AMA Renowned Business Coaches and Entrepreneurs Share Strategies for Crafting Quality Company Culture!

Jun 13, 2018

Hi, we’re Kay & Shi! Sisters, moms, business owners, speakers, trainers, and coaches - we do it all! And while we’d love to say that it’s easy, the truth is that maintaining a high-quality culture in a company can be a serious struggle, especially when you’ve got as much goin’ on as we do.

We’re here to share the strategies we’ve learned over the years from our own experiences and from our consulting clients on how to define and live by the values you set for your company. Go ahead, ask us anything!


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In your experience, what are the characteristics of successful company cultures?
Jun 18, 8:19AM EDT0
What are the steps to build a strategic leadership-development program within your growing company?
Jun 18, 7:42AM EDT0
What three tools (apps, books, podcasts, etc.) would you recommend to people trying to start their own businesses?
Jun 17, 12:20PM EDT0
Has being entrepreneurs affected your family life in any way? Why or why not?
Jun 17, 3:11AM EDT0
Who are your greatest inspirations in life and why?
Jun 17, 2:02AM EDT0
Have you experienced failure in your careers? What have you learned from it?
Jun 16, 7:04AM EDT0

What are some common pitfalls you see when entrepreneurs setup their business culture?

Jun 15, 12:48PM EDT0
What’s most challenging about being a business coach?
Jun 14, 4:59AM EDT0

The hardest part is watching others sit with their frustrations, challenges, pains and dreams and not acting on them when you’ve equipped and encouraged them with the right next steps. Being on the outside looking in what it takes to get them to where they want to go can be so obvious, and often simple but that certainly doesn’t make it easy. Most people intrinsically already know what the right things to do are, the job of the coach is to get them to act on it and be consistent with that action.

Jun 14, 1:41PM EDT0
Does one have to consult with you in-person or do you consultation sessions online too?
Jun 14, 4:44AM EDT0

We do it all! We love to visit with folks in person, on google hangout or over the phone.

Jun 14, 1:41PM EDT0
Any plans to release a book about your business experience?
Jun 13, 10:05PM EDT0

We definitely see a book (or 12) in our future! Hoping to see that happen in the next 3 years!

Jun 14, 1:41PM EDT0
Does one have to own his own business before becoming a business coach?
Jun 13, 6:59PM EDT0

In our opinion yes. Taking a course on how to be a business coach is a good step, but nothing teaches like experience and quite frankly we wouldn’t hire a business coach who didn’t have experience. However experience can be working with entrepreneurs or under them or in top leadership capacities. Doesn’t necessarily mean you had to be the owner but have experience in business and leadership. We believe that coaches should coach to others who are either equal to where they are success wise, or are where they have been. As a coach it’s about being a guide on a trail you’ve already walked.

Jun 14, 1:40PM EDT0
Have you gotten any formal business education prior to being business owners and coaches?
Jun 13, 2:31PM EDT0

YES! Both of us are John Maxwell Team certified speakers, trainers and coaches, Kay has received marketing training directly from Facebook and Shila has her Masters Degree in Sociology with a bachelors in Psychology-both which apply to business more than you would think! However our most valuable learning has come from experience and from mentors. We would say if someone doesn’t have formal training that’s a-okay but what they have to have is the hunger and desire to self teach and be resourceful to figure things out.

Jun 13, 4:07PM EDT0
What are the founding principles for developing a good company culture?
Jun 13, 1:03PM EDT0

Our founding principles for developing good company culture are to be compassionate yet firm, committed yet flexible and engage in empowering your people to be better humans. Oh and if you can do all of this perfectly let us know, cause it’s a daily work in progress!

Jun 13, 1:20PM EDT0
How do you handle difficult clients especially those who are very impatient with results?
Jun 13, 11:20AM EDT0

The best way to handle difficult or impatient clients is to get extremely specific about what you do, what the anticipated result is and what the cost is to them. This includes ensuring you know your hourly rate and how many edits they can give you on a particular project. Be extremely specific about your work and timing in the contracting phase. Remembering that the client isn’t always right but that they are always the client. It’s your job to understand them and their issues, not their job to understand yours. You’re there, and getting paid to serve them. Keeping that mindset helps, but beyond that reminding them of other times in their lives when they were successful and asking them how long it took and what the process was. If they can see progress they will be happier so setting up some early achievable goals along the road to the big goals helps keep people feeling satisfied and motivated. Also, making sure to understand that what you put in you get out, so are they really doing absolutely everything they should be doing every single day? Helping them be accountable to their results and actions.  One of the hardest hints about agency life is dealing with clients. Ultimately though if they don’t act on what they should, complain about the process and are generally negative we’d rather not work with them, and each business or agency has to decide when it’s right for them to ‘fire’ clients. 

