Business Spotlight: Coachworth – Darlene Murphy
Darlene Murphy, CPA, CFP® is a successful, award winning entrepreneur and financial advisor. She is a business performance coach and the founder of Coachworth, a firm dedicated to coaching business owners and financial advisors. Darlene is also principal and outside director of Wellesley Asset Management, a nationally recognized investment management firm she co-founded in 1991.
Check out our interview with Darlene Murphy below to learn more about her business journey and her words of advice for entrepreneurs and anyone thinking of starting a business!
Was there a defining moment that made you decide to start Coachworth?
“I have been a long-time consumer of coaching – I hired my first coach in 2007 and I had several different coaches, different types of coaches and different styles. I’ve had 1 on 1 coaching. I’ve had very career industry specific coaches – I’ve had more general coaches, even life coaching. So, I’ve always been a huge, huge believer in coaching. Every time I invested in coaching for myself, it paid me huge dividends – specifically I would make more money.”
What will people get from your business that they won’t get anywhere else?
- A “mirror” or “unfiltered camera” (objective, non-judgmental and constructive feedback – Someone to identify the flaws and dig up the gold!)
“It is growth & personal development that translates into business growth and greater profitability and all of that. Here is the thing, you can read books, you can listen to podcasts, but it is very hard to observe ourselves objectively.
And so what a good coach does is – some people think that a coach is going to be like ‘Okay, let’s set your goals, what do you want to do this week and I’m going to be here next week to touch base with you and I’m going to hold you accountable to your goals’ and you know in a sense, yes that’s part of what coaches do. But I think the most valuable thing that a good coach can do is kind of like hold up a mirror and say ‘look, here is my observation of you, I’m listening to what you’re saying, I want to play it back for you and you see how that sounds. And let me point out to you that what you are saying about yourself or your position or your employees – like, you know – you are hurting yourself, you are holding yourself back by behaving this way and by thinking this way sometimes.’ And you know in an objective way, in a holding the space way, in a nonjudgmental way, in a confidential way.
It can be like when someone takes a picture of you and – I used to have a uncle that if he didn’t like a picture he would be like “That camera don’t lie” – so It’s sort of like when someone takes a picture of you and you see it and you are like ‘oh my God, I look like that?!’ You can’t even see yourself.
And for business owners – if I am the owner of a business and I hire you as an employee and I pay you – you are pretty much only going to say nice things to me. So generally, in our real life and in our work life especially your employees and your colleagues are not going to be an unfiltered camera.
A coach comes into the relationship with their coachee with the understanding – that ‘listen you are hiring me to be a mirror to be an unfiltered camera and why – not to upset you, not to hurt you, but I’m definitely not here to tell you you’re doing everything great. I am here because you want to grow and improve.’ And the coach that holds up the mirror – the mirror shows not only the flaws, it reveals the gold as well!”
- Coaching from a qualified and experienced entrepreneur who has been through it themselves or something very similar.
“Me, when I hire a coach, I want to know what that person’s training has been, but perhaps more importantly if you are going to be my business coach, what qualifies you as a business coach? – like: what business have you created?
So, I’ve made millions of dollars in my business, I have been very successful – I’ve had failures too. I’ve had the experience, there is nothing that any entrepreneur is living through right now that I haven’t lived through something very similar. ”
What skills and/or resources have helped you the most along your entrepreneurial journey?
“I think that you can build all the skills in the world like I’m a Certified Public Accountant, I have a lot of technical skills I’ve learned. So, you build all of those technical skills – they’re important, but not the most important. If I had to pick 2 things:
1. The ability to work with other people –a critical skill. For entrepreneurs and coaches – being able to see the best in another person and then bring It forward – that’s a big skill.
2. Investing in myself and my personal development. Education, constant reading, and investing in coaching – every time I invested in coaching I made more money. I have been a huge consumer of personal development. Growing myself as a person – you know if you don’t do that you stay the same person you are at any age – 27,30,45. You always have to keep growing and its one of the greatest pleasures as a coach, I get to see people growing into the fullest version of themselves.”
What’s the biggest risk your business ever took?
“30 years ago when my partner and I decided to start managing money, In the beginning and even now when you consider someone giving you their life savings and saying ‘take care of this for me, I trust you.’ ‘I need this for my retirement, I need this for my kids college education and I’d like to put my trust and faith in you.
That part made me very nervous.
Not that we would literally lose the money, but it’s like what if we invested wrong. And it was just so humbling to take on that level of responsibility.
In coaching it’s kind of the same thing – people invest money in their coaching – they put a lot of trust and confidence in me as a coach – it’s a humbling responsibility and honor.
And so that to me feels like the risky part – to me it just feels like wow these people really trust in me and they’re really counting on me.”
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a business of their own?
“Aside from get a coach – starting a business on your own like for startups and anyone in the early years of their business I would say the most important piece of advice that is not talked about a lot is that:
it’s not linear.
You can’t just look at like ‘well this is what we did the first 2 years in sales, and so next year we’ll probably be maybe 10-20% more.’
Truly business growth does not tend to be linear – you can have 10 years straight up and then drop down, you could have 5 years of just increasing 5-10% a year and then have a 600% increase – it is not linear. You know, If you had a down year last year it doesn’t mean you are going off the face of the planet, like this year could be really well!
I’ve experienced that in my business – so when you take a long view, and you know that it’s not linear and that your years are going to be made of ups and downs – and sometimes the ups are going to be really big and sometimes the increases are going to be marginal and sometimes there will be a drop – and it’s just all a part of the journey.
So, if you are thinking ‘We want to increase ourselves 10% or 5% a year’ or whatever it is – you are going to be disappointed because it never goes that way. And people don’t talk about that, but that applies in any area in our life.“
It is clear Darlene Murphy has a lot of value and knowledge to bring to the table – If you want to hear more from her make sure to check out her Coachworth Podcast! Or if you are ready to take the plunge and are interested in investing in coaching – visit her website at www.coachworth.net
Or, contact her directly at Darlene@Coachworth.net
Darlene Murphy – CEO | Performance Coach | Award-Winning Entrepreneur | Forbes Coaches Council
Check out the Coachworth Podcast! – Listen as business expert and success coach Darlene Murphy tackles some of the biggest problems we all have…
She’ll teach you to: TRAIN your brain | CLEAR your focus | CLAIM your success