Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gregory Offner, Founder of Global Performance Institute, LLC., located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is idea generation, cultivation, and dissemination. That's a very fancy way of saying I'm a professional keynote speaker and corporate consultant. I work with organizations who want to grow their business, develop their people, and have both perform predictably at high levels while experiencing a deep sense of meaning and connection to the work. We help businesses and not-for-profit entities in virtually every sector, though there is a concentration in the professional services and hospitality sector.

Tell us about yourself

I made the transition from employee to owner in 2019 after spending the better part of a decade undergoing 13 surgical procedures to save and rebuild my vocal cords. It's a rare thing, and most people can't imagine what it's like to have a doctor say, 'You've got two months before you lose your voice forever' - but when that happened to me, I had to make a decision. The growth and understanding that came out of that experience, coupled with my already voracious appetite for learning in the field of psychology and philosophy, has greatly influenced my passion for the work I do with my clients. Confronting what was, for me, a 'death-like' experience put perspective on how I spend my time on this Earth. It was hard leaving the guarantees and safety of the corporate employee world, but ultimately I've created something much more valuable (more than money, though that's working out just fine too) - the opportunity to effect change on a massive scale for others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Aside from just keeping it going (which is a massive accomplishment for anyone who owns a business), it's getting to a place where we have the ability to employ and develop others. We believe that income FOLLOWS impact, so we focus on partnering with people who are focused first on the impact they get to make through their work, and then it's my job to ensure that their income reflects that impact. Each person we employ has direct control over their income because they have objective impact metrics. This slows down our hiring process because we have to be very intentional and deliberate about how we define 'impact' for each person, but ultimately I think the people we employ would tell you that their levels of meaning, fulfillment, and income are better because of this system we've created.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Nobody tells you to take a day off. Practicing effective self-care is critical for a business owner. Being physically, psychologically, and emotionally responsible for the business is draining, and recharging those 'batteries' is absolutely essential for sustainable success. I set a calendar reminder for myself every two weeks that simply says: when's the last time you drove aimlessly for a few hours? I find a long highway drive is a perfect vehicle (pun intended) to let my creative mind wander. It recharges me, provides lots of different and stimulating scenery changes, and gets me unstuck whenever I'm fixated on a problem or question that I just can't seem to answer.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Get comfortable with sales or with paying someone a lot of money to do it for you. No matter how good your idea, product, or service, if you can't get someone to write you a check, you won't survive.
  2. You can delegate tasks, but as a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for every outcome. You can't delegate outcomes. If you're not getting the results you want, look in the mirror. That's who's responsible.
  3. Don't start a business to make a profit. I see so many organizations who are obsessed with profits, but if they got a little more obsessed with their product and the people who it's intended for, they'd see the profit part take care of itself. If you want to build a business solely around profits, go rob banks (don't do that).

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Someday, you're going to do something for the last time. Act like it.

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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