Category: business coaching


I attended the 14th Annual Leadership Conference, hosted by the IFA’s (International Franchise Association) Women’s Franchise Committee (WFC) in Orlando, Florida.  The WFC is designed to develop relationships with franchising professionals, to address issues, share ideas and offer solutions related to franchising in the local communities.

The conference theme was Dare to be Bold: Taking Risks For Reward – “It’s been said that if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. The great recession caused many organizations to drastically change the way they look and operate.” The Leadership Conference offered the opportunity to listen to top franchise leaders share stories of bold decisions they made that would forever change the shape of their brands.

The guest speaker was Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon; Inc. a division of FOCUS Brands Inc. Cinnabon operates more than 770 franchised locations worldwide. Prior to her role with FOCUS Brands at Cinnabon, Inc., she was VP of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc.

Kat shared her story of working as a server at Hooters at the young age of 19 and was handpicked to travel to Sydney Australia to open the country’s first Hooters. Kat had never flown before but she took her mother’s advice and “figured it out and made it happen” flying from Jacksonville, FL to Miami to get her passport and soon after traveling to Australia. By the age of 20, Kat was traveling all over the world to conduct new employee training and opening new locations. When Kat left Hooters in January 2011 she was Vice President of Training and Development.

As Kat told her story there was a recurring message: “figure it out and make it happen.”   We live in a time of change and Kat told us that no amount of change can work without connections and relationships.  She said the people you engage with, the connections you make and the relationships you have are with individuals that can and will be your biggest advocates.

Kat was an excellent presenter and listening to her validated decisions I have made over the last few months. Change is not easy and sometimes in order to change you must take risks. With the risks there is an uncertainty of the future. Getting pass the fear of the unknown and taking the steps to figure it out and “make it happen” is not as hard as I once thought.

Kat’s encouragement to build new relationships comes easy for me. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy attending conferences. I love social media and I have built strong connections using the various platforms but the in-person networking provides the face-to-face experience that I miss in the virtual world.

One of the new friendships that I built at IFA was with Tra Williams. Tra is more than 6’ tall so he is not easily missed in a crowd. But what really stands out is his passion for franchising and entrepreneurship. He exudes a deep commitment to helping others succeed and a strong drive to learn and share as much as possible.

Watch this video of Tra and I am confident you too will want to learn more about him and how you can connect.

Kat was right on the mark for me. I’m more than ready to “Figure it out and make it happen”. And as Dr. Beatrice Berry (author, sociologist, lecturer and educator) said; “When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.”

On March 1st I will leave what I have known and loved (Computer Explorers) for the last 16 years to start a new career as President of Deb Evans Consulting, LLC. I am confident it will be an exciting new adventure filled with new relationships, connections and risks!

Even CEOs Need Coaching

My blog post for Franchise Business Review:

When a franchisee steps outside of training they are usually the chief executive officer of everything! In theory, a new franchisee could perform each and every task impeccably themselves without any outside resource. As chief executive officer of everything they will fill the roles of: payroll officer, marketer, sales representative, trainer, purchase agent, accountant, administrator, human resources and many more.

Where does the chief executive officer of everything call in reinforcements? As the business grows the franchisee will realize what functions need to be delegated to someone else. Even the most talented franchisees/business owners need help: developing an action plan, growing their business, accountability, thinking creatively in business, implementing new projects, team building, and making decisions when the stakes are very high, etc.

I believe that every franchise/business owner needs a professional business coach in order to improve performance, leadership and profitability. It’s vital to find a coach with experience in the field or specific discipline in order to provide the right guidance. The coach needs to be an expert in professional development and someone you can feel you can trust and work with comfortably.

David HandlerDavid Handler, Founder, SuccessHandler Executive Coaching says, “Leaders typically understand how to set goals and execute strategy. Challenges arise from failing to recognize how others see you. Thus, your biggest opportunity for improvement is to have an executive coach hold up a mirror that provides insight into your attitude and approach.”

As my coach, David inspires me to succeed and helps me understand what changes must be made. He doesn’t provide all the answers but asks all the right questions. He encourages my creativity and as a trusted advisor will guide me through my strategic thinking and set me on the right path. I am comfortable to share issues with my coach that I cannot share with others knowing that he is non-judgmental. The most valuable asset of a good business coach is the ability to not only share successes but also failures. As a good listener and someone who is genuinely interested in my success my coach helps me understand what went wrong and how to move in a positive direction.

Vistage International says coaching “is about improving your performance so your company can perform better. It’s about continuous, accelerated, practical learning-more lasting than any onetime workshop of any flavor-of-the-day business book-and about turning your good intentions into great results.”

I enjoy my role as CEO of COMPUTER EXPLORERS. I have an excellent team and a business coach so I don’t have to fill the role of chief executive office of everything.