Making a Difference: Ted Schmidt and ActionCOACH Northwest

by Matthew O. Stephens

Ted Schmidt, Firm Owner
of ActionCOACH Northwest

SPOKANE VALLEY – At some point in life everyone needs to be coached and advised through certain situations. In a very active world, businesses sometimes need insight on how to grow in the surrounding environment and find continued success moving forward.

According to Ted Schmidt, Firm Owner of ActionCOACH Northwest, some people struggle with this because they either don’t want to or don’t feel the need to ask for help. That is one of the biggest obstacles he sees people facing every day as a business coach, and that has been a constant factor in his 12 years of coaching.

“The biggest thing we run into is that people’s beliefs and fears tend to hold them back in terms of coaching,” said Schmidt. “A lot of business owners are hesitant to reach out for guidance due to a variety of reasons. Some people think asking for guidance is a sign of weakness, inadequacy, or incompetence, or they just simply think they can handle it best on their own. In truth it is the complete opposite, because in my experience the smartest and quickly advancing businesses know when to ask for help.”

“If you have something going on with your health, who do you call? A doctor,” Schmidt added. “If you have something going on with your car you call a mechanic, right? Essentially this just points out that the people that utilize professional services tend to get better results in the long run.”

Schmidt initially got his inspiration to start coaching from a former colleague that he was working with. This colleague noticed how effective Schmidt was at helping to build a company up and incorporate new ideas, so as the idea was suggested Schmidt effectively “fell into” this line of work as he stated.
Schmidt got his start in ActionCOACH which is the largest business coaching entity worldwide, and according to him they operate in over 80 countries worldwide.

He was able to operate by himself as a single practice for some time, but eventually assembled a team of coaches and staff that now make up the ActionCOACH Northwest firm.

Schmidt has donned several hats throughout his life, and has been a business owner since he was in his 20’s. Growing up in Spokane he has always been familiar with the area, and loved the idea of helping business thrive in the same place he grew up.

Schmidt explained that his drive comes from wanting to see his neighbors thrive, because that points to activity in the local economy.

“Business owners can struggle a little bit in developing a healthy and sustainable business,” Schmidt said. “Whether they get stuck somewhere in the process or become fearful and can’t decide on a line of action, that’s where we step in as a firm and give advice and help them overcome challenges and develop a plan. They just have to be willing to ask for help.”

He continued by describing how some business owners can look past the idea of “being accountable” and business coaches bring that aspect into the mix as well. Schmidt described one of the main duties of his firm as trying to get people to work on their business proactively rather than working in their business and only focusing on the day-to-day operations.

“Our successes as coaches are manifested through the success of our clients,” Schmidt said.
His firm not only serves local businesses, but they help some non-profits local to the area also and according to Schmidt those partnerships are some of the most meaningful.

“I work with a non-profit called Beyond Pink and their efforts go to help detect and prevent breast cancer,” said Schmidt. “They have a large annual fundraiser in October that we sponsor and get very involved in. I also do something called coaching for a cause in which I coach the Executive Director pro-bono which I have done for five or six years now. This organization saves lives, and we are happy to work with them so closely.”

Schmidt also described working with another non-profit called Path of Hope Rescue that works to get shelter dogs adopted. He said the firm coaches that group on a pro-bono basis as well, because it is important to be involved with proactive groups.

He also described his firm having an increased need for services helping people through the COVID pandemic with free webinars, but the pandemic had lasting effects on a large number of small businesses.
“I am pretty disappointed in the way the state responded by shutting the doors on so many small businesses when COVID came through,” Schmidt said. “Hundreds of businesses went under, and thousands of people were adversely affected by jumping to shut things down so quickly and unnecessarily. It made no sense to shut down small businesses like hairdressers while allowing the big box stores to have hundreds of people still shopping.”

Schmidt explained that he has goals for his firm to continue growing and expanding their services to more avenues in the community, and hopes to see places really start to rebound from the last two years.