Turning purpose into profit - business strategies for a better world

Turning purpose into profit - business strategies for a better world

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Well, hey, good morning everybody and welcome to another episode of the UNLOCKED Show. I'm your host Tracy Wilson and it's my pleasure to be here with you guys today on this beautiful Wednesday morning here on the Gulf Coast of Australia. Today, I am joined by the amazing Alex Brueckmann. Let me tell you a

little bit about Alex and uh why you should hang around and stay tuned into today's show. So, Alex is an entrepreneur. He's an author, an executive coach, and on a board of an and a board of directors for many other businesses. He's built,

scaled, and exited companies across Europe, Canada and he's also led a client projects across the world as areas of expertise are in strategy development, leadership development, and entrepreneurship and he has a huge passion for helping customers build profitable businesses that are deep seated and rooted in their purpose. So, with that being said, I said to Alex, hey, I would love for you to be able to share with our audience today is like how to turn your purpose into profits because as the precursor to this, to today's show said, many people start out in business. We start out with a passion or like this burning desire to do some kind of good in the world and unfortunately, for a lot of business owners, they start out that way and even though they have a huge amount of passion and burning desire, they don't have the right kind of strategies to actually be able to implement them that turns them into a profitable, sustainable business that can survive and last the long term Really, really important piece because if you can't do that, without um you know, in a short space of time, you're going to end up feeling like, oh my god, this is a bit of uh a bit of a uphill battle and all of a sudden that desire that passion and that burning sensation head in your belly. soon goes out. So, I thought, you know what? I need to get the best of the best into the the UNLOCKED room and need to start unlocking the secrets as to how the heck do you put some strategy in place that helps you to turn your purpose into some real profits but also do really good things in the world at the same time. So, without further ado, I want to welcome Alex to uh Alex to the show. Fantastic to have you

here. Alex all the way from Canada. and uh we're looking forward to having this great conversation with you and for you guys who are listening right now, if you're here and you want to comment and you want to participate in today's conversation, you guys know how this rolls. You've got to comment in the uh in the uh chat section underneath on Facebook but you also need to let Streamyard allow allow us to see you. So, we actually get those comments coming through here in studio. Otherwise, you'll be chatting away and we'll have no idea that you're talking to us. So, without

further ado, welcome to the show. Alex Thank you very much for having me, Tracy. Good afternoon from Canada. I know it seems a bit crazy, doesn't it? When I say good morning and you're like, yeah, good afternoon and uh quite possibly even and even on the previous day. Yes, let's um you get to

see into the future when you come on the UNLOCKED Show. We're we're here in Australia in the future, right? So, let's this kind of start with your background Alex what what exactly do you do and why are you so damn passionate about helping people turn their passions your ideas into profitable businesses. Why is that so important to you? I think the short answer to that question, Tracy is actually that um I've wasted too many years in businesses myself as an employee where I felt like um just stuck in something that did not allow me to live my own purpose and where I actually felt the need to be a different person to show up in a different role wearing a different hat than the one that fits me best. So, I think I during my corporate career that the only thing that keeps me going is is my desire to help other people um and then I just at some point in time realized I can't combine this with my career in strategy, development and strategy implementation and that's when I basically left the corporate world became a management consultant and later, a strategy entrepreneur, I still work for a large corporations So don't get me wrong um but this time not as an employee but as someone who helps them avoid the mistakes that I've seen in the past when I was still an employee Well, you know that that's enough uh to get to give you, you know, the the the um the push to want to go and do your own thing particularly when you're sitting somewhere else and like, this just isn't aligning with me anymore Like what the heck is going on here? You know, and those that make the leap and go, well actually I can do something about this.

Um you know, I applaud you for that. Let's let's kind of start with like you mentioned just in that short introduction that you saw you were sitting in these jobs um and you saw so many things maybe not so right and you the the need to want to go out and help people kind of identify some of the things that were going wrong and give them the tools, the strategies the the the uh you know, the the information and knowledge to be able to move forward but in a very strategic way. What are some of the things that you've actually seen like what are the things that most entrepreneurs or business owners actually struggle with when it comes to strategy? One of the First things that I very often hear when I talk to other entrepreneurs and small business owners is that they don't really grasp the concept of strategy. So, what is it actually what is strategy And we often hear strategies in plural, right? So, we have a strategy for this and a strategy for that and um we often confuse strategy with tactics. Strategy is really a big picture plan um for the next year, 2 years, maybe even 3 years and um Most of the things we really talk about as strategies in our day to day, they are actually not strategies. They are tactics and there's the first huge difference. We are really

really good at tactics most of us because that's what we do day in and day out um and what I mean is for example, we're really good at selling. We're really good at um approaching our clients at lead identification. We are really good at marketing but these things all play into a bigger picture into our big business plan and that is what strategy is all about. Strategy is about

