Pop Quiz, Monday with Ryan Chipperfield

People know when you are authentic or not, and nobody is looking for a Jerry McGuire clone when it comes to their manager. The relationship will be a meaningful one so set the tone straight away and get to know them as a person first.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Ryan Chipperfield

Ryan Chipperfield
Photo credit: @grantbaileyphoto

What is your job role?
Managing Director

Tell us about your company?
Blue Chip Talent is a Talent Management business which provides its services to some of the most exceptional Athletic and Influencer Talent in Australia. We are of the view that we want to capitalise on our Talent’s time in the sun and help them grow for a successful life journey, not just a short stint. We assist brands in finding their perfect ambassadors and get them the returns on investment they desire for their campaigns.

What do you love most about your job?
Watching the professional development of our team, both internal and external. We select Talent that has a desire to be better, and we work with them to satisfy those desires, whether it be financially and smart investing, growing a business with them, working on the mental sides of their profession or just simply networking with industry – we take great pride in developing the team to their true potential. Plus getting to watch a lot of sport and going to some kick-ass events is pretty fun too!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am motivated a lot by knowing that every single dollar we can earn our professionals is one less dollar they have to worry about and eases the burdens on them. An athlete and an influencer have so much to think about every day so removing the money barriers and just making life a little easier is motivating.

I am highly motivated too by our growth and reaching as many people as we can within our business, whilst still maintaining a positive impact on those we connect with.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I have always hired for my weaknesses or where I think we could benefit from some extra drive in the business. We have recruited a PR expert, a written word specialist for our outbound communications with brands, an analytics expert who helps us with our numbers that fuel growth and have a great support team in our financials to make sure we are kicking goals, after all, this work is in place.

As an MD I get to learn from our team as well while in turn passing on my years of business experience to allow our staff the same knowledge gains that will keep them inspired to come back to work and will enable us to retain them.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are in a pretty unique job position where it is already fun. Our biggest challenge is making sure the fun parts translate commercially. Our last month had a Christmas Party, a major sporting event at Metricon Stadium and a blockbuster movie premiere red carpet event so it is easy to get carried away with all of the top line activities and it becomes essential to focus on what fuels the bottom line.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Every talent business is going to experience arrivals and departures, and this comes from a myriad of reasons. Mostly it is about setting expectations and managing them along the way. We pride ourselves on having lots of little harder conversations along the talent’s journey rather than just saving it for the big blow ups that can occur. Everyone has desires to be their best and sometimes some barriers can upset this, so it is always important you and your team both internal and external share alignment and knows where the goalposts are.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Originally our business was not going to have an Influencer division. Yet six months in it became the heartbeat of what we are doing. Athlete deals take a LONG time to get done and are very difficult to secure by the time you work out conflicts, market reach, budgeting timelines, etc.

Little did I know that the Influencer Marketing trend commercially helps us offset the cash burns required to fund the Athletes in the long periods between deals or when we first acquire them to get a deal underway.
We can do 2-3 Influencer arrangements in a week and keep our cash-flows healthy whilst working on the big picture outside of this at the same time.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Have the resources. I was in a fortunate position to have the capital to fuel our growth. To win over talent, you need a roster of other talents that they like and believe they are on par with so getting to your first five team members is critical to building the momentum. It will take breakfasts, lunches, and dinners so make sure you bring your wallet and make sure you care about what they are saying.

People know when you are authentic or not, and nobody is looking for a Jerry McGuire clone when it comes to their manager. The relationship will be a meaningful one so set the tone straight away and get to know them as a person first.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.bluechiptalent.com.au
Instagram: @bluechiptalent.com.au

Lessons from a year in business

January this year, various circumstances led me to open up shop again, 50% confident it would work this time and 50% terrified I would fail again. I’ll share a few things I have learned along the way to help any of you out there just starting a business.

photo-1450221882353-ed6177a2ff23Yes, I know almost everyone is either sharing on social media or blogging about ‘things they’ve learned’… but these are mine!

This year has been a massive learning curve, as I re-started a business that I had dabbled in a few years ago. January this year, various circumstances led me to open up shop again, 50% confident it would work this time and 50% terrified I would fail again.

By March I still only had one client, but then I found another client – one that grew and grew and built my confidence. LinkedIn found me two more clients, networking found me another two and referrals yet another two! Suddenly I was busy and juggling all this wonderful, creative, interesting work into the few short hours my kids were at school or day-care 3 days a week. Soon I was working late nights, yet feeling very happy. I had a couple of massive downers when I lost one client and another turned into the job from hell. I picked myself up and without too much effort actually found two more clients that have turned out to be much better in so many ways.

However, after a few months, the glow dimmed a little and although I still love my work and all my clients, I realised I needed to “work smarter, not harder”. Thanks for reading my story so far… I’ll share a few things I have learned along the way to help any of you out there just starting a business.

Time tracking is more important than I thought

Honestly, I was adding up minutes and hours in my head or adding them up on paper. Once I installed Toggle on my computer and started tracking billable time as well as all the unpaid stuff (admin, marketing, networking, spending longer on a task than I had quoted for or billed for) I could clearly see where all my time was going, and where I needed to improve my efficiency.

Support network – family, friends and professional networks

I cannot stress how valuable these networks have been this year. From friends and family willing to lend an ear to give me free advice or encouragement, to professional networks I am signed up to.

Working from home, by yourself, means you need to make the effort to build a work-social life and some “teammates”. Going to networking events or being part of an online support forum has helped build my confidence and my skills.

Highs and Lows – oh boy!

Clients that turn into nightmares, a month where I hardly billed enough to buy lunch, or self-doubt creeping in… I’ve had it all this year.

But I’ve also had glowing client reviews that made me cry when I read them (happy tears!) to hitting ALL THE GOALS ON MY 2018 BUSINESS PLAN…!!! Yay! You need to learn to be a little more balanced in your emotions and toughen up quickly. Actors/artists etc often say they don’t read reviews anymore as you’re only as good as your last review and they can be fickle. I agree to some extent and understand that getting good reviews and producing great work for your clients is awesome but be prepared for things to not always be that way and plan for Plan B.

Holistic marketing

By this I mean make sure you are investing your time and resources into at least 5 different avenues of marketing activities (social media, blogs, networking, paid adverts, website etc). Social media is great as it’s mostly free but you cannot rely on that only. Spread out your wings and try a variety of complimentary marketing tactics. This not only increases your reach but also your authenticity

Do you know your ideal client?

Please take the time to think about your services and your audience. What benefit can you offer to a customer; what problem does it solve? What’s the gender or age of your ideal client? Do they want to spend money on this or is it more of a life necessity? How will you reach your ideal client? Where will they find you?

If you’ve had a great year in business, then well done – take time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. If you’ve had a rather challenging year, then don’t wallow – plan ahead and actively look for resources to help you next year.

Which Financial Indicators Must Entrepreneurs Monitor?

One of the key reasons for failure of new business is that the entrepreneurs simply run out of the cash before they reach their break-even scale.

