Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ben Isakov, founder of Congruent Clarity, located in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Congruent Clarity is a business consulting/coaching firm specializing in building transferable value and business exit planning. Our clients are serious business owners who want to grow and (more importantly!) scale up the business and are looking for the best, most effective ways of doing that.
Together we develop and implement strategies, allowing them to break through their current obstacles and get the business to the next level. I'm a systems guy... I like to say that my "super-power" is to see the business as a sequence of processes. Business processes are heavily interconnected and rely on each other. Probably one of the reasons I'm good at it is my ISO auditing background, or maybe mild OSD. But... it allows me to quickly identify these sequences' bottlenecks and broken connections. When we validate the finding with the owners, we start to plan and execute appropriate actions to fix the issues. Then we repeat the process.
So as a Breakthrough Strategist, I build transferable value in the businesses, and as an Exit Planning Advisor, I apply similar principles (and proven methodology) to get the business owner ready for exit. On their terms and when they want it.
Tell us about yourself
My story is similar to many other stories of people who earned everything with their own sweat and elbow grease. The reason for starting the business is the same reason that motivates me to push it up day after day: I feel a deep sense of fulfillment when I see my clients win!
"Your Success is My Story" is on my business card, and I want more and more of these success stories. What makes me different and sets me apart from other consulting/coaching firms is that my clients always know the game plan and the time frames.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My field is very competitive and full of people that try to sell you on empty promises. Strategically, I decided to use value-based selling. Meaning no hard, pushy sales pitches. This is a much harder way of selling than conventional ways.
So, aside from the results I generate for my clients, my biggest accomplishment is to start getting the "can you help me" requests. The rest, I think, is the result of the stubborn execution of the plans.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Managing the stress levels and work/life balance. Compared to being an employee, owning a business comes with a much higher risk. So, as a business owner, you must work not only on growing the business but also on reducing the risks in owning it.
Another big one is the lack of recognition and support: not every business owner is fortunate to have people that will support them when they fail (which is unavoidable!) and recognize them when they win. I know this first hand and see it around me all the time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be crystal clear on what and why you are doing, and build your strategic plan around it. This will help you to overcome the downs and keep you on the right track on the ups.
- Constantly benchmark yourself against your plan. This will allow you to prioritize and distribute the available resources between the activities/actions. Improving ones with low results and anchoring.
- Create a support team and share your plan with them. These people will support you when you fail and recognize you when you win. Be very mindful of who you include in this team, though!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Business is a marathon, not a sprint. And like in the real marathon, the runner who starts the fastest is not always the one who finishes 1st. So, please, pace yourself. And you'll reduce unnecessary stress and burnout. Try to avoid "busy-work" and "firefighting" as much as possible. And always, always be aware of where your time is spent!
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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