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10 Ways To Become A Millionaire Coach – Scott Harris

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Many of us who are interested in the personal development industry and are entrepreneurial minded, have thought about being a coach. With this in mind, I interviewed Scott Harris, who is a millionaire coach himself and delivers Tony Robbins business mastery courses all over the world.

During the interview, I asked Scott what was one of the things that enabled him to achieve so much success, and his response was “look to be not ordinary, look to be extraordinary!” Seek out extraordinary people and find a way to hang out with them. You can do that through books, seminars and researching them online.

Seek to not be ordinary because there are enough ordinary people

Seek to be extraordinary in your finances and be able to live comfortably

Seek to be extraordinary in your relationships (peer group, partner, siblings)

Seek to be extraordinary in the example you set for other people

Seek to be extraordinary in the difference in your community

Scott started his company Ultimate Coach because there are not a lot of places out there that will hold coaches to a high standard and who can train coaches to be at the elite level.

From Richard Branson to Warren Buffet, to Tony Robbins, to Donald Trump, all of these high achievers share one thing in common; they all think coaching is very important. It’s optional to be successful, but if you want to be successful then having coaching and mentoring is not optional.

***The Tony Robbins Connection***

One thing I was keen to understand was how Scott came across Tony Robbins and became involved with his business. He said it all started when his mum stumbled across this thing called personal development and began traveling the world to attend Tony’s seminars, and then returning excited, motivated, using weird language and hugging everyone.

At the age of twenty-five, after seeing his mum change from the seminars, he decided that there was more to life than his luxury house, nice car, good job and successful business (at this time it was the mid ninety’s and Tony was still wearing the dorky suit and had bad hair).

The most dangerous thing that can happen to somebody in their life is that they can get some success, which makes them think they know everything. For the next twelve months Scott attended eighteen of Tony’s seminars – this started his transformation.

At the time, he didn’t know what his life purpose was going to be but he was very clear on what his life purpose was not. – that’s equally as powerful. Scott says, “never do anything ever again that you don’t love, that doesn’t make your heart sink, even if you are really good at it, and it makes you lots of money.”

About twelve years ago Scott was at one of Tony’s seminars as a helper and trainer when he had a knock on his door one night from one of Tony’s team. They asked Scott if he could fill in for a few hours at 9 am the next day.

Before accepting, Scott was very conscious that the point of going to a personal development event is that it’s called personal development for a reason. With this in mind he agreed, and they handed him a big binder with 300 pages of content to learn.

Luckily for Scott, he was already using Tony’s work in his life and was comfortable in teaching people how to use the skills Tony teaches. The relationship has grown over the years and now Tony is one of Scott’s closest friends, and they even speak on Christmas Day.

Below are the ten ways to become a millionaire coach just like Scott.

1. Start with personal congruency

The foundation of being a great coach is having personal congruency. Personal congruency refers to a state in which a person’s values and beliefs are consistent with the way he or she lives their life. So many people in personal development are not congruent.

This is not to be confused with perfection. It’s not about being a millionaire, having 10% body fat, owning twenty properties or having the perfect marriage, but you certainly want to be moving in the direction that makes you proud of who you are.

2. Pick up some skills and tools (don’t worry about certificates)

The next step to be a coach is to go and get some skills and tools – these are simple to get. You don’t have to have any formal training to be a coach, and Scott says anybody who thinks you do is an idiot.

The reason is that you can pay for a certification, and then you’re done; that does not mean that you can coach. Formal training to be a coach is not necessarily a bad thing to have, but right now the coaching industry worldwide is an unregulated industry, and any of the formal certifications are actually just internally certified.

It’s kind of like “join our gang and we will certify you.” The proof is that Scott is making a multiple seven-figure income, and he doesn’t have it, and Tony is making a very significant nine-figure income and he doesn’t have it either. Most of the great coaches Scott knows don’t have a certification either.

This is not to say you can’t learn skills and tools from institutions because you can. What you really need though is personal congruency, some skills and tools, and an ability to market and present yourself well to your ideal client, to be able to attract, keep, and service your ideal client.

3. Work out how much you can charge

In the beginning, you want to make sure that what you are getting out of the coaching experience is what you need to have – that may not be money. When Scott started twenty years ago he was only getting paid $21 a session.

He was doing 50-60 sessions a week, which was much more valuable to him than the $1000 he was getting. By doing this many sessions, Scott was getting scar tissue, muscle memory, and experiences and references that you can’t get from having five clients a week.

So how much to charge depends on what it is that you want out of the experience. There is no point charging someone $3000 an hour if that means you are only going to have two clients a week. It’s better to have fifty clients paying you fifty dollars than five clients paying you $500. In that first 6-12 months, you want to get references and experiences.

