How High Are Your Standards?

I always have interesting conversations and incredible people watching episodes when I’m at the airport.  I listen and observe, I engage and I observe some more.  At one airport, I was waiting for a flight and we were delayed so many times that it was almost a game to see when the app and the actual board in front of us would match as to the newest departure time.  There was a woman standing next to me. She was well-dressed and was friendly enough.  We were sharing some travel stories and then we got to “what do you do?” I told her I was an Executive Coach, a speaker, trainer, radio show host and author. She asked who I worked with and I gave her that information. I of course turned the conversation to her and asked what she did. She worked for a large organization and had been there for many years… “After all, why should I leave? I get paid, don’t have to do too much and I get to do some traveling.” The conversation went on for a bit and she mentioned that she had never had a coach but her boss swears by them.  Of course I needed to probe a little more and she told me, without any hesitation, she had never and would NEVER hire a coach because she would be expected to work more and harder and that is not what she wants to do. It started me thinking about standards and how as entrepreneurs we need to set the bar higher than we can even imagine. People will choose to work with you if what you are offering them is the best quality or service to solve their problem.

The truth is most people don’t like high standards because they create a lot of work – especially the kind of work that nobody likes in the first place. In the real world, getting from good to great requires extraordinary efforts and high standards. It demands more time than you want, more energy than you have, and more cooperation than any normal person can be expected to contribute.

That’s IF you want high standards. If you are willing to settle for “good,” things can be much easier – and you can be much nicer. How about if we talk about standards…for instance what are they anyway?

Your standards define how you act, which, in turn, builds trust in your brand. They can be guidelines that describe your quality, your performance, your style or your systems. Standards must align with your mission, business objectives, and leadership, and be implemented consistently.

What about our own personal standards? Are they written on a wall for all to see? Not necessarily, but think about this; personal standards are what separates the highest achievers from everyone else. Personal standards are nothing more than a set of behaviors. These behaviors are built upon expectations you have of yourself in a variety of situations. Your personal standards are reflected in how you treat yourself, and also in how you treat other people. They are also reflected in how you expect to be treated by other people. When you have high standards you expect to be treated with the highest of regard. However, when your standards are low it suggests that you are lacking in the self-esteem department. Remember though, no matter who your customer is, you shouldn’t change your standards to meet theirs.

Your personal standards are also reflected in the promises you keep, the way you show up, and are reflected in the quality of your work, values and communication. In fact, everything you do and say gives others an indication of the personal standards you live by. As women, we might have to work a little harder and set the bar a little higher to be treated on an equal playing field, and that’s ok.  It’s just a little extra stretch…and we’re used to that.

Luckily, if you turn to entrepreneurship as a way to fulfil your potentials and meet your standards as well, there are so many valuable resources to learn from. No longer do we need to learn everything through trial and error! And that feeling that you’re not alone in your striving, that helps. Just recently I’ve interviewed Stefan Pretty, an interesting Scottish entrepreneur who created Subbly, a management software for subscription businesses. But what really inspired me is the way he shows a step-by-step approach (that’s what I love about it…plus it’s easy to follow) on how to start a subscription box, making that start line (which is often the most difficult one) as straightforward as possible. And once you actually start something, it becomes easier to continue evolving and also, raise the standards when you realize that goals were more achievable then you thought!

Speaking of which…Do you have goals that you would like to achieve? Have you ever considered that in order to achieve these goals that you must first raise your personal standards in certain aspects of your life? Setting low standards will only take you so far along your journey towards your goal. With low standards you will simply not put enough work, time, energy or resources into this goal. You will not be able to give this goal what it requires, and therefore you will end up not getting the results you truly want.

When you set high standards you immediately raise your expectations of what’s possible. You suddenly expect more from yourself, more from your actions, and more from others. And with a higher set of expectations you are willing to do more to get the results you’re after, and your performance level shoots straight up.

As Tony Robbins said, “Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.”

Don’t be like my airport buddy thinking that having a coach means others will expect more from you and that is a negative thing…after all, what is wrong with that?


The Value Of Coaching

When I started my company in 2009, one of the first things I did was to understand what I didn’t know how to do. I loved people, I could sell, I wanted to make a difference and always wanted to bring value.  All sounds great so far right? What I didn’t really know how to do was to create a company or a business that would support me in loving people, selling, making a difference and bringing value.

So the first step was knowing what I needed and then realizing I didn’t know what I didn’t know and that is where my business coach came in.  She sat me down and asked me a lot of questions, listened to my goals or dreams and together we worked together to put that in place.  Again, sounds great so far right?  Here’s the REAL truth.  You have to know how to listen to your coach.  They have the experience and expertise. If you had an athletic coach who told you to hit the ball or kick the ball or catch the ball or whatever with the ball and you thought you knew better, where do you think that would end up?  Ok not much different with a business coach.

