Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kent Gregoire, CEO of Symphony Advantage, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our mission at Symphony Advantage is to foster the widespread adoption of conscious capitalism around the world and to elevate humanity by aligning businesses with people, purpose, and profit. The world needs entrepreneurs and CEOs to step up and build a company that matters. But how? We help you take the first steps to successfully implement your purposeful vision – feeling ready to change your business and life for good. Monday morning rolls around; now what? We guide you on the steps to operationalize your plan thanks to a multi-stakeholder approach where everyone wins. We typically work with purpose-driven CEOs – big and small – across a wide range of industries. The time is now.
Tell us about yourself
I started my first manufacturing company at age 14. Since then, I've founded or led more than a dozen companies at different stages of their growth. I've encountered great successes and felt great about it. However, things changed in the spring of '92. That's when my dad took me aside and told me that I was focusing on the wrong priorities in my business and my life. He told me I was not living the values he -and my mother- had instilled in me, showing care and kindness to others. For me, this was a pivotal moment. His words planted a seed in my psyche. I realized then that there ought to be a way to be successful while conducting business with care. Since then, I've been committed to leveraging the power of capitalism for good, which is what drives me each and every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
A few years ago, I became determined to find a win-win approach to conducting business that delivers exponential value to all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and the environment around us. When I attended my first Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit, I came to realize that conscious capitalism was the answer I'd been looking for all along. I was so utterly changed by that experience that I decided to complete the first certification program in the world dedicated solely to conducting business with care. Now, I'm one of eleven with these certified conscious capitalism consultants worldwide, an incredibly proud accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Expectations of organizations from consumers and employees are profoundly shifting due to concerns about the health of our planet and our people, as well as demands for a fairer and more inclusive society. In response, companies need to adapt to survive and thrive. While many entrepreneurs understand that conducting business with care is both the right and the smart thing to do, they struggle with implementation. Arguably one of the hardest parts of being a business owner is not only having a meaningful purpose but also bringing this mission to life by embedding it into every level of the company.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Define one societal or environmental problem your organization is committed to solving.
- Build a community of partners and vendors around you to support your purpose and advance this issue.
- When recruiting new talent, be sure to look not only for those with the right skills but also for potential employees with values and motivations that are in accordance with your higher purpose.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
As a CEO, do you want something more but don't know where to start? Visit https://www.beyondzeroretreat.com/ to learn more.
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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