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Lisa Hudson: “Lead By Example ”

Lead By Example — Highly successful Coaches must be the best at following a system and displaying commitment to consistent behaviors that drive results. As business owners, Coaches face the same challenges as their clients, but they have programs to help them move forward, and these processes can be shared with others to create the change needed […]

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Lead By Example — Highly successful Coaches must be the best at following a system and displaying commitment to consistent behaviors that drive results. As business owners, Coaches face the same challenges as their clients, but they have programs to help them move forward, and these processes can be shared with others to create the change needed for success.


The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, not everyone who starts a coaching business sees success. What does someone starting a career as a life coach, wellness coach, or business coach need to know to turn it into a very successful and rewarding career?

In this interview series, called “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach” we are interviewing experienced and successful life coaches, wellness coaches, fitness coaches, business and executive coaches and other forms of coaches who share the strategies you need to create a successful career as a life or business coach.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Lisa Hudson.

Lisa Hudson is the President of The Growth Coach, A business and sales coaching franchise dedicated to serving business owners and company leaders around the world. Hudson originally joined The Growth Coach as a franchise owner in 2015 before moving to her current role in 2019.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series Lisa! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and what brought you to this particular career path?

After a 26-year career in Macy’s leadership, I developed a strong passion surrounding both coaching and servant leadership. That passion led me to purchase a Growth Coach franchise in 2015 to help businesses in my local community in Hamilton County, Indiana. For several years, I contributed to the Growth Coach corporate office, leading a day of training and ongoing coaching for the new Growth Coach owners. My background and current role led to stepping into the President of Growth Coach in 2019, allowing me to utilize my passion to help franchisee owners both nationally and internationally.

You are a successful business leader. Which three-character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Servant Leadership — In leading teams and now leading an organization, I have been able to influence results through building relationships. I discovered early in my career that leaders can share expectations and vision and then trust their teams to utilize their skills to drive results. As a servant leader, you can then ask what tools and guidance they need to move forward. Inclusion and consistently asking for feedback can be powerful in leading a team.

Most recently, COVID-19 brought many new challenges to our Growth Coaches. Coaching is driven through building relationships and had traditionally been face to face. As the country began to close down and in-person networking opportunities were canceled, my only thought was how can we best serve our franchise owners. We started a weekly Zoom call for all franchise owners to share both their fears and successes during this change. We listened intently, and we were able to provide Zoom training on how to best use the virtual platform, as well as creating new webinars and workshops that our Coaches could use in their communities to help others address fears and step out of their comfort zone. Our Coaches have shared with us that these weekly calls were their lifeline and inspiration during a time of unknowns.

Results Driven — I live by the motto “the scoreboard doesn’t lie.” There are many reasons why the score may be the way it is, but it can often highlight that we may be placing our efforts in the wrong place to drive the results that we want to see. This can help us address gaps and move in the direction of the success we desire.

I have experience in Balanced Scorecard coaching, meaning taking your key KPIs and placing them on a scorecard that can be measured. As I mentioned, setting clear expectations, defining goals, and coaching conversations can drive your KPI results. Our Franchise Development team has KPIs that we review weekly to discuss what is working and how can we improve to achieve the goals. Our KPIs have helped us identify gaps, and this week we were able to provide additional training to help a team member achieve a goal by adjusting their verbiage and behavior. It was great to see the sense of accomplishment, knowing they had moved out of their comfort zone and found the success they wanted.

Collaboration — Our Strategic Mindset Model helps both leaders and business owners, and it is one of my favorite tools as collaboration has always been a favorite skill.

Our Coaches provided feedback that they had many clients wanting more information and training on Emotional Intelligence. We created a focus group to discuss the most common requests and gaps teams were experiencing. We vetted several vendors that could supply a solution for us, and the group tested the one they selected. This group then shared their best practices in helping clients to the entire network. Facilitating this group collaboration allowed me to listen, challenge, and provide structure to a plan to best help the growth of the network in how they provide to their communities.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Habits or rituals have helped me stay focused on the important stuff both professionally and personally. How I start the day really sets the tone for me. My morning rituals have been the same for many years, and it includes both personal time and reviewing the scoreboard, so as I arrive at work, I am immediately available to serve others. This ritual has helped me to be able to lead by being present and not distracted. It also helps me to make sure my efforts are leading me and the team in the right direction.

