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Member Spotlight: Sue Brenner

by John Keathley on March 8, 2013 in Customer Focus,High Performance,Interviews

Is productivity important to your business? Sure it is! Imagine how important it is in Silicon Valley, California, the technology capital of the world. In the high-stakes world cutting-edge innovation, productivity is essential. Our Mark Hoover Training member spotlight this month is on Sue Brenner, a trainer, performance coach and entrepreneur. Sue’s business, Practical Productivity Solutions, delivers high-impact trainings on productivity, communication and project management locally to clients in her back yard of Silicon Valley and across the globe.

How did you get started as a professional trainer and coach?
Over 15 years ago, I had the good fortune of having my career find me. Just out of a graduate program, I got a job in a management consulting company. There I discovered the whole world of learning and development. In three years, I worked my way up to a management position and have been in the industry ever since.

What is it about your business that excites and motivates you daily?
I love working with people and bringing out their greatest potential through training and performance coaching. My focus is on giving people practical techniques, such as how to get buy-in on a project, that they can apply right away to be more productive, successful and satisfied on the job.

How do your clients work with you?
I lead groups of about 20-30 people in classroom settings at the client’s site, by webinar, through eLearning—or all three. In interactive settings I enjoy observing people interacting and adding their ideas to the group process. I like seeing and hearing the insight “light bulbs” fire off!

I also provide on-going performance coaching to clients both individually and in small groups. What I love about coaching is the opportunity to shine a light on people’s potential and support them in going beyond what they previously thought was possible. For example, one manager used communication techniques to stand up to two low-performing employees. Once she set clear, fair expectations, her employees turned their attitudes around, they saw the importance of their work, and customer service improved.

As a business owner, what challenges do you face?
One of the greatest challenges to my business or any business is being what I call a “working entrepreneur”— finding time to work on the business, not just do the day-to-day work of being a performance coach and trainer.

As a member of Mark Hoover Training, I’ve been able to take a step back and take a look at the big picture of my business, which enables me to see growth opportunities. My training sessions with Mark are focused on ways to leverage existing clients and expand my consultant/contractor base. Last year, Mark and I developed a strategy to generate business during the “slow season” of July – August and November – December. Rolling out this strategy led us to be booked solid during historically slow periods.

I began working with Mark after the Ignite Your Business 2-Day Intensive. The best part of the intensive was having the workshop culminate into a one-page marketing-centric business plan that was practical and easy to apply.

I believe in coaching, and as a performance coach, it’s important for me to walk the talk and have my own. I’ve worked with five coaches over the years and I can honestly say Mark Hoover is the best. Mark has proven business experience and offers practical tips that I can use right away. He doesn’t give me an abstract theory. He’s also warm, funny and he holds me accountable with just the right balance of challenge and support.

What else have you gained from your Mark Hoover Training membership?
I loved my life and my business before, and I’m enjoying it even more today after becoming a member. I’m able to accelerate business results, while still enjoying other parts of my life, such as vacationing with family, playing tennis, and volunteering. I’m now expanding beyond what I previously thought was possible.

I recommend Mark Hoover Training to small business owners who want to go beyond perpetual start-up mode and who are ready for the accountability and action it takes to thrive. The value of having a trainer is that you get a sounding board, advice and specific direction. With Mark, you don’t have to “go it alone” in your business. He’s right there to lend a hand as you move forward.

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