helping us identify the tactics that we need in order to reach the goals for our business. We want to reach in. let's say two or 3 years down the road. It is

strategy is about the long-term planning and very often small business owners be like, it's not for me. That's for those big corporate corporate clients. You have, they really need that, right? Yeah. But honestly, it's even more important for you as a small business owners, as a small business owner just because you are not within such a large organization does not mean you don't need that. It's actually the other way around because you don't have resources to waste. If you waste resources,

you will never get to where you want to be. So, therefore, the most valuable resource is our time as entrepreneurs and small business owners and we really need to be intentional about how we invest this time and that means we need to have a clear plan Does not mean that this plan cannot change but it needs to be in place to start out just from the outset. We need to know where to go. Otherwise, it's like just hopping into your car and be like, I drive around See what I pick up on the way, right? That's not really what strategy strategy is about. Knowing where you want to go and then finding the best way to that destination and for entrepreneurs and small business owners, you could just say in one sentence, your strategy is a piece of collateral that you've written down that helps you make informed decisions when opportunities come your way. Um

otherwise, everything is an opportunity. Everything is a shiny object and everything takes time and it just distracts you and if you keep your head down long enough, Just follow the trail of breadcrumbs that you find the shiny objects that come your way and you you put your head up at one point in time and be like, oh, where am I here? This is not really where I wanted to be. It's too late. It's just too late. You've wasted a year or two maybe. So, you better

check in regular intervals where you are and a strategy of written down strategy helps you adjust the course always when you realize I just left the trail Eps Well, it's like that compass, right? You know, if you're going to do a trick, you want to make sure you've got a compass and you've usually met everything out your destination before you even sit out on the path so that then you can be looking at this compass and saying, well, actually, I'm like, 2° off of where I need to be and you can make some form. of course, correcting uh you know, uh tactical movement to get you back on track. So, that's that's um you know, really important things. I

think often you know, we people will start their business particularly if they're starting it out of a passion and a desire or they've got a, you know, they've got they're really good at something and they start out that way. They don't often take the time to then step back and say, well, actually, even though the horses bolted and I'm I'm, you know, I'm already on this path, I should just take a breath for a minute and actually take a moment to create some form of strategy business plan so that I at least can start to pre plan where I'm going rather than as you say, you know, driving the car and hoping like hell that you're going to get to your destination when you're just going around and round and round in circles. So, the first thing, I think it is important to understand is that the strategy comes before the tactics and not the other way around. There's a definitely a

hierarchy in this, right? So, now that we've we've established that, you know, what is strategy and why it is so, you know, so darn important What are some of the things that even seen whether it's a small company, big company, a solopreneur, you know, the mistakes that you've seen along the way and people trying to create a strategy because I know you've got this like three step process that you go through that really helps people to get very, very clear on what should actually be involved in strategy. So, let's talk about that because I want people to walk away from today's uh from today's show knowing. alright, now I know what strategy I don't know exactly what the three key things are that I must do it. I

must think about and and cater for in my strategy and my plan. Let's talk about those three steps and as we go through those three steps, I will highlight some of the mistakes that I sometimes see. Um that's awesome. I would love people to avoid because it just goes down the wrong path for them then.

So, those three steps are actually fairly simple. Step number one is to write down your vision which is State of the business that you would like to see in some years down the road, maybe 1 year, maybe 2 years, maybe 3 years. It actually depends on the maturity of your business. So, the big corporate clients that I work with, they typically write down 5 year strategies. So, that's probably a bit too much for a small business owner. So, if you go 2 years, you should be found there and what we then do is um we write down the strategy in a way that it helps us see and feel how the business should look like.

Let's say in 2 years um it It's nothing that follows. let's say um sentence number one is this sentence. Number two is that and then this is the third sentence. This it it just doesn't work like that. Every business is different. Every

business starts out with a different from a different starting point. So, If you you sit down and write down how you envision your business to look like and you think stakeholders, right? You think, what do I want my clients to say? if if I ask them in 2 years down the road, what would they say about my business if I ask the people I work with, maybe I even have some employees, What would they say? Where do I want to be active? What are my target clients? Which what's the revenue I want to make maybe even split up by service or product categories. It heavily depends on what you, what your business is, right? So, you really describe your business in in in in detail. This can be, this can be a whole page of text written down. So, that is a vision You

envision your business where you want to go some of the mistakes that I see in this step is that people just write down a weird pipe dream, right? So, they write stuff down that is just not realistic and a good vision statement needs to balance various various paths. Actually, three pairs of of um let's say balanced pairs that describe or characterize a vision. You you can be bold and aspiration and then you should and at the same you need to think about with everything I know is that achievable some degree at least, right? So, there's there's no use in writing something down. If I wrote down a vision for my business and would be like in 3 years, I'm bigger than Mckenzie. You you immediately

