Are You “Hitting the Wall”?

Entrepreneurship and leadership have two key common features – forging ahead into new horizons. This requires you to face your fears, go where you have not gone before, find solutions to challenges, navigate obstacles and more… all while you deliver on your promise to deliver a high quality product/service with a positive customer experience, while running your business.

The roller-coaster ride can be exhilarating, common-place, mundane or frustrating. There are times when new ideas, opportunities or solutions come flooding in faster than you can deal with them. Other times, the pace of play is just right.

However… there are times when you are taking action, working hard and bam!… you are going nowhere fast! You feel like you are on a hampster wheel. Start questioning yourself. Look to break what used to work but isn’t right now.

There are often four key areas that my clients have found challenging where a breakthrough was needed.

First, getting clear on who is their ideal client, what problems their clients have, and the results clients achieve when they work with them. Alternatively, they are unsure of their purpose, vision and mission… or all of the above!

Second, they are unsure what next steps to take. This is often associated with overwhelm or a lack of focus. When we create the focus and align that with purpose and client wants and needs… bam! The next steps unveil themselves.

Poor time management and inefficient systems are ties holding business leaders back so they are unable to keep moving forward. Adopting new ways of doing things can feel overwhelming when you don’t look at the bigger picture and identify the step-by-step implementation approach.

The other key “wall” is not having enough money to fund the business, the owner and their social impact efforts. Spotlighting top revenue sources, cash leaks and where to take action can turn your biz from red to black.

Does any of these “walls” sound familiar? I think every business owner and leader I have met has hit one wall or another and those that successfully find a way to knock that wall down or go around it, reap the benefit of their efforts. Most reach out to mentors, coaches, boards of advisors, their team or trusted colleagues. In fact, very few of the most successful business leaders, can break through the wall alone.

Our Breakthrough Huddle is a short, 45 minute focused working session where we pull up our sleeves, cut to the chase and create your breakthrough so you can create the action plan to move forward, grow, innovate and crush the obstacle or use it as a launch pad to something new and better.

If you a leader, entrepreneur or business owner who is:

  • feeling frustrated because your efforts are going no where,
  • tired of trying to find a solution on your own,
  • unsure about what next steps to take, or
  • wanting to explore new ideas, create a plan, pivot, reposition or repurpose, and
  • motivated to take action to create a sustainable, profitable future

the Breakthrough Huddle is for you!

If you aren’t ready to end the inertia you’re experiencing so you can experience the thrill of momentum again … the Breakthrough Huddle is not for you.

What is inaction costing you and your business?

Impactful Legacy Podcast #51 with host Mari-Lyn Harris

I had the honour of being a guest on the Impactful Legacy podcast with host Mari-Lyn Harris of Heart At Work.

Please contact me if you have questions or want to explore how you can create social impact through business while leading a profitable business.

Navigating Change with Purpose

Have you been feeling a bit out of sorts lately? Wondering how you can regain your focus, purpose and routine? Change has a way of pulling the rug out from under you. More so when the change comes with so many unknowns and for which you have no control.

Here are some tips for navigating our rapidly changing business world –

  1. Recognize that what is happening around you is out of your control, however, you can take positive steps to be safe, be well and have a positive impact. That includes: staying home and only going out for essentials ie getting groceries; keeping a 2 m (6 ft) distance between yourself and others; and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  2. Ground yourself every day by reflecting on your purpose and your values. These are your north star — your non-negotiables! Grounding yourself to what is most important brings a natural calming influence.
  3. Create a daily routine for yourself – personal and business. Working from home can be challenging if it is not your usual place. You may have additional distractions than normal. I use time blocking. I block off 1-2 hours for work activities then 1 hour for personal. I repeat this pattern during the day. It helps give a sense of balance, accomplishment and calm.
  4. Set goals for yourself – daily, weekly and monthly. Don’t let today’s situation prevent you from looking forward. Although we have many unknowns, there will be an end and a new normal. Now is the time to prepare for that. Like anything, it may need to be tweaked or implementation delayed, but that’s easier than revving up from a dead stop. Check out our Goal Strategy Success program to guide you through our proven goal implementation process.
  5. Stay connected. As a business owner, stay connected to others in your network. Communicate with your team, your clients, your suppliers. On a personal note, reach out to family and friends. We are all in this together. When you stay in touch, reconnect with people you have lost touch with, you will not feel isolated, alone or out of sync.
  6. Lastly, stay visible. They always say, the time to increase your advertising is during a recession. We may not be in a true recession, but we are in a down time for normal business activities. How can you be more visible to your clients or ideal potential clients? When things return to normal, people will remember you as everyone else ramps up!

Our resilience as entrepreneurs and business owners may be challenged today, however we are more prepared for uncertainty than many others in the world. Take steps everyday to align, activate and advance your business efforts so you can ride the wave we are on, and return to leading a profitable business soon.

