Why choose a Professional EOS Implementer over Self-Implementing


Why Choose a Professional EOS Implementer over self-implementing?

Have you been thinking about using the Entrepreneurial Operating System®? The proven Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) strengthens to the 6 key components of your business to ensure your team performs well – to get the results your business wants.

Implemented correctly, it will help your business or organisation excel & help you to get what you want out of your business.

Implementing EOS to its full extent is the key to seeing the best results.

So, do you have the resources to effectively self-implement the EOS? Or should you hire a Professional EOS Implementer to ensure that you will see the full benefits?

This article is written to give you some things to think about it you are questioning whether to self-implement or invest in a Professional EOS Implementer.

First of all, let’s define the 2 options:


A Professional EOS Implementer is someone who helps entrepreneurial leaders

  1. Achieve company-wide alignment on their vision.
  2. Gain real traction against that vision.
  3. Create healthy teams and culture through masterful EOS implementation.

A Professional EOS Implementer has received extensive training from EOS Worldwide & has access to a community of EOS Professionals as well as support from EOS Head Office. They have an entrepreneurial business leadership background or in my case, they have also owned & managed several businesses.

They have successfully completed the EOS Professional Implementer Boot Camp, work with multiple growth-minded companies to implement EOS, and continuously train towards EOS mastery.

They have to have the following experience to maintain their professional status:

30+ Sessions per year 8.75+ Average session rating 4+ Successful implementations

EOS Implementers use the proven, simple, and practical tools of EOS through its proven process to help leaders strengthen all Six Key Components™ of their business to get the best results.

Implementers are experts at:

  • TEACHING every tool in the EOS Toolbox™
  • FACILITATING clarity, alignment, and resolution
  • COACHING EOS® purity and accountability, and helping the leadership team become its best


Self-implementing means you take the tools yourself & implement them into your business.

Most of the tools are freely available from the EOS Worldwide website.

You can use the book Traction, to help you understand the tools.

Before you decide which way to go, please consider the following:


In the words of Jason Kolevski:

The most powerful reason to use an external coach/facilitator/implementor is because it’s impossible for a business to be objective with itself. This is where the gems 💎 are drawn from to create magical shifts!

  • Are you able to spot problems in the company and be objective about them?
  • Deal with the team’s dynamics & call out the elephants in the room?
  • Are you able to stand back and listen to all the leader’s points of view?

This is part of the role when you self-implement.

You also need to step out of your shoes and make sure you are also accountable for your undoing.

It is a challenging task to do when you are on the inside.

It is easier to have someone come in from the outside to offer an objective point of view and listen to the team’s perspective without taking it personally.

A Professional EOS Implementer can provide an outside professional perspective to challenge your habits and beliefs to create your best team yet. They will help your company align to your true vision and goals.


The initial cost of self-implementing is not as high as hiring a Professional EOS Implementer.

EOS provides all the tools for self-implementation meaning a team member can complete the basic training and then facilitate, teach and coach the leaders in your organisation.

However, have you thought about the cost and time put towards the training and initial implementation?

Hiring a Professional EOS Implementer to teach EOS in its pure form helps your leadership team implement it faster and more effectively, possibly saving you costs in the long term.


When organisations self-implement, they might not follow the EOS proven process: they only select the tools that they want to use or not use them correctly.

This might provide some results, but not the best results.

A Professional EOS Implementer is experienced and a master of all the tools in the process.

They understand the science behind the process and the order it needs to be implemented.

They have been professionally trained in using EOS and understand how to customise the system to different organisations.

They will teach you to use all the right tools in the toolbox to ensure you get the results you want.

They also have experience with many different organisations so can share that experience. For example, I have worked with over 5000 businesses & their leaders – this means that I know the questions to ask of your team.


Entrepreneurs are motivated and like to take on challenges.

You might see self-implementing as your next challenge.

However, implementing the EOS takes time, commitment and follow-through.

The nominated person to integrate and facilitate EOS might be pulled away to complete work commitments without having enough time to see it through.

A Professional EOS Implementer will implement and facilitate the entire process and provide ongoing support. They will ensure EOS becomes an integral part of your organisation.


When you self-implement, you and your team do it on your own. You must be genuinely accountable for your actions as the facilitator of the EOS and your role in the business. A Professional EOS Implementer can guide you through the implementation, provide ongoing support to help deal with issues and continually teach you how to use the tools effectively.

So, which option will work best for us?

If you just consider the cost of an Implementer then the obvious choice would be to self implement.