The entrepreneurs’ mind and energy are focused on building a business. It could mean creating a product, service or a model that serves the target customers. Most entrepreneurs are not trained to be financial experts, though they have high expertise in their own area.

The stories of the initial days of struggle of an entrepreneur are not uncommon. They face an uncertain future, changing market conditions, technology change, rising costs and competition from new sources.The failure rate of new ventures is substantially high. Various studies put the failure rate of new businesses between 30% to 70% over first three years.  

One of the key reasons for failure of new business is that the entrepreneurs simply run out of the cash before they reach their break-even scale. You can’t avoid this unless you can find partners with deep pockets,like the one’s that today’s tech start-ups seek to find. If you have those funding partners lined up, you can afford to burn the cash for years; however not all businesses model themselves to appeal to the investors with deep pockets and high appetite for risk.

In the absence of access to huge cash and to financial experts, which are the key performance indicators that the entrepreneurs must track, to ensure that they survive long-enough to break-even and make it big?Here are a few which I recommend based on my experience.

  1. Cash flows: It is said that, “sales is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is reality”. A new business will likely invest in creating capacity and hence will have net cash outflow on account of investing activities, e.g., acquiring machinery, equipment, rights to intellectual property etc. However, every entrepreneur must focus on generating positive operating cash inflows. A cash flow statement should be drawn up preferably every month, or at the least,every quarter. The cash flows should be compared to the previous months/quarters to see how the business is moving. Any sign of deterioration should be carefully examined and acted upon.
  • Product/service price: As an entrepreneur, one frequently encounters situation where the customer demands lower price. These requests are made with a promise to restore the price to the “usual price” if the product or service is found to be of acceptable quality. A higher volume of purchase is promised if the price is lowered. Lower price offered by a competitor is often quoted as a reason for inability to procure from you. As a newcomer struggling to prove your product or service, the temptation to reduce the price and clinch the deal is very high. One can’t and need not say no to every such request; if there is good enough reason, the price may have to be lowered. However, there must be a rigorous monitoring to see that the lowered price is indeed giving the result desired. Tracking the product price and profitability is therefore key. A new business can’t afford the luxury of low price that an established player with deep pockets can.
  • Fixed costs: Higher “committed” or “fixed” costs of business is found to be a key reason for many new businesses bleeding cash in their operations. These typically include lease rentals, salaries, finance costs, and payments to outsourced services providers that are not linked to volume of procurement. The ratio of fixed costs vs variable costs should be regularly monitored. As many costs should be moved to variable costs as possible. Outsource your finance and accounting to avoid having an accountant on payroll. Hire a venue for your programs on hourly or daily basis instead of leasing it for long-term. Engage free-lancers for your work; they offer higher expertise and you pay only when you have work to give. Link as much of your costs to your revenues as possible.This will help reduce the costs when the sales orders are not coming through.
  • Receivables:Extending credit is a standard business practice in many industries when the dealings are between two businesses (B2B markets). The entrepreneurs have no option to follow the industry practice. It is a must, however, that the receivables are rigorously followed up for recovery. The ageing of the recoveries should be monitored to check whether any discounts should be offered to get cash quickly and avoid potential bad debts. Money stuck with customers may lead to severe cash crunch through the profitability and sales look good on paper.

As an entrepreneur, setting KPIs to measure these four variables and track them over time will ensure that the business doesn’t run out of cash without early warning signals.

Is there room for emotion in business?

If you do some research on this subject you find a huge amount of information available on how to deal with emotions in your business, i.e., those who work for you who may be experiencing emotional difficulties. But there is a real lack of information or advice for business owners who are probably, at some stage, going through difficult periods within their business and their emotions are being extensively and regularly challenged on a daily basis.

As business owners, we have huge amounts of responsibility and manage our stress levels continually. We have obligations to our employees, our families and the security of the business. We are in control and our decisions can impact and change other people’s lives. We may not consciously reveal that to ourselves but buried deep within our subconscious is a huge sense of responsibility.

WHAT ARE OUR EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES?

As human beings, it is natural for us to feel emotion in whatever we do within our lives and to try and control and deal with our emotions. Staying motivated and focused can be difficult for those who run businesses as emotional instability can lead to irrational thoughts and behaviour, which can have a direct and sometimes instantly negative effect on the productivity of a business. We are in a unique position, as business owners, and open to all forms of positive and negative feelings that have the ability to affect how we make those decisions.

There is, of course, plenty of room for emotion in business but equally, it is important to keep those emotions real and not let them spiral out of control. As a long-time associate, one I have coached and still work with regularly said to me… “you have to keep your emotions around the horizon line. If you descend or ascend too much or too fast, you can lose your control on reality. It is about regulating euphoria and fear in equal measure”.

As a coach, I very much focus with my clients on the inevitable negative emotions of running a business and they are inevitable! I look to introduce a strong degree of rationalisation within the business owner. Everyone at some point will experience isolation, stress, fear, loneliness, resentment, frustration, money worries, family pressures, staffing pressures and many other examples that will impact on our decision making. This can affect our direction, induce procrastination and, indeed, make us feel the grass is greener on the other side. We can lose control if we don’t have the mechanisms to bring us back to realisation.

I like to help business owners relieve their burdens and they find, by sharing those burdens, the original concerns they had are greatly reduced. Every problem in business has a solution; it may not be particularly nice to deal with it at the time but, when you do deal with it, you can move on very quickly with a renewed focus on the important activity of running and building a strong business.

FALLING OUT OF LOVE WITH YOUR BUSINESS OR THE GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE

If you procrastinate too much and bury your head or find ways of distracting you away from the pressures, you aren’t necessarily dealing with the problem or getting to the root cause. This could mean a business failing when the issues could have been dealt with, or the business owner falling out of love with the business.

As entrepreneurs, we are by our very nature people that need to be continually stimulated. We need challenges and to feel that sense of progression. Falling out of love with a business, I believe, has two very succinct differences… you either want to explore new challenges, creating a new lifestyle existence or, secondly, you are running away from the business because you let your fear take control. The first is totally rational and we will all get to a point where we either want that new challenge, as entrepreneurs, or we reach an age or stage in our lives where we feel it is our time to use the fruits of our hard work to slow down and enjoy life outside of running a business. Letting fear take control which, in turn, creates a dislike of our business, is completely irrational and can be a dangerous and continually deteriorating association.

HOW CAN WE CONTROL OUR EMOTIONS?

I personally find this absolutely fascinating and will use something we can all relate to as business owners. Statistically, 50% of businesses will fail in their first year and this percentage reduces as the businesses and, more importantly, the owners develop as experts in running a business. As the business grows, you grow as an owner and learn more and more how to run a successful business. Of course, we are all still continually learning our trade but we are all becoming more confident in our abilities. Every time I walk into an established business that has been trading for many years I am hugely impressed. I am impressed by the success, the skills and the knowledge each owner possesses and I believe every owner should give themselves a huge pat on their own backs for what they have achieved.

