Services Archives - Rock, Paper, Scissors

Posted 09 Sep 2016

EMyth Business Coaching Q-and-A With Amanda Sutt – Part 2

We’re back and ready to continue our discussion of EMyth business coaching with Rock Paper Scissors CEO and Creative Director Amanda Sutt, who is also a certified EMyth business coach. Read on to learn more about this great resource and learn why Amanda decided to become a coach. If you missed part 1, check it out here.

EMyth Business Coaching

What motivated you to become a certified EMyth Business Coach?
A: I was always looking for something for me. Until we started with the coaching, I hadn’t found my niche; what I really wanted to do. I joined RPS in 2005 after I graduated college and was trying to figure out what to do full-time. I had some ideas and offered to help my parents as a part-time project manager for a year so I could still pursue my love for theatrical design. My role at RPS evolved over the years, but I was helping build my mom’s dream and I had not connected with my specific calling yet.

Toward the end of our year of coaching, EMyth restructured to a consultant-based coaching staff and my mom suggested I look into it. I talked with a coach and realized that coaching was what I wanted to do. I could apply my experience at RPS and decided to go for it. The day after I signed my contract with EMyth, we received my mom’s cancer diagnosis. That was on a Friday, and mom was scheduled to have major surgery the following Tuesday. I offered to hold off a while before starting my training, but mom said “No, you need to do this for you.”

During the next three months, instead of just focusing on my new business coaching path, I took over the company and was in training simultaneously. It was hard work, but the silver lining was that it was good training to go through the EMyth content again in this new role as the company’s leader. I reshaped things in three months so that the business could fit our new reality. Looking back, if we hadn’t gone through EMyth coaching, I’m not sure the company would have survived this time of transition.

This also prompted conversations about what mom could do for the business while she was in treatment and what we could do without her to remain sustainable. The last year of her life, I was able to leave the office at 6 and have my weekends, take my mom to the doctor, and take time off to just have fun with her. Those days wouldn’t have happened without EMyth because it helped us put systems into place to help us work more efficiently. It gave me time with my mom I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

It seems that RPS and EMyth are very similar in terms of wanting to make an impact and leave things better than we found them. How do you feel RPS experienced that first hand with EMyth?
A: One of my reasons for becoming a coach was because I saw the services as a good compliment to our current client base. I was tired of creating beautiful campaigns and clients not using them or not being prepared for an influx of sales. I wanted to have more impactful conversations with clients that go deeper about their business and not just their marketing. It’s an extension of what we do. You are right that we are very similar, we have the same values about business and culture, and the end results of growing our businesses.

You’ve said this program helped you realize the importance of authenticity and honesty in conversations in the business world. Can you expand on that a little more?
A: The core of EMyth – their philosophy and mine – is that a business is a reflection of the leader. That’s the core of authenticity. EMyth helps people who are brave enough to go into business for themselves find opportunities to thrive and make ideas successful when other aspects of running the business makes them feel drained and worn down.

EMyth Business Coaching

Being a business owner is lonely. You can’t talk to your employees about finances, hiring and termination decisions, and those types of things, so who do you talk to? EMyth allows for a space for business owners have those tough conversations. As a business leader, without this kind of council, you can get yourself in trouble; you avoid things you shouldn’t avoid, make stupid mistakes, and make mountains out of molehills. EMyth coaches can help you realize yourself as a leader, your strengths and weaknesses, and when you need to get out of your own way.  It’s about empowering people.

Every business owner has the same fundamental problems. EMyth gives them someone to talk to about these problems and enables them to make things happen to and for their businesses. 

How do you think going through EMyth as a client has helped you as a coach?
A: I can support my coaching clients better because I’ve been there. I’m one of a few coaches that was actually an EMyth client before becoming a coach. I have a different sense of confidence because I know and believe it is possible. I will never be a coach and not also run a business because I want to keep up with what’s going on in the industry and what’s changing. 

If you could say one thing to someone considering EMyth’s coaching program, what would that be?
A: I think EMyth’s purpose statement says it best. “We exist to help business owners create a life and a business that they love leading.”

The whole idea behind the program is that EMyth is there for business owners who want to both enjoy life and business. One of the first things to look at is “What do you want your life to look like?” – The things you thought you would have by going into business for yourself. By having a clear picture of your life, we then start look at your business and shape it so that it serves that vision. Happy leaders lead to happy employees and customers, which leads to a better world.