However, working with a professional EOS Implementer will get you better results & faster, meaning you can pay back the investment & still be ahead after the investment.

On average a client working with an EOS Implementer sees an increase of 18% to the bottom line, over a year. Sometimes it’s as high as 40%!

Do the math & work out whether you can afford not to do it with a professional implementer 🙂

An analogy I like to use is this:

You can YouTube anything or read a book & learn how to do it. However, would you trust a brain surgeon who was YouTube or book trained or would you prefer them to be qualified & experienced?

Whilst your business is not quite as critical as your brain, your business is an important asset.

Using a qualified & experienced Professional EOS Implementer will ensure your asset is in good hands.

Put another way, EOS is Simple but implementing it can be hard.

Much like losing weight – the method is really simple:

  1. Eat less food
  2. Do more exercise

And yet, many of us struggle to do it. That’s why we engage with personal trainers & coaches to help us achieve that result.

As Firefly say in their whitepaper – “How Investors and Boards Can Use EOS® To Align Teams and Drive Results.”

“Use a Certified or Professional EOS Implementer. As noted above, we strongly believe the investment in a competent, experienced facilitator who fits with the personality of the leadership team pays off in a swifter, more enduring implementation.

Our experience with self- implementation is that it’s better than not doing EOS at all but won’t deliver the same impact. A lot rides on an EOS implementation – investing in an Implementer increases the odds of success.”

Download the whitepaper to find out more:

Download pdf

And if you don’t believe me, take a listen to Justine taking about the difference – going from self-implementing to using me as their Implementer:

If I have convinced you of the merits of using a Professional Implementer, then please see below around whether you are ready & how I can help.

Are you ready to hire a Professional EOS Implementer?

I can help you get what you want out of business and life!

Using EOS with my unique blend of experience as a Business Leader, Entrepreneur, Leadership Coaching & Business Coaching skills, I can help you and your team become better leaders and create a business that elevates you to achieve better results.

To start with me as a client you need to be:

  • Open-minded​
  • Respectful
  • Appreciative
  • Growth-oriented
  • Frustrated
  • Want help
  • Willing to be open, honest & vulnerable

If you meet the criteria & want to talk then book me in for a quick chat, using the button below.

Book a free call with me to find out how i can help you!


“I tried to self-implement, and it was a disaster. Everything changed when we brought in a Professional EOS Implementer®. Now we’ve made the Inc. 5000 List 5 times in 10 years, and our Implementer is an indispensable part of our business.”

TRACY CALL, CEO/Founder of Media Bridge Advertising

“We tried to self-implement, and we didn’t get anywhere. We got busy & EOS took a back seat plus we picked & chose which tools we wanted to use. We got Debra in to help us & we haven’t looked back. Last year, despite Covid, we were focused & smashed our extended targets. This year we are already well on our way to reaching our goals.”

JUSTINE PARSON, Visionary/Founder of Your Virtual Assistant

All EOS Implementers share the following values:

ARE HUMBLY CONFIDENT open, honest, real and well-practiced, ready to make a positive difference

DO THE RIGHT THING never betraying a trust and doing whatever it takes to resolve every issue so people can move forward

GROW OR DIE driven to maximize every situation and take ourselves and our clients to the next level

HELP FIRST subordinating our personal interests to advance others, always giving value before expecting anything in return

DO WHAT WE SAY sometimes more, never less

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

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How a Business Leadership Coach Can Transform Your Life

Running a business offers you flexibility, freedom, and the ability to share your business ideas and vision with the world. While this sounds quite idyllic, more often than not running a business is stressful, time consuming and exceptionally challenging. Before you know it, it could be your business that is controlling you instead of the other way around.

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What is EOS Coaching and What Can it Do For My Business?

If you’ve been in the entrepreneurial world for a little while you may have heard of The Entrepreneurial Operating System. It is an operating system that is used by thousands of businesses around the world and the benefits are truly remarkable. The system makes use of a holistic business model and combines it with simple business tools to provide a straightforward operating system that streamlines processes and provides you with your desired results.

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What makes a successful Business Coaching client?

Business Coaching | Mentoring | Strategic Planning |Teaching

Yes, I suppose it does seem like a strange question. Surely as an experienced Business Coach I should be able to help all clients become successful & happy too? Seems that whilst I have a lot of success, it’s not always a given … And so I have been pondering why for the last few days.

To give you some insight, I’ve had several clients over the years win awards & just this week, one of my clients has been accepted into a Zero Carbon Challenge Accelerator, one has won Organic Product of the Year for the 2nd year in a row & two of them are finalists in the Beauty product of the year competition. On top of that I have had a thank you card & flowers & several amazing reviews on Google.