know that something is off, right? Um that is not motivating. That is actually demotivated. So, a vision needs to be motivating. Once you see that, you want to be like, that is cool. I want to be of that. This is what I really want to achieve. This is also important

for your employees. If they see this, they want to be like, yes, awesome. That's exactly the right thing for us. I want to build this. I want to help

create this world aiming to high aiming too low of our mistakes that I see in this in this context and just not being specific enough, being too fluffy, um because and I and I get it. I have my own strategy. I get how difficult it is to write it down because in the end, when you write it down, you need to hold yourself accountable for it and that's something people not necessarily like and especially if you hold yourself to account. Um this is something. yeah that makes it

sometimes difficult for us to really be specific and intentional. Now, I want to just um just on that on that note Alex. So, I want to talk a little bit about um a situation I had and this is because it really does play into that into that whole creating, creating your vision or envision where you're going to go and I'm actually going to go back to my time in my previous life as a um I worked in the the finance industry and I at the time I was recruited to be a bank manager of a particular branch and I can recall writing a business plan with a vision statement in it and funny enough way back then, you know, I wasn't as as business savvy as I am now and understanding all of this but what I did is I sat down and did what you've just said like I just envisioned in 3 years time or in a years time with this branch that I have. What do I want my team to be saying? How do I want to feel about this business. What do I want? my local media to be saying? What do I want my customers to be saying? And I can actually remember and and this might this this strategy that I'm going to give you now or tactic, let's call it. Um it might be really useful particularly for those who are a bit creative when it comes from an entrepreneurial um perspective because if you're a creative, a lot of them don't like sitting down and actually writing the traditional business plan but I kind of took the concept of the vision board and turn that into a pic.

A picture base of what I wanted my business to look like. So, I essentially cut out images out of magazines, out of books. I would peer in this magazine.

I've been nominated for this. I'd be like, I've made it very, very real and put that into my business plan and and and imagery and funny enough within the year of managing that branch which I was recruited for because it was at the bottom of the barrel. It went Number one in the region and and it was outperforming many other branches elsewhere which then led me to being nominated to go to a high achievers conference which 1% of the company at at the time got to go to. So in that and I and I put that down to that activity that I did because it sets the it set the compass it set the plan and I knew where we were going. Now, what I would also

say about that there's a lot of people and maybe we're going to get to this too. Alex is like now, I've got that strategy plan. Most people put it into, you know, put them into the bottom drawer. So, we'll get to that in a minute but I'm going to tell you that even though I did that. so in that time where

I had created this business plan, I've created this imagery. I've, you know, I did what I was supposed to do because I was actually asked to do that to ask to complete that by management bundle it up, put it in the drawer, 8. Months later when I opened that plan up again, I was flabbergasted to like open it up and go, oh my god, I have done that and that and that and that and that. it just started taking all of these off and I couldn't believe that I had actually achieved all of the things I had even though I bundled that book up and I put it in the bottom drawer. So, um I just

wanted to tell that because that is a classic example of what you're talking about and it's that starting with that and envisioning where you want to go when you do that, It is like setting the magnetic compass that will now almost like pull you toward where you want to go. Without that, you're kind of left to your own devices going all over the shop. So, I hope that added to uh to you know to to your point about being very very clear about your vision and envisioning where you're going to go. It was a wonderful

example Barry and I think everyone who listens can imagine um how important it is to write down the things that you want to achieve in order to actually have them front and center and even if your vision disappears afterwards in a drawer, you've written it down, it's in there. It's it's there You have crystallized your thinking by writing it down and therefore, you are clearer than ever um on what you want to achieve. Beautiful. Let's let's move on to the next step. Um once you've written down that vision, oh by the way, before I get there um we definitely talk about this later on where you find all those resources. There's a free article on my on my website um that mentions those three balanced pairs and how to actually use them in order to write AA. Great vision statement for your business. We

will tell you later where to find it. So, let's move on to the second step. Once you've written down that vision, you need to know how can I actually measure that. I'm moving closer to that vision. This is

especially important if we're talking about a time frame of two or 3 years or even longer. so you you're not going to put it into the drawer and then pull it out. 3 years later and magically, you will have achieved your vision. This is just not how it works, right? So, you need to understand what the key elements in your vision are that you then break down into measurable, let's say key performance indicators or success indicators and here we are really looking for maybe 678 success indicators that you should regularly track and some of them your anyway, right. For example, your revenue per client category, those things you really need a dashboard of strategic indicates that tell you whether you are moving closer to that vision. So, what

you do, what what you basically hold your hand when you've done that is you know, where you want to be and you know how you can track that you're moving into the right direction. and this is super interesting because now you can ask yourself in the third step, what actually will move the needle? What is it that I need to do in order to move the needle on those performance indicators? So, even if your vision is fluffy and very emotional and super rather than rational. It's no problem at all because you actually attached a success indicator to the key elements and now, everything you do will help you move the needle. So, before we actually talk about what you then do to move the needle, let's quickly talk about some of the mistakes that typically happen in that. Um space When people derive their success indicators from their vision statement. I think the number

one mistake is that people overwhelm themselves with too many indicators. They are called in They are not called proof, right? So, these are indicators. Keep it in. Let's say in a in a manageable way, You need to understand. we're not looking at a spaceship control panel here. We are looking at a dashboard like in your car where you see maybe 678 important indicators that are telling you that everything is just going fine, right? Another mistake that I see in this context very often is that people would just rationalize the hell out of their vision.

