Love being a Business Coach?

We are expanding & looking for people to join our team…  
  • Love being a business coach?
  • Not earning what you are worth?
  • Fed up with the stresses that come with running a business?
  We are looking for dynamic coaches to come and work with the Ventell brand, using the Evolved Leadership philosophy.  Evolved Leadership is the first global leadership service provider specialising in sustainable awareness based transformation, personally and professionally.   Ventell is a leading entrepreneurial business coaching, marketing & governance agency.   At Ventell we use this Evolved Leadership philosophy to work with startup & established entrepreneurial businesses. We believe an holistic approach to coaching is essential to gain sustainable results in any organisation… And that’s what makes our coaching unique.   We help entrepreneurs to:  
  • Earn what they want to be earning
  • Become fulfilled in all areas of their life
  • Overcome feeling stressed out & overwhelmed
  • Stop fighting fires & start working on the business
  • Spend more time with their family & friends
  • Have extraordinary relationships with everyone in their life
  • Live their passion & fulfill on the legacy of why they are here
  • Ultimately achieve the original intention of why they went into business in the first place!
  Ventell will provide you with the following:  
  • Tried & proven coaching methodology / programme to enable clients to meet their professional & personal goals
  • Office Space & Meeting Rooms in an world-class community workspace in the Inner City, close to all motorways
  • A recognised & active brand & all the branded support material that you need
  • Marketing & leads to generate clients
  • Software to run the client side of the business & make your life easy
  • Accounting & Administration support (real people in a real space with you)
  • Access to a Master Coach who will be available to help you with clients & programmes & coach you towards being the best coach you can be
  • Peer review supervision of your coaching to assist you to grow in your proficient as a coach
  • Ongoing Coach Training to upskill / uplevel sustainably
  You’ll be part of a great team that is rapidly expanding & are passionate about changing the entrepreneurial space in New Zealand & Australia.   This opportunity is by application only.  To find out more about this opportunity please call Brigitte now (09 308 6297) to book in for a 1 hour exploratory session with our Principal, Debra Chantry.   Applications close Friday 17th June 2016.  

What competing in a half marathon reminded me about achieving success

How to achieve success in business coaching and half marathons

How to achieve success in business coaching and half marathons

I have just completed a half marathon – yay! I never thought I’d be able to do it and to be fair there was a lot more ‘fast walking’ than running, so I’ve still got a way to go to achieve my original goal, but today has been one big step towards it.

Throughout the 21.097km, you have a lot of time to think and I started thinking about how I got there and what it had taken to get me there…. And it struck me that there were a lot of synergies between this and achieving business success.

It started with a vision, I set some goals and then I’ve been executing some strategies and tactics to get there. There’s also been some other things along the way that ensured that I could achieve my goals and I thought it was worthwhile sharing, hoping to inspire others to think big and go for it.

So, what have I done so far and how can this be applied to achieving business success?

There appears to be 8 key steps:

  1. Have a clear vision
  2. Set a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
  3. Break this down into smaller, more manageable goals
  4. Set strategies and tactics to achieve these goals
  5. Find yourself a coach or mentor
  6. Surround yourself with people who support you
  7. Execute on the plan
  8. Celebrate Success!

 1. Be clear about your vision

It all started at the beginning of the year. After a relationship breakup last year, I started to think about my life and what I wanted from it. I realised that from a fitness point of view, I wanted to get back to being truly fit & healthy. There were many other things I wanted, and maybe in another article I’ll share them, but for today I want to take you on my fitness journey thus far.

My vision was to get back to a level of fitness where I felt truly good about myself. For me that means regularly playing sport and being able to undertake any sporting challenge that I want to, knowing that I’ll have no fear and I’ll be able to do it. For those of you that know me personally, you will know that I am currently not really ‘built’ for sport but in my younger days I used to be an avid tennis player, runner & skier, who could turn her hand to any sport… And that’s what I aspire to again.

With that clear vision in mind, I started thinking about what I needed to do and what success looked like.

Without a clear vision, how do you know where you are going and what success looks like? The same can be applied to any business and yet so many businesses don’t take the time to articulate their vision.

2. Set a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

The 7 habits of highly effective people states that you should start with the end in mind.

On this basis, there’s no point in setting a goal that is easily achieved…. Look further ahead and decide what your ultimate goal is.