All that is wonderful & I am so happy for my clients & grateful for their thanks. However, more importantly, on a regular basis, I get to see clients who were completely overwhelmed, stressed out & ready to give up, rediscover their passion & recreate their business so that they once again love what they do – in business & in life.

And when that happens, I see my clients embrace their brilliance, achieve their goals in their professional & personal life & then my heart truly sings. That’s when I know I am doing something right!

Why then are there some clients that I have worked with where I haven’t been able to help them to achieve this level of success?

All of my clients have to be passionate about what they do – I won’t work with them otherwise, so that’s not it… What are the other key attributes that the Business Owners that have achieved what they wanted have had outside of this?

As an Entrepreneurial Business & Leadership Coach, who has 20 years experience of running businesses (successfully & miserably unsuccessfully!) & 9 years of Business Coaching with The Icehouse, Lightning Lab & my own coaching practice I have a large range of experiences with my own business as well as with thousands of business owners that I have worked with.

Seems there are 7 key things that I can easily identify:

1. They weren’t looking for a magic silver bullet or a magic formula

With so many people out there promising making your millions in less than 4 hours per week, people are convinced there is an easy way to make money.

Perhaps for those who are prepared to take advantage of other people, there is that opportunity but for those of us who genuinely want to have a sustainable, profitable & ethical business then I am afraid that there is no magic silver bullet.

It takes working smart without a doubt but also working hard.

If you are thinking about doing one of the million courses or workshops (either online or in person) that promise you this shortcut, then please do spend just 41 minutes taking a look at this Contrepreneur youtube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC5cmW8O3L8.

2. They commit to a regular time for coaching

Yes, they put aside a time every fortnight to meet with me & only if something major comes up do they change this time.

This is because they value both their time & mine & they know that to get results they have to work on the business.

Committing to a regular time each fortnight shows a commitment to wanting to achieve success & also means that you regularly get a sense of achievement.

Even if you haven’t done what you had said you would do at the last session – then maybe you can use the time to understand why you didn’t – is there perhaps something more important that you should be doing?

Or maybe you just need a good kick up the arse – so it might be a short but useful meeting 🙂

3. They used their Coaching time wisely

They never turn up without an agenda & things that they want to get out of the coaching session.

I don’t drive the session – they do.

That’s not to say that I don’t broaden their thinking & help them to explore more than they expected, however they’ve already thought about what they want out of the session & this gives us a strong focus & a purpose for the session. This means we get the most out of each session.

Half an hour the day before thinking about what you want or need out of the session will improve the time spent together.

4. They did what they committed to… And more!

Every session we agree to a set of actions. They’re not for me – I couldn’t care less if they did them or not (well, not strictly true but it doesn’t really benefit me) – the ‘homework’ is for you as the coaching client. We agreed to them because we thought that they had merit, so if you do them, chances are they’ll take you one step further forward.

The clients that move ahead at speed have undertaken the actions, seen the results & probably been motivated to do more.

5. They committed to time for themselves

That’s right – you can’t get things done unless you make time to do them.

It’s said that if you were working efficiently on your business you would spend 10% of the time working on the past (sending out invoices, reviewing results etc), 70% of your time working un your business (the stuff that is your core competency & is worthwhile spending your time on) & 20% working on the future (strategic planning & establishing what you need to do to take the business forwards).

So, in the 5 days of the week that we have for work, 1 of these needs to be committed to spending time working on the business & on yourself.

Those that succeed commit this time for themselves.

6. They understood gratitude

Gratitude strengthens our emotions. Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.

Taking the time to be grateful each day

If you don’t believe me then check out this article which shows the 31 benefits of gratitude & how it can change your life – https://www.happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude

7. They were willing to learn & accept help

They were open to doing things differently

If you’d think you meet the criteria & want some help to get to the next level then please contact me & let’s have a chat.

Why did Froth Technologies choose Ventell for their Business Coaching?

Froth Technologies | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Froth Technologies recently took part in the MYOB Head Start for Start Ups competition, getting into the top 5 and presenting their idea to a panel of judges.

Who started Froth Technologies?

Froth Technologies is made up of two awesome guys, Simon and Ryan, who noticed a gap in the market when it came to yeast for brewing beers in New Zealand. Before them, there was… no one! Before Froth Technologies, New Zealand beer brewers were forced to buy their yeast from overseas. Which, due to its need for refrigeration, was a costly thing, and not great for the planet either.

