The road of entrepreneurship is bumpy and it’s easy to get distracted or even lost. Keeping the conversation lines open with the people who matter most will help you to keep the balance.
Yiwen L. Cyrus is the founder and managing director of Your24hCoach – The International Coaching Network. Your24hCoach is a unique coaching directory as it only accepts professionally certified coaches who undergo a two stage verification process. The platform also provides three ways of delivering coaching experiences through its inbuilt live-chat software.
All services of Your24hCoach are intended to help professional coaches to share their expertise with a wider audience, make a difference in people’s lives and grow their business. As the founder of Your24hCoach and a coach herself, Yiwen believes coaching is about trust.
Yiwen is an author, speaker and certified professional coach, passionate about helping people to transform their lives and achieve their goals. Her articles have been published in national magazines and newspapers. Yiwen frequently comments on personal development, professional coaching and marketing training for coaches.
Where did the idea for Your24hCoach come from?
I grew up in a tiny village in rural China. Our life was simple and we had no electricity or running water. When we moved to Europe, my parents ran several restaurants and I helped them to service our customers. Sometimes I had the opportunity to interview our senior customers. As a teenager I would ask them some key questions: 1) What do you think counts in life? 2) What do you regret in your life? and 3) What advice do you have for me? From these conversations I learned a lot about life in general but the biggest lesson was how important it is for people to have lived a full and meaningful life.
Prior to Your24hCoach I was a change management consultant with an international consultancy, leading teams on large-scale change management programs.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There is no typical day, but I have daily habits or routines that I follow frequently.
Part of my morning routine is to meditate, a practice that helps me to clear my mind. Thereafter, I plan and prioritize my day. During the day, most of my time goes into managing relationships, following up with projects and their execution and speaking to clients. Depending on my schedule I work out in the early or late evening. I also like to reflect on my day and keep a journal as part of my evening routine.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe that bringing ideas to life is not as magical and difficult as people often think – it is about applying it into our life. You need to have a clear goal of what it is that you want and communicate your vision to your team. Make sure your team consists of people you trust. Running a company is a team effort and keeping yourself and your team accountable is crucial in execution. Remember to keep things simple, fun and maintain a mindset of excellence on each step towards your finishing line.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The number one trend that excites me is urban gardening. It helps not only to reduce the ecological footprint of cities and allows people to re-connect with nature but also changing the design of cities – from grey to green.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Productivity means working on things that matter and where your personal impact is comparatively big and delegate where you feel that other people can add more value, either because they are faster or because they can do it at less cost. Also, at our weekly meetings we consistently question ourselves whether we are still on track and manage towards our mission goals. For example we ask ourselves: “How does a certain idea or process helps us to make progress towards our vision being the world’s premier international coaching network?” and “Does it serve our mission to share the expertise of our professional coaches with a wider audience and make a difference in people’s lives?” These two questions keep us focused in making continued progress towards our vision.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I come from humble beginnings and had to start working at an early age. Many of my first jobs, especially when I was a kid and teenager, were hard work with little reward. However, I learned a lot from these jobs as they taught me to work hard for my goals and to understand that success is a continuous process.
I remember my mom always saying to me: “You can have anything as long as you put in the effort to get it!” One of my early jobs when I was about 15 involved selling door to door breakfast delivery services to people. Since I had to earn my own pocket money I started to realise that I had to further my business acumen and to find jobs allowing me to grow as a professional. This experience also helped me to improve my pitching and sales skills. I also learned that with every ‘no’ – you are closer to the ‘yes’ and closer to success.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have built Your24hcoach quicker and launched it earlier. Getting customer feedback early on is vital. I would also start to standardize processes early on. This gives you more flexibility and speed.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Stay in conversation with your key stakeholders – this might include your clients, your team, but also your family, close friends and yourself. The road of entrepreneurship is bumpy and it’s easy to get distracted or even lost. Keeping the conversation lines open with the people who matter most will help you to keep the balance.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow Your24hCoach? Please explain how.
Value creation and steady communication with your key stakeholders: We are devoted to designing solutions that meet our customers’ most important needs. We invest a lot of our time into learning about the coaching industry and their trends. Staying in touch with our coaching clients and professional coaching members, we put their feedback into new product development. Word of mouth is still the best marketing tool for growing a company.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
At the beginning of Your24hCoach, we had many great ideas. We spent a lot of time perusing each idea and wasted a lot of time and energy. I learned how important it is to focus our energy and evaluate ideas by focusing on how it is serving us in making progress towards our vision. It’s better to focus your energy in a few big projects than multiple small projects.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are many great business ideas out there. Just google it! But seriously it is not about the one big idea, it’s about finding something you enjoy doing and think about how to monetize it. Study your market and your competitors. Think about ways to make your business model scalable. Learn about value creation and how to manage your finances.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Recently I have made a donation to a small charity in Tanzania run by a pastor. The goal of the charity is to help local orphans and improve the livelihood of impoverished children in Tanzania. I received a letter after a few weeks from the funding team who was so thankful for my donation. She described how my money helped the organization to buy a cornhusker machine that facilitates the bread-making process. The orphanage not only found a way of making money, by selling the bread, but they also gained more time for the children to focus on their studies.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I love to use Google drive and Dropbox to keep track with our projects.
Our in-house communication service consists of three ways to deliver an amazing coaching experience. Your24hCoach’s mission is to create real connections between people providing and looking for coaching; therefore, through this service we have revolutionized the way coaching becomes part of people’s lives.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Steven Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey’s book helped me to put things into perspective and keep me focused.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Joseph Murphy and his book “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind ”; this book is very interesting as it increased my knowledge and interest in psychology. It’s a good read and I think it’ll be of interest to many other people.
David J. Schwartz and his book “The Magic of Thinking Big“, an inspiring book on challenging your status quo and encouraging you to dare to aim high. If you want something you have never had – do something you have never done.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.