Charlie Gaudet heads a global network of coaches, trained in his proven methodology, whom he deploys to help YEC members identify and capitalize on their core strengths to grow revenue and innovate. The author of The Predictable Profits Playbook: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Dominating Any Market And Staying On Top, Gaudet has the hands-on experience that gives his business coaching methods power and credibility.
Since he was a child selling artwork to his neighbors, Gaudet has been an entrepreneur. Straight out of Babson College — well known for educating future entrepreneurs — he started a pet insurance company which was nominated by Ernst and Young as one of the nation’s best seed stage companies.
“Unfortunately, in 2001 the market fell out from underneath us and we weren’t able to formally launch,” says Gaudet. He went from riding high to having his venture funding pulled, and being forced to shutter the company before it had made a single sale. But that didn’t stop him from getting back on the horse.
Next, he started a real estate development and sales company and that company very nearly killed him. He was a million dollars in debt, waking up at 3:00 a.m. every morning, and “working every waking hour of the day, seven days a week. That’s what I always believed was the secret to success.” But going full-tilt would take its toll on Gaudet.
“Many business owners are driven to achieve, or to be strong and self-reliant,” Gaudet says. “But if they're working with an employee whose primary unconscious motivators are to be needed and appreciated, and they’re trying to motivate them in the same way that they are motivated, then they may be inadvertently triggering dysfunctional behavior.”
“One day, I was driving home and all of the sudden, I got this shooting pain going all the way from the base of my spine all the way into my head,” he recalls. “I was looking over the dashboard, seeing my house a quarter mile away and realized I’m not going to make it home.” He made it to the emergency room, where he was told that he was killing himself with stress. “I knew I had to change something,” he says. “It really boiled down to finding ways to work smarter, not harder. It was from that mind shift that I was able to take my business from being in well over a million dollars worth of debt to paying that debt off and then creating my first multimillion dollar business.” He then used his earnings from the real estate operation to start a proprietary stock market investment company. That company, he says, taught him the importance of creating systems.
Drawing on the lessons he learned throughout his entrepreneurial journey, including a year traveling with business strategy guru Tony Robbins, Gaudet started his own coaching company in 2010. Now, as Senior Business Coach for [Forbes Councils/YEC/Leadership Trust] exclusive coaching benefit for members, he teaches entrepreneurs and executives how to work smarter rather than harder. “I learned personal development strategies and psychology from Tony and studied billionaire and centi-millionaire entrepreneurs, looking for the subtle distinctions that led to their success,” he says.
He leverages that knowledge for YEC members and others. “We worked with an agency that was doing just under a million a year and three years later, they had grown to $24.1 million, made it to the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for three years, and still remain on the growth track,” says Gaudet. He also helped improve earnings per lead for a B2B training company from $7.20 to over $46.09, and at another company, Gaudet says he coached the head of business development to build new systems and motivate the sales team to produce revenue that was 120% over the company’s goals. “We coach executives because that's one of the best investments that a leader can make — to grow your team along with yourself,” says Gaudet.
Leaders, he says, often fall into the trap of assuming that what motivates them will also motivate their team members. “Many business owners are driven to achieve, or to be strong and self-reliant,” Gaudet says. “But if they're working with an employee whose primary unconscious motivators are to be needed and appreciated, and they’re trying to motivate them in the same way that they are motivated, then they may be inadvertently triggering dysfunctional behavior.”
At the heart of Gaudet’s methodology is a system he calls OSI, which stands for optimization, systemization, and innovation. “The first step is to look for all the areas of momentum in your business and how to maximize those,” he says. That’s somewhat counterintuitive, he notes, since many business owners and executives seeking growth think they need to start something new. Next comes systemization. “We’re juggling a million different balls and limiting growth because our business becomes far too dependent on us,” he says. The right systems — whether that involves new technology, new hires, or better delegation — can help CEOs and executives keep the business running without micromanaging. Innovation, which is where many business owners want to start, comes last. “That’s where we create brand new profit centers,” says Gaudet.
Gaudet practices what he preaches. There are no more 3:00 a.m. alarms, and working 24/7 is a thing of the past. By applying his system to his business, he has created time for his family — he has three children, aged 6, 10, and 13 — and for healthy outside interests, such as Jujitsu and wrestling.