Day In The Life: Trent (my biz coach!)
There’s a lot of buzz online at the moment about the importance of a business coach, and I admit that I was a little swept up in the hype. But, I really didn’t want to pay someone to tell me what I can find for myself via a 5 second google search, and I also didn’t want too much of the ol’ ‘heart centering’ that’s prolific at the moment. I wanted to work with someone who had done it all before, had learned the hard lessons, and (okay, this is maybe a bit judge-y of me) wasn’t 22. I wanted someone to push me, someone to challenge me, and someone who would call me on it, if the need arose. Enter, Trent! The result of a whole lot of research, and a pretty glowing reference from my mates at The Wonderjam.
Today, we’re hanging with the babe who asks me all the hard questions, all in the name of pushing me past my comfort zone, Trent!
What’s your job title?
I’m a business coach & digital strategist for freelancers & creative entrepreneurs
How did you get to where you are today? Any stand out career moments?
I’ve always studied & been interested in marketing & branding, but I never wanted to work at an agency. I wanted to work directly with business owners, and forgo the (tired, unneeded, corporate) middle man. I also wanted to work for the people that needed my service the most: Creative entrepreneurs that own service-based businesses.
After turning down a job offer at a branding agency, I decided to go out on my own, and after building up two fashions brands and heading the marketing department at an event planning company, I decided to start up my own consultancy.
What do you love most about what you do?
This may be a cop out, but hands down, my clients. I dont know what I’d do if I had to work with bland, boring, uninteresting people. Being able to guide budding creatives, and collaborate with innovative leaders is something that is deeply fulfilling.
What do you find most challenging?
Delighting my clients, and creating enough wiggle-room for them. I typically create extensive marketing plans for the creatives I work with, and while they’re easy-to-digest for me, they frequently bring up resistance within them. A big part of my job is resistance management, or rather keeping my clients in the right mindset, and open to new, sometimes scary ideas.
What do you think is one of the most important skills an entrepreneur needs to have?
I think mastering the art of resilience is what most entrepreneurs struggle with. Most of what you do as an independent business owner is fail. You’re bound to fail hundreds of times, and just when you feel like giving up you get a miraculous burst of genius. Something finally works, and you feel the high that so many of us that live “the dream” feel.
But, you’ve got to fail first, and that takes resilience.
What’s one thing you learned today?
There’s more mediocrity on the internet than authenticity, and if I want to keep continueing to be successful, I have to avoid it like the black plague.
What do you think small businesses struggle with most?
Small business owners typically struggle with two things: 1) Understanding marketing and branding, and 2) How to sell their products or services.
If I had to recommend two classes an entrepreneur take before launching their product or service, they would be: Sales 101, and Consumer Psychology
Most lifestyle entrepreneurs are doing a big portion of the actual selling in their business, and it can be difficult at times if you don’t know what motivates your prospective customers to buy, and how you can effortlessly get them to give you money in exchange for intangible goods.
Any advice for other wannabe or existing entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid of stupid ideas, or out-of-the-box strategy.
Some of my most stupid, insane, crappy ideas were the ones that worked. The marketing plan I implement within my own business was created from some chicken-scratch on a crumbled piece of paper I found on the floor of my office. It was a crappy plan-b that I had thrown out with the garbage, and it was the most amazing, groundbreaking plan-of-action I had ever laid my eyes on. That crappy idea has made me thousands of dollars.
If I have one piece of advice, it’s don’t be afraid of oversimplified ideas. Very often it’s the most simplistic strategy that works.