In this episode we discuss why creating a mission, vision, core values, and culture that are all aligned with each area of your business allows you to grow your businesses profitably and in alignment with your goals and values.
Heather works with product based entrepreneurs who sell online and want to expand their customer base.
How to build a foundation for growth pdf
Everyone it's Jenessa welcome back to the elevate podcast. I'm here today with Heather Roberts. She's a serial entrepreneur and she works with product based entrepreneurs who sell online and want to expand that customer base. Hi Heather. How are you?
New Speaker (00:40):
Good. Hey Janessa, how are you doing? Awesome. Awesome. So tell us a little bit more about what you do and who you help. Yeah, so, um, I think it might be easier if I go back and explain a little bit. Um, in 2007, I co founded RSG sales, which is an eCommerce account management firm and e-commerce account coaching. Um, and grew that and did that and served, you know, serve folks who were selling online. And in 2013, I kind of got the itch to do something on my own. So I started another company, um, and it was a product based business and um, grew that from nothing up to the point where in may of 2019, I sold that company and was able to exit with a seven, seven figure exits and really realized at that point, like my, my passion and my jam is helping, you know, entrepreneurs really understand how important your vision and your mission in your culture, um, are and how it applies, you know, to every part of your business.
New Speaker (01:48):
And if you get it right going in, it's going to make it so much easier to grow and scale. Yeah.
And I think that part of that, you know, what I see with my clients sometimes is that they've been in business for a little while. Yeah. But never looked at those things.
New Speaker (02:06):
Right, right. And it's, it is really common because you know, for instance, and we use, we use this in all parts of our, of our businesses, but it impacts who your customers are, who your clients are, what vendors you want to work with, how you set up your teams. It's, it's part of everything. It's like the fabric of, of the, of the business. Yeah. It's the foundation. Absolutely. That and mindset. Yep. Yeah. Yup. That's it. Totally.
So tell me more about the culture part because that interests me. Yeah. So I think culture, um, you know, your culture is really dependent on your core values.
Um, and it's the kind of, um, person that you want to have work with you and around you, um, and build the environment of the company. So for instance, um, in our, in our company, some of our, our core, core values are very much the, you know, the culture. So we, um, we work hard. Um, we have a good time. We, um, we make mistakes and we, you know, like everybody makes mistakes, but we try not to make the same mistake twice. Um, we also kind of have a philosophy of, you know, we, we aren't going to take your crap so you know, you better treat us right and we'll treat you right kind of thing. And, and so that, you know, we also have a very open and outspoken culture. So, so from that sense, that makes a huge difference. You know, we have no problem having great, um, debate and open dialogue, um, and you know, kind of that healthy argument. Um, and we make sure that every person in our team gets to participate in that.
Yeah. That's great. So when you, you know, you have your core values, you just named some of them are all of them, I'm not sure, but which one? Um, and when you, so you're talking about your team, you know, like inside of your business.
Yeah. I'm sorry, go ahead.
Oh no, that's okay. And when you're projecting your story and your vision outside of your business, are those same core values being?
Yes. So how I help, what we do when we work with our clients, the way we help them is we have, you know, the founder, um, sit down with our team and we go through this, um, an exercise. Um, and basically, you know, we, we have a big whiteboard and we say, okay, you know, how would you describe your company? What words do you use to describe your company? And, you know, we'd go through that exercise and you know, we get a bunch of words out there, you know, like as many as they come out with, right. And from there we go through and we say, okay, well tell me why you chose that one. What, what about your business makes you say this word? And from that we then kind of dive in a little deeper. And when you get input from multiple people, it makes it so that, um, they start thinking kind of outside the box and they're like, well, you know, maybe, you know, um, I don't know, you know, speedy or whatever isn't really what we are.
We really, you know, instead we value, you know, taking your time and, and being methodical or whatever. I'm just making something up. But, so when we do that, especially with a founder, and even if it's just one other person, um, it makes them understand what actually is very important to them. And then we go through and say, okay, now when you look at your, you, if you're by yourself, you know, and you get ready to build out a team, what's important in you, in a team member, you know, what, what values, what descriptor words so forth and so on are important to you. And then we take what they've said about how they would describe their company and what is important to them and a team member and we see where there's um, match up. And um, from there we'll say, you know, well then it looks to me like your, your culture and core values are these things and there's usually a big aha moment.
Yeah. Yeah. That's a great way to do that. And it's so cool that when you put all of these things together, because really it is, it really is every single piece of your business, right? Your mission is you know, what your impact, what you want your impact to be. Exactly. And your vision is where you want to go. Exactly. You know what you want it to be. Your core values are where you're operating from and your culture is, you know, what you have inside and also who you want to attract.