Then don’t be afraid to write this down and commit to it. It’s very rare that goals that are written down don’t get achieved… no matter how big or small. However you get a lot bigger sense of satisfaction when that achieved goal is a big, hairy audacious one 🙂

In my case, it was to be able to run a half marathon by the end of the year, or sooner. I’m not there yet, but I’ve signed up for another one in August and by the end of the year I expect to be able to do it.

3. Break this down into smaller, more manageable goals

That said, BHAGs can be completely overwhelming, so make sure that you break these down in to smaller, more achievable goals.

I decided that being able to just complete a half marathon by April 2015 would be my first goal.

The next goal after that is to be able to complete a 5km run by the end of May 2015 and then it’s a 10km run by end of July.

In business, things may not happen quite as quickly, so it’s important to be realistic about what can be achieved in the time frames you pick. In general when I plan myself, or when I work as a business coach, we look at quarterly goals that lead to the annual goals that lead to the 5 year goals.

What is important is that you are clear about what success looks like, you write it down and you commit to it. Then you need to measure yourself against these goals, adjusting whatever is needed to achieve them.

4. Set strategies and tactics to achieve these goals

The next step is to set strategies to achieve these goals.

In simple terms, a strategy is the “what “ you need to do and the tactics and the “How”.

The “What?” is “What are we trying to accomplish?”

The “How?” is “How are we going to accomplish our goal?” and then who is going to do it and when.

So, if we use my running example, I wanted to be able to run a half marathon by the end of the year.

How I would do that were the tactics… And in the beginning it was to go for a walk / run at least 3-4 times a week until I was easily able to do 5-6km, four days in a row.

By the time Easter weekend came around, I had managed to do 5 days in a row of 5kms and I knew I was ready to take on the half marathon.

My next tactic is to run 4-5 mornings a week, increasing the amount of time that I run until I can easily run 5km…. And then I’ll increase to 10km and finally the half marathon.

With a business, the strategies and tactics are crucial to achieving your goals, so make sure you have thought these through and again have them written down.

5. Find yourself a coach or mentor

I don’t know about you, but I achieve more when I have a coach or a mentor.

I find that I need someone to keep me on track. Someone who can hold me accountable and also someone who really understands what is going on – the good and the bad.

That someone needs to be someone I can pick up the phone and talk to when I’m having a bad day, when I need some inspiration or when I have crazy ideas and need a sounding board.

A coach or a mentor provide you with a sanity check or sounding board, they help you realise the real opportunities and then they hold you accountable for executing your plan and achieving success.

In my case, I have a special friend that I can call on to give me inspiration and get me back on track. She also stepped in when my original half marathon partner pulled out…. That’s the sort or person you need for your personal life and for your business!

6. Surround yourself with people who support you

This sounds really obvious, but sometimes we don’t notice that some people are not the right people to have around you if you want to achieve success.

Not everyone will be supportive of what you are trying to achieve. They might appear to be so, but over time you realise that they are not fully supportive, in fact subconsciously they might even be sabotaging your efforts.

I still haven’t quite worked out why people do this, but I think it possibly comes down to their own insecurities? It’s probably not something I’m going to be able to solve though nor do you need to.

The reality is that you don’t need these people around you. You need to be surrounded by truly supportive people to achieve your full potential and this might mean getting rid of people in your life who don’t meet the criteria.

How do you know you have the right people around you?

Listen to the language they use. Watch how they react to you sharing your dreams and goals. See how they respond when you tell them of your successes and achievements, even the small ones. Those that are truly supportive will always use positive language, they’ll encourage you to strive for your dreams and goals and they’ll be truly thrilled when you achieve your successes.

Without the support of my amazing friends, I wouldn’t have got to where I am right now and they continue to inspire me to go further….That’s how I know I have surrounded myself with the right people.

7. Execute on the plan

The most important part of all of this is the ‘doing’. A great idea, a great plan and great strategies are nothing without execution.

For me, and the half marathon effort, I had to make sure that I had time put aside to train. Without training, there was no way I could ever have compete … And training takes time.

In a busy world it’s easy to prioritise other things but you have to think about everything you do and decide if it is taking you towards your end goal. If it’s not then get rid of it. Make time for the things that do take you forwards, both in the short term and the long term, block out your diary and commit to them.

The key is to make sure you have the time and the resources to commit to executing on the plan. Do this by freeing up your time through getting help and outsourcing non-key things. Think of the opportunity cost of doing things yourself that don’t take you closer towards your end goal.