Ironically, the owners themselves have little or no concept of this or completely overlook their competence and skills as a business person. The fascinating aspect of this is that we lose that sense of perspective of what we have achieved and, yes, there is no one to pat us on the back. We are isolated as individuals in this respect and, through time, we lose the understanding of how we have surpassed numerous issues and problems in the past and continued to make our business a success.

My role is to make business owners fully appreciate what they have truly achieved. Yes, there is always a great deal of hard work ahead but to reach this point you are statistically unique, given that approximately 4% of the UK’s adult population run businesses (many being sole traders) and only half of these survive beyond the first year. You have done what most people would never try to do and you have created for yourself a successful business career.

RECOGNITION, RATIONALISATION, UNDERSTANDING AND DOGGED DETERMINATION

It is important for business owners to fully appreciate what they have achieved and memorise succinctly the adverse and euphoria moments that got them there. The challenges they have faced make us tougher individuals and we should use this as momentum to deal with what lays ahead and to deal with any issues rationally. Business owners are certainly not failures and shouldn’t fear failure. Each and every business owner has stepped into a world where uncertainty is part of the process, it’s natural and something we have to deal with rationally, but we have the tools to do so.

Every business owner has the challenge of creating growth and making a profit. It is not about survival, it is about opportunity and pure hard facts and figures, fully appreciating the opportunities that lay ahead. A combination of regular pats on the back, rationalising every decision and looking at any emotional turmoil or issues as a distraction you need to move on quickly from is how we as business owners should deal with the inevitable emotional challenges that face us every day.

We should recognise who we are, what we have achieved and what we are about to achieve in our future business careers!

Stuart Allan is a business consultant and growth specialist based in Colchester, Essex and works with companies throughout the South-East.
Stuart founded Essex-based premium dessert company Indulgence Patisserie Ltd in 1987, turning it into a multi-million pound international operation by the time of its sale in 2013.
Accredited to the Government’s Growth Accelerator Programme, Stuart is a Business Mentor with the British Army, and has been appointed as the on-site business coach at the Essex CEME Campus.

 

Embracing Change – What’s Your Long-Term Business Plan?

Undoubtedly, as the politicians continue to disrupt business confidence, we are all sitting and contemplating the future for business in the UK. It is a stigma and situation the country seems to adopt all too readily; the media-fuelled debate or debacle has many of us watching on with a slight element of trepidation around what the future holds.

For many of us in business we have been through both strong and difficult economic periods and, undoubtedly, each of us has positive and negative stories to tell. However, the interesting aspect of terms like ‘slow growth’ or even that horrible ‘R’ word is, in reality, quite miniscule compared to the technological evolution we are experiencing now. Economic conditions in the UK fluctuate in minute terms in comparison to other global economies and that is of huge benefit to businesses in the UK.

Opportunities are most certainly available to business in most economic situations. We may feel that there are many instances in business where we don’t feel in control and market forces is certainly one of them but to lose sight of goals because of fear isn’t, and shouldn’t, be part of the nature of an entrepreneurial nation of business owners.

My personal thoughts are not to ignore but to embrace. If growth drops by 1%, this in reality taking it on equal terms, meaning each sector drops by 1%. This percentage has a significant monetary value and will see casualties but it can also see huge amounts of opportunity develop in the same way as a period of exceptional economic growth. Each market sector has the ability to change and evolve well beyond economic conditions through technological progress and innovation. The key denominator for business success, no matter what the economic situation, is building financial strength, strategic planning to stay ahead of your competitors and not being lost in the fear of a media-fuelled irrelevance. That is to say embrace change, continually evolve your business model, and lead from the front.

HOW NOT TO EMBRACE CHANGE

A great example of where leadership has failed is perfectly demonstrated by some past and present well known high street retailers failing to fully embrace the opportunities the digital world as to offer. This could be deemed as a reluctance to change, poor forecasting, expecting the move towards online retail to be a temporary glitch, or indeed pulling a few loaded bags of wool over their eyes. The world of business is an ever-evolving machine and the technological evolution is set to gain even more momentum in decades to come. UK businesses that lead, innovate and manage their own evolution will be the winners in the long-term. The leaders will create long-term plans and a vision for their business, predicting market trends and embracing opportunities as they arise.

As a business coach, I find this part of the work I do fascinating and incredibly exciting. The new products, services and continuous level of innovation which are being created to meet the demands are purely dictated by change and we, as business owners, need to be focusing on this in the long-term. Without exception, every marketplace has these opportunities. It could be fundamental changes or small incremental differences that dictate how we evolve but each element of business evolution provides us all with opportunity!

CHANGE ISN’T JUST ABOUT NEW INNOVATION!

One of the interesting aspects surrounding change is also how we function as a business on a daily basis. I mentioned how some retailers have been reluctant to change their business model. Being assertive with our decisions based on planning and greater understanding is incredibly important but many businesses still adopt a mentality that sees no need to change. The old adage of ‘we have always done it this way, so why change it’ really doesn’t work in business today and especially cannot work in an environment where technology evolves so quickly. For example, it could relate to a company’s own internal technology, the systems they run, the equipment they use to manufacture, or could be the process of marketing and sales and how they use technology to enhance their profile to an interested audience. Standing still in any of these situations is probably the biggest negative I have experienced in business coaching. Little or no action to change the situation far outweighs anything the media can bombard us with.

My advice to every business owner is to continually embrace change, seek out opportunity, explore your market (and new associated ones) and never take what you have now as the standard. You simply cannot afford to!

If you have concerns around the future of your business, want to focus on how you can evolve your business and become the lead amongst your competition, my two-hour free introductory meeting can certainly kick-start that process. Contact me today to arrange an appointment.

Are investors shrugging off?

“I just don’t understand, why these investors do not come forward to help startups. We have been meeting them, delivering investor pitch, time and again, and yet no one shows any commitment to invest”.

Little more nudge and the frustration comes outpouring. The founder is convinced and emotionally profoundly attached to the product that has been developed after months of hard labour. Nothing can be better and state of the art regarding technology.

So the question is why is the product not selling? The response – if investors give us money, we will sell big numbers.

So why are they not funding? Don’t know. Hold on, did they just shrug off? It seems that your story has made little sense to them.

So who made the pitch? Pat came to the response I made.

Anyone else besides you? “No. They are not business savvy and do not have communication skill”.

Speaking to a seed investor and a Venture Capitalist, I learned that they pay extraordinary attention to the startup team. They look for alignment, a conviction in the product or service as a collective whole. Assessment is made on the level of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to make things happen. What is not appealing is a show of a team like statues behind the founder.

Remember, interest is an emotional trigger to listen and pay attention. Before you bombard the investors with data and logic and rationale, pay full attention to risk perceptions that get built based on over-reliance on a single founder.

So work on a shared story, how each one is connected and what does success mean to each member. Are you paying attention to body language aspects while presenting to the investors? Remember enthusiasm and energy creates the magnet of appeal.