Exactly. Yeah. And I think one of the things that people have the hardest time with is sometimes, and I know I've made this mistake myself, but I've talked to other business owners and when they're talking about, um, bringing on a potential client, um, either that it can be anything from a small mom and pop retail store or working with, you know, a big online retailer. You have to make sure that your culture matches their culture or else it's designed to fail. And sometimes so many small business owners will choose to ignore that and may end up in the longterm wasting a lot of time, resources and money. So you have to be willing to walk away from something that's not a fit.
Yeah. And do you think that's more because they think they're leaving money on the table? Yeah.
They're like, you know, they, they look at this as I want to grow, just to grow, not, you need to grow in a very thoughtful and purposeful manner that is also profitable.
Yes. Yeah. And that's, that's a big message right here too to all of our listeners. So mate, you know, make sure I don't, whatever business you're in, whoever you're working with, whatever types of, you know, if you're a product or service provider, you know, whatever you are to make sure that whoever you're working with matches, you know, I mean, you know, I would say there maybe lots of matches that are exact, but there probably aren't going to be a ton of exact matches, right. As long as it's at least like 80, 90% factually yourself. Right? Yeah. Values. Yeah.
Yeah, exactly. And you know, you need to have, um, kind of an, almost an internal, um, checklist when, if you're a service based business, um, and you're going to take on new coaching clients, you know, you have to have almost an internal checklist, um, that goes through and decides, is this a fit or not? Yeah. And you know, you need to, then if it is, you can say, you know what, this is a great fit. I really think we should move to this next step. And if it's not, you need to be able and comfortable enough to say, you know, Janessa I really, really would like to work with you. Um, but I don't think I'm a good fit for you and I want to make sure you have that good fit.
And that's hard. And the same thing goes on the product side because if you are someone who maybe makes, you know, um, jewelry by hand, you know, you are not a good fit for a Macy's, right. Because you're not going to be able to fulfill the demand that they have, but you would be a good fit for, you know, the gifts, the, the, you know, local gift shop.
Yes. Yeah. And I think that a, you know, a lot of that has to do with intuition as well. Yeah. Yeah.
One of the things that we actually teach our clients is to have, um, we, you know, we call it almost like a triage call. So that they, before going into a new Avenue or a new sales channel, um, we teach them, uh, to basically have this 10, 15 minute top triaged call that sets expectations, um, that, you know, defines, um, you know, kind of roles and responsibilities and you know, the, the rules of engagement so to speak. And at the end of that, if you go through that and you say, Hey, I really want to sell to this six store chain, fantastic. You know, or, Hey, I really want to work with this late, you know, this, this lady and help her in this coaching capacity. Um, you know, it, it just really, it sets the, um, relationship up for success on the front end.
Yeah, exactly. It's like a discovery call with coaching, right? Yep, exactly. I could talk to somebody and I just intuitively know that where they're at and whether I can help them from where they are or if somebody else might be a better fit for them too. You know, because I know what I work on, right. I know what I work on with my clients and I'm hoping that the people that contact me will know basically what I work on as well. Do you know what I mean? Exactly. Right. Cause you know, they, they must have some type of, we would already have some type of relationship whether it's acknowledged relationship or not, cause they found me somehow. Right, right,
Yeah. And you know, coaches, people, you know, just like you that work with product based entrepreneurs like we all work on something different.
So and that really just kind of re really goes right back to in a way your core values. Right,
exactly. It does. I mean it's like I said, there's no way that you can't circle around back to these same things.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I mean, and even your core values can even, you know, in your vision can even play into, from a product perspective, your pricing. And that's something people don't think about, you know? So if your vision is to grow your total revenue, you know, 50% and you want to, you know, let's say you want to grow your business to a million dollars and you want to have, you know, 200,000 in profit, well that affects how you make your pricing. Yeah. So you know whether, and you need to be okay with that. No. Does that mean that you have to have a little bit higher price? Does that mean you need to sell more? How are you going to go about that? How does that affect your culture? How does it fit? You know, all of those relationships, they're all intertwined.
Yeah. Because it, you know, if you're, you set that goal too high and it breaks down the other pieces of it, right. Is that goal worth it the way you are? You've set it up. Yep. That's, you know, that's exactly right. Yeah. I mean there's a million different ways that you could set up a goal that won't break down any of the things that are really important. You have to stay aligned. Right?
Exactly. Exactly. That's it. 100%
so what else? What do you, you know, when it's, when you talk about a mission, right? Let's talk about, you know, how, how people create a mission. Tell us how that works.
