TBL Episode 61: The Value of Outside Perspective When Building a Business

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Mary Cravets is a very impatient person, and this trait has pushed her to continually move forward and find something better. This trait has even pushed her to start her own business. Mary started out as a realtor and tried her hand at direct sales before launching her own VA business, which she eventually left to become a business advisor. In this episode of Today’s Business Leaders, Mary shares her journey and experiences and explains the one thing that can quickly kill a business.

Trusting Her Instinct

While running her VA business, Mary found herself continually at odds with her clients. Customers would request something, and Mary would offer advice about a better solution or strategy to achieve their objective. More often than not, the customers would essentially ignore her input, and tell her just to do what they wanted. Mary assumed that as business owners, her clients knew what they were doing, so she didn’t question them further. In most instances, Mary was right and had her customers heeded her advice, they would have benefited.

Building a Business on Values

After finding inspiration at a conference, Mary quit her job and started working as a business advisor. The experience was terrifying, but self-affirming at the same time. A key to creating a successful business is building that business around your values, explains Mary. In her case, Mary prioritizes:

  • Freedom to do what she wants to do both personally and professionally.
  • Do work that makes an impact on people’s lives.
  • Work on a variety of jobs for different clients to ward off boredom.

Learning to Balance Values

“The problem with just going on your values is that people sometimes stop there,” explains Mary. “There’s another piece, which is that you have to have a structure for profitability; otherwise, you’re just a bleeding heart hippie, like I used to be, and broke. It’s about being very intentional about the internal and strategic pieces. It’s a real marriage, and when you get to that point when something isn’t fitting you can either change when it’s a little uncomfortable, or you can wait until it’s burned you out and it’s burned itself to the ground,” says Mary.

Learn How to Challenge Your Comfort Zone

Learn more by visiting Mary’s Website, or get in touch through email, Facebook or Twitter. Pick up more actionable advice by listening to other installments of Today’s Business Leaders and learn more about the solutions available through Gabe’s company, Business Marketing Engine.


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