Pop Quiz, Monday with Penelope Twemlow

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Penelope Twemlow

Penelope Twemlow
Photo credit: Penelope Twemlow

What is your job role?
CEO – General Manager Pty Ltd

Co-founder and Chairwoman – Women in Power

Director – Durack College

Advocate – White Ribbon Australia

Keynote Speaker – Saxton

Tell us about your company?
Women in Power is a Not-For-Profit organisation formed in 2015 whose mission is to promote and improve the energy, construction and resources industries by the advancement of women within it. It provides a forum for its members to meet and exchange information, ideas, and solutions and offers individual members an opportunity to expand personal and business networks,maintain awareness of industry developments, improve skills and knowledge, and make a contribution to other women in the energy, construction and resources industry.

Women in Power’s objectives are:
• To unite women actively involved in the various areas of the energy,construction and resources industries for their mutual benefit
• To promote co-operation, fellowship and a better understanding among members of Women in Power 
• To promote education and contribute to the betterment of the energy,construction and resources industries
• To encourage women to pursue and establish careers in various sectors
• To provide members with an awareness of issues relating to industry.

Women in Power provides an extensive range ofactivities to assist and promote women in industry through: 
• Education seminars
• Mentoring programs 
• Community involvement
• Advocacy on behalf of Women in the energy, construction and resources industries
• Regular events 
• Newsletters 
• Awards program
• Marketing 
• Sponsorship activities 
• Liaison with like-minded related associations.

General Manager Pty Ltd is a corporate consultancy providing services both nationally and internationally to high risk industries in business resilience, people and culture and management consulting. Clients have included Santos, QGC, GAM, AMEC, MCG Group, BHP Billiton, BG Group, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Xstrata, Thiess, Leighton, John Holland, Baulderstone, Abigroup, Bechtel, Strike Energy and more.

Durack College, previously St. Margaret’s College, is a college supporting and preparing students with the skills to navigate tertiary course programs and meet academic rigour required of their chosen discipline. The College aims to prepare students with the ability to adapt to the ever-changing job market of the 21st century as well as leverage its’network of strategic partners to support part-time employment opportunities for students as well as graduates of the College to gain admission to selective graduate programs and secure employment at the best organisations.

What do you love most about your job?
My fellow Women in Power Board members and I see mentoring and networking as an essential leadership skill. In addition to managing and motivating people, it’s also essential that we can help others learn, grow and become more effective in their jobs and lives. Mentoring and networking is a critical component to success and an essential element to support career development and progression. Mentoring and networking opportunities allow access to an experienced source of advice and guidance, provides support with problem solving and handling difficult situations and delivers a non-judgmental and safe place to voice challenges and frustrations. Most importantly, it offers access to resources and networks that would have otherwise been unknown to individuals.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am regularly asked why do I do what I do? Why do I push all sorts of limits, and what is my motivation? For me it is quite simple – I enjoy solving problems and taking on issues that I care about and where I can make a difference. I enjoy being successful but most of all, I want to assist others to be successful also.

I have loved all the roles I under take because I am PASSIONATE about the causes behind them and the people they will touch. I don’t just pursue the path that will lead to a steady income – I ensure that I pursue the career of my dreams so that I don’t short change my chances of success and great satisfaction.

Each and every day, I work quietly – and even not so quietly – towards achieving my goals. I demonstrate my worth; I never doubt that I am valuable, compelling and deserving of every chance and opportunity.

At the end of the day, I believe the main consideration that separates people is simply OPPORTUNITY, and I am determined to provide those opportunities to as many people as I can.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers in all of the spaces in which I work are incredibly talented and like-minded people who are driven to succeed. Their values align with mine and they are consistently seeking to better themselves and the communities in which they work.

The best way that my coworkers motivate and inspire me is to set a positive example. Approaching work with a positive attitude and completing all tasks as diligently as possible inspires me to do the same.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
In all of the areas that I work, I am fortunate in that I am consistently surrounded by passionate, driven people who also know how to have fun.

We have created certain traditions where we can get together over a meal or a drink and enjoy each other’s company. We are particularly lucky in that our roles are very client-facing so we are continually having a change of environment and getting the opportunity to meet incredible people, young and old. We also have work spaces that we all enjoy,and we are always appreciative of each other, and each other work.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We are faced with the same macroeconomic conditions that most organisations find themselves these days. On top of this, we are regularly challenged with having to fight the inequality and inequities of doing business as females in typically male-dominated industries.

I understand that different problems and opportunities demand different solutions, so in any organisation that I am managing, I ensure that I:
• Keep up with the market: business conditions change continually, so market research must be continuous as well
• Plan ahead: revisit and update business plans regularly based on market conditions and research
• Cash flow and financial management: Make the best use of finances for business planning and assessing new opportunities
• Problem solve: be alert to new problems and priorities
• Hold the right systems: develop, implement and use information systems to manage effectively
• Possess the right mix of skills and attitudes, both personally and as a team
• Welcome change: be committed to the strategy but understand the need for change if required.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
The biggest lesson learned from the work we do in Women in Power is that we cannot merely confine our work to just half of the population (women),even though that is what our core mission is. Hence why we now provide our services to men and women alike.

My fellow Women in Power colleagues understand that diverse and inclusive organisations and industries are not merely ones where people look different, but ones where you have created an environment where people feel like they are who they are, uniquely, and in away that integrates them, and that they’re not trapped in a box.

We educate people and organisations on the need for equality and diversity every day. We understand that diversity is a lens for looking at, identifying, developing, and advancing talent. We assist people and organisations to build accountability into systems and ensure each person takes responsibility for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Many initiatives and strategies are currently being used to promote women into leadership positions within the energy, construction and resource sectors. Where and when possible, organisations must raise the profile of outstanding women by providing awards and honours to individuals as well as organisations who support the full participation of women. Providing professional development programmes for women aimed at empowering them is a great mechanism, as is the ongoing support and encouragement of women to pursue positions in these sectors.

Additional work can be conducted in increasing funding for the development of education programmes on inclusive leadership, challenging stereotypes and unconscious bias as well as building partnerships with government, industry and the corporate sector to increase the percentage of women in the energy, construction and resource sectors.

Every person and organisation should seek to be a leader in modelling gender equality and encourage career progression. The end goal is to achieve industries that maximize performance and capability by enabling all women and men to thrive equally. All staff should be able to participate and progress commensurate with their talent and aspirations and feel valued and inspired to do their best.

Whatever actions are taken, achieving genuine gender equality and effecting cultural change will be an iterative process, and work areas should take the initiative to explore additional and new ideas.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: www.womeninpower.org.au / www.penelopetwemlow.com

Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building a Life-Changing Business

Romi Neustadt is passionate about helping others build lucrative direct sales and network marketing businesses that help create lives with more freedom and flexibility, greater purpose and a lot more fun. In this book she offers you the same direct, no-BS coaching she’s given to tens of thousands to help you acquire the skills to build this sucker and teach your team to do the same.  –Publisher

Pop Quiz, Monday with Darren Winterford

Having fun is central to our culture – and we tend to like doing things a little different – our US office, for example, will embark on Axe Throwing for their Xmas party.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Darren Winterford

Photo credit: Darren Winterford
Photo credit: Darren Winterford

What is your job role?
CEO and founder of Ed App

Tell us about your company?
We are changing the way people learn at work. Ed App is a mobile-first, microlearning platform that delivers engaging and effective on-demand microlessons directly to users devices.

