I am a certified Business Coach here in the city of Edmonton and have been a member of the ActionCOACH community for 13 plus years now.
In that time, I have gain a thorough understanding of the everyday challenges that business owners face and the solutions to those very challenges.
Running a successful business is a bit like unlocking a combination lock. If you don’t have the right combination, you won’t be successful.
I love what I do and the challenge of working with businesses like yourself grow as a leader, grow your business and become more profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you set out for in the first place.
World’s Best Business Coaches
Brad Sugars Interviews Laurie McNaughton
Brad Sugars: I am Brad Sugars and welcome to this week’s edition of World’s Best Business Coaches. As you know every week we travel the world to find a great business coach and find out how they are getting the results they are getting, how to get business owners to grow their business, what they are doing and what’s their secret so you can grow your business too. This week we travelled to Canada and Laurie is doing a phenomenal job of getting real results with real business owners. So let’s find out what he’s doing. Laurie thanks so much for your time and welcome to our chat this week.
Laurie McNaughton: Thank you Brad.
Brad Sugars: So, buddy I need to ask you. The first question I always ask is what was your background prior to becoming a business coach?
Laurie McNaughton: My experience is mostly in sales and marketing. I’ve worked for a company that sold chevron lubricants, some synthetic lubricants and for the most part I was out there talking to business owners day in day out solving their problems.
Brad Sugars: You know, it’s an interesting one when you look at it. Most of us see our background career before becoming a coach actually were coaches but it was never called that. I guess that’s similar to what you were doing when you were working with business owners. But you’re selling them some stuff while you’re helping them grow.
Laurie McNaughton: Yeah, absolutely. We are talking to transportation companies, these are people in the industry that use a lot of lubricants by helping them extend and improve the lubrication in their equipment. They can extend the life of it, they can extend the changes and it saves them money, makes them money.
Brad Sugars: Yeah. Now buddy, it seems like you’ve been a coach forever. You’ve been getting some amazing results with your clients for many many years. What do you think is the secret to getting results as a coach? How do you get the client to actually get results?
Laurie McNaughton: You know, that’s a great question and I think it’s different for different clients. But the one thing you have to have is a solid relationship where they trust everything that you say is in their best interest and I work hard, very hard, in making sure that we have the kind of relationship that we can open up and talk about things they don’t normally talk about and I think that makes the biggest difference. You got to have that solid relationship.
Brad Sugars: You know, building a relationship with clients is good because coaching is a lifetime business, you know. We’ve got to do that. Now you must’ve had a couple of clients over the years that were kind of favorites, that I don’t know maybe it’s cause I got the best results also maybe it’s cause of the way you they grew or tell me about one or two of your favorite clients.
Laurie McNaughton: That’s easy, I mean, I have a lot of people I can talk to you about but there’s a couple of people I have really enjoyed being part of their business over the years and one of them, his name is *. I won’t say more than that but he works in the dry on industry and when I talked to him the first time he was working seven days a week, he was 70 pounds overweight. You know, he was making okay money in the business and it wasn’t great and he had a team of, if I can say, ingrates. Within 12 months we changed his entire team. He went from making a little bit of money to a lot of money. In two years he lost 70 pounds which was pretty amazing. We worked together for actually about 3 years but in the first 12 months it was, you know nose to the grindstone. In the next 12 months he took 10 weeks of vacation time. He’s still raving about working with me, he’s become a friend as well.
Brad Sugars: It’s good when you get them to retire almost. I mean it’s like they get the business to work so they don’t have to. I think they are always a lot of fun those. Some clients don’t want that though. I don’t know. I’ve got a few that love working. It doesn’t matter how you coach them, they want to work harder and I guess that’s kind of like me. I keep my own companies. You know, okay so favourite clients aside, what are some of your favourite strategies? What are some of the things you love coaching on? Is it sales, is it marketing, you know. What’s your favourite areas?
Laurie McNaughton: I’ve got to say probably my favorite area is working with them, helping them build a team of people that excel around them. I’ve seen so many incredible results with my clients by helping them not just get the best out of people that work for them but also to help them through the hiring process, you know, on boarding process and you know, if I think about this and talk to many people I’ve said “You’ve got ten employees and you get ten percent more out of each one of those employees then you’ve got a free employee” and if they follow the system and do the stuff they get the results and it always goes up in the bottom line.
