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Business coaching is not consulting, and it’s also not therapy – it’s right between the two. A good business coach is someone you can trust that has the acumen to be able to diagnose specific and systemic issues in your business, but who has the strength to wait for you to deliver on the solution instead of jumping in and doing it for you.

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We’ve partnered with PixelSpoke since 2012 to create the State of the Business Owner, an extensive study of success factors in small and midsize businesses that is the only study of its kind in the entrepreneurship space. The study uses advanced statistical methods to discover key insights into how business owners can improve the performance of their companies and increase their own personal meaning and satisfaction as a result.

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We spent $500 billion globally on advertising in 2013. Every year we’re spending more money, to interrupt more people, more often, with messages they don’t care about and don’t pay attention to. We’ve come to believe that the way to succeed is to have an advantage—by being different or better, more visible, or just plain louder.

For the past fifty years we’ve been thinking about marketing as a department. We made the mistake of forgetting to see the world through the eyes of the people we wanted our ideas to matter to.

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It’s probably easier to see now, but you didn’t start your business just to make money. You did it to feel something – independence, a kind of freedom and control over your life, to be able to do it your way. And you “re-earn” that freedom with every headache and heartache that comes with being a business owner. But while there are certain things only an owner can feel – good and bad – there’s a version of that freedom that each and every one of your employees wants for themselves. And you have more power than you know to give it to them.

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It’s much easier and more cost effective to keep the customers you already have than to win new customers. Bain and Co. reports that return customers spend an average of 67% more than new customers. Loyal, long-term customers are the lifeblood of any company. But how do you actually keep customers coming back to your brand time and time again? Our answer, learned from years of coaching for businesses: a strong Brand Commitment.

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