the workplace to harness confidence and ensure they’re seen and heard each day.

Do you want to rediscover your confidence and claim your space? Work with Allison directly!

When Should You Raise Your Prices?

When Should You Raise Your Prices?

For many business owners, coming up with a pricing strategy was a challenge in the first place. Now, you’ve been in operation a few years and it may be time to raise your prices, but the anxiety is back.

You fear that if you increase the cost of the product too quickly, customers will go elsewhere. But leaving your prices low without adjustments for inflation, cost of living, overhead, or other variables that affect your expenses, you could run yourself right out of business.

Here’s how to tell if it’s time to raise your prices.

Your Close Rate Is High

If a customer conversion rate is over 80%, you probably have prices that are too low. Ideally, your close rate should be in between 75% and 80%. If the conversion rate is in this range, you may want to check over your prices and see if you should increase them.

Of course, if you have an exceptional product that caught the attention of customers quickly, you may find that you have a higher conversion rate after raising prices. Sometimes, products that are too cheap can be a turn off to consumers – they assume there’s a reason they’re so cheap.

You Haven’t Raised Prices

If you haven’t raised prices in years, or you’ve never raised prices, now is the time. Often, business owners are afraid to raise prices at this point because they believe loyal customers will turn away.

Keep in mind that prices have very little impact on demand, so the demand won’t go anywhere. Sure, some customers may not be happy about the prices going up, but most will support you. A modest increase in price isn’t going to deter anyone.

You’ve Received Competitive Reviews

Whether we like it or not, our competitors’ prices influence our prices and how much the market will bear. You can use this same information to determine when it’s time to raise prices (and by how much).

Check out the prices that competitors are charging for comparable products and use that to inform your new pricing strategy. But don’t let the market dictate your pricing. If you’re the more expensive of the brands, your opportunity to come out ahead is in marketing your product for value or quality, rather than as the bargain.

Tips for Raising Prices

If you’ve determined that raising prices is a good decision, you can soften the blow by approaching pricing incrementally. Instead of doubling your price overnight, raise your prices by the appropriate amount. Consider how much of the price affects budget and how much leeway you have to add to the price.

Another option is to “grandfather” old clients in. With this method, you’ll keep the prices the same for your old customers and only raise prices for the new ones.

Boost Your Profits with Accurate Pricing

Pricing your products or services is always difficult. If you’re looking to raise prices, make sure to be transparent with customers to explain the reasons behind the price increase.

Could you use guidance to achieve your business goals? Work with business coach Allison directly!

The Definitive Guide to Defining Your Why

The Definitive Guide to Defining Your Why

All organizations understand what they do and how they do it, but how many really understand why they do it?

The “what” is easy – it’s the products or services a business offers. The “how” is pretty easy too, since we know how we provide these products or services and what makes them unique.

But few can articulate the “why” of it all – why they do what they do, or what is the purpose or belief that drives them. It’s what inspires them to take action, and by extension, inspires others to take action.

Start With Why

The concept of finding “why” became popular after Simon Sinek’s famous Ted Talk, “Start With Why.”

In the talk and his best-selling book, Sinek explains how the world’s greatest leaders inspire themselves and others to take action or champion a cause.

They do it by defining their purpose – sharing their “why” – before discussing anything else. It’s how they captivate, sell, and lead.

How to Find Your “Why”

The “why” statement is the most effective way to articulate your why, or your purpose, to yourself and others.

It should be:

  • – Simple and clear
  • – Focused on others
  • – Actionable

The “why” statement should encompass all of the qualities mentioned, all in a single sentence. You also want your statement to be evergreen, so it can apply to anything you do professionally or personally.

Essentially, your “why” statement is a statement of your value as much as why your social network loves you. Your professional and personal “whys” aren’t different. It’s not a separate concept, product, or service – it’s the underlying force that informs all that you do.

Once you have this statement, it can become a point of reference for all your future actions and decisions. You can set goals, measure your progress, and know when you’re on track.

