Are You Running Your Business From the Cemetery?

“There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there.” ~Colonel Harland Sanders

Well, we have just completed the first quarter of 2012. And now it is tax season. Where is your business financially?

Are you on track to meet the goals you set at the beginning of the year?

An established and somewhat well known coach signed me as their online business manager. Their reason for hiring me was their business was moving 100 miles an hour and they couldn’t keep up.

However, my experience was the coach had a very public façade and my role was to clean up the behind the scenes operations of the business to make it as pretty as the outside, front facing package.

The coach said to me, “I have the vision for my business. I generate ideas and I can produce programs, products and services. I need you to help me make it happen. I need you to be the reality.”

Reality I have. I am not a very visionary, airy fairy kinda person. I have a mean practical streak in me. What I don’t have is a magic wand to wave and make the state of the business what the coach perceived the business to be. In other words reality wasn’t what the coach wanted.

They wanted smoke and mirrors. The business was broke. The financial decisions the coach was making were not in line with the truth that was in the financial books.

The coach is prestigious and traveled in a circle of other prestigious coaches. Since the business was not making money, the coach I worked with would observe what the other coaches were doing. The coach would then call them and ask them how they were implementing a program, service, product, etc. The coach would ask if a particular program, service, product, etc was successful.

Of course the other coach’s program, service, product, etc was successful! (Whether this was true or not, the coach did not care. The coach believed it was successful for the other coach.) The other coach would share with the coach the exact steps required to reach the same level of success. Now, keep in mind the other coach’s perception of the coach was that the coach was prestigious and was running a very successful business. The other coach’s recommendations involved expensive systems. (Yes. Some of the recommendations were affiliate programs for the other coach so if they could convince the coach to purchase their recommendation the other coach would earn $$. Some of the recommendations were the other coach’s own program, product or service.)

The coach would tell me they were going to emulate the other coach’s program, product or service. The coach would give me the outline from the other coach. Then, the coach would tell me since there was no money to afford the systems recommended by the other coach I was to look for alternatives that did not charge a fee.


A business built like a house of cards


I did. I found no cost and low cost alternatives. I presented a program, product or service description, systems required, budget, and implementation timeline. The coach would respond, “This doesn’t make any sense to me. Can you put it in a format I can understand?” Huh? Well, Ok.

Meanwhile, as I was “putting together a format the coach could understand”, the coach went back to the other coach and presented my program, product or service description and recommended systems to get “feedback.” Guess what the other coach said?

They didn’t think it was a good idea for the coach to use the no cost or low cost alternatives. The other coach’s reason was because the program, product or service would appear cheap and not represent the true prestige of the coach. (The coach overlooked the fact that the other coach was going to lose $$ if the coach didn’t use their recommended program, product or service.)

Sure. I get that. Did I forget to mention that all of this is going on six weeks before launch of the program, product or service because the coach committed to the effort before evaluating the feasibility? By commitment, I do not mean the coach put it on their marketing calendar only. Oh no. The coach announced it on social media to over 50,000 roaming eyeballs. Status updates published to more than one social network on more than one occasion, such as, “You won’t want to miss my new program, product or service! You can sign up on MM/DD/YYYY at X o’clock!”

As you may have predicted, the coach dropped me like a hot potato. My speculation is I could not make the magic wand produce the prestigious image of the coach within a budget the coach could afford. I am not alone. The coach had a business history lined with qualified, competent, prestigious in their industry online business managers, virtual assistant teams and other support professionals. One professional consoled me by saying, “The coach probably dropped you because they didn’t have the money to pay your invoice.” Now that I know is true.

Sum it up to say, this coach’s business was the richest in the cemetery and they couldn’t run it from there.

Are you keeping your business goals in line with your financial goals? I can help! Check out my business muse service.

About Lara

Lara Nieberding has a passion for managing remote/virtual teams and operations for online business owners. "Cat herder extraordinaire" ~She has the ability to wrangle those elusive team members, coaches in your training program, or faculty & students in your online education business. She's been successfully managing teams for online business owners since 2007.

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