Do everything you can to give yourself the best chance of success.

And always remember this…

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started…

It always gets you re-motivated!

8. Celebrate Success

It’s important to celebrate success…. Even the small successes are steps towards your greater goal…. So celebrate each and every one of them.

Share them with your support network and your friends and family.

Give yourself rewards for having achieved what you set out to do… Appropriate to the size of the goal.

For me, having completed the half marathon, I decided to treat myself to a couple of new running tops. They will remind me of what I achieved but also help me towards my next goal. I also went out with a friend to celebrate.

When I complete a half marathon running the entire way then I am going to take my support network out for dinner and I shall be treating myself to a week at a luxury retreat… Can’t wait!

PS: I don’t think I’ll be able to walk tomorrow, but it’s a small price to pay for the massive grin on my face right now… And that will keep getting me up and getting back into it 🙂

Debra Chantry | Business Coach


Written by Debra Chantry – Business Coach | Principal

Gigabit Town Judging

Gigatown competition driven by chorus

Last week I was I was asked to judge the videos for the Gigabit town competition on behalf of The Icehouse. (Where I’s a Business Coach & Executive in Residence)

What is Gigatown?

Its a competition run by Chorus where businesses and towns compete to become a ‘Gigatown’.

To quote their website (

Gigatown can be the most connected, gig-savvy town in the Southern hemisphere with access to a one gigabit per second (1Gbps) internet connection.

How do we decide who gets to be Gigatown? Actually, we don’t decide – you do.

We’re looking for the town that wants it the most. There are two ways we’ll be measuring that drive, enthusiasm and determination to be Gigatown:

1. by listening out for the town with the loudest voice on social media; and

2. by tallying up the supporters for each
town signing up on this website.

The  final entries were selected & then passed to us for final judging.

It was a great experience – I learnt a lot about some of our fantastic New Zealand Businesses bur also a lot about some of our more rural towns.

I can’t tell you who our favourites were…. but watch this space.


Written by Debra Chantry – Business Coach | Principal



Grid/AKL Opening Event

Grid AKL Opening Event - 14th May 2014 | Ventell

It was great fun to attend the GRID/AKL opening event last night… And we were in good company…. Well mostly 🙂

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce was there as well as Len Brown… and a whole bunch of influential people from the Start Up / Entrepreneur community.

Mark & I made the front page of the newsletter that came out the next day!

Debra Chantry – Business Coach | Principal

Mentor (Business Coach) wants to help NZ businesses grow!

Read the full NZ Business article in pdf format

NZ Business Magazine – March 2011

“Business mentor Debra Chantry talks to Ray Schofield about her love for helping businesses and some of the common issues faced by her clients.”

I had been aware of Business Mentors New Zealand for quite some time, having read about them and seen the TV ads. I always though that it was something that I should do. When the company I worked for started getting involved with Business Mentors, I decided it was about time I stopped thinking about it and started taking some action. I love New Zealand and am passionate about helping companies grow. I’m hoping that through this role I can make it easier for business owners to succeed and continue taking our country forward.

These are the words of new business mentor, Debra Chantry, who heads up the Marketing and Online / Interactive reams at TOWER Insurance and, among many other positions  is a member of the Institute of Directors and an advisory board member at Generator.

Debra became a mentor around nine months ago and has mainly been assisting business owners who want to move from being sole operators into the next growth phase, which includes strategising for growth and employing new staff. Her broad professional background, which includes roles in large corporate organisations as well as running her own business, means she is a valuable asset to any up and coming entrepreneur.

Even though she is a fairly recent addition to the Business Mentors team, Debra is already enjoying getting stuck into her mentoring role.

“I have loved the experience so far,” says Debra. “It has been an absolute joy. I have had three clients and I’m still assisting two of them. We work very closely and meet once or twice per month. Both of them have grown substantially and business thinking has been revitalised which is wonderful to see. It feels good to be doing something positive for New Zealand.”

Debra has noticed some common issues among the small businesses that she has mentored. She explains that a lot of the business owners are passionate about their companies and what they do but are simply missing certain vital skill sets.

“Some have only very basic accounting skills and are unsure of which systems and processes to have in place,” says Debra. “Others want to grow but don’t know how and many are lacking direction. In those cases we help them develop a strategy or a roadmap to help them achieve their objectives.”