Everything she told me to do made perfect sense, however, I already knew that, already tried that and was already to dismiss that.  Let me just say that if you asked me what type of person I don’t ever want to coach…it would be the ones that say I’ve done that already, I’ve tried that already and the rest of that nonsense.  During one of my sessions, it was decided that I would write a book.  It wasn’t necessarily my decision as it was never on my radar, but my coach suggested that since I had 30 years of “stuff” in my head, why not organize it and share it with others.  I finally agreed and she told me to have an outline, not the book itself, just an outline completed by a certain date.  I sheepishly agreed and didn’t really give it another thought.  Remember, I knew better…The date came and we were having a session and towards the end she asked me to show her the outline. It was not completed or really, it was not even started.  She was less than happy but very professional.  She didn’t say what she probably wanted to say but she did say this… “Let’s get in the car and drive for a few minutes.  Then let’s open the windows and throw all your money out, roll up the windows and leave.” I thought she had lost her mind and then she finished with “Why are you paying me all this money when you don’t do any of the work? How will your business ever get off the ground? How will people know who you are?  How will you ever make a difference or bring value?”  That was the day I realized how important a coach really is.

The truth is that coaching helps people focus on the things that are contributing to their being stuck, and then move beyond them.  I knew I was stuck in a place that I didn’t recognize and I needed someone who knew better than I did and who was totally objective to move me along. Harvey Mackay said, “Athletes and actors have long hired coaches to help prepare for a specific competition or role. But they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from expert advice. Coaches are available to help people in any field improve their “game.” You see will all need to improve our game…no matter what field that is in.

There are so many reasons to have a coach for your business. Ever think about what qualities you should look for? I put together a Slide Share about this topic.  Here are the highlights and you can go to 15 Qualities You Should Look For In A Business Coach. You can check it out at  The highlights are below:

  • FRIENDSHIP Builds a Mutual Relationship based on mutual respect. Look for someone who uses respectful dialogue. This could turn into a life-long friendship. Even though this begins as a business relationship, in order to be truly effective, it generally goes beyond that phase because the coach learns as much from the client as the client learns from the coach.
  • TRUST Not everyone in today’s society has a trusted advisor they can count on. Many people have ulterior motives when they are asked to help someone else. A great coach is someone you can trust and has true interest in your success and reaching your self-declared goals.
  • LISTEN A great coach really understands good listening is often taken for granted. The very best conversations and relationships involve our intentional listening- listening to learn, with a clear and quiet mind, not just waiting for our turn to speak. Listening is a great coach’s gift to their client!
  • INSPIRE A great coach helps create a vision and helps describe it. They will understand your passion and continues to inspire you by reminding you of your original passion and purpose.
  • EXPERIENCE A great coach should have years of experience and speaks your language. Their experience should not only bring an understanding in business, but more importantly, experience with people.
  • GOALS Many times goals are set too low requiring minimal effort to reach them, or too high where it becomes unrealistic to reach them. A great coach helps you set realistic goals that are achievable but requires effort to reach them.
  • MOTIVATION What drives you? What are you looking to achieve? It’s easy to be derailed when your goals aren’t reached quickly enough. A great coach defines your goals and breaks them down into small steps so that you can see successes along the way.
  • ORGANIZED A great coach provides organization & simplification. They help order thoughts and gives a formula for success and help develop a process to achieve whatever you want to accomplish. A great coach customizes the process to align with your needs.
  • CHALLENGE A great coach identifies challenges. Including ones that you may not even see which can prepare you for a smoother outcome. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know!
  • PATH A great coach develops solutions. They help develop a path out of the challenges at hand. A road map that runs interference and provides a clear path to achieve your vision.
  • EXPECTATIONS A great coach is someone who helps guide expectations. They help you to understand your own expectations which tend to be influenced many times with over optimism. Reasonable expectations with early successes, victories and important milestones reached will take away the discouragement many find while navigating a difficult path.
  • GROWTH A great coach ensures your growth by challenging you. They move you out of your comfort zone with necessary steps and actions to achieve your goals and create scenarios and opportunities for you to be well rounded.
  • MEASURE A great coach evaluates your performance. They develop a process that measures your performance. Constantly evaluating your performance with real time feedback gives you the opportunity to learn and trains you to solve your own challenges with a set of effective tools.
  • ACCOUNTABLE A great coach is an accountability partner. For your self-declared goals, a coach will provide constructive feedback so that you can achieve what you set out to do. You are less likely to hold yourself fully accountable if you don’t share your goals with someone that is a trusted and objective partner.
  • SUPPORT A great coach is supportive. They are always there for support even when there may not be anyone else that can see, believes in, or supports your vision.

Remember, Coaching is the universal language of change and learning.

“You Won’t Like Me When We Are Finished”

… That’s how my strategy session began.  Not very comforting I would say. In truth, I trusted this friend and if I wasn’t ready to hear the harsh truth, I wouldn’t have asked for his help.

