Four Cheers for Four Points: A Story of Strengths
A few weeks ago, I met for coffee with colleague and friend whom I had coached five years ago. We were meeting to simply catch up and I was interested to hear about the success of his new business, Four Points Bar . As the conversation progressed, Kevin began talking about the coaching we did five years ago and how he attributed much of that experience to where he was today. We didn’t get together to talk about the impact of coaching but as he began to talk about this, he really lit up, and I asked him if I could understand more to write this article.
Q: What was valuable to you about the coaching experience?
A: It taught me what my strengths were and how to leverage those strengths and turn those strengths into a business model that I could build around.
Q: The coaching occurred five years ago. Tell me about your journey and why it still feels so impactful.
A: After the coaching, I went for a job I had no qualifications for but felt I was innately good at (sales). I got the job. Scary as it was, I excelled at it and reinforced the feeling I had about my strengths. I grew their portfolio by 2-3 times what they had nationally just in Colorado. I stuck to the belief that my strengths will prevail. It gave me the confidence that I could do the same thing with my own product. I knew I had the ability to sell and be passionate based upon my personality. What I lacked was professional experience. I also lacked the vocabulary to articulate what my strengths were and what I could bring to the company and make that career change.
Q: What may have happened had you not received coaching?
A: I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it. I think the coaching allowed me tap into my strengths. I was asked questions and given the ability to step back and take a 30,000 foot look at myself and leverage that. I don’t think I would have had that ability to do on my own.
Q: Why choose a coaching experience versus reading business books on strengths and emotional intelligence?
A: It is a conversation. It is having someone asking the right questions. A lot of time you have the answers but you don’t tap the answers until you are asked and having the dialogue makes a difference. The self-realization comes from that.
Q: What advice might you give someone else?
A: Everybody is good at something. Sometimes it is hard to see as we get caught up in what all that we have to do and don’t stop to look at what we are really good at. Maybe I should be using these strengths instead of constantly trying to improve my deficiencies? We always look at deficiencies as failures and the ones that hurt the most instead of looking at the things we really do well and going for it. Almost everyone has been in the position that they don’t have the experience but know they are good at something. Go for it. The only regrets you will have is the what-ifs.
“Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
– Abraham Lincoln