Member Spotlight: The Yes Works

Adam Utley (left) and Aaron Schmookler, co-founders of The Yes Works, members of Surge South Tacoma

The Yes Works founders Aaron Schmookler and Adam Utley offer “Adeptability training”, in which they coach and train teams to collaborate and communicate effectively. This goes far beyond your average team-building trust falls; it helps individuals learn about themselves, learn how to better work in a team, and how to create lasting changes.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Aaron and Adam joined Surge South on the day we opened, and in less than a year they’ve seen improved sales effectiveness. We couldn’t be more proud to see their continued success.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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*Photo is from their feature in the February 2019 edition of South Sound Business Magazine! Congrats guys! 

Who are your customers and how do they find you? What lessons have you learned building a customer base?
Our customers are business leaders who care deeply about their people and their company’s performance, and who believe as we do (and as the science demonstrates) that a human, humane, and fun workplace promotes exceptional performance.

Often our clients are companies in transition – fast growth, acquisition, layoffs, new leadership, etc.
We’ve worked with Microsoft, MOD Pizza, SOG Knives, Burkhart Dental, DiscoverOrg and others.
We find each other on LinkedIn, through cold outreach, word of mouth, and when they see us in our more public presentations and workshops.

Over the years, I’ve learned that growing a customer base is a non-linear task that takes a great deal of faith. Our business has not grown steadily. We white knuckled it for a long while, skipping down the runway until we reached  a tipping point and took off. Prospecting gets easier. Then there’s a whole new class of problems of capacity.

Tell us about one of the biggest obstacles you have faced in your work and how you overcame it:
We wanted so much to give our clients as much value as humanly possible that in the early days, we tried to give them too much in too short a time. So in trying to serve them as well as we could, they got less from us… We gave them more than they could digest. We’ve come to giving them more value by giving them less. And we both win. They get more value per session with us… And we do more business with them because there are more sessions in which we can give them valuable training. They get more for their time and money. And so do we. Win-win.

Where do you see your business five years from now?
We’ll need a support team to keep us in line. We’re great trainers. We’ve gotten good at prospecting in this market. And there’s a lot more to running a business. As it grows, we’ll need others to do what we like less and are less good at to free us up to spend more time in the training room with clients. And we’ll more than likely be training trainers – both to work directly for us, serving our clients, in clients orgs themselves and licensing our model to them, and licensing our model to other business consultants and trainers.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in what you do?
1. Always learning mindset. “Crap, I failed. Yay, I failed. What now? What’s the learning available here.”
2. Facilitate others learning from their experience. This one is the hardest to develop. I’ve been working on this for 25 years.
3. Curiosity/generosity of spirit. These two things are related. And they’re both necessary to captivate a room full of trainees for a whole day. People are only interested in you if they truly believe through your curiosity and generosity that you’re in it for them.

How do you define success?
Making a tangible difference for others. Enjoying myself and building a legacy I can be proud of. And feeding my family. Growing my capacity constantly and consistently.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Depends on the day. My wife. My business partner. My daughter. Simon Sinek. Brene Brown. Seth Godin. Friends. The river in my back yard. Bach.

What made you choose SURGE South Tacoma? What has your experience been like and who would you recommend it for?
Great location. Great design aesthetic. Great capacity to start small and grow in place. It worked for me because I wasn’t as effective and focused as I needed to be at home or in coffee shops.
I’ve more than made up for the rent in improved sales effectiveness. So, if that might be you… Coworking might be too.

Where can people go to support your business?
TheYesWorks.com and the Mighty Good Work podcast – for leaders and aspiring leaders to share insights into how good work can be made.

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