They They realize and deep down, they know that this does not make sense and still they be like, yeah, it works. We're going to take this piece and then we're going to invent this index out of those three success indicators and it just gets super complex and super complicated and it's like everywhere in life if if things don't feel natural, if they don't come natural anymore, if they feel forced, you just abandon them. You just don't follow through on them. So, in that in that context, it's really important to stay to pick the most relevant ones and not to overload yourself. You

don't want to spend 2 days a month just by tracking indicators. You don't have the time, right? Let's talk about how you then move the needle in your third step. So, you have this two hands full of success indicators that you now want to use in order to track that you're moving towards your vision. That's how you designed it. So, in order to move the needle on those indicators, you want to pick what we call strategic work streams or you can call them pillar project however you want to call them. It really doesn't matter. Let's

just terminology. It's important that we understand that from now on. what we will do is focus our time on moving the needle on those success factors because that's what takes us to the vision. That's where we want to be. So, first of all, what you do, you do a full project inventory. You take a look at what you do every day from social media to god knows what and you ask yourself, does that still make sense? Given that these are the success indicators that I want to move in order to reach my vision and if your answer is No. you park them. If your

answer is definitely not, you kill them. You stop them. You don't do those things anymore. You throw them out of the window because you know, you're not moving the needle with those things. They just burn your time and money. So, stop doing them and then you ask yourself, okay, what's left? Those things that really that you are doing now and you will be doing some of those things already that will move the the needle. So, we're not talking about reinventing the wheel completely. We are talking

about full focus and concentration on what is actually adding value already today. And where does it fit into my three to four to maximum five buckets, strategic pillar projects. those five pockets or three buckets that you can focus on at one point in time, right? If you're a solopreneur, you probably can't go with more than three. If you

are a small company with some employees, you can just up the responsibilities. You might be able to to drive four or five at the same time but definitely not more What are those pillar projects? So, very often, one of those is your entire marketing approach and when I use the word marketing, I don't mean advertising. I don't mean social media marketing. I mean,

marketing in the broader sense. This includes you go to market. It includes how you qualify leads. It includes how you sell which says channels you use, etcetera, etcetera. So, it's the entire bucket of how do I How do I frame what I sell? How do I position it in the market? How do I price it? All those elements are in there. So, traditional marketing Sales is a huge part of that, right? So, sales and marketing is very often one pillar, another another bucket that we often see this heavily depends on what type of business you run is often something around operational excellence and that means, how can I do what I do in a more efficient way. now

and here comes the first big mistake very often strategies that I take a look at. they are not actual strategies. They are just operational excellence programs. Everything that I in those buckets is just we do the same as we've always done but now we do them really good, right? That's not strategy.

That's just not strategy. That's just being more efficient. that brings me to the next topic. If you, if you think about what other strategic pillars you might need, they need to be pillars in this strategy that you are not working on today. There

needs to be something new in it. Otherwise, your strategy is just not a strategy. It's an operation excellence plan. So, when we're talking about good strategies, we really need to ask ourselves, what is the magic ingredient in that in that strategy Why is with the paper. It is written on. What will it help me achieve if I'm successful? It needs to be something that sparks your fire. It's something that um

something that touches your soul, your inner being, something that is more than just a rational description of a sales process, a social media marketing campaign or god knows what, Right. So, and this is where the topic of of purpose and impact comes into play. So, you are If you're an entrepreneur, a small business owner, most likely passion brought you where you are now. It was your passion that told you, I want to, I want to start a business. So, it's not a desire to earn more money.

Maybe that plays a part in your in your in the back of your head that you can reach financial status of financial independence at some point in time would be awesome, right? But that's a nice add on. That's not the reason why you went into business in the first place. most likely. So, You went into business to do something that you burned for, that you have a strong desire for and that can be very closely connected to your business. So, this is just a made-up example. Let's assume you have a bake shop. If you are not passionate about baking, you probably won't be around for a long time because people will just taste whether you are in it with everything, with every fiber of your being on that, right? So, that's the passion that drove you there.

