7 Principles to Create a Profitable Coaching Business (with Dr Clare Allen)
Dr Clare Allen has discovered key patterns that make organizations successful and profitable. In our interview, Dr Clare discusses some of the essential principles that coaches in-particular need most create wealthy and personally fulfilling businesses.
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Benay: Welcome to Coach Pep Talk, the podcast for people who run their own coaching businesses. Each week I talk to an expert who shares
wisdom that helps us be better coaches and better coaching business owners. This week I’ve got Dr. Clare Allen on the show and she’s talking to us all about the seven principles to create a profitable business. So I’ll see you on the other side.
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Benay: Since this episode wraps up season two of Coach Pep Talk it would be awesome to get my very first guest back on the show and that is Dr. Claire Allen, to make it a full circle. They say after your 20th episode you really get into your stride. So I’m very proud and excited to introduce again Dr. Claire Allen who is a prominent CEO in the Not for Profit sector here in Australia. In her free time, she also coaches and mentor’s leaders and future leaders. And through her years of holding that top job in these large organizations, and through her work with leaders which include business owners and entrepreneur, she’s noticed some really strong patterns that are coming through her work and she’s combining that all in to a new book, which will be around Christmas time, called The Seven Principles to Create a Profitable Business. So Claire’s on the show today giving us a bit of a sneak peek into some of those patterns that we can use in our coaching businesses today. Enjoy the show.
Benay: Hello Clare and welcome to the show.
Clare: Thank you, Benay. So looking forward to this today.
Benay: Me too. It’s so cool that you were my very first ever guest and now I’ve got you back just when we’re wrapping up Season Two. And it sounds like you’ve evolved quite a lot since our first episode. And we’re going to be talking about the Seven Principles to Create a Profitable Business today. And I was just wondering if we could kick off by you talking a little bit about where these principles have come from?
Clare: Yeah. Look they’ve actually evolved so I have been in business for well in CEO role since my 20s and so I’ve built if you like a strong arm, or business principals, or business excellence. And I on the side, have been coaching businesses, small businesses. And I find all these gaps in their practices and what they do. So it’s evolved through me actually jotting down the things that really, really work in terms of helping businesses be successful. So it’s been a journey for me along the way and I’ve actually had lots of things that I do, but it’s come down to these seven fundamental things that I believe a business needs.
Benay: Okay, so this is coming from a mix of your role as a CEO and then also just working with smaller entrepreneurs and then just it’s like they’ve got these blatant holes in what they’re doing and you’re like wow, fill that, fill that, fill that.
Clare: And not only that, it’s the spiritual side as well. The belief side of what you do and how you do it. You know we often forget why we started a business in the first place, and so trying to build a mindset of belief is really important to me in working people. And quite often they lose their way a bit you know, it’s almost like they get into this dip in their business and they don’t know how to get out. And we’ve got to get them back to why they started in the first place in their belief process.
Benay: Okay. What are some of the…I Mean if we’ve got any listeners who maybe started…we’ve got coaches who are listening to this show, we’ve got coaches who are really passionate, you know who really wanted to make a difference and help people and they might be in a position where they have lost their way. Is there any sort of tips or suggestions you’d like to give to them right now about how to get back on track and get
reintouch with their belief?
Clare: Yeah. But let’s have a talk about the principles because I think if we go through that, it
Benay: Okay, well excellent, let’s get into it!
Clare: So what my coachees say to me in their businesses is, oh my gosh you know I’ve had business coaches before and I’ve spent a lot of money, you know I’ve spent a lot of money on business coaches and they said and we have you and within three months like we’ve learned so much and our businesses are changing so dramatically. And I’m not blowing my own trumpet, but I do very little, you know all I do is start with this belief system and start getting them to be focused back on their passions. And then they start to accelerate in terms of profits. So the first thing that I want to do is talk about positioning. So that’s
Benay: Before we leave the money stuff, are there any specific books on Feng Shui or books on money that you regularly recommend?
