Coaching: Get the most out of your life

Dave Buck is a master certified coach and the chief executive officer of CoachVille, the largest social network for business and life coaches. On April 14, he launched a tour of 17 U.S. cities.

That sounds like he might be jumping onto a political bandwagon, but his campaign is actually part of a mission to inspire us to play in all areas of our lives.

On May 14 he’ll bring to Milwaukee, “The Power of Play” workshop, teaching a compelling new way to build success in any arena of life, including business, by playing the game better.

I had a phone conversation with Dave to learn more about how this workshop can help small business owners.

“I have a special place in my heart for solo business,” he said.

Dave has been working for himself since he was 19, and has an enviable track record in business and in sports. He said that small business is one of the most challenging games people can play. Part of his inspiration for “The Power of Play” was seeing people working all the time.

“Working at their jobs, relationships, even working at their golf games,” he said.

Buck observed the evidence we see around us every day, the disturbing awareness that our culture is completely work and task oriented. At the office and at home, we’re task-dominated, and the stress of all that takes a severe toll in the form of frustration, loneliness and apathy.

Dave kept asking himself, “Where is the joy?”

Since he was a kid, Dave has been organizing people into games and even now serves as assistant men’s soccer coach at Seton Hall University. So he developed a vision for shifting people out of “working” at all the games of their lives, and into playing the games of their lives, and playing them better.

His methods apply to business, health, romance, family – any games of our lives where we want to play better. The job of the coach is to help you play something better – whether it is the violin, soccer or business. The coach is there to help you do better with what you’re doing right now. The essence of doing better with a coach often translates to seeking excellence through practicing key activities day after day.

During the workshop the evening of May 14, Dave will talk about the ten core abilities of great players. His belief is that many people set themselves up to fail by playing an “unwinnable” game. He has seen most small business owners, “start the day behind and end the day further behind.”

Sounds way too familiar, doesn’t it?

One of these core abilities of great players is to shift from work to play. Dave describes work as being organized in projects, a series of steps to reach some goal. He believes that success results from letting go of the series of projects, identifying the four or five activities you do every day that actually produce the results you’re after.  Sometimes we know what those four or five activities really are but might avoid them, perhaps because we don’t think we’re good at them. So we sidestep the core of our business and spend energy putting out fires or, who knows, emailing ourselves to death.  Other times we don’t realize exactly what the key activities are.

A coach can help identify those activities and help you practice. Most of the activities, Dave told me, are conversational. A good coach can help business owners master game-changing conversations.

For example, a coach and business client might zone in on the activity of talking to a potential customer and having them say, “yes” and getting their business. The practice then will focus on that recurring activity and getting better at it – playing that critical part of the game better.

You are most welcome to attend the May 14 event. Dave will offer specific strategies and game plans to help you win at whatever game of life is commanding your attention now. Coach Patricia Clason is hosting the Milwaukee workshop which will be held at the Center for Creative Learning. From 5-7 p.m. Dave’s presentation will be directed toward coaches, and then from 7:30-9:30 p.m. he will be offering a winning game plan for you. The location is 4650 N. Port Washington Road, (Jefferson Building), Milwaukee. The fee is $10 if you sign up online, or $15 at the door.

To register, go to and follow the links to registration for the Power of Play Workshop.

If you’ve been reading my columns very long, you know that I have a serious belief in play. I’ve heard Dave Buck speak many times and always learn something that I can use to play better right away. I hope to see you there on May 14.


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