If you are looking to work with a mentor who can work with you to navigate the changes you are facing and to prepare for the next phase, we have programs that can assist you. Our programs include: group coaching, mastermind groups, VIP Strategic Intensives, Strategic Huddles and more!

Complete our application and book your complimentary Ignition Call and we will explore if our programs are right for you.

Creating IMPACT in today’s Turbulent World

How are you doing in today’s changing and turbulent world? Today, more than ever, I believe our ability to create a positive impact through business can be our guiding light.

Hi, I’m Catherine Rocheleau, founder of Ignite Leadership International, host of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Summit, and the creator of the IMPACT Business Blueprint online program.

I work with socially-conscious and purpose driven leaders to align profit and purpose so they can create great cultures that inspire impact-driven employees to do great work in the world.

It is hard to go through our day without facing the implications of the enormous impact of COVID-19.  It’s impact on our ability to conduct business, deliver goods and services, and plan for the future.

Change is challenging at the best of times.  When we have so many unknowns, risks greater than we ever anticipated, unforeseen circumstances that are pulling the carpet out from under us, and our employees, customers, suppliers and our community, it is easy for panic and fear to set in.

As a business leader, I believe we have to step forward and be leaders.  We don’t have to have the answers. We may feels like our world is crashing, yet, we have a responsibility to our teams, ourselves and our business to take a deep breath and hit the pause button – if only for a minute or two.

As each of us, as leaders, takes a minute or two to pause, we can start the shift – the shift to one of calm, thoughtful perspective, and openness to accept what we cannot change, take action on what we can, and keep an eye on the future and what we can become. 

Most importantly we can also recognize how we can have a positive impact on the world around us. Yes, opportunity abounds. 

I encourage you to take a moment to recognize what steps you can do to make the world a better place.

We have been asked to engage in social distancing and self-isolation depending on potential exposure.  Right now, I am in the middle of my 14 day self-isolation period after travelling from Vancouver to LA for a conference.  I believe it’s the one thing I can do to help flatten the curve in the spread of the virus.

In light of the cancellation of in-person events, how can you deliver products and services to existing customers in new or more innovative ways?

My business can continue to operate virtually with my global market.  Some programs I offer have moved from in-person to virtual, without skipping a beat, and without a loss of value.

The up-side, I have been able to adjust my pricing as my costs are lower and this benefits my clients without harming my business – a win-win situation.

Another great idea is exploring how you can spread payment terms over a longer period of time to help reduce the financial burden of your clients.  When we can maintain a continuity of business, we create some stability for everyone we impact.

If business has slowed to a crawl, is it time for you to take time out to work ON your business instead of IN your business?  Would a strategy session or coaching help you get clear on next steps, any areas to pivot, and on creating a positive future.

For those of you who have employees or sub-contractors, working remotely can present challenges, however there are tools like zoom, trello, and so many more that can facilitate collaboration.

Delegating clearly with designate job duties, milestones and expectations will foster a sense of calm and prompt the right use of time for everyone.

Communication is critical between team members at any time.  However, when you are engaging in social distancing and remote working conditions It is even more important.   I recommend you implement daily huddles as a way to check in, set priorities, identify bottlenecks and opportunities, while also celebrating successes.  Huddles are easy to lead, easy to participate in, they are also time efficient and deliver a high ROI.  This is definitely a triple-win strategy.

Reach out to colleagues, clients and suppliers. Is there some way you can assist them? How can you work together to keep business operating during this volatility?

What about your impact initiatives?  Can you tweak them to help front-line agencies and causes that are struggling to remain afloat?

Can you transition cost savings incurred by operating virtually and not communiting or travelling to different locations, into donations to help non-profits.  Can you volunteer your time or expertise?

Linking your business successes, even in hard times, to your impact strategies creates a positive ripple effect that benefits your business, and all your stakeholders.  Be a leader.  Take positive action!  Make an impact!

Be safe. Be Healthy. Be Kind… and let’s make a positive impact in the world to make it a better place.

If I can assist you please do not hesitate to book a consultation call so we can explore options that work for you.

The Ethical Evolution Podcast – Episode 18

I had the honour of being honoured on this podcast.

Listen here…

My next guest reached out to me online to be a guest and at first I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure how she met The Ethical Evolution criteria. The more we got talking, it was clear to see she was a perfect fit and that we were divinely aligned.

Catherine Rocheleau is the Founder & CEO of Ignite Leadership International in Vancouver, Canada.

If corporate teams are orchestras trying to make music, Catherine Rocheleau is the band leader helping them hit all the right notes.

As a leadership expert experienced in working with corporations, governments, the public sector and non-profits, Catherine specializes in assisting small to medium sized companies’ create meaningful workplaces where people and business thrive. To capture it in a nutshell Catherine coaches how to do business for good and with impact and profit – whether it be paying it forward as part of your business model or including it in the way you do business. This is true collective change.

