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12 min

Failing Business – Know How it Feels to Own One

3 min read
 | Feb 5, 2015
  1. Home
  2. Business Coach
  3. Failing Business - Know How it Feels to Own One

If you can’t empathize, you can’t help.


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In this episode of Better Business Coach Podcast, I help you understand what it feels like to own a failing business or a business you feel you can never leave.

Learn to see these business owners for who they truly are, as well as understand that you’re helping people that are proud and deserve your respect. After all, they have taken action and gone out and done what most leave in the world of tomorrow.

Episode outline:

Imagine what it feels like to:

  1. Be a servant to your business 80 hours per week
  2. Hate doing what you once loved enough to start a business in
  3. Be wondering where your next dollar is coming from
  4. Have so much to do that you really don’t think you can do anything well
  5. Feel like you are the only one that can do things
    • Perhaps because your staff doesn’t give you the results you want and you don’t know what to do about it
  1. Feeling like there is no escape
  2. Feeling embarrassed about what you do
  3. Feeling disapproval from your closest friends and family

What are the daily drivers of these business owners?

  • Time – continuously fighting the clock
  • Fear – worried about when the next complaint or debt collection service is going to call
  • Bottom line – constant live or die cash flow and profit concerns

This is why you must ensure that for each session, you are 100% prepared to help as much as you can.

What does all this stress mean?

Their body is under constant stress. Stress causes your brain to move into fight or flight mode. In short, without intervention (HELP), there’s no coming back.

That’s why they need you.

Through coaching we can bring them back.

The difference business coaching makes.

  1. Inspiring and motivating employees together while passing on skills
  2. Help owners feel in control and finally get out of the day to day

What I have seen with my clients through coaching:

  1. People building a business that they really enjoy and really do well
  2. People turning a non-profitable business into a really profitable one
  3. People recruiting and really developing their staff
  4. Creation of order from chaos
  5. Increased self-esteem as business confidence improves
  6. Knowledge that they are really running a great business
  7. A vision that customers, staff and they themselves believe in
  8. A strong plan of steps to achieve their vision
  9. Staff that hated their job now love what they do and perform well
    • Increased retention and a reduction in costs of replacement
  10. People begin to embrace change

Don’t miss a thing:

As the podcast will have sessions both in video and audio, make sure you subscribe to both the audio and video versions of this podcast.

Here are the links:

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While you’re there, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – leave a review and the star rating you feel this is worthy of.

Thank you in advance.

To find out more about me or the show, feel free to check out:

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The full show write-up –

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About Matthew Pollard

About Matthew Pollard
Called the real deal by Forbes, Matthew is a small business advocate, introvert champion, Rapid Growth® Coach, and keynote speaker. Responsible for five multimillion-dollar success stories before the age of 30, today Matthew is an internationally recognized sales and networking expert, author of the bestselling Introvert’s Edge series, and host of two top-ranked podcasts. His work has transformed over 3500 struggling businesses to date.

Read the Transcript

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Better Business Coach Transcript

This is Better Business Coach session number five.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Better Business Coach. My name is Matthew Pollard, and as always, I will be your rapid growth guy. If you haven’t already, please take a second to subscribe to both the audio and video versions of this podcast. The audio will provide you with access to ideology and training to make you the most successful business coach possible, and the videos will give you step-by-step training on how to use the worksheets and templates that I will provide you with. These are downloadable from or These are templates that I have spent over a decade creating and perfecting, and they’re all available to you for free, so make sure that you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing.

In this session, I want to take a second to look at how to coach a client who has a failing business from their perspective. See, a failing business owner still deserves to have your respect, because they have gone out and done what many people won’t. They have still gone out in search of their dreams; they’ve done something that most people leave in the world of tomorrow, the tomorrow that never happens.

So I want you to understand what hurts them the most about having a failing business. The first is that in a lot of cases, they have gone into business in order to create a better future for themselves.

Why small businesses fail

However, due to things not working, they’re now finding themselves working 80 hours a week. This 80 hours a week not only makes them exhausted and puts a lot of stress on their family and their friends because they’re never around and they’re always constantly thinking about work, but it also stops them from appreciating what they do.

They used to love what they did, which is why they went into business doing it, but now they have fallen out of love with it. It’s a horrible situation and something that they really want somebody to come in and fix. However, they’re proud, and they deserve to be because of the risks they’ve taken. So as a coach, we need to make them feel like they deserve to be respected. They just need some help.

As a failing business, the next major problem they experience is that they’re always wondering where their next dollar is coming from. They’re constantly stressed about whether or not they’re going to make good money, and because of poor financial planning, poor marketing, and poor sales, a lot of the time, they have lots and lots of business one month, and then no business for long periods of time. They then lower prices to desperately try to get clients, and they work tireless hours to get very little money and then stress because they don’t know where the next job will be coming from. So we need to be able, as coaches, to understand that this is all going on at all times.

