Life Coaching For Kids - Bringing Out Their Best Self the Elite Method Way
In this podcast, I am with Mike Dube, who describes himself as that big kid at 50 years old who finally has peace of mind, wisdom, and insight. He is one of those individuals whose career and calling are professionally aligned.
Let us learn more about his life as an owner of a private coaching company, his experiences and challenges, and his successes in building this business. Let his words of wisdom and acts of kindness motivate you.
Tell us what you do.
I have a private coaching company called Elite Method. I do a lot of life coaching for kids and adults alike. I spend a lot of time on a charity called Sharing Seats, which gets tickets and creates experiences and events for families who have kids with special needs, cancer, or going through life challenges.
Did you go to a specific course in school to do this practice?
Although I was a college graduate from Yeshiva University, I was a speech major and I did not have any special course to go into this business. In life coaching, I tell people that the degree they have is not necessarily going to be the field that they go into. As long as you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. To be successful, you have to have hard work, discipline, and vision in other areas.
Give us a background of how you got into the coaching business, and how Elite Method came into being.
As a child, I was always working – selling, waitering, and catering – and always had money in my pocket. Even in college, I was also working.
Then I got involved in our family business. We built a successful outpatient mental health clinic, which was actually a psychiatric daycare center. After 13 years, my parents and I decided to sell the business.
At 35 years old, I had to decide what my next steps would be. As a child, I was very athletic and competitive. With the help of my wife, I decided to be involved with kids' sports.
I started an after-school program called Dube Zone which became very successful. We used the motto: “Strong character, strong bodies.” We serviced 10 to 12 different schools where coaches taught the importance of teamwork, stretching, showing skills and drills, and executing within the game the reality that within sports, you get better when you practice, not when you play.
Through Dube Zone, I developed a private coaching business where we build up kids’ confidence and self-esteem. That led me to establish Elite Method, which is what I am involved in right now. We were able to hire high-end coaches who were psychologists or physical education teachers, and who have a lot of experience with kids.
Elite Method focuses on life coaching for kids, building confidence and self-esteem, but more also on the mental, social, and emotional aspect that every child need. We develop a partnership with the parent with the aim to bring out the best in their child.
How does Elite Method work?
Elite Method is one of a kind business that focuses not only on sports, but also on the physical, social, and emotional well-being of a child. We have a team of coaches and choose the right one to partner with the child based on their specific needs and dynamic is.
We develop a relationship with each child, and they come with their own set of instructions. Generally, a child has a coach assigned to him and they meet once a week.
We meet children face-to-face and one-on-one. When the pandemic happened, we used the virtual method. It was tough to capture a child’s attention over Zoom, but we managed everything well until it came back to the in-person method. Nothing can replace human connection.
Let’s talk about the growth of Elite Method. How is Elite Method now?
We have a strong group of coaches working in the New York and New Jersey areas. They have a great understanding of the messages that Elite Method is trying to convey.
In any business, there’s always a growth process. We experience struggles behind the scenes but we grow because we are always in a fine-tuning process.
We look for these important aspects in our business: first is to know your customer. The second is to be creative. Then we also consider added value - how you add something more to anything that you do.
What are some of the challenges and hurdles you faced in your journey to the growth of Elite Method?
In building this business, I am dealing with parents, families, and everything that comes along with that family, and I am trying to build a connection and a relationship with the child. Every kid comes with a different set of challenges.
I try to bring out the best version of every kid, not to change them but to polish them. I always say to parents that their child is their greatest asset and legacy.
It is challenging if parents are doing the opposite of what we guide and advise them. Parents don’t give enough time to their kids, and that is why these children are so broken and flawed. It’s a good thing that we have good coaches who deal with these different personalities.
Another challenge is being consistent with our message – by sticking to what we are certain of. But sometimes, we need to have courage and fortitude to be malleable.
Some parents send me messages about their kid that I am going to meet, telling me their concerns about the child. I usually keep their message in mind and try to convey it positively. My goal is to bring out the best in that child, and let him talk about his concerns, too.
Share with us your attitude towards your work.
First, you have to develop a work ethic. It is important to focus on the form and safety end of things, and the benefits of working out and staying in shape. Every analogy in sports comes up in life. You get better by sweating it out and working out even when nobody is looking. Within sports, you improve the most when nobody is looking. It is like this for anything that you do.
Work is a real thing. Some people are scared of the day before it has even started. Me, I wake up with this attitude: If I do not give an act of kindness every day, I did not do my part in the world.
Another important thing is having grit. You mustn't give up on small things. As a child, I always wondered why some people have more than us. As I grew older I realized that the most rewarding thing in life is starting at home.
As a business owner, what are some things you learned from people struggling with illness?
I always say to people on different levels, especially those involved in the community, to create the type of calm and energy in the world by supporting organizations that deal with cancer and other life challenges for kids.
Thank God that my glass is full and that I can use my charity as a conduit for other people to do good. I am fortunate that I can inspire people. I do my share of public speaking, but inspiration has to be backed up with action. Action is what it is all about. Speak a little, do a lot.
How does managing expectations translate to business?
A lot of people try to create artificial things and feelings about themselves. I manage my expectations and I feel much happier because happiness is from the inside, not the outside.
