- Early on in my career, I didn’t love my job so I took a risk and promoted myself. It became a great win-win for myself and the business.
- This experience taught me the importance of always looking for growth opportunities, no matter your position or stage in your career. It’s crucial that your work aligns with your gifts so you don’t burn out.
- Here I give some quick tips on how you can think like an entrepreneur to create value for your business and reclaim control of your income, time, and/or location.
After my competitive golf days ended due to repeated injuries I started off my coaching career as an Assistant Pro at a country club, as most do.
But if you know anything about the assistant pro role, you know that, while you do get some coaching in your daily routine, I was essentially selling merch and checking people in for tee times.
Basically all the logistical stuff to keep the lights on and keep customers happy.
…I hated it.
It wasn’t fulfilling, and it certainly wasn’t where I wanted to be in life.
But, over time, my “lesson book” became so full that I became invaluable to the club. So much so that one day I decided I was done doing the other stuff required of the assistant pro role.
So what did I do? I promoted myself.
Not even kidding.
They didn’t have a “Director of Instruction” on site, so one day I literally printed out some new business cards, slapped them on the front desk, and told my boss I was no longer working behind the counter.
I made the case that I was way more valuable to the business as Director of Instruction.
As many of you know, membership retention is a massive deal and by helping members get better, they would come around more often, spend more money, tell others about the club and obviously stick around.
I additionally focused on growing the underserved and often ignored junior and female membership.
I was able to grow those programs substantially allowing me to even bring on a co-coach for the junior program. (some of you may know him - he’s our Head Coach here @ CoachNow…Alex Berlin)
Here’s the biggest kicker, because I made a compelling case and told them they no longer had to pay me directly, I kept 100% of my coaching fees.
Ok, cool story, Spencer. But what’s the point of bringing it up here in a blog?
To start, I hope this story inspires you to take similar action if you’re feeling stuck in a less-than-ideal scenario.
Look, this could have gone a different way and I very well could have lost my position. But I was at the point where I just couldn’t keep on keeping on, and to me the only option was to take a bold step.
And isn’t that the start of every entrepreneurial success?
I guess it’s shocking to me that coaches often don’t understand just how much value they can bring to the table when their role is aligned with their gifts.
And, the power they have over how they spend their time IF they are willing to stick their neck out and fight for what they want.
In the ConnectedCoach Blueprint, I encourage coaches to promote themselves whenever possible.
And I get a ton of questions about what exactly I mean when I say that.
To sum it up simply: always be on the lookout for opportunities to grow.
Those opportunities can come in a variety of forms. More money, more control of your workload, more free time, etc.
Whatever that looks like, I cannot stress just how important it is to set high expectations for your career trajectory and financial ceiling.
I notice that, far too often, coaches feel limited by how much money they can make. And I think this mindset becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But at the ConnectedCoach Academy, we want coaches to think like entrepreneurs, not employees.
If you think like an entrepreneur, you are always seeking out gaps in the business and doing everything you can to fill them.
And while this is obvious for founders and executives, I think this mindset is equally important for those who work at a more traditional organization (like I did).
Even if you aren’t in charge, put yourself in the shoes of your boss.
Where are the problems and opportunities to build your skills? How can you frame it so it’s a win-win? What can you do to pivot and adapt to the business’ needs as they change in real time?
Think like an entrepreneur and you will soon become invaluable to your team. And once that happens, you will develop the confidence to request stock options, profit sharing, or even request a promotion like I did.
For business owners, you almost always have the opportunity to give yourself a raise.
It’s your business, after all. Don’t be afraid to determine your own workload, raise your prices, or assert your expertise.
To start, here is a sample of some things I teach in the blueprint:
- Create better offers that move you away from hourly lessons. Don’t. Only. Sell. Time. For. Money.
- Whenever possible, move to subscription-based coaching and make money 24/7/365.
- If you lease a spot for lessons (e.g. golf range, gym, or batting cages), renegotiate your terms. Speak to your value in bringing in new customers through positive word of mouth.
- Not all raises are monetary! If you can cut back on hours with the same pay, you should consider that a raise as well. In fact, CoachNow adopted a 4-day workweek last year and it has been a great success.
Remember: You’re an entrepreneur first, a Coach second. And when an entrepreneur isn’t happy with where they are, they pivot.
Modify your role through trial and error and stick your neck out, even if it can be risky.
You might fail here and there but that’s the entrepreneurial way. As Deepak Chopra says, “there is no such thing as failure, only seeds of success.”
And, when you strike a win, it’s likely to pay back big!