Case Study: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What it Takes to Get to 10X Growth

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John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

What happens in business coaching? Does it really work? What results can I expect?

This week, one of my clients has allowed me to pull back the curtain and take you behind the scenes to show you what happens in a coaching relationship.

I’ll let Kathy tell the story…

When I met John, I was struggling to make ends meet.

My order book was getting smaller and smaller. I remember having a conversation with my husband where I shared that I might have to get a job internally – something I never wanted to do again.

I needed to secure more work and I’d never tried to market myself, ever.

Initially, I thought I just need a marketing coach. But after talking to John, I could see that he brought so much more the table that I needed.

I had big goals. I’m ambitious. I just didn’t know exactly where to focus my efforts and energy.

I was doing it all myself as a solopreneur, trying to juggle all the balls and not coping very well with that.

When I started working with John, I set a very big goal without having any idea of how I would reach it.

He got me going quicker than I probably was prepared for. He’s good at helping you create a sense of urgency and motivation!

During the first few months of together:

  • He helped me win a contract that I wouldn’t have gotten without him. He taught me how to sell. Of all the improvements I’ve made, this one had the biggest impact.
  • I started managing my business more like a business: separating business finances from my personal finances, setting up a structure, paying myself a salary and thinking about revenue and profit. Almost immediately, I felt more in control of the finances.
  • I started building credibility with my blog and my social media presence. I hired a subcontractor for help with this.
  • I felt like I had somebody in my court when I was having a tough time. I do difficult work sometimes and it’s just fantastic to have someone coach me though it – I felt reassured and supported.

What I like best about working with John:

Working on 2 time horizons: a year from now – and right now

John explained his planning process to me before we started.

He said we would begin by looking at where I want to be in one year, setting goals and working backwards to make a plan.

Then we would focus on the next three months, talk about any burning issues, and make a plan to address those. He said that sometimes when he starts working with clients, we need to head straight into the issues.

That’s exactly what happened! We did the year plan, but we spent the first couple of coaching calls getting me ready for a proposal that I needed to go and pitch. He prepped me to do that, I won it – and then we returned to the plan.

John is a total pro and he modeled what I wanted to learn

He sold me in our video conference when he took me through his presentation. It was flawless and very well executed. He had a process, he had some rigor, he was funny, he connected.

I could tell that he was just a total pro and he was modeling what I wanted to learn to do.

He also has a sense of humor! It’s great not to take things too seriously.

John offers far more than “coaching” – he was also my mentor, my business advisor, and my teacher.

I’ve worked with a lot of leadership coaches in the past, all very skilled and wonderful. But the ICF accredited coach model is to facilitate clients coming to their own solutions through questions, presence and a bunch of different techniques.

I didn’t want that.

I wanted somebody to teach me. If I had the answer, I would have been able to figure it out because I’m good at coaching myself. I just didn’t know what to do.

John’s toolbox is massive.

He has visuals and teaching tools at his fingertips, and he swaps between them immediately on screen. He’s been there and done that and he has references and resources.

He gave me the script to navigate the courageous conversations when I struggled to find the right words. It didn’t always fit 100% but I take 90% and make it my own and then I go forward.

That’s how I learn best: show me how to do it, tell me how to do it as opposed to a pure executive coach role.

He’s outcome and results driven, and very sharp.

I like that when I get on a call with him, he holds my feet to the fire in terms of how I want to make the most of the money I’m spending on him.

Sometimes I’d just jump in and want to have a chat and he’d ask: “What are you expecting from today?” He ties me back to what my bigger goals are when I’m distracted. He provides the bigger picture and holds me accountable to what I want.

I am infinitely grateful for the impact he had on my business.

When I initially set my big hairy audacious goal and intention for my business, I had absolutely no clue how I would reach it. Less than 5 years later, here I am. And I didn’t just make the goal, I blew through it.

John once shared with me that his mission was to make a difference in the lives of his clients and their families. He wanted us to feel grateful for his support. To that, I say, “John, you have no idea. I am infinitely grateful.”

~ Kathy Andrews

Would you like similar results in your business?

Since 2004, as a professional business coach, I’ve taken over 300 clients through a proven process that helps them increase profit, remove the stress and chaos from their businesses and get their lives back.

At W5 Coaching we employ the Socratic style of leadership and teaching: a method of teaching by using questions to arrive at the right answer for YOU.

If you’d like to chat about how business coaching can help you with your business, I invite you to book a 15-minute call on my calendar here: time with John

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