“A change is as good as a rest,” goes the old saying. In last month’s business review, I wrote about how I feel like I have so much more time and space since ditching life in the capital for the Sussex South coast. The reality is I don’t actually have any more time now than I did in London. But I feel like I do. More times for walks on the beach. More time to catch up with friends. More time to pursue hobbies like singing in a choir and learning Italian. And more time for working on an operational plan for my own business strategy.
When I’m working with clients, there’s nothing I enjoy more than delving into their business strategy. But with a busy business consulting practice, I don’t always have the time I’d like to devote to the implementation of my own business strategy. Making progress on my own re-brand is my highest Q2 priority, and I’ve had great fun working with my graphic designer on this.
I’ll be sharing the results of my re-brand over the next 2-3 months.
Brand goes far, far deeper than visual effects, and goes to the heart of the mission, values and culture of your business. Here’s a snapshot of what has flowed from the work I’ve been doing on my own brand to date.
A Clearer Definition Of What I Do
You know how when you go to networking events, you’re supposed to have a ‘captivating introduction’ that succinctly describes what you do and begs the listener to ask more? The fact is I’ve always struggled with mine. Not because I don’t know what makes a good ‘captivating introduction.’ I do.
Last week it clicked. Finally I came up with a short sentence that encapsulates what my business is about.
I help business leaders to do good, make money and change the world.”
How simple is that short sentence!
This short sentence encapsulates my view that business can be a powerful force for positive social change. You only have to look to the example of Microsoft, Apple, Royal Dutch Shell, and other titans of industry who have broken with the decision to leave the Paris Agreement, and this powerful statement from Plan B stating unequivocally that business supports a clean energy future. (Plan B was formed by a global group of business leaders that includes Paul Polman, Sir Richard Branson, Marc Benioff and Arianna Huffington to act as a catalyst for a better way of doing business, for the well-being of people and the planet).
Integrating My Personal Passion With My Business Purpose
What many people don’t know is that while I was at university, I took a life-changing trip to Kenya. I spent a month travelling around this beautiful country with a friend who was a teacher with VSO. This trip had a huge influence on my world view. After graduation, I went on to study for a Masters Degree in Development Studies at Leeds University.
Had I not decided to set up my own business consultancy, I would have sought a position as a CEO of an international development not-for-profit. In fact I started applying for CEO roles with development charities. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I wanted to run my own business. And the more I realised that there are many ways of incorporating my passion for development into what I do, beyond a traditional employee role.
The Question Was How?
My personal passions are education and equality, particularly where these relate to women’s empowerment. I believe that education is a catalyst for change, and the means by which people can change their circumstances. Education is one way of addressing ignorance which in turn helps to address bigotry, prejudice and inequality. I wouldn’t claim that education is the whole solution, but it plays a vital role.
This is why I’m an Ambassador for Half The Sky, and support Plan International, Amnesty and Women For Women International. But I’ve always wanted to do much more.
That’s why I’ve gone back to the Global Goals, and looked to the example of business leaders like Richard Branson and Paul Polman for inspiration.
My responsible business plan is built around three big goals:
- Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- Achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.
- Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing in more detail what this means in practice.
Join The Conversation
Question: How have you incorporated your personal passions into your your business. I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share how you’re going to use this in the comments box below.Explore These Additional Resources
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Work With Me
I’m Denyse Whillier, a Sussex and London based business coach and consultant. I work with responsible business leaders to build profitable and successful brands that do good, make money and help to change the world. I draw on Built To Succeed™, my proven success system, developed during my 8 years in the trenches as a CEO, to help my clients to achieve their goals
I’d love to start a conversation about whether we’re a good fit to work together. Simply use this link to arrange an informal Skype coffee chat. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching (or business consultancy) would be right for you.
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