Now, the question is is that also your purpose? What is the purpose of your business? And that is something many people really don't get Purpose is not necessarily connected to your business Purpose is what you want to contribute. to help solve a problem that this planet has. That society has something that is just not necessarily related to a business. My favorite example

for that is the American Apparel Company, Patagonia. Everyone knows They are super passionate about the environment. They produce outdoor clothing, right? So, they are not an environmental protection agency and still they for decades, they've pledged 1% of their sales to environmental protection campaigns and it doesn't stop there. They actually link environmentalists, people that want to get involved. activists

or people like you and me that want to become involved and link them to environmental protection campaigns that are out there. So, they they even this role and to bring people together in order to help them live their purpose and this is what we want to see in a good strategy. We want to see how this how this strategy helps you live your purpose and and here's the thing, purpose is just an intent. You can write the nicest purpose statement on your website as long as you don't achieve the impact that you want to achieve. It's just

it's a hollow phrase. So, everyone about purpose. Many people have been talking about purpose for a decade. Purpose is just, it's just the first step. It's an intent if you don't achieve the impact that you want to achieve, it's just empty words. When you take a look at those priorities that we talked about, right? So, the priorities that you want to focus your time on and your your money on that hopefully move the needle on accelerating your business towards your vision. We need to

see this purpose. We need to see how your purpose connects to the strategy because then all of a sudden, your strategy is not just about profit, maximizing all of a sudden, your strategy is has this magic ingredient that keeps you going even when times get tough and times will get tough. I promise you that and if you're a business owner and you have not experienced this yet, it will come. It's coming. Yeah, definitely. So, those are the three steps basically and and some mistakes that happen on the way. um when you design strategies, and it's actually not very complicated. Most of

the time, people just don't have this muscle training. They don't know how to do it. They don't have a system in place or a process that they can follow and and that's some of the things that you can find in the free resources section of my website. It's actually um enough there that can help you just get going Awesome. Well, guys, I'm going to make sure that I give you a link to that.

Uh the things that Alex is spoken about today that you can actually go and get your hands on it and I'm glad that he talks about like this right? It's it's like the the system and a process and once you learn it and you do it over and over and over again, it's like going to the gym. you exercise your arms and your arms are going to get muy. That's what we want to do with this. So, um there's some of the things that I really I have taken away from what you've just said in explain You know what a strategy explaining, you know those three um the pillars and then the three components that make up a really good strategy.

The thing that um that I that I love about this is that you said with everything that I know is this actually possible and I love that you're questioning like throughout everything you've said uh already today. it's like those moments of just pause stop and ask yourself these questions because they will help you to whether or not you are, you're on the right track are the things that you are, the strategies that you are creating for your business. Are they actually in alignment and are they going to propel you forward? And if you stop and you say with everything that I know with this vision is this actually possible? Like Alex said, it's going to give you that motivation, the excitement that goes with it to say actually what I'm looking at here and what I've created with my vision Man, that's possible.

That's totally possible. I could do that. So, you're more likely to get on and get it done rather than you know, we want to have big, hairy, audacious goals. We do want to do that but not so big that they become like uh that's just a pipe dream. I can't do that. So, we want to make them very specific and achievable Little out of reach that you've gotta stretch yourself because you want to use that muscle but if they want to be achievable. the

other thing that I love, again, these are these that I'm hearing him ask himself but also as he would be consulting and working with other businesses, there's a little kind of pit stops that I'm hearing he has which are like just stop for a minute and ask yourself this question Now, does this still make sense? So, in the in the the capacity or in the the scenario that you are building out your strategy and you're even reviewing your strategy, you know, you've gotta, should I stop doing this? Should I actually You're doing this particular activity or is there something else that I need to add to the mix and I need to start doing and you'll ask the question, you're asking yourself at that point is does this actually still make sense? Does it still make sense? And is it still that thing that is helping propel my business forward to achieve the vision? the purpose, and create the impact that I set out to create and then the other thing I've got here is um and I'm trying to read my Missy Scribble here on my piece of paper but you know, it is it created the magic. What is the magic here? So, if I created something that is magical, that makes me want to get up in the morning and continue doing what I'm doing because as Alex alluded to, if you don't have these things and you're not connecting all of this together very soon, that passion, that desire, that fire in our belly that you started out in business having of a sudden the the the fire has become a pile of ashes at Stone Cold. You're trying to reignite it in any way you possibly can and getting very frustrated and disillusioned with with what's going on. So, really, really

important that we that that you you take the time to do these things right at the get go but also now let's talk about how often should we be reviewing this Alex. So, once we've set this, you know, we've set our strategy We know where we're going. We have, we've quite specific about the activities we're going to do. We've got some measurements around them. How frequently should we actually be doing this? Stop taking it in, checking and measuring and taking a bit of a temperature on how well are we actually going? We're actually talking about three to four times a year depending on the size of your business. So,

