Prior to ActionCOACH, I had the opportunity to run a level (the kind you buy at Home Depot and use to see if your latest DIY project is “level”) business. I had years of corporate experience and had even run a small business unit, but this was a real business – one that I could grow, and prove to myself and others that I could do it.

The company was in a tough spot. They had been trying to break in to the US market for a decade, and were nearly out of money. $100,000 a day behind on shipping. Losing money on some big customers. A well-intentioned but unsuccessful team.

A year later, that team had turned things around in an amazing way. The business broke even in 12 months, and by year 2 we were double the size and profitable; off to the races!

Sounds great! Big success!

But there’s a back story.

For those years that I was running that company, I was running everything – leading my team, in person at every sales call, running the operation, figuring out the marketing, financial reporting, making sure orders got out on time – everything. To the tune of 70+ hours a week plus evenings and weekends. Most weeks I was on an airplane, away from my family. The workload was insane. I was exhausted. I’d wake up like clock-work every day at 3:30 am; my mind racing about the next sales meeting, or could we ship on time, or are we going to run out of cash. I couldn’t turn it off.

You can’t keep up that pace for long – it’s a straight line to burnout. I decided it wasn’t worth my marriage or my health. I left.

It wasn’t until after I bought my current company, ActionCOACH, and the pattern started to repeat again, for the same reasons, that I finally turned a corner.

My turning point was threefold:

  • I learned that it’s okay, actually a sign of my maturing as a leader, to actively seek outside help
  • I invested in myself – hired a coach to guide me through my blind spots and the areas where I wasn’t strong
  • I USED A PROVEN BLUEPRINT. It wasn’t that I was doing the wrong things – it was that I was building a business without a blueprint.

So, I made things way harder than they needed to be. You would never build a house without a blueprint – building your business is way more complex!
When I got the PLAN IN MY HEAD into an ACTUAL PLAN that my team could see and understand, everything got easier. We started working on the RIGHT things – not working harder.

Today I co-own a thriving, profitable, globally award-winning firm with 3 regional offices, that gives leaders the kind of help and support I wish I’d had all those years ago. And I do it all in 40 hours a week, with lots of vacation time in cool places around the world, time to give back to the Community, and plenty of money and time to enjoy the things and people I love.

If any of this resonates with you – you’re working too many hours, if your business is not transferrable because it’s too dependent on YOU – then it’s time to get your plan – your blueprint – done. That way you can grow a way that’s healthy, transferrable, and dramatically increases the value of your business – AND gives you back your time and energy so you can enjoy it!

Best of all? We can help you get your plan done in 2 short days, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional business, strategic or succession plan. If you are interested in learning more, ping me at and put BENEFIT WORKS PLAN in the subject line.

About ActionCOACH: Susan Thomson and Mike McKay own ActionCOACH Business & Executive Coaching of Wisconsin. Imagine a team that can take you from the chaos and stress of running your business to making more money, growing your team, and gaining freedom!