This podcast is brought to you by Ethical Change Agency.

Profits and Purpose – They are not like Oil and Water

When it comes to embracing an impact business model, there are many questions that come to light.  One of the biggest questions I get asked is how do I balance my purpose with profit?

Hi I’m Catherine Rocheleau, CEO & Founder of Ignite Leadership International, host of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Summit, and creator of the IMPACT Business Blueprint course.

Contrary to popular belief purpose and profit are not like oil and water.  In fact, they are intricately linked.  

In the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance on Purpose and Profit, the authors stated …

“Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose—in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked. Profits are essential if a company is to effectively serve all of its stakeholders over time—not only shareholders, but also employees, customers, and communities. Similarly, when a company truly understands and expresses its purpose, it functions with the focus and strategic discipline that drive long-term profitability.” 

I think of profits as the fuel for your bus that allows your stakeholders to travel with you, and purpose as your path – your vision.  

If you run a for-profit business and want to use your business to create a positive impact in the world, you have the ability to re-allocate your profits to social/environmental impact initiatives. Although I have led non-profits both as an executive director and in a leadership capacity on the Board, I recognize my expertise is best suited to my “for-profit” endeavours.  I volunteer, mentor, and donate to non-profits who are better at delivering the change I want to support. 

However, non-profits are also businesses based on a strong mission or purpose.  As a non-profit leader, you most likely have a fund-raising plan to attract the money needed to drive your organization and deliver on your mission and purpose.

Funding, revenues, profits, capacity building are synonymous with the linking of purpose and financial status.

In order for business or non-profit leaders make a difference in the world I believe we have to shift our money mindset to one that reflects a positive relationship with a strong purpose reflected by our actions and how we back it up with adequate funding to make it happen.

I’d love to have you join me in the conversation on creating positive change through business.  I invite you to subscribe so you won’t miss future episodes.

Love is in the Air… How to Create a Happier Workplace

With Valentine’s Day upon us, there is lots of talk about happiness and love happening.  This got me thinking about a very important factor important to every manager, leader, business owner and CEO.  In fact, with employee turnover running high, and unemployment rates at very low levels, employers who want to attract and retain top people need to look beyond traditional methods.

So, what does employee happiness mean?

According to The Chief Happiness Officer BlogHappiness at work is  “the extent to which employees feel good about their jobs”
How does employee happiness differ from employee engagement?  

The Chief Happiness Officer Blog defines employee engagement as ” the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.”

These two factors are very much inter-related.

Numerous research studies have linked employee happiness with increased levels of employee engagement, productivity and creativity.  Productivity increases from 12 – 30% so its not insignificant.

When an leader, supervisor or employee is happy with the work they do and the workplace culture, they feel valued, want to contribute and will give extra effort.  They have reduced absenteeism, lower turnover and treat your customers better.  All of this impacts your bottomline.

If fact, I remember a time when my team asked me what was wrong. I tried to reassure them all was well, the questions were asked over and over.  What I didn’t realize until that moment was that my unhappiness with my boss and my work was negatively impacting them,  This prompted me to really focus on being a great leader and to deal with issues around my position differently.  Interestingly enough, I chose to walk away from that role and organization and enter the world of entreprneurship three months later.

What about Entrpeneurs?

If you are an entrepreneur, your happiness also impact your success.  Interestingly enough, many entrepreneurs report higher levels of happiness than their counterparts in regular jobs.

I love this statement by Steli Efti, “Entrepreneurship is an amazing and adventurous journey, as well as an intense growth experience. It’s a blessing to work on new ideas, solve big problems, and create something from nothing.”

If you don’t love what you do, why are spending so much time and effort to make it work?  If you’re not happy, how is that impacting your creativity, your passion, your energy level?

Creating a positive work environment for yourself, working on what you love and finding time for you can be critical to your business success.

Happiness Leads to Success

After years as an entrepeneur, and having worked with clients and their teams, we all have ups and downs in our work and in life. When we create a positive work environment for ourselves and those around us, we all do better.

Happiness isn’t wearing a smile all the time, or laughing, or exuberant behaviour.  Instead, it results from a string of positive experiences. Sometimes, anger or frustration peek up, but do not deter from happiness – they may in fact clear the air and improve happiness.

What leads to Happiness in Business?

1.  A strong sense of purpose.   Organizations with a clear purpose that aligns directly with their values are more likely to create a meaningful workplace where employees are happier and more engaged.

2. Flexibility and Input.  Organizations who embrace employee development, allow for employee ownership of their job related task, encourage employee input or allow flexibility in work hour are happier places to work.

3.  Authenticity.  Employees who are authentic, not putting on “an act” at work are more resilient and therefore they can navigate the ups and downs that naturally occur, and they tend to be kinder and more of a positive asset to the team.

