Green Your Horizons – 3 Steps to a Better Business

Greening your horizons doesn’t mean becoming a ‘tree-hugger’ or anti-establishment.  In fact, I believe that incorporating a MoreThanGreen™ approach to your business gives your business heart and will “do-good”.  You will have a better business and better customers and more profits to do more good!

What is business with heart? 

In today’s business world, a self-centred focus on your own profitability is not enough to be truly successful and to have longevity. Businesses must remove their blinders to create and maintain a positive impact on their own employees, the community they live and work in, and on the environment.

A for-profit-businesses is traditionally, and continues to be focused on wealth building.  In addition, today’s Comtemplation Reap Action ILIprogressive and most successful businesses also now recognize that wealth sharing is a critical facet that cannot be ignored. Giving back to the community and reducing their impact on the environment are a necessity if they want to engage and retain top talent, attract loyal customers and build strong relationships with community members.

A business with heart considers all facets on the triple bottom line – people (employees, the community, clients), planet (environmental impact) and profits. They strive to create economic value while also creating social or environmental value at the same time. Each factor is important in all decisions and actions are transparent and well documented. Corporate philanthropy is as important as profit-making components of any business.

What Steps Can You Take?

1. Integrate your Values

Are you clear on your own personal values?  Do your values and those of your organization align with those of your employees / team members? Are employees clear on what the business’ values? If not, this is the place to start! If values are not clear and in alignment, there will be challenges – a true misfit!

One of my top values is education. This has become an integral focus of my business endeavours, my own professional development and is part of my charitable focus. This alignment creates a strong link between the three and allows me to maintain a strong focus. It also sends a clear message to my team, colleagues and clients of what is important.

2. Set SMART goals.

Setting goals should be a routine activity for every business, department and leader.  As you know, goals should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Specific).  One area where new goals for business can be set are philanthropic goals.  Many organizations claim to “do good” but they fail to have clear and measurable goals in this area.. In my business, I have set a goal to donate a minimum of 1% of gross sales to charities that align with my values.  Learn more on my efforts on my website

Can you measure the impact of your social and environmental efforts? Are your efforts transparent so others can clearly recognize that you do what you say? If not, it is important to establish a method to both measure and report on actions taken and results achieved. Be specific. Rather than state “a portion of profits,” state a specific amount of total revenue ie: 1% of gross sales, or $2.00 of each book. These numbers cannot be manipulated or branded as a “green-wash.”

3. Engage Others

Getting employees at all levels engaged with your business goals and endeavours is a critical component.  Are your philanthropic goals resonating with members of your team and with your customers? Are your efforts more than lip service to a cause? How do you demonstrate this commitment? Employees are more motivated to help you to achieve your goals if they are part of the process. Do you support their desire to volunteer for causes important to them?

Many large corporations are now encouraging their employees to volunteer in the communities where they live and work. They support these efforts by allowing time off from work and/or providing financial, marketing or physical resources such as equipment. Millennials and Generation Y’s now expect this involvement from employers. Failing to integrate and involve them in social enterprise efforts means they will look elsewhere for employment. If you want to attract and retain top talent, engagement is critical.

Isn’t it time for you to seriously add heart to your business and green your horizons? Your community, the environment and your bottom line will thank you!

Powerhouse Team

During an episode of “The Property Brothers at Home”, the twins were discussing a project they were working on.  Each had ideas they wanted to include in the project – almost polar opposites.  During the show they were bantering back and forth and a new (and better) idea surfaced that they both liked.  Interestingly enough, they commented about how they frequently bring different perspectives forward and through their discussions land on an even better solution than they would have arrived at individually.

This is a very simplistic example of how two (or more) minds coming together usually come up with better solutions brain ideas pd 11575587_sthan would occur individually.

Is a group always better?

When a team within an organization come together, they too can mastermind to enhance the decisions and solutions.  Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.  In most work situations, people attending a meeting have different levels of authority.  If the meeting is not structured to encourage the sharing of ideas and perspectives regardless of position (rank), then employees will most likely refrain from speaking up when they hMeeting Teamave a different perspective or idea than their boss.

Another phenomenon that happens in many groups occurs where complacency reigns.  Group Think occurs when everyone on the team begins to think alike.  The status quo is embraced and innovation and varied perspectives are fail to be embraced and encouraged.