The next thing you need to be mindful of is that they feel like they have so many things that they have to do that they don’t think that they can do anything well. What they once used to do quickly, easily, and efficiently and found that they did better than everybody else, they’re starting to doubt themselves about, and they’re not even sure that they can do that right any more. They are also feeling like they’re the only ones that can actually make anything happen and that they’re the only ones that can actually do anything, perhaps because they didn’t find staff that gave them the results that they wanted, and now perhaps they’ve given up on those staff and just try to do everything themselves.

So not only are they working 80 hours a week and feeling like they can’t get everything done well, they also feel like they can still do it better than everybody else, and as a result, they’re working harder and longer and still not getting everything done.

They start to feel like there’s no escape, like no matter what they do, they’re never going to get out from under this mountain of work that they’ve got; they feel like they’ve made the wrong decision. In a lot of cases, they’re wishing that they had just continued working for somebody else where they did a job nine ‘til five and then could just clock out, go home, and spend time with their family, a family that they probably feel at this stage is embarrassed of them and disapproves of them.

Quite frequently, business owners struggle with the fact that they feel that their friends, family, and partners closest to them disapprove of the decisions they’re making. Perhaps they once believed in them, but now they have lost faith due to the fact that they’re working so hard but still having such fluctuations in their earning ability. For the first time, a once proud person that believed they were the best at what they did may now start to feel like they’ve lost part of themselves, and their confidence has started to waver.

This is a horrible thing to experience for a once proud business owner that had the faith to go into business for themselves. We need to understand that this is all going through their head, and we need to make them feel like they’re succeeding just doing what they are doing right now, and that all that is missing is the skill sets that we will give them to help them along the way to get their business back into a solid foundation that works.

Failing businesses

Failing business owners have a horrible daily priority. They focus on time, fear, and bottom line. Everything is motivated by that. There’s no blood pumping to the brain. It’s purely a fight or flight mechanism, and stress is the primary motivator for doing things. They’re calling customers because they haven’t paid their bill. They’re worrying about other bills and not paying bills because they’re worried about cash flow. They’re constantly focusing on the fear of not getting their next dollar and the fear of what their wife or husband is going to say because they haven’t made the money they needed to make that week; a huge amount of energy goes into this. All of this is tolling on the person substantially, and as a business coach, we need to bring them back.

I have made simple changes with my clients that have drastically changed their day-to-day views on the world, the outcomes that they achieve, and that get them back in charge of their life. This is one of the most important things that you can do as a business coach. Through coaching, I have seen people build a business that they start to finally enjoy and really start to manage well. I have seen them really turn into a profitable business and make the money that they actually set out to achieve. They also start to retain staff through the soft skills that we teach them that give them the ability to empower their staff to do tasks for them, which gets them out from underneath the amount of work that they need to do. We start to create order from chaos and increase their self-esteem and self-confidence to make them believe that they actually can achieve and that they can be successful.

By building their self-esteem and their confidence, they start to work more efficiently and more effectively because they’re no longer worrying about the next dollar coming in or the disapproval from family members and friends, because they feel like they’re back on the right track. You’ll be surprised at what can happen by making a business owner feel that they’re running a great business.

You will also find staff that once hated their job really start to love their job and start to perform better, so retention increases. The business owner finally starts to save money on recruitment and saves all that time of replacing a staff member, which, again, adds to the ability for them to achieve and do more things. And then they finally start to embrace change, which is such a big deal, because when a client is underneath this pile of work that they have to achieve, they don’t want change, because anything that changes could give them more work, and they’re already stuck.

So if you give them the ability to get out from under the mountain of work that they have, they’ll feel comfortable embracing the change that you want them to have, which really is the coaching philosophy. You help people be the best they can be by giving them strategies, systems, and structures that work for their business.

So, again, this session was not really about giving you something that you can run away and use with your client straight away. It’s really about helping you become more empathetic to their situations and know how specifically you can help them with their problems to get the outcomes that they want in order to put them back in charge of their business.

See, so many business coaches want to just start talking about the financials. They start looking at the problems backwards; they look at the poor financial results and start thinking about how they can fix that, while they should be looking at the person themselves and empathizing with what that person is going through and then helping them see a future where they can be successful. They should be focusing on the major problems that they’re experiencing right then in order to help them move forward into that future.

By doing that, you will find that your client will really start to open up to you and share what’s going on inside their head, which allows you to provide more help. Each one of the worksheets and templates that I will go through with you very, very soon will allow you to do so much more for the client just by being able to empathize with them and what they’re going through.

So, again, I hope you really enjoyed this session. If you haven’t already, please hop on iTunes and post a review. Whether it’s positive or negative, I just love to hear what you’re thinking about this podcast, and I’d love to hear that you’re getting a lot from it. Also, please put the star rating that you feel it is worthy of. I hope that you enjoyed this session, and I look forward to seeing you in the next Better Business Coach podcast. Thank you.


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