Meet my good friend and expert Dawn Andrews, business strategist and life coach in the world of entertainment. I immediately connected with Dawn this past spring at Campowerment and recently participated in her new small business incubator, Grow Your Big Idea. Read on to find out how you too can join the Grow Your Big Idea community, why Dawn thinks more women need to get involved in business, and how she doesn’t find balance between being the entrepreneur boss of her own company and being the mom boss of her house and two boys, ages 7 and 9.
A Business Strategist and Life Coach
The main reason people come to a business strategist is because they own a company of some sort and have reached a plateau in their development or growth. What’s unique about the business strategy that we do is that we help business owners take their businesses from personable to sellable. A lot of people start their companies and grow organically and they’re growing on their own energy, ideas, and enthusiasm, but they don’t have the wherewithal to create a business plan and put together something that actually has value beyond just the monthly revenue they make. As a business strategist, I look at people’s businesses, predominantly service and creatively-oriented or businesses in entertainment and help them strategize growth and what their exit strategy would be. The life coaching part comes in handy because usually any time any of us are growing, we come up against our past history and psychology. The life coach part helps businesses deal with their own personal roadblocks.
Becoming a Coach
I was a director of marketing for an entertainment company and I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. The best way I can put it is that I always grew up in an environment where making your own thing was more desirable to being employed by somebody else. I don’t think I consciously knew that at the time, but as I got into my late twenties and thirties, there was a time when a lot of traction was happening in business—lots of lay offs and smaller companies were being bought by larger companies. I just looked around and thought, “This just seems silly.” Why am I sweating it that I’m going to be in the next round of layoffs when I can just do something myself.
It didn’t occur to me at the time that’s not how most people think. Most people are scrambling to find another job, networking with friends, or polishing up their resume. I just didn’t want to take that ride at someone else’s mercy anymore. I called and hired a career coach at the time to just pull something out of me that I could turn into something that made money and I realized it was her job that I wanted. So I went to coaching school because there are schools specifically for that skill set. Thankfully, I wasn’t in the first round of layoffs, but I was in the third or fourth and by the time that round came I was already in training, I had a few clients and the basis for what the business is now.
Going to Coaching School
Coaching school is awesome and it’s for real. It’s not an easy let’s just go and talk and have nice classes about self-development and have fun. It’s a very rigorous training program. You’re dealing with people’s psychology and how they relate to their lives. Most coaching programs are anywhere from 18 months to three years, depending on the level of certification you want to get. You can physically go somewhere as part of your local college or you can go to a coaching school. The top coaching schools are CTI, International Coaching Academy, and CoachVille. For busy moms, many programs have classes that work around that and offer classes at 6 in the morning or 10 at night.
What I will tell you, for those of you who want to be a coach, is that getting your business started and learning the skills of a coach or transferring your life skills into coaching is one level of the difficulty, but running a business or starting a practice that includes coaching takes a lot of energy and effort. You can do it, but don’t be surprised or put off by that.
The year before I graduated from coaching school, I sent a letter out to everyone I knew announcing the launch of the business. And this is rolodex days when people actually sent letters. I said, “I started this, this is what I’m doing, and I’m looking for anyone who wants coaching about anything.” It was a free for all. There was no focus, no niche, no nothing. And at rock-bottom prices. It was just so I could start using the skills and tools that I had and the method that I had learned to get some practice. It probably took about a month of the letters out and then calling and cajoling people just to get them interested in giving it a try. It wasn’t that long before I was being paid for it—very little but I was being paid for it.
We Need More Women in Business
As women, we have a unique perspective. And I feel like because of the way we’re wired, physiologically, we can see a larger picture of what’s going on in the world. We can see how we feel; we can check on how others are feeling. We can see how people are being affected by our environment, our politics, and what’s going on in the world. Having more women in business is going to create a more holistic rise in the way that our culture works. Most men, are designed to get on a track, focus on one goal, and go get that thing. That’s also necessary, but it’s missing the larger picture view. When women get into business and express themselves, they’re more likely to team up in terms of businesses working together for a greater good. They’re more likely to be charitable or to connect their business to some larger cause. I think it just gets better when women are in business.
On Wednesday, Dawn will be talking about women getting into business, what holds them back, and how to juggle being your own boss and the boss of your family at the same time. Subscribe below and never miss a post!
BIO: Dawn Andrews is the trusted advisor to more than 250 individuals and businesses in the world of entertainment. Her company, Free Range Thinking, is credited with cultivating extraordinary leaders, and she is committed to transforming leaders from the inside out. She’s an intuition based thinker who teaches you to Grow Your Big Idea ™, reclaim your time without sacrificing results, improve communication skills and leadership performance through organizational effectiveness, and, most soulfully, to find your passion, work less and make more.