My guest for Episode #221 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Beate Chelette. Beate is the Growth Architect and Founder of “The Women’s Code” – she provides visionaries and leaders with proven strategies, blueprints and growth maps that provide clear steps to improve business systems, strengthen leadership skills and teams so that their clients and audiences can maximize profits and scale their impact.
A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, Beate bootstrapped her passion for photography into a global business that licensed content into 79 countries. She exited in a multimillion-dollar deal when she sold the company to Bill Gates.
She is the host of a podcast, the Business Growth Architect Show. Her book is Happy Woman Happy World: The Foolproof Fix That Takes You From Overwhelmed To Awesome.
In this episode, Beate shares her favorite mistake story about losing a year of her life by engaging in a lawsuit where she was “right” but it “wasn't worth the time.” Why did it just lead to mental anguish? What did Beate learn from this and what can we learn from her? We discuss that and more.
Questions and Topics:
- You sold your business to Bill Gates, what was it that you sold?
- “If you think something’s off… you’re right”
- Did you consider dropping the case at different points?
- How did you get everything back on track with your career and businesses?
- How often are you helping business owners who are in a similar rock bottom situation?
- What are the most common blockers to business growth?
- Find out what your #1 Business Growth Blocker is
- How to clarify strategy and “what do you do?”
- Doing a bunch of random things vs. having a strategy?
Scroll down to find:
- Video version of the episode
- How to subscribe
- Full transcript
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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)
Mark Graban (0s):
Episode 221, Beate Chelette, founder of The Women's Code.
Beate Chelette (5s):
I think My Favorite Mistake was getting involved in a lawsuit and wanting to be right about something that I was right about. But…
Mark Graban (19s):
I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes. But what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at MyFavoriteMistakepodcast.com to learn more about Beate, her company, her podcast, and more Look for links in the show notes or go to markgraban.com/mistake221. As always, thanks for listening.
Mark Graban (60s):
Well Hi, everybody Welcome back to My Favorite Mistake. I'm Mark Graban. Our guest today is Beate Chelette. She's the growth architect and founder of the Women's Code. She provides visionaries and leaders with proven strategies, blueprints and growth maps that provide clear steps to improve business systems, strengthen leadership skills and teams so that their clients and audiences can maximize profits and scale their impact. She's a first generation immigrant who found herself as her bio says, $135,000 in debt as a single parent. But Beate bootstrapped her passion for photography into a global business that licensed content in the 79 countries. And she exited in a million multimillion dollar deal when she sold the company to Bill Gates.
Mark Graban (1m 42s):
Beate is the host of a podcast, the Business Growth Architect Show, and her book is titled, happy Woman, happy World, the Foolproof Fix that takes You from Overwhelmed to Awesome. So Beate, thank you for joining us on the podcast. How are you?
Beate Chelette (1m 56s):
I am terrific. I'm excited to be here. We waited for, for a little while to make this happen. So, I am fired up and I'm ready to talk about Mistakes or how to avoid them, how not to make them
Mark Graban (2m 10s):
For what we learn, all of the
Beate Chelette (2m 12s):
Oh, what we learn. Yeah.
Mark Graban (2m 14s):
So I'm excited to dig into that and talk about your business and the way you help entrepreneurs and, and people like even like myself. So there's a lot to explore here, but you know, there's, there's one question I have to ask though, just in terms of introductions. The bio doesn't say what the business was that you sold. So tell us, tell us a little bit about that before we get into favorite mistakes.
Beate Chelette (2m 34s):
Yes. So, I come originally from the creative world. So I am a photographer by trade. That is the only degree that I have, the only formal degree I have, but I always was better. The business side of it, So I combined the two, and the business that I sold was a stock photography syndication. We were specialized in architecture, interior, and living well imagery. So if you were to go to the bank and let's say your bank is Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and you'll see the picture that says, do you want to refinance your house? And there's a picture we would have provided that image, and we provided images for in hundreds of, of coffee table books and websites, you know, with design ideas.
Beate Chelette (3m 17s):
And part of it was a, a celebrity at home division. And we were, and had become very quickly the world leader in that category. And that's what attracted the Bill Gates Company to make us an offer to good, to refuse.
Mark Graban (3m 32s):
Yeah. And I'm sure he has a lot of businesses and ventures. Did you ever get to meet him directly, or, or no?