Clare: Great question. I have plenty of books I’ve read on Feng Shui in my home. Right? And nearly all the books that I pick out basically say to me that this is how you set up your desk or your office. So even in my big companies with my senior
Benay: Okay okay. So the book is coming up. So we’re talking about this these seven principles to creating a profitable business and we’ve looked up positioning. And so far it’s broken into these two components of where you’re in the market, who else is in the
market, and then creating your business with personal wealth. Have I followed that right? Of have I missed a step somewhere? Or got it in the wrong order?
Clare: Well, it’s basically, so for example what is the problem you’re trying to address? The problem might be, well look I worked with someone the other day and we scoped up their business. So what’s the problem. Well at the moment in this country, new legislation is coming, and there’s no business offering the following. Right? Ok, well what’s the solution you’re going to offer? I am going to offer an online product that’s gonna do whatever. Why you?
Benay: So then where does the creating your…uh, you asked that amazing question; is your business creating personal wealth? And money principles. Is that its own principle or is that a part of the positioning?
Clare: Well for me it’s the money principles. So it’s the first question I ask in Principle Two, which is your business creating your personal wealth.
Benay: Got it.
Clare: Quite often, as I said, people say well not really, well why not? Why not? And they suddenly get a shock that wow, I’ve kind of been running this business and I spent money on
Benay: So how… What are some of the effective techniques or numbers you need to look at or to start to start spending more strategically and actually start to grow that bottom line? Cause I know from coaching businesses; this is a big one you know. Finding
the wealth from your business. I mean I think people get it in lifestyle they’re maybe not necessarily so much in cash.
Clare: Yeah well I’m glad you asked that question because I actually have started to put together, and this is one of the principles, which is called Rule of Thumb Principles, ok?
Clare: And this is
Benay: And so if we take these…It sounds like you’re listing off these categories of
spend that are the rules of thumb categories for any successful business to be able to make it today. And then the numbers may change a little bit depending on your business model or maybe even the industry your in. And then it’s more about the I guess the business owner, in this case the coach, coach/owner actually having regular conscious awareness and checking of these numbers? Is that what we’re getting at or is there…?
Clare: Look, some of my coaches go from not knowing what the client value ratio is in their business, to actually knowing what the worth of the client is. To actually knowing their staff member and setting these KPI’s on how many times they have to return their salary within the business and monitoring that. And I can tell you that those tweaks make a phenomenal difference. I’ve been in CEO rolls for a long time and CEOs don’t even do this in the company. That’s why I’m so successful. I do it. Now when I translated it to a small business, I went, wow this really works there as well, these Rule of Thumb Principles are really, really working. And people are seeing massive increases in the business because these rules of thumb create accountability.
Benay: So presumably if once you have these rules of thumb in place about what your business is costing and what you should spend on each component, it will greatly influence, you’ll know if your pricing is too cheap or what you need to do to change your prices.
Clare: Yes, you do and you can do some tweaks around those things and you know that’s why for me you can say well how much time is it taking me? How much profit do I actually want upon that? And I mean you know
Clare: So these Rules of Thumb are really important in terms of understanding your business so you can make it highly successful.
Benay: Well, okay. I mean is this something we’ve got to wait for the book to come out or can you give us…
Benay: Got to wait for the book to come out, okay.
Clare: I’m kind of this is kind of like a bit of a teaser podcast but the content in here is going to be phenomenal for people.
Benay: Yeah I definitely want to read that section. Okay.
Clare: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but they’re really important because what I’m seeing with the clients, my clients is that they go wow I’ve never even thought about this. So once we get to that belief psyche in their mind, and they say well basically this is creating my personal wealth, well let’s show you the principles you can do to do that. Some when they say then to me and the culture we want to invest in X, well let’s have a look at what you want to invest in X. Let’s break this down.
Benay: Yeah okay. It starts to sort of I guess take some of the impulse, the impulse buying, and the shiny object thing out of it and makes it all a bit more objective?
