Meet Sam Drummond, a Many Rivers business coach who is located in Adelaide, South Australia.
Sam has been working with Many Rivers for four years and enjoys meeting with clients one-on-one to support them to reach their business goals. He recognises that one of the biggest strengths that a Many Rivers business coach must have is emotional intelligence. He says that it is important to understand each small business owner and their story, in addition to typical business skills.
“Throughout my career, even though there seems like there has been a lot of different things that I have done, the one theme is service and wanting to do things in an ethical nature.”
Continue reading to hear more about Sam’s experience as a Many Rivers business coach.
I am located in Adelaide South Australia and I look after clients in the Adelaide metropolitan region. I have been with Many Rivers since April 2016. Before I was working with Many Rivers I lived in the Northern Territory for seven years and worked in economic policies roles in the NT government and was a speech writer. I worked for Aboriginal Housing, I worked in the UK for a year. I was also a business development manager for a not-for-profit here in Adelaide.
For me, Many Rivers is about providing equal access to services where there is huge inequality. There are so many people who can’t access the business services sector in Australia. There are all sorts of reasons why they are never going to provide quality services so for me, Many Rivers is a package of services supported by amazing people to provide access to those services. We give access to finance, legal support and business coaching. It is almost impossible to access if you are experiencing the kind of challenges that our clients are.
What is a business coach?
Often people think that we are here to consult and advise and to do the work. But how I explain it is that the business owner is in the field playing the game. The business coaches are on the sidelines providing great knowledge, experience and support so that the person can do the best they can on the field. We are not a professional player that can be hired to make sure that you have a winning team. We are a coach that is on the sidelines. A lot of us on the team used to be players. What what makes us special is that we are skilled at working with people and having solid business relationships. I think that we good at developing deep solid and real business relationships. I think that is really where our clients get the most support.
Sam’s Best Skills
I think that its not about us knowing everything, its about us tuning in to the client and the business and having a talk about how to find solutions and solve problems. It’s this real balance between IQ and EQ that we bring to the table. In terms of raw hard knowledge but also the right sort of interpersonal ways about how to negotiate and build confidence with a client over time. There is no one formula that we can use on our clients. If you are really tuning into the client, every business is going to be different. We are not counsellors, but we have an understanding of the character of business and being aware of the things that they are going to have to do to get this done.
I would say that I thrive in that environment of working one-on-one with clients. I am really interested about the character of their business, why they want to do this business and their strengths and weaknesses. And having real conversations where clients are putting real business problems on the table. They have the trust to work with me to solve that. Building good trusting business relationships.
Throughout my career, even though there seems like there has been a lot of different things that I have done, the one theme is service and wanting to do things in an ethical nature. When I first read about the opportunity to work for Many Rivers I thought about how I had so many experiences across my life that I could draw on. I realized that I have a lot to offer in this area. From a Bachelor of Science, the and MBA, a graduate certificate in financial planning. Working has importance and meaning to me and working with individuals.
I believe, having been a business owner as well, that it is a very brave step to take. It takes enormous courage. So, for our clients to even dare to think that way. Sometimes they have an idea, but it is hidden because they have no idea how to go about it. I think that any client that comes to us already deserves a medal for being that brave to even dare to think that something might be possible.
What would you say to someone who has a business idea but is nervous about taking that first step?
I can quite proudly pull back on all of the stories of Many Rivers clients, there is a great pool of stories there of people who started with very little and were taken through the process of turning this idea into a business model and then taking those steps and start to develop a business. Every single one of them has faced obstacles and challenges and they have worked through them. It is amazing.
What has been one of your favourite memories?
There is a moment in everyone’s journey that I look for. It is such a golden moment when this happens. I meet with the client and we are having meetings and I have a strong coaching role in the relationship. There is this moment that happens really organically. All of a sudden I realize that I am not talking to a person who wants to be in business. I am actually talking to a business person. I am asking them business questions and they’re giving me considered business answers. They’re solutions orientated and they’re using their business toolkit that we have been developing for months. They have full ownership of what is going on. They have data capture and they are telling me what is going on. I usually call this out when it happens.
Sam’s Business Tip
There are lot! I tailor it to what each client needs to hear. I think for me a really important one is to step into the shoes of a customer, this is really important. I think that it is an area that is often underdone. A lot of people like to project things onto the work rather than be a reflection of customer needs. If you are about to pour a lot of money into a product or service I need to know where you are going to pour it. You need to refine and refine and refine this type of customer.
We know that there are many people out there looking to take the next step towards setting up their own business. Do you have a passion or small business idea? Do you have a business you would like to expand or would like some business coaching support?
We’re here to help.