Well, I look at this, I go about this differently actually. Um, because, you know, I tend to say, you know, what do you think you're, where do you want to be in your business? You know, six and 12 months from now and then in three years from now. Because as entrepreneurs, you can't think much past that because everything changes so quickly. Right? Um, and so then once I figure out, you know, what your vision is, then I'll come back to when we go, okay, so how does your mission relate to that vision and how can you accomplish that? And that's a different way of going about it. And it usually brings people a lot of clarity. One of two things happen. They'll either look at it and go, Oh, that's not the vision I want. Nope. Sorry, I overshot. Or an undershot or, you know, that's not the kind of business I want.
Or they'll realize that the mission that they set needs to be, um, much more specific. Yeah. And they've been too broad, you know, to say I want to be the number one seller of a decorative throw pillows in the world. You know, that, that's not a mission. You know, you know, my mission was to provide, um, you know, great design at affordable prices and you know, with a curated look, and that was it. You know, that was our mission. How do we provide great design in a curated look at affordable prices? Hmm. So that was for the pillow company I had. So, you know, the, um, if you turn that into how do I, how in our eCommerce space, how do we handle that? You know, we want to provide the best e-commerce account management services and e-commerce account education. When I apply this to coaching with my product, you know, based, uh, folks, you know, I, I want to provide my clients with the best roadmap to set them up to grow a profitable company.
Yeah. So it's funny because a mission, well I guess, I don't know, maybe I got confused between mission and vision for my own self. No, I mean thinking like, because my mission I think was bigger. It different. So you know, my, I think maybe I swapped them so my vision was or is too. Um, I don't even know what it is right at this second. [inaudible]
well, I have a friend of mine brain. That's all right. I get it. Yeah. So I have a friend of mine and her, um, her, her vision is to help create a, um, a hundred new millionaires in the next 18 months. Oh yes. Okay. Okay. So that's her vision. Yep. You just gave me, you flipped the switch for me. Thank you. Okay. You're welcome. Yeah. Yeah. So you know,
Speaker 3 (17:25):
one of these I'll have, I have to go back and look at
all my wonderful notes that I take to the notebooks I have, you know, post it threw up on it. Um, yeah. Sorry. That's great. I like that. Um, but you know, like it was, you know, what impact do you want to have on the it rights?
Um, you know, what, what will, what will the ripple effect be by somebody working with you and getting the results that they want.
Exactly. Yeah. We're saying the same kinds of things. Yes, exactly. So from your perspective, people who work with you, they're ripple effect is that they have a, a, a brand, um, and a brand presence and personality that helps them clearly understand and define who they are and how they can best
Yes. And then, and then, but the ripple effect from that, you know, and you know, really, we work a lot on mindset. So, you know, there's a lot of like confidence and empowerment and all of those things that come out of working with me as well. And the ripple effect that I see from that is, you know, they're bringing that back out into the world and sharing that with other people, their family, their friends, their kids, their neighborhood, you know, and it just goes on and on and on, you know? So when you get that, that, when you get that, when you get what you are, you know, big ripple effect is, I mean it really sounds outrageous sometimes when you get to that point where it's a huge ripple effect and you're like, Oh, like I could change the world if I change one person, there is absolutely a possibility that I could change the world.
Oh, I have, I am 100% believer of that. I do. Yeah. I mean, if you can, if you can help one person have the confidence to, you know, go out and try something outside of their comfort zone has definitely changed the world.
Yeah. So tell us a little bit more. Any, anything else that you can, anything else that you can give us some dirt on?
Um, well I think, you know, I think in, in the current kind of world, state of what's for, you know, the world, not just country, but the world of what's been going on. I think a lot of people, or I don't know if you've noticed this online, but a lot of people have been talking about how you need to pivot.
And a great friend of mine at first I was like, yeah, okay, you have to pivot. But a good friend of mine said, you know, she's, she's like, actually, cause I think that is just absolutely ridiculous. Why do I want to pivot for 20 years I've been building my business and now I'm supposed to go and change everything up. She's like, that's just stupid. And I was like, yeah. And then she goes, instead, I'm going to recalibrate. And I was like, yes, his genius, you know, it really is genius. So I think that's where, um, what we're talking a lot about now is do not pivot. You know, you've spent all this time and energy learning, making mistakes and learning, you know, making good decisions and you've done all of that, right? And then all of a sudden you're just going to change directions. That's just stupid.
