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Raphael Neff: ChessHouse.com

We market chess: the product itself, the chess sets and the educational supplies. We have more than 1700 different SKUs and sell exclusively over the Internet to customers all over the world. Our business was growing at about 30% per year with only four employees but there were lots of customer service situations coming up and no matter how many things we solved, more would arise. The complexities of doing business and the situations we encountered were distracting each of us from doing what we wanted to do.

I knew there was a better way to run a business, but I felt like I was uneducated and no matter how hard I worked, I was doing the same things over and over. I needed more resources and tools to learn how to do that. I also felt like I had good employees but I wasn't equipping them with what they needed.

I found the week-to-week refocusing with my coach has been the biggest help. Having an EMyth Coach is having someone that you can share challenges with; someone who can then put those challenges into a different context and help you think strategically about how to address them. My coach taught me to think strategically and entrepreneurially—but most of all to discriminate because there's only so much time to get things done. My coach helped me focus. She'd ask, "How does this impact on your business? What are the indicators telling you?" She helped me approach it in a practical way.

The coaching program highlighted the areas that I needed to work on. Our Lead Generation and Lead Conversion channels are far clearer to me than they ever were before. We have a systematic process now.

The power of the Innovation, Quantification, Orchestration is now understood and being implemented in the company. We know how to quantify our internet marketing efforts and make intentional moves. We don't embark on new marketing avenues unless we're actually quantifying them and assessing the return on investment.

One of the biggest changes to our business is how we view our employees and how we empower them to do the work. We have greater organizational clarity now and objective reasons for building on it. We now see everything in the context of the company as a whole. There's better structure and more purpose. And now every position has its own systems and documentation.

My employees know what they should be working on and what their responsibilities are and I know that they are equipped to perform well on their own. I don't feel tied to the business as much out of obligation, as out of pure desire to be there and to improve the company. I have a mental freedom now that I didn't before.

Coaching gave me a way to view my business in a stress-free fashion. I now know why I'm here. I know that I can either work in my business or on it—and I have a clear distinction as to what I'm doing. If I want to, I can be a technician and I can do the work because I like to do it, or I can manage people and help people understand the work that needs to be done, or I can work on the strategy and innovation.

When I started the program, I wrote down my goals and expectations and somewhere along the way I realized that I was meeting those goals. We're not going backwards, our efficiency is up and we're improving.

Learn more about Raphael Neff and ChessHouse.com

Topics: Client Stories

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Written by EMyth Team

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