Froth Technologies | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Why did they come to Ventell for Business Coaching?

Froth Technologies, despite being based in Wellington, chose Debra Chantry in Auckland as their business coach for two primary reasons.

  1. Debra has a lot of experience with both startups and established businesses.
  2. Debra has a food technology background – making it an ideal choice for someone in the food industry.

When choosing a business coach, it is important to take a page from Froth’s book and pick one that has experience in your field, or has the same philosophies and mindset as you do.

Froth Technologies 2 | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Froth placed within the top five contestants within the MYOB head start for startup awards but unfortunately fell short on the top spot. Out of 280 entries, Froth’s idea managed to standout allowing them to attend the MYOB awards to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Simon and Ryan started their pitch off with a bang, with a great, interactive pitch that had the whole crowd laughing, applauding and enjoying the journey they were taken on when learning about their idea. They even sipped some of their own beer crafted with their yeast throughout the pitch.

“The next steps for Froth involves finding a site that will house the larger tanks and equipment we’ve just ordered on the back of our successful PledgeMe campaign. We’re also starting an R&D project next month where we’ll be working to unlock the flavours of Aotearoa by isolating previously undiscovered strains of yeast.”

Forth started with Debra over 12 months ago and came to her because of her background in food technology and startups, she was recommended by MYOB to help the guys at Froth really kick start their idea and help them really push their idea to the next level.

Once finishing their MYOB head start for start-ups journey, Ryan stated that “ We are stoked to have the opportunity to pitch in the finals, and loved the opportunity to level-up our pitching skills, tell the audience and the judges about Froth, and receive really wholesome feedback” as well as talking about the event and attendees “It was great to be surrounded by (and competing against) a cohort of such exciting, impactful new business ventures.”

Ventell is a business coaching service that helps entrepreneurs and business owners a like rediscover their passion for their business as well as make it grow. People like Simon and Ryan choose Ventell due to Debra and her team of coaches and their vast knowledge of a range of industries, including their own. These coaches help business owners and entrepreneurs on their business to help them in ways only coaches can, by looking at the business from a different perspective, offering advice, guidelines and forms of feedback that help boost any business to its next level.

If you are ready to scale up your business, Call us on 0800 332 007 or get in contact today.

Prep: The award-winning start up

Award winning, business coaching, success, start up

start up business, business awards, business coaching, business success

Meet Natalie Richards, a down to earth ex-truck driver who used to work 60 to 70 hours a week. Having early starts and late finishes along with spending most of her time on the roads, food options were often limited and unhealthy. So, Natalie decided it was time to change her eating options by cooking her own meals. However, Natalie went beyond just home-cooked meals, she took classic recipes and transformed them into plant-based versions. Natalie then immersed herself with food and spent her time experimenting and creating new recipes.

Natalie made it her mission to offer a wide range of plant-based meals that are both nutritious and delicious. In 2016, this was the beginning of Prep. Prep offers healthy and delicious plant-based meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prep meals are made from scratch using only whole natural ingredients. These meals are frozen soon after to lock in all the nutrients and flavours in biodegradable bamboo containers. So, it’s good for you and the planet!

As part of Prep’s journey, Natalie utilised business coaching from Debra Chantry at Ventell to help guide her in the right direction. Business coaching challenges Natalie to go further and achieve better results not only for Prep but also herself. Business coaching at Ventell is tailored to the needs of a business and generally consists of three steps.

Step One: Deep Dive Coaching Session

The first step consists of sharing everything about your business and utilising business tools such as the SWOT analysis, competitor analysis, prioritisation matrixes and more.

Step Two: Strategic Planning Session

This step uses information gathered from the deep dive to develop a detailed set of goals and vision, along with developing your business and personal plan.

Step Three: Regular One-on-One Catch-Ups

The final step is to start putting those strategies into action. There are regular catch-ups with your business coach to ensure you are on the right track and to re-evaluate any strategies if needed. 


Natalie has been working together with Debra since the birth of Prep to where they are now. Natalie has driven Prep to success with the help and support from Debra’s business coaching. As Natalie’s coach, Debra has provided honest feedback, assisting to implement improvements on Prep and Natalie as a person, expose Natalie to greater networks, and more. The most important part was that Natalie had someone to talk to and receive support from as being a business owner is often very isolating and lonely.

“I also have a business coach, Debra Chantry, and swear by having one. She has been valuable to building my business.” – Natalie says in an interview with the NZ Herald.

