My Business Coaching Secrets – Exposed!!

For a very long time, I never knew what a business coach really did. Furthermore, I never even really saw myself as a business coach – ever!

So how have I now become one of the leading business coaches for the Healthcare and Wellness industry???

Well, let’s first take a look at what a business coach is – Business coaching is a type of personal development of your business skills, mindset and expertise. A good business coach or mentor provides positive and constructive support, feedback and advice to an individual or group basis (such as in a mastermind group like my Health Leaders Mastermind to improve their personal effectiveness in the business context and fast-track business growth.

Business coaching includes executive coaching, corporate coaching and leadership coaching, all of which can be incorporated in solid mentoring program.

What really interested me was that according to a MarketData Report in 2007, an estimated 40,000 people in the US, work as business or life coaches, and the $2.4 billion industry is growing at whopping rate of 18% per year.

Furthermore, according to the National Post in the US, business coaching is one of the fastest growing industries in the world! To me, that sounded like not only a great opportunity, but a very resounding message that the business world is waking up to having a credible sounding board for advice and that is can deliver substantial business benefits.

After having been a CEO of 3 companies and learning a lot about success and failure in business, I looked back at my diverse career and made a decision that was more aligned with my personal vision and mission, which is to help 1 million with their health & wellbeing by 2022 and 1 billion people by 2032.

That meant that I needed a model to build and grow not just one health & wellness company, but many of them. Business coaching for the Health and Wellness industry was the answer – this way I could support CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and Executives develop their products and services to enable greater global wellbeing.

When the idea was presented to me by one of my own business mentors, James Schramko, who is one of the world leading internet marketers,it made complete sense.

You see, I have pretty much been the “wise old one” all my life, giving sound advice to family members, patients and then in business, even to the CEO of Pfizer in Australia, helping him grow the business strategically to over $1 bil a year in annual revenue. I’ve always had a great gift for solving problems quickly, particularly in the business setting and also predicting future trends.

So how do I do it?

Click here to sign up for my next webinar or read on.

Well much like when I was a doctor, whenever I see a client, I have a 3 step approach:

  1. I make a Diagnosis (of where the individual and the business is currently at). I identify the goals and objectives and particularly get into the metrics of success this is often the financial bottom line.
  2. I prescribe some Treatments (or business solutions). For this process I use a Mind Map, which looks at key areas of the business.  You can check it out hereHealth Business Growth v1
  3. Follow up mentoring and management – This is the most critical piece as ongoing management is vital to sticking the proposed ‘treatments’, making sure the business solutions are implemented correctly. Sometimes I help the individual deal with mindset or physical issues that may be holding them back from achieving their best results in their business. Apart from strategic guidance and direction, I have found that the emotional support to help with the ups and downs of daily business challenges is also absolutely vital.

So that’s my first secret.

However, in my experience, when you want to grow a business and you have multiple business leaders with a common set of issues, a business mastermind group in one of the best ways to solve it.

And that’s why I created the Health Business Mastermind. The advantages of the Mastermind group are that not only do the leaders receive my mentoring it also gives access to a very select community of senior Health & Wellness business leaders.

Many of them also have the opportunity to collaborate and form Joint Ventures, Strategic Alliances and Partnerships to benefit their business. It’s also a place where they can be safe and accountable to their actions, while remaining focussed on their goals.

Leadership can be lonely, and in a mastermind, you get that mental and emotional support that you need, no matter how senior you are. It’s been getting great results and is open to Healthcare and Wellness CEO’s, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are also practitioners such as doctors, dentist, pharmacists, allied health professionals and even fitness and health coaches. You can read more about the application process here.

And if you’d like to get the benefit of my coaching at a free webinar, just click here.

What was the best business advice that you ever received in your career?

What I learnt from my Dad’s quadruple bypass surgery

It has been somewhat of a tough week for me personally and professionally. On the professional front, last week we ran our first Health Business Masterclass online seminar, and as such there was quite a bit of preparation for the event over the prior weeks.

I had also travelled back to my hometown of Kuala Lumpur so that I could be closer to my dad. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery and at age 68 with multiple other medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes, it was always going to be a challenging procedure.

