16 Aug 2012

Small Business Owners are my Heroes

This week’s blog comes from Putting Your Why to Work, a blog dedicated to sharing entrepreneur success stories and features our own Daniel Murphy, CEO and Founder of The Growth Coach.  Putting your Why to Work is maintained by Jim and Kathy Roman, owners of Business Owners Institute, which helps business owners build successful companies.  You can learn more about them at their website,  Putting Your Why to Work.

Small Business Owners are my Heroes

Small business owners don’t see their names in flashing lights, nor do they have thousands of fans following them around just hoping to get a glimpse.  They are rarely talked about on the daily news nor is the media anxiously awaiting their next move in hopes to be the first to broadcast it. Their lives don’t consist of limo rides to meetings or quick trips to Paris for dinner, rather they spend countless hours behind a desk or at the store and dinners are often sacrificed. This is the life of a small business owner. The everyday hero who courageously perseveres through the battlefields of the unknown in an effort to make not just a better product or service but a better life for so many people…to make a real difference in their community!

In a time where futures are uncertain and communities have been broken, the need for more small business owners and their leadership in the community is more important now than ever. We had the pleasure of meeting one man that has taken this on as his personal mission, stating that, “other than my parents, small business owners have always been my true heroes. They have a spirit, aura, confidence and passion that is unmistakable and magnetic. They are different because they are courageous enough to pursue their dreams. They were willing to ‘bet on themselves’ and ‘go all in’ for their cause, mission and compelling WHY.” This man is Daniel Murphy, CEO and Founder of The Growth Coach®, a national business and sales coaching franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Growth Coach is a business coaching franchise system with a big and bold mission: To improve North America one community at a time by helping the business owners in those communities (and their teams) achieve greater success and balance by helping them to discover how to work less, make more and enjoy richer lives,” states Murphy. “When you help an owner and business improve, all of the employees and their families are better off, so are the suppliers, customers, and the entire community…the positive ripple effect of what we do is immense”, Murphy added.

But that powerful mission and WHY took years to develop.  Murphy’s passion for helping small business owners really started to come to life when he was working for a large CPA firm in Cincinnati, OH. While he had spent four years studying in college for the CPA profession, he never felt fulfilled and like he was making a real difference as he conducted audits, prepared taxes, or did consulting projects. “He began to interview the business owners he served and discovered that small business owners had real issues and challenges not being met. They felt overworked, overwhelmed, exhausted and like prisoners to their business,” states Murphy. He knew things had to change. He discovered a huge NEED not being addressed in the small business marketplace. His WHY and purpose started to crystalize. Dan had real clarity for once…he knew exactly where he wanted to go.  So her set off on a journey that would change the lives of small business owners while making an authentic impact in the community.

So In 1992 with a fire in his gut and a genuine desire to make an authentic impact in his community, Dan started coaching small business owners with a strategic-focusing process he developed over the prior years. The Growth Coach® is now the established leader in business and sales coaching, operating franchises in over 140 markets, serving several thousand new clients each year, and starting to expand internationally.

Dan contributes his success to staying focused on his BIG WHY, to improve every community in North America by improving every small business owner and their business, because it resonates with everyone. As Simon Sinek,author of Start With WHY, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

An example of how staying focused on your BIG WHY can change lives is a story that Murphy recounts when a Cincinnati auto repair client wanted to adopt a little girl from Columbia. That country’s adoption law states that the adopting parents must live in that country for at least seven weeks in a row to be evaluated and to prove their commitment. This client didn’t feel like his business could survive without him, so his dreams were put on hold. It wasn’t until he went through The Growth Coach’s coaching program that he was able to put the systems and processes in place to free him up from the daily grind and operations.  He was able to put his business on ‘auto pilot’ so it could run independently of him which allowed him to take that seven-week journey to successfully adopt his new, beautiful baby girl.

Here is some WHY advice from Murphy for small business owners.

Discover and know your WHY.  Focus more on your WHY and less on what and how.  Motivation, passion, innovation, inspiration and purpose come out of your WHY. Go back to the beginning, the inception of the business. WHY did you launch or buy this business in the first place?  WHY did you want to make a difference?  WHY did it fuel your passion and purpose early on?  WHY did it stir your soul?  What did it feel like in the beginning?  What was the calling?  Again, focus less on what you do and how you do it…focus on WHY you do it.  After all, that is what employees and customers want to know…that is what stirs their emotions and soul…their loyalty…their trust…their purchases.  Know that your WHY is your life preserver; it’s what gets you through the tough and turbulent times.  Your WHY and your VISION are your greatest assets.

Face the truth of where you are now, professionally and personally, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Stop hiding your head in the bushes and take ownership of your current situation…the good, bad and ugly.  Only by taking 100% responsibility and dealing in the truth can you advance. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and confidence. Only after you know where you are now can you take positive steps forward to a more successful and fulfilling future.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable…you only grow and stretch when you get out of your comfort zone. Be more courageous. And courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s moving forward in spite of you being afraid.  Action cures all fears.

Create your own definition of success and never look at setbacks as failures. Failure is simply valuable feedback, nothing more. It should not sting you.  It is simply trying to give you wisdom and new strategies.  Always ask, what is this setback trying to tell me? The universe and marketplace are trying to tell you what adjustments you need to make to get you closer on track, to your goals, and to your WHY.

Get leverage into your business.  Ask yourself, “How can I serve more clients in more cities, provide more value, and make a bigger difference with my purpose and passion?” Once Dan asked himself this question over and over again and left the security of his comfort zone, the answer to that question was given and the people, resources and proper path were revealed to him…to expand Growth Coach nationally through a franchise model.

You must schedule time to get away from the chaos, complexity and confusion of your business. Get away from the everyday noise and distractions. So often as small business owners we by default become ‘Chief Everything Officers’ and become buried in the details of our business, feeling overworked, overwhelmed and feel like a prisoner to the business. What used to be fun has now become a source of great frustration. Stop being busy being busy and give yourself the gift of quiet time, reflection, and planning.  Focus your time and energy on your WHY.

One last piece of advice: Be very aware of the movie looping in your head, those self limiting beliefs that can stop you in your tracks. What movie are you watching, horror stories and worst case scenarios or a daring fun adventure where you are the hero?

To read full article with Dan Murphy click here.

P.S. The Growth Coach is actively seeking high-caliber franchise candidates and Area Developers to join their franchise system in order to fulfill their mission and Murphy’s compelling WHY…helping small business owners and entrepreneurs to have MORE life, success, freedom and fulfillment…to help them more fully achieve their purpose, passion and WHY.  If interested in becoming a franchise owner, go to www.TheGrowthCoach.com

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