I’m the luckiest guy in the world with the way I was raised within a family business at a young age, getting a hands-on education before I ever attended a single university class.

I was able to take over that business at an age before most people get their first taste of middle management. Over many years, I was able to build the business into something special, even with a major restructuring as a result of industry conditions.

We came out stronger on the other side, and now I’ve had the great honour of working with people who care about their business as much as I cared about the one my father started.

However, the two factors that most influenced my success were my insatiable appetite to learn and my willingness to seek help and guidance.

I still have my own mentor, and so do the most successful people in the world.

I’ve been where you’ve been and have had to make hard decisions. I’ve helped numerous people in your situation and cared for their outcome as much as they did — in some cases, I think more.

The best compliment I ever receive from clients is when they say something to the effect of, “I like you, Phil, because you get me. You understand me.”

People come and talk to me because they know their business has to change, but what I think they really want is to feel better about their business.

They want to feel successful where currently they may not. They want to think differently about themselves and what they’ve spent so much time, heart and energy on building.

Things didn’t turn out the way they wanted, and they’re hoping it’s not too late to fix things.

And it’s not too late — as long you are willing to make changes in your thinking and in your operations.

I’ve seen pride put a lot of people out of business. Nobody except you expects you to know how to do everything, especially these days. I’ve never seen the world of business more complex, and I believe that’s what’s leading to more businesses shutting worldwide than ever before.

You can look at the high rate of closure as an omen, or you can view it as an opportunity.

I had splendid mentors, leaders, and coaches along my way to success. I would never have guessed being one of those coaches would give me the most professional and personal satisfaction, but here I am, a testament to the proof that asking for help worked.

Coaches are not there to point out what you’re doing wrong. They are there to assist on your journey to getting better. They are there to provide hope, motivate and give ongoing advice, while holding you accountable for those actions that will make a significant difference.

Professional development, more than ever before, is going to separate the haves and have-nots in the world of business. With statistics that show so much failure for new businesses, why would you start one without having a coach in your corner?

You wouldn’t try to become a great golfer without a golf pro, so why is business any different? There is no way for any one person to have all of the skills necessary for success in today’s business climate.

Those skills have to be acquired somehow, if you’re going to have a fighting chance.

Likewise, it is clear that to retain the current generation of employees, one of the most critical factors they will be looking for will be personal growth. You have to develop yourself in order to develop others.

What this is really about is “growth mindset.“

When I take on a new client, I go right to work identifying the knowledge gaps, while starting to address their motivation and mindset. That leads us to building a vision and developing a plan.

You’ve got so much to worry about already, and part of my job is just helping to sort through the clutter and provide honest answers quickly and cost-effectively. When you’re able to remove the clutter and the noise, answers sometimes present themselves.

If the client isn’t in the early stages of their business, it’s more about looking at mindset immediately. They have to be able to evolve their mindset and move the goalposts.

The world of business they entered is not the world of business that’s about to expel them, but they never got the memo.

Sitting down, taking a deep breath and hearing what a business coach like me has to say should feel like an opportunity, because for most people it is. It’s the opportunity to not only to improve their business but also to learn to love it again and thrive.