Natalie has continuously pushed herself and Prep with the help of Debra which has resulted in her winning not one, but two awards at the 2019 Network NZ Awards. Natalie took home the “Best Start-Up Award” along with the “People’s Choice Award”.  Alongside this, Natalie has been recognised as a finalist in the NZ Maori Business Awards.

Natalie has recently expanded her product range by introducing the Prep Fitness Packs and is sponsoring Geovana Perez, New Zealand’s reigning WBO light heavyweight champion in preparation for her upcoming fight. Being a true entrepreneur and believer in her product, these fitness packs were first tested by Natalie herself which helped her lose 10kg in eight weeks alongside F45 training (see photos below). She has also recently won the F45 Training New Lynn’s “People’s Champion” title.

Every business owner needs someone who will encourage, inspire, and strengthen you to reach your full potential. Being a business owner means taking risks and making big decisions to try and generate business growth. Throughout Prep’s journey, Natalie has had Debra on her side as a mentor to consistently check-up and make sure that goals are being achieved and that Natalie enjoys what she is doing.

If you are ready for some real support, guidance, and knowledge it’s time for you to get a business coach. Ventell has a range of business coaches with different skills, experience, and specialties, check them out here. If you feel inspired by Natalie’s story, call us now to see how business coaching can help you and your business grow.

Top 10 tips on how to get into & stay in a business that you love

The following article was written for & published in the Verve Magazine – May 2019. In it, I talk about the things that I have learnt about running a business that is profitable, sustainable & that you love… They didn’t publish the full article, so I am sharing it below…


Running a successful business can be hugely rewarding & when you get it right, it can fulfil all of your dreams, both professionally & personally.

That said, going into business & maintaining a sustainable & profitable business can sometimes be tough. In NZ, up to half of our small businesses fail within the first 2 years.

There’s a good reason why some businesses fail, in fact I would argue that some should never have even started. However there are also some great business opportunities out there that can truly feed your passion & your brilliance, that can allow you to create a business & a life that you love.

Every Business Coach will tell you that you need a plan & I whole-heartedly agree with that, however without the following a plan is next to useless:

1.    Know your why & follow your passion

Businesses that are started because people have ‘making money’ as their prime objective, often fail. This because when times get tough, there is little that will keep you in the business.

If you are clear about your reason for starting your business & you know your ‘why’ & what you are passionate about, then you stand a much better chance of success. When the tough times come, and they will, you can reconnect to this reason for being on the plant & what you are passionate about & it will see you through the tough times.

If you’re unclear about your why, then I would recommend getting some help to work through this & what your core values are as these will drive the business throughout its entire life.

2.    Don’t listen to friends & family

I feel terrible saying this, however friends & family are too close to be taking advice from.

They want to be supportive & they want to see you succeed, so will be encouraging regardless of whether it’s a good idea or a good business model.

Or if they come from a traditional background they may be hugely critical about you going into business & might have comments such as, “When are you going to get a real job?”.

Remember that these comments come from their own fears so don’t dismiss them but do take what they say with a grain of salt & instead rely on actual market information to make your decisions.

3.    Know your market & know your audience

Again, don’t rely on those too close to you to test or validate your idea.

Define who your ideal customer is, put yourself in their shoes & think about what ‘pain’ you are relieving or what ‘solution’ you are providing for them & come up with some assumptions about what they might want or need.

Then you need to test your assumptions with people who meet the criteria & are not too close to you.

In my experience, if you do these surveys face to face you learn a lot more from the experience than you would using software like survey monkey. When you are in front of someone having a real conversation you can delve deeper & uncover all sorts of things you might not have thought of.

I have worked with clients who after doing their market validation have a whole new insight into what they can offer to their clients.

Market Validation is also not a ‘one-off’ thing.

Things change so fast in the business world & there are new competitors, both direct & indirect, coming into the market all the time, so in my experience, regularly looking for customer feedback is crucial. Continuously testing the market to ensure that you are delivering what they truly want & need, at a price that is right for the value you offer will help you to stay ahead of the game.

4.    Be prepared to Pivot or Fail Fast

Sometimes your idea might not be a great idea. I hate to say it, because I hate shattering dreams but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. There may not be a genuine need for it or people might not be prepared to pay what you need to charge to make it a profitable & sustainable business.

Don’t be concerned by this & please don’t hang onto the idea. If the market says or shows it’s not prepared to put their hands in their pocket & pay you what you know the value is, then be prepared to pivot or fail fast.

Pivoting is where you change the idea based on feedback, much like taking a different route to get to the same place.

