Jolene Watson is the President of Clarity Coaching & Development. She is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI®) Certified Practitioner and uses the assessments to provide insights to couples and individuals on a personal and professional basis. Jolene is also a Performance Consultant and Sales Associate with Dale Carnegie Training and is currently in the process of becoming an instructor for the ‘Effective Communications and Human Relations’ course.
1. Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur? How did you end up in the field of coaching and development?
It was very interesting; I had never considered starting my own business until I attended a trade show and met with a career counsellor from CanSask. She recommended that I start my own business and told me about the Praxis School of Entrepreneurship. My start-up experience was supported by the incredible instructors at Praxis who taught the hard and soft skills required to successfully run a business. I would recommend the program for anyone who is considering starting a business. As new entrepreneurs there are so many factors that we don’t consider; Praxis holds you accountable in many areas including but not limited to: business planning, break-even analysis, bookkeeping, financial forecasting and goal setting.
I have worked in management and human resource roles in a variety of industries. I have also been responsible for performance reviews. These roles are where I learned that I loved working with people.
2. Why do people buy your services? What competitive advantage do you have that your competitors lack?
I use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and am certified to do so. It is one of the original personality profile tools and is used in most fortune 100 companies. There is 70 years of research behind the reports and the career reports are always being updated to reflect our current culture and now include areas such as social confidence and leadership potential. My personality type is ENFJ and two of the top chosen professions for my particular type are career coaching and teaching. My market research data acquired from Square One showed that people were looking for flexibility and mobility in my industry. I meet clients in the comfort of their own home, my office or a coffee shop of their choice. Also, my career consultations are highly customizable.
3. Who do you sell to? How do you communicate with your client base?
Primarily female, age 20-39; however, 30% of my clients currently are men. I work with individuals and couples as well as clients are looking at new career options; this can include those who want to switch careers or students who are deciding on an initial career path. Networking is my main source of advertising as most of my clients are from word of mouth.
4. How do you learn about your clients? How do you get them to trust you?
Once I know what their type is, I know how to coach them. For people who are planners for example, I know they will do their research on time because that is their nature. For those who are more spontaneous, I do set deadlines and hold them accountable. I often find that I need more time when I meet with extraverts as they tend to talk more in the initial meeting while introverts tend to reflect and ask questions at a later date. I always review the reports extensively before interpreting them; the results are incredibly accurate. This creates a high level of trust and credibility with my clients.
5. The nature of your industry is to assist people to grow, so how do you get them to implement the strategies that you provide? What are some ways that entrepreneurs can inspire their customers in any industry?
Accountability. I always follow up with my clients to ensure the research has been completed and to answer any questions. I think entrepreneurs can inspire their customers by providing a high level of customer service. Also, every entrepreneur should have a trusted network around them to refer their clients to; we should focus on the areas in which we excel.
6. Do you have any partnerships? If so, what made your decide to form an alliance? Why are partnerships a powerful strategy for small businesses?
I recently connected with Laurie-ann Sheldrick who owns Contagiously Positive. She is an ENFJ – like me! She is a life and health coach; we are going to team up in the New Year and develop workshops together. We have the same mindset on professional development and positivity. Entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats such as marketing, bookkeeping, management and customer service; having others who support your business and who are like-minded can be instrumental to your success. We need to help each other as entrepreneurs.
7. What counts that you are not counting? What are the intangible assets that cannot be measured, but truly differentiate your business?
My love for always wanting to grow and expand and my desire to meet my customer’s needs.
8. Do you have any mentors or role models? If so, how do they contribute to your success? Why are mentors and role models important for entrepreneurs to have?
Monica Kreuger and the teachers at Praxis School of Entrepreneurship have been instrumental in Clarity’s launch and continual development. Linda Prafke at Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan is my business advisor and I meet with her on a monthly basis; she has also been an unbelievable resource. Don Ramage of Focal Point Business Coaching is another incredible mentor of mine through the Raj Manek Mentorship Program. By having a mentor or role model, we can avoid mistakes and gain valuable information from learning from their experience; it’s important to have someone to confide in.
9. How do you mitigate risks and plan for contingencies?
Developing worst case scenarios in the business plan, and finding ways to either solve or avoid those scenarios. Often, if you don’t have a vision, you don’t know where you are going; goal-setting is very important. When I first started out I offered six services, and now I have streamlined them down to three. Business depends on the market so it’s important to be flexible with the ever-changing market.
10. How did the resources in the community help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals?
Praxis School of Entrepreneurship helped me with the incubation stage of Clarity. Square One helped me out with the industry profile and market research required for my business plan. I was also able to look at sample business plans which were an incredible resource when I was creating my own. I also attended various seminars, which were extremely valuable to me as new business owner.
11. If you could give entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?
Do what you love and follow your passion! Also, in the Personality Profile realm, remember the platinum rule – the opposite of the Golden Rule – ‘Do unto others as they would want done unto them’. We as entrepreneurs must truly and genuinely understand our clients in order to succeed in business.
Clarity Coaching & Development empowers motivated individuals to make effective decisions that align with their values and goals. The assessments are customized and presented in a professional manner to help clients understand themselves and others. These assessments allow people to be more organized, advance their careers, increase productivity and communicate more clearly.