Being on the Other Side of the Fence - International Coaching Federation
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Being on the Other Side of the Fence

Posted by Alvaro Salvat | July 1, 2022 | Comments (0)

Anna – my executive coach – and I were just about to end our recurrent coaching session on a crisp February morning. We left behind those pre-2020 in-person sessions and embraced video conferencing as the new normal. Survival of the most adaptable at its finest. 

It was a candid conversation. Despite being an executive coach for more than 10 years, she kept her corporate hustler mindset, but smoothed it with a deft touch. 

The session was painfully rewarding, just like a chiropractic session. Her methods had proven extremely effective on me for years, helping me bridge my creative and business skills into the tech world. 

I noticed that she seemed concerned. After the session, I asked her if she was ok. Anna mentioned to me that she should not complain, but last month’s success came with an administrative burden. 

Anna explained to me how her coaching model swung from offline to online overnight and told me about the patchy solutions that she found along the way. She juggled a new website, several video conferencing tools and payment systems, a customer management system, all of which were un-synced and required individual learning processes. She added, “the irony of it is that now you can do things anywhere, but you are still tied to carrying your laptop everywhere.” 

Being on the other side of the fence as a client, allowed me to get a taste of the pain of swapping several times on scheduling tools, payment methods and video conferencing platforms over those few months, while having a broader perspective as I did encounter those challenges sporadically. 

That night, I kept picking my brain on how to improve her workflow. I started asking people on my network – teachers , mentors, therapists, consultants, trainers and more – and found that Anna’s pain points became a pattern. This process could (and should) be easier. 

Under that premise, me and my partner Oscar, Uber’s architect and co-founder, decided to answer those needs. We rolled up our sleeves, began extensive research on the industry’s offerings, continued speaking to friends, acquaintances, and anyone in and beyond our network and came to the same conclusion: we needed to build a team and a platform that would help coaches run their business seamlessly anywhere. 

After months of surveys, focus groups, and 1:1 coffee meetings, we validated some of our initial assumptions and realized that: 

  1. There is no one size fits all solution. We needed to adapt to each coach’s workflow through modular solutions. 
  2. Mobile is king. We needed to create from scratch a platform that was mobile first. 
  3. We had to find technology to address each challenge. We would work together with best-in-class tech providers that would share and support our vision. 
  4. We had to keep it simple. Lean, intuitive and affordable solutions. 
  5. Feedback is key. Having direct communication with your customers allows you to turn suggestions into features more quickly.

vei is a living platform, sparked by Anna and Oscar’s early discussions, nourished by our community and a team that lives and breathes to turn your needs into intuitive features. 

Alvaro Salvat

Alvaro Salvat is co-founder and CEO of vei. He was previously Lime Latam & Iberia Managing Director, and has over 15 years of experience in strategy, operations, BD, and creative projects. 

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

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