large organizations typically do this like once or twice a year. Um just because it takes very very long to get the full overview of all the projects that are going on smaller organizations. We are just faster as entrepreneurs and small business owners. We can do this just in in a few hours maybe. So, I personally do this

for my business regularly. Um kind of on the fly. um every now and then and I stop looking and and check properly every three to 4 months and it really helps me understand whether I'm still moving in the right direction especially when there's no one else in in a company when you're a solopreneur or really a small business, you as the owner your responsibility. If you are

responsible for strategy, no one else. If you are the executive in a large organization, there's the board of directors, you all the time, right there is someone that will make sure that you do the strategic work that you check on your strategy that you review it. If you're a small business owners, you most likely don't have a board of directors that matches you. So, it's your responsibility. You

need to lock that into your calendars and really make sure that you don't forget it because otherwise, you just, you're busy like right. We are all busy. There's there's more work than we can handle in a day. If we don't intentionally

make time for that. the tyranny of the urgent would just take over and we just dig ourselves so deep into the ground that it's hard to get out with all the work and all the busy stuff that's going on. Absolutely. When you're doing this Alex like, I mean, I know, you know, in your experience, do do you work with Solopreneur right the way through to large um corporate executives how It's so we're talking to, you know, smaller businesses. Maybe you've got a couple of employees or potentially up to say ten employees. how involved should you have your team in developing the strategy and reviewing it on the regular? Like, let's talk a little bit about what that looks like and what makes for like what are some of the the um best practices for time involvement when it comes to strategy? That's a great question.

There's a very clear rule um that that I like everyone to follow. Don't work on this alone. It really doesn't make sense. Those times are over where the business owner um had all the knowledge and had all the best ideas, right? So, those times are are over. There's a lot of information out there. There's a lot of intelligent people in your organization that carry knowledge that you don't. So,

involve them. Ask them for their opinion especially when they're a client facing the and see a lot more than you probably do. Um it's just the way it is. If we leverage the

knowledge in an organization we can't do this just by asking the top dogs. we really need to ask everyone. um and it's just it's I mean if you decide to move to a different place, you probably just don't take the decision and tell your three kids and your wife, right? This is not what you do. You hopefully move them in the decision and in business this is the same and there's a reason for that. The moment you involve people the moment you ask them to be part of the process. They own it. They own

a part of this and people love to see a world come to life that they help create you what? It's just, it's just way more likely that you will be successful with your people. Well, I want to I want to go here and just make this this point now like, you know, in in the big corporate, we would talk about that is getting by and you know, you're getting buy-in from your stakeholders from your team. They are on the journey. They're they're brought into it and they're they're more involved in this climate. Right. We've we've um

we're in a situation where there's almost this on the outside divide and conquer, right? Divide and conquer what we know to be true is that you can go long and far when you unite when you bring people together and you're able to work on something together as in with in this case with a team of people they know and understand. I mean so, you know, again, you're envisioning, you're sharing all of this this vision that you have and you've you've probably even got your team to participate in the creation of the vision and the strategy right from the get go again. like Alex says so that they are absolutely involved and they feel heard, they feel important, they feel valued that their opinion actually matters and not only that that you've now got the opportunity to be able to, you know, put your ear to the ground and hear what your team is actually hearing because as the CEO quite often, you're not always the person who's on the front line talking with customers, seeing what's going on and secondly, you've been also got, you know, a whole bunch of people that have got different opinions, maybe different ideas, maybe they've researched some new thing that maybe you haven't had the opportunity to be able to see yet. So, bring

them in, bringing them together, asking for their opinion, uniting them, uh uniting your entire team towards that one goal. Um you know, you're going to be able to get there uh a heck of a lot quicker. So I'm always in favor of doing that sort of thing.

So, in terms of like reviewing the strategy, um and this is just my my uh experience and my opinion, I've always felt like Alex has that we've that it works best when you review it. We have quarterly so 90 days. So, we've got our cut out um strategic plan into 90 day. Uh

you know, um sprints let's call them that you know, Ninety-day sprints where we know and understand what it is that we're on for those particular pillar projects for that 90 day period along with the uh the measurements and that the strategies and tactics that go with and then we review them on a on a regular Ninety-day basis. aside from the 90 days, let's kind of bring this down now to in the moment in the day. So, every day we wake up how do we ensure when we go to work? how do we ensure that the activities and the things that we are doing are in total alignment with our strategy and the direction that we want to go. How do we keep our team on track with that? What's kind of the rhythm and the routine that that you would recommend people do Two things come together at this point in time. First, we

already stopped everything that we saw that does not contribute to reaching our mission, right? So, we get rid of this stuff immediately that frees up time usually so people will have more time um which they will need because we are doing new things. So, new things come with um new processes, new ways of working and we need to make sure that we have time to focus on those different things that we want to do. Um you need to help your people understand.