Fail fast is not a negative, in fact it is quite the opposite. I have seen too many businesses, my own past businesses included, where the owner has poured their life savings & a huge amount of time & effort into an idea that was never going to work. Imagine if you could catch that early, put the idea to bed & not lose your house or your sanity over it?

Pivoting can happen at any stage in a business & generally happens following market validation. As your business grows, what you started offering may not be what customers now want, so continue with market validation throughout your business’ life & make changes as needed so that you can continue to pivot or pull out as needed.

I truly wish more businesses would pivot or fail fast rather than hanging onto an idea that they think is great but that no-one really wants or is prepared to pay for. The sooner you can let it go, the sooner you can move onto the next idea, that might be successful!

5.    Ask for help

This may seem contrary to my previous idea of not asking friends & family so I want to be clear that I think that asking for help is essential, it’s just about asking the right people for the right sort of help.

As Entrepreneurs & Business Owners, we often don’t want to ask for help as it can feel like failure.

Asking for help is not failing. It’s a smart way to not be ‘alone’ in your business venture & to get some advice that may take you to the next level.

I ask you this. How do you feel when you help someone? It feels great right? So, why would you deny this feeling to someone else who may be able to help you?

Taking on board a coach, a mentor or someone to be a sounding board can be a great idea.

All I would suggest is asking the right people & not asking too many people, because everyone has different ideas & it can be confusing. Look for experts or people who have been in your position in the past and can share with you their experiences & what they learnt from that rather than telling you what to do.

6.    Make sure you have the right commercial model

One of the biggest mistakes that I see time & time again is Business Owners in NZ not charging a fair price for a fair value. People often undervalue themselves & their product or service. 

Price is not everything. If it were we’d all be using no frills toothpaste & driving Skodas. Not that I don’t love Skodas – they’re great cars but they’re not for everyone & I personally like my Porsche 🙂

Be sure that you understand what value you offer to your customer, what it costs to provide this value & what they are prepared to pay for it. It doesn’t have to be an equation of costs of goods plus a profit margin. If you can value price then you stand a much better chance of success.

Also, be sure that you know what capital is required to set up & run your business at all times & plan for it. Get funding help early on, before you need it. For all of us who have worked with banks in our business, we know that it’s harder to get money when you desperately need it than when you didn’t need it, so apply for it early.

7.    Choose your business partners carefully

This is a lesson I have learnt a couple of times through my own experience & through working with clients.

Going into business with someone is like getting married or choosing a life partner. You will be together for a long time. There will be ups & there will be downs & there will be times when you just don’t agree on things or feel like you’re heading in different directions. You will also spend a huge amount of your time together, sometimes more than you do with your own family & we all know how families can fight!

There’s nothing wrong with this & if you have chosen the right partner, with the same fundamental values & vision as you, then you will be able to work through these & come out the other side richer for the experience.

My advice is to choose a business partner like you would a life partner. You wouldn’t rush into a marriage or life-time commitment. You’d probably date for a while, get to know each other, talk about shared visons & values & then, and only then, would you decide to enter into a longer term commitment.

Often in business, I guess a little like dating, we get excited when we meet a new person who seems to share our vision & ideas. They might also seem to bring something to the table that you might not have, such as knowledge, connections or money. And all of this can be great. However, if they don’t share the same fundamental values as you, then you could well hit a rock wall at some stage.

Take the time to get to know your potential business partner, spend time with them without the commitment of a partnership (there are many ways to do this) & talk about vision & values. Go through some difficult times together & then once you’ve ‘dated’ for a while then go through the process of writing up a ‘pre-nup’, otherwise known as a Shareholders Agreement & some guidelines for how you will run the business & what your values mean for you & then think about tying the knot. This process in itself will help you to get to really know the potential partner.

No-one likes a messy divorce, so all of this can help create a happy marriage.

8.    Be True to yourself

This is your journey & your journey alone. You can get help & advice along the way & all of this can be helpful, however if you are trying to build your business the way that others think you should then you are going to struggle.

Every one of us has great intuition. We know what is right & what is right for us.

Listen to this & make sure that you are owning the journey that you are on & are following your passion & working with your brilliance, not trying to be someone else.

9.    Let go of self-limiting beliefs

We all have them. That voice in our head that tells us we can’t do it, or asks us who do we think we are to be doing this, or just generally stops us from having big dreams.

My advice is to find out what these self-limiting beliefs are & work to just ‘Let them go’.

As humans, we are capable of doing anything that we set our mind to.

Work with someone to ensure that your self-limiting beliefs are not holding you back from creating the business & life that you deserve.