Thankfully the operation was a success to the degree that it is now 6 days later and he has successfully convinced his surgeons that he can now return home. Despite a lung collapse 2 days post operatively, he has managed to soldier on with great strength and get his breathing back to reasonable state.

I have to admire him for his tenacity.

He did have the best surgeon in the country – Dr Azhari was the surgeon who operated on Malaysia previous Prime Minister Dato Mahathir. This surgeon was not just presented to him, he pushed for it until he got it. He was also treated in the best hospital for people with heart disease, the National Heart Institute (also known as IJN).

He has the best care with his own private room in the Intensive Care ward, the High Dependency Unit which he was moved to later and even had a special room on the General Ward. The food in the hospital was specifically catered for heart patients and the staff were very professional. It was really a top class institution.

But what became obvious to me after 2 days, particularly after his lung collapse, was that I could not really do not much for him. I could come to visit him and try to motivate him as best I can, but even despite my extensive experience of over 15 years in healthcare, I could not breathe for him.

His fastest way to leave was to perform his spirometry exercises and get it back to as close to 1500ml as possible (spirometry is a device you blow into that measures your lung capacity – they suggest you blow into it 10x per hour during your post operative days). He was also required to perform his physiotherapy and start moving around the ward.

There is plenty of scientific evidence to show that the sooner a patient mobilises post cardiac surgery, the better the long term outcomes.

The other aspect was for him to remain calm and composed, despite the pain that he would be undergoing from his wounds. In essence, to stay stress free.

To this end, I could only encourage him to meditate, one of the best practices available to manage stress long term, and again there are numerous studies on Mindfulness Meditation and Transcendental Meditation to indicate such positive effects.

The report from the American Heart Association published on April 2013 concluded that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique lowers blood pressure and recommends that the TM technique may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension and thereby also lowering risk of heart attack, stroke and death.

Entitled “Beyond Medications and Diet Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association,” the report informed doctors which alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure (BP) have been shown by research to be effective.

Hence despite all the complex science that comes with such a meticulously studied disease and an even more complicated surgery where all four major heart arteries are bypassed, ultimately the mantra for his healing was only 3 things – “Move, Breathe and Meditate”

Move. Breathe. Meditate.

Move (physio), breathe (spirometry), meditate (remove stress).

All of which, I could not do for him. No one could. These were only things he could do to promote his healing.

And then it dawned on me once again, how we have to empower ourselves to achieve our own healing and recovery process. No one else can really help us as much as we can do for ourselves.

To a degree, we chose our doctor or surgeon. Or we choose an alternative path.

We choose our hospital where possible.

And if we don’t get the aspects that we want, we make the best out of what we have. Until we achieve our goal.

One thing was clear that my dad became more interested in the conversation about his recovery when mentioned a date to leave the hospital. He was more focussed when we had a goal.

Oh, and did I mention that after 3 days of being back in KL, I developed a viral illness followed by a bacterial chest infection, and I could not even visit him or help much with his healing process thereafter!

So my learnings from experiencing the healthcare system from a very different perspective, that of a concerned family member was this:

  • No one can make as much of a difference to your own healing journey as you can. And that difference happens before you reach the hospital, and very much more after you leave it.
  • It’s important to set a goal in your recovery, create a positive intention to heal and visualise your recovery. Make that your focus, rather than the pain, the taste of the food or if the nurses appear slow to attend to you. You have more bearing on your outcomes than they do.
  • Mindset is everything. Whilst the technical facilities and skilled staff in specialist centres like the National Heart Institute in KL are amazing, there is a great opportunity for healthcare organisations to have structured positive mindset techniques trained to patients. I believe this is currently a huge opportunity to dramatically increase recovery rates.

My mum is now on the hunt for a home physio that can visit the home and help Dad with the “Move & Breathe” components.

What about you, what was your one key learning from having a close family member be unwell?

Has modern medicine lost its soul?

This week I came across a post on Facebook that shocked me whilst at the same time having a deep sense of resonance. It was about a successful millionaire cosmetic surgeon called Dr Richard Teo who surprisingly developed terminal Stage 4 lung cancer whilst in the peak of his health and career success.