So we began by defining a few categories, those that brought in money and those that didn’t, what absolutely needed to be done and what was left over. Of course in my eyes, I had nothing that was left over and everything I did was on the list for possible revenue.  Did I say he was not afraid to call me out? And that happened more than once I will add. I’m not a real strategy kind of girl. I’m a great student however. If you tell me what I need to do, I will do it.

After a few hours I was so glad it was time for lunch so I could absorb what was being discussed and I didn’t have to remove any more items from one category to another….for a short while anyway. You have to understand that in order to add anything to a category you need to eliminate something else. Should I remind you that I have relationships with everything I do so eliminating something is like breaking up with someone. I hate that!

We are on the last hour and  he has complimented me on my attitude as well as the fact that I haven’t totally lost it or ended up in a pool of tears. The truth of the matter is that I already knew my outcome but it’s so much easier to hear someone else say it for you….I may not have allowed the tears to flow but then again, I had done so much crying over this that I don’t think I had any more tears to share.

Guess you have already figured out that the last program I put together in my wonderful brain is on hold. It was draining me, making me more cranky than I’ve ever been and taking my eye off my real goals. I invested a lot of time, energy and money and that was a difficult pill to swallow but my plan going forward was solid. The content I developed will be used in other programs and I will go forward using the tools I have in place and add this content to the mix. I was on the right path, I just took the wrong fork in the road….for now. I need to be on this path where my purpose and passion is.

So what did I learn from this entire process?

~Don’t be afraid to dream but stop before it becomes a nightmare.

~Ask for help when you have lost your way….something most women don’t like to do.

~Find someone that will not only be your friend, but will tell you when enough is enough.

~Get back on track and be as amazing as you know you are.

My friend told me a story that I replay over and over in my head.  Here is the shortened version.Two men are in the men’s room. One is wearing a very expensive suit and is throwing twenty dollar bills in the toilet. The other man asks him why he is doing that? He replies ” you don’t think I would put my hand in the toilet for a quarter do you?” I hope you got the metaphor….I heard it loud and clear.

Happy Selling!

How Women Can Get Ahead: Advice From Female CEOs

Sometimes the differences between men and woman are slight and sometimes they are quite obvious. Women now make up approximately 50% of the workforce and believe it or not some of the same issues that women faced decades ago are still challenges for women today.

Women are looking for certain things that will make a difference in their workplace. This includes mentoring programs, building relationships, understanding the differences in the genders and work life balance. Can women have it all? Maybe or maybe not but it’s all about choices.

I stumbled across an article by the Wall Street Journal titled “How Women Can Get Ahead: Advice From Female CEOs”. I think it gives a great perspective from very powerful women. You can see the full article by clicking here or on the image below.


From Stay-at-Home Mom to Business Owner

My name is Barbara Doweidt, I was simply a stay at home mom. You know the type, your day starts at 6:00 AM getting kids up and ready for school. Spending your day making appointments, arranging schedules, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening, then chauffeuring your children to their after school activities.

My children are now grown, one in college and one a senior in high school. Finally, it’s me time.

So I was looking for something to do. My husband and I stumbled on Koko FitClub and we knew this was something we really wanted to do. Finally a fitness club that made sense. But, we didn’t want to open a business in Wisconsin, because we did not plan on spending the rest of our lives there. Being we lived in Keller before, we decided that was a good place to open our business.

Well my husband had to keep his daytime job and my daughter (senior in high school) had to stay in Wisconsin, so I moved down to Keller Texas by myself to open our business.

At first you would think, yay a place to myself, no cleaning up after anyone, if I put ice cream in the freezer it will be there the next time I get a craving. That yay feeling went away after about a week of living alone, no dog, no busy kids, no cooking dinner for my husband. LONELY!!! And then on top of that I had to open a business. Did I mention I was a stay at home mom. I do not have a college degree, I knew nothing about opening a business. Honestly at times I wanted to quit and go home. But I couldn’t, too much had been invested. If it wasn’t for my very best friend Tina to let me be a part of her family when I needed it, things could have been a lot worse.

So I worked hard, did a lot of things I was afraid to do. Learned A LOT. And now my business is open, I have met so many wonderful people. There are so many people out there that truly want to see you succeed and will help you in any way to do just that.

With the business open I have surrounded myself with staff and members, so the lonely is gone. I do of course miss my family intensely, (mostly the dog…just kidding!) but life is better and when my daughter graduates she will move down and when our home sells my husband will get an apartment in Wisconsin and I will get a home (and the dog) and he will travel to visit as often as possible.
The business is doing well, and I am looking forward to opening the second location hopefully by the end of the year. I am still learning something new every day which is great, everyone should.

Barbara Doweidt (personal)
817-733-6613 cell