We had the good fortune of connecting with Tommy Acierno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tommy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was nearly empty of any thought.
Now *that’s* a scary thought!
You see, when I sat down to my first training day to become a life and leadership coach, my plan was to simply grow as a people manager. I heard that great managers were great coaches, too, so coaching seemed like a natural skill to develop.
In virtually no time at all, I realized just how transformative the world of coaching really was and how powerful coaching skills are to bring out the very best in others. I saw true genius in the co-workers and colleagues that I coached. Eventually, I turned that insight on to myself and invited my own genius to shine through.
When I did that, I heard a very subtle, clear, and powerful message…
“Bring coaching to the world.”
Stunned by this wisdom, I responded, “Are you sure?”
A smile grew on my face when I heard the same intuitive voice say, “Yes.” And I knew *exactly* what the meant, too. It meant that it was time to realize a life-long dream of mine to become a full-time entrepreneur and contribute something to the world so powerfully that the value could financially sustain my family.
This message came to me in January of 2018.
On February 1st, 2018 I handed in my resignation to a 12-year career that I loved.
On March 1st 2018, I opened the doors to Tommy Acierno Enterprises, LLC.
Now, that message was a sneaky one…
Because at first, business was slow…VERY slow. Several times I questioned if that really was my intuition telling me to leap out into the world and create a business, or was it just a creative way to scratch my “wantrepreneur” itch?
And then I was asked to teach new coaches as a Lead Trainer for the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). I discovered a new way to interact and contribute to others: the unfamiliar path of teaching and training. After each training module, I helped to bring more coaches into the world.
Then it hit me…”Bringing coaching to the world isn’t ONLY about having a coaching practice with clients. It’s about co-creating new coaches!”
That’s all it took. Just this one realization. And the next thing I knew, business started to boom. It was thriving with both students and clients, and I’m now looking to expand in even more ways.
So when you ask, “what was your thought process behind starting your own business?” here’s my favorite answer:
“I didn’t think about it at all! I completely trusted my intuition, and it took me on the most thrilling and unpredictable path to success.”
What should our readers know about your business?
After 12 years working and leading teams at companies like Google and Trimble, I created a unique private coaching practice focused on helping successful professionals experience deep fulfillment with their career, relationships, and spirituality.
Before coaching, however, I was a people manager; and an effective one, too. I drew on my experience to mentor and guide my team. No one on my team did work that I hadn’t already done at some point. I was a mentor-based manager.
Over time, however, my team (and their tasks) became more sophisticated. And my effectiveness grew thin as I had less experience to draw upon. So when I discovered “coaching” as a way to empower my team to derive their own answers (instead of being the guy with all the answers), developing coaching skills was an obvious next step for me.
It worked…and then some!
Using the Energy Leadership™ approach, my team (and other co-workers that I coached) increased their levels of consciousness, which unlocked more energy, self-mastery, balance, creativity, communication, productivity, and, of course, fulfillment! Both at work and while engaging with life outside of work.
My new approach to leadership inspired me to create a role as an internal Leadership Development Coach, which evolved once more into creating a private coaching practice. In addition, my passion and understanding of coach-based leadership opened a new opportunity to become a Lead Trainer for iPEC; helping to grow the next generation of professional coaches.
Over hundreds of hours, I’ve experienced the magic of deep coaching with remarkable individuals. I’ve seen people unlock their potential in front of my eyes by asking powerful questions and believing in them with all of my heart. And, to my surprise, I unlocked my true calling: to enrich the world by unlocking the greatness of others… And then watching, in awe, at the fulfillment that comes from releasing this greatness.
Reconnecting with deeper meaning in my career, relationships, and spirituality completely changed my world and my ability to not only positively influence others but to influence myself towards greater levels of fulfillment, self-mastery, and self-transcendence. Which is why my focus is to support other successful professionals: so that they reconnect their career, relationships, and spirituality with a deep level of fulfillment.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love food and I love Colorado.
In terms of food, I would hands down take them to Lucille’s in Longmont for brunch to enjoy some wonderful southern cooking. We’d be so full from breakfast we could probably skip lunch and then have an early dinner and fresh ciders at Acreage by Stem Ciders in Lafayette. By FAR one of the best views in the Front Range, with fresh farm-to-table food and ciders that will make you melt into joy.
Perhaps as we’re digesting, we could go snowboarding in Winter Park.
Since we have SO much time on our hands and we’re in the mountains, I would hit up two of my favorite hot springs in the mountains: Mt. Princeton hot springs where you literally sit in the river and construct your own mini bath to the perfect temperature by blending cold river water with hot natural springs seeping into the river from the bank. Secondly, if Glenwood springs is feeling too crowded (as it often is), we’d go next door to the Iron Mountain hot springs where smaller pools range from 99°F to 106° depending on how the springs are flowing.
Let’s say after all of that eating and snowboarding, we’re still feeling hungry, I would track down my friend Seb and eat at his food truck: Seb’s Pizza. My favorite pizza in the world is from Sorrento, Italy. Seb, somehow, has captured his version of this remarkable flavor and makes it available from his food truck throughout the Denver area.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow. So many people deserve a shoutout.
Without hesitation, my wife Brooke, my two sons, Brayden, and Owen, my parents Tom and Donna, and my in-laws Robert and Debbie deserve the biggest thanks I can give. They have all supported me 110% every step of the way in my career and in my path as an entrepreneur.
Next, the significant catalyst for my change is the leadership and training team at iPEC. A special shoutout goes to my Lead Trainers: Nina Cashman, Daniel Macca, and Barb Henan. Plenty more shoutouts to the people that feel remarkably humble and fortunate to call my colleagues: Bridgette Simmonds, Leanne Wild, Yossef Sagi, Tonya Echols, Lisa Kaplin, Lesley Picchietti, Cindy Gardner, Kyle Pertuis, Jaimini Padleckis, Sandi Slough, John Bond, and Mark Schall. Finally, to the executive team, who have supported me so much: Sherri Gerek, Joan Ryan, Heather Doyle, Bruce D Schneider, Luke Iorio.
I loved my career in technology and bawled my head off when I left in 2018. A massive thanks to the wonderful people at SketchUp whom it was an honor to serve for 12 years and through two acquisitions. I look on my years with SketchUp with wonderful pride and fond memories.
Professional Photos by: Kellie Ogle