Challenge the Status Quo

As a leader of a business, division or committee, creating and sustaining an effective group is important if you want to have a positive impact.  To help prevent group think in your team, always be willing to challenge what seems obvious.  When you challenge teams, they will be more creative and innovative and new and more successful solutions can result.

My recommendation is to always ask Why.  Not just once, but many times throughout the process.  This one simple word can invoke a wide variety of thoughts, ideas, and new solutions.

Case Study

I was working with a client, who I’ll name Joe.  He had a team of managers who worked well together but results from the management team were not helping them keep pace with competitors.  When we looked at past decisions and outcomes, a pattern became apparent.  Most of the decisions were introduced by one manager, and after a short discussion, minor adjustments, that solution was implemented.  It was quick, easy and painless.  What they learned is that it wasn’t the right approach.

Our solution was to create a structure which would guide the decision making process so that they would compete more effectively and grow their business.  This decision making process included brainstorming, risk assessment, resource evaluation, and a beta test before final launch.  Through the beta test they can ask what is working, what is not and most importantly why!  The answers fueled their future discussions and decisions and led to more innovation and better profits.

Working Alone or Looking for More Diverse Perspectives?

Small and medium business leaders often have a small leadership team.  Their ability to ask for feedback, gather different perspectives or garner support (cause it can be lonely at the top) is limited.

Arrow up ID-10022718So… a mastermind (peer-mentoring) group can be the solution!  Why!  You become part of a unique group of motivated, goal oriented, successful business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs who, like you, are focused on being a good leader, better business person and make better decisions that ignite results, engage employees, grow business and helps them professionally and personally.

A Mastermind Group offers all participants unprecedented opportunities to lead change, grow business and become a stronger leader and a confident person.   Learn more about our Achieve More! Mastermind   Sign up today to reserve your spot!  The Group is limited to 10 participants.

 

End the Roller Coaster of Business

One thing I have learned over the years in business is there will always be some ups and downs.  Some are small, others more of a roller coaster ride!  When ups and downs happen, as the leader, you know how important it is to stay the course rather than make major changes.

Now, staying the course does not equal no change.  Instead, it involves connecting with your vision, understanding the market place and evaluating your systems.  Are they in alignment?  For example, as we enter summer, business may slow down as more of your customers take holidays and are away from work.  If your customer base is primarily business, the rotating holiday schedule may delay the decision making process, even when a sale appeared imminent just prior.  In this situation, you won’t make drastic changes, but may have to adjust your business operations or attract new clients who are open for business.

Regardless of which approach you choose, it is important to have a clear vision and strong systems in place so you can make subtle shifts effectively.  Recently I have experienced a series of ups and downs in my business.

The Spark in all of this was a major setback when a client backed out at the last minute.  Do you Is your biz on a roller coaster-Is it (2)believe in coincidences?  As I write this post, I have a smile on my face… realizing that coincidences do happen!  When one door shuts another opens.  You just have to be looking!

As I mentioned, I was speaking with a potential client who was indecisive on taking next steps. Long story short, we’d been doing the “sell-dance” and ended when they decided not to move forward on their project.  They loved what I could bring to the table and wanted to work with me because they could clearly see where I could lead the transitions they want to make … yet they decided to put everything on hold.

Ok, I must admit that this is not the first time I’ve experienced this same scenario, but it’s still frustrating!  I’m sure you can relate.

When facing this situation, I have found two key questions can help potential clients to make a decision.  “What specifically will motivate you to make a decision?” and “Is money the major obstacle?”

This gentle roller coaster ride resulted in some amazing business opportunities to appear because I was prepared and open for business.  After receiving the news that I wouldn’t be starting this major project, I had to redirect my focus.  Fortunately I had not put all my eggs in one basket and had kept looking, talking and making business proposals.  I also found the process I underwent with that client forced me to really shift my mindset and let go of the result and just go with the flow.

I don’t know which of these items were the positive influence, but I do know that one or all of them worked!   I was offered a new project by a former client which starts shortly, received several referrals, identified two new potential clients and projects where I could really help add value, and I create a new way to grow my business.

Your take away….

1.  Think Big — opportunities abound when you keep your eyes open to possibilities

2.  Stay Positive — one set back or two isn’t enough when you have a strong will to succeed

3.  Be willing to Exert some Effort in the process — we all want instant results but a little elbow grease always helps

4.  Focus on the Future —  Just because one potential client keeps telling you positive responses, until they put money in your hands, they are only a prospect.  Don’t let any other prospects or leads pass you by!

