Last week I got to interview Dolores Hirschmann and ask a variety of questions from what she sees as the biggest problem entrepreneurs are struggling with today to what kept her going when things were hard building her own business. Dolores is full of insight and passion – it was a pleasure to interview her.
About Dolores Hirschmann
Dolores Hirschmann is an internationally recognized strategist, coach, TEDxOrganizer, Speaker & Author. She has over 20 years’ experience helping entrepreneurs, companies & organizations realize their potential—by guiding them to CLARITY—to define their vision, message and market strategy needed to reach their next level of growth. As a TEDx Speaker Coach Dolores leverages the TED speaking platform to turn successful professionals into thought leaders in their field. If you would like to learn more visit: www.doloreshirschmann.com
Angela: As a business coach and strategist what would you say is the biggest problem that entrepreneurs are struggling with today?
Dolores: I think the biggest problem is lack of clarity. Without a road map you cannot take action. And one of the things I see all the time is that it all starts with clarity, what are you all about, what is your value proposition? I see a lot of Coaches pitching what they do, like I have this program or this package, they spend a lot of time designing their offerings but it’s not clear how their offerings will actually help the client. Like what is the outcome of the offering? And I’ve done that mistake myself where I will pitch a product but not talk about the outcome. It doesn’t matter how I deliver it but what does my client get out of it.
Angela: That makes total sense. How did you become to be a business Coach and TEDxOrganizer?
Dolores: I have a background in business, marketing communications. I have worked for profit and non-profit organizations and as you and I were talking about earlier about kids I have four kids so in my professional life I adapted my work to align with what I want and who I want to be as a mother. So in my search I decided to stop working for companies and start working on my own. I became an entrepreneur and I launched a clothing company then I launched a language school which I ran for five years, and then as my youngest began first grade I found myself with a little more time during the day and I started consulting for start-up companies. As a consultant could talk strategy and help them with clarity but I couldn’t help them take action. I didn’t have the tools to help a team work well together, lead the team and overall get over the typical obstacles that an entrepreneur faces day in and day out. I couldn’t help my clients with the human side of the company, working in an efficient and effective way. That’s when I realized that I needed more skills, more tools, so I went back to school for coaching. I got accredited and all that and what that did for me is it gave me the tools to help my clients both in the strategy as well as own their habits and emotions and deal with confusion, self-esteem and overall mindset that’s required for us to grow our business. You’re an entrepreneur, I’m an entrepreneur there are good days and bad days, but we still have to work on the bad days as well so how do we do it? That’s where my coaching skills come in to play.
Angela: Now another thing that you help people with is developing their story, what do you find are the 3 biggest benefits to crafting your story and knowing your story?
Dolores: So I’m a TEDxOrganizer and I’m also the coach for all my TEDx speakers. Doing that work I’ve learned that there two parts to how you communicate. There’s the story, the stories that illustrates how you became who you are, or how you did what you did, right? But then the idea that is the core behind your talk. I call it your idea worth sharing. One of the things I do with my clients whether they’re preparing for a TEDx stage or any stage or just preparing for the marketing communications strategy is talk to me about who you are and what is the idea you’re bringing to the world. That becomes the essence, the core of what they talk about and then we pick the stories that help illustrates and bring that idea home because end of the story, Angela, is that stories are stories and are great to engage an audience but when you are talking to an audience you want to make sure you are clear on what is the one message you want to deliver. You want to be very concise, what is it at the end what I want my audience to take and then you use stories to illustrate it. Does that make sense?
Angela: Absolutely, so when someone is developing their story what do you think is, I guess, the biggest pitfall they should avoid?
Dolores: So when you’re developing your story, it’s kinda counter-intuitive but avoid leading with your story and lead with your idea. So whenever you’re communicating the main character is your idea and your story is the supporting actress. Does that make sense?
Angela: Yes, totally.
Dolores: So if I lead with how I became a Coach it’s one way to say this but if I say first that I am passionate about ideas that’s a way to state MY idea worth sharing. I believe that ideas are what can help us, as human beings, move forward. And so everything I’ve done and all my stories are to illustrate my idea. I want to take a stand for those people who have an idea and want to help others. I help people clarify an idea, strategize their business around it and bring it to market.
Angela: What advice would you give someone looking to hire a Business Coach?
Dolores: So first of all before you go into the conversation find out what are your gaps. Why are you hopping on that call? Many times people will go on a call not knowing whether they are willing to do the work. So you have to be willing to go beyond your comfort zone if you’re going to hire a Business Coach because I believe launching and running your own business is a powerful path for personal development and personal growth.
Angela: Right, so what are the 3 things that you told yourself that kept you going during the hard times of building your own business?