Brad Sugars: For the business owners watching, give me your top ten two or three secrets to recruiting great people and to on boarding them once you’ve recruited them, you know, because they are very important areas in business.
Laurie McNaughton: Yeah, so I guess when it comes to getting really good people, the main thing that I talk to my clients about is that they have to have a strong vision and mission and an understanding of the culture that they want to create in their company and then using our process or our hiring process, it deselects those people that are not interested in your vision, your mission or your culture in your company. And you’ve got to be adamant about it and I say to my clients when you’re having that interview with that person, maybe the second interview you’re going to say I want this to be your worst time in your life working with us and you’re going to say something like “If you’re that type of person who’s not going to show up for work on time or if you’re the type of person that takes days off because you have a sniffle, this is not a place for you to come to work.”
Brad Sugars: They’ve got to be blunt and up front.
Laurie McNaughton: Yeah absolutely. You know, you don’t even want to waste one month or a week with somebody who isn’t a key player. And really from an on boarding point of view is to have a system set up for the first two months of the training process so that these people, they feel like they’re being engaged and also understanding they’re going to be involved with a company that not only wants them to work hard but also wants them to have a great experience working there to grow and have fun.
Brad Sugars: Yeah. I know, it’s interesting Laurie when we talk about did the staff read the company manual, how much training did they go through and induction? Do you take them through the history of the company? All that stuff and people stop, you know, what’s a company manual? It’s a crazy thing but we get business owners to build a business that works so they don’t have to and that’s ultimately the goal. So buddy, tell me, if you were thinking about…simply put, what is it that, forget about the ego and everything, what is it about you that means you get results from business owners. There’s lots of business coaches out there and some get real results and some don’t. What is it about you that means you get results?
Laurie McNaughton: I think the simple answer to that is that I care. You know when I sit and talk to a client at the beginning of a relationship and I see that they may be struggling with something, I have a long conversation about how much I care about them getting the results they they want. I love what I do because I get this incredible feedback from people who I’ve helped change their lives and I care about that more than anything else. All I want for them is to get what they want because I know I’ll get everything that I want if they get what they want. I just really care.
Brad Sugars: You know, it’s an interesting one and I guess you wouldn’t be amazed but a lot of people say that the number one ingredient to a great coach is that they love helping other people and it’s just the number one ingredient and all the background aside, all the skill sets aside, it’s the fact that you’re actually hearing them. One of your clients put something down Laurie about your level of belief in them and that that was what made the difference for them. Give me more of an understanding of that. How do you give somebody that belief? How do you make sure they know that you believe in them?
Laurie McNaughton: That’s a good question and I think it’s just, I don’t know. I just tell them. When we’re having our, I typically do all my coaching on skype, and I do believe. I guess that’s probably it. I do believe in these people. I believe in the end anybody can accomplish what they want to if they clear their heads of all that muddle that muddy stuff that gets in the way of their success and talking to them about believing in themselves. I’ve been through this myself and I continue to go through it as I go up different levels I become a better not only at what I do but as a person. I’ve always been working on my mindset and believing in myself and I just say hey listen, I’m on the same journey as you are. This is all about getting the best of who we are and I guess that works so they all seem to be happy with it.
Brad Sugars: You know, it’s an interesting one Laurie. The level of belief, and most business owners it’s a pretty lonely road out there. They don’t have someone they’re going to talk to and all that sort of stuff and I know several of your clients are clear on the fact that they see you not just as a coach and mentor but almost like a confidant are the words that they used to describe it so congratulations on that. That’s a phenomenal thing to have your clients thinking and saying that about you because it’s a feeling that is pretty rare. So let’s go back to business and you love coaching on the team and leadership. How do you get clients measuring their numbers because we all know that’s a key to growing a business? What’s your secret to getting clients actually knowing their numbers in business?