5.  Don’t Give Up! — Persistence, consistency and communicating your value in your prospect/customer’s language is key!

 

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Buddha

 

When Opportunity Knocks, Do You Answer?

Opportunity…

1  : a favourable juncture of circumstances 

2  : a good chance for advancement or progress

How do you view today’s economy?  Do you view our economy pessimistically or do you see the glass half full – with the current economy offering you an array of opportunities to create business and grow.

There is no doubt that times have been challenging and the debt load held by countries and people alike leave many facing cut-backs, lay-offs. loss of homes and stability.   Despite recessions and challenging TimeisMoney_Phaitoon_ID-10072145economic times, there are many opportunities available.  As the economy picks up, the opportunities continue to grow and evolve.

As the definition above indicates, an opportunity may be a juncture where you connect with someone or something that opens a door to something new or different.   Ultimately, an opportunity will allow you to move forward in some way if you capitalize on it.

I strongly believe that when one door closes, another opens!  The key is whether you are open to what is presented, and if you actually see it!  Many businesses I have worked with have failed to recognize how a situation they are facing is advantageous and could help them grow and prosper.  I came in to assist with the change process as they re positioned themselves.   I have watched other businesses struggle to maintain the status quo when the environment around them was changing quickly and they weren’t keeping up.  They didn’t recognize what key decisions were needed and failed to reach out for help from others.  The result… the competition left them in their dust.

An opportunity can only move you forward when you take action.  Action begins with making a decision.  Contemplating an opportunity without making a decision will leave you stuck in the same place.  On the positive side, taking time to make a decision does allow you an opportunity to evaluate your options but you cannot reap the benefits until you make a decision to take advantage of it.

Not all opportunities are the right ones for you.  An opportunity should allow you to grow. Opportunities frequently push you into new areas and this new arena will most likely be outside your comfort zone.  Growth requires you to step up, think outside the box or accept managed risk.

 

What opportunities are on your horizon? 

What steps do you have to take to capitalize on these opportunities? 

Mastermind CEO Groups

In a recent article “The Benefits of Belonging to a CEO  Group” author Christopher Haan discusses how a peer mentoring group can help you manage your business better.  In this article, Haan states that participants must be ” active participants …–for doers, not just listeners”.  Mastermind participants who are CEOs participate because they are ” not always going to hear what they need to hear from employees or the board,” he says. “They come because people will tell them what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. They really like having an objective sounding board of CEOs whose only agenda is to help you and your business get better.”
StudyBuddy2How does a mastermind group improve your business or career?

When you join a mastermind group you have an opportunity to join a select group of motivated and dedicated business leaders who are open and willing to take the steps toward collective success.  Each participant brings their knowledge, skills, experience and insights.  They also embrace the concept of sharing & supporting each member of the group in a frank yet

Receiving honest, frank feedback is not always what you want to hear but when given in a supportive environment, it allows you to seek solutions to turn negatives into positives, gain insights into how others perceive a situation or brainstorm new ideas.

Virtual or In-Person

There are a variety of different mastermind groups available for entrepreneurs, professionals, CEO’s and more.   Each group brings its own culture and can be run in both facilitated and non-facilitated formats.

Virtual groups offer you the ability to connect with others in your city, province, state, country or globally all from the comfort of your home or office.  There are great time savings because you don’t have to travel to the meeting location.  Technology allows groups to video-conference together and improve the connectivity over telephone calls alone.   Not meeting in person takes self-discipline to turn off your cell phone, email notifications and any other distractions.  A mastermind only works when every member of the group is fully engaged and involved.  I have loved my virtual groups.  One of the mastermind teams I belonged to was global.  Since we all had similar businesses, the distance geographically was a benefit because we weren’t targeting the same clients.

In person groups offer participants a very focused meetings where you can directly connect with each participant.  For some, this format works much better than a virtual group.   I really enjoy getting together with my mastermind team.  We have created a great environment to share and gain the support we need to really step up and into new arenas.  A face-to-face group does have some drawbacks — most importantly is that everyone must live in the same geographic area and you have to allow extra time to travel to the meeting location.  Timeliness is also critical – Time is money!  Respecting each other enough to arrive on time, stay focused on the topic at hand, and being willing to discuss the “hard” areas will make this type of group a valuable addition to your business or career.

