Let’s face it. Being in business is tough!
Some of our clients have graciously agreed to share the highs and lows of their journeys with you to let you know you are not alone in the challenges you face. We hope to inspire you with what’s possible when you leverage your strengths and unique abilities with the support, mentorship and focus our programs provide business owners.
Sabrina is essentially the most profitable employee my business has, yet she is not on the payroll. She facilitates me to have insights about my business and myself that no one else can.”
I met Jeff McMenamy, co-owner of Teton Therapy PC, when he attended one of my business development seminars. Jeff answered a powerful question I asked and the next day, placed a bid on their new Main Street building. Since then, business has soared and Teton Therapy now has multiple locations! Along the way, Jeff has gained some valuable insights.
Jeff, what impact has coaching had on your business? I don’t want to spend my whole life working for my business because that’s not why I went into business—the freedom is! I believe in letting my business work for me and paying myself with personal time.
Coaching has allowed me to enjoy other aspects of my life more, such as my wife and family, coaching and playing hockey, traveling, and teaching my kids about the outdoors. Coaching has lowered my stress. I have a better perspective on things.
I realized I needed to get away from providing treatment day in and day out, and become entrepreneurial. I tell people I should have been a business major who bought a therapy company, rather than an occupational therapist who started a therapy company. It would have been easier that way!
Making the move from being a “technician,” practicing my trade, to being a business owner was very difficult. Continuing to work as a technician was holding our business back. I am now focused on business education and strategic planning for the business. I think the majority of business owners are like I was—a technician, rather than an entrepreneur. When you operate solely as a technician, the only way to grow your business it to work harder and longer hours.
By thinking like an entrepreneur, I realized I don’t have to work myself to death! Say you’re a builder and you spend everyday pounding nails, how do you grow your business? What happens to your business if something happens to you? I’ve realized the importance of asking myself questions such as, “What am I doing to grow my business even when times aren’t so good?” and “Who will my next two employees be?”
Nothing stays the same. A business is either growing or shrinking. You need to be thinking ahead. By thinking like an entrepreneur, I don’t feel like I am hoping and waiting for business to happen anymore. I know the business is there and how to get it.
What advice would you give to business owners who are seeking to jumpstart their business or who are experiencing rapid growth? Get help with business planning and organizing. Be strategic about compensating for your weaknesses. And, realize the time you don’t think you have to plan and organize is the most critical time you need to find! Coaching helps you find that time and make it happen.
Teton Therapy PC
Business is booming and people come to work with smiles on their faces!
“When Sabrina and I started working together, I was trying to run everything myself. I was impatient and my employees were not productive. I needed to understand how to reach my employees. I was stressed to the max and would blow up at the smallest thing. I knew I needed help. I needed someone to bounce ideas off that would help me make sound decisions.
As I worked with Sabrina, I came to understand my personality and how to communicate with people who have different personality types. I started to listen to my employees and they began listening to me. Since then, my employees and I have made tremendous strides in improving communication. I have learned to go down the learning path instead of making assumptions that were often wrong and caused me a lot of worry. I am now thinking rather than reacting to situations, and I have learned how to have conversations without getting emotional (what a difference this makes!).
From coaching with Sabrina, I have received education, patience, listening skills and coaching skills. I am creating systems, making the company more profitable and productive. Business is booming and we are more profitable.
We are at our goal of 10% profit for the year. Our profit has increased from $53,000 to $185,000, so we’ve more than tripled our profit in just a year’s time.
I have people who want to work for me and who want to help me do my job. People come to work with smiles on their faces! Better yet, this is a place where I want to come to work.
Sabrina has helped me become a totally different person, both at home and at work. My employees have noticed how I have changed. Work is not so much work now. I see the results of being a coach to my employees.
As for working with Sabrina, I appreciate that she won’t tell me the answer, but she will sure help me come up with one that is right for our business. She has the ability to help with anything I have thrown at her whether it is personal, family, or business. I have recommended Sabrina to a lot of people. She has the skills to help anyone become better than what they are. I am a better husband, father, coach, co-worker, and employer because of her.”
Owner, The Overhead Door Co of Riverton-Lander
“The transformation in the last six months of coaching has been more instrumental than anything that I did in the previous 25 years of business.”
Mike Bruno, CEO of Contractor Business Solutions and Stonecreek Builders, has been working with Dr. Sabrina Starling for 6 months. In this candid interview, Mike shares the leadership transformation he is experiencing, and the positive impact on his personal life. This is a rare look at what goes on within the coaching relationship.
My business is on its way to “smoothville”!
After growing my business considerably over the last 10 years, I was maxing out on what I personally was able to do to keep the business growing. Some bad experiences with employees in the past made me hesitant to add a team, although I knew I had to take myself out of the pivotal role in my business. Plus, my business is in rural Iowa, which creates challenges to finding good employees.
I heard Sabrina being interviewed on the Entrepreneur’s Radio Show with Travis Lane Jenkins and I reached out to her. I wanted Sabrina’s specific guidance in identifying our sweet spot, as well as systemizing and streamlining the basic operations of my business. I also wanted Sabrina’s guidance in setting up a new team of employees, who are so engaged they feel as though they have a vested interest in the profitability of the business.
