What do Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi and Roger Federer all have in common?

What about:

  • Butch Harmon
  • Ernesto Valverde
  • and Ivan Ljubičić

What do these have in common?

The answer to my first question is:

They are all recorded as the greatest athletes in the world at their chosen sporting discipline.

And yet when I ask the second question, The most common answer I get is:


(You will have to read to the very end to get the answer!)

I’m sure you are more than familiar with Larry Page, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg at Google, Steve Jobs at Apple, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, John Donahoe at eBay, Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Dick Costolo at Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook.

what do ALL of these people have in common?…

Bill Vicent Campbell Jnr

Bill Vincent Campbell Jnr!

(You got it, the answer is towards the bottom of the post)

From Leonardo de Caprio to Bill Clinton and almost every walk of life and profession in between, there are a hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people at the very height of their profession who have gone on public record acknowledging the impact Tony Robbin has had on their lives (as their Life Coach).

It was Bill Gates himself who declared:

“If you want to get ahead,

get a coach”

A sentiment echoed by Eric Schmidt when interviewed on Oprah (who recognises her life and career has been helped massively by her life coach of some 20+ years Martha Beck).

And yet, whilst there is a continuing growing amount of evidence to support the role of Coach/Mentor within Life and Business, it does not always work out for the best!

When coaching goes bad!

It was a huge shock in the football world to learn of Claudio Ranieri sacking from Leicester City, just months after taking all the way to winning the Premier League title. And there are countless other examples where ONCE the team has achieved notoriety and success, they immediately look to distance themselves from the very person who made it all possible.

One has to ask:

What did the COACH do wrong?

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I was always taught, whenever you choose to point at someone to apportion blame, there are always three pointing directly back at YOU.

In my own experience as a Business SCALE mentor, I have also witnessed this on both sides. We have worked exceptionally hard to identify and concentrate our efforts on marketing to and attracting our Ideal Target Clients. SME Business Owners of service-based businesses, with whom are looking to SCALE and EXIT. The more work we do on refining this, the more effective we become in offering the right level and style of coach/mentoring to aide their ongoing and future success.

However, on occasion; and despite helping our clients to SCALE.

The recognition of which has not always been as forthcoming!

In 2019, there were three occasions where despite having listened intently to their desires and ambitions for the business, and helped them ensure they have the people, systems and processes in place to deliver the scale of growth they were seeking. And then MASSIVELY over delivered on what the business subsequently achieves, the client has immediately cancelled any further coaching, refused to acknowledge any of the work we did in supporting them to achieve it, claiming THEY had done all the work!

Now don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge it is their business. It is they who have had to get up early, go to bed late, and put the work in to achieve these results. There is no denying moving from a growth model to a SCALE model takes confidence, guts and some hard work. And I’m not seeking a chair at the board room table, share options or a trophy! But rather than dismiss with disdain the person who has helped, formulate, develop, refine the original idea’s to take them from aspiration to reality. The person with whom you have shared your fears and concerns, your uncertainty and challenges. The person with whom has both held your hand, patted you on the back AND held your feet to the fire to be subsequently pushed through the fire door, and disregarded is both incongruent to the business you are building and the values to which we agreed to work when we first accepted them as a client!

Whilst we continue to see clients hit and smash their agreed targets and goals. Receiving more enquiries, converting more into sales, taking on more staff and premises to manage a growth in demand and share of the market. 2019 was tainted by 3 clients with whom left, failing to acknowledge the support, guidance, coaching, mentoring and accountability we had been providing, enabling them to achieve their ongoing successes.

It was so impactful, that I chose to go back to the classroom and learn more as to what WE could do to alleviate this.

We returned to Koogar Digital Marketing, and commissioned Amanda Daniels to work with us on further refining we had done on the initial work we did with her on the Ideal Target Client Avatar. We Knew WHO we work best with, but perhaps we hadn’t done sufficient work on WHO works best with US and WHY?

The work she had us do was far reaching, and rather than a 1-day consultation turned into a major piece of work, we have been doing ‘behind the scenes’ for the past 9 months or so. It has taken up a huge amount of time and energy and really got us thinking hard about not only WHO we work best with, and why that is, but who we DON’T work that well with, and why this is also. We’ve studied to the 8th degree more detail about every aspect about our Ideal Target Client, that we have a dossier brimming with information we can now use to better serve our clients well.

However, we also have a NEW dossier, and it’s even fuller!

Our NEGATIVE AVATAR (something prior to this day with Amanda I had never even heard of before) has been built up of every conversation, tweet, post, like share, comment of those with whom we will now NOT work with. It is a histogram of them and spreads widely as to their likes and dislikes, their preferences, influencers, behaviours, communication (both in terms of words and style) which has helped us to identify who (even if they may LOOK like an Ideal Target Client) is actually masquerading as such whilst actually NOT!

This has been some of the most insightful, thought provoking and revealing work we have done (post #ADDAZERO) and really tested our ability to remain observant, vigilant and have the confidence to say:

“Thank you, but No”

Whilst I’ve previously blogged about the 23 Ways to get busy people to say YES, and why saying NO is good for business. Nothing had prepared us for what we have learnt from this ongoing exercise and the impact it would have on us, our conversations and the relationship with both our existing clients and that of prospective new clients.

I am so grateful to Amanda, for the insight she has brought to our business, and from the clarity of decisions we are now able to make on WHO, WHAT, WHEN, HOW and WHY we do what we do, the way we do, for who we do.

If you would like to know more about our #ADDAZERO Business Challenge, and how by applying this to our clients we have been able to ensure a MINIMUM growth of 26% across our entire client base, CLICK HERE to complete the #ADDAZERO Foundation Audit. It will give you a clear understanding of your businesses current SCALE sustainability, and whether we are likely to be the best fit for you to partner with in achieving it!

For those wondering as to my personality questions at the introduction to this blog:

Butch Harmon is credited as having coached Tiger Woods from a teenager to winning his first Pro tournament.

Ernesto Valverde is widely regarded as the inspiration behind Messi’s success.

Ivan Ljubičić continues to be the one Roger Federer turns to as coach.

Oh and Bill Vincent Campbell Jnr is known the world over as having coached more of the silicon valley billionaires than anyone else in the world!

Behind every successful entrepreneur you will find (if you are looking) their coach!

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Drop me a comment, and let me know YOUR thoughts on reading this?