first of all what their role is in implementing the strategy. This is a leadership responsibility. You need to communicate with them and the earlier you involve them, the easier it will be for them to understand it. So, we're not

talking about down communication. You as the company owner, tell them what to do. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking

about a two-way dialogue up and down the chain so that everyone understands their role. how what they do on a daily basis, a daily basis helps propel the business forward to your vision, right? So, that's the first thing that needs to happen and the second thing is since you are doing things differently than you did them before, you need to help your people acquire the skills that they need in order to do those things. So, if you just like. I'm pretty hands off. I kind of give my people the direction and the rest. they do this, right? So, I'm not really involved in the day to day. You can try the moment. You really

have a good strategy in place, something that will help you make the leap. It means that you as a company owner and everyone in the organization most likely need to learn new capabilities. We need to build new capabilities in order to implement that strategy. If you skill set is enough. to work on your strategy and to implement it That should be the red flag for you because it tells you that your strategy again is just an operational excellence plan and not a real strategy and this is super super important for you as a business owner to understand that you need to learn new skills to make this happen. If it does

not require you to learn new skills, you probably did not reach out far enough and I thought that that is a really um really important uh point that you make there and and it's like you know, it's this is the difference between you being progressive and innovative with your company, you know, and you need to be if you're not being progressive, if you are not increasing your level of skill set, if you're not enabling your team to do the same like you say, if you if you're if you've got everything you need right now to be able to do what you need to do to get you to your end goal, then that To me, that's kind of like a red flag either. My goal is not big enough because I'm not, I'm not actually going to be stretching as far enough or or secondly that we're just not thinking about how do we upskill, How do we, how do we continue to be progressive and how do do we continue to innovate? what we're doing and what will happen is that you're going to become stale really, really quickly, not just stale in the business but you probably become stale in your market because of those others that are doing this progressive. Having that that uh the the the and the overarching uh you know, vision of being innovative. They are going to innovate and outplay you. So, so you must you must adopt uh the sooner rather than later and I think those are some great things that that you've spoken about today. Alex that

really get you to stop and think, am IA progressive. Am I being progressive? Am I being innovative? Am I actually reaching us far enough it due to, you know, with everything that I know is what I'm trying to achieve. Is it actually possible? So, all of these things make it very realistic. give you very specific things that you can do but also continue to to fuel the fire within with all the good things that help build that momentum and keep the furnace hot rather than stifling it and you know, putting it out and you're wondering the heck did I do? And and try to run back to some some uh element of security of a nine to five job which as we know now just doesn't really exist. I mean, this this

episode is called Turning purpose into profit, right? So, if if you take everything that we've just talked about and you ask yourself, how does that help me to turn my purpose into profit? If you have this magic ingredient that we talked about somewhere, the spark, this this big goal um and you don't know how to get there. um how to how to make money from that, right? How do you monetize your purpose? Um if you if you are asking yourself that question or not, you are at the right spot. If you have not reached that point yet, um rethink, think again. Um if you want to build a business that addresses an issue out there in the world that is worth solving worth contributing to, right? I'm not asking you to solve world famine. I'm not asking you to end the um environmental crisis. I'm I'm really not asking you to be the be the that takes on the Goliath, right? Or the Goliath. Um if

you want to, if you want to ask yourself, what can I contribute? to a purpose worthwhile contributing to and how can I build a business around that you are on the right track. There are countless examples of companies that took a problem that's out there in the world and build a business case around it and they did not do this in order to make profit. They they did it because it was the right thing to do and on the way, they figured how they can monetize it. Um typically, these are things that larger corporations do or startups do. um larger corporations because they have the manpower and the resources to rethink and and startups because they are that is exactly the passion that I'm talking about that brings entrepreneurs into business. Mm hmm. So, if you if you are a

business and asking yourself right now, how on earth is what I'm doing connected to some of those really big problems in in this world. Um I give you my example. I am a business consultant. How on earth does

that help? Right? There are enough business consultants but the way I can contribute to making this world a better place is that I can consult environmental protection agencies on their own strategies for free without charging them. So, this this is one the ways that I'm trying to live my purpose with an impact and um it doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be a medical doctor in order to help cure incurable diseases. You can Do whatever stands in your power as a company to support those causes that you believe in and that is what I'm talking about. First of all, if you are then able to even build a business case around those things, you you hit the bull's eye, you are actually doing well while also doing good which is the ultimate definition of a sustainable business. and and I love that because I'm just going to back up III. Love that because then if you can like it's this the ripple effect like you're talking about if I can't figure out how can I be the front line? So, the medical doctor I can still contribute to that cause if that's what you're passionate about. If you're passionate