It was a dreadful diagnosis for him, as at age 40, with a highly successful surgical practice, he was in the prime of his life. He was an avid gym goer and one day asked his friend and fellow doctor to perform a scan of his back, as he was suffering some minor back pain.

He thought it was a slipped disc from all the squats he was doing at the gym. It turned out to be tumour.

Several scans later, they found a lungful of secondary tumours, including in the brain, spine, liver and adrenal glands. He was given 3-4 months to live.

Dr Teo passed away in October 2012, but the post that I received on Facebook carried an important message from him. One that I wish to reflect and pass on.

He made a speech to a school full of dental students just days before he passed and recounted his story. It was an incredibly courageous speech as Dr Teo as he admitted to his deep desire to accumulate wealth, rather than care for patients.

Dr Teo was brave enough to share how he was attracted by the money in cosmetic surgery. His practice performing liposuctions, $15,000 breast augmentations and so on was prolific and he could barely keep up with demand, employing more and more doctors.

He commented on how vanity was a fantastic business. He did not see patients, he saw cheques and he had no interest in caring for them, he was numb to pain, only privy to material gain.

He talked about his Ferrari, joyrides to the Malaysian Grand Prix circuit, his social circle of millionaire internet founders, forex traders and bankers as well as stunning Miss Universes’. He was a long- standing academic achiever, amongst the best in the highly driven society of Singapore. Upon graduation, high achievement translated into financial success and in his mind, he had it all and money gave him the life that he thought he wanted.

In a way, I could resonate with this sentiment as I too had studied in the top academic institution in Singapore, Raffles Junior College, prior to studying medicine in the UK. And I could clearly observe the intense cultural pressures to perform at an ultra high standard academically as well as students being judged by material accomplishments, particularly the wealth of their parents.

Dr Teo’s attitude prevailed until that fateful day that he learnt he was not going to be around much longer, and money could not help him at all.

It was such a powerful revelation when Dr Teo, at this speech to dental students who were a few years away from being money-making machines themselves, educated the others on real joy.

Upon his diagnosis, Dr Teo realised that none of his material gains ever brought him real joy. He realised that he actually couldn’t handle all that wealth and it was only now that he could really feel for his patients, and truly understand what they were going though.

In life, he had lost his soul, but in facing death, he had found it again.

One story like this does not reflect on the state of practitioners of modern medicine. However, it did talk to a select few in the profession, particularly in the high-paying fields of medicine, who can no longer feel for their patients, but rather are driven by the financial returns that it brings them.

Here I would like to paraphrase Dr Teo’s own words of advice, and he says it best:

Everyone knows that they are going to die; every one of us knows that. The truth is, none of us believe it because if we did, we will do things differently. When I faced death, when I had to, I stripped myself off all stuff totally and I focused only on what is essential. The irony is that a lot of times, only when we learn how to die then we learn how to live.

So if I were to sum it up, I’d say that the earlier we sort out the priorities in our lives, the better it is. Don’t be like me – I had no other way. I had to learn it through the hard way.

Few things I’d learnt though:
1. Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart – this is so important.
2. Is to love and serve others, not just ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with being rich or wealthy. I think it’s absolutely alright, cos God has blessed. So many people are blessed with good wealth, but the trouble is I think a lot of us can’t handle it. The more we have, the more we want. I’ve gone through it, the deeper the hole we dig, the more we get sucked into it, so much so that we worship wealth and lose focus. Instead of worshipping God, we worship wealth. It’s just a human instinct. It’s just so difficult to get out of it.

Anyway I think that I’ve gone through it, and I know that wealth without God is empty. It is more important that you fill up the wealth, as you build it up subsequently, as professionals and all, you need to fill it up with the wealth of God”.

Do you have a strong opinion on Dr Richard Teo’s advice?

To read Dr Teo’s full speech in its entirety, click here.

Why the world needs a Business Mastermind for Health Leaders

I recently conducted a workshop with the top health and wellness leaders in Australia who had a global network of collaborators within their pool of connections. It was an absolutely awesome couple of workshops as we uncovered some very major breakthroughs on how we can deliver better health and wellbeing to a broader population. And we managed to figure this out in just 8 hours.