Here are some exercises to help:

Identify What You Do to Make Others’ Lives Better

This applies both personally and professionally. Consider all the ways you work to make others’ lives better, whether it’s through your work, your business, or your personal endeavors. Solving a problem, volunteering, or donating all contribute to your sense of purpose.

Consider Your Values

Your values are your personal code of conduct. They’re the core beliefs that motivate your actions, behaviors, and interactions with others and the world.

Evaluate Your Motivations

Your motivations are the reasons you have for acting or behaving in a certain way. They’re what gets you excited to work or perform without external pressure from others. They satisfy you.

Think About Your Passions

Your passions extended beyond interests. They’re the things that push you and leave you wanting more. Bordering on obsessions, they’re the things you want to experience more, that you can’t stop thinking about.

These are a good starting point for the next step – self experimentation.

Conduct Self Experiments

There’s no better way to learn about yourself than with experimentation. You can develop your self-awareness, challenge your assumptions, and gain a deeper insight into yourself and your behavioral patterns.

Here are some ways to challenge yourself:

Track Your Thoughts

A daily writing habit is good for a lot of reasons, but among them is improved self-awareness. You don’t need to write everything down, but tracking your most prominent thoughts will reveal patterns that can show you your passions or your “why.”

Describe Your Perfect Workday

The goal of this exercise is to determine how you want to spend your time while working, not enjoying your family or your hobbies. You have to have some clarity of your “why,” even subconsciously, and this exercise can reveal it.

Be as detailed as possible and think about what hours you want to work, where you want to work, and how you want to work. Who are your coworkers? Are you working alone? What tasks would you be working on?

And do you ever imagine a day in which you wouldn’t want to go into work, if this was your day-to-day experience?

Once this is finished, ask yourself “why” again and see if it comes to mind.

Evaluate Your Career

Think about your career, going back as far as you wish, and consider:

  • – The reason you sought or took the jobs you’ve had
  • – The reasons you’ve left jobs
  • – Your most rewarding accomplishments
  • – The compliments you’ve received about your work skills or ethic
  • – The times you felt most productive
  • – Your favorite tasks to do
  • – Your least favorite tasks to do

When you have this fleshed out, read it out loud and consider your “why” again.

Ask Your Trusted Friends or Family Members

Introspection and self-awareness aren’t always easy for people. We’d likely be surprised if we knew how others perceive us, vs. how we see ourselves.

You can use this to your advantage by asking your trusted friends and family members questions to help you find your purpose. Remember, don’t ask them what they think your “why” is – no one can answer that but you. Your trusted friends and family are only here to reveal the patterns you may not recognize yourself.

Ask what they think your strengths and weaknesses are, what seems to be your greatest passion, or what gets you most excited as far as your career or work goes. Only you can determine your “why,” but having some insights into the way others see you and your passion can go a long way toward helping you discover it.

Ask Yourself

With all these exercises, you have a lot more information about your own drive, motivators, and purpose than you did before. Dive a little deeper by asking these questions:

  • – Is there a problem that always moves you to action?
  • – Is there a certain type of work that would fulfill or satisfy you?
  • – What gets you excited?
  • – What aspect of your career has been consistently positive across all of your work experiences?
  • – What work feels easy to you, but pushes you to seek out more information?

Drafting Your “Why”

You’ve done a lot of introspection and asking the tough questions, so now it’s time to put it to use.

Why do you do what you do?

To [contribution] so that [impact]

Sinek’s very own is:

“To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, we can change our world.”

Mine is:

[insert]

Discover Why You Do What You Do

Whether it’s an organizational “why” or an individual “why,” finding your why is a powerful tool to bring your aspirations and actions together to achieve your goals.

Need some help finding your why? Work with Allison directly! 

When Can You Consider Yourself a CEO?

When Can You Consider Yourself a CEO?

When is a founder considered a CEO? Is it when they start getting a certain number of profits or employees? When do they take on the role and responsibilities of a CEO?