Beate Chelette (3m 37s):
No, unfortunately I have not. But I was told that he was personally signing off on the acquisition of my company. Yeah,
Mark Graban (3m 46s):
I'm sure that felt good too. So that
Beate Chelette (3m 48s):
Mark Graban (3m 49s):
Well, good. Better than good. Great. So, you know, Beyonce, the different things, you know, that you've done in your career, looking back at it, thinking about it, what would you say is your favorite mistake?
Beate Chelette (3m 60s):
I think My, Favorite Mistake was getting involved in a lawsuit and wanting to be right about something that I was right about. But it was looking back, not worth the time because I fought for an entire year. It took everything. And then after the entire year when it was settled, all we did was make the lawyers rich. I got rid of my debt and I started at zero all over again. So I could have saved myself the entire year and maybe not been right, but having had the same result.
Mark Graban (4m 35s):
Wow. Can you, do you mind, so can you tell us some more of the detail of, and what was the situation that that led to the dispute and the lawsuit? Is this something you filed, filed against you because you hear some of the detail if you can
Beate Chelette (4m 50s):
Yeah, no, I'll be happy to dive into that a little bit later. Well, it was like one of those moments, mark, where you sit there and you go like, something's happening, and you, you just get the vibe and you said, something's gone on in this office that doesn't feel right. So I, I fired my, my assistant, my, my only employee at the time, and it turns out I fired her two weeks too late. She had come up well with this idea of running a business, which was my business just without me. So the new version of this business that she was running it with my key vendor. So they got a little bit too close. I don't know what they did or didn't do, but next thing I know, that invoices that I had billed were not paid to me.
Beate Chelette (5m 35s):
And then when I contacted the client and says, Hey, you know, the bill is outstanding, they said, oh, we were informed that you were withholding money and that we paid them directly because they have, there's a, you know, they're now a new company. And I said, what? Right? So I, I was, I was, I was absolutely shocked. And so not just had they misappropriated trade secrets, walked out with my list and, and done all kinds of things, but they also went behind my back to talk to, you know, our clients and then had that money sent to them and then not sent me the commission that I had earned on these, on these, on these sales.
Beate Chelette (6m 16s):
Because typically I would get the money, I would take my commission out, and then I'd pay the photographer and So I, I couldn't believe it because it was my key vendor and my employee. And so that's when I sued both of them for misappropriation of trade secret, for fraud, for withholding money, you know, and we were, we were talking about, we were talking about good size amounts here. And in this lawsuit, as we went in further, what I did not know at the time is that this photographer was insured through a group photography insurance through a photography association, and it included errors and omissions.
Beate Chelette (7m 1s):
And that meant that I didn't realize that lying was part of errors and omissions. But, but clearly that's,
Mark Graban (7m 9s):
That doesn't sound, I mean, that's surprising to me, right? I mean, it seems like there's a difference between a legitimate professional judgment error, an architect does the math wrong and some wall collapses. That, that, that seems very different. Right?
Beate Chelette (7m 24s):
Well, but what, what, what, what, you know what, as I, as this unfolded, what I realized is that this company is one of the largest insurance companies in America. And because they do this insurance and offer that to photographers, they could not have a case that went to trial that I could potentially win. So they made it as expensive as they possibly could, dragging it out as long as they possibly could to bleed me dry until I couldn't afford. And, and they, they just about succeeded because that's when I got, you know, the first time in my life, $135,000, $130,000 in debt.
Beate Chelette (8m 4s):
And then, you know, the, the mental anguish. So what is it about a lawsuit, right? A lawsuit, I think, in my opinion, needs to be avoided at all costs, because it is not about being right. It is about who has the deeper pockets. You and I, we talked about in the green room that once the, once the machine kicks in, the machine runs, and there's nothing you can do to stop that machine. So once something is filed and you've committed that machine runs and it, and you cannot stop it. Like, you literally cannot stop it until you know, it, it, it runs it certain course. And so the hardest thing for it was, number one, the money.
Beate Chelette (8m 48s):
You didn't know where the money really went because the lawyer writes a letter, a complaint, and then they are responding to that complaint. So, I paid $20,000 to write this letter. I I'm thinking I'm paying a retainer, but it's really for one letter. Then they're writing a letter back, and guess what that letter has to be responded to. So research has to be made, the letter has to be written, time goes in, and then they're writing a letter, and then letter needs a response. And so it keeps going back and forth. And then there's the discovery, and then you have to produce all these documents. So the amount of time and energy, and it's not good energy.