So instead we calibrate means to like kind of correct a path, you know, just make some tweaks and you know, double down on what you do well. So if you take that approach and you double down on what you do well, you are ahead of the game in every way, shape or form. So for product based businesses that were, that we work with them, um, we're coaching, you know, we're, we're working on things like from an eCommerce standpoint, um, you know, double down and made sure you understand your, um, top sellers that have that do 80% of your business. Do you really understand how that is and what the turn rate is and get your inventory plan together for the next, you know, six to 12 months. Stay in stock on those because it's going to keep you in business. You know, we're saying to our Custer, to our clients, you know, this is a time to really look at all of your copy in your content and your product listings and how you're presenting yourself out in the world.
Um, you know, because a e-commerce product listing right now is, um, the same thing as a sales person and you've got like less than seven seconds to convince somebody to stop the scroll and click right. So, you know, check your, you know, check all of your copy your content, do you have the best in class of your images and um, you know, video and all of that. Are you using your SEO words? So, you know, that's our kind of second kind of recalibrate. Um, then the third thing is that we're really working with our clients about is, um, are you best using your accounts? Are you currently working with your accounts in the best way possible? Like, do you have all your products on their sites or not? If you don't, why, you know, and the idea, the other thing is making sure your sales channel is diverse. I mean for, for clients that had only been in brick and mortar stores, they have no sales. It's dried out. You better have a diverse customer base because right now e-commerce is what's keeping a lot of businesses alive.
Yeah. And where else could they go right now too.
Exactly. So you know, those are just some very practical, very, you know, simple ways of saying, Hey, you know, take what you do, what you've always done, built around, you know, your vision and your mission and your core values and you know, double down on that, recalibrate that and push it out into the world.
Yeah. I think there's also a big misconception about what the word pivot means right now too. I agree. So, you know, pivot really means like to come to change, right. Do something different. Right. Like, and your friends, right? Like why would we go do something different? I mean, you know, unless it's absolutely necessary that you go do something different, but even if you're doing something different, like you were a brick and mortar and now you're going online, like that's not really a pivot that really isn't recalibration. Yeah. That is, that is, you know, uh, adjusting and just keeping your business going. Right. Doing the same thing. You're still selling the same things, you're just doing it in a different way to a different market, to a different market. And it actually could be the same market. Now they're just buying it differently.
Exactly. Right. That's exactly right. And I think this, you know, this really applies to so, so many people. I mean, you know, even like in the, well, so I really like to do yoga and so my, you know, local yoga studio was one of the first things they did was, you know, turned to having, you know, virtual classes. And actually in some ways I really like it because it offers me a little bit more flexibility, you know, of the times that they're doing it. And so I've been able to do more than I normally would.
Yeah. And you don't have to get in your car and you don't have to drive there and you don't have to put all your stuff in there. Exactly. You can just flip on your computer and, yep. Yeah. We don't even have to be seen if you don't want to.
Exactly. Exactly. So just follow along. Yeah. So I mean, I think that that's, you know, there are so many different ways that, that I think that that you were right, the word pivot is not the right choice. It's better to just recalibrate.
Yeah, exactly. I mean, especially if you've been building your business and you're, you know, people know you when you have customers or clients or whatever it is. I mean, pivot would be like a, I'm a lip balm company now selling suntan lotion or something like that. Like now we're no longer selling chapstick. Now we're selling [inaudible].
Yeah. Yeah. And I think one thing that's kind of, um, really, I think scary, um, for a lot of new entrepreneurs is that they're, there's so, so many new entrepreneurs are, have a tendency to chase that bright and shiny and you know, that this is a perfect time that a new entrepreneur could get lost chasing that bright and shiny.
Yeah. Yes. New entrepreneurs right now should be, you know, really figuring out what, what their mission, vision, core values is. Exactly. Build their foundation now, like get your help now, you know, whether it's a coach or a mentor or course or a whatever it is that you're learning and your support and your accountability and all of that. Now
yes. Especially if you're new.
A hundred percent. Yeah. I mean, I would say even if you're, you know anybody right now. Yeah. Because we all had to pause. Yep. I mean, businesses are still going online, so yes, keep selling, keep doing your thing. But you're, we're all going to have a few more minutes right a day now. So use it wisely because you're, you know, once it all starts back up again, hopefully you will not get back into the busy, busy grind, grind, hustle, hustle mentality. Because in my opinion, that's not what gets you further. Nope. You know, that just burns you out. Yup. Yeah. The hustle mentality is overrated. Oh, way. Overrated. Every time I see that, now I cringe.
Yeah. Oh yeah. No, it's, you know, work smarter, not harder.
Yes. It should be easy. Yep. Like, I'm not saying that they're is going to be, it's always going to be fun and games and you know, rainbows and glitter cause it totally isn't at all. And that's okay. Those are your growing pains and that's, you know, that happens. But it should not, you should not be working until your eyes bleed. No. You know, you should not be a busy is not a badge of honor. No. So, you know, if you were doing those things before, put processes into place where you don't have to do those things again.