“ Charging is like skiing, if you go skiing for a week and not once do you crash and burn, then you have probably skied too easily. If you ski, and every single day you nearly have a crash and die, then you are probably skiing too hard. The goal of going skiing for a week is to find that sweet spot where you ski comfortably and have a great time, and then occasionally you push yourself so hard that it gets a little hairy. It’s kind of the same as charging, you want to charge not so much that you scare people away, but enough that just a few people are scared away. It’s a bit of a dance, and your fees should always change. “

4. Collect money efficiently and always use contracts

The way you collect money from your clients is crucial. The best way is to decide how many months of coaching the client needs (let’s pretend they need six months) and then get the payment up front. The key is always to get the money before you deliver the coaching and to always offer a 100% money-back guarantee – this ensures that you stand by the results you have promised.

If you can’t get the money up front for 3-6 months of coaching, then give people three options to pay you in advance of a session or group of sessions (never offer payment plans). As well as payments you need to also offer a contract to your client otherwise there are no rules to the game (not good).

The contract needs to have the rules of the game, their expectations, and your obligations. Before playing the game of coaching with a client, it’s good to talk about the rules before you begin coaching.

The worst thing that can happen is either their expectations are above and beyond or underneath of what it is that was set. Think of the contract like this with your client; here are the rules of the game, here are the consequences of the game, here are the results of the game, if you want to play the game, here is the fee to play the game.

If they agree with this then great, play the game, but if anything was confusing then start again. Once the rules are agreed between both of you, then you are finally ready to play the game!

5. Decide on how much of your time you want to coach

Most people that come to coaching come part time because they are in transition and have come from doing something else, and secondly they come with commitments to other people. Generally there is an uncomfortable phase of transition because you have two plates spinning, your job / business that is no longer serving your needs, and your desire to become a coach.

At the start, it can be a choice if you go part time or full time.

6. Choose life coaching or business coaching

The typical person that is suited to business coaching has a strong corporate background of 10-15 years, from a top tier company, and has earned a $400-500k salary each year. Somebody who is a regular person, who has had a regular life, is probably not qualified to be a business, coach.

This doesn’t mean you couldn’t learn the skills and tools, but that becomes an apprenticeship.

7. Work out a coaching session structure

The first part of your structure should be the length of coaching. Ideally, no one should be coached for less than 6 months if they want lasting results. The start of coaching someone is the messy bit, where you are finding out who the person is, what makes them tick, and how they got to be where they are.

The next step is to find out where they would like to be next which the client should always decide. In the first 3-6 sessions, it can easily look like you haven’t got anywhere, but what you are really doing is unpacking the box

The middle section of coaching someone is where you are getting clarity on where they want to go to, the quickest ways to get there, and then doing some research on all of this. A typical goal might be that they want to lose 10kg, run a marathon, fix their marriage, make $500k or whatever it happens to be.

The last part of the coaching is a bit like a rocket ship in the sky, all the hard work has been done in the beginning, and the back end is the cruisy bit. It’s about keeping them on track, monitoring, and measuring, and helping them get back on track if they have lost their way.

Some of these later sessions may only last 15-20 minutes because the client might be sophisticated, mature and committed, and they are 6-12 months into their coaching journey. Expect early coaching sessions to last for around 60-75 minutes because you are working out how they got to where they are, and what they really want.

Once you’re passed the early stage of coaching a typical session should last around 30-40 minutes. The frequency of sessions is the other part to determine. Having sessions every week is too much, and then on the other extreme anymore than 10 days apart is not frequent enough.

The other combination that works for session frequency is once a week for three weeks and then one week off. During the week off you might want to include some texts or emails to check in with your client.

8. Go and shake some people’s hands (marketing)

If you want to become a coach, which for most people is a very comfortable six figure income, this is not created from Facebook advertising, or a great website, it’s created in the beginning from relationships. Quite simply, relationships are built from shaking people’s hands.

When you are new to coaching, you are being employed by a client because of your personal congruency and relationship with them. When you meet someone at a function, and they ask what do you do, you tell them “I help people just like you, get the best results out of their life.” Their response will usually be “how do you do that?”

From here a conversation starts. Your first $100k, which is your first 5-15 clients, is absolutely coming from the hands that you are shaking and don’t tell yourself you don’t know anyone!

Every single day in your country, somewhere, there is a rotary club meeting, free seminar, conference, business club meeting, bank-sponsored dinner, and political party function – there is always somebody meeting somewhere every day!

You need to go to those places and meet people, shake their hand with congruency, and create relationships with them. That’s how you make your first $100-200k, not from Facebook or ads. From here, you then need to find the right hands to be shaking, for the types of people you want to coach.

It’s like fishing; if you want to catch salmon, you go to where the salmon are hanging out. You need to work out the types of clients you want to coach, and then you go to where they are hanging out. As an example, if you want to coach stressed out mums, then you go to a creche.

Before you have a brand, and before your brand has credibility, all you really have is your own personal congruency and your own personal ability to convince someone that you are going to add value to their lives. That comes from meeting them face-to-face and having a conversation. This doesn’t mean your coaching has to be face to face, and for Scott, none of his coaching is face-to-face.

9. Show your client the results

Coaching is about the client setting the standard for what they want to follow and then the coach helping them to hold themselves accountable to that standard. The outcomes have a two-fold result; one is tangible, such as how much money did you make, how many times did you take your wife out, how many kilograms did you lose, etc.

