For the September 2016 edition of "Entrepreneurs Heart Greater Hartford," we spoke with Matthew Hawley who is a career and business coach.
Tell us about Intra-Coaching
I am a coach and I help professionals, and entrepreneurs, to master their mindset so they can love their life and work. My business is essentially virtual in that I can work from anywhere. I don't have a storefront or an office -- I can work anywhere I have cell phone service. I sometimes speak or do workshops, either virtually via conference call lines and webinars or in person.
Why did you decide to start your own business in Greater Hartford?
Well, this is an interesting answer. Really, I choose to live in Greater Hartford (FYI: I grew up in Granby) and run my business from where I am. As my business doesn't require a location or proximity to resources or customers, for me it's about where I want make my home.
How does your business impact the community?
I impact the community through the people I work with. It's a bit like a tiny pebble dropped in a body of water, there is some impact at first, but the energy continues to move through the water (even after the ripples go away). When I work with someone, and it "works," they go out into the world and affect their family, friends, work-places and communities. It's a small thing really, but it matters to the person I work with and who they come into contact with -- I hope!
What wise words of wisdom would you give to an entrepreneur who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?
Don't quit your day job! If you have work, keep doing it. Of course, optimize your energy and schedule such that you can truly work on your business, but if you have a job DO NOT quit. I made that mistake a long time ago and have seen so many people make it as well.
What is it like being an entrepreneur in Greater Hartford? What difficulties or challenges have you faced?
Think you don't have enough time to work on your business, while working a "day job?" [Hard truth alert:] There's always something you can stop doing to make room for your business development time. (Hint: it's probably TV . . . .)
It's all about service. To be successful you need to understand your customer and serve their needs. Not make your business or product what you want it to be and then try to sell that. You must start with the customer in mind, create for them and serve the heck out of them over and over and over. Remember that without a sale there is no business. BUT sales doesn't need to be a dirty word, or scary, or sleazy or whatever . . . Honorable, useful sales is matching a great product or service with customers who want what you have, they just don't know who or what you are yet and/or are stuck in a not-buying place. If your product or service is good there are tons of Ideal Customers.
Sales is just the final step in a process of marketing. One could even say that if you have what people want, you're doing them a dis-service by not educating them to the value and benefits and leading them through a honorable and effective buying process. There's so much more I could say! Some quick things that come to mind:
* subscribe to Seth Godin's e-mail newsletter (and read his books)
* develop some kind of mindfulness practice
* make videos and learn to get really good at making them
* learn how to speak in public, well and effectively
* accept that it's going to be hard and take longer than you think -- if you love what you think your business can do, do it anyway
* continually choose Beginner's Mind (always be asking yourself "How can I?" "What do people really want?" "What am I truly good at, that I'm willing to get great at?" "How can I make this better?" and so on . . .)
* understand that there's no failure, only results
* know how to "fail" quickly and move on AND know when to keep pushing
* be a reader and a learner, for the rest of your life
* the best thing you can do for your business is to improve yourSELF
* sleep enough, and on a schedule
* eat well
* develop a gratitude practice
* hang out with smart, kind, supportive entrepreneurs (and of course, BE one of those . . . )
* focus on what you CAN control, let go of what you can't (and keep asking which is which each day)
and OF COURSE,
* get a coach or mentor, be open to working with someone who can help you see your Self and the path.
What is your vision for your business venture over the next five years?
To create products and programs that generate income and allow me to work with and serve more people than I could one-on-one. I don't think I'll ever stop doing one-on-one coaching, it's just that as my work goes deeper I want to share some of the lessons and wisdom I've learned and discovered. And, in time to transition away from my "day" job and do coaching/teaching/training full-time. When the revenue is steady and supports that, I'll do it.
If you have any questions about anything mentioned above, please feel absolutely free to contact Matt and ask him any questions you have. He is happy to answer what he can via e-mail, or have a conversation if that makes more sense. You can learn more about what he does as a coach, and send a message if you'd like to his website.
This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that the Greater Hartford Region Entrepreneurs have for their work and this City. It will examine how young entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and give examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in their communities.