How to build a business based on delivering a lasting impact.

I never went to school to learn business, but the journey of creating a business for the last 16 months has taught me important lessons about creating a lasting impact with clients. The most important lesson I learned was simply to be myself, to listen with empathy, listen some more and only once I felt I understood my client, do I offer my thoughts that give them peace of mind. I also realized that to start a business, I didn’t need content or a list of services to get started. If I had no clients, all the services were meaningless. So, I started my business based on having conversations and building meaningful relationships.

I talk about peace of mind at length because it is the outcome of connecting with a client emotionally and giving them the assurance that I will take care of them. That is only build on a foundation of trust, confidence and true understanding of their needs and finding a way to apply my technical skills to give them what they want. My favorite clients know that my skills can be found anywhere in Quality & Operational Excellence; they’re a dime a dozen. But to find a partner that takes the time to know them and can paint a picture of the outcome we want to achieve, that’s what I provide to my clients. They know that if I need technical expertise beyond my skills I’ll find it, I’ll anticipate their needs and provide proposals and in the event of a situation, they know I’ll take care of it and keep them informed. A partnership is one where you have their back and they can depend on you now and in the future.

What I have described is the experience I’ve provided to past and current clients, but this next message is for the client who has not done work with me yet. I see a lot of you in my network and beyond, but we simply have not had an opportunity to work together. Until then, I continue to share my thoughts on business & personal development in my content because I care about you and am seeking to build impact before we have had a conversation. That’s what the Drop in CEO brand is about; it’s an experience that you can trust and be confident that we’ll take care of you and leave a lasting impact.

And so turning my thoughts to those who want to go into business or a new direction, I ask you what holds you back? Do you have a belief you don’t have the skills? If you think in the context of building a business, you might be right and you shouldn’t start. However, if you think in the context of connecting with people and leaving a lasting impact as your true north, you actually have all the skills you need to move forward. Think about it; are you delivering a business to your clients or a lasting impact and partnership? Start with the client first and how you serve them, be confident in who you are that you can leave a lasting impact and the rest will come.

Deborah A. Coviello

Founder of Illumination Partners, LLC