Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brenda Block, Senior Management Consultant of Innovative Designs to Maximize Potential Corp., located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a consulting firm that focuses on three areas of interest:
- Uniquely You is centered around career development and has been in operation since 2005. It guides you toward achieving the next goal along your unique path OR identifies what type of work inspires a career worth pursuing. What is your value in the marketplace, and how to increase that value over time, even if you don't want to leave your current position? Is there a way to balance ALL of your life, including hobbies, relationships & work? We think there is and are happy to show you how! We also provide guidance on a business objective you would like to achieve or assist in identifying the underlying root cause of a challenge you are experiencing.
- Our Land Revitalization program strategically revitalizes the land to its natural ecosystem by filtering out toxins, creating incubator environments, and supporting pollinators. By revitalizing these nested systems, we can enhance and strengthen the land so it can continue to support the amazing biodiversity of life we often take for granted. This program began in 2021 and is a long-term initiative since environmental impacts often take seven years to fully mature.
- Climate Solution consulting supports private, public, and government organizations by providing custom climate solutions to fit their needs. This program was launched in 2021 and is expected to expand as we try to answer our client's number one question "What can I do to make a difference?"
Tell us about yourself
I love working with individuals to find their unique career paths. It never gets boring, not even after 25+ years of doing it, and I am always interested in incorporating new trends and dynamics into my guidance. I had been using Zoom way before COVID hit. I remember my clients feeling supported and ahead of the curve in what was a difficult time for everyone … it's what I always strive to do.
It has been a pleasure to watch my consulting business grow since 2005. I added small business in 2007 and continued my enterprise-level program work interacting with leadership and delivering large-scale initiatives with world-recognized fortune 500 companies. It has been my pleasure to realize the dream of incorporating my environmental program into my business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishments will always be my client stories. Many are confidential, so I am limited in how much I can share, but I'll share what I can with these 2… I worked with a gentleman who had been at the same company for a very long time, working at a university. He stepped through the standard career path and transitioned to a new state, where he accepted a role at NASA. It is impressive, but it's also the journey he went on, from not believing anything could change to getting his dream job.
I worked with a small business that had a funding issue. Funding issues are seldom funding issues, so we worked on why there wasn't enough money. We made a series of changes (validating each one was successful before fully implementing) that increased his net income. He was so pleased we took on a new goal of building a passive income stream for his business, something he had not thought possible. It was a success, but more importantly, he was enjoying his business again for the first time in years.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest challenge with being a business owner is trying to get answers to an array of hurdles, some of which you know very little about. We all have strengths and weaknesses. As a business owner, you must get done the things you are not good at, make the decisions and execute whatever you decide. I learned to find out enough about talents I don't have to partner with others who excel in those areas. You can't be everything, so learn to work with others and accept that you are the final decision-maker (for better or worse).
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Starting out – I recommend taking the time to understand what makes you great at whatever your business is. This is "niche," but it's also about focusing on one thing you can do exceptionally well and delivering it consistently in the marketplace. Research it so you can create a playbook of what you are going and not going to do.
- Running a business – don't try to be everything. Use other small business owners to get things done. It's better to say no than to try to deliver something you can't execute with high quality. Plan to learn something new about your business every day (I call it the constant learner).
- Growing a business – add new income streams that build off your core value proposition. If you're a consulting business like me, add new client types or new product lines to existing clients. Don't add streams that aren't a natural fit in your portfolio. I have a model I developed which works well for myself and others. Too often, I have seen businesses overextend themselves in a direction that is unproven income and requires extensive expenses in areas not optimized for their unique business.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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