Like other small businesses, we have experienced our share of hardships over the years, but through the help of EMyth we learned that we can work through any difficulty and view it as a part of our story as  something that helped us build a better business by implementing specific systems to help keep things running smoothly.

Interested in learning more about EMyth Business Coaching? Connect with Amanda for more information! You can also hear more from Amanda by listening to “From Client to Coach” from the On It by EMyth podcast series.

Posted 16 Aug 2016

EMyth Business Coaching Q-and-A With Amanda Sutt – Part 1

With our 30th birthday celebration coming up, we have been looking back at some of the events and happenings that helped us get to where we are today. One thing that helped our business during the economic recession several years ago was our year-long participation in EMyth Business Coaching.

If you’re not familiar with EMyth, let us fill you in. EMyth was founded on the simple concept that most businesses aren’t started by business-minded people, but rather passionate individuals that have a product or service to offer and know how to do things better than or more uniquely than others can. However, these individuals don’t always know what it’s going to take to get to their vision. They are in the moment and truly think starting a business is a great idea. EMyth refers to this as the “entrepreneurial seizure” – essentially, you think that being able to do the work is all there is to starting and building a business, never giving thought to all other aspects of running a business like handling cash flow and managing employees, and eventually, you wind up overwhelmed and exhausted. That’s where EMyth can save the day for business owners because business coaches can help you work through those tough aspects of business ownership so you can enjoy your life and your job just like your original vision.

Now that you’re caught up, let’s sit down with Amanda Sutt, CEO and Creative Director of Rock Paper Scissors, to discuss how EMyth’s coaching services helped our business thrive, as well as what motivated her to become a certified EMyth Business Coach.

EMyth Business Coaching

What first attracted you to utilizing EMyth Business Coaching for RPS?
A: A few years after I graduated college, a friend recommended I read the book “The EMyth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” because he thought it would be helpful for me as I dove into the family business. As a small business leader, the book feels like it is written for you and your particular struggles as a business owner. It stands out for people who’ve made mistakes and are trying to figure out how to make a business successful because EMyth was founded on one simple idea: “That small businesses are not started by business people. They’re started by people like you. People who have a craft — something you know how to do better or different than anyone else. And who woke up one day and realized that their businesses had turned into a job. A really hard one. With lousy pay.”

There was a big gap between me reading the book and starting the coaching service! When I read the book around 2006, it referred you to downloads on the website. I dabbled with those worksheets from 2007 to the beginning of 2012. I knew the principles and concepts to build your business like a franchise with systems so it’s replicable,  but didn’t get very far. Going into the recession, we had experienced economic dips before, but not like this. We thought we could put our heads down and work hard until it was over, but things kept getting harder. We never knew anything but manic chaos.

Around 2011, EMyth had a leadership change and the company went through its own process (they “Emythed” Emyth) and during this time, they started going back through the files of people who had downloaded resources from the site. In early 2012, I got a call from a coach who asked how the business was going, and I answered honestly and what I thought was going to be a quick 10 minute call, ended up being an hour and half. The coach then asked, “Do you think coaching would help?” Not even two weeks earlier I had said to my mom I could go at this pace for two more years and then I’d be done. It was really rough, but when EMyth called I was ready to learn how to really work smarter and not harder – we were all maxed out.

The recession was tough on all businesses, but you credit the coaching RPS received through EMyth as part of the reason the company survived. What are some specific examples you can share on how the coaching helped RPS survive (and thrive) through that time?
A: Part of it was having someone hold us accountable. We were really good at starting things, but not finishing them. Our coach helped us fix that. It also helped us realize that not having a single vision and leader was hurting the business. Between my mom Cindy, our CEO, my dad Randy, our CFO, and myself, an art director, we had some very different ideas for the future of the business and there was no consistency between us. We realized we all needed to get on the same page with our vision as well as all other areas of the business. At that point, we were also taking any work that came our way and were generalists. EMyth coaching made us realize we needed to establish a clear vision. It made us learn everything that was changing in the marketing world – the rise of social media and how it changed consumer perception, the tools we were using, etc.

