Business Built on Empathy
Money is not the main motivation for being in business for Cate. She has worked tirelessly in the corporate world for the last 15 years. She has made sacrifices to climb the corporate ladder. Her main trade-off was time. Time with her family. But when Cate got to the top, she didn’t like the view. As a result, she has chosen to do work with meaning. The work she does is important to her. And to her family. A lifestyle business.
How Cate makes money matters as much as how much she makes. She wants to give back to her husband. Take him on more holidays. She wants to give back to the community. She has chosen a cause.
Making the transition from a decent paying Corporate job to running a lifestyle business has its challenges. Cate experiences highs when her business has a win. She experiences lows when someone says no to her idea. She feels isolated. She is used to working in a team environment. She is used to seeking the support of her corporate colleagues. All of a sudden, there is no-one to share those highs and lows with. She seeks out her partner to share all those high and lows with. She does this on a daily basis. But she feels as though it’s important to gain a fresh perspective.
Her business feels like a jigsaw. She sees a lot of variables and finds it hard to make a decision. She is looking for a sounding board. An independent source of support. Someone with a background in numbers.
How do I know all of this?
When I had my first meeting with Cate I started with one simple question, “What has bought you here today?” Then I listened for the next 30 minutes. With some questions in between to clarify. I did not offer any solutions.
This is how Cate finished our meeting:
“I can’t tell you the amount of coaches that I have rung up for an initial phone conversation. And they just come at me with what they are going to do, and how we are going to do it…and not spent anytime asking me what I am trying to do or where I have been or letting me talk about my business. I genuinely feel by the end of it that they don’t understand what I do, and they are frustrated by me. And that’s really frustrating for me from a business sense. And then I talk to other people..and they say the same thing. We just can’t find someone that lets us just talk about our business…because that’s what makes us feel better. That’s really key.”
Values are the things that you believe are important. They are what your priorities are based on. They are what you measure your life against. What matters most.
It is important to understand what your values are, as you will always refer to them when making decisions.
I am sharing my Top 3 examples, in the hope that it will get you thinking about yours.
This was my second example.
Image by MonikaP.