In just a few short months, this is exactly what we have accomplished! Everything Sabrina has taught me, I’ve implemented. Sabrina’s training on dealing with employees is priceless! That alone was worth the investment in coaching.
Beyond that, I am confident in our sweet spot. I have time to design, which is one of my most valuable contributions to the business.
I know I can step away from the day-to-day operations, and orders will still come in and be handled. Plus, I am loving Profit First! I no longer have to worry if I have money to cover bills and those big expenses that pop up, like federal withholding. It has really taken the stress out.
We’re doing it! My business is on the way to “smoothville.” I feel so good!
We would have hit some huge stumbling blocks and major obstacles that we wouldn’t have known what do with if we hadn’t had Sabrina helping us.
“Sabrina’s guidance has been crucial in successfully buying and starting our company. We would have hit some huge stumbling blocks and major obstacles that we wouldn’t have known what do with if we hadn’t had Sabrina helping us.
The work we’ve done with Sabrina is all-encompassing—beyond just how to make money. It’s easy to get in a rut in running a business. You have to change how you think to be able to grow. Sabrina refocuses us when we get in a rut. She gets us thinking outside the box. She gives us new ideas for growing the business, running it smoothly, and dealing with employee issues.”
Holly & Jimmie Cassity
Sweetwater Garden and Wind River Landscaping Company
Taking Care of Myself, Increasing Sales AND Growing my Business!
“I reached out to Sabrina on the recommendation of our mutual friend, Margie Rowell with the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, whom I really trust. I had grown as far as I could in my business. I was working ’round the clock, and I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. I had hit a “glass ceiling,” and I didn’t know how to take the next step in the growth of my business.
One of the things that I really appreciate is how Sabrina supports me in taking care of myself while I am growing my business. I didn’t really realize the importance of that, and I didn’t really give that to myself, because I didn’t see its value at the time. Now I do. The impact of that has been huge. I’m such an easier person to live with. I have more to give to my relationships, and that’s really important to me. My health is much improved. I’m just a happier person because I’m rested.
I spent the summer, which is my busiest time of the year, working really hard. But this time around what was different is that Sabrina helped me prioritize my rest and self-care. It’s made such a profound difference. There’s been a cost savings, which has come in the way of energy. What I am doing is costing me less with regards to my personal energy.
Sabrina has helped me target my business toward my ideal clients. First of all, it’s helped me to really appreciate the clients I already have. They’re fabulous! I’d never really consciously thought about building my business around my ideal clients. In doing that, I realize I need to have a learner’s mind. There’s a lot I have to learn. So, I’m really grateful that Sabrina has steered me in this direction to grow my business.
This idea has resulted in me producing larger paintings (because this is what my ideal clients really want) that I am now selling at a premium. Sabrina has helped me blast through self-defeating thoughts that were holding me back. She’s also taught me sales strategies that have helped me close the sale and sell more of my work. Now, we’re working on systemizing and delegating so I can spend the majority of my time doing what I do best — painting!
One thing I really appreciate about how Sabrina works with me is her focus on Wins and Successes. I tend to be pretty hard on myself, thinking about what I’m not doing, where I’m falling short and where I need to improve, instead of what I am doing, where I am succeeding and what is working well.
You know what? I’m doing well, and I know that Sabrina’s going to ask me what those wins and successes are, so I have to consider them ahead of time and reflect on them, and it’s helped me appreciate the work that I’m already doing.”
Kathryn Mapes Turner, M.S., A.I.S.
Jackson Hole, WY
Sabrina provides me with excellent advice and support. She has an uncanny ability to ask the hard questions and make me think about potential solutions. I highly recommend her services.”
I’ve had the privilege of coaching Dave since 2009. When Dave Coffey of Coffey Engineering & Surveying LLC took over the firm in2005, Coffey served clients in Wyoming with 5 employees.
In spite of significant challenges over the last 8 years, Dave has grown the business to 23 employees. Recently, Coffey acquired the Loveland, CO branch of Westwood Professional Services, bucking a trend in which out-of-state companies take over Wyoming establishments.
Dave is intentionally taking Coffey from a “practice” to a legacy company that will survive and thrive long after he retires. Dave definitively states, “Coffey Engineering and Surveying will not be the Dave Coffey Show.”
Today, Coffey Engineering and Surveying, LLC is rapidly becoming a world-class leader in their industry, serving the core area of the Mountain West (Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska and Colorado). Coffey’s extended service area has included California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Germany.
Map of Coffey’s Operations
Coffey’s licensed professionals serve a wide range of civil engineering, land surveying and geospatial needs—from construction materials testing and land platting to 3D scanning and custom GIS mapping. With their multi-disciplinary team approach, they find solutions to complex projects.
Since 2005, Dave has navigated Coffey through some extremely tough times. After overcoming the initial struggles involved in learning and taking over a business, Dave positioned the business to experience a solid period of success. Then, Coffey was hit hard by the economic crisis. Even as the economy recovered, Dave endured a lot of “starts and stops” with multiple projects moving forward much more slowly than projected.
