There are a number of consultants and coaches who specialize in working with solo-preneurs, entrepreneurs, small business owners and professional practices, but it’s probably safe to say that none of them have such a “unique and unusual” history and “professional qualifications!!”
This might be a deal breaker for you, and that’s OK. Like they say, “There’s a lid for every pot” and if we’re not a fit, there’s someone else out there for you who is. But if you’re savvy enough to realize there’s an upside to collaborating with someone who’s life experiences are very different from yours (very different from pretty much everyone you’ve ever known), then welcome!
Where it all began
I started my career in the retail business at a store called Abraham & Straus, a very successful department store with multiple branches in the New York City area. I loved it, and acquired a treasure trove of first-hand observations, knowledge and understanding about marketing; brand management; selling; promotions; business management; attracting and keeping customers; customer service; and employee motivation and management. Whew – that’s a long list!
You couldn’t ask for a better foundation when it comes to comprehending how business works. I credit my success in every business I’ve ever owned or worked in because of it.
Then it started to get interesting
The next two stops were the resident buying office for May Company Stores and a small boutique resident buying office. After refusing to participate in a kickback scheme at the boutique firm, I was fired and found myself on the unemployment line, where I met up with a girl who, it turned out, was supplementing her unemployment check by answering the phones for an escort service a few nights a week.
Well you know how that was going to end up: eventually I was working there a couple of nights a week answering the phones, too. The problem was, that even though it was the World’s Oldest Profession, it wasn’t being run very professionally. This guy was violating just about every business principle I’d ever learned.
It didn’t take either of us very long to figure out that we could do it a lot better. So we did! It was a huge hit, and the money started rolling in the very first night and didn’t stop, even though there was a recession going on.
The trouble with trouble is it starts out as fun
The local constabulary decided they wanted to get in on the act, too, because chasing down a bunch of pretty call girls was a helluva lot more fun than going after crack dealers. I mean, if you’re going to do a stake out, which would you rather be looking at – oops – out for? A no-brainer, right?
The ensuing brouhaha riveted the public and the tabloids; the 6-month media frenzy had to be lived through to be believed. It was one of the tabloids that dubbed me the Mayflower Madam, because I‘m descended on both sides from the original Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock on a ship called Mayflower in 1620. Pretty catchy, I thought.
From Madam to business consultant
After being ordered to pay a $5,000 fine – that’s it – the book I wrote afterwards (to pay the legal bills) ended up at the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and the invitations for speaking engagements started rolling in. And with them, requests for consulting services.
And that’s the nutshell version of how I got from there to here!
You got problems? I got answers!
I remember being asked years ago to give a one-sentence description of my ideal job, and the answer that came out of my mouth was, “I love to solve problems.” I’ve always loved to solve problems. Finding out about the coaching and consulting business was like a dream come true – all your clients have problems they need solutions for!
And it’s not that they can’t figure it out themselves because they aren’t intelligent or well-informed. Yes, it might be true that they simply don’t know much, if anything, about that particular sticking point or issue, but more often it’s because a business owner is so caught up with what they’re doing, they’re unable to turn off “What Is” and come up with or let in “What Could Be.”
That’s what’s so fun and rewarding about working with clients. Making a positive impact in someone’s life, coming up with a way for them to accomplish something that’s important to them or achieve an objective that’s meaningful to them, is tremendously rewarding. If you’ve ever been able to do that for someone, you know how great it feels.
I’ll have a cup of broken glass, please
But I’m sure more than one person has asked themselves, “If she’s so good at it, how come she’s not doing it for big companies and national corporations?”
Well, I’ll tell you. I prefer to work with “the guy who writes the check.” I can’t stand having to run every little thing by a committee and having to wait until everyone’s questioned it to death; tinkered with it, even though they don’t know what the heck they’re talking about; and then everyone has to come to an agreement before a decision is made. I’d rather gargle broken glass. Good grief, isn’t that one of the reasons we all went into business for ourselves so we don’t have to put up with that kind of nonsense?
Been in those trenches
I also prefer working with solo-preneurs, entrepreneurs, small professional practices and small business owners, because I’ve walked in their shoes and know first-hand what it takes to run a business. Their day to day challenges have been, and in some instances still are, mine, too. Those of us who run a business on our own or with a small staff, have unique challenges that only someone who’s done it or is doing it themselves could ever possibly understand and appreciate.
So that’s why I avoid big corporations; they’re just not a good fit for me. There are a few other kinds of folks in that category, too.
I’m the wrong person for you if…
- You’re looking to make big money fast. Even better, make big money really fast without doing very much. It may be possible, but the only way I can think of is to sell that fantasy for big bucks and count on people thinking it doesn’t work because they just didn’t do it right. Don’t kid yourself, there are a lot of people in that business.
- You’re looking to make a killing using the latest “system” that will double or triple, your list, your conversions, your sales, etc. “in only six weeks!” Again, it may be possible, but one thing you can be sure of, is the person most likely making a killing is the one you bought it from. If this appeals to you, get in on the selling side, not the buying side.
- You believe that there’s a secret or a “magic bullet”, and if you could just find it, the dollars will start flowing in – poof! – just like that! It’s the same thing as thinking if you just find the right magical lotion or potion, you’ll have the skin of an 18 year-old again. Lotsa luck with that. People have been successfully selling “magic” for centuries because fools keep buying it.
It’s one thing to wish there was a quick and easy way to make big, easy money, but if you believe wishing is a legitimate income-producing strategy, buy lottery tickets. Much less expensive, and you’ll get the same results.
I’m the right person for you if:
- You know the only way you’re going to make good money and be successful, is to do what you need to do and be who you need to be, to create that result. You have a plan and would like a pair of fresh eyes to run it by, to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
- You also know you have to do what you need to do and be who you need to be to “take your business to the next level” (hate that phrase – please someone, come up with a better one), but you’re so caught up in the day to day running of your business that you can’t find the time to make a plan to do it. Let’s do it together.
- You have ideas for new programs, new products, or new services but find it difficult to focus on just how you’re going to make them a reality. We can create an easy-to-follow action plan, so all you have to do is follow the steps!
- You’re stuck. OK, now, it’s out there. It’s a lot more common than you think, and the good news is there is a way out if you choose the right person to support and advise you. Would you like to have a talk and see if we’re a fit?
- You’d feel more comfortable working alongside someone you can be yourself with, joke around with, and still get a lot accomplished. Or you’re quirky, a “character” or have an “unusual” business (must be legal), and don’t believe that any of the people out there in the “advice dispensing business” will be comfortable with or understand you. You’re definitely in the right place!
You can have it your way!
Because everyone is different, my clients aren’t pigeon-holed into structured programs unless that’s what they’re looking for, and a number of you are. You decide on the level of one-on-one personal attention that’s right for you.
Do you prefer to have an advisor to run things by or brainstorm new ideas and strategies with, only when you need it? Or do you like the idea of having a steady partner who is with you every step of the way? We can collaborate together in a manner that offers you a lot of independence and flexibility, or you can choose a program where we spend time together every week.
If you’ve read this far and are interested or intrigued enough to explore the possibilities, I invite you to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary, no strings attached, Business Success Strategy Session.
You can tell me what you’re looking for, and I’ll tell you if that’s something I can assist you with. It’s right only when it’s a win-win for both of us.