Our solution breaks up learning content into easily digestible bite-sized pieces and reinforces core concepts with engaging games and rewards.

What do you love most about your job?
Without a doubt, it’s our amazing people. We have teams in Sydney, New York, and London and I am lucky enough to work with all of them. Every day I get to talk with engineers, project managers, client service staff, account managers and salespeople, so my role is not only varied but really inspirational.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We are on a mission to change and challenge learning behaviour within workplaces across the world. We are having a real impact on global organisations, and it is gratifying to see our teams not only creating cultures of continuous learning within these companies but also hearing directly from these clients about our leadership in this space, both regarding our product but also our thinking.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
As a tech company, we tend to skew younger in terms of employee makeup. We are also highly international, the Sydney office alone has more than a dozen nationalities among the various teams, our US and London teams are similar in the mix.

These two elements create an amazingly powerful mix of insightful, broad thinking and highly motivated team members.

Our software engineers are leaders in their respective fields, particularly in mobile and I am continually impressed at the insights and commercial capability of our client teams.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Having fun is central to our culture – and we tend to like doing things a little different – our US office, for example, will embark on Axe Throwing for their Xmas party.

Most offices will have gatherings at least weekly for social activities whether it be a social activity or simply weekly drinks nearby.

I think what makes us unique though is that apart from the many regular organised activities, we try and make use of communication tools like Slack to foster fun and a sense of fun and community between the various teams. For example, we have a #daily-jam channel on Slack that every employee contributes to, sharing a piece of music currently inspiring them.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The hours can be a little challenging with offices covering almost every time zone!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the most important is to stay focused on the outcome you are looking for. Often with projects, objectives can become lost when the twists and turns of project and stakeholder management begin.

It is essential to regularly review the outcome you set out to achieve and ensure the team, and all resources are still working toward this result.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Contrary to what many believe, I would encourage as much collaboration and sharing of information and ideas as possible.

There is a common misconception that early-stage products should be shrouded in secrecy, but I have found some of the most significant advancements come from sharing and discussing ideas with industry leaders and contributors.

Their insights can not only help you where to focus but also importantly what to avoid.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.edapp.com

Business Boutique Goal Planner 2019: Your Personal Guide to Getting Results

The Business Boutique Goal Planner is a companion product to the #1 national best seller Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide to Making Money Doing What She Loves. Christy Wright gives you the tools you need to get your goals on paper and the inspiration you need to see them through. Be inspired, motivated, and accountable! This is your personal guide to getting results. –Publisher

Pop Quiz, Monday with Craig Jones, Founder of MooGoo Skin Care

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Craig Jones

Craig Jones
Photo credit: Craig Jones

What is your job role?
Product development and decision-maker of last resort.

Tell us about your company?
MooGoo came about after I found out that my mother was using a product made for cows to help treat her skin condition – psoriasis. The “Udder Cream” being used in dairy farms was designed to help keep the skin on cow’s udders in prime condition for milking. However, the original Udder Cream my mother used was very thick to apply. So 13 years ago, in my little kitchen in Perth, Western Australia, I set about adapting this cream for humans by making it lighter and non-greasy. We make products for people with skin or scalp problems, and people who easily react to a lot of the chemicals commonly found in skin care.

What do you love most about your job?
We actually get to make something that helps people.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I see a lot of products being sold that I know aren’t really the best for people’s skin, so I enjoy the challenge of taking on these bigger companies and seeing people change over to MooGoo.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We very rarely hire anyone with experience in running a business. I admire the way so many people at MooGoo have stepped up when given a chance. We have quite a few people managing the company who started off packing boxes.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have a ‘crazy fun’ girl on our staff named Stephanie, and she organizes activities like skydiving, jet skiing, bubble soccer, etc. I HATE the term ‘team building’, so participation is optional. I think of them more like rewards.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Decision fatigue. MooGoo is a complicated business now – far more complex than I dreamed a business like this could be. Being someone who always likes to weigh up all the options. If you have to make ten decisions a day, that can be exhausting.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
We set up a warehouse and office in the UK, thinking it would be easy to make it a huge success. People love MooGoo in Australia…The UK has a similar cultural background…so what could go wrong? It didn’t work at all with the manager we had there. We had a girl who was box packing here in Australia, and she wanted to spend some time in the UK. She had an incredibly enthusiastic attitude but no experience. It was only months before she took over the running of the UK operation and got it moving and now we are reasonably well-known brand in the UK. I am not the only manager to find that attitude is far more important than experience. Ultimately she made some expensive mistakes as well, which also taught me that enthusiasm needs to be monitored.

Also … I have learned that women don’t buy as much lipstick as you would think, so starting a makeup range is very hard work, even if it’s good makeup and good for you.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Find a point of difference. A lot of people seem to enter an industry and seem to want to be just like some other company they see doing well. But it has already been done. There is no point competing to be more ‘organic’ than all of the other brands that are already in the marketplace. Find a passion, start small and see if people like it enough to buy it. Also, it’s about relationships, so never try and screw over anybody.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.moogoo.com.au
https://moogoousa.com
https://www.instagram.com/moogooskincare/
https://www.facebook.com/moogooskincareaustralia/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Steve O’Dell, Chief Executive Officer at Tenzo Tea

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Steve O’Dell

Steve O'Dell
Photo credit: Steve O’Dell 

What is your job role?
Chief Executive Officer

Tell us about your company?
Tenzo Tea is a matcha brand based in Los Angeles. We were founded two years ago with a mission to share healthy energy and give back. We donate one year of clean water for every bag of matcha sold.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the journey. Every day presents a new suite of challenges and opportunities. There are wins and losses, but in the end, I solve interesting problems, work with amazing people, and make a difference while doing it.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I genuinely believe that we are given more than we give back. So, I’m on a mission to give back as much as possible. To my family, my communities, and everyone that we share this planet with.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Oh man, in so many ways. They challenge me every day to be great. A great human being. A great teammate. A great leader. They inspire me with their selfless actions and the example they set. It’s a special group, and I’m grateful to have them.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Ha, we do quite a bit of funny things. A lot of gift giving and storytelling. Some funny Instagram videos. We also do retreats, team dinners, and company parties. We’re a pretty tight-knit squad.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Day to day, it’s prioritizing. There are endless things to work on. Skills to learn. Numbers to crunch. Meetings to have. Events to attend. It never ends. Don’t get me wrong; I like this. It’s just challenging to prioritize.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
The most important lesson I can share is that all the entrepreneurs I’ve seen crawl back to the regular grind have done so not out of failure. They quit. Remember, in startups, the only way to fail is to quit.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
KISS. Or, keep it simple stupid. Too many entrepreneurs, myself included, stretch themselves far to thin early on. This causes all sorts of headaches and a lot of backtracking later on. Focus on signal (and make sure you’re sure you know what it is).

