Phil Castle, The Business Times
Clearly, it’s fun being Marcus Straub.
Straub is founder and chief executive officer of a Grand Junction-based coaching and consulting firm called, appropriately enough, Life is Great! The Coaching Institute recently selected him as its 2011 International Coach of the Year.
In addition to coaching and consulting, Straub has developed training programs and delivers motivational speeches. He’s written one book, is in the process of writing another and has produced a 21-day CD program.
“This is the happiest I’ve ever been,” Straub said matter-of-factly during an interview at a local coffee shop where he often meets with clients.
The question Straub invariably asks his clients is whether or not they’re happy and if it’s fun being them.
The answer is often no and constitutes the beginning of a process in which Straub helps them exert greater control over their thoughts, actions, words and feelings as a way to create greater happiness and success and more fulfilling lives.
Straub frequently works with business owners who’ve launched ventures in search of more freedom and financial security, but haven’t yet found either. In finding ways to create situations in which customers and team members win, so do owners, he said.
Straub started his business seven years ago to share with clients the techniques he developed from research and his own experiences.
His early life, studies and work took him to Oregon, California, Idaho and ultimately Colorado. He studied history, philosophy, political science and sociology. He worked in construction and financial services and for four years ran rivers in Western Colorado as a whitewater rafting guide.
Straub said he also spent a lot of time thinking about why he was happy one moment, but sad the next. He wondered whether or not there was a way to get off what he termed an emotional roller coaster and enjoy a more consistently happy life.
Straub said he came to realize that thoughts and emotions can quickly change from positive to negative, even when other circumstances haven’t changed.
By being more aware of what he was thinking and feeling, Straub said he was able to catch himself thinking negative thoughts and experiencing negative feelings and to stop them. He applied the same techniques to what he was doing and saying with similar results.
He realized he could gain control over what he was thinking, doing, saying and feeling and in the process choose to enjoy a happier life. “I discovered I didn’t have to be at the mercy of the world or my own negative thoughts.”
Straub developed his techniques into what he calls TDSF — a coaching tool that empowers others to take charge of their own lives and create what they want.
Straub said he tailors his coaching techniques to his clients, their unique situations and what they define as success. The end result is not to make them dependent on coaching, he said, but learn how to do it themselves. “I teach people how to be their own coach.”
The experience has been rewarding, he said. “I absolutely love working with people. I love watching the light come on.”
Since launching his coaching and consulting firm in 2004, the business has grown quickly in terms of his client base as well as the services and products he offers them, Straub said.
Straub works with people not only from the Grand Valley, but through the telephone and Internet, also people from around the country. He works with individuals as well as business owners, companies and organizations.
Straub has achieved success by another measure in that his clients have nominated him for the Coaching Institute International Coach of the Year award for three consecutive years. Straub was one of three finalists for the award in 2010 and recently was selected by an independent panel of judges from around the globe as the unanimous winner for 2011. Straub was selected from a total of more than 200 coaches in nine countries.
Straub wrote and published a book about his coaching techniques titled “Is it Fun Being You? The Journey to Lasting Happiness.” He’s in the process of writing a second book. He also has developed customer service and leadership training programs, among other products.
The coaching techniques that help people gain more control over their lives and happiness also work for businesses, Straub said. “There’s a tremendous amount of similarity. After all, what makes up business? People.”
While entrepreneurs usually start new ventures to enjoy more freedom and financial security, they end up creating instead operations that remain entirely dependent on them doing their jobs, Straub said. Owners will never gain freedom and success until they learn how to lead a team rather than run a business, he added.
Owners often encounter difficulty in hiring good managers and effectively communicating with managers and team members, Straub said. Owners remain authoritative bosses rather than become empowering mentors.
But in making the workplace more fun and rewarding for team members, customer service improves and the business itself becomes more successful, Straub said.
And ultimately, it becomes fun to be the owner of that kind of business, he said. “It’s so fun to be that person. It’s very fulfilling.”
Life is Great! has scheduled an event to celebrate the selection of Marcus Straub as the Coaching Institute 2011 International Coach of the Year.
The event is set for 1 p.m. Dec. 3 at Traders Coffee & Tea, 666 Patterson Road in Grand Junction. The event will include a book signing and opportunity to meet and talk with Straub.
For more information about the event or Life is Great!, call 208-3150 or log on to www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.