A short guide to arm you with key questions to help you build a business worthy of your message.

The world will always need leaders.

Coaches, consultants and speakers like you, who have something to say, not just something to sell.


People want to be led to the results they want.

But I believe most coaches, consultants and speakers will have far less of an impact than they’re capable of.

To build a business that has an exponential impact, your message isn’t enough.

You need the right vehicle for your message.

The vehicle is the business you build around you and your message.

It’s the delivery mechanism that propels your message into the world.

I’ve come to this conclusion: Building the right vehicle is THE key to having an exponential impact.

Without the right vehicle, you simply won’t impact the number of people you are capable of, and your impact won’t be as deep and long-lasting.

If you don’t read beyond this page, I hope you leave with this takeaway.

The key to exponential impact is to build the right vehicle for your message.

That’s why I created this guide.

It will arm you with the best questions I’ve encountered to help you build a coaching, consulting or speaking business that serves as the perfect vehicle for your message.

So let’s get to it!

1. What Category will I dominate?

“Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum.” -Chris Lochhead

Every business exists in a category, including your coaching, speaking or consulting.

Categories exist because our brains only have room for 2-3 brands per category.

So it’s important to know what category you’re going after, and if there’s an established Category King.

I see a lot of coaches and consultants going after established categories, believing that a slight edge or personality difference is enough to unseat the King.

The better route is create or carve out your own category.

2. Who delivers most of the value in my business?

If the business relies on YOU to produce 70% or more of the value, you have a Rockstar Business.

The business relies on you, and any staff and systems (if you have any) exist to make you ultra-productive.

However, if your people and systems generate more value than you personally, you have a YouX business.

A YouX business puts the right structure around you that leverages your strengths.

A YouX business combines your strengths with the strengths of other people, technologies and systems to create a vehicle that delivers 10x the value you can deliver alone.

3. Do I have innovative and unique intellectual property?

The best coaches, consultants and speakers have created an innovative system or process for producing results – first for themselves and then for others. Their content is distinctive, memorable, compelling and creative.

If you can help people follow in your footsteps and get results, you can coach. Having a brand and market recognition helps, but it isn’t necessary.

However, if you want to get into consulting and speaking, you need a brand. You need market recognition. The authority to get people to take action without ongoing accountability.

And that takes unique and innovative content – the ability to convey your message in a creative package that impacts your ideal client in a compelling way.

Look at your content and see if you have the following:

  • Formulas
  • Frameworks
  • Checklists
  • Assessment tools
  • Systems
  • Processes
  • Mindmaps
  • Acronyms

Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles are a great example. Check out their Resources page: Gazelles.com/resources/growth-tools. Strategyzer is another personal favorite: Strategyzer.com.

4. What’s the Engine – the core profit center – of my business?

You can build a complicated business, where multiple streams of income contribute equally and demand equal attention.

Or you can build a simple business with one core offer. The choice is yours.

But keep in mind that when it comes to offering multiple products and services, the 80/20 Rule almost always applies, whether you like it or not.

80% of your revenue (or profit) will come from 20% of your products, services or clients.

Knowing that in advance, you can focus on building a core profit center, the Engine that drives your business. The bread and butter that pays the bills and keeps the lights on.

For McDonald’s this is the hamburger. The fries and drink are the profit maximizers.

Do you have an Engine?

Or do you have a scattered mix of product and service offers, where you’re promoting everything to everyone all the time.

5. What is my new media platform?

Don’t wait till you have something to sell to a group of people.

Start building the relationship now.

Establish a platform where you provide consistent value to your tribe well in advance of asking for business. A branded podcast or Facebook Live video series are great examples of new media platforms.

There is an attractive force created when you give value and don’t ask for something in return. The longer you wait to ask for something, the more this attractive force builds.

It’s like depositing funds into a bank account. You can draw it down in the future, but you always want to deposit more than you draw out.

Your media platform, delivered consistently and authentically, creates the “I Feel Like I Know You” Effect. These one-sided relationships, where your audience feels like they know you, makes lead conversion much easier.

You not only have deep levels of trust and massive credibility, but you have an actual connection and relationship in the mind of that person. Even though you may have never met them in person or even know who they are.

6. What’s my Funnel for bringing new people into my tribe?

You’re an entrepreneur. Impatient by nature.

So no matter how good your new media platform is or how fast it grows, it probably won’t bring new people into your tribe as fast as you like.

Your Platform attracts people into your world by providing value.

A Funnel directly generates demand – pulling people into your tribe by offering to exchange value for cash or permission.

Permission to stay in touch, permission to educate, permission to give additional value, permission to make a direct offer later and more.

A super simple, direct Funnel puts an advertisement in front of a cold audience, makes an irresistible offer and puts them into your email list.

You can sell a product in your funnel to help offset ad spend. Or make them an offer in an auto-responder series once they join your email list.

The options are limitless, but the underlying principle is the same. If you want to build your tribe faster than organic growth, you need a Funnel.

7. How do I deliver Transformational Experiences?

Every coach, consultant or speaker has experienced those moments.

You helped someone achieve a breakthrough in their business or their life.

They know it. You know it. You both can feel it.

Those moments are what I call “transformational experiences.”

Tony Robbins has built an empire on his ability to deliver transformational experiences, both individually and in large groups.

I can’t think of any great coach, speaker or leader in any field who hasn’t delivered some type of transformational experience to his followers.

No matter how powerful your message, people get accustomed to it. The message loses some of its emotional punch. Your tribe becomes less connected and emotionally engaged over time.

In the long run, transformational experiences renew your tribe’s loyalty and sense of connection to you as a leader, keeping them emotionally engaged in your message.

8. How do I drive real behavior change?

For your tribe to see real results, there must be real behavior change, probably at the daily level.

It’s worth thinking deeply about what you ask your tribe to do.

What new behaviors – rituals, routines, habits or systems – are you asking them to incorporate into their daily lives?

How do you model those in your own life?

How do you build in accountability and social enforcement of new behaviors?

How do I create converts – people who are emotionally converted to my belief system and daily behaviors?

If your tribe doesn’t see results – in the form of new behaviors, new feelings and new results – they’ll find a tribe that will deliver on that promise.

9. Do I have scalable systems?

Systems are not constraints, they are the key to freeing up your time and energy to push the business forward. Allowing your key systems to live in your head or the head of one key staff member puts you at major risk.

As you scale up, anything that needs to be done more than once should have a system – a defined process for producing a defined result.

A useful thought experiment I often run is to ask, What would happen if leads and clients fell from the sky? Could I handle them, or would it break my business?

As a coach, consultant or speaker, your first priority is the foundation systems – the systems for delivering your Engine at a very high level – consistently and predictably.

Then you can move onto documenting and creating systems for areas like marketing, sales, finance, human resources, etc. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard comes from business coach Hank Avink, “Focus on one new system each month.”

10. Am I OUT-leading my clients and followers?

People who make the most money don’t just lead followers, they lead leaders.

If you want to dominate a category, you’ll need other leaders, either officially part of your organization or unofficial leaders in your movement.

Establish vertical accountability with your leaders (holding yourself accountable to them as much as they are to you) and horizontal accountability among groups of leaders and followers.

As a leader of leaders, it’s your job to stand in the future and pull the present toward you, and your tribe along with it.

Lead the charge to continually redefine your category. Don’t let someone else redefine your category and unseat you as the Category King!