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.tenzotea.co

Pop Quiz, Monday with Anya Ranganathan, Co-founder of Bad Apple Produce

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Anya Ranganathan

Anya Ranganathan
Photo credit: Anya Ranganathan

What is your job role?
Co-founder of Bad Apple Produce

Tell us about your company?
Bad Apple Produce is a produce delivery service with a mission to reduce food waste. In line with our focus on sustainability, we source to produce at risk of going to waste due to supermarkets’ strict appearance requirements: maybe it’s a touch too big or small for commercial sale, has a splotch of discoloration on the peel, or is in excess supply. We deliver directly to our subscribers’ doorsteps, and because of our atypical sourcing model, we’re able to offer prices up to 50% cheaper than what you’d get in the grocery store– we’re selling avocados for $0.79, for example. Our service is perfect for anyone interested in sustainability, saving money, or that prefers the convenience of home delivery.

What do you love most about your job?
I love educating people about sustainability issues in the produce industry. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing potential customers have that “Aha” moment when they realize that grocery stores’ definition of high-quality produce isn’t necessarily the accurate one. Providing people with a platform to make conscious purchases that reflect their values is what motivates me.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Our food system is broken. Over 50% of produce grown in the US goes uneaten, and in spite of this waste, 12% of US households are food insecure. The concurrency of food waste and insecurity drives me to build a company that can make an impact.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-founder Stefanie leads by example and has natural business acumen, sharpened by fifteen years of experience in the produce industry. She started working at her father’s produce wholesaler during her summer breaks in high school, and over the years, took on every major operational role in the company– from warehouse attendant to salesperson. Only after learning the business inside out did she step into a manager position. Her story demonstrates that the best leaders take the time to understand the constituent parts of their business and build empathy for their employees.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We make up fake marketing campaigns. We’re big on produce puns!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We are selling a product that by definition, isn’t in retail supermarkets. Educating customers about our produce supply can be a challenge. Occasionally, we get people that ask questions like “Why should I buy this if it’s low quality / bad?” Even after we explain that supermarkets’ aesthetic requirements are arbitrary, some people have internalized these standards to the point that they are resistant to alternatives.

We mitigate these challenges by thinking about how to use language to craft a story about our product. One of my favorite ways to frame the issue is to ask people if they’ve ever been to Panera– if you’re familiar with their side options, they offer these child-size apples about half the weight of what you’d see in the grocery store. Unless a grower can find a Panera alternative, supermarkets won’t purchase those apples, which leads to them going to waste. That’s where we step in.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I co-founded a similar company in undergrad. Long story short, my partnership went sour, and I ended up selling my equity. I learned two things from the fallout: 1) pick a business partner with a complementary skill set. We were both undergrads with strategy experience and no knowledge of agriculture. Had someone in the produce industry joined the mix, we would’ve been more productive. 2) Know when to move on, and develop an exit strategy. In the later stages of the fallout, I felt the need to cling to the project because I was with it from its inception. However, at a point, my involvement wasn’t productive, so I focused on using my network to find an exit strategy. After a few months of conversations, I found a produce company interested in collaborating on my new project.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
The produce industry is traditional in structure– most of the large-scale producers are father/son businesses with limited space for disruption. My advice for people interested in getting involved in agriculture is to speak with as many growers as possible to develop a granular understanding of their needs. Learn to speak the language of their industry, and they will be more receptive to innovation.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: badappleproduce.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/badappleproduce/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/badappleproduce/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Niall Weintraub, Co-founder of MoneyCentro.com

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Niall Weintraub

Niall Weintraub
Photo credit: Niall Weintraub 

What is your job role?
I’m the co-founder of MoneyCentro.com, and I focus mostly on content and partnerships.

Tell us about your company?
Money Centro is a resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their businesses intelligently and profitably. So much time is wasted in entrepreneurship trying to solve problems that someone else has already solved. As such, we try to aggregate best-in-class advice and information across core business functions such as marketing, finance, legal, etc., so entrepreneurs can learn from the experts in these areas.

What do you love most about your job?
My partner and I are both research geeks and entrepreneurs, so we already spend a lot of time researching business best practices and innovations. MoneyCentro.com has created the space for us to centralize all that we learn and hopefully help lots of other entrepreneurs along the way.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
For me, ideas are like a drug. The rush I get from hearing a brilliant idea from someone I collaborate with or read is a pretty strong motivator.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-founder, for example, has an unusually wide range of skills, from coding to marketing to sales to analytics, so he’s been able to grow profitable businesses for very little investment and no employees. Most times I think we need to outsource some function, he finds a tool or hack that enables us to do it ourselves. This has inspired me to broaden my skills to try and become more of this type of DIY entrepreneur.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We use Slack, which is a fantastic collaboration tool but also allows you to share funny videos, GIFs, etc., easily within the message threads. Because a large group often sees these, it inspires people to step up their game and find amusing content.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I think one of the hardest things for any startup or small business is prioritization – there are always way too many things to do and not enough time or resources to do them. We try to score potential projects across dimensions of impact and effort, so we focus our time on high impact and low to medium effort initiatives. Even so, the list requires constant revising and debating.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
We have pretty deep expertise in digital advertising, so we often start there when looking to promote a new affiliate partner on our site. So, when we launched our first comparison credit card page, we started pushing paid Facebook traffic there immediately. The problem was, the funnel was too long. To complete a transaction, a user would have to click on the Facebook ad, then go to our landing page, then go to the credit card deals page of our partner, then go to the actual Chase or Amex page and signup. We tried to battle it many different ways, improving cost or conversion rate on this or that part of the funnel. Ultimately, though, we realized that we needed to have a direct partnership with the credit card companies to make the numbers work, so we shifted focus to other verticals in the meantime. In general, that’s how we work – test rigorously and thoroughly, but get learnings fast, so you don’t continue to pour too much time and money into something that has a low probability of success.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I think people today who go into entrepreneurship often have this “billionaire or bust” mentality, which is endemic to the venture-backed startup world. To me, the spectrum of entrepreneurial success is much wider and encompasses smaller, but significant achievements, such as being able to quit your job and be your boss or just having a small source of consistent, passive income. So, rather than trying to raise large sums of money or maxing out your credit cards to go all-in on one speculative idea, start small and test different ideas in a more limited, “proof of concept” sort of way. It’s so cheap to spin up a templated website and then use the constellation of free or inexpensive tools out there to see if an idea has legs before throwing a ton of resources at it. And even if it doesn’t become the next Uber, it could still become a nice additional income stream.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
www.moneycentro.com
www.facebook.com/moneycentro
www.instagram.com/moneycentro

A Coaching Guide On Disrupting The Health Industry: 3 Steps

Ignacio Perez de Bartolome walks us through how coaches can disrupt the health industry

We live in a world of innovation, change and disruption:

  • The largest hospitality chain in the world owns no hotels (Airbnb)
  • The largest media conglomerate publishes no media (Facebook)
  • The largest taxi company in the world owns no taxis (Uber)
  • The largest retailer in the world owns no stock (Alibaba)

The illusion of security is being dilapidated one sector at a time. Century-old companies are struggling to keep up with those created by teenagers in their parents’ basements.