Dolores: Ah, good question. So there are a couple of things. Every year I go over strategy ideas. Every year I choose a word for my year that will impact everything both personally and professionally. For example this year I choose the word fun. I want fun in my life. I know what I need to do to grow my business but sometimes on those days where I’m stuck, I try to find what of all that I need to do would be the most fun. It helps me shift the perspective of my to do list and look at things from a different angle.
So that’s one strategy. Another strategy, and you’ve probably heard this one before, but when I say “I’m done; I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m outta here, I want a full-time job, it’s so much easier to go to a 9-5 than to do this. On those days I go back and read some of the testimonials from past clients and I connect with the way that I helped my clients. And I know that I do because they tell me that. And so that makes me kind of regroup and say well I can do this. And I’ve done this. And so I have this capacity to help people in this way. So that’s another strategy going over testimonials.
The third is having a support system. I mean I belong to entrepreneurial groups; I have Coaches, different Coaches over different times depending on what I need. I don’t do this alone; I don’t think I could ever do this alone. I have a support system that really helps me move forward.
Angela: Looking out 3 to 5 years what do you think will be the next big change in the Coaching industry?
Dolores: Let me ask you this, when you say Coaching industry you mean all Coaches or are we talking about Business Coaches?
Angela: Let’s say Business Coaches
Dolores: Okay, I think people are looking more and more for solutions and implementation and also for community. I think in order for Business Coaches to succeed they need to be very clear on who they serve and how. And they have to be okay with finding a very specific niche where they excel. The other thing that I learned is that community is 90% of what entrepreneurs need to move forward. So Business Coaches that are doing that well right now are more likely to go and succeed and leverage it because when you build a community around your business, you build a tribe, you are guiding a tribe, a tribe around each other.
And number 3 I think is the part about implementation. You know there are so many demands on entrepreneurs, to do all this stuff, to do all this marketing, to do all this networking and we get overwhelmed because we get on the Coaches calls and they say you need to do all this and you say “that’s great but one I don’t know how to do it and two I have no time to do it.” So some Coaches are starting to get smart about it and offer done-for-you options. So that they will teach the entrepreneurs some of the tools and they will also connect them with resources.
Angela: Now, you have an upcoming webinar in August tell me a little about that.
Dolores: Yes, so I’m a business strategist and coach and I’m also a speaker coach and they are all connected because the group of people I work with are entrepreneurs that have launched their businesses, they have been somewhat successful so let’s say low 6 figures or about to reach 6 figures and above and they are ready to start talking about what they stand for versus what they do. So this is what we were talking about earlier about their idea versus their packages if you want. So the webinar in August is a webinar that touches on two things: 1) clarity of message. What is your idea worth sharing, what is your value proposition, and two for those who are ready to take on a TEDx stage I will walk you through the steps you need to apply and land a TEDx Stage. As a TEDx Organizer it breaks my heart to see people apply to speak with applications that don’t make them justice.
Angela: When is the webinar happening in August and how can people sign up for it?
Dolores: The date is Tuesday August 16th and the best place to sign up for it is at www.18minutesofimpact.com and download my free eBook. I wrote a book that talks about how to apply the TEDx speaking format to make your presentations more engaging. So once you sign up for the book you will get an invitation to sign up for the webinar.
Angela: Awesome! Is there anything else you’d like to discuss or point out what we’ve talked about today? Any final thoughts?
Dolores: Yeah, first thank you so much for having me and I think people tend to embark in marketing tactics at times too fast, before they are really clear on what they are offering and how they add value. I really want to make sure that your audience focuses on clarity first, what is their idea? How do they want to impact the world?
- Lack of clarity is the biggest challenge entrepreneurs are facing today. Instead of telling people what you do tell them the outcome you give them.
- Your story should be around the idea you want to share with the world. Once you know your idea find stories, your stories, that illustrate it.
- Before you hire a Coach clearly know what you need help with and be prepared to leave your comfort zone.
- To succeed you need to be clear on your niche, who you serve and have a support system.
- On those bad days when you don’t feel like doing it anymore go back and read client testimonials. See, know and feel that you are making a difference, that you are helping people.
- Before adding a bunch of marketing strategies be clear on what you are offering and the big outcomes/value that those offerings give.
If you're interested in learning more about how to clarify your message or you're interested in learning how you can become a TEDx speaker than sign up for Dolores webinar on August 16th at www.18minutesofimpact.com
About the Author
Angela Grover is the founder of Virtually A to Z and the creator of the Path to Endless Clients System. She helps Coaches who are struggling to find leads every single month to double their revenue, grow their online visibility while they make a big impact in the world with their unique message. For a free Path to Endless Clients strategy call visit www.VirtuallyAtoZ.ca/free-consult/