You can’t expect anyone to operate at the same frequency as you do. Me, I am blessed for having a very high energy level, and I am very proactive. I don’t like wasting time. This is true for your business especially when you are hiring people. You have to lead by example.
Parents need to display the behavior that they want their kids to emulate. Children do what you see, not what you say. You have to lead by example.
Do not tell your team to do something if you are unwilling to do it yourself, or if they don’t see you doing it. Nobody is going to do it the way you do it.
Some businesses get quick hits and quick fixes but generally do not last. Can you expound on that?
As businesses, we are exposed to different opportunities. Some people during the pandemic were able to scale into a business.
Some people are happy with material things, and that’s short-term happiness. But when you help people, you feel good. And that feeling lasts and it reverberates. That is why I am fortunate when I get requests for help because I also empower other people to do good and feel good.
How do you see self-made people?
I have a lot of respect for self-made guys. They sweated it out and figured it out the hard way, and their success is not always defined by monetary gain or benefit. The key to happiness is peace of mind. It does not necessarily mean I don’t have challenges, but I cannot give to others unless my glass is half-full.
What do you mean by “You can’t give unless you have a glass full?”
It means you are good within yourself. Self-care is important. Give yourself what you need to become the best version of yourself. Whatever you are doing, you must be well-prepared.
It is good to take a different approach in life, like making the most of what the day is. Control what you can control – you can control your actions. Everyone is given different sets of blessings, and you have to figure out how to use them and when to use them.
How do you validate a person?
My goal is to figure out how to create the best version of every person that I come in contact with. I do that by validating these people. No matter where I am – at a social or work event, I always ask somebody their name. Because of that, I develop a human connection with them.
There is a difference between a human being and being human. We are all human beings, but being human is interacting with people, and you want to listen to what he wants to tell you because you are interested.
How do you try to make the world a better place?
You don’t have to be a great person to do great things. It is the power of influence that you can give to be a role model to others. Making an impact by being a voice for others and being heard around the world.
How do you get the best out of your employees?
When involved with people, you should know how to get the best out of them. The best way to do that is to lead by example and to understand that every person is different.
What do you mean by being consistent with the message of your business?
I represent what I believe in. It is tough to sell something that you don’t believe in. Passion and enthusiasm are important, but you have to be true to your core. New challenges come up every time and thank God, I am a problem solver.
Another important thing in business is you don’t need to know all the answers. Saying “I don’t know” is one of the best answers. I am not afraid to say I don’t know the answer when I don’t know.
Whenever I do public speaking, I come prepared. But I don’t need to be the smartest person in the group, you just need to know who is and what I can do for you.
What were some things that hit you hard as you were in the process of growing the business?
A growth mindset is important in any business, but of course, it has to grow the right way. We lost our trust in some of our coaches who we initially hired but decided to do their own thing, and circumvented us.
We also experienced hits and misses, although ideally, we want more hits than misses because it was tough to expect people to do things in a certain way as you do.
I am thankful for all the challenges that I had and still have because they make me the best version of myself, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual.
What are your thoughts about branding?
Branding is very important, you have to be true to who you are and what you are doing. You have to be consistent with everything that you do, just as your product is also consistent.
I think branding is not just believing it and living it. The key is how you could create an impact by letting them think about you even when you are not there. You could use merchandise such as a pen, a sticker, or whatever it might be.
When hiring coaches, we go through due diligence, which is very vital because there are people who look good on paper rather than in person.
How do you go about a client who says “no” to you?
I get into the psyche of that person, why is he saying ‘no’? There are excuses and sometimes you have to take that answer and figure out what to do differently. The basic tip is to call and first ask them if it is a good time. By asking them a question that creates engagement you have now created a relationship between you and the client and shown them that you care about them and their time.
How do you deal with 30-year-old teenagers like me?
Everybody has a kid inside of them, and the real challenge is how you bring out your best self and let that kid come out. When you are confident with who you are, you know your place in the world.
I deal with adults all the time and help them create the best version of themselves. It’s just the same with the kids. However, if you deal with things at an early age, there’s a better chance that it will not have as great an impact on them as when they are adults.
When you are backing up who you are with substance, you are more likely to be respected than somebody who just randomly says something. The key is how to play the long and short games and all you do.
From your perspective as a coach, what are some big mistakes you see people make?
As a business owner, you have to know your employees, their strengths and weaknesses, and what they are willing and are not willing to do. Read their body language and know their warning signs when you try to push them over the edge.
The team mentality is one of the most important things in business. Every person is different and each one must know his role in the team, but not everyone wants to be the best version of themselves.
Be upfront with your employees and reinforce them positively. Don’t worry if your employee is going to capitalize on your compliments,
The benefits of positive reinforcement outweigh the potential. Be true to what your business is. Always keep it real. Be honest with your employees: when they do right, compliment them; when they do wrong, talk about it. Recognize them if they do something good, and let them know if they do wrong. But try to provide a solution to the problem.
How do you infuse your personality into all the people that are working for you?
I like to think that I have a Ph.D. in life and I would like to keep working hard and not stop. Previously, I built a business that people patronize because of me. But over the years, especially with Elite Method, a lot of people know the brand not necessarily about me. They like to do business with me because of the quality coaches and the experience they had with us.
As we end this podcast, we would like to know how can they find you and Elite Method.
If I am not at my house, and if I am not involved in trying to make a better world, you can find me here:
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