Laurie McNaughton: You know what, it’s just simply like when I sit down and I talk to them at the beginning of the process and I say there are certain things you’re going to have to do in order for this relationship to not only work but continue. I say you’ve got to provide me with this information and it’s got to come on a monthly basis and honestly sometimes it takes two or three or months before people start doing it but I just keep saying we’re not going on to anything else until we get this stuff down because this is the most important part in your business, understanding you can’t make good decisions about your business if you don’t know your numbers.
Brad Sugars: Yeah. And it’s a tough thing for business owners to get because one of the other things Laurie I’ve noticed you do very well is you help people transition from employed to manager and then manager to owners. You’ve got a lot of clients that started with you as one person businesses and you’ve helped them build into more people and much better profitability obviously but you’ve also got a lot of clients that started with a lot of employees and you took it to a point where now they own a business that works so that they don’t have to. Is one of those your favorites or do you love both types of growth?
Laurie McNaughton: I think helping a business owner, I’ve got a young guy, a client. He’s 30 years old. He took over his business from his father who passed away unexpectedly a few years back. He’s been a client of mine for 4 years now and his business has grown revenue-wise 20% year over year since we started working together and he’s added 20 employees and this year, this last fiscal year he’s had his most profitable year ever and he’s working less than he’s ever worked and he’s excited by that. He’s just a young guy and he’s talking about where do we go from here like, what’s the next step? That kind of thing is the favorite type of thing or stories or results or relationships that I’ve had and that’s what I like working with.
Brad Sugars: Now Laurie, you obviously love the community aspect that your clients as well, bringing them together and helping them learn from each other and as a community build relationships. But you’re also part of the action coach team and that community. What do you think it is about action coach that we just get results with clients? I mean that’s how focused obvious hits I guarantee but what do you think it is about our team that means we really get results with clients?
Laurie McNaughton: Well, you know, I think the thing about action coaching really I think is the horsepower behind this organization is the quality of the people at the top if I could call it that. Obviously the leadership with you Brad, the team that is global all the top coaches, you know. The conferences we have I believe are second to none. What we learn from people who have tried and tested the systems and procedures that have made a big difference and I think is a big reason why I am part of action coaches. It’s just really the horsepower that is behind this organization. I don’t think there’s another company like it.
Brad Sugars: You know, it’s really interesting when people ask me how action coach is number one. I say it’s because we really keep recruiting and training number ones but to say there as you said, we have to have that common knowledge. We have to keep sharing that ability and I love the fact that if you have a client that’s retail client and you don’t know how to solve their challenges you go out there and there’s a dozen coaches really into that that can give you the answer and I think that’s important. You’ve been with us forever. What do you think it is about action that keeps coaches loving the team aspect of it but also keeps them coming back I mean it’s an important thing for any business to keep their team and keep them growing. What do you think it is about us other than the team that makes that happen?
Laurie McNaughton: Probably growth and opportunity. Here’s a big reason why I tell you this. When I first came across action coach and this was prior to the fourteen points of culture when we had twelve and I looked at this 12 points of culture and I looked at all the stacks of books on the table and it reminded me of when I was going to Tony Robins master university energy, the culture, the excitement, the passion and that attracted me to action coach. That’s what keeps the top people around is this opportunity to continue to grow, continue to become better, not just as a coach or a business owner but also as a person and I think that’s probably the biggest reasons for me anyway.
Brad Sugars: Laurie look, we’re super proud of what you’re achieving. You know, Canada of course is a better place for you to because of the businesses you’re growing. I know this is an interesting one because you love this fact, have you kept a track of how many jobs you’ve created over the years by all those businesses you’ve helped grow?
Laurie McNaughton: You know Brad, I wish I would’ve. I haven’t. But I do know as I was telling you about one client I have from Calgary, he’s added 20 new employees to his company and it’s gone to be a few hundred actually. I haven’t really kept track of it.
Brad Sugars: Yeah just buy the testimonials I’ve got in front of me there’s a couple of hundred here so, I think that’s phenomenal. I love that you’re adding value to the community. Great work, congratulations and that’s some of the reasons that we’ve chosen you as the world’s best business coach this week. Thanks Laurie.
Laurie McNaughton: Thank you very much Brad. Have a great day.