After 17 years, and interactions with over 1000 business owners, the time has come to retire from the world of Coaching and Mentoring in the SME market.
Have I made a difference to a few small businesses – Yes (Probably)
Have I made a difference to the future economic prospects of UK Plc – Probably Not
Because I work with the 80% of the 4 million businesses, operating in the UK, that do not use any kind of structured, goal orientated, long term business planning and have no real ambitions to grow significantly or become the next business icon. In many eyes they are just making up the numbers. But without them the economy would collapse.
And I would like to propose a toast to these unsung heroes.
To explain let’s use an analogy – The London Marathon:
20% of the runners are really serious in a grown-up sort of way (Professionals, Semi-professionals, Club Runners, Serial Marathon Runners always striving to beat their last time). These guys use personal coaches, stick obsessively to fine-tuned fitness and training regimes, eat the right foods, in the right amount and do not tend to run the 26 miles wearing a 40kg, 10ft high, Donald Duck costume.
The remaining 80% make up the numbers. (They could be running for charity, a bet, part of a fitness promise to oneself or the loved one, as an extreme reaction to a mid-life crisis etc. etc..). Many of whom just download a marathon fitness and training guide from the web, buy a pair of outrageous trainers and go for it.
But this 80% are the real heroes. OK, they are not great marathon runners, and never will be, but most finish the race and that is one hell of a feat in anyone’s book! On an individual basis they have achieved something most of us only dream of doing.
But their most important contribution is achieved as a group. They take part and make up the numbers. And without them the London Marathon, and every other marathon around the world, would be a complete flop!!
So I would like you to raise your glasses to the 80% who provide the stage without which the stars could not perform. They also provided me with a lot of enjoyment and a little bit of income.
The Megaphone and Coaching Mallet?
Basic tools of the coaching trade of course.
One stands about 2ft from the business owner and shouts into the Megaphone “DON’T DO IT LIKE THAT – DO IT LIKE THIS”. If the owner fails to carry out the instructions one delivers a sharp smack to the head with the Coaching Mallet and then repeats step one. Simples!
The Cappuccino Coach