Beate Chelette (9m 29s):
It's bad energy, it's toxic energy. It's, it's angry energy is, you know, first of all, you've been betrayed. You're already upset about what these people did to you, and you're upset at yourself for not seeing it coming. You're upset that you set up your business to allow something like this to happen. You're mad that you didn't fire her ahead of time. You're mad at him for, you know, riding on the coattails of women his entire life. You know, needless to say, he, he screwed her later on as much as he screwed me. The only, only, only the only consultants I found is that, you know, he did eventually get screwed himself by, by the person that he replaced me with to, you know, do his, his resale.
Beate Chelette (10m 13s):
So, so from a mistake perspective, and to say, what did I do? What did I, what did I learn? I learned that you have to be, that your mental, mental health, your mental state and your, your ability to enjoy your life, if you give that away to anger and you give that away to this moment of, I'd rather be right. So that was so important to me to be right, that I forgot all the other things that that would bring.
Beate Chelette (10m 53s):
And then all the other things overtook the being right until being right didn't matter anymore.
Mark Graban (10m 59s):
Yeah. Hmm. And I mean, I've got a couple questions. I apologize that this is, I mean, understandably, you know, mental anguish, and I appreciate you, you know, sharing the story and being willing to relive or recount a little bit of this. But can you tell us a little bit more about, you said earlier that like you, you had a bad feeling about the assistant, and if you had taken action two weeks sooner, she, she wouldn't have been able to do what she did. And tell us a little bit more about the thought process at the time, as you remember it.
Beate Chelette (11m 35s):
Yeah, I, I, it really was, you know, and I, I have pretty good intuition and I know I have very good intuition. God only knows why I didn't listen to it. But I was in the middle of production season, and so things were happening, you know, I was out in the field, I was producing, I just wasn't in the office enough. But there was a vibe, there was a vibration mark that just felt off and, and, you know, and the, and then the tone and a little bit of hostility and, and, and, and snappiness and I couldn't quite figure out what it was. And then, and then, you know, and just, and literally it was just before Christmas, I sat down, I said, okay, I don't know what it is, but I, it's palpable.
Beate Chelette (12m 20s):
So I said, you know, I'm sorry, I, I can't do this anymore. Some something's going on. And, and then, and then literally, literally over Christmas, like in those whatever, seven, eight days, they were up and running and had invoices paid to them. So they had, she had, while I was out in the field, copied invoices and taken 'em out of the office and, and then, and then build their business. I mean, it was just nuts what they did. So, So I definitely wanna stress the importance that if you think something's off, you're right. If you have reservations about something or someone, you are right.
Beate Chelette (13m 4s):
If you feel that there is something that they're withholding, you are. Right. So there's a saying that they say when people reveal themselves to you believe them the first time.
Mark Graban (13m 14s):
Yeah. Hmm. And your, your recourse was purely in the civil courts. I mean, 'cause I, it seemed like if she had literally stolen $50,000 cash, that might be then a criminal larceny, theft, whatever it might be called. I'm not a lawyer, but, but stealing
Beate Chelette (13m 35s):
Mark Graban (13m 37s):
I mean, stealing the business from you was, was, was not considered a criminal offense.
Beate Chelette (13m 43s):
Well, I mean, they did steal more than $50,000 because, you know, my commissions, my contractually agreed upon commission on these sales was, I think, you know, it ended up then, you know, you had to pay me on that alone over $60,000. But yeah, you would think, you would think so, but then we would have to, you know, we would have to file a criminal complaint. And so we went to civil court and, and we did that. And, and as you are kind of going into it, there's a point where you go, I can't put myself through this anymore. And So I, I, I did not wanted to pursue further actions after this. I had learned my lesson. I got to be right.
Beate Chelette (14m 26s):
I got to pay off my debt. I had to start all over again. I lost a year of my life. But I think that that would've been even worse. Yeah. Honestly.
Mark Graban (14m 38s):
Yeah. I mean, so, so there was, there was, was there a judgment, a ruling in your favor or a settlement that I know saying it wasn't worth the effort, but that at least there was something? Do I hear you right?
Beate Chelette (14m 50s):
Yes, they did settle. Because at the end of it, you know, I, my, my attorney, my, my five foot firecracker attorney said to me, we are gonna have to stay the course so that they think you're going to court, whatever it takes. You have to keep that, you have to keep up that appearance. That's the only thing that's gonna wanna make them settle. 'cause if you show weakness, now you're, you, we, we are dead in the water. So I kept up, you know, I kept up the thing and we filed, we said we filing for court date. And it wasn't until we filed for the court date that they then said, well, let's not, let's, let's not be hasty. Let's, let's settle this.