about, you know, helping cure cancer for example but you don't have the skill set to cure cancer because you're not, you know, you don't have that medical background but what you can do is figure out what is it that I do do that support that industry Whether that be that you donate to it, whether it be that you provide a service to that particular industry. So, I love the way that you have made that very, very clear that you know, you can find your passion. You can find an impact that you want to make in any field or industry you desire and and then, it's a matter of figuring out how does what I do play into space And how can I somewhere along the line make the impact that I need to make Alex II? Am I kind of want to before we wrap up today's session, I want to talk about we're we're in, you know, you've gotta be a little bit careful about how you can position this but right now, the world is in a world of hurt. Alright, we we've got a whole lot of stuff going on. People are uncertain about things. What are What is a

piece of advice that you would like to leave our viewers with today and it doesn't matter whether they are a business owner in a corporate, you know, they're in the big business, small business, or even an employee. What is a piece of advice that you would want to share with somebody that is maybe they've got a passion about something right now and they don't know what to do or where to go. What's a piece of advice that you would like to leave them with today? I struggled for about a decade to find my my sweet spot where I understood that is what I can do to contribute to make the world a better place. This is how I can create a real impact and turn my purpose into a business at the same time that provides for my family. It took

me a long time to figure that out and I really needed to learn to sit with this uncomfortable feeling that I am not where I want to be the moment I embrace this and the moment I allowed myself to be uncomfortable with it, the moment I opened up and invited ideas um and I became much more open to see different ways of running a business and uh then then I saw before. So I think the only advice that I can give you based on my own experiences don't get frustrated if this episode leaves you with more questions than answers when it comes to how to turn purpose into profit. If you learn to sit with it and just to think about it from different perspectives, it will come to you. The most important thing

is that you understand that purpose and impact come first money comes second. If you approach business from that perspective, you will always build a business for the longer term because it solves it helps to solve a real problem out there. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom with that and uh I couldn't agree more now. I know you've got a whole

heap of things planned. You've got a bunch of stuff in the pipeline. So, let's tell everybody what um what you've got coming up. I know you've

got a bunch of books. You've got some programs um and and and a heap of other things that are clearly in your strategic plan and then in uh in one of your pillars. So, let's tell everybody what you've got going on and how they can get more of a if they if they so wish to um to follow you Thank you for giving me the opportunity to Tracy. So, first of all, there will be um a pretty cool summit coming up in November this year. 2021. um where we'll talk about exactly those things, how to run a purposeful business, how to build a purpose-driven business, impact driven business for profit um and what what that means for you as a person. um how you can approach it, how you can do it. So, this

is a Three-day summit with like thirty plus speakers. Um it will And of course, we're actually um if you want to join, be my guest. It's totally free. Um ideally, you just sign up for my newsletter on my website and to get news on the summit, you will then also get news on the next big thing coming up which is which will launch um early 2022. I'm

actually um building a so called masterclass, an online course over 8 weeks that helps small and medium-sized companies to actually do it to actually a business to actually create a strategy around your core purpose for impact and for profit. So, where does all this content come from? It comes from my new book, My new book Will Come out early next year as well. That will be most likely to more books coming out next year based on those um based on the work that I do.

It's just a lot of things going on. Just go to my website, sign up for the newsletter, and you will always have free resources, checklists, um toolkits, articles, all in your inbox. It's all for free. Alright, guys. Well, you're probably wondering what is the website that you need to go to? It's WWW.Alex the Strategist.com. So, head on

over there. at the Strategist.com and you'll be able to uh sign up to Alex's newsletter and then just keep up to date with what he's got going on and I know his new book. I think if I've got this right, it's called The Nine Elements of Organizational Identity. It'll be coming out soon. If you guys were awesome

be able to get yourself a copy of the book uh when he when he when he launches that and uh as you know, I'm always uh excited when people tell me that they are launching programs and books because they are, that's right up my alley. That's what I do is I help people create those two things as well as help them create amazing shows. Um hopefully that you find just like this uh the UNLOCKED Show. So, I want to say thank you so much for your uh for your time today. Alex your wisdom, your experience, just being so open to sharing what you know to help people create really winning strategies because that is what we need right now to be able to make this world a better place. So, thank you

very much for being here and sharing that so willingly and II have to give this back. This is only possible because of people like you because you open those channels and have those podcasts and those shows. Thank you so much for all the great content, Tracy. You're welcome. Well, hey, guys. Thank you very much for joining us today. As you know, I'll be

again with another episode of the UNLOCKED Show. At the moment, we're running Wednesdays only in uh October. We'll be back to 2 days a week which will be Wednesday and Friday but for now, I will see you again with another episode of the UNLOCKED Show Wednesday, Australian Brisbane Time, 10 AM, and I'll have another amazing guest with me next week. So, thank you very much.

Stay safe everybody and uh I'll see you again uh on another episode of UNLOCKED. I'm Tracy Wilson. It's been my pleasure. Bye guys.

2021-09-10 07:56

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