“This is the worst day of my entire life!”

– exclaimed my 15-year old in a moment of exasperation.

Yesterday marked the first day of summer vacation for my three daughters. Normally, the summer would come, and every morning my husband and I would venture off to our Corporate jobs, bringing in a summer nanny to come in and “entertain” the girls.

This year is a little different. Only my husband is off to his Corporate job every morning while I’m at home nursing a newborn. No it’s not what you think.

The newborn is not a person, but a 6-month old business called Breakthrough ROI.

Together with my Business partner, Charlotte, we are feeding, nurturing and trying to raise our new baby while my human children have to fend for themselves.  This of course got me thinking that one of the reasons I left corporate life (after 19 years) was to have the flexibility to spend more time with my family. But I’ll get to that later…

The real reason for this first blog entry is to tell you a little bit about the business that Char and I started.

We incorporated Breakthrough ROI in December 2009.  Who are we? We are Executive Coaches and Business Consultants and starting this business has been a dream come true for us (a scary one for sure, but still a dream.)

In my previous life as the Director of Human Resources for a 2,000 person organization, I always slept well at night.  It didn’t matter what was going on personally or businesswise at work, I was always “fine.” I wouldn’t say I was thrilled or excited about going to work each morning. I wanted to be able to help more people with my talents and gifts and not spend so much time in the day-to-day bureaucracy of corporate life.  With the start of this new business, the red tape is gone.  I’m happier than ever, and thank my lucky stars every day for how much fun and satisfaction I’m having in my career. Interestingly enough, I don’t sleep very well, although now for an entirely different reason.  Here’s why: The cushy paycheck I used to rely on is gone and now I have to sing for my supper. In running our business, Charlotte and I are now learning about Sales, Marketing, Networking, Blogging, Tweeting, Newsletters, Websites, Billing, Signature Systems, Virtual Assistants and a lot of other stuff we either didn’t know we didn’t know or didn’t think we’d need to know.

Here’s something else we’d like you to know about us: We are also in the process of becoming Certified Executive Coaches through the International Coaching Federation.  Here’s why: We have come to realize that anyone can hang their shingle and say they are a coach.  To Charlotte and I, having the training and credentialing of being an Executive Coach gives us the knowledge, confidence and credibility to do coaching the right way.

To us, coaching is about helping people live better lives. It’s about taking a mentally healthy adult who may be:

  • Stuck in their career or business
  • Wanting to reach the next level in the organization more quickly
  • Looking to make a career change
  • In transition and wants to make sure their first 90 days in their new position goes off flawlessly, or
  • Needing a performance turnaround

And providing them with the support and systems to achieve their goals. A Coach can be many different things to many different people.  Our Coach Training enables us to work with these individuals in a strengths based, action-oriented manner to be a thought partner offering perspectives and awareness to help the individual leader or executive achieve success in their career or business.  Put another way, Coaching is about drawing out the answers, power and passion from within the individual and being an accountability partner to help them achieve their goals.

Over the years we’ve discovered that many business leaders are working really, really hard IN their business, but not focused ON their business.  We help them focus on their businesses.  This allows them to become leaders and not just managers.  This helps them get clear about where they want to take their business.  They learn how to effectively manage a cohesive leadership team that is not bogged down in their individual silos.  They figure out that communication to the organization about that vision and clarity cannot just happen through osmosis.  They realize that they need to nurture that communication throughout the organization, over and over and over again.  And finally, the successful business leader/owner reinforces that vision and clarity through their human resources processes such as hiring, firing, performance management and rewards systems.

On paper, this all seems very simple. In reality, these “softer” sides of business are the hardest things to do. Most individuals know intellectually what it takes to be a great leader.  After all, there are countless best-selling books out there telling them how. That’s theory. Charlotte and my combined 40+ years of practical business experience have shown us time and time again, leaders need a thought partner, a coach.  After all, it can be very lonely at the top. Every professional athlete has a coach to help them achieve new levels of breakthrough performance.  We want to be that coach for you.

We want to help you achieve your own breakthrough.

Aside: Wow!  I just completed my first blog.  It’s 7:30 a.m. on my children’s 2nd day of summer vacation.  I’m thinking about that flexibility I wanted in my own schedule so I could spend more time with my family.  Maybe today, I should take my own advice.  Still work hard until they wake up, then take a couple of hours and do something fun with the girls and then get right back to being the entrepreneur doing what I love and making a difference in people’s lives.