10.  Have fun!

Life is too short! Make sure you take time to have some fun along the way – whatever that might be for you. Studies show that when we take time out to play & be creative, we give our brain the space to be open to more opportunities. This can lead to more creative & focused thinking.

Plus, who doesn’t enjoy being a big kid every once in a while?

Debra Chantry is an Entrepreneurial Business & Leadership Coach & also the Founder of The Common, which is a Business Club / Community / Playground that enables Business Owners & Entrepreneurs to achieve their professional & personal goals. Ventell, her business coaching practice, has been running successfully for 8 years & has helped over 500 business owners. The Common turns two on the 1st May 2019.

Advisory Boards: Are you getting the right advice?

Advisory Board

Below is an article that Debra Chantry, Our Principal & Business Coach, wrote the following article for The Icehouse…   Debra Chantry, Business Coach and Mentor at The Icehouse, sheds light on the importance of an Advisory Board – How an Advisory Board can impact your business, how your business can tell whether your Advisory Board is cutting the mustard, and what can happen businesses who choose to fly solo.     An Advisory Board is like having a Business Coach or Mentor, on steroids. Rather than one experienced person to help you with accountability and acting as a sounding board, you can have two or three that not only provide you with big picture thinking but the diversity that a single coach or mentor cannot offer.                                                                                                                              The whole purpose of an Advisory Board is to drive a business forward – but when should a business start a Board? A formal Board of Directors usually comes once there are multiple shareholders in a company. Those who make up the Board of Directors are more often than not appointed by the shareholders to legally manage, direct and supervise the company.   However, there is a middle step for startups & SME businesses and that’s an Advisory Board. An Advisory Board is more often than not set up by the Owner/ Manager of the business, with these Boards existing to provide defined advice and information in an informal and flexible manner. There may be a number of reasons why your business or startup may be seeking out governance in the form of an Advisory Board:  

  • Others can help your success by providing valuable business insight and oversight.
  • A specific area of interest, e.g. entry into new market requires specialist advice.
  • You are looking for early stage market validation.
  • The flexibility of engagement appeals to you.
  • You need help with succession planning and/or to become investment ready.
  • You want your business to become more professional.

  So therefore, if you meet any of the above criteria, and you are willing to share information then no matter what your size or your stage of growth, you are ready for an Advisory Board.   With the purpose of an Advisory Board being to drive growth or the business itself forward, it’s important to be very selective when choosing your members. They will often not only have experience and knowledge but also the networks and connections that can help your business to fast track. To ensure you get the right advice, you want members that encourage open and robust discussion of ideas – hence why family and friends are a strict ‘no-go’ zone.   The key question is: will my prospective board member add value to my company?   To be able to answer this question, the power of hindsight is essential. Knowing that a strong Advisory Board should have a diverse set of members that either have experience, knowledge, or networks and connections that can move the business forward is one of the first steps. Diversity means bringing the full breadth of relevant skills and experience from across all of the fronts the business has to operate in.    A strong Advisory Board will also be adding value to your business. They will be reading the reports in advance, contributing positively to the discussions within the meeting, challenging assumptions, offering knowledge and their experiences, and following up with the action points following the meetings. If they’re not doing this, then it’s time to fire them and move on. Fortunately there are few legal headaches around an Advisory Board – they’re designed to be flexible so that you can change them as the business needs change. The sooner you can exit and replace poorly performing members, the better.   An Advisory Board may be published/associated with the business i.e.: they feature on the company website or in materials such as business plans for fundraising. Therefore, it’s important that you not only background check the Advisory Board Member before they come on board but you also set the ground rules around what is expected and whether or not they can engage with the media on behalf of the company. If the Advisory Board member has anything in their past or has a tendency to be ‘loose lipped’ with the media, then what they have done or what they say can have an impact, both positive and negative on the business. Just like employees, they are essentially an extension of your company brand. Without giving specific examples, you can imagine what an Advisory Board member, associated with your company, creating bad press can do for your business reputation!   Although it is not crucial for a business to have an Advisory Board, it certainly helps to fast track your business while keeping you and your team focused. Much like having your own personal business coach, Advisory Boards can really help with acceleration, avoiding common pitfalls in your market, opening doors to influential people, and establishing the bigger picture.   When you’re trying to really grow your business, flying solo can feel very lonely as well as dangerous. You want advisors that have experience in an industry that is relevant to your business and who have operated in a larger and more complex organisation. You often can’t see the wood from the trees or you are blinkered in your thinking because you are too close to the business. Sometimes this can lead to small issues, other times they can lead to you wasting valuable time, money and resources.   Looking to someone to walk with you, inspire you, champion you and celebrate success with you can make the journey seem a lot less lonely. If an advisor is not the wings to help you fly, then its deadweight.    

