Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Susan Patterson, Owner of SPG Consulting, located in Waterloo, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is SPG Consulting. For over thirty years, I have been guiding individuals and teams to discover their respective personal strengths. I also coach them to develop strategies to surpass their identified weaknesses. I use standardized frameworks which are customized for each client or organization. Additionally, I am able to facilitate the certification process for people who want to become trainers using this framework.
Tell us about yourself
Early in my consulting career, I attended a workshop where I discovered my distinctive personality strengths and stressors. Recognizing that my uniqueness was not only okay and critical to my success in all aspects of my life was "an ah-ha moment." I wanted to share these insights and decided to open SPG Consulting, initially on a part-time basis. My mission was, and still is, to bring this amazing information forward: to ignite the spark to shape your potential growth and to be the best you can be.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I adapt my delivery and adjust my consultations to meet the needs of my customers without compromising my values or my mission. Circumstances led me here, and as I look back, I see how I would have cheated myself out of the experience of growing my business nationally and internationally if I hadn't pivoted. By being flexible and altering my business approach, I discovered that I was equally effective in delivering my services in a virtual setting as I was in a face-to-face setting. By working virtually, I opened up many more opportunities to connect with amazing people, many of whom would never have had the opportunity to access this learning if it had only been offered in a traditional classroom setting. With a bit of tweaking and adjusting the curriculum, SPG Consulting has continued to thrive and opened my eyes to even more business opportunities.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Thinking that I had to do this alone. No question that, as an entrepreneur, I wanted to forge my own path. However, I have learned I do not have to do this solitude. I need external support! This is KEY: objective, outside resources, and networks can make the difference between success and stagnation. What I learned is that people are willing to help me if I specifically ask them for what I need. I also discovered that people are grateful for the help they receive and are eager to pay it forward. Then I pay it forward to others who think they have to do this alone.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- WAKE UP to what you love doing with a level of focus and energy, and creativity. Never lose your excitement.
- EMBRACE YOUR BLUNDERS. Own your mistakes - let go of the notion of perfection. Have a working sense of humour and relax. You gain strength and confidence from every experience - even the blunders. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats."
- PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH. Recognize that we are each unique. I believe one of the keys to effective communication is having the ability to truly understand and connect with others. This, in turn, makes me more effective in my personal relationships, career, and all aspects of my life.
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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