EMyth Business Coaching

The coaching also helped us realize that if we love what we’re doing, the quality of our work will improve. So we started looking at what we wanted to do and learned we wanted to build partnerships with our clients, to talk with them earlier in the process, and to interlace that with the sales process. We didn’t want to have our hands tied behind our backs, so we set up new processes. We established set times for regular staff meetings, as well as meetings for sales, operations, technology, and more. We also got to know our staff on a different level. We moved away from the superficial relationships and built camaraderie. We realized how we can collaborate and develop talent, which helped us built longevity with our employees. We started looking at how we could create a company culture that not only reflected who we are, but also one that makes us look forward to coming to work each day. We work hard and play hard, and we love to have fun. Our culture is part of what makes it a joy to work here, and also part of what attracts prospective clients and employees to our business.

How have the things you learned through EMyth coaching influenced how you do business here at RPS?
A: First, EMyth hasn’t stopped influencing us and that’s why I enjoy working with them. One of the aspects of running this business and working for EMyth that’s important for me as a leader is that I’m able to watch another company from the inside to give me perspective of what that is like while I am also in a leadership role. I’m still working for someone even though I have people working for me so I know what it is like to be in the trenches. This is something I have always done; when I was just art directing, I still did theatre work and graphic design on the side. I feel it was important as a leader to know what it’s like to work under someone and receive criticism.

EMyth also helped me realize that every business is dysfunctional and to just embrace it, and to drop the idea of perfectionism. I started looking at problems differently – what’s the biggest problem and what can we do to fix it.

What would you consider the greatest benefits RPS received from its year of EMyth Business Coaching?
A: Clarity and purpose as a company, for everything. We took time to understand why we’re doing this and, because of that we are able to make better choices and are a much more solid company. Now, our world doesn’t fall apart when something goes wrong. We have new tools in our toolbox that we can use for any problem thrown at us. We know how to think strategically and everything seems fixable. It’s a great new perspective for a company’s leadership and is the difference between a small, mom-and-pop type of business and a sustainable one.

It seems that RPS and EMyth are very similar in terms of wanting to make an impact and leave things better than we found them. How do you feel RPS experienced that first hand with EMyth?
A: One of my reasons for becoming a coach was because I saw the services as a good compliment to our current client base. I was tired of creating beautiful campaigns and clients not using them or not being prepared for an influx of sales. I wanted to have greater conversations with clients that go deeper about the business. It’s an extension of what we do. We have the same values and end results of growing our businesses.

There’s more to our EMyth story. Stay tuned for the continuation of the story next month! 

If you don’t want to wait, connect with Amanda to learn more!

Posted 20 Jul 2016

Marketing Makeover for Nonprofits

We’ve been connected with the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia (CFNEG) for quite a while, developing the nonprofit’s brand, helping prepare the organization’s Giving Reports and providing support for the annual Good2Give Gala. We recently collaborated with the CFNEG and Heather Loveridge on the presentation “Marketing Makeover for Nonprofits” to help nonprofit leaders better understand branding and marketing. The event allowed us to work with local nonprofit leaders to start the process of developing a Brand Commitment and providing helpful tips for creating a marketing plan, storytelling, and more.

If you’re a nonprofit leader looking for some branding and marketing assistance, we invite you to take a look at our presentation below.

We also invite you to download a copy of the workbook so you can get started.

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As you work through the workbook, you are asked to create a Brand Commitment. Below we have included some sample Brand Commitments to help get you started:

  • “When someone sees the Community Foundation brand, we want a smile to come to their face, an approving nod of their head, and a feeling that they received far more in return than they gave.” – Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia
  • “To be the premier sports and entertainment brand that brings people together, connecting them socially and emotionally like no other.” – The NFL
  • “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.” – Coca-Cola
  • “To be genuine, fun, contemporary, and different in everything we do at a reasonable price.”- Virgin Airlines
  • “We’re working to prevent child trafficking & exploitation, care for survivors, and empower a growing movement. Love is the foundation of our motivation.” – Love146

If you need further assistance in creating your Brand Commitment or with learning how to better tell the stories of your nonprofit, contact us or Heather Loveridge. We are available for consultations, workshops, and creative work (both visual branding and storytelling) and would be happy to set up a time to work with you and your organization’s leadership.