The second is the intangible element to the results, like does your client feel better because they are on track, even though the result –such as losing ten kilograms – hasn’t yet manifested? If the client emotionally feels better, then that’s an intangible result that should be measured.

To uncover the intangible results you need to ask questions about how they are feeling and make sure you check in with them like that regularly. Sometimes people can be moving forward but unless they are checking in, they don’t know they are on track.

Once you have produced the results then you obviously should ask your client for referrals (goes without saying).

10. Public speaking will evolve your business further

As your coaching business evolves you can start to reach more people by doing group coaching, online webinars, mentoring and public speaking. The most powerful of these is public speaking, which requires you to be able to speak on camera and on stage.

When I asked Scott what the first step was to public speaking, he gave me this great analogy:

“Practice doesn’t make perfect it makes permanent. What makes perfect is perfect practice. Going out and buying golf clubs, and then going to a golf course, is the most stupid thing someone can do. Unless you have some lessons first, you could be perfecting for six months how to swing the club badly every time – this is not a good outcome and will ensure you give up.”

Once you have the skills, then go practice at Toastmasters, speak at scout halls or church clubs; anywhere that you can get practice and just talk. If you don’t have the skills first, it’s like planting a lemon tree in the ground that’s growing crooked; it’s a lot harder to straighten it up when its grown crooked first.

As you think about your speech, focus on questions like what does the audience need, who are these people, what are their wounds, what are their hopes, what are their fears, what have they come to get, and how do I put my own certainties / doubts aside and show up in a way that serves them?

To be successful at public speaking, you will need to know your content, stories, audience and your outcome. If you know these things, then the path that you use on stage doesn’t need to be a predetermined thing.

You need to have confidence in your skills, tools, and experience and have confidence in your ability to reach deep into your well of stories, metaphors, content, examples, and references. If you have prepared all of these things, then your performance on stage will unfold naturally, and you will be able to adapt to the audience’s needs in real-time.

The final part of public speaking to consider is that you will need to follow a recipe just like a book. There needs to be an opening, some chapters, a few segways, the final penultimate scene, and then a wrap-up. Once you have mastered the recipe, it’s the same formula whether it’s a two-hour talk or a full day talk.

***Final Thought***

The difference between high achievers and ordinary people is a hunger, a thirst, and a quest to be successful or to have knowledge. The hunger is something you either have, or you don’t, but you can cultivate it. Just because you have a lot of money, it does not mean you are successful.

There are millionaires who are fat, and nobody likes them, and they are not successful. Scott says to read a lot and ignore most of the people in your life (parents, teachers, what’s in the paper and TV).

“You can make a million dollars and still be a jerk”

Focus on your health and eat quality food because there are two groups of people; people that die at sixty and people that die at 100. The average is 80, but there are really two groups. Decide which group you want to be in.

“Live deliberately, live on purpose and live like it matters”

If you read this article and have decided to take the next step in becoming a millionaire coach, then sign up for Scott’s Ultimate Coach Course here. 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. James Hurford

    May 18, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Brilliant article. Very honest and open. And most of all, invaluable information for any aspiring life coach. This is a blue-print I can keep referring to as I build up my coaching business. Thank you.

  2. Chris Thompson

    Mar 25, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    A very insightful post. One of the things that struck me, although it wasn’t exactly stated, that it starts by getting out there. You need to work hard and branch out of your comfort zone. Keep up the great work!

  3. Manoj Bhatia

    Mar 7, 2016 at 8:34 am

    This is one of the best articles, the best tip one I thought of all would be building relationships with new people and networking with them. I’m also looking out to start to depend on the pay check and start doing something on my own. This article has given me many new insights on how i can take my website promotion ahead, as I always underestimated personal marketing.

    I also got to learn about 1 more important aspect to getting successful, that you should be a great confident speaker and I’m looking forward to building that skill in me as well.

    Thanks For This Great 10 Tips Tim.

  4. Rose Costas

    Oct 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks Tim for this amazing piece. I have been doing some research on becoming a life Coach to decide if that is the route I want to take and you did a great job of detailing what is required of an awesome Life Coach. i am just starting out but this has gotten me very excited about my new career path and the future after years of working in areas that I hated. Thanks a great deal.

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

      No problem Rose glad you learnt a thing or two and best of luck with your coaching business.

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Oct 14, 2015 at 1:53 am

    This was a interesting and detailed article, and I appreciate that you have shared this. I am on my way to becoming a life coach and public speaker, but the starting process can be tough. This article gave me more clarity in how to reach success. I feel that life coaches or coaches in general are passionate about changing lives. I am so passionate about reaching my full potential and I truly want others to do the same because in striving for greatnes and having that hunger for success and knowledge, you find a sense of purpose and happiness. GREAT ARTICLE!

    • Tim Denning

      Oct 15, 2015 at 3:35 am

      Thanks Lawrence. Knowing some of your recent work, I think you would make a great coach. Hopefully these tips will help you further. Check out Scott’s work further he is a master in the field and that’s why Tony Robbins employs him to deliver his business mastery program.

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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

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productivity tips
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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

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how to be happy and successful
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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

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We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

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