Robin Waite is a Business coach who flips the script, one that doesn’t fit in to the slick, sharp suited, maybe a little flash stereotypical coach box.
That’s not his style.
He believes that what you say is more important than how you dress – and he’s more interested in delivering real results than impressing you with his image. It was this ethos that made him stand out to us here at House of Coco and we had to go along to find out more. His coaching approach is different as he combines creativity with logical, analytical and objective thinking to help you see your business in a fresh light. To us, Robin sounds like a breath of fresh air. Here’s what we chatted about…
Tell us about the journey you had which lead to you becoming a coach?
I originally trained as a systems analyst but saw an opportunity to start up my own marketing agency in 2004. We grew that business through the recession up until 2016 when I fell out of love with the business. I ended up having a breakdown and needed a shift in direction. It was during that period and the birth of my second daughter, Sophie, that I took 3 months off, spoke to several mentors and founded my coaching practice, Fearless Business. I recognised so many “symptoms” in other business owners that I had experienced in myself during my marketing agency days that I realised I could help other people avoid the burn out I’d experienced by getting more focused on product, pricing and sales.
People hiring coaches is still quite a new thing in the UK, unlike the US, for anyone on the fence, what advice would you give for anyone thinking about hiring you?
Whether it’s me or another coach, it’s worthwhile taking the time to do your due diligence. The coaching industry is totally unregulated in the UK, and so the market is filled with sharks. If you’re looking for a coach, ask for references, look at their qualifications and/or experience, what industries they’ve worked within, the results they get with their existing clients and how generous they are with the value they offer.
Personally, I’ve invested £10,000s into my own coaches and mentors. I can safely say that this investment in education is one of the best I’ve ever made.
What does 2020 look like for you?
We’ll be expanding the Fearless Business coaching team and scale the Accelerator program up to enrol 10+ students per month. We’ve niched down quite heavily on who we want to help so having a selection process for clients means that we get the best results for those who successfully apply.
For me personally, enrolling more coaches means I can step back from day-to-day delivery and focus on business growth and development, and take a bit of time out to go surfing.
Looking back on your career, is there anything you would have done differently?
I wish I’d started my first business sooner. When I finished A-Levels in 2000 starting a business was alien and I didn’t know what else to do aside from go to University. That ended up being quite costly financially and I feel I missed the dot com boom. However, we did ride the crest of the wave when we did finally set the agency up in 2004 during my final year at Uni.
I’d strongly encourage anyone in school, leaving school or considering Uni to think about starting up their own business. There’s no better time than now!
I certainly don’t regret selling my agency but at the time it was the right thing to do, in handing it over to someone who had the energy to take it on and grow it again.
Personally, I am always trying to encourage people to earn beach money where they don’t just exchange time for money. How do you advise people on this?
We encourage our clients to charge based on outcomes and results, no matter what they do. In short, you need to be able to work out the return on investment that your clients will get through working with you and charge accordingly. Unfortunately, most people fear rejection, and so they force their conversion rates up by dropping their prices. This means they end up on the “sales cycle of doom” – too many clients and not earning enough money. A good conversion rate is 1 in 5 up to 1 in 3, any higher than 30% and you are likely pricing yourself too cheaply.
However most small business owners struggle to articulate their value. Which means they don’t know how to explain their offer which means they struggle to sell their products/services. So we encourage/help our clients to refine their offer/product, increase their prices and sell “packages” instead of hours and finally nail down their sales process.
You have a 12 week accelerator programme that has helped people get amazing results. Who is this suited to?
The Fearless Business Accelerator is designed for anyone who sells a time-for-money service, but more specifically coaches, consultants and freelancers. Provided they are already getting leads in their business we teach our students how to maximise those opportunities when they pop up.
What advice would you give for any aspiring coaches out there?
It’s called a coaching “practice” for a reason, so you need to just start coaching and get practice. We always recommend new coaches run their first three clients for free in exchange for testimonials, case studies, and reviews. It also means the pressure is off financially on both parties and allows the budding coach to grow as a coach, work out their own style and understand who they can help and the sort of results their clients can expect.
From there, then refine your coaching programme, introduce a starter package (focussed on the transformation and outcome) and then start learning sales. You should be a sponge about all things sales!
You offer a free discovery call, what are you looking for when you have your initial chats?
We are looking for prospects who are passionate about what they do, we look at how much determination they’ve got to achieve their own goals. We are NOT interested in people who are looking for silver bullet marketing tactics, quick wins or for Fearless Business to get them clients. That’s not what we do. When we enrol a client they understand that they are investing in their education as a coach around growing a successful coaching practice. Education which they can’t un-learn, hence why it is an investment of both time and money.
If you weren’t a coach, what do you think you would be doing?
I can’t imagine doing anything else other than coaching! I’ve got plans to write a couple more books, so when I’m not growing Fearless Business I’m either writing, surfing or cycling or spending time with my girls.
Find out more…
You can find out more about me personally at https://robinwaite.com or we’ve got a ton of free resources available at https://fearless.biz – If you’d like a free copy of Robin’s bestselling book, Take Your Shot, you can head on over to https://fearless.biz/tyspromo/ and apply for your copy. In the UK we’ll send you a paperback, if you’re overseas you’ll be able to get a PDF download of the book.
We’ve got a great FB community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OnlineBizStartup/
And if LinkedIn is your thing: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinmwaite/