Welcome to another article by T1 Growth Academy! My name is Matteo Grosso, and if you want more personal development content in your feed, you can follow me right now on Social Media at matteogrossocoach.
First of all, Happy New Year everyone! How are you guys? I hope 2022 is off to a great start and you are taking part to the January challenge: generating positive momentum for one of your New Year resolutions.
Every year, in the Christmas holidays, I take a few days to connect the dots and plan the year ahead. In this article, I will connect the dots of 2021 with you, and I will share a few learnings that hopefully nudge you to pursue your dreams in 2022.
T1 GROWTH ACADEMY
On March 16th, 2021, after 2.5 years in the Corporate world, I handed over my resignation to my Manager. I wanted to be of greater service to the world and I embarked on what has been the toughest and most exciting journey of my life: building an Academy where people could grow, learn new skills and increase the quality of their lives.
Fast forward 9 months, the future looks bright for T1 Growth Academy.
With 21 Facilitators from 10 countries, we positioned ourselves as a best-in-class, high-end boutique in the European Professional Training & Development space.
The thing I am the most proud of is, with no doubt, the impressive task force of top-notch Junior and Senior Facilitators. We come from USA, Europe and Asia and bring decades of experience in 50+ countries.
Working with a diverse task-force is incredibly important because every client is different.
As much as I am open minded, I realized that no one better than a woman can understand what it means to be a woman in the workplace. No one better than an African American can understand what it means to be black. No one better than an Asian can understand what it means to come from Asia.
The most important thing in coaching is understanding your client. If you do not understand your client, it means that you should not be coaching them.
I am a white, Caucasian, Italian male from a middle-class family who has ambitiously collected one achievement after the other, rocking in any stage of Education and Corporate world. Despite taking all the right steps, I realized I was stuck in a Matrix with only an apparent freedom of choice. I began my search for a higher Purpose and built my self-determined path. I now help others do the same.
That is the client profile I understand. If you tell me what it means being a woman in a male-dominated field, or being part of a minority group in the workplace, I will certainly empathize and be compassionate, but I will never truly understand what it means, because I am not a woman, or part of a minority. Hence, the importance of a diverse task-force of coaches.
A problem I faced when I started the Academy, that I still face, and that I will probably face for quite some time, is that no one knew about my coaching business. This situation is common to all new entrepreneurs.
What is the point of building something cool, if no one knows about it?
I realized that my strong reputation and visibility were not enough, or better, I needed to extend them to my coaching business. In essence, I needed Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations.
I am truly grateful to all the people who saw value in what I was building and invited me to share my story, and the story of the Academy!
I had the privilege of going live on national radio, local television, international press & podcasts and take part to workshops where I helped young professionals unlock their potential.
CEMS Webinar on “Find your Passion. Monetize it. Thrive at work!” where we discussed how to find our calling and monetize it as employees or entrepreneurs with Ana María Cabrales Sentená.
YouTube and Spotify interviews with HOMO FABER - Italia , where I shared the story of my international life and my entrepreneurial idea, Unleash your Potential, with Eleonora Trentini and Mattea Di Nunno Matarrese.
I also had the pleasure of running the “Leadership for Start-ups” coaching program for the three start-up winners of the CEMS Startup Challenge. You will go far, Krisztián Pintér, Jana Schellong, Mihri Minaz, Federico D'Anna, Andrea Tomasello and Vincenzo Scaduto! And finally, I was delighted to offer free time slots for the CEMS Mentoring program with Tom Spackler and the NOVA Mentoring program with Bastian Stech.
All the above sounds great, but being live and visible was not enough.
Advertising is not enough to forge that bond of trust that makes people want to pay for your services! Just because people know that I have an Academy, it does not mean that they will come and pay me, because they may not believe that I am a top professional in this field. They needed tangible proof. What is the secret of selling? I realized that people buy from people, and what I really needed was a positive, genuine word of mouth.
I wrote to 3000+ connections, trying to spread the word about what I was building. When I added that piece of the puzzle, the first results came in. 26 connections working in large and mid-sized corporations across Europe were there for me in a moment of need.
As a result, 8 Italian and Spanish professionals from Salesforce Dublin and Wix Dublin decided to begin my Self Mastery & Transformation program in January 2022. This month I also kicked-off the Leadership & Communication program with a Dutch client based in Israel.
What the public sees is what you have rehearsed countless times when no one was watching.
Finally, after years of studying behind closed doors, after 10 months in the red, I can help others find fulfilment and reinvest part of the profits to support children education projects across the world.
A FEW REFLECTIONS
Here are 10 reflections I would really like to share with you:
Execution is more important than planning.
Instead of thinking about 1000 possible scenarios, start with something and then adjust the trajectory. Do not overthink it!
Do not be afraid of starting something new.
I know this is incredibly difficult, but you must embrace being an imperfect human who aims at perfection.
Do what you love, otherwise you will give up.
I know that many people advise against following your passions, but I truly believe you should do what you love because otherwise, when things get tough, you will give up.
Hadn’t this been exactly what I am supposed to be doing, I would have given up already, because it is not easy to keep going when few support you and you see zero results!
For instance, I sometimes create life-changing content on Social Media and I get 3 likes, while a lady showing her tits and a kid posting bullshit get 100k. I don’t have tits, and I have no interest in dummy jokes. The only thing I can do is keep going and overdeliver.
It's not an easy road, therefore try to find something you are passionate about and you are good at.
Understand you are not for everyone.
My coaching program is not for everyone. Actually, most people aren’t capable of understanding its value, and appreciating it fully, because they lack a growth-mindset and do not invest in their self-development.
At first, I wanted everyone to buy my program, but I then realized I need to select my clients as much as they select me.
In business, being respected and valued as a professional is worth more than being liked and loved.
I love building true and genuine friendships, and I always seek and appreciate advice whenever it is offered to me. Early in the journey, however, I realized that just because someone loves you, it does not mean they will be your client. Someone will pay you only if they believe you are a worthy investment. They will work with you only if they believe you can bring them results.
Remember why you started the journey
What is your end game? Many friends asked me “Why did you stop the Podcast during the Christmas holidays?” The answer is simple, even if it may sound arrogant: “Because I can”. I can take a break whenever I want. I started the journey to have more freedom and spend more time with my loved ones. What’s the point if I work on Christmas? This is the mistake of many entrepreneurs. I never took time off over the past 8 months; it was about time!
Believe you can make a difference, because you can.
The best moment of my journey was when my first client told me: “This has been the most well-spent hour of my entire week”. I could not believe it! We all suffer from imposter syndrome, but believe you can make a difference, because you can.
Do not worry about someone copying you.
Before starting this journey, I planned new content for three years, because I wanted to be sure I had enough material. Besides this, I am growing and learning every day. Stay focused on your journey and, if anyone copies you, consider it a honor! It means you inspired them.
You only need 20 true friends who esteem you, respect you and support you.
As I mentioned above, I contacted over 3000 connections to spread the word about my Academy. Most of them ignored me, and some of them even tried to sabotage me saying I will never make it or that I should stop dreaming. I had 26 friends by my side, and this is all I needed.
Extra piece of advice: Just get started! Here are two examples to inspire you:
At the beginning of 2021, I decided to take control over my finances.
I was fortunate enough to have very knowledgeable friends and coaches who helped me get started, and I then studied for the full month of April because I did not want to launch a business without getting my finances right.
The results are remarkable. My portfolio is up 21% to date, with the highest peak at +28% and the lowest at -5%. For the non-investors, a medium-risk investment portfolio yields 9% in a good year. I made 21% in 9 months. If I succeed at compounding it, I will get to a considerable sum.