Before you became a coach what did you do?
I spent 20 years managing my own business building small racing catamarans. Made them out of cool stuff like carbon fibre and Kevlar. Then I had to sail them of course.
Concurrently I had another business and I spent a few years teaching before that.
That’s an odd background for a business coach, what caused the career change?
A lot of good happened in my businesses, but I also had a few difficult years
When I finished boat building I saw a need; that is others face those same unnecessary difficult years. I recalled that I had often changed people’s lives for the better with a few critical words and with some coach training I was able to refine that skill.
I want people to be rewarded for the effort they put into their business.
The best way I could help was to use my accumulated knowledge and experience, not to tell people the answers, but to guide them to their own answers.
What were the factors that made life difficult for you?
Initially I thought I could figure out anything, and mostly did. When I did seek advice I took it from the wrong people, when what I needed was unbiased and objective feedback.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt?
That there is no fixed way to success.
I have a lifelong learning attitude, and of course while running a business I took every opportunity to learn about management.
What I found was I couldn’t use this information to good effect as it was often contradictory, or just did not work for me. Eventually I did work out what was right for me, a coach helped me in this process.
What have you learned about success?
A successful business is driven by passion. The biggest danger to a small business is the dream takers, so passion is something that must be nurtured and nourished.
What is your greatest business achievement?
Setting up a second business, from nothing, with little cash, and having it run like clockwork for 6 years.
What was your greatest business failure?
Thinking people were irreplaceable and being fearful of the consequences of letting them go.
What are your proudest business moments?
Hard to say, I had many proud moments, but having an 80 boat world title and most of the competitors choosing my boats was one.
Another was winning the Bendigo business of the year.
Having an employee win marine industry apprentice of the year was pretty cool too.
You are promising others financial success, how can you do that?
I cannot promise financial success, I am just privileged to facilitate the process.
If I was to take on a business coach I would want someone who has “made it” themselves.
I’m successful in that I have enough behind me that I choose to work, rather than having to work. What I’ve learnt from the journey is what makes me a powerful coach.
How much effort is required when you coach people?
I believe in working on the most pressing things first, usually that is where the business wheels are spinning. So in answer; a lot of commitment, and a little of the right effort.
What profession did you aim for as a child?
I wanted to be a mechanic, this changed to engineer as I got older, finally to boat builder.
At least I got to do the third, the engineering and mechanical knowledge has been handy.
How do you spend your spare time?
I love tinkering and handyman projects.
My favorite thing is hooking up the camper van and heading off with my wife to where there are no sealed roads, few shops, and people wave as they go past.
What is your favorite books.
No real favorites I enjoy Business books, inspirational biographies.
Who are your favorite clients?
People who have a vision are more likely to move forward quickly, and the journey can be a lot of fun.
Business in crisis is a challenge that I love, it’s very rewarding to see people’s lives and business turned around.
Don’t expect sympathy from me, just expect help and support when you really need it.
What is coaching to you?
Being able to ask the right questions and fill in knowledge gaps so people can make the decision they want to carry out.