Facilitated or Self-Run – There are two different approaches to mastermind groups.  Some groups self-run, usually with one or two members taking on the role of leader.  many self run groups have a loose agenda and experience a shorter lifespan.  I have belonged to several self-run masterminds in the past two decades and two of them have survived for more than 10 years, although members came and went.

On the other hand, facilitated masterminds offer members an opportunity to focus on their business and participating instead of organizing and leading the mastermind.  The facilitated meetings generally have a fee attached and the facilitator will organize and lead the group, keep everyone on schedule and help coordinate resources, guest speakers and screen new members.

Take the next step

If you are ready to catapult your career or business to the next level, a mastermind group is for you!  As your mastermind facilitator, I bring groups together who are at the same phase or have a common focus and I run both in person and virtual options.   A 6 month commitment to the group is requested, with membership month to month thereafter.   Groups help to create their mastermind culture.  Members also have input into the approach, topics, schedule and format.

As a member of a mastermind you will be supported in your goals and accountability is a built-in component of each group.  You will receive a Mastermind Success Tracker, access to monthly book reviews, expert interviews or tele-seminars for added support.

 

Apply today for one of my new groups starting in September 2016

Visit Gold Spark Mastermind

 

What You Think Appears

In the past week I have had some amazing opportunities and coincidences happen.  One frustration was all it took!   As I write this, I have a smile on my face… realizing that it is true, when one door shuts another opens.  You just have to be looking!

I had a potential client who I’d been doing the “sell-dance” with for awhile finally decide not to move forward on their project.  They love what golden-eggbring to the table, want to work with me, understand how my services can really propel their concepts forward and recognize that I’m offering good value… yet they decided not to put everything on hold.   GRRRR!

Ok, this happens.  I haven’t been in business for over 20 years and not experienced this same situation before, but it’s still frustrating!  I’m sure you can relate.   The interesting thing for me was I instinctively knew this would most likely be the outcome, yet when I outright asked these 2 questions, “What specifically will motivate you to make the decision?” and “Is money the major obstacle?” I was told they were close to a decision.

After receiving the news that I wouldn’t be starting this major project, I had to redirect my focus.  Fortunately I had not put all my eggs in one basket and had kept looking, talking and making business proposals.  I also found the process I underwent with that client forced me to really shift my mindset and let go of the result and just go with the flow.

I don’t know which of these items were the positive influence, but I do know that one or all of them worked!   I was offered a new project by a former client which starts shortly, received several referrals, identified two new potential clients and projects where I could really help add value, and I create a new way to grow my business.

 

Your take away….

1.  Think Big — opportunities abound when you keep your eyes open to possibilities

2.  Stay Positive — one set back or two isn’t enough when you have a strong will to succeed

3.  Be willing to Exert some Effort in the process — we all want instant results but a little elbow grease always helps

4.  Focus on the Future —  Just because one potential client keeps telling you positive responses, until they put money in your hands, they are only a prospect.  Don’t let any other prospects or leads pass you by!

5.  Don’t Give Up! — Persistence, consistency and communicating your value in your prospect/customer’s language is key!

 

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Buddha

 

 

 

Contact me for a Complimentary Exploration Session… let me assist you to create what you want in your career or business.

Take Action Ignite Profits

How prepared are you for the summer?  

Will your business slow down and impact your income? 

 

If you are like many entrepreneurs, you will experience fluctuations in your revenues, depending on what product or service you offer, the habits of your clients, and your marketing efforts.

People will do business with you if they KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST you.  Developing this KLT can be challenging if you are spending all of your time StudyBuddy2working IN your business instead of ON your business.

The summer months frequently result in a much slower pace … an ideal opportunity to take action to revamp internal systems, create new programs or products, plan for the Fall, or take on new business!

Why wait till September when you can profit today?

I have created a new special report.  In this report I share three tips to help you create a consistent business income and stop the ebb and flow in  your revenues.

Download Your Report TODAY

 

Want to get more tips…. join me for the encore presentation of my teleseminar “5 Tips to Make this Your Most Profitable Summer Ever!

In this teleseminar, I share tips that you can implement today to make a difference to your bottom line this summer!

 

Date:  Thursday May 23, 2013

Time:    9 am PT  (12 noon ET   5pm UK)

Register NOW

Also…

Check out my new Summer Quick Start Program  — “Hit the Ignition Switch” if you are ready to take action right now!  Let’s work together to really ignite your profits and boost your business over the next three months to make it your most profitable summer ever!

This program integrates group coaching for support and accountability, online modules to guide you through the steps you need to take and a private discussion board to interact with other participants.