Clare: Exactly, and saves them money and saves them time. So by getting a really good coach you should be making really strong, strategic decisions. Sometimes I think oh my God, Clare, you just overstepped the mark. You just said to them, no don’t do that. My coachees are really great, they say okay we got a great idea, and I say oh sorry guys you know that’s just not going to work. Now that’s 25 plus years of experience in business that says, wait guys let me explain why.
Benay: Fascinating, wow!
Clare: Yeah these are fascinating things but this is why business coaches that go in and deal with just the theory, what you do, you produce is this rational thought around your business. But you get into the lifeblood of the business and you take these principles of positioning, money, rules of thumb, and there are only three so far. Then what you’re doing is creating this powerhouse of business success, so you can see why I went from 2000 clients to 12000 clients in the space of four years when I was you know community
Benay: So you’re really bottling up this sort of the, I guess the formulas and systems you used as an amazing and impactful CEO and your sort of making it into
bite sized chunks for the small business owner.
Clare: Because I want them to succeed. And I’m passionate about that. And I want them to know that they don’t need to understand all that technical stuff and be overwhelmed because they get overwhelmed. If I could say anything to business coaches, I would say don’t overwhelm your clients, because then they’re not going to fill in all that stuff, they’re not going to do all that stuff. They need to be inspired and they need simple processes so that their business can be highly successful.
Benay: So we’ve got a clear positioning statement, we know our problem, well we know what problem we are solving, we know our solution, and what makes us different. We’ve got some really clear principles around money. And I guess this
set up…the abundant…set up or configuration we need in our…? And of course we have to read the book to get all of those! We’ve got something to do with Feng Shui in business, and then we’ve got these really practical rule of thumb principles that we need to track and stay on top of to make our financial decisions in our business. Where do we need to go next, Clare? What else?
Clare: Well I’m going to talk about the Thought
Benay: So as taking the business owner, you know looking at a small business that’s such a crucial person, how can the business owner continually reignite their passion? Is that something they need to do every day?
Clare: I believe they do. I think that belief and building a solid belief system is a daily practice. And it takes a bit of discipline but it doesn’t have to be hard. So this is around you being able to wake up in the morning and psyching yourself up for
Benay: Okay. And what, do you do any sort of meditation, or affirmations, or affirmations, or mirror exercises or what do you do to sort of I guess celebrate that positive?
Clare: Yeah yeah.
Benay: It’s funny that I mean, it’s such a such a phrase to enjoy the journey and you know a cliché, but it’s true and I think the longer I’ve been in business it’s something that I’ve really, um, it’s been hard to understand. Like to say it’s easy and to rationalize it’s easy, but actually to live it in
a business with the ups and downs that happen, can be really really tricky to enjoy the journey every single day.
Clare: Yeah, yeah.
Benay: Which kind of reminds me, it brings up the mind of you know being in flow in every day, so not thinking too far ahead but also planning that’s like this fine mix or paradox.
Clare: It is, but I think if you set your long term plan as a big, hairy, audacious goal, so if you set something you just find the rest all
Benay: Okay so you set this big, hairy, audacious goal. You go there with all your heart. You follow these core principles. Can you give us any tips on…I was a little bit surprised when you did list your goal? Every coach out there you know, guru that I listen to and follow, you know they have their goals and some of them you know they’re all a little bit different. How did we do it? What are your tips for setting big, audacious goals and what inspired you to write yours the way you did?