There are several critical factors to Dave’s success. First, Dave is one who never stops learning and growing. He is not afraid of “not knowing.” Dave continuously networks with other successful business leaders, learning from them, and sharing his knowledge. Most of all, Dave’s attitude has seen him through the toughest of times. His motto is “faith and patience.” Kudos to you, Dave!
Our market share is increasing and we are doubling our revenue this year, plus our time has been freed up.”
“When we reached out to Sabrina, we knew we needed help. We had done the same thing over and over again without real success. It was like, “Come on, what are we doing wrong?” We want our business to succeed and we saw working with Sabrina as an opportunity for us.
We were at that juncture of, “Do we increase our business—employee-wise and money-wise?” Everything was in place, but we weren’t sure how to make the jump. Sabrina coached us through how to do it. It was nice to step over the line with her backing, and her reassurance that “this is the way you do it” and “you’re doing just fine.”
When we were strategizing about hiring an employee, we would think along the lines of, “What would the employee like?”
Sabrina turned it around and asked us, “What do you guys need?” and “What do you want out of this?” It changed our whole perspective about how to write a job description and how we go about finding employees who will be a good fit to work with us. Sabrina also showed us how we could hire sales people without dipping into our savings.
Val: I am more thoughtful with business decisions. I tend to be impatient. I’m still a little impatient, but now we will sit down, look at our finances, look at where we need to go, then make decisions. Before working with Sabrina, we didn’t look at our finances regularly. If we had, I think we would have been better off. Today, we do. It’s made a huge difference in how we run our business.
Now that we’ve got this new approach to running our business, we can see the change coming. We see our market share increasing in several places. We have three businesses and we put plans in place to increase revenue in all three. Our revenues are increasing—we will more than double our revenue in one of our businesses this year.
Sabrina offers The Pumpkin Plan and that’s helped us streamline our business around serving our Ideal Clients. For instance, right now, I’m overloaded with clients, and I recently had one big client return. So we needed to take a look at my clients with the awareness that we can only serve so many and do it well. She’s had us look at our clientele and make strategic decisions about who we will continue to work with. Now, we are focused on working with our Ideal Clients who are on the same wavelength as we are. We analyzed what’s advantageous to us, changed our rates, and look at ways to weed out our less than Ideal Clients.
Even the way we do sales has improved. Sabrina helped us create packages. Even though I do this for other people myself, sometimes you are so close to the trees you can’t see the forest. Also, Jerry has become a way better salesperson than when we started coaching.
Jerry: Yes, working with Sabrina has given me confidence. We strategized on ways to make a sale and how to close a sale—you ask for it!
Val: Not only are we running 3 businesses, but we are also doing a World War II Project that we started 20 years ago. I now dedicate every Friday to the World War II Project and it’s sailing—it’s just incredible! There is such a difference now that I have the time to focus on that project and move it forward. Afterwards, I am ready to get back to business. Now, I think I will always only work 4 days a week.
Jerry: For me, there has always been that stress that you take away from work. I have a better way of dealing with it now, keeping work and personal life separate.
Sabrina understands small business and she has skills as a psychologist. Plus, she has incredibly valuable resources and contacts she shares with us. For instance, I want to be a public speaker, so she got me some training materials and pointed me to additional training I can do.
She really tunes into what we are saying and pulls together what we are bringing up, making sure we are always keeping our eye on the whole picture, moving forward toward our vision.
I’ve enjoyed the sessions we’ve had with her. She moves us into a different mindset and we are getting a lot more accomplished.”
Val & Jerry Burgess
Owners, GoExplore WYOMING! & Burgess Design Group
In just 90 Days, we have our team of good employees in place and our monthly revenue has almost doubled!”
“Before we worked with Sabrina, we were struggling to find good employees. We’d gone through a lot of employees and were frustrated not only with the lack of applicants we had, but also the quality of the applications coming in. We had been throwing new employees into the mix, hoping they could cut it. Even when they weren’t a good fit, we still kept them around because we needed the help.
After working with Dr. Sabrina, in just 90 days, we have a team of good employees in place and we continue to get good applications coming in. We’ve been able to expand our hours of operation to accommodate customer requests and our monthly revenue has almost doubled. Plus, we feel comfortable being away from the business—leaving it in the hands of our A-Players.
Even though we needed help with our hiring, we were initially hesitant to invest in the services Dr. Sabrina provides because we had tried similar services before and didn’t receive the specific help we needed. Looking back, the investment in her services was easily worth it. We had been making mistakes in our hiring process that were costing us a lot of turnover and frustration. The mistakes were easy enough to correct with Dr. Sabrina’s guidance. It was a matter of acquiring a new skillset for attracting the best employees. We now have a system in place for attracting and on-boarding top-performing employees that we will be able to use for years to come. Plus, we’ve learned to think about our business in a different and better way.”
Misha and Kate Dickey
Owners, The Good People Kitchen