I’m the guy behind CoachAccountable.
You might be thinking - Wait, is CoachAccountable run by just one guy? The answer is yes.
I know that might be triggering alarm bells for you right now, but hear me out.
Often, small companies will go to great lengths to look larger than they are. This is probably due to the concerns you might be thinking about small businesses right now.
If it’s just one guy, does that mean it’s not a mature product? Does that mean it’s not a profitable company? Could it go under any minute? What if that guy gets hit by a bus?
Those concerns are often valid, but in this case totally unnecessary. Sometimes small doesn’t mean precarious, untested and unprofitable.
Sometimes it means nimble, focused, and effective.
Also, in this case, it means way profitable. I prefer to do business the old fashioned way. I won’t show you CA’s balance sheet over the last 10 years, but if I did...
Allow me to tell you a little story.
Back when I started CoachAccountable in 2012, it was a one man shop. I did everything - programming, support, marketing, you name it. I found the work as thrilling then as I do today.
By 2016, this platform had grown enough that handling support and demos made my secret task of building CoachAccountable Version 3 nearly impossible. So I hired my first support staffer, and for six years I had a team working alongside me to help with customer onboarding and success.
This team was awesome - they did exactly what I needed by giving excellent customer service to the thousands of coaches who depend on CoachAccountable, and providing cover for me while I worked on intense projects. Their outreach efforts grew this business, and their hard work allowed us to provide some of the best support around.
Earlier this year, however, my two amazing staffers both had reason to move on from CA. After four years working as my right hand, one had grown tired of the day-to-day and ultimately branched out into her own consultancy, doing high level work of getting coaches set up with CoachAccountable. The other, who had spent two years honing her skills, departed to focus 100% on her family when a new baby arrived.
So it came to pass that in the span of a few months, six years worth of NOT-me CoachAccountable talent and expertise was suddenly out the door. It left me at a bit of a crossroads.
Finding, hiring and training new talent is lot of work, as any business owner will tell you. (This is why there are entire HR departments dedicated to that very task.)
I don't enjoy being a manager of others. When I’m managing others, even the exceptional team I had, I’m training them, guiding them, going to great lengths to ensure their contributions as part of the team are heard and valued, and creating the opportunities for them to rise in the role. It's all worthy and fruitful work, for sure, but it detracts from the focused work of creation.
As I sat with this conundrum, my own coach offered me a very apt metaphor, a simple observation: I’d rather be an artist than an art teacher.
That simply means that I get the most joy out of being in my studio, creating. I come alive when I’m building upon and improving CoachAccountable, and making other creative works to forward the mission of elevating the coaching experience for everyone.
So here I am in 2022, ten years into my journey with CoachAccountable and returning to its roots of being a one man shop. Instead of hiding behind the size of my team as though that should be a concern, I’m telling you proudly.
CoachAccountable serves the needs of thousands of coaches, based on deep understanding of coaching and being coached. This business is wildly successful and profitable. The speed and quality of CA's customer service is not diminished by it being just me. In fact, there are some rather nice upsides, not least of which is the juice I get from being front and center available to my customers.
Without the day-to-day trappings of management, I get more time to enhance the platform itself. I most enjoy spending dedicated hours creating a more powerful, more intuitive, and more elegant system for every one of the CoachAccountable users.
I’ve returned to my studio to focus on that.
At your service,
Going solo after years of having staff is an unconventional decision. I've written these other missives that go into greater detail: