“I still don’t feel comfortable in the role of president. While I certainly feel comfortable coaching even the world’s greatest achievers and feel comfortable training individuals to become high-impact coaches, I don’t always feel comfortable leading my company to massive growth”, says entrepreneur Kim Ades.
Kim has been a serial entrepreneur since she was 20. She’s started 3 companies over the last many years, so, her comment about not feeling comfortable in the role of president is something I find intriguing since she’s an extremely successful entrepreneur.
Many entrepreneurs are able to scale their business to a certain size, but, then struggle to pass the next milestone, whether it’s revenue or employee based.
Although Kim might doubt her abilities as president, it’s her passion and determination that keep her excited, and her business growing.
Kim is our second interview in the entrepreneur interview series.
As entrepreneurs, we all have something to learn from one another, and that’s the point. To share stories to inspire you, and to let you know that you’re not alone on this challenging journey. And by the way, if you would like to share your entrepreneurial journey with other fellow entrepreneurs, then please contact me.
Let’s continue with Kim’s interview:
What’s your story? Tell us about yourself?
I am a serial entrepreneur. I’ve been running businesses since I was 20.
My first was a balloon business called “The Fun Factory”, and I ran that out of my apartment. We decorated halls for parties, weddings, bar-mitzvahs, and special events.
After that, I started an assessment company called Upward Motion where we built simulation-based assessments to help companies with their recruiting, selection, and training process.
And currently, I am president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ (FOM). At FOM we provide executive coaching for highly driven individuals who have large goals and want to live extraordinary lives.
Regarding one of your business ventures, either current or past:
What is (was) that business, and what does that business do?
Currently, Frame of Mind Coaching is an international executive coaching company serving all of North America and other English-speaking countries. Our specialty is coaching leaders to achieve their goals by helping them build their emotional resilience and sharpening their thinking skills.
How many years have you run (or did you run) the business, and when did you feel comfortable in the role?
I have been running this business for the past 15 years.
To be honest, I still don’t feel comfortable in the role of president. While I certainly feel comfortable coaching even the world’s greatest achievers and feel comfortable training individuals to become high-impact coaches, I don’t always feel comfortable leading my company to massive growth.
Sometimes I wonder if someone else could be more effective in this role! Having said that, the truth is that while I sometimes have personal doubt about my abilities, I never doubt my passion and determination. I don’t think there is another person on this planet who has the same level of drive with respect to my business as I do.
At the end of the day, all leaders doubt themselves sometimes, but ultimately it’s the passion and drive that keep us going.
How many employees did the business grow to, or if you’re still running the business, how many employees does the business have now, and at what point(s) did you decide to grow this number?
At this point, we have a team of nine coaches in Canada and the U.S. and five at head office, driving the business from Toronto – ops, marketing, content, sales, etc…
Business Challenge and Success:
Describe the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome, how it impacted your business, and how it impacted you personally.
My biggest business challenge early on was whether or not to continue investing in the business when it wasn’t making enough money to cover expenses. I was pouring a lot of personal funds into the business and it was not yielding a return.
The question was whether or I should keep at it.
It seemed like a massive money pit at the time and it didn’t make logical sense to keep going. I was disappointed with myself and yet, yet, I felt like working anywhere else was never an option.
Even when things were difficult, I have never considered selling or letting go of the business. It has always been a natural extension of my skills and talents. They say that you know you are in the right business when you would offer your goods/services for free. I know I am definitely in the right business.
Describe your biggest success and how it impacted you and your business.
My biggest business success was building a certification program to teach leaders how to become better leaders by learning how to coach their teams effectively. Leaders come to Toronto for a 4-day training session and leave completely transformed.
Describe a period that really tested your ability as a leader and how you overcame that challenge.
For a few years, I had a business partner but the business was not really growing and this left us both feeling very frustrated. At one point we knew that we had to part ways. Doing it in a manner that left us both feeling good was both frightening and challenging.
I learned to use facts and numbers as a way to negotiate fair terms and conditions – this was definitely a good learning experience for me.
Being an entrepreneur and building a business is hard, challenging, and sometimes stressful. As a fellow entrepreneur, it’s helpful to know that you’re not alone in the personal challenges.
How did you manage the work/life balance?
My philosophy is that aiming for balance is a misguided objective.
Imagine two kids on a seesaw in perfect balance, just sitting there. Nothing much is happening in a state of balance – in fact, I would even go so far as to say that balance can get pretty boring. I prefer to aim for engaging, stimulating, and invigorating experiences in all areas of my life.
So how do I do that?
I try to be present. Be where I am. For example, when I am with my kids, just be with my kids, don’t schedule other things at the same time. When I am on a coaching call, just focus on the client. That’s my approach.
How did you manage the work stress?
Stress comes from the beliefs that we have about what is happening around us. My attitude is that everything that happens is always designed to serve me – even when it might feel difficult or unpleasant. Bad things might look bad at face value, but ultimately there is a gift in each experience when we search for it.
Do you have an exit strategy for your business? If so, what is it? Or if you’ve already exited, what did your exit strategy look like?
I have two potential exit strategies…
1 – Get my kids involved in my business (I have five kids and one is already involved) and hand it off to them over time.
2 – Sell the business.
Right now, they are both a long way off… I don’t plan on exiting any time soon. I really think that my life will be longer, healthier and more rewarding if I work well into my old age. So for now, that’s the plan.
Money can sometimes be a delicate topic, but many entrepreneurs get into business hoping to hit the financial jackpot. It’s helpful to understand how other successful entrepreneurs deal with money.
Describe your relationship with money,Are you a spender or a saver, and what are your retirement goals (if any)?
Money – can definitely be a sensitive topic. I am both a saver/investor and I am happy to spend money on things that matter to me – like bringing my family together for special events regularly. I tell my kids to have an ‘open hand’ where money is concerned – so that it can come and go with ease and so that it is never a barrier in their lives. In general, I have a wonderful relationship with money – it is always there when I need it – I feel that my life is filled with abundance in so many ways – family, friends, health, comfort, experiences, and money too.
I’m looking to chronicle the lives of entrepreneurs who are at any stage in their entrepreneurial journey, whether you’ve just started, or, have had multiple exits. If you would like to be considered for an interview, please contact me.
You can find all of the entrepreneur interviews here.
If you would like to subscribe to this blog, where we publish articles on helping entrepreneurs succeed, you can here.
Also, I published a book during the summer of 2018, “The Kickass Entrepreneur’s Guide to Investing, Three Simple Steps to Create Massive Wealth with Your Business’s Profits.” It was number 1 on Amazon in both the business and non-fiction sections. You can get a free copy here.