By definition, a CEO is the highest-ranking executive in a company and the point of communication between the board of directors and operations. Typically, the CEO is the final decision-maker in the company and must only report to the board of directors.

This is all true of large corporations, but what about smaller businesses? What if you don’t have a board of directors or other executives?

Plenty of owner/operators or founders call themselves a CEO interchangeably, but is this accurate? At what point are you qualified to call yourself a CEO?

What Makes a CEO?

Legally, yes, you can call yourself a CEO or anything else you like. You’re the majority owner of the business. But calling yourself a CEO and actually being a CEO are quite different.

CEOs have a lot of responsibilities they undertake each day, and their decisions can have a profound impact on a company or its employees. They work up to that position by taking on different management or leadership roles. Perhaps they undergo executive training programs or mentorships within the company.

Yes, you do run a business. But running a business for yourself and running a large corporate with many moving parts and a number of stakeholders to answer to is a big step up.

Furthermore, calling yourself a CEO as a small business owner doesn’t boost your credibility. When it comes to investors, it could even hurt your chances. It’s not only an ego issue, but a concern for how seriously you’ll be taking your business.

Very few people are qualified to be a CEO simply because they founded a company. Investors will realize the title is only a temporary or ego-driven one, and that as your company grows, you’ll need to hire an experienced CEO.

Requirements of a CEO

Though courses are available for executive training, CEOs usually earn their qualifications and position with extensive experience in:

  • – Marketing
  • – Sales
  • – Finance
  • – Operations
  • – Product development
  • – Management
  • – Leadership
  • – Recruiting
  • – Strategy
  • – Accounting

This isn’t a background that can be gained with a college course. The experience is gained by doing the work and learning along the way.

And these are just skills. It doesn’t even include the other qualities you need, such as commitment, integrity, and motivation.

As your business scales, you may need to appoint a CEO and other leaders. You could also appoint yourself, but you don’t know what you don’t know.

Scale Your Business

Building a substantial company requires an experienced team to help it reach success. Simply calling yourself a CEO doesn’t give you the skill set or qualifications, and if you don’t have other leaders to help, you’re only hurting your own success.

Looking for executive coaching? Work with Allison directly to gain the skills you need!

How to Start Speaking at Conferences as a Business Owner

As your business grows and you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you’ll have more opportunities to get up in front of an audience and share your wisdom. Whether a keynote or a panel with peers, speaking at conferences and trade events is a great way to promote your business and boost your exposure.

It can still be a challenge to find the right speaking opportunities, however. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling.

Be Specific

If you’re thinking that you just “want to start speaking,” that’s not enough. You should know the types of venues and audiences you want to speak to.

Do you want a small venue and audience with industry people? Would you prefer to speak locally at conferences? Are you looking for an audience of college students and young entrepreneurs or established business professionals?

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of speaking opportunities to consider. Narrow your focus to start and look for opportunities that meet your criteria. Once you’re specific, finding the ideal venues will become much easier.

Search for Speaking Opportunities

The internet can be useful for finding speaking engagements. You can search by location, event, or venue to find the right fit. You should also follow speakers and events on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find new avenues for events that may be of interest.

Here’s where being specific helps. Instead of searching for “speaking opportunities,” which will get you nowhere, you can search for specific events like “veterinary conferences,” “food and beverage conferences,” and ”automotive trade show.” Make a list of the events that you may want to pitch for later.

Create Your List

In a document on your computer or phone, create a list of possible events and conferences that you can pitch. Be sure to include links, dates, and contact information for each one.

Until you become a major name in your industry, it’s unlikely that anyone will approach you with speaking opportunities. You’re going to have to make your own luck and find the right events. Remember, some of these events book months in advance, so make sure you pay attention to the timeline and put your pitch in on time.

Contact Coordinators

You have your list of events and contact information and it’s time to pitch! Don’t send out a generic pitch to everyone on the list with only the names changed – take the time to personalize it.

