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Christians in Business: Business Coach Seeks to Build People

Jay HidalgoIn January of 2013, Jay Hidalgo found himself lacking energy for the new year. In 2005, he started a company that had experienced great success. As his team looked to the new year and new growth, Hidalgo felt a tug in a different direction. Over the next few months, he sought God’s direction. Through a variety of conversations and experiences, Hidalgo heard God answer: I want you to stop building companies and start building people.

In the spring of 2013, he stepped away from day-to-day operations of his company and began to work out what this new calling meant. Examining his experience in starting two companies, coupled with his background in marketing, he believed the idea of coaching aligned with building people. He worked on the concepts over the summer and in the fall of 2013 launched The Barzel Group.

“Barzel” is the Hebrew word for “iron” found in Proverbs 27:17 (NIV). “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Hidalgo said, “That’s what I’m seeking to do – to help make people better and sharpen them.”

Hidalgo operates The Barzel Group under two umbrellas: Coaching for demand generation, lead management, and marketing (under the name Demand Gen Coach) and business and leadership coaching (under Jay Hidalgo). He described his mission as “helping people become better at what they do, and inherently within that is helping them become better at who they are.”

His clients reflect a wide variety of walks of life ­– from a marketing director at a multi-million dollar company, to a director of a Christian camp, to two men starting a media business. However, all clients have a few things in common: they wrestle with questions of where they’re going with life and are willing learners who want someone to help them learn and grow.

Whether it’s working through questions about strategy, dealing with bosses, finding purpose, or developing marketing, Hidalgo takes his experiences in executive leadership, builds relationships, and helps move people forward in the right direction.

However, Hidalgo shies away from canned formulas. “I have found that there are more than enough certifications where you can learn exactly the questions to ask and what to do [for coaching], and what to move people through…I’ve been told over and over, ‘We just love [that] you are being who you are and are using who you are to help us become better, while pulling from experiences and receiving input from a variety of places,” he recalled. Hidalgo feels blessed that people keep coming back and he’s able to use his experience and expertise to help others.

Hidalgo’s faith infuses all he does. “I don’t hide where I’m coming from and all that I’ve learned from Jesus. I try to bring that approach to as many scenarios as I can,” he said. Yet, he’s realizing how much he doesn’t trust yet. “God is patiently, yet forcefully, reminding me ‘you’re not trusting me yet the way I want you to.’” Through the process of beginning The Barzel Group, Hidalgo has seen how God is intimately interested in giving us a great life. “As I coach, I watch people as they talk about how God is moving in their life and what they’re learning. It’s so evident that God is doing so much and is so interested in us. That’s hard to get my mind around,” he said.

Hidalgo has also seen God’s provisions in his own life. He’s been down the road for business start-ups before, but this time around he’s discovered how God is in the mundane and all the little things. “As a small business we’re constantly looking at numbers and income. I can so often look back and say, ‘Oh that’s why He allowed that or He did that.’” Through this process he’s seen God working in the details not just of the business but in his family and relationships as well. “I’ve been given a greater awareness of the unseen work of God in so many places,” Hidalgo said. He reflects how affirming, and energizing it is to see God’s work in the details.

Hidalgo will continue to invite God into all the details. “I ask a lot, ‘If Jesus were me, what would he do here, or there?’” Those questions will remain in the forefront as he continues to follow God’s direction in building people.

At a Glance:

Name: Jay Hidalgo

Business: The Barzel Group

Title: Owner

Family: Wife, Janice; 4 children ages 18, 16, 14, and 11.

Web: www.demandgencoach.com www.jayhidalgo.com

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @jayhidalgo

Author Information
Amelia Rhodes
Amelia Rhodes lives in West Michigan with her husband and two young children. She is a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul's books Here Comes the Bride and Inspiration for Writers. Her essays have appeared on the Burnside Writers Collective and Catapult Magazine. Her first book, Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? Doing life together in an all-about-me kind of world encourages women to reach out to their communities and live an authentic life together.

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