Opportunities are ripe and that is why no sector is out of danger. One day, someday, disruption will set in and bring chaos to what was once a sea of tranquillity.

Health seems heavily protected as a sector because of the tight regulatory environment within. However, it is worth reviewing what happened to industries like hospitality and transportation: both were populated by undying corporate mammoths until the fine day it all came crashing down.

In January, Jeff Bezos shook $30bn off the health industry in one day (Source). He did not do anything particular other than announce plans to provide affordable healthcare to his employees. That is all it took

No lobbying could have protected healthcare companies then.

As a one person coach, you might be intimidated in taking on the healthcare establishment by yourself. It can remind you of David and Goliath, and you would not be that off.

Regardless, making a name for yourself and carving out a piece of the pie as a health coach is easier than ever before. Let me explain why:

In order for disruption to set in an industry there must be a confluence of three factors:

  1. Relaxed regulatory environment
  2. Heightened Price sensitivity
  3. The emergence of new business models.

In essence, for an industry to be widely disrupted there must be loose legal entry barriers, an increasingly displeased portion of the population with the available services, and the technological advancements necessary to make disruptive business operations viable.

So here are 3 insights to make a name out of yourself in the Health industry:

Differentiate Yourself

Being different doesn’t mean being differentiated. The former means you have chosen to be a contrarian without necessarily considering whether your new ways actually add to your clients’ journey. Differentiation comes by knowing what is currently available in the market and exploring innovative ways to serve those neglected by everyone profitably. It is then testing and validating those assumptions through minimum viable products.

For a coach, this is all about getting to know inside and out the reasons why people are fed up of their current healthcare provider, and what makes them want to explore alternatives. It means sitting down with yourself and asking what benefits does your coaching bring to the table, and why should people care about them. All of this helps you plan your go-to-market strategy, create relevant marketing material and optimise your approach with clients.

Innovate

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Source). It is a bold statement that requires constant innovation to be ever achieved. This is because there is always new information to be organised and made use of, in faster and more accessible ways. Innovation brings change but you need to know when to stop and move onto another version of your products or programs. This is very well illustrated in the value/innovation graph below. Notice how without a further iteration in the product, innovation plateaus and the value addition is minimal

As a coach, the only way to be in business for the rest of your career and enjoy predictable clientele is to innovate your coaching delivery. More than anything, when it comes to health and healthcare, technology is a looming threat. The industry as a whole is moving towards less invasive treatments through advanced technology in an attempt to care more for the customer. How can you as a health coach deliver your coaching in ways which force people to pay attention to? What will machines never be able to provide to patients? Innovating along these lines is a tried and tested approach to long-term competitive advantage and worry-free business development.

Caring Sells

Amazon’s mission statement is longer than Google’s by a factor of a couple of pages. The gist of it is that they are on a mission to become the world’s most customer centric business (Source). Why? Because caring sells.

As a health coach you need to be aware of what is shifting in the health industry as a whole. What we are seeing unfold now are shifts in consumer attitude. People are more displeased and want more transparency. They want health bills to be accessible and easily understandable so that refunds can be simplified. Health is moving towards the same level of customer satisfaction than Amazon. When the experience you get ordering a book online is better than the care you receive when you are in need, the system has to change. You must be the one to see it before anyone else.

The health insurance premiums have increases year on year for the past 20 years in line also with the annual deductible costs (Source), making healthcare more and more a privilege for the few. People are going to expect more care, for less, whilst improving the entire customer experience from start to end. At what point do you come into the picture? That is the question you must ask yourself.

Conclusion

Healthcare is ripe for disruption, with the correct industry analysis and customer behavioural insights, health coaches have a reliable ace up their sleeves.

Ignacio Perez – VP Business Strategy

Ignacio Perez is a strategy expert and executive at 7-figure consulting firm Sai.Coach. His clients include Mr. Universe Champions, Team GB Paralympians, Best-Selling Authors, Million Dollar Investors and MS survivors. Click HERE to learn more

The Business Strategy Team @ .Coach LLC

We will last for another 60 days

“When will sales pick up? Customers buy our product, promise us the moon for scaling and yet, they do not honour their commitment. “

A founder was lamenting with a very high level of exasperation.

I thought aloud and asked why would a customer stop responding. The founder and his team had been working with customer, supplied the hardware in time. The software worked perfectly , demonstration was done to the full satisfaction, the informatics from the device proved very useful. Overall, it was a euphoric situation for all.

Then what could have gone wrong ?

It appears that after the initial hand-holding, the relationship intensity decreased to a cursory check on the performance of the equipment.

The value proposition of the product and service was to democratise access by de-materialisng and de-monetising the broken parts of end user’s experience in main it seamless for the end user. This meant that the end user could save several trips to access critical and analysed  information right from the first point of access.

A closer discussion indicated while technical requirements were well addressed, the operative conditions for the product to meet business objectives was left to customer’s experience and experimentation. The relationship grid was High Trust and Low relevance initially (the product and service potential was assessed but not realized) and then degenerated into manitenance with low relevance. Client faced a wall of unanticipated challenges and did not have the experience or insight to address them.

My advise to the partner was to step up the relationship from low relevance to high relevance so that the maturity shifted from likability to business advisory partnership.

This means collaborating with the client by stepping into their shoes and working out a solution that meets clients business needs. This is a mindset shift – grow yourself by helping your customers grow.

What do you think?

 

 

7 Reasons why Business Coaching is critical for Business Growth

A Coach plays a pivotal role in the entire journey of the Business’s Success. This is the secret to success of renowned people in the areas of Business, Sports, Movies / Entertainment, Politics or even relationships. The Coach will bring out the best within you. Here are some of the many ways in which a coach can help your Business Grow:

1.    Success lies outside of the comfort zone

A great coach will push you outside of your comfort zone & enable you to explore facets of yourself that you have never tried to. A coach can help you overcome the fear of executing new experiments in business. You will get the confidence to drive a higher impact from your actions, that leads to the ultimate success of your business.

 2.    Focus & Clarity of thoughts

Energy flows in the direction where you focus. A coach will help you focus on the outcome that you’d like to have in your business. In the absence of clarity of thoughts, you will find it very challenging to deliver results. The tools and models will help you utilise your most crucial resource, time in the best possible way.