Core competencies & Competitive Advantage: What makes your business different?

Below is an article that Debra Chantry, Our Principal & Business Coach, wrote the following article for The Icehouse…     Debra Chantry, Business Coach at The Icehouse, shares her insights on how your business can develop its core competencies to increase your competitive advantage. Debra touches on the power of defining your competencies and the potential risks involved if these are overlooked.     To start, it’s important to fully understand what a ‘competency’ is – knowing this, we can set out to determine the different forms a competency can take and what this can mean for your business.   So what is a core competency? A core competency is a well-performed activity that is central and integral to delivering on a company’s strategy, enhancing their competiveness and increasing their profitability. To take it one step further, a distinctive competency is a competency that you have that no-one else has or can easily replicate which provides you with a competitive advantage. These can be one of two things:  

  1. Resources

  These need to be things that the company has that cannot be easily acquired by competitors, such as:

  • Brand reputation
  • Proprietary know-how
  • Patents and trademarks
  • Company reputation
  • An existing customer database


  1. Capabilities

  Capabilities are the company’s ability to make use of its resources effectively i.e. bringing a product to market quicker than your competition.   A competitive advantage is produced from your distinctive competencies and can be defined as being a business that can sustain profits that exceed the average for their industry. Essentially, this can take one of three forms – either a cost advantage, a differentiation advantage or a focus advantage.  This advantage creates value for the customer, and therefore the customer is prepared to pay more or you are able to offer the product for less.   When it comes to establishing your core competencies, first brainstorm the factors you think are important to your customers or clients. Think about the factors that influence the purchaser’s decision when they’re buying products or services similar to your own.   Following this, brainstorm all the competencies that your company has; the things that you do well. List these out and then use Hamel and Prahalads three tests (refer below) to see whether your competencies are true core competencies:  

  1. Relevance: Firstly, the competence must give your customer something that strongly influences him/her to choose your product or service. If it does not, then it has no effect on your competitive position and is not a core competence.


  1. Difficulty of Imitation: Secondly, the core competence should be difficult to imitate. This allows you to provide products that are better than those of your competition. And because you’re continually working to improve these skills, this means that you can sustain its competitive position.


  1. Breadth of Application: Thirdly, it should be something that opens up a good number of potential markets. If it only opens up a few small, niche markets, then success in these markets will not be enough to sustain significant growth.

  It’s important to understand that defining your core competencies gives you a better understanding of what makes you different from your competitors and more appealing to your customers. If you go one step further and understand your distinctive competencies, then you will know what truly sets you apart and gives you a competitive advantage.   Articulating this will help you sell more, at higher prices, and at a lower cost of customer acquisition, and will enjoy greater repeat sales and referrals.   A good example of a business who have set themselves apart from the rest of the market through their core competencies, is Apple – their competency being outstanding design. Great design gives them the ability to access lots of market that no one thought possible. The tablet computer has been around for years but it wasn’t until the iPad that the market exploded.   Design provides the essence of many Apple products. There were plenty of MP3 players before the iPod, but it was design that made it a wild success. Design is also extremely difficult to imitate well, as demonstrated by the sheer number of failed iPod, iPad, and MacBook knockoffs and imitations.   The risk of not defining your core competencies, your distinctive competencies, and your competitive advantage is that you may not be able clearly articulate to your customers the value that you can deliver – this means you’re putting yourself into the ever decreasing spiral of the price war. Without sufficient competitive advantages, your company will eventually be overtaken by companies (much like Apple) that can compete more efficiently or effectively.   The world is always changing so be sure to review these regularly and make sure you are still ahead of the competition and meeting the customer’s needs.

Business Made Easy – Busting through the bullshit that keeps us stuck

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Fiona Hall from www.kiffin.co.nz. We talked about breaking through the bullshit that keeps you stuck. I shared my top 3 tips on: 1. Earn what you’re worth 2. Get the sales that you need with the right activity 3. Overcome the Overwhelm We chatted about all of the Tolerations that Business Owners & Leaders have & how you can change your life & uncover your brilliance. As a Business Coach & Leadership Coach, I have worked with hundreds of business owners & leaders who have lost all their passion because they have started to tolerate all sorts of things. It doesn’t take much to start addressing these, rediscovering your passion and uncovering your Brilliance. Feel free to call me for a free one hour session so that we can talk about where you are at and how I can help you – 0800 332 007.