If you’ve attended the event in the past, mention it. Share details about how the event had a positive impact on your life. You don’t want to jump right into asking for an opportunity. Take time to build the relationship.

Share a bit about yourself, inquire about the event, ask specific questions, and most importantly, keep it short and sweet. For example, ask when they’ll be taking speaker applications for the event. After you’ve built a relationship with a few emails, you can mention that you’re looking for speaking opportunities, what you speak about, and how it’s valuable to the audience.

Book Your Speaking Event

Getting booked as a guest speaker is a huge opportunity for yourself and your business. These opportunities don’t just fall into your lap, however – you have to put time, energy, and work into the process.

What could you do with more confidence? Work with Allison directly to gain the confidence you need to achieve your dreams!

Vetting Your Business Coach: What to Know Before Signing the Contract

Business coaching is a valuable tool to support your professional growth, whether for your own business or to reach the next level in your career. You can learn to identify and move past roadblocks that are holding you back to become more productive.

But not all coaches are equally skilled or qualified. The market isn’t regulated like doctors or attorneys – anyone can become a coach. It’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that your time and financial investment are going toward a coach who can help you reach your goals.

Here’s what you need to know before you sign a contract:

Expertise

You want to work with a coach that has extensive experience helping people achieve their business goals, whether they’re just starting out or scaling a business. When you’re vetting your coaches, ask them how long they’ve been coaching and what type of training they underwent.

Goals

Before you embark on business coaching, it’s important that you understand what you’re looking to gain from the experience. Many people are confused about what a business coach actually does – they’re not business advisors. A coach is there to help you develop the skills and mindset to achieve your goals, not to solve problems in your business using their own knowledge and expertise.

Methodology

Business coaches often approach their coaching with different tools, methods, and strategies. Some will work for you and others may not, so make sure to find a coach that aligns with the way you process information and receive guidance. If you’re not sure if you’re a fit, ask your prospective coach how they approach coaching and what types of clients they prefer to work with.

Personality

This can’t be overstated – coaching is a deeply personal process. You need to feel like you’re in a comfortable, confidential space with your coach to discuss your personal growth, strengths and weaknesses, and roadblocks. It’s vital that you have a personality fit between yourself and your coach for this to be successful.

For example, some people respond more to a “tough love” relationship with someone who will be direct with their criticism and recommendations. Others need a coach who will soften the blow to make them more receptive to coaching and learning.

Timing

Business coaches offer different plans and schedules. Some are weekly, some are monthly, and you want to be sure you’ll have a coach who’s available at the time you need it most. Consider how often you want to meet with your coach in advance, then find a coach with the availability that works best for your needs.

Work with Allison Todd

Hiring a business coach is like hiring anyone else to perform a service – you need to do your research. Ask plenty of questions, look for referrals from people you trust, and discuss the process with your prospective coaches to increase the likelihood of success in your coaching experience.

Looking for business coaching? Work with Allison directly!

6 Things to Ask a Potential Business Coach

6 Things to Ask a Potential Business Coach 

A business coach can be a huge advantage when you’re starting a business, preparing to scale, in the middle of a transition, or you’re lacking clarity for the next steps or vision for your business.

You can find business coaches virtually everywhere, but they’re not created equal. Once you find coaches you’re interested in learning more about, you can schedule consultations to see if it’s a good fit.

This initial consultation can tell you a lot to inform your decision. Here are 6 questions to ask your business coach.

1. What Do You Specialize In?

Business coaches often have specializations, such as marketing, sales, and more. Some coaches focus entirely on new business owners and startups, while others coach for businesses that want to scale or expand.

When you’re hiring a business coach, consider their specializations, your own goals, and the type of help you need. You want a coach with adequate experience in the areas you’re looking to develop.

2. What Is Your Coaching Style?

Coaches have different styles and approaches to their work. Some coaches act as consultants or advisors, while others may be focused on showing you how to find your own answers and identify your own path to success.