Clare: Yeah, look I am I have different goals for my personal business and my company. Because you know I, you know, when I work in a charity it’s about making a major difference in so many lives that are disadvantaged. And so they’re very different in my personal life. I want to make a profound difference, but I don’t need, I’ll be pretty honest, I don’t need massive wealth, only to make a difference in this world. So when I set those goals, their pure and noble. So I think if you set pure and noble goals that are about making a difference, you can’t fail but achieve them. Yeah, because you’re working with these right principles from within you. And for
Benay: It’s easy to do that with your heart. I mean because it’s just…
Clare: Yeah but I only choose things with my heart. That’s the thing. And that’s when I choose with my heart and I put all of my brilliant principles and practices behind that is just effortless. And it’s a bit like in companies, people make things much harder than they are because they try to gain credit from their own achievements, instead of working collectively with people and embracing everyone’s success. So once you stop being so caught up on who you are, and
Benay: Yeah and what’s coming up for me a lot, is like you know I blog a lot and I’ve sent out these podcasts for my business and one of the topics that’s really resonated with my
reader list, is this idea of this new wave of entrepreneurship, or that’s more, it works more with ease and balance rather than trying to push to make things happen. To actually go with flow to make things happen. And it feels like the conversation is kind of going there. I wonder what are your thoughts on that space and people who are attracted to that concept? What would you like to share with them?
Clare: Well I’ve got to say I do a little bit of a prediction here, but I watch business trends and I’ve been watching them for quite some time and
Benay: Yeah I’m really excited about it and I’m really excited in my own business to be a role model for this. Sorting it out, how the heck to do it. I’m starting to take notes in what works and it’s just amazing that sometimes the path of least resistance is the path to more abundance. That’s what I am finding anyway.
Clare: I know. When you force your will, it doesn’t quite work out. But when you actually are in the state of flow and you say, well okay, I’m gonna go down that path, right, and the doors start opening with ease, you almost feel a bit suspicious. But then you go, you know what this is fantastic. I’m just going to go with this. So the more experience you get the more poise you get. And poise is about being really comfortable in your own skin and being in a state of flow. Then the rest all falls into place.
Benay: Okay so people are kind of scratching their head, and they’re like well OK I’m really interested in this. I mean I know this is something that you use in your coaching work and also in your role as a CEO. What tips would you give people about working in business in more of a state of flow? What
are some really sort of simple actions that people could put into place straightaway? Like this week.
Clare: Yeah well I think if they were to start off with basically setting some strong principles in their business and taking the time out to reflect and really know which path they need to follow, then the rest will fall into place. And having that level of meditation. So when I go into to work, its connection with other people. So once I connect with other people on an authentic level then that lifts my spirit immediately. Do you know what I mean? If I focused on a task the moment I get into
Benay: Okay, so I’m trying to recreate the steps here about how Claire goes into
flow, what I’m hearing is that connection with I suppose with the right, people with the right energy or vibration is a really crucial step for you.
Clare: Well, it is surrounding myself with the right people and being positive is really important for me. So building your team or even the people that you consult to, like other coaches or other support people, I.T. people, make sure their all positive. If you start with positivity it will just grow yourself and your business which is really important. People are negative, I don’t even, I don’t even really spend time with them, to be honest. It’s just not in my thing, it’s like, yep, okay, and I’ll actually challenge back and say, you know what I’m having a really fantastic day. I can see this is an issue for you, but here you go, here’s someone you can go and talk to but I really can’t really get into that right now. If it’s a circumstance which is drastic for somebody, then I have complete empathy and I will give so much love and support, but that’s love and that comes from a pure heart. Does that make sense? Negativity is totally different.
Benay: Yeah. Okay so really I guess protecting your space with positive energy and love.
Clare: You make me laugh, Benay because you’re asking me to give you a one-step, one to take approach.
Benay: What’s the recipe
Clare? Come on. ha-ha.
Clare: State of flow is being able to be in a state where disruption is magic, you know you are able to cope with these things that come along because your internal processes are why. And you feel really comfortable in who you are. It’s not a, you know, that’s a problem with reading like The Secret, or off
Benay: You know something that, I think you’re spot on, Denise my interview last week talked about something really similar, this thing of self-love
being just so important as a first step. The thing that sort of blew my mind is I thought that I always did love myself, you know, I think there’s different levels of it, because I went through a total meltdown and reassessment around Christmas time last year and it’s like I found a new level of self-love.
