Christopher Flett remembers when, with his technology company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, he made one last gamble to rescue it. Approaching a local tech sales executive, he managed to land a lunch – on the condition that Flett pick up the tab.
Flett recalls "scraping through the couch cushions" to fund a lunch at Griffins Restaurant at the Hotel Vancouver. "At $50 a week, I was able to get a $750,000-a-year guy," he said.
With his new mentor's expert advice, Flett was able to turn the company profitable and sell it to a venture pool.
Flett said that experience helped teach him a key business lesson: business solutions often don't involve money.
"Money is the scapegoat."
Flett added that he's discovered five currencies or "leverages" that can drive business: money, time, labour, networks and connections, and ideas and knowledge.
"Everyone says 'I want this but I don't have the money' – which is like saying, 'I need to get this done, but I don't feel like doing it.' Money is never the issue."
Flett said identifying those five business drivers helped him figure out a way to capitalize on a slew of requests for business coaching after the success of his book, What Men Don't Tell Women About Business.
While Flett said he was initially overwhelmed by all the requests for his time, he realized he had a commodity that he could leverage better: his ideas. So instead of simply selling his coaching skills, Flett decided to create a coaching system called Ghost CEO – and license that out.
That strategy, he said, has paid off dramatically. "Now we have 104 coaches in four countries servicing 3,500 clients."