3.    Best Buddy, a trusted partner and Unbiased Feedback

As a Business Owner, there are situations which you are not able to confide in peers, family members or friends. The coach plays the role of a confidante, wherein you can share any information without hesitation. The coach acts as a partner who looks at the problems with a different view & helps you arrive at the optimum solutions. The coach will not hesitate to give honest feedback because the underlying intent is strong – bring out the best version of yourself.

4.    The Right Questions

A problem in any area of life is an unanswered question. A coach will facilitate discovery of the underlying objective, that the problem is indicative of. Starting with the problem, the coach will then help you with solutions that are cost effective, logical, realistic & feasible which you can implement right away in your business.

 5.    Broad Experience & New Perspectives

An ideal coach will have served across different types of business, different geographies & comes with credible experience. Hence, they have a viewpoint which is different from your peers, friends and family. This will drive business innovation and help the business improve constantly.

6.    Increase Revenues and Profitability

The ultimate goal of any Business is to increase revenues and profit margins. A good Business Coach will have tools and frameworks that will help set crystal clear goals, outline the strategy, define processes and optimize resources. This is the tangible contribution of a Coach in a Business.

7.    Psychology of the Business Owner

80% of Business Success (why to) is Psychology & 20% is the mechanics (how to). The Coach will enhance the confidence of the business owner & tune the psychology towards success. While the how to? is also important in a business, the coach will emphasize on the Why to? which is the key to the success of any business.

Lead your Business to its Ultimate Success much faster with a Business Coach.

Connect with the author here : https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreyrakesh/

Website: www.jeffreyrakesh.com

The Most Powerful Word You’ll Ever Use In Your Business

“I don’t know how to play tennis, but I want to be a world champion. I’m going to win the Grand Slam. I will do whatever it takes. Hard work doesn’t scare me. But there’s only one thing that is going to end my career: the first match that I lose at any level at all, I’m quitting.”

We are so afraid of losing; so scared of hearing “no”. But it’s the most important word in your business.

Get used to hearing “NO”

This is the hardest lesson of all, but if you’re too afraid of hearing a rejection, you’re going to put yourself—and your client—under too much pressure.

How do you think a series of sales calls would go? We’d love it to be something like this:

Call 1: Yes

Call 2: Yes

Call 3: Yes

In fact, it’s more likely to go like this:

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Now, it would be amazing if you just had a series of “Yes” calls, but if you’re too afraid of a “No”, you’re probably not even going to have those sales conversations in the first place.

And you learn so much from hearing the word “No.” You might hear what your prospects do like about your service. You might learn a lot about what they don’t like, and why.

And that “no” may not be a permanent rejection. It may be just “no … for now.”

Get used to saying “no” to others

This is a big one.

If you’re too general, and want to accept “any kind of customer anywhere”, you’re not going to attract the people you are best able to help.

“Anyone” isn’t a market. “Anyone” isn’t anyone.

And while we’re at it, maybe it’s time to be a little more focused.

When someone asks you to take on some work, or collaborate over some project, you are doing them a disservice and doing yourself a disservice, too, if you are saying “yes” when you can’t honour that commitment.

So what is that commitment?

If you’ve decided to write a book, together, then what, exactly, are you undertaking?

If you’re going to be affiliates, or even to catch up for a regular meeting, what are you saying “Yes” to? Will this meeting (and the work that comes with any meeting) be strategic for you?

When you say “Yes” to some new commitment, what are you saying “no” to?

Say “No” to yourself

This might seem obvious to you, as an entrepreneur. After all, you’re giving your heart and your soul to make this business work.

But sometimes you take on new commitments to your professional development that just make no sense.

For instance, supposing you decide to buy a business book. Are you committing to read it, or are you just going to add it to the pile, and feel guilty that you never seem to get through the list?

Or downloading a checklist or an eBook, and then committing to subscribing to the newsletter. Is that really going to be information that you will read, digest, and implement? Or is it going to add to your inbox clutter?

Practice “No” 3 times in the next 24 hours

“No” is the most powerful word you’ll ever use in your business. It’s good to hear. It’s good to say. You really should try it (even if you’re a nice person!)

So, here’s a challenge: in the next 24 hours, practicing saying “No” (nicely) to three things that you really shouldn’t say “Yes” to. Three things … or maybe to three people. Do it nicely, but do it.

You’re only saying “no” to these things in order to be more focused on the opportunities you need to say “yes” to.

You can thank me later.


By breaking down the process of starting and growing a business into simple steps, I give entrepreneurs the direction in which to go. Learn more from my website: AnthonyEnglish.com.au

How To Stop Perfectionism From Ruining Your Business


You know the rush of adrenaline. A new service that you’re going to sell. A book you want to write that is going to answer exactly the struggles that you’ve faced in starting a business.

It’s the book you wish you had for yourself when you were starting out.

Wait! You are starting out. And you don’t have that book. You don’t have the answers. And you know it.

So then the doubts creep in. No, they rush in.

“So, you’re the expert, are you?”

“What right do you have to set yourself up as an expert?”

“You haven’t even managed this yourself, and there you go, teaching others!”

Or maybe you think: “that book has already been written. It must be out there already.”

So you start. Then you stop. Then you get a new idea.

An article. Yes. Let’s not go for the whole book just yet. Let’s try a short piece first.

But as soon as you hit the keyboard, the doubts set in again.

The two sides of perfectionism

Being a perfectionist is a gift and a curse. It’s especially hard if your job is to get something out the door: to ship something.

If you’re getting advice like: “Don’t overthink it!” or “Fake it till you make it”, then it’s probably not helping. Your business, your “perfect” product or service, are not selling on impulse. They matter. They matter, because you care.

So, too, if someone tells you: “Just do it!”, then chances are that’s only going to work if you act quickly. Because deep down, those doubts are still there.

So, how about a different approach?

What if, instead of examining yourself to see whether you have made the perfect product or service for the world to see, what if you were to take the focus off yourself.

How?

Actually, it’s quite easy.

You’re sensitive to what people will think. So, instead of thinking like that, what if you were to think this: “I am serving someone.”

That means that instead of them judging you for a product that—let’s face—has room for improvement, what if you think about how you are helping them?

Here’s how I look at it. You’re on the beach and someone is out there in the water, struggling. You can swim, and you can save them. You can’t stay on the beach, thinking: “but my swim stroke isn’t perfect!”

Who said “perfect”?

What you do is work out a good way that is going to help. You’re in this to serve, and for them also to pay you handsomely.

You don’t need to wait till it’s perfect. It never will be. So, ask yourself: “what’s the minimum I can do to get the very first service or product across the line?”

It may not be perfect. It won’t be perfect. But you’re helping someone, and very likely that’s someone who will be surprised and delighted with what you have to offer.

You’re a perfectionist, and what you’re putting out is not perfect. You shouldn’t do a sloppy job or take shortcuts, of course. But you do have a capacity to serve up something that may not be perfect.


Anthony English is a business coach in Sydney, Australia. He helps service professionals package their expertise, so that they can can make it easier for their buyers to buy. If you’re curious about Anthony’s offerings, go to his website.