Amanda Grover, Founder, Storytellers Grove
Amanda Grover, Founder of Storytellers Grove, and Brand Strategist took some time out to talk with The Industry Leaders about what all successful coaching businesses have in common.
What's your industry?
Brand Strategy + Marketing
For people who don't know you, can you tell us how you ended up sitting where you are today?
I’d love to! After graduating from Baruch College, a renowned business school in the heart of Manhattan, I set out to make my mark in the world of Public Relations. I hustled tirelessly at multiple agencies, managing a hefty load of 6-8 clients in the high-stakes B2B tech and financial services industries. Although I am forever grateful for these experiences, as I grew more skilled in my craft, something ate away at me - I felt unfulfilled. That's when I knew I needed to make a change. I thought, life's too short to settle for anything less than your heart's true desires, right? So, without a second thought, I decided to leave behind the safety of my full-time job and chase the life of a fearless solopreneur!
Today, I work with a variety of marketing agencies as a freelance expert and also mentor ambitious solopreneurs on how to craft irresistible online brands. Drawing from my own experiences, I empower them with the fundamental skills of running a successful business and managing a magnetic personal brand that truly stands out from the crowd.
What does your daily routine look like?
My daily routine is anything but ordinary! As a freelancer and coach, my schedule is constantly changing depending on the needs of my clients. Some weeks, I'm swamped with work while others are a bit more relaxed. To keep everything organized, I rely on Notion to manage my to-do list. I prioritize my tasks based on deadlines and importance, giving me a clear roadmap to success.
My mornings are reserved for preparing for coaching sessions or tackling freelance projects, while my afternoons are packed with calls and client meetings. And before I dive into work mode, I always take a moment to nourish my mind, body, and soul. Whether it's reading a book, journaling, meditating, or practicing yoga, I prioritize self-care to set myself up for a productive and creative day ahead. This intentional approach to my daily routine has been a game-changer, allowing me to crush my goals and inspire others to do the same!
What excites you most about what you do?
As a freelancer and coach, I love having complete creative control over the projects that I work on. From ideation to execution, there's nothing more fulfilling than seeing my ideas come to life before my very eyes. But what really gets me excited is the opportunity to empower other solopreneurs to chase their dreams and achieve their goals. Witnessing and being a part of their success stories is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It's a reminder that the work I do is not just impactful, but also has the potential to change lives for the better.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
As a seasoned brand strategist, I've learned that failure is not something to be feared but embraced as an essential part of the growth process. The best business advice I've ever received is that we need to be in a constant state of learning and development to achieve our goals. Failure is an opportunity to learn and grow not just a setback. One key strategy that has helped me turn failures into breakthroughs is analyzing the results of my actions.
Every time I execute a project or campaign, I take a step back and reflect on what worked, what didn't, and what I can do differently next time. This approach has enabled me to gain valuable insights and make more informed decisions in the future. So, if you want to succeed in the business world, don't let fear of failure hold you back. Embrace each challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. By committing to a growth mindset & continuous improvement, you'll be well on your way to achieving your goals and making a lasting impact in your industry.
What's been the hardest part about the path you've taken and how would you advise someone facing a similar situation to overcome it?
I've learned that building credibility is one of the hardest parts of starting a business. If you know you can help people but haven't yet had any clients to prove it, it can be challenging to showcase the results you're capable of delivering. To overcome this challenge, I focused on brand building and building a community that aligned with my values and mission. I proactively reached out to other creators in my niche, collaborated on projects and shared knowledge to help build my credibility.
I let my experience and value speak for themselves, offering free information to kickstart potential clients' results and establish myself as a thought leader. Maintaining mental resilience during this process can be tough, but with a strong will and determined mindset, you can achieve anything. There's also no shame in seeking financial support through a more stable job while growing your business. By keeping your head up and pushing forward, you'll build the credibility and reputation you need to succeed in the long run.
Are there any well-known Books, Podcasts, or Courses that you credit your current success to?
You Turn by Ashley Stahl kickstarted my entrepreneurial journey by inspiring me and getting me to rethink my dream career. I also listen to the BRANDED podcast by Steph Webber, another brand strategist in my space and have read Soulful Branding, Branding is Sex, and Build a Story Brand to help support my continuous learning journey. They've all taught me a lot about running a successful business and building a credible and emotionally charged brand presence.
Have you ever used a business or executive coach?
Yes, I have had the privilege of working alongside a business coach. When venturing into entrepreneurship, regardless of your expertise, it's crucial to acknowledge there will be unknowns you will face. It can also be challenging to break out of your own perspective, which is why having a coach to collaborate and strategize with is invaluable. It not only provides a fresh outlook but also offers the space to reflect on and process everything that you're juggling. Additionally, being a business owner can be isolating, and having a coach on your side can help you maintain a healthy mindset and sustain your drive to achieve your goals.