Is the coach focused on the client in the center of the arrangement, or is it about strategy and mindset? Make sure you know what you’re getting with your business coach and that it’s the type of help you think you need.

3. How Do You Work with Clients?

Many business coaches offer virtual coaching, which gives you the pick of the litter from all over the country. Others may only offer in-person sessions, or group programs, and it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

You should also ask about how many calls or meetings you’ll receive each month, whether you’ll receive support in between if you have questions, and what resources you’ll have access to.

4. What Types of Clients Do You Typically Work with?

Business coaches often have niches they work within. Some specialize in just one industry or niche, or they may work with a variety of industries. Make sure the coach you’re looking to hire has the experience you need in your own niche or industry.

5. What Results Do You Typically See?

Naturally, coaches may only wish to share their most positive outcomes with potential clients, but it’s still helpful to know what the typical results are. Ask questions about the clients and where they started versus where they ended up after working with the coach, which can give you a lot of insights into the results the coach usually sees.

If possible, get testimonials or reviews from previous clients to get firsthand accounts of their experiences with the coach.

6. What Do You Look for in a Client?

Even though you’re looking for a coach and you’ll pay for their services, you want a relationship that’s built on both parties feeling like it’s a fit. Ask your business coach what types of clients they enjoy working with and how you fit into the equation. Both parties need to be committed to see success.

Ready to Start Your Coaching Journey?

Finding the right business coach takes some planning and research, but the right fit is essential to seeing you realize your business goals. If you’re ready to get started, work with Allison Todd directly!

Business Women: Why We Settle for Less (And Why We Shouldn’t)

Women still struggle with inequality in the workplace – even if they own their own business! Women continue to earn less, on average, than men in the same positions, and they’re underrepresented in the top positions and fields.

Research has shown that biases, both conscious and subconscious, are part of the problem, but that’s not all. Women sometimes don’t get what they want and deserve because they aren’t asking for it.

Women often feel apprehension asking for what they want or need. Women are also more pessimistic about what is available when they negotiate, so they ask for less and get less if they do negotiate.

Don’t settle for less! And here’s why you never should.

Settling for Less Means Choosing Limitations

When you settle for less than you deserve, you’re choosing a life filled with limitations of your own doing. You’re actively restricting your own potential, whether it’s out of apprehension, fear of failure or rejection, or any other barrier.

You’ll never be able to succeed or grow if you’re stuck in your own self-imposed comfort zone!

Settling Means Giving Up on Your Goals

When you settle, it’s a way of giving up. You’re essentially saying that the dreams and goals you have aren’t possible, aren’t worth fighting for. Never stop pushing!

Plenty of people settle, whether in their careers, their relationships, or other aspects of their life. They think that “good enough” is enough, and maybe it’s not. Maybe the spot you’re settling in was the stepping stone to get you closer to your goal.

Settling Means You’re Accepting Less than the Best You Could Have

Everyone has moments when they could choose to settle or keep pushing harder for what they want. We may choose what seems right at that moment instead of continuing to push for better options, possibly ending up in a less than favorable position.

But what if what’s truly the best for us means taking that chance? If you’re setting on your career path or your business goals, you’re choosing the second-best option over being the best you can be. Life is too short to stop there.

Settling Means Settling for a Lesser Version of Yourself

If you settle on the mediocre and average, you’re missing out on living your fullest potential. Whether you end up in a job with no growth potential or give up when running your own business gets hard, you’re setting yourself up to stay stuck.

Remember, you can’t change the past, but you can avoid the same mistakes in the future. Take action and make positive change before regret sets in.

You Deserve the Best

You are worthy and deserving of the best life has to offer. Never settle for less!

If something isn’t working out, isn’t having a positive effect on your life, let it go! Don’t hold onto something that no longer serves you. Move on and move forward to get the life you deserve.

Looking for motivation? Work with Allison Todd directly and see how you can reach your fullest potential with the guidance of a professional business and career coach!