It’s surprising what can be achieved when everyone in the room is philosophically aligned.

The joint vision across these 20 Leaders was to “Foster a heart-centered approach to healthcare and improve global wellbeing”.

It was magnificent.

But now comes crunch time, and we have to do something about it. We have to implement the vision.

5 major initiatives were proposed in the workshops, and are about to begin. Who will show up to participate?

One real problem that we observed in the space of Integrative Health and Holistic medicine was that there was a strong need for better business models. This meant being able to run them as businesses better so they were sustainable long-term and able to reach a broader population with their service.

In my experience, when you want to grow a business and you have multiple business leaders with a common set of issues, a business mastermind group in one of the best ways to solve it.

And so we did.

Energesse is now runs a Business Mastermind that is specifically for Health and Wellness Business Leaders.  With my experience in my current and previous roles helping the marketing and sales of $100million products and growing a business that exceeds $1billion a year, I mentor health business leaders on how to achieve their business goals whilst delivering quality healthcare products and services.

The exclusive advantages of the Mastermind group is that it gives access to a very select community of senior Health & Wellness business leaders, where they receive full attention on their issues. They also can improve the health and wellbeing needs of their customers, clients and patients and derive greater happiness and satisfaction for themselves and their organisation.

Many of them also have the opportunity to collaborate and form Joint Ventures, Strategic Alliances and Partnerships to benefit their Health and Wellness business.

It’s also place where they can be safe and accountable to their actions, while remaining focussed on their healing goals. Leadership can be lonely, and in a mastermind, you get that mental and emotional support that you need, no matter how senior you are.

It’s an exciting initiative that you can read about here.

What do you think about a healthcare mastermind to improve business outcomes?

Is profit a bad word in healthcare?

I have been involved in the healthcare industry for over 15 years and I’ve worked as a doctor in hospitals, I have worked in medical research for biotech industry, I have worked marketing healthcare products and business strategy in the pharmaceutical industry and I have enjoyed leading my business in holistic health and wellness.

In all my endeavours in healthcare, money was a part of the healthcare paradigm. In the hospitals and practices in the UK and Australia that I worked in, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals didn’t really think about charging patients as healthcare was essentially free. The government essentially paid everyone’s salaries.

Even then we had the occasional patients complain that service was poor!!

And what’s even more interesting, was that nurses were going on strike because they needed better pay and doctors were also about to go on strike.

Ironically, when I left the National Health Service in the UK to leave such disillusionment, the problem was exactly the same – nurses were going on strike because of poor pay and doctors were about to go on strike!

When I was in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, there were no strikes! Essentially, there was medical research performed and a lot of it was commercialised. The reality was that the product (medical drug) in this case would need to serve a need in the market, but would also have to somehow generate revenue for the company.

There was a constant balance of managing the needs of patients who need the drug and setting a price that governments could pay for it, in order to reach the broadest amount of people.

The company on the other hand had to serve its shareholders and make a profit – something many companies did well, but many also struggled with.  This was the development of a drug is very risky business – you could spend over $1billion dollars developing a drug (the average cost these days), only to find weeks after hitting the market that it had to be withdrawn for some unforeseen side-effect.

In my humble opinion, while these companies were commercially driven, there was a line that we would not cross and integrity in how we did our science was paramount. However, this is a topic that is widely debated in modern society. Very often, people struggle to rationalise the concept that healthcare is somehow a business and that finances are involved in delivering healthcare.

This challenge is perpetuated in the field of complementary and alternative health, which I am now involved in. Here we charge patients (who are now called clients instead) and it is interesting to observe the dynamic how many people are quite happy to pay several hundred dollars for a flatscreen TV but will not pay it to solve an emotional issue that they have had since childhood.

It speaks to how much we value our own health these days.

I am a firm believer that in order to be a sustainable organisation long-term, you need good discipline in business and you need to be able to make money, or show a profit. Even a non-for-profit should be able to generate a profit, as long as it is reinvested into the organisation.

This is clearly a challenge in the mindset of many people in healthcare.

However, what do you think – is profit a ‘bad word’ in healthcare?