Clare: Yeah, yeah.
Benay: Is self-love like a like an onion? That you sort of get more levels to or is it just all or nothing? What’s been your experience with that?
Clare: I think for me it wasn’t so much about liking who I was, but more
Benay: Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s really resonating with me. And do you have any, any, this is bringing up the word ego for me. Does that, what’s your, I don’t know, belief system around ego and the role it plays in success in business?
Clare: Well Wayne Dyer says that ego is edging God out you know, we can have this
Benay: Yeah, yeah. Maybe there might be a few listeners that are sort of giving a big gulp right now. Anybody, you know that feels like, oh man you know I really do, I want to you know
pray for my neighbor to sell their house but maybe I don’t feel as sincere as I’d want to feel. What work should they go away and do, I mean because that’s a really great sign because it’s an indicator of something to work on I think. But…
Clare: Look it takes time. It does
Benay: Yeah I think that’s really fascinating, and too, we did cover about four of the principals, so.
Clare: We did.
Benay: And this was supposed be a teaser anyway, so that’s OK.
Clare: Supposed to be a teaser.
Benay: So we probably should start to wrap up Claire. If there’s one thing you know based on the conversation we just had today and just what message do you would you like to give to your listeners of you know, one thing
make it take away from the session. What would you like that to be?
Clare: Yeah it’s going to come back to the belief in your business and reigniting your passion in your business. And then actually taking a step back and being objective and actually working through your business in a systematic way but in a state of flow. If that makes sense?
Benay: Okay so this is a two-step one thing to take away.
Benay: So first do what you need, do the work you need to do to reignite your passion in your business. And then the next one is once you’ve got that reignited, something about a systematic way, where can we…?
Clare: Well basically wait for my book to come out and buy it and follow the 7 principles and you won’t be disappointed because I’m trying to take an approach that is really different. Because most people don’t want to tackle these topics but I really want to, because I help the business owner. Particularly those that are feeling that level of isolation, to really transform their business, their lives, and their community.
Well I love that combination. I mean I am a systems thinker so reigniting business and then following a system sounds perfect!
Clare: Yeah, but you’ve got to remember, Benay, that this is only part of the equation. And that’s where business coaches go wrong.
Benay: All will be well.
Clare: And the business owners that I pick up say, well I tried my hardest and it was so overwhelming and I just couldn’t do it. Then they work with me and it’s almost like they do all of that but it’s effortless. Do you know what I mean? So they start to go wow this is really easy, and you think yeah because I’m still holding them accountable and doing those things but it’s in bite-sized chunks that celebrate the wins.
Benay: You know that could be a really key thing because it is really easy for, especially coaching business owners to look at all the things they need to do in the marketing, and sales, and the product development, and the web and everything and to feel really overwhelmed, but actually to give yourself permission to just give one thing a week or one thing a day. I think that’s really huge.
Clare: It is. But the thing is that that little bit of time makes if it’s structured and it’s purposeful makes a massive difference. So when I go into my job, and we talked about this before, I focus on the important things. In your business focus on important things, if you just focus on the important things rather than all the non-important things. You’re bound to see some massive success.
Benay: Yeah and the important things might not be looking at Facebook all day and managing your page.
Clare: Exactly because it’s actually not good for your health and well-being if you’re getting side-tracked as well. You need to be able to set some strong performance targets in there, and feel good about them and celebrate them.
Benay: Okay so these important things that people are focusing on are these performance targets and that all is going to come across in your book. Ok, and if somebody wants to learn more about your work Clare and they want to get a copy of this book when it comes out around Christmas time, how can they do that?
Clare: If they jump on to drclareallen.com and they register for my newsletter then basically I’ll keep them up to date with where the book is at.
Benay: Great! Okay. So I encourage everyone to go out and check that out. Claire thanks so much for being a guest on my show again. It’s always a delight to have you here.
Clare: Thank you Benay, I’ve really enjoyed it. Great talking to you as always.