Last Thursday I joined Helsinki Business and Science Park (HBSP) Forum at Helsinki Think Company, where entrepreneur, business consultant and coach Christopher Evatt shared his extensive experience related especially to family owned business and start-up companies. The session was titled ‘Pursuing your Passion’.
Here are some highlights and direct quotations I found interesting.
- The purpose of an organization is to support life, all life, not just human life.
- We are here to create a better reality … a better world. That’s what an entrepreneur does.
- Ask: “What is the positive difference I wish to make on this spaceship Earth?” It is not just about selling more stuff that matters, it is about contributing to life.
- Improve the ecosystem! Make good things happen!
- When starting a new business, don’t go out to only try and sell. Ask questions and co-create with customers what they most want. You will get a much better and more positive response. It is the key to building a successful business.
- It’s all about asking questions.
- All realities – physical, virtual and imaginary – need to be covered. They all need to be tied together into a meaningful and valuable whole for you, your staff, your customers and other stakeholders.
- Compete with the quality of your relationships (not only with your product) with your suppliers and customers.
- Do not copy other businesses. Go above the competition. Be extraordinarily better.
- Sometimes you drop into deep holes. In those “holes” you can learn much.
- Starting with no money can be an incentive in the short term.
Making the deal
- Business is the reflection of you.
- Never harm your suppliers or your customers. Look after them and they are likely to look after you.
- Do not accept a business proposition, no matter how good it looks, until you are sure about the quality and the intentions of the person behind the proposition.
- How to sell something new that nobody knows? Give them a taste or experience of your product.
- Physical: Products
- Mental: Knowledge
- Emotional: Motivations
- Inspirational: Inspiration
- The value of your product or service to the customer increases exponentially at each level.The greater the value, the more they are willing to pay. Think of Apple and their products.
The meaning of the brand
- Ask:”What does my company stand for?” Make it very clear.
- Answer: ”How I help my customers, staff, suppliers, environment, society and investors.”
- Your value is not only what you know. It is the value you create and how you solve customers problems.
The key for success: Know yourself. Follow your passion!
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Edit July 11: I had a short email discussion with Chris last night after publishing this blog. He asked: What did I gain in this two hour session?
I liked how and what Chris told about his own experiences as a young entrepreneur in New Zealand: the challenges, the risks, the moments of success, how he stubbornly found his way in a new and unknown business situation. That I could easily reflect to the situation of start-ups in today’s Finland: the road to success is not straight. If I ask advise at every turn, my odds to succeed will increase dramatically.
The way Chris described the ultimate reason for organizations and business – to create holistically a better world – led my thoughts to new paths: I cannot make big difference in this world alone, I need trusted, inspiring partners. I need to openly tell what I am doing. Positive communication creates positive feedback loop.
He underlined the importance of asking questions. For me it means curiosity without limits – like a child.