“Our first meeting is when all of this is established,” adds Debra. “We take the time to get to know the clients and to ascertain what they want out of business mentoring and why. It’s not always about growth so it’s important to understand the business owner, their motivation and goals. Then you can start identifying gaps and helping them get to where they want to be.”

What it takes

According to Debra, mentoring is ideal for experienced business people who enjoying helping others and who get satisfaction out of assisting small businesses to grow.

However, there are particular personalities that are better suited to mentoring than others.

“To be an effective mentor, you need to have excellent listening skills and be able to understand and empathise with the client,” explains Debra. “You should also remember that it isn’t the mentors job to do everything, you must encourage people to think for themselves. The mentor won’t be there forever so the business owner must be able to carry on the good work long after the partnership has ended. Mentoring is an encouraging role. We encourage people into action.”

Business Mentors New Zealand has more than 1700 very knowledgeable mentors, all of whom are willing to share their skills, expertise and experience with small and medium sized business owners.

Business Mentors New Zealand is funded largely by patrons from the private sector, with additional support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. It provides a mentoring service to businesses that have been operating for at least six months and is the owner’s main source of income.

For full article – please click here.

Why we need women & diversity on boards

Why we need women & diversity on boards…

Confidence is one reason there are not as many women as men on boards, says Debra Chantry, an aspiring board member currently studying to become an accredited director… Click on the link below to read the full article scanned from the Management Magazine… or read the plain text below.

The aspiring director

Confidence is one reason there are not as many women as men on boards, says Debra Chantry, an aspiring board member currently studying to become an accredited director.

“Men are always so confident in their own abilities,” she says. She came to our meeting straight from two days of directors’ courses where around a third of the attendees were women.

“The men looked very comfortable but the women were saying, ‘I’m not sure if I’m ready to do this’. But I believe those women were no less qualified nor experienced than the men there.”

Chantry, 39, says the courses were attended by a wide range of people, from chairmen and existing directors to accountants, lawyers, farmers and members of not-for-profits, trusts and school boards.

She says she’s aiming to become an accredited member of the Institute of Directors, which will mean apart from a written exam, she needs to undergo a rigorous selection process and have five years’ experience on the board of a significant company.

“I don’t have to be an accredited director, but by doing the courses and accreditation, you get a full understanding of the legislation, how a board should run and what your responsibilities are. In theory, that should give companies a lot more faith in your abilities.”

Chantry’s current role is in marketing for Tower Insurance, but in the past she was one of the youngest general managers in the country, at InterCity, and she’s been the CEO of a software development company. She also ran her own company for a couple of years until the business was forced to close when a key contract fell through.

“It was the worst experience of my life,” says Chantry frankly. “But then I realised I could bring learnings from that to other businesses, so I became a consultant, helping other people avoid the pitfalls.” She still volunteers as a business mentor for start-ups.

“I was considering being on a board when I was doing a lot of consulting work, but it is a time commitment, and it was about being able to find that time. Also, I’m not sure I fully understood the responsibilities of being a Director. It makes you feel good when you are asked, but you do need to consider the full implications.”

She says the catalyst was having lunch with a friend who was already on a board. “And I was very inspired by our chairman of the board of directors at Word Dial, John Signal. He was a great mentor to me.”

She signed up as  Trustee of the Life Education Trust, Auckland Central in September 2006 as a first step and a chance to get some board experience in a not for profit organisation.

Chantry says there are two ways of getting onto a board: if you know someone (“the old-boys’ network”), or through the Institute of Directors, by doing the training and networking with existing directors. Being quite new to the world of governance, she has chosen the second route.

As a director, she sees her role as not just getting a return to shareholders. “The return to shareholders should be a given, so you should take that off the table and look at what you need to make a company sustainably competitive and build a profitable business.”

She says her sales and marketing experience would be useful in some retail businesses, where she can look at companies as a customer would, as well as from a legal or financial perspective.

“A lot of boards are made up of accountants, lawyers and engineers. They have great skills, but a balanced board would provide a better business model.”

Chantry is in favour of more women on boards in New Zealand, but is unsure about enforcing a quota. “I would always wonder if I got my role because of my skills or because of my gender.

“And currently there is just not a big pool of people to pick from. We should be encouraging women to join the institute and get networking. Women have a tendency to undervalue themselves.”

Ultimately it’s not just about having women on boards, it’s about having diversity on boards, she believes.

“You should have men and women, accountants and lawyers, industry specialists, differing ethnicities. You just need the right people to offer value to a board.”