My name is John Seiffer, and I’m called The Small Business Advisor because I’m only 5ft 6. Obviously I couldn’t make it as a comedian, so I had to find another line of work.
The truth is, I’ve never had a real job. Now that the term “serial entrepreneur” has enough caché, I guess it’s safe to come clean.
My History of Becoming Completely Unemployable
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1979. That’s when I opened my first company. It’s the only one that didn’t make money. By 1993 I had started a few different companies (ones that did make money) and I had become a Remote Control CEO. Something my friend Ron Hart would call an Extra-preneur. It refers to someone who runs a company from living in a different place: kind of like an ex-patriot. To do this, you have to run the company so well it can thrive without your personal presence. In other words, you’ve developed systems for the organization to capture the skills of the people and infuse them throughout the company, so it can keep growing.
In 1994 a client of mine recommended I look into coaching because, she said, I was a natural at it. I’d never heard of it before, it was a brand new profession back then. But when I checked it out, I found I liked it and was good at it. Since then I’ve been helping other business owners to do what I’ve done – systematize their companies so the organization becomes a support to getting what they want, rather than a hindrance.
For a while in the late 1990’s, I was also pretty involved in the coaching profession. I helped found the International Coach Federation and served as Treasurer and in 1998, as President of the International Coach Federation. Last time I checked, it had over 15,000 members in 80 nations.
In 2005 I began investing in startups as an angel investor. I’ve since served on the board of the Angel Investor Forum in Connecticut and in 2012 was elected President.
The CEO Boot Camp is my attempt to share the things I wish someone had shared with me 30 years ago when I started my first company. It’s been an exciting, sometimes terrifying, but overall satisfying and very lucrative adventure since then. I hope the Boot Camp will help you have as much fun and profit in your journey as I’ve had in mine.