There are over 500 million small to medium business owners (SMBs) on the planet. Sadly, however over 50 million businesses fail each and every year.
How do we stop so many failing? That was the question that occupied most of my flight from London to Sydney. And, with 22 hours in the air, I had a lot of time to think.
Before deciding to build anything new I first decided to examine the current solutions on offer. Where they work and where they fall short.
At the top of the list were ‘Business Coaches.’ Give a struggling business owner the right advice and they’ll avoid possibly unseen pitfalls. Plus, show them the right way and they’ll rise to their potential.
It’s a worthy profession and a much-needed approach.
However, as great as ‘Business Coaches’ are, I couldn’t help but start to see their limitations. Slight problem for me (because I’m one of them), but I decided to push on. After all, this is an issue that demands our very best.
So here was my list of the problems associated with business coaches:
1. High Cost – When it comes to business coaches you pay for what you get. The really good ones know they’re good and they charge accordingly. Plus, when you consider the fact that half of the world’s entrepreneurs still live on less than $20 per day, they simply can’t afford the help they so desperately need.
2. Very Limited – If you are lucky enough to afford a business coach, and they just so happen to be in your area, you are doing well if you can meet with them once a month. That means if you have an issue, between sessions, you’ll be sitting on it for some time.
3. Not Specific – When you get an advisor or coach, you’ll quickly realize they’re most likely a generalist. They know a little bit of knowledge about lots of topics but ask them ‘how do I run Facebook Ads?’ or ‘what POS system should I use?’ and 99% will have no idea.
4. Not Scalable – Say you do find a business coach within your budget and they are willing to help. You are one of the lucky ones. Sadly there are hundreds of millions of others that are still forced to tough it out on their own. Quite simply, there aren’t enough advisors to go round.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Next on my ‘not-currently-working-options’ list were: Books, YouTube Videos, Meet-Ups and Networking Groups. All offer something a little different, but again, all have their drawbacks.
So time to look for a new solution. One that was fit for our modern world.
As I leaned back in my chair, I began to realise that the only way you could provide unlimited, free, specific and scalable advice was if, it was… not human.
From this brainwave, I mentally leaped over to a subject I first learn about in school, Artificial Intelligence (AI).
First, it’s worth dropping any Hollywood-style notions of AI and no, we don’t need to worry about The Terminator coming to life anytime soon.
Quite simply AI is a field of computer science that is aimed at programming computers to do things that are normally done by people — in particular, things associated with people acting intelligently.
As I was taught, AI is going to play an important role in the advancement of every industry. The promise is that it will reduce costs, save time and even save lives.
So I began to think about how AI could help my industry and give millions of business owners their own personal business coach. The possibilities got me very excited. I decided, when I land in Sydney, I will follow this through.
That plane ride was two years ago and that’s why I’m so very pleased to announce we have launched BRiN, the world’s first artificially intelligent business advisor.
Now it’s possible to get unlimited 24/7 advice to grow your business. But best of all we can now provide our service at scale. That means we can now provide human-like coaching to every entrepreneur on the planet, all at the same time.
At this point, you may be wondering if there’s room for other players in the market and are there other niches where artificial intelligence can be applied. The answer is a resounding, yes and yes!
I believe, in the future, there are going to be hundreds of AI-powered digital assistants. There will be ones for; customer service, booking flights, tax advice, medical diagnosis and more.
However, closer to home, within five years many of these assistants will come in the form of coaches that can help you do just about anything. There will be digital;
- Career Counselors
- Weight Loss Coaches
- Health Trainers
- Financial Planners
- Study Tutors
- Relationship Coaches
- And Industry Specific Business Advisors
Upon hearing this, I want you to now become consciously aware of your gut reaction. Like with all forms of change, some people see the threat while others see opportunity.
If you feel threatened in some way, let me say this. Overall, this is a good thing for society. Remember, in most segments, only one to three percent of the population engage the services of a coach.
With artificial intelligence at work, I suspect these numbers will remain consistent and they may even grow. Because the rest of society will now be able to try coaching services for the first time, albeit through digital means. Then once people get results and experience benefits, naturally many of them will seek to upgrade to a more personal service.
Now to the ones that see opportunity. As you know, there are a lot of people on the planet – around eight billion or so. And the vast majority have never had the means and therefore the opportunity to seek professional assistance.
However, soon the internet will be beamed to another three billion people on the planet and mobile phones will soon cost less than $10 to produce. This means a big opportunity for those that are brave enough to build new platforms and experiences.
So, how does one take the first step towards this not so distant future? Here is my five-point plan.
1. Start with YouTube – The first video you need to watch is titled ‘Humans Need Not Apply’. It’s a mini-documentary, which clearly displays the future and it explains why it’s closer than you think. Next search ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and see where it takes you.
2. Chat with Chatbots – Go to Google and type in ‘best messenger bots’ from there follow the links and start a conversation. You’ll find bots like ‘Pancho’ that bring you the weather and ‘ABC news’ which gives you the news in a conversational way. Find what you like about them and find their weaknesses. These are things you’ll need to know for the next phase.
3. Find a Big Problem – Think of the problem that you help people solve. How big is it and how many people have it? If you’re highly specialized and the total market is in the hundreds or thousands, you might just need to stick to your knitting. However, if your work can help millions, you should proceed.
4. Start Mapping – Many coaches are good at what they do, but they aren’t consciously aware of how exactly they generate their results. For you to train a digital assistant, this has to change. From now on begin documenting all of your philosophies and methodologies.
5. Find Your Window – When you feel that you’ve finally codified your processes and bottled your magic, you may be ready to build. At this point seek out a mentor and pay them for a plan to follow. Note, building a digital assistant is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re ready to change the world, this may be your path.
So there you have it. My five steps to learn more and get started today.
Finally, I’d like to invite you to download my product called BRiN. Right now it’s free and it’s jam packed with amazing content. To access go to http://brin.ai and follow the links to your respective App store. Once on your phone use it every day for a week and experience for yourself how it helps you improve your life.
Thanks for reading and I wish you the best on your journey to coaching success.
Dale Beaumont is the CEO of Business Blueprint and the author of 16 books, which have sold over a quarter of a million copies. More recently Dale and his team developed Brin (http://brin.ai), the world’s first artificially intelligent business advisor. Available as a smart-phone app, Dale’s goal is to provide personalized education and human-like support to millions of entrepreneurs, all at the same time. To find out more about Dale Beaumont and his current projects, go to: http://dalebeaumont.com.