October 2019

Ready to Hire a Business Coach? Ask These 7 Key Questions to Rock Your Discovery Session

If you’re an entrepreneur or executive ready to engage a coach to get you to the next level, you deserve a discovery session interview to ensure you’re trusting the right partner who can rock your goals. 

It’s a buyer’s market, and rightfully so. As someone who invests in my own career development, it’s important that I align myself with the very best resources and the sharpest coaches I can find. The goal is to shortcut my learning curve and drive results faster than possible on my own. I balance the cost of not engaging the right mentors to accelerate my growth.

You both deserve to make the best choice.

In the world of private or group coaching, both parties deserve to enter into the relationship with confidence. Folks might buy a “do-it-yourself” class or e-book through an ad; they may join a low-cost (eg, low-touch) group coaching program after participating in a free webinar. That makes perfect sense for those who will follow directions and prefer truly independent learning.

However, when folks demand more attention and accountability, an investment of thousands of dollars requires mutual commitment to your success. After all, people conduct business with those they know, like and trust. Coaching relationships require the intimate sharing of knowledge much like your priest, rabbi, doctor or attorney. Clients depend on coaches like me to transform their business, their lives or both.

How do you find the right coach?


A great coach gives from the heart (what I call a go-giver). S/he will have spent time sharing wisdom generously in the marketplace and attracting the ideal clients’ attention. They’re interested. When it comes to private coaching, however, potential clients deserve to understand exactly what’s in it for them so they can engage you with confidence.

Ask these 7 killer questions to see if you’re a good coaching fit:

  • How does your coaching program or service address my pain, or potential (the reason you seek coaching in the first place)?
  • How will you support my mission and keep me accountable?
  • What accolades do others say in testimonials and reviews?
  • What does success look like and how will we measure?
  • Do your skills and background prove that you can rock my challenges?
  • Are you a good fit strategically and personally (eg, are our values and philosophies on success aligned)?
  • What assurances do you offer that your coaching program will deliver on its promises?

These important questions can be addressed on what I call a breakthrough discovery session. Note, these are NOT pitchy sales calls or free consultations with no outcomes. You will definitely walk away with 1 or 2 awesome nuggets of advice regardless of whether we decide to work together moving forward.

Rather, discovery sessions are interactive dialogues that help both parties peel back the onion and reveal if you’ve got synergy. They’re an important prerequisite to see if you’re both feeling the right chemistry and can succeed by working together.

Rock on,


Tips for Success with Less Stress: Networking follow-up made easy

Following up from a busy day of networking just became a whole lot easier!

The secret to success is in the follow up.  My networking goal is never to tackle an entire room and grab as many cards as possible. Rather, I strive to make 2-3 meaningful connections so that I can spend time getting to know folks better without losing touch after the event ends.   Prompt, efficient and friendly reconnection makes all the difference.

 Yet after a busy week of seemingly endless great events, my desk was in chaos–until now.  I’ve searched for months to find a simple way to capture the cards and keep the dialogue moving ahead with my new friends and potential colleagues or clients. Evernote Premium (EN) has come to my rescue!

 Exporting Evernote Business Card Contacts into Get Response

On my Android phone  (and iOS, too) you simply need to download the Evernote app. After creating a default CONTACTS notebook, go to the camera option and select that default business card setting. Here you can also sync the app with LinkedIn and enjoy the option to invite new friends to connect there as well.

Use the EN app to shoot a photo of your business card. then select to connect on LinkedIn and/or add to your phone contacts. Be sure to confirm it properly captured the card data, as some faint or reverse printing makes it harder for the digital reader.  In Evernote, go into your CONTACTS notebook and then tag everyone as needed. It’s super easy to create the tags, and you’ll see a drop down once the letters match or it’ll ask you to save as a new tag.

To export, you’ll need to download the FREE Tusk Tools Contact Exporter. After just a moment, I was able to easily follow the instructions on the contact exporter wizard to retrieve entries from EN:

  • Go to EN and select the Contacts file, hit Next.
  • Browse to ID the target location and name your new export file (CSV destination).
  • Hit EXPORT and in a minute the files were exported and downloaded. Easy peasy!

The email/CRM dilemma solved, finally!

The second half of my data dilemma was finding an easy contact manager/email/CRM tool. GetResponse seems to have all I need, including a built-in webinar and some nice landing pages. Most importantly, it makes tagging and sorting and follow up quite simple. This replaces the need for wonky Google Hangouts/WebinarJam and paying for a host of other programs I’ve tested lately.  To upload the new data file into GetResponse, simply open the campaign. match up the columns and import. It took another few minutes to create a pretty newsletter from one of their templates. I’m not super techy, yet It worked like a charm!