It seems like there are a lot of people offering business coaching these days. In your opinion, is that a good thing?
The coaching industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, thanks to social media platforms that make starting an online business a breeze. While having low cost of entry options for people to start businesses is a positive development, it also has a downside: the vast number of unqualified business coaches flooding the market. As a seasoned Brand Strategist and Mentor, I recognized this trend and decided to step in to provide clients with genuine expertise and guidance. It's not enough to simply be successful in business; a coach must have a firm grasp of the fundamental principles of business and tailor their approach to the unique needs of each client.
Unfortunately, I've observed a trend of Life Coaches transitioning to business coaching, blurring the lines between therapy and business strategy. While mindset and empowerment are critical in business, they're only one piece of the puzzle. A sound strategy and system that drives sales is equally essential. If you're in the market for a coach, it's crucial to thoroughly vet their background to ensure that they'll offer the right guidance to help you reach your goals.
People can sometimes confuse a coach with a mentor. Can you help us clarify the difference?
Happy to! A mentor is someone who has experience and knowledge in a particular area and shares that knowledge with someone who is less experienced or just starting out. Mentors offer guidance, advice, and support based on their own experiences and can provide valuable insights into the industry that the mentee may not have access to otherwise. Mentoring relationships are typically longer-term and focus on overall career development.
On the other hand, a coach is someone who helps individuals or teams achieve specific goals, whether they be personal or professional. Coaches are trained to ask thought-provoking questions, provide objective feedback, and offer strategies for growth and development. Coaching relationships are typically shorter-term and focus on achieving specific outcomes or overcoming specific challenges. While both mentors and coaches offer support and guidance, the main difference lies in their focus and approach. Mentors provide more general guidance and support over a longer period of time, while coaches focus on specific goals and outcomes over a shorter period of time. Both can be incredibly valuable for personal and professional growth.
For any entrepreneurs or executives looking to work with a coach, where are the best places to find a great one?
There are many places you can find a coach depending on your needs and preferences. One option is to search for coaches online through directories or social media platforms. There are various directories that can help you find coaches, such as the International Coach Federation, which is the largest organization for professional coaches. You can also use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook to search for coaches and see their content. In addition, attending networking events or conferences related to your industry can be a great way to meet coaches and other professionals who can help you in your personal or business development.
Another way to find a coach is through a coaching program or training course. Many coaches offer programs or courses designed to help individuals achieve specific goals or develop certain skills. By participating in one of these programs, you can receive guidance and support from a coach while also learning new skills and techniques.
Overall, the best place to find a coach depends on your individual needs and preferences. And remember, it’s crucial to do your research, ask questions, and ensure you find a coach who is qualified, experienced, and the right fit for you.
What 3 qualities would you say separate a great business coach from a bad one?
As the coaching industry continues to grow and the barriers to entry are lowered, there has been an increase in unprofessional and inexperienced coaches. However, it is essential for coaches to prioritize professionalism, credibility, and transparency. Professionalism is critical in any business, and credibility demonstrates a coach's ability to facilitate their client's desired transformation effectively. Additionally, coaches must be transparent and willing to communicate difficult truths when necessary. Without this honesty, clients will not achieve their desired level of success.
Do you think someone can be a great business coach without having many years of experience?
In the coaching industry, prioritizing quality over quantity is crucial. Age alone should not be the determining factor in a coach's success. While having more experience in a specific industry can provide coaches with a wealth of knowledge and experiences to draw upon, the number of years of experience does not define one's ability to provide effective coaching. Our personal life experiences can often be the greatest teachers, and coaches who can demonstrate concrete results can be just as effective as those with decades of experience. Ultimately, coaches should prioritize delivering quality coaching services and demonstrating tangible results to their clients.
What do you think the world of business coaching will look like in 20 years' time?
The coaching industry is likely to continue its growth trajectory, resulting in an increased demand for coaches. As the industry grows, clients are likely to become more discerning and selective in choosing coaches, placing greater emphasis on qualifications and credentials. Therefore, coaches who can demonstrate a strong track record of education and training, as well as relevant certifications, are likely to be more successful.
Additionally, niche coaching is likely to become increasingly popular in the future, as clients seek coaches with specialized knowledge and expertise in specific areas. Niche coaches can provide a more tailored and personalized approach to coaching, allowing them to establish greater credibility and develop a stronger reputation within their fields. As a result, niche coaches are likely to outperform general coaches in the long run, due to their ability to provide clients with specialized knowledge and a more focused coaching experience.