Exactly. It's just like this is the time to double down on Mmm. Being thoughtful about your time and how you're using it. One of the things that we, um, that I work with our clients about is we have a, uh, productivity calculator and we have everybody track their time for two weeks. And I mean down to the minute. And so many people are like, this is the stupidest thing. I'm not going to do this. I'm like, humor me, let's try it. Cause this is how we're going to figure out, you know, you, this is where you think you're spending your time, but this is where, and it's without fail. Every person says, Oh my gosh, I thought I was spending my time. You know, I'm working on new product development or marketing or this and that. And instead they are spending 80% of their time in the minutia of the things that don't make you go forward. Yeah. So, um, this is where it's the perfect time to do an exercise like that so that you can make sure you are moving forward.
Yes. And not, you know, watching the cat videos or the, the goat yoga videos, whatever exact, just scrolling aimlessly. Like I call it daydream scrolling on your Facebook or Instagram or whatever. Like if you're on your Facebook and Instagram, be there for a reason.
Yeah. You better be working.
Yeah. Even for a reason. Be purposeful and you know, because those things can move you forward scrolling. You know, like getting on the internet and engaging in Facebook and Instagram is going to get you business. Yes, absolutely. You just have to be purposeful doing it. Exactly. Yeah.
Yeah. But to just randomly, you know, scroll that's not helpful.
Randomly scroll and watch the videos of cute animals does not help, you know, maybe fun, but to know exactly. You know what, that's cool to take that five or 10 minutes, you know, give yourself a break and watch the funny cat video or the, you know, whatever cute animal videos and whatever you want. Yep. Totally cool. But just to remember to shut them off and go back to work, you know, go back to doing something purposeful. Yeah. Yep. Because we do get stuck. We get stuck in that loop of, I'm just going to keep doing this because the other thing that I'm doing isn't easy. Right. Like my brain does not accept that that's an easy thing to do. It requires me to think, it requires me to actually do something on purpose. Right, right. You know, that has intention. Yeah. I find that, um, if we, like if there's going to be something that I have to
work on or, or help somebody with, you know, breaking it down into those 25 minute chunks, um, you know, work really hard and really concentrate on something that maybe you don't want to do. Cause everybody has those things they don't want to do but spend 25 minutes and say, I'm just going to focus only on this and at the end of your 25 minutes, take a break, you know, walk around the room, go around the block, whatever you need to do, but give yourself a break and if you haven't finished it, then sat down, set yourself back down and say, okay I'm going to go at this for another 25 minutes.
Yeah. And they go freaking party when you're done. Exactly. Cause if you do that,
just that it's a mindset. It makes it so it's palatable.
Yes. And it tells your brain that it was fun doing like, exactly. Congratulate yourself and like do a dance party. Yep. That's exactly, I was just going to say throw a little dance party. Yeah. And be proud of yourself that you got through that 25 minutes doing something that is not your preferred thing to do.
Right. Right. But that it's, that it drives things forward.
Yes. Yep. So, well, awesome. All right, well I see that you have a freebie here that uh, but I don't know what it is. So when you tell us about that.
Yeah. So that's okay. So, um, we have the, the productivity calculator I was talking about. Um, we ha that's on the, um, profit prep, profit powered growth.com. You can go there and um, download the productivity calculator, um, and help you understand really where you're spending time in your business. Um, so yeah, that's great. And tell everyone where they can find you. Yeah. So, um, you can go to profit powered growth.com or you can find me on Instagram at Heather underscore S, uh, underscore Roberts, um, or on Facebook I palate profit, power growth.
Awesome. That's amazing. So anyone that's listening, if, Oh, I know you will. So I'm not going to say that, but yeah, tell us what you found valuable out of this episode. And if you're listening on your phone, screenshot on your phone and tag both Heather and I and if you have questions for either one of us, please send us a DM or a message on Facebook and I'm sure that we would be sure Heather would be happy to help you. That's, you know, I am always here to help. So, uh, we are all here to help you. You know, these are
The things that we talked about today, guys, the mission, the vision, the core values, and I'm going to work on my culture. I did have that in there. Um, but those things really are besides getting your mind right, you know, getting your mindset and you're in there, right place for you to move forward. Those things then are the building blocks they're going to, those are the things that are going to drive you to drive your business.
And there, those are the things that are going to help attract the people that you want. So we'll work on those. Go check Heather out and we will see you in the next episode.
Thanks Janessa. I appreciate it.
Speaker 3 (34:55):
No problem. Heather. I'm glad you were here. Thank you.
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