Hi,

My name is Slim.

I take it that you’re Founder or CEO interested in learning more about coaching?

A coach is your thinking partner and confidant with whom you solve problems together through conversation. These conversations can happen regularly (usually every one or two weeks on Zoom) or as needed (in case of emergency).

When we meet, the two of us work on your most pressing challenge. At the end of the conversation you will feel crystal clear on what you have to do next to make progress and ever-so confident that you can do it.

The conversations typically cover two different yet related areas.

The 1st area is business.
The 2nd area is leadership.

(i.e. Mr. Kim, Jin, Bob, Issa, Ms. Hayashi, ...)

Great, !

Let me start with the 1st area, which is business challenges.

As a Founder or CEO, you’re faced with challenges on a day-to-day basis. While there will be times when you know how to respond to these challenges, there will also be times when you don’t and you will get stuck.

The following are 3 main scenarios where the Founders and CEOs I coach have gotten stuck.

  1. Providing enough value to customers.
  2. Raising capital.
  3. Communicating with People. (i.e. Co-Founders, Employees, and Board Members)

Sure.

Let’s use your organization as an example.

I mostly work with for-profit companies that have already found a basic product-market fit.

I don’t know if is at all similar to them, but for them to survive, they have to produce something of enough value for customers to pay.

So the first situation where I’ve seen Founders/CEOs get stuck is when either:

  1. Customers stopped paying, because what once used to be valuable enough for them to pay is no longer.
  2. What existing customers are paying is no longer enough to keep the company afloat, and thus they have to either attract new customers or elicit greater payment from existing customers.

One could say that they got stuck faced with the challenge of innovating their service or business model. Because to break through, they have to innovate their offerings.

The second challenge revolves around raising capital.

I mostly work with startups with a yearly revenue of USD 5 million or more.

How much revenue is generating each year?

Most of the Founders/CEOs I coach have sought outside investment and successfully landed around USD 5+ million in investment before they sought me out.

So the second situation I’ve seen them get stuck is when the pitch that got them through the previous round of funding fails to land them the next round of funding.

One could say that they got stuck when they were faced with the challenge of innovating their story. Because to break through, they have to tell their story differently to potential investors.

The third challenge revolves around communicating with people.

Please enter a number. (Excluding you and your Co-Founders.)

I see.

So there’s a total of full-time employees and at .

I hope there’s no disagreement that for to skillfully execute on an idea or march toward a vision, it requires that everyone above not only perform at their best, but also in unity, even if there are differences in opinions, values, and perspectives.

So the 3rd situation where I’ve seen Founders get stuck is when these people who previously introduced little conflict or performance issues start to either resist cooperation or perform below standard. This is usually because there have been breakdowns in communication in the past and the relationship has suffered as a result. Trust or goodwill may have been lost, for example.

One could say that they got stuck when they were faced with the challenge of innovating their relationship. Because to break through, they have to start managing these relationships differently.

So these are the 3 common business challenges I help Founders and CEOs navigate through wisdom.

Ah... So the Proto-Indo-European root of the word “wisdom,” is “weid-,” meaning “to see.”

To navigate these 3 challenges with wisdom is to learn to see these challenges from new perspectives. Perspectives from which the way to break through becomes clear.

This includes being able to learn new perspectives of the variety of people from whom you’re trying to garner support (i.e. customer, investors, Co-Founder, employees, board members, etc)

In other words, at the heart of breaking through with wisdom is empathy.

But not the kind of empathy, where you sit around and imagine other people’s perspectives. We’re talking about the kind that comes out of nowhere and hits us on the head like a ton of bricks.

So I’m curious.

Do any of the 3 business challenges I talked about so far apply to ?




I see.

Well, so that is the 1st objective of coaching, which is to help Founders navigate 3 common business challenges.

Shall I continue with the 2nd area, which is leadership?

As a leader, you will often experience a cocktail of unpleasant emotions. Common ones include overwhelm, anxiety, doubt, fear, disgust, anger, and shame. Most either ignore these emotions or let them dictate their behaviors.

Neither is sustainable. Yet, most don’t know what else to do. So you try either suppressing these emotions using a set of positive thinking techniques like writing gratitude diaries or rationalizing them away using some sort of justification on why you have no other choice.

These tactics can certainly distract or numb you from your emotions, but it can also provoke you to slowly boil toward resentment, explode with bottled anger, or create blindspots in your mind of which you’re blissfully unaware.

Boiling resentment has the potential to eventually burn you out. Exploding anger has the potential to negatively impact you and your employees’ relationship and performance. Blindspots have the potential to negatively impact your ability to make sound judgments and decisions on how to respond to various situations, especially emotionally-charged ones.

Yes.

An alternative would be to explicitly and proactively carve out a time to reflect on these emotions.

Through reflection, you can process these emotions and leverage them as opportunities for developing a clearer self-awareness or self-understanding around what is going on within you.

This isn’t easy. Yet it is necessary.

Because without self-awareness or self-understanding, you’ll find it difficult to learn or recover from your experiences to the degree you need.

To the degree that you’ll feel more courageous, confident, and at peace with your most important executive decisions and interpersonal interactions.

Yes.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean nothing will ever go wrong or that you’ll never fail.

It simply means that you’ll not only make better decisions and conduct better interpersonal interactions, but also be mentally prepared to accept, respond to, and then recover from undesirable outcomes or failures.

It’s no different than how our muscles grow. Our muscles first have to get hurt, but then through nutrition and rest they grow even stronger. Reflection is the nutrition for leadership growth.

Some call this inner work.

Yes, inner work.

If outer work is constructing the house you physically live such that it can better respond to natural phenomena (i.e. rain, wind, earthquake, etc), inner work is doing the equivalent for yourself, which is where your mind lives.

In other words, inner work is developing our capacity for resilience and equanimity in turbulent times. Without inner work, challenges can lead to growing frustration, isolation, and bitterness, which can even lead us to lethargy, depression, burn out, deterioration of physical health, and even suicide.

This is most necessary for Founders/CEOs, but it may also be necessary for the entire executive leadership team.

So the 2nd objective of coaching, is to help Founders and their executive team do the necessary inner work to not only make better decisions and conduct better interpersonal interactions, but also be mentally prepared to accept, respond to, and recover from undesirable outcomes or failures.

So sometimes I not only do 1-on-1 coaching, but also 1-on-2 or 1-on-3 coaching, so all the Founders are involved.

I’m surprised that you’re still here with me in the conversation.

Is this interesting to you?

Then may I ask you a few questions?

I promise to keep everything you say in strict confidentiality.

If you were to receive coaching from me, what kind of change would you like to see in yourself and your professional relationships in a span of, say, 1 year?

I ask, because different people value different experiences or outcomes.

So I’m curious to learn about the variety of things people value.

What is the worst thing that can happen if the kind of changes you wrote above does not manifest?

I ask because I’m assuming what you wrote above is of significant value to you.

So I’m curious what is at stake, how valuable it is, and why.

What is the financial worth for your company of you achieving the above result?

I ask, because I’m curious how you gauge value.

Thank you for these answers.

I appreciate you taking the time.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. It was fun talking with you.

If you’d like for me to follow up with you to explore the possibility of coaching, leave your email address below. I’ll reply with a link to schedule a video call, where we can discuss further. If not, feel free to leave it blank.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at slim@realizingempathy.com

Thank you!