Dave Sinclair is a business and life coach

He was once the co-owner of a multinational corporation. He worked fifteen-hour days and spent money on lavish vacations and fancy cars. But he felt stuck, trapped in the rat race, disconnected from his family, and himself.

Predictably, he suffered a burnout that forced him to make meaningful changes in his life. He sold his stakes in the company, checked himself into a meaning- and purpose-based treatment facility, and pursued his MBA to become a business and life coach. 

Now, Dave helps other men find their true values. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to achieve that. It takes hard work, and Dave does not pretend otherwise. He strongly believes that it is high time we had a conversation around the feelings of alienation that keep men today from being their best selves.

Dave is certified to deliver the iEQ9 Enneagram personality test, which was integral to his understanding of his blind spots and how he might go on autopilot.

In his upcoming book, Numb?, available March 2, 2021, Dave emboldens his readers to be the alchemist of their lives, by using a 4-stage Step Back process.

Dave lives on an acreage outside of Edmonton, Alberta with his wife Gaylene, two dogs, and two cats.

What is Business Transitions Plus all about?

I coach people to help them bring clarity to their lives and their business. My job is to help people define their true values, and tap into those as the way forward, whether it’s in their personal lives, or their professional lives. But I don’t want to be just another productivity coach, because life is not all about the hustle. You have to learn to step back, walk away from the BS, to allow yourself to tap into what truly matters to you. The problem isn’t that you want too much; the problem is you don’t want it all; the question is, what is your all? That is how I developed the 4-stage step back process, which was a game-changer in my own life.

Tell us a little bit about your background – how you ended up in this career? 

A decade ago, I was the co-owner of a multinational company. I was making the big bucks, spending my money on fast cars and lavish vacations. But after years of pulling 15-hour days, I just burned out. I thought my issues came from my business, so I sold it. But then, left alone with myself, with no idea how to move forward, I started spiralling out of control. I drank too much, and one morning I woke up in a drunk tank. That was my rock bottom. 

I checked myself into a meaning- and purpose-based treatment centre for men, and I realized that I wasn’t alone. Men from all walks of life were taught to suppress their emotions so much that they ended up completely disconnected from themselves and their loved ones. So after rehab, I started my coaching practice because I wanted to help men who felt stuck as I did. I wanted to help them realize they don’t have to go it alone.

What was the biggest problem you encountered starting up and how did you overcome it?

The biggest problem I encountered was my own self-limiting beliefs (imposter syndrome is only one example). How did I overcome it? I had to work at defining my 4-stage step back process, and living it out in my life so that I could help people out in their own lives.

What are some of the Do’s and Don’ts’s of being a business/success Coach? 

DO listen with your two ears. Listen more, and talk less. The client will be able to find their answers if you just hold space for them and focus on following the thread they are starting to weave. Only when you truly listen can you point out your client’s blind spots and help them break out of their self-limiting beliefs.

DON’T assume what’s right for you will be right for someone else. Don’t let your biases get in the way of someone tapping into what is important to them. I am a certified Enneagram coach. The Enneagram is a personality test that teaches you that we don’t all come from the same assumptions and ideas. One man’s medicine is another man’s poison.

DO whatever you do with purpose and passion. Have a good sense of your overall vision in life and understand how the little things you do every day lead you to your passion (or sometimes, away from it). Only by doing the deep work yourself will you be able to properly point the way to your clients, because you can only go so far with a client as you’re willing to go with yourself.

DON’T rely on someone else to figure out your definition of success. Having processes to follow is great, but don’t become so tied to them that you don’t have the flexibility to find your way. Create your methods, trust yourself, and empower your clients to do the same for themselves.

Do you have any other projects or businesses you are working on? 

I’m working on two things that I’m excited about. My first one is Numb?, the book that maps out my 4-stage step back process. It will be released March 2, 2021, and I am already working on a follow-up. 

The second key initiative I am working on is a Facebook private men-only group called Today’s Real Man Tribe. As I mentioned before, when I went to rehab I realized just how many men struggle with the self-limiting belief that they have to do everything themselves. I want to start a community of men to foster more genuine connections. And it starts with this group, where men share resources that have helped them get unstuck.

How do you stay driven and motivated to keep going in your business?  

I stay motivated by following my process of defining what I truly want. What I do in my business is a stepping stone towards my ultimate goals in life. I do everything I do with my values in mind. By seeing the process unfold in my clients and by seeing them find their definition of success, I am living out my true purpose. There isn’t anything more rewarding than that.

What is the one thing you wish you knew before starting your career as a coach?

The power of active listening is a big one. The client needs to be allowed to find their solution. Your job is not to come up with a ready-made solution, because letting your client come up with their solutions that are custom-fit to them will have more meaning. Going slower in order to go faster is key. The four-stage step back process is made up of four simple questions because no answer is going to be the same for everyone. There are only so many questions people can ask you. You need to start asking yourself these questions.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to gain new clients?

Word of mouth is the most effective marketing strategy there is. When you deliver value, and your clients see success in your coaching, they’re going to share it. It’s that simple. It starts with happy customers.

When is the ideal time for a new entrepreneur to hire a business coach? 

The best time is yesterday. The next best time is right now. If you are starting a business, your best time to hire a coach is right now, to help you figure out what you want out of it. I’ve talked to people who had a business project, and when I talked with them they realized they didn’t want to start a business after all, and that’s okay. It saved them a lot of grief in the long run, and I consider that a success.

What are some of the reasons you would refuse or stop working with a client? 

The only reason I would refuse a client or stop working with them is if they aren’t willing to do the real, deep work, plain and simple. A lot of people just want a magic bullet but they’re not willing to do the work. Coaching is not for these people until they realize that the work has to come from them.

What is your definition of success? 

That’s the big question behind my book Numb?, which could be described as a roadmap to finding your definition of success. My idea of success is unique to me and it should be unique to you. Someone who grew up on a farm won’t have the same definition of an ideal life as someone who grew up in the city. Astronauts, scuba divers, athletes, truck drivers, entrepreneurs, chefs, all have different metrics for what success means to them as individuals both within their work and their lives outside of work.

Success encompasses all aspects of your life, not just the money you have in the bank or the materialistic things you surround yourself with. It can be a part of it, sure! But if you don’t also include your wellbeing and the connections you make along the way, it won’t really be a success.

Find what lights you up, and know that it will be different from what lights up the other people around you and that you want it to be different. We’re not unique in that we are all looking for success, but we are unique in what our definition of that success is.

What are three things most clients have in common? 

First, most clients that come to me think they are somehow defective if they can't do it all themselves.

Second, they are all searching for something more, but they don't know what that more is.

Third, they are craving connection to themselves, to others, to the things that bring meaning to their lives, but they don't know that's what they're looking for. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and asking for help, is scary. Especially for my male clients. That's a big reason why I started Today's Real Man Tribe. I want men to see the value in helping one another.

What’s your best piece of advice for people who are just starting their coaching business?

Do the deeper work yourself. For reasons I’ve mentioned above, that is the most important thing if you want to provide value to your clients. Another piece of advice, is to find people to mentor with, practice with, and give yourself the permission to be messy and to make mistakes sometimes. And a last piece of advice: take a formal coaching certification.

What is your favourite quote?

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

I think that’s incredibly powerful and inspiring, and it points to the proper mindset to overcome situations we think are insurmountable.

How can readers get in touch with you?

I encourage you to reach out on my website, and to read my book Numb?. And if you are a man, I encourage you to join Today’s Real Man Tribe on Facebook, where I am very active.


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