Business Coach Tracy Thrower-Conyers

It helps to have someone remind you how fun the tough business world can be.

By Mike Besack

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a business attorney of 15 years, Tracy Thrower-Conyers hasseen her share of rough waters vis-à-vis the business world.Through the years, entrepreneurs-from start-ups to veterans-havesought out her counsel regularly, and time and again, she'soffered this advice: Have more fun. About a year ago,Thrower-Conyers decided to put this mantra to good use by slicingher attorney life in half and becoming a part-time business coach.Her Los Angeles-based company, Entrepreneurial Options,encourages entrepreneurs to identify the things they enjoy mostabout their businesses and then come up with ways to make theirbusinesses run more smoothly. How do yougo about helping your clients rediscover the fun in theirbusinesses?

Tracy Thrower-Conyers: Weidentify what it is that got them into business in the first placeand get them [to focus] on that part and [delegate] out the partsthat aren't fun. We sit down with clients and identify theirstrengths and weaknesses and help eliminate the weaknesses. Thegoal is to have the client working less and making more with theircompany. It's interesting because people always pick up on thefun. Isn't that why entrepreneurs go into business? That'swhat I hope. That's why I'm doing it. I am living thatphilosophy. That's the product of my 15-year career as acomplex business attorney. We put the fun into being anentrepreneur. Being in business for oneself should be fun,don't you think?

"We put the fun into being an entrepreneur.Being in business for oneself should be fun, don't youthink?" What areentrepreneurs' typical concerns?

Thrower-Conyers: I canprobably lump the clients into two categories. Some are clients whostarted a business and aren't having fun, getting burned outand don't know why. They go after it and don't understandthat some of the aspects of running a business are aspects thatmaybe aren't that much fun. They come to me to get back ontrack. There's also a clump of clients who enjoy their businessalready but are simply looking for a fresh look of expanding theirbusiness. We look at what obstacles they're looking at. What areasdo you think entrepreneurs need the most assistance with?

Thrower-Conyers: I'mseeing that it's about getting in touch with their values andfiguring out if they're living those values. It's reallyeasy to get away from if you're not careful. [You could bemaking] a lot of money, but what if that means the [work]doesn't line up with your value system? It may not work foryou, no matter what you're getting paid and no matter whatperks there are. Do you seea common thread among the clients you advise?

Thrower-Conyers: [Again,] alot of it does come down to values. If people are not being true tothemselves, they are just not going to want to get out of bed inthe morning and take care of business. People who are not beingtrue to themselves are just not having fun with life. I try toalways have a smile on my face.

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