Why and how did I arrive at becoming not only a coach / consultant but also a business owner? As always, the story is never a straight line. I was recalling my journey with a friend recently and we saw many connections between my past corporate career and my role in the business world today.
In my corporate beginnings, I started in customer service, listening to customer complaints and requests and giving them the information they sought in a calm and friendly manner. Diverse opportunities soon came my way as my fluency in Spanish and English enabled me to move around within the company.
Listening To Customers and Gathering Data Became Critical Skills
Product development presented me with the fun opportunity to test new products and survey the customers to understand what made the product a success. Asking questions, listening and data gathering allowed me to paint a picture of what’s going to work in the market.
As a business analyst in Account Services, I gathered data to figure out why customers wanted to leave the company – what most of their complaints were about - and what would entice them to stay? I reported findings to upper management so they could determine action steps to turn the situation around and I loved my involvement in making that happen.
Becoming the Voice of the Team To Forge Progress
At one point I was a part of a very small team without a lot of resources. I became the voice of the internal customer, taking my findings to the VP. I led sessions for my project team on the way that people want to communicate. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about coaching or starting my own business, but organically I loved engaging with people: listening, clarifying and helping get their grievances solved.
My ultimate goal was about finding ways to help a team work in a more efficient manner. Keeping my eyes opened, and focusing on the big picture, I spotted when a team member had a particular talent that we weren’t tapping into; or discovering that someone in another department turned a situation around, and asking if they could do something similar in another troubled department to bring about a positive outcome for everyone.
Connecting People and Process for Productivity
I became the connector to help people work more efficiently, making work more enjoyable by striving for harmony and productivity. I paid attention – noting what people wanted, how it was being done elsewhere and then bringing it back to our team. I was able to travel with HR while capturing the data in my business analyst role. I loved having access to training and development for myself and sharing it with others. Eventually I started working directly for the VP (who recently sent me a connection request on LinkedIn.)
When my role was unfortunately eliminated in 2016, I took full advantage of the outplacement agency presentations and workshops to help me decide what’s next in my professional career.
Buy a franchise? Nope.
Refresh my resume? Nope. (I hate writing)
Start my own business? That sounded familiar; the summer before my corporate separation, my husband and I decided to build something of our own that we could possibly leave to our children. What? We didn’t know yet, but it would center around professional services; it was my husband who came up with the name Star One Professional Services.
My Own Company With Support of Peer Advisors
Once that path was chosen, I trained on how to start a successful consultancy and became certified in coaching practices and principles. I joined the Trusted Advisors Network and I’ve been with them ever since. With a network of other coaches and consultants, I am in business for myself but not by myself.
How I work with departments and project teams, business owners and corporate executives all resonate so clearly with my past experiences. If I find the prospective client and I are a good match, I feel honored to be welcomed into their business, to share in their mission, values and overall goals of the team.
My corporate experience was a phenomenal training ground for my coaching and consulting practice today. Listening, data gathering, spotting skills and resources, discovering areas for improvement. My many years of experience can be leveraged to your specific situation in your company. I welcome you to schedule a discovery call with me to see how my background and skillset can benefit your business.