Last edited @ Jun 13, 12:27PM EDT.
Jun 13, 12:22PM EDT0
Do you have more females consulting with you or are there just as many males?
Jun 13, 3:28AM EDT0

In terms of our workforce and leadership we have a good mix of females and males, though it is weighted in the femail direction. For our clients we have just about 50/50 which has sometimes surprised us. We originally thought we would primarily resonate with ladies, but when given an equal mix audience we tend to book clients right down the middle. It seems that whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re really just looking for people who know where you’re trying to go and how to help get you there, and who have an energy and style that speak to you. It’s great to see the energy shifting in that direction!

Jun 13, 12:14PM EDT0
What businesses do you currently run today?
Jun 12, 6:20PM EDT0

We own and operate the breakfast and lunch concept called the Squeeze In. It is a restaurant chain in Northern CA and Northern NV with 5 locations. We own and operate the Squeeze In franchise company for the Squeeze In which currently has 3 locations open, 2 locations in construction and 6 more on the books. We own and operate YoungSocial our marketing and events agency where we produce the bi-annual John Maxwell Team event in Orlando with over 2,000 people in attendance at each event. We are also marketing mentors for the John Maxwell Team and teach and coach members of that group in our MarketSmart Pro courses. We also operate our Kay and Shi brand out of YoungSocial selling our Restaurant coaching and training programs, as well conduct workshops, provide speaking and business success coaching and training.

Jun 13, 12:14PM EDT0
Do you ever feel discriminated against as women in the business industry?
Jun 12, 4:41PM EDT0

To say we don’t feel anything would be a lie, but in honesty we have it better than many. Firstly being women business partners and leaders makes our own business easy to avoid discrimination. When out dealing with others in the industry we often see the looks of concern or disbelief when we first are introduced. When we say we are the co-owners of the Squeeze In restaurants everyone asks us: Oh which one? And then there’s that awkward moment of explaining that we own all of them and the franchise company. Based on our age and gender it seems many are in disbelief that we could be capable of that level of responsibility and success. During meetings we’ve noticed that if there is a man with us from our team (one of our husbands or managers), others will primarily address the man, even if it’s us that is doing most of the talking. That can be very frustrating and demeaning, but also eye opening to the underlying social structures and habits that we can all work to replace.

Jun 13, 12:14PM EDT0
What consulting and coaching services do you offer? Are you strategies aimed for a specific type of business? How can businesses contact you?
Jun 12, 10:13AM EDT0

We specialize in business consultants, speakers and coaches as well as restaurant owners, managers and leaders. Between these two groups we have more than 80 individuals and organizations that we work with directly. We have specialized knowledge and credentials in marketing (social media, public relations and networking), we are formally educated in social psychology have a passion for personal development, and have many teachings from the lessons learned the hard way that apply to the general business sector (labor, scheduling, costing, permitting, franchising, HR issues etc). Many of the strategies overlap but understanding the nuance of a particular industry helps create specific action plans that will treat actual causes rather than just the symptoms or help take the individual from not bad to badass.

Jun 13, 9:33AM EDT0
How do you encourage your clients to have a work attitude that empowers more authenticity and less perfection?
Jun 12, 8:08AM EDT0

If they are the leader then it’s about creating an environment where people aren’t afraid to fail and make mistakes, feel encouraged to ask questions and give honest feedback, and be willing to take responsibility for their part and work to improve. Always starts at the top and the leader themselves. That means sometimes saying to your team: I messed up. Or conversely telling others “You messed up and I’m here to help you pick apart the lesson and then course correct together.” Sometimes it means being vulnerable and others it means not letting your emotions rule your business. If the individual is not the leader of their organization then being more authentic in their work attitude focuses on personal standards and values orientation, and teaching proper communication strategies and skills to navigate their particular work environment.  

Jun 13, 9:32AM EDT0
How do you manage your time being all the things you are plus full time career women?
Jun 12, 3:08AM EDT0

We are intentional about how we spend our time, and intentional about how it gets parceled out and distributed. Delegating as much of our weakest areas to others with complementary strengths is key to our success. We have a team, a support system and each other. We also strive to be as disciplined as possible with our time so that when we come up on the parts of our schedule that say vacation, or park with kids or day trip to Tahoe, that we can fully imerse and enjoy those moments too. Most days it means up at 5:30 to get workouts in before morning emails and kid time. It also means working lunches and often a second round of emails and general work housekeeping things after the kids go to bed. We also schedule time for big creative projects and for plan making and that helps the mundane of the day to day stuff not become the focus of our lives. Who wants to live in their inbox?  

Jun 13, 9:32AM EDT0
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