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Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the CEO of Real Life E, CEO meaning Chief Encouragement Officer of course! Real Life E is a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to accomplish more with peace and confidence through the exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process.
Corporations love Real Life E because the company also increases team productivity, employee satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.
MO: You started your first business Grace Communications Inc. one year out of college! Wow! Can you tell us more about your entrepreneurial background?
Elizabeth: Absolutely. I am very much an accidental entrepreneur. I had always dreamed of ascending in the corporate world and particularly in the sphere of interior design magazines. But about one year out of university, I found myself in a position that was not the right fit. I took a step of faith and resigned from my job on my one-year anniversary.
Then when I reached out to members of my network about job opportunities, they sent me back offers of contract work. Within a month and a half, I had so many projects that starting a marketing firm instead of looking for another position just made sense.
Over the first few years of my company, business thrived, and I brought on other people to help with projects. However, I didn’t have the structure in place to live a balanced life and to stop working without feeling guilty. This lead me to personally work through the process of developing a business and a life where I felt successful both personally and professionally.
During this time, I also ended up learning more about coaching and training. This lead me to transition into a new business of time coaching and training. With Real Life E, I could empower other people to experience the amazing transformation that had happened in my own life and work.
MO: You mentioned coaching and training on six different continents and working with clients all over the world via skype. Can you offer our readers advice for doing international business without the travel? How do you establish the trust?
Elizabeth: Some of our international reach has involved travel, including me personally putting on training sessions in North America, Asia and Africa. But coaching all happens through phone or skype. In terms of establishing trust internationally, I think it comes down to the same principles that work locally: Be authentic. Be consistent.
Whether someone is down the street or across the ocean, they want to know that your company is the “real deal.” That means consistently communicating a quality message through venues like a blog, e-mail newsletters and guest posts in venues like the99percent.com, Forbes.com, TIME.com and MO.com.
This also means living out the values of communicating promptly with clients, showing up for phone appointments on time, and truly being a blanket of support for clients.
MO: Can you tell us more about the Schedule Makeover™ process?
Elizabeth: Definitely. The Schedule Makeover™ process is based on both my own experience of crafting a peaceful, productive life and through working with clients around the world. In this process, we begin by finding out what’s really going on. The first step to lasting change is honestly revealing how you’re spending your time and what you would truly like to change. Following the initial assessments, which go into detail about everything from when you get up to how you’re allocating your time at work, we start to craft a vision of the ideal schedule.
From there, clients engage in a series of coaching sessions, typically over the course of three to six months, where we work on overcoming the barriers to success and strengthening new habits. Our approach to time coaching is an extremely practical process of working through what’s most important to our clients—from sleeping better to getting through graduate school to completing a big project.
MO: What can the employees expect from the custom training programs to increase team productivity?
Elizabeth: First and foremost, employees can expect a greater degree of communication and clarity. Often times, organizations suffer from a lack of understanding between different employees. There’s usually a few people who really struggle with managing their workload who feel horribly embarrassed and overwhelmed. Then there are other colleagues who feel frustrated and resentful of how these people just can’t get things done.
In our training, we pull back the layers so that there’s a more supportive, understanding environment where everyone can thrive. For the people who really struggle with their time management, we work on strengthening those skills. For the people who feel super frustrated with others, we help them to be more understanding of others’ perspective. And for everyone, we work on developing better systems for work flow and consistent communication about issues before they become problems.
MO: It’s interesting that you specify dealing with people who feel guilt and frustration. Can you tell us more about your clients and why they need your services?
Elizabeth: My clients fall into a couple of broad categories. The first set includes people who have never really known how to manage their time well. No one ever taught them how to organize their time, and it never came to them intuitively. As a result, they feel bad that they can’t do what everyone else seems to accomplish without much effort. They need a great deal of support as they develop these skills from ground zero.
The second set involves individuals who have some basic time management skills but find themselves having to take them to the next level due to a change in their lives. These transitions could include increasing professional responsibility, getting married, having a child, moving to a different part of the world or experiencing an illness. In these situations, people need assistance in adapting to their new reality and developing the skills to thrive.
In all instances, my company works with people who care as much about a life well lived as about increased productivity. My methods not only help people to get more done, but also allow them to experience the inner peace and confidence that really makes them feel satisfied.
MO: You are debt-free and profitable within six years, which is awesome! What is next?
Elizabeth: Thanks! The next step for Real Life E involves a greater focus on products. My vision is a world where the majority of people feel peaceful, confident, accomplished and loved because they’re investing their time wisely so I need to get the word out!
I’m currently talking with agents about my book proposal and developing programs using recorded and written time coaching material.
I see life as an adventure so I can’t wait to see all that’s in store!
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