Beate Chelette (15m 31s):
And then they came up with a low ball offer that wouldn't even have gotten rid of my debt. And I said to my attorney, I don't need to settle for something that's gonna leave me even further in debt. If I'm gonna settle, then at least I'm gonna have to get rid of, of this, this, this thing that I'm having hanging over my head.
Mark Graban (15m 47s):
And, and had her actions, I mean, did that, did that kill your business when she walked away? Yes. With all that, yes. It sounded like it would have just
Beate Chelette (15m 54s):
Yes, it did. Yes, it did.
Mark Graban (15m 56s):
And so then you're in this process and yeah, as you're saying, this machine is running. I mean, even if at some point you were thinking, okay, should I drop the case, the mental energy, the time, the anger, it's not worth it. Now the reality is you have legal bills, so I'm sure then there's this factor of like, well, I wish I could drop the case, but the lawyers,
Beate Chelette (16m 18s):
The machine runs,
Mark Graban (16m 19s):
Need to get paid. The machine needs to be fed.
Beate Chelette (16m 23s):
Yeah, exactly. That's it. Like, you look at this and you go, now you're in so deep that you either are gonna pull the plug and then you're on the hook for everything. That would've been $130,000. Or you are going to say, I'm so far in, I'm not gonna drown in a puddle. I'm going all away. And I'm, I'm really in not drown in the puddle kind of person. If I drown, it'll be the ocean. I mean, at $130,000, it's definitely worth it more than for $10,000. So at least I would've had justification and everybody would've said, you know, I totally get it. You were deep into debt. You weren't getting anywhere with this. You were fighting, you know, one of the top three insurance companies in America with pockets, you know, deeper than anything would do nothing other than, and stamp, deny, deny, deny, deny on anything.
Beate Chelette (17m 16s):
So that's a crossroad. And I, I opted to stay the course, see it all the way through, and then surrender to the outcome, whatever the outcome would've been. Yeah.
Mark Graban (17m 28s):
So then from there, I'm curious then how you, how you picked yourself up and how your career and other businesses evolved from that, getting things back on, on a track to, you know, other, other successes.
Beate Chelette (17m 45s):
Yeah. So how did Cinderella get to get, to get the prints? And so as I, as I am standing in front the ashes of, of everything I had done up until this point, and the business that I had at the time was a photography representation business and a, a photography production business. And what happened six months into the lawsuit, or nine months into the lawsuit, exactly, on September 11th, with half a million dollars in production jobs on the book for Mercedes and B M W and Levi Strauss and Wrangler, September 11th hits.
Beate Chelette (18m 26s):
And with that, in 24 hours, the rest of my business went down in flames. That it was over. I mean, literally, it was over in, in literally 24 hours. Everything, it was game over So I, I hung in, you know, for another three months. The lawsuit settled exactly a year after I filed it. And then I had to start all over again. And I started to build on the knowledge that I had in photography, building that stock photography syndication. But I, I had nothing, you know, I had to start from scratch. So now I'm going again in debt deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper. And, you know, there really wasn't anything else. And so now I'm $135,000 in debt this time.
Beate Chelette (19m 9s):
And I'm thinking, okay, well this is, I, I, I can't find any more money. I'm borrowed money. I maxed out my line of credit. I maxed out my credit cards. I'm maxed out at via advance. I'm borrowing money to pay interest on borrowed money. And I made, made all the payments, but this was a, you know, at this point, it's over. And So I fly to Germany. I meet my dad. My dad had a stroke, my dad did not have a stroke. My father had pancreatic cancer, and my father dies within six weeks. So, so now I am here, you know, after this massive betrayal of, of what I've just been through with this lawsuit that ended up two very little being 135,000 on death, my best friend's dead.
Beate Chelette (20m 1s):
I have no business. I can't figure out how to do, how to do it all. And I think this is it, you know? Now, now, now game is over. I mean, it was over a year ago, but I kind of figured it out. And then now, but now it's really over. And I, I fell to my knees mark, and I raised my fist to God, and I yelled at him. I said, you know what? If, if you have a, if you have a plan, this would be a really great time right now to fill me in, because I don't even get it. It's like, what the heck is going on here? And then I surrendered, you know, because now I wasn't drowning in a puddle. Now I was drowning in the ocean. I'm like, okay, fine. At least, at least now it's worth it came back to Los Angeles after my father has been buried.
Beate Chelette (20m 42s):
And at the funeral, I get a call from my office in Los Angeles, like literally at the grave, like five minutes after the funeral. It's my office from Los Angeles. We've just been Served a notice. So I was losing the house too.