Spark Inspired Action: Start with your WHY

When you speak from the heart, amazing things happen. You light a fire inside the belly of your ideal audience and the laws of attraction start to work their magic.

If you want to deliver a talk that inspires folks to reach beyond themselves and to trust you as the source who can help them exceed expectations. Invest an important 18 minutes to learn from Simon Sinek’s famous 2014 Ted Talk. The bestselling author and keynote speaker explains why it’s so important to “Start With Why.” 

A Lesson from Apple: How to Spark Inspired Action with your “Why”

According to Simon Sinek, the fundamental difference between the “Apples” of the world and everyone else is that they start with “why.” He suggests that we stop focusing on HOW things get done, but rather the value of how our client will FEEL when they experience our products or services.

“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

For example, rather than focus on the features of its machines, Apple prides itself on challenging the status quo, of thinking differently. Hence why Apple evolved as the go-to brand for tech innovation in phones, tablets, and so many other devices.

Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” philosophy isn’t just about monster corporations. Smart entrepreneurs and executives can apply his wisdom to crafting compelling messaging that moves clients to next best steps. As I prepare to teach yet another group of aspiring public speakers, it’s important to step back and reflect on this fundamental motivation. It’s the secret sauce.

3 Key Takeaways for Presenters:

1. Use “Why” to Think About Your Own Business

There’s a room full of people waiting to know not just the core of your business, but also how it aligns with your “why.” As Sinek noted, nurturing loyal customers is all about attracting folks who share your fundamental beliefs.

Remember: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

2. Incorporate “Why” into Your Keynote Speech and Marketing Copy

Leading with your “why” best explains the underlying value of what you’re promoting. It sparks the audience’s intrigue so you simply have to close the deal with the details (how and what).

3. Revisit Your Ideal Client Avatar

Remember, people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. So let’s build our storytelling around our audience in terms of what makes them tick, of who they are. Are your core values aligned? Why should they trust your recommended next best steps? What will you share with them personally and professionally over a lifetime? Get beyond the stodgy demographics and find some common ground so you will have fun while you tackle challenges together.

If you’re in the personal service industry and relate 1:1 with individuals, think about them in the context of their world, their families, hobbies, fears, and values. Why do they buy from you versus competitors? Are you the reachable, customer-friendly partner in an industry full of bureaucratic large companies? Do you share a love of golf, of certain charities? Do you empower women to gain financial independence and a solid backbone so they are not left in shock one day when the world shifts beyond their expectations? Are you making the world a better place, and your customers love you because they share strong believe in your cause?

Whatever the reasons, fine-tune your buyer personas or avatars to align with your “why” and build a team of loyal advocates. Go ahead, ask them to join you on your mission.

When folks believe in your “why,” they’ll blossom from simply prospects or customers into your best evangelists.

I challenge you to spend some time this week thinking clearly about your WHY and how it inspires all that you do.

Tell us below…what is your number one area where you’d like to FOCUS and make huge progress in the next 90 days?


[50 ROCKS: CALCULATING] Make it meaningful, make it memorable. And make it MEASURABLE.

Word for the week: Calculating! Welcome to my blog series, 50 ROCKS: Life Lessons for Success. The program was prompted by my unique 50th birthday gift from my friend Rose: a box filled with 50 gold-painted rocks, each depicting a special nugget about me and just how much “50 ROCKS.” It’s my inspiration to share life lessons for personal and business success.

Einstein says, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

When my friend Rose called me calculating, she honored my persistent questions: What does success look like? How can we make things better as a TEAM? Just like a GPS, we should be clear and FOCUSED on our goals and build our roadmap to success with the desired outcomes in mind. Whether you’re looking for a trainer, keynote speaker or marketing support, be clear on your WHY and how the investment will positively impact your people, your momentum and your bottom line.

Einstein also said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that CAN be counted, counts.”

Focus on what’s important to your brand and to your team. Can you show Return on Investment? How about Satisfaction, Retention, Employee Engagement? Sometimes, corporate culture needs a lift and programs are meant to get people talking to each other and boost morale.

Other times, we strive for improvement in hardcore numbers like “sell a million widgets” or reduce errors by X%.” But don’t throw data for the sake of impressing folks. Make sure you highlight what’s important (to your managers and up the corporate ladder) and show ACTIONABLE next steps.

I always say, “Make it meaningful, make it memorable. And make it MEASURABLE whenever possible!”

Please chime in: share some examples of successes or challenges that you face in measuring VALUE.  Or let me know how we can support your efforts. I hope this week ROCKS for you!

Pat Roque