Profile: Dan Murphy
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1985
Founder and President, The Growth Coach
A Calling | Murphy’s goal is to append happy endings to Murphy’s Law—that if anything can go wrong, it will—particularly as it applies to small-business owners. He knows they face obstacles, so his mission is to help them clear their hurdles. “Small-business owners have always been my heroes. They have so much spirit and passion about them. I became a CPA thinking I would help these folks. What I learned is that most small-business owners feel overworked, overwhelmed and a prisoner to their business. That’s when I discovered my calling in life—to help them have greater success and put balance back in their lives.”
Coaching | In 1992, Murphy founded Sales Management Solutions, his own small business “coaching” other small-business owners on how to efficiently improve their business. In 1994, he changed the name to The Marketing Alliance and expanded its scope to focus on overall business coaching.
Big Picture | Harried small-business owners often get so caught up in the daily details of operating a company that they become slaves to routine and lose sight of their original concept of the enterprise. “A lot of owners get lost in the technical trenches of their business and don’t think enough about marketing, leadership and direction. The biggest problem is ‘busy-ness.’ They’re busy, but they’re busy working on the wrong things. We help them step back, see the big picture and recognize what changes need to be made. We don’t tell them what to do. We coach them to help them change their habits. We take them through a process so they can discover it on their own.”
Rapid Growth | In 2003, Murphy launched The Growth Coach, a business-coaching franchise system. He now has franchise owners in more than 150 markets. “Instead of coaching business owners, I now help coach my franchise owners to be more strategic, focused and effective—same thing I did for small-business owners for more than a decade.” Business coaching has skyrocketed into a $3 billion industry as more small-business owners turn to counselors for guidance. Murphy’s company has become the world’s second-largest business-coaching franchise and he has ambitious plans for even more growth. “My goal is to be in more than 400 markets in the next five years.”
Life Lessons | Murphy is also a coach in his personal life. He coaches the basketball, baseball, soccer and softball teams of his two children, Kelsey and Matthew. “Coaching is in my DNA. I love coaching their teams. I just love the life lessons you can teach kids through sports. I encourage them to always go out and give your very best effort and don’t worry about winning and losing. If you give your best effort, you are succeeding. I tell the kids they’re going to have setbacks—they’re going to strike out and make errors. But what’s important is your reaction to them. Learn what you can from the situation and then go on. Learning how to win and lose with grace is a big lesson. There are life lessons all around us.”