Cultivating a strong team with a positive work culture where employees love to work is key to a sustainable bottomline. Contact us to explore how we add value to your team.

How I Came to Write My Story

Have you ever taken a step that pushed your comfort zone but created a positive result? This may seem like a ridiculous question to you, and maybe it is. Sometime something so simple and logical appears as a silly question — most often that question we never ask.

I know that every time I learn new things I push my own comfort zone. Learning stretches our boundaries. It can make you uncomfortable because you cannot operate on automatic mode. It can be frustrating as you try to incorporate new information/tasks into your current modus operandi. How many times have I muttered the words “I hate this” as I was studying or trying something new! Can you relate?

Earlier this year I joined a new mastermind group. My goal with this group was to take action to significantly grow my business. After having been away from my business due to health reasons for a couple of years, I was needing to take massive action to regain the business I once had.

About two months into the program we were strongly encouraged to “write our own story” and submit it into the upcoming book – The Game Changer Volume 4. Iman Aghay is the inspiration behind this best selling series. I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell my story – it wasn’t a pleasant memory. The more my mastermind teammates spoke about their stories, and shared their experiences from previous years, I realized I had to push my limit and “just do it”.

In August I created the first draft. With the help of friends and colleagues who were my Beta Readers, I received amazing support, encouragement and feedback. I made the changes and then hired an editor to assist me with the final copy. I remember the day, while I was attending a business retreat in Phoenix, AZ, that I hit the send button and submitted the final copy to the publisher. I was both nervous and excited.

Fast forward to today, November 26, 2019 — 25 other authors and I are celebrating! We became #1 International Best Selling Authors! We hit #1 in Canada and the United States. It is so exciting! This goal we achieved was a collective effort. A risk with a high reward. It brought us together as it opened doors and opportunities.

You can get your copy of this inspirational best selling book in kindle or soft cover print formats using these links


If you are interested in working with a mentor who is socially conscious & purpose driven, please complete a no-obligation application form and we will hop on a call to explore your goals and next steps.

Creating a Profitable, Purpose Driven Business

On September 17, 2019 I had the honour to present to the Vancouver Business Network. Here’s my presentation.

I’m on a mission to change the world through business, by changing the world. If you want to create change, be on purpose in your business, and attract loyal customers and talented team members, let’s chat.

A Story about Making an IMPACT

Every day we have an opportunity to make a difference in our life, those around us like family, friend, co-workers, our community. How often do we take advantage of this chance to do good.

Altruism is defined as doing something good for others with no expectation of receiving something in return. You do something kind, or to help others just because you want to; you know it will help the other person or its just the right thing to do!

This past weekend I heard stories from my mentor and fellow mastermind colleagues of phenomenal altruistic efforts and just hearing them made my heart sing. As an IMPACT business owner, I am passionate about people using business as a vehicle for doing good in the world – for changing how we leverage our ability to make money in a way that brings prosperity to everyone and everything we touch.

September is Suicide Awareness and & Prevention Month. According to statistics Canada, there were 4,157 suicides took place in Canada in 2017, making it the 9th leading cause of death, between Alzheimer’s Disease (8th) and Cirrhosis and other liver diseases (10th). Suicide attempts are much higher! In the US, there are over 3800 suicide attempts every day! The sad fact is the death rates have been increasing over the past decade!

Having experienced a suicide in my extended family, I understand how devastating it can be and how this one act has a ripple effect far greater than the loss of one valuable life. I believe its time we all can step up and become more aware of the signs and symptoms of a person in need of our intervention and/or support.

According to Crisis Services Canada, high risk signs for suicide can include talk or threats to harm oneself, looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online for materials or means, talking or writing about death, dying or suicide. Other signs include the following:

  • Increased substance use (alcohol or drug)
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation or uncontrolled anger
  • Unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
  • Feelings of being trapped– like there’s no way out
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

If you think someone is in imminent risk of suicide, call “911”. If not, it is recommended we don’t ignore the signs. It’s ok to talk about it. Research has shown talking about suicide doesn’t increase the chance they will kill themselves. In fact, being understanding and empathetic can do the opposite as it shows you care, and that they are not alone.

My colleague in Sarasota Florida, Jackie Simmons, has published a book with a huge mission! Her book, “Make it a Great Day: The Choice is Yours” is now available. Jackie’s goal is to get this book in the hands of 100,000 youth by the end of 2019, and 500,000 next year and each year beyond.

You can purchase books on this site, and one book will be given to a teen or you can sponsor 2 youth to receive a book for only $9.99 US.

I hope you will join me and support Jackie’s mission to stem the tide of suicide. I have already donated 3 books. I have also shared this opportunity with business colleagues, family and friends. I am encouraging you to do the same.

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