Meet Jeff Lovejoy. His “Achieve Your Dreams” program is about getting you to define what you really want from your business. It’s about establishing plans to get us to your desired destination. They’ll systematically prioritize key strategies, and he’ll hold you accountable for doing what you commit to do. Jeff will keep you focused on what’s important to reaching your dreams.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Jeff Lovejoy: My name is Jeff Lovejoy and I live in Atlanta, GA. For the past 14 years I’ve been a certified Business Coach.
My uncle was the 1st American in space and the 5th man on the moon so I appreciate the potential all of us have within ourselves perhaps more than most. I’ve coached boys’ hockey, my girls soccer teams, high school softball because I enjoy helping people reach their potential. Interestingly, during my 26-year career with two major banks I built a good career but didn’t excel because I viewed my roles as jobs. I didn’t have a sense of direction (vision) for what I wanted and was capable of achieving.
In 2008 I purchased an ActionCOACH Business Coaching franchise out of a desire to help successful business owners achieve what they want and deserve from their business. I think of myself as their Chief Potential Officer. My clients trust me with their best interests in mind. I’ve been working with some clients for 7 years meeting either every week or every-other week. Together we’ve been able to achieve some amazing results like adding $3 million in revenue in one year, more than doubling in 12 months in several cases, and creating empowered and highly functional teams.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Jeff Lovejoy: Fifty eight percent of my clients (all in different industries) had record years in 2021, so great results are possible even in challenging times. I believe a significant reason for their success was that even through difficult times we kept our focus on achieving the goals we set for 12/31/21. That focus enabled us to be proactive in running their business…to pivot when needed as well as to focus on hiring excellent employees and not settling for average, as well as increasing their operational efficiency.
Unfortunately, a couple clients who focused in the outdoors space had very difficult times in 2020 and 2021. They were in an industry that was dramatically impacted. One of them survived by doubling down on their ideal clients and by furloughing some employees.
My advice to business owners who want to thrive in 2022 is several fold; 1) Don’t try to be someone to everyone – identify your ideal client(s) and actively pursue the industries they’re in. It also helps if those industries line-up well with the business’ expertise. 2) Become more proactive in running your business – think strategically by setting “stretch” goals and proactively working to reach those goals. 3) Don’t settle for average employees. I see too many owners make average hires and then wonder why their businesses fail to excel. You get what you hire. 4) Become better owners. Owners must focus on their team (train, support, inspire, motivate, compensate, empower etc.) and let their team focus on running the business. All too often owners are so involved in running the business that they neglect their team. 5) Create a company culture that attracts prospective employees. Owners have to market their businesses to attract the best candidates.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Jeff Lovejoy: Business owners need to narrow their focus to those few areas where they excel. I see owners who provide a wide array of services, thinking that the variety will generate additional revenue for them. As a result, they aren’t identified as experts in anything. For example, if I supply restaurants with cooking equipment I can either market myself as the provider for all restaurants or I can market myself as THE provider of cooking equipment for Italian restaurants. During difficult economic times the need to be identified as an expert / specialist becomes even more important.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Jeff Lovejoy: Prior to the pandemic my coaching meetings were held in-person at my clients’ offices. During the pandemic I migrated to 100% Zoom meetings and realized how much time I spent in my car going and coming from client offices. I value face-to-face interactions but now I’m using a hybrid model of some face-to-face and some zoom meetings. Certainly, with prospective clients, my initial conversations are conducted over the phone or via Zoom. Before traveling to them I want to be sure that we’re a good match.. My ideal clients are those who came through the pandemic OK – some with record results and others who successfully managed through it though not at a record pace.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Jeff Lovejoy: I wish someone would impress upon me how much business owners needed my assistance, and that I needed to become more visible by helping owners even if it meant waiving my fees. Several months into the pandemic I began implementing this strategy. I also actively reached out to past clients to offer help in any way I could bring value to them.
I intend on developing programs that enable business owners to get the business education they need through a wide variety of cost-effective coaching programs.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Jeff Lovejoy: I use zoom and envision using it even as the severity of the pandemic lessens. While I prefer face-to-face meetings with clients, I see a continued role for zoom for initial prospect meetings, and periodic client meetings.
I do believe the retail industry is going to be heavily impacted by continued growth of online purchasing.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Jeff Lovejoy: 4 hours a day.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Jeff Lovejoy: I tell stories to illustrate successes business owners have achieved as a means to illustrate a point. For example, I regularly tell the story of working with a business owner whose 15-year old business was generating $1.5 million, but he wanted much more. After working with him for 2-years revenues had climbed to $5.5 million and we’re planning on $8.2 by 12/31/22. A couple key strategic hires and laser focus on goal achievement made this growth possible.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Jeff Lovejoy: Distraction. I see business owners chasing shiny objects, getting an idea in their head and focusing on that idea rather than focusing on what we agreed were the primary objectives for the quarter. At times those new ideas were appropriate and should be worked on, but more often they weren’t helpful. Those shiny object ideas take the owner’s eyes off what will truly generate growth for the business. Distraction includes working exclusively IN the business without any time devoted to working ON the business. Distraction is the biggest obstacle business owners and all of us are having to contend with.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Jeff Lovejoy: I am most interested in expanding my use of a strategic 5-year business plan process that will help owners gain insights into the near-future. I’ll be able to help them understand the 5-year impact of decisions they make today.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Jeff Lovejoy: I have no doubt that most business owners don’t see themselves as the problem. I work with owners to become better leaders by focusing on the needs of their team…things such as empowerment, compensation, training, communication, coaching, listening, respecting, and motivating employees. All too often owners spend most of their time working in their businesses and don’t spend enough time focused on their employees and they don’t understand the power of their company culture.
In working with owners, I focus them on proactively creating a place where people want to work. It needs to:
- be a deliberate process
- to identify the roles and responsibilities of each position,
- to appropriately delegate work to employees,
- to recognize that employees usually have excellent ideas,
- to create a vision for the business,
- to create opportunities for employees to feel like they’re helping people, etc.
There’s so much needed to create a “sticky” company that people won’t leave, but owners need to realize the importance of creating this culture.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Jeff Lovejoy: I would be the fastest runner in the universe. I would be so quick and agile that I’d be gone and back before you blinked an eye
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Jeff Lovejoy: I’ll define 2022 as a successful year when I am helping helping an additional 6 business owners on a weekly or fortnightly basis.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jeff Lovejoy for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jeff Lovejoy or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.