This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Good habits can help us stay on track to what is really important to us both professionally and personally. There is comfort in knowing what comes next, so in uncertain times having a few habits can ground you and help you feel secure in your day.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

Stepping back and reviewing your habits can help you determine if they are moving you to your goals. This can also help you determine what habits are not helping your movement. Changing habits can be difficult, so finding a partner to help keep you accountable can make a big difference.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Don’t adapt to the energy in the room; influence the energy in the room.” This quote resonates with me in that I believe you can always be part of the solution for good. There is a reason you are in the room; and how you can have the most impact in collaborating, supporting, being a kind voice, or challenge to bring about the best solution.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently working on the collaboration of Growth Coach with a new platform to utilize with our clients. We have partnered with Cloverleaf Technology to provide a dashboard for businesses to visualize the strengths of all team members to become better coaches for their teams. Our Coaches will be able to help identify hiring, development, and communication opportunities to build stronger teams and better results for their clients.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Many coaches are successful, but some are not very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful coaches from unsuccessful ones? What are your “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Get Out And Meet People — Highly successful Coaches are naturally curious about others and want to both learn more about their performance gaps and spend time discussing opportunities to best provide solutions.
  2. Ask Great Questions — Highly successful Coaches use their curiosity to ask questions that encourage others to think differently. These questions cannot be quickly answered with one or two words but will require more questions to help others discover their root cause that often they are too busy to slow down to see.
  3. Find The Fears — Highly successful Coaches can sense that fears are holding back progress, movement, or change for their clients. Pushing through these fears and the comfort zone can be a powerful breakthrough for business owners and executives for growth and personal development.
  4. Lead By Example — Highly successful Coaches must be the best at following a system and displaying commitment to consistent behaviors that drive results. As business owners, Coaches face the same challenges as their clients, but they have programs to help them move forward, and these processes can be shared with others to create the change needed for success.
  5. Accountability — Highly successful Coaches know that tough love and accountability are needed to help clients stay on track and move forward with the goals they have set. Follow-up is key to making behavioral changes.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen coaches make when they start their business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

The most successful Coaches know that building relationships is key to gaining clients and referrals. That requires meeting new people every day. When meeting people, Coaches also need to ask great questions to learn more about the individual. Someone who is not great at networking and does not possess a sense of curiosity will experience a more challenging time becoming a successful Coach.

Based on your experience and success, what are a few of the most important things a coach should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience? Please share a story or an example for each.

Coaching is focused on the client at all times. Often, clients are focused on what is not working and feel overwhelmed. Providing a deeper dive into the strengths of the client can build confidence in creating a strategy to move forward. Coaching is a balance of encouragement, tough love, and helping the client to see what is possible.

We utilize personality assessments to help our clients better understand their strengths. When a business owner or executive is overwhelmed, they often forget about the skills and abilities that they possess. Slowing down to review their strengths and to determine what is getting in the way of maximizing those strengths can be an eye-opening experience. We can determine processes and delegating that can help them to spend more time with their strengths, which can move the mark faster and bring more enjoyment to their work.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and particularly in coaching. What are the best ways for a coach to find customers? Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

Coaches can build a strong funnel for finding new clients with several lead generation opportunities. Strategic networking can help Coaches to meet both potential clients as well as referral partners. Many Coaches enjoy speaking at networking events as well as facilitating workshops and can utilize these opportunities to display their coaching abilities in the moment. The secret is in the follow-up from meeting with prospects as coaching will require them to make a change, and often fears creep in. Consistent follow-up can build a relationship that will create trust in working together for the change needed to create a proactive vs. reactive business approach.

Coaches are similar to startup founders who often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to end up burning the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to your fellow coaches about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting their business?

Coaching can be time-consuming if you do not have a system to follow. We have been able to streamline the workload for our Growth Coach franchisees as well as provide programs that are ready to use. As we discussed, habits can help the Coaches build structure into their day to help stay balanced.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Strong leaders can also be kind leaders. As I mentioned earlier, you can coach and lead with both encouragement and tough love. Setting clear collaborative expectations and then redirecting, when necessary, can be a kind yet effective way to build confidence while believing in their abilities.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S. with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

There are so many people that I respect and would love to share breakfast with to learn more about them. Currently, I am so impressed with Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, in how she stepped into a role that she did not expect and certainly did not want. Her ability to handle such grief and to place her daughters first to share the memory of her husband is admirable. Her strength and love for her family have touched my heart.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Linked In — Lisa Hudson

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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