Affordably priced with over $300 in bonuses, this program is designed to focus on your business and better results!

LEARN MORE …

5 Tips to Your Most Profitable Summer Ever!

Will your bank account suffer this summer if you or your customers go on holiday?

Do you have ideas that could bring in money but you just haven’t found time to get them done?

 

Join me for a new Tele-seminar to capitalize on the months ahead!

“5 Tips to Your Most Profitable Summer Ever”.

 May 15, 2013     9:00 am PT   (12 noon ET, 5:00 pm UK)     

encore…..   Thursday May 23, 2013  9 am PT  (12pm ET, 5pm UK)  

It’s True…Business during the summer months frequently slows down.  Many customers take holidays or they delay decisions, projects or purchases until September, preferring to enjoy the warmer, sunnier weather and the more relaxed pace.  Do you take time off too, figuring there is no business available?   Well, I find the summer is one of the best times of the year for my business to fill my sales pipeline. 

As an entrepreneur, this change in pace opens a plethora of opportunities to grow your business!  Business may slow down but it doesn’t stop!  Are you ready to seize the day and take advantage of the next three months to have a fabulous summer and Fall?

Don’t let another day pass you by!  

This session is for you if you

Image: bplanet | www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image: bplanet | www.freedigitalphotos.net

1.  Want to attract more customers

2.  Grow your business

3.  Complete outstanding projects

4.  Create new programs

5.  Make more money

 

In this new tele-seminar, I will share 5 key actions you can take now and through the summer to grow your business and increase revenues for a stellar Summer and Fall!

A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.   Oliver Wendall Holmes

Taking action is important to move you forward… If the summer is your time to sit back and relax, only to fret about the drop in income or lack of client three months from now, I encourage you to join me to break this cycle.  You can enjoy the summer and continue to make money!  In fact, I enjoyed a month long holiday  by putting into practice what I will be sharing.

Let’s connect and let me share my 5 tips with you!   You will want to take action so you can enjoy the same results I do.

My name is Catherine Rocheleau and I am the Founder and CEO of Ignite Leadership International (TM).  As a business executive, entrepreneur and executive business coach I love to connect with business leaders who are motivated to make a difference in their business.  Entrepreneurship is a great career choice.  Bringing your products and services to life, selling them to your customers and growing a profitable business are exciting opportunities.  Don’t let one quarter of the year go buy without a steady income stream!

Take action today and let’s get started on igniting a fantastic and profitable summer!

Yes, I Want to Join the Teleseminar

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Grow Your Business this Summer

Are you ready to “Hit the Ignition Switch“? and take action in your business?

If the summer brings a slower pace and, in many cases a lower income, then this program is for you!!!Start Button Blue shutterstock_64017139

My new summer quickstart program is designed with the business owner in mind who wants to

  • Get Clear on what they want to achieve in 20-13
  • Start Planning a new project or program
  • Get Moving on incomplete projects or ideas they just haven’t actioned yet
  • Attract Customers
  • Launch a new program or product
  • Grow your business
  • Increase revenues….. and more!!!

 

It’s time for you to capitalize on this unique opportunity… a slower pace and more time to focus on your business needs instead of only your clients needs.  As a long-time entrepreneur, I have changed the tides in my business using my proven system and now enjoy steady business income year round… even when I take time away!

I am sure you want to end the ups and downs that most entrepreneurs experience.  Nothing feels worse than having no income and no clients waiting for you as you end one service package or make a product sale.  Isn’t it time to change how your business operates?

This new summer quick start program offers you an opportunity to take action today!

If you are frustrated with a lack of business, want to earn more today and have a stellar fall, then I have the program for you.  Together we will work on your project and achieve the results you are looking for.

 

Learn more….

 

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www.freedigitalimages.net

What’s your goal?  Are you ready to take action today?  

 

Register right now and you will receive three bonuses… 

1)  3 Pre-assignments + a “Good Reading” list  (value $100)

2)  Business Leadership Journal Online – 3 months (value $55)

3)  Ignite Your Social Media:  A Guide for Professionals  e-book (value $30)

 

Don’t wait…. Register today!

Only $899  (3 payments of $300)

 

Everyday you wait is a day that is a lost opportunity to make the most of the Spring and Summer.   Remember… get clear on what you want to achieve and get started today!  I’m your accountability partner to help keep you focused, on track and celebrating the successes you will achieve.

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