Mark Graban (20m 54s):
Beate Chelette (20m 56s):
So, so that's it. I mean, what El what, what else kind of can you do? So I got back. I've, I'm like, I don't even know what to do looking for bankruptcy attorneys. Like I, somehow I have to figure out how to get out of it. And I'm a single mom and I'm an immigrant. There's nobody here to help me. And I get a letter from the White House, because in my absolute desperation, mark, I had written a letter to the White House, to the president of the United States to help me, because my former mother-in-law kept nagging me about this. You gotta write a letter to the president. He's your president. If anybody can help you as the president, and on, on and on. I'm like, you know what, I'm gonna write the damn letter.
Mark Graban (21m 40s):
Right. so it is a 2002 George W. Bush.
Beate Chelette (21m 42s):
Exactly. Yeah. I, I get the letter from the White House. They put me in touch with a small business administration with a second in command. I walked in with my business plan, which I was prepared, mark, I had done all the work. I had my business plan, I had my portfolio samples. I walked in, I said, I am just not getting out of this. I need help here. And so they helped find me a bank, restructured my, my debt into a, a 10 year fixed loan, freed up my line of credit. Three months later, I break even. 18 months later, I'm the world leader. My category Bill Gates company comes knocks, and I sell it for millions.
Mark Graban (22m 23s):
Wow. I mean, it's, I admire, I can't help admire the resilience in, in the face of all of that and fighting to, to create a new opportunity and asking for help, and getting help and doing what you needed to do. That's, that's very powerful.
Beate Chelette (22m 45s):
I think that you don't know how strong you are unless you're under pressure. And there are two things that you learn when you make Mistakes or when things that happen to you appear to be Mistakes. Because now if I'm looking back, Mark, and somebody would say, well, do you think Beate, that these whatever, 13 years of just like nuts that led up to these like final finale of these two years, that, that was worth it? Then I would say, well, yeah, I'm a millionaire. I'm a multimillionaire now, but back then, I didn't know that. So So I think the detachment that the judgment of what the experience is as good or bad is necessary to activate these pieces of you that you need to push through this next level of, of, of whatever that next level is.
Beate Chelette (23m 44s):
Because you can't run a multimillion dollar company unless you have a certain kind of attitude. You can't run a team of people unless you made Mistakes in running people. You can't, you can't figure out what the opportunities are unless something's been taken away from you. And you have to find new opportunities. You have to do that really quickly.
Mark Graban (24m 4s):
Yeah. So then, you know, Beyonce, how often do you find yourself giving advice or helping people who, business owners who are in a similar, you know, if you will, rock bottom kind of situation, they're having to bounce back, reinvent themselves, start again. And do you
Beate Chelette (24m 26s):
I I prefer to catch 'em earlier. Sure. This time around that, that's my message now, mark, is to say, if you don't step in action now, I can tell you what's gonna happen. When you are in a point where you can't act anymore, where you can really only react, you are in a very tough spot. So this really requires then absolute massive, drastic personal changes and a mindset shift. I mean, then you're going through fire with thorns and, and, and people poking you. So preferably we catch business owners before they hit the bottom.
Beate Chelette (25m 11s):
Yeah. Because that's a, I do not recommend this to anybody. Yeah.
Mark Graban (25m 15s):
Well there's, and that, that, that's a more effective time to be helpful. And then like, at the risk of making a mistake here and sounding crass, you know, as a, as a consultant, coach, advisor, you need someone to be able to pay you. So helping them avoid rock bottom, keeping their business going with your assistance, I mean, it's, it's better on different level levels. Of course, the human level of not wanting to see people go through that, but then from your own business, it's good that you can help people avoid it. What, what, what signs do you help people look for?
Beate Chelette (25m 56s):
It's generally the feeling that they're kind, they're an infinity loop. And the infinity Loop goes something like this. I have invested in internet marketing from funnel hacking to quiz building to product launching, to selling from stage, speaking from stage, converting better. I have invested in 10 different things. I've put in $200,000 and I'm still in the same situation I am. I am trying to get clients. The market keeps changing rapidly. So, I keep changing my messaging.
Beate Chelette (26m 37s):
I feel like I'm doing too many things. The message starting to get really confusing, but I feel like I have to keep adjusting to respond to that. Lots of customization of solutions. And then, and then they get completely worn out and they sound sound confused. And their confu, their confidence starts to erode. Or they are, they're, they're growing, but they can't scale and they can't scale it because you cannot scale yourself. So they either finding business or they take the foot of the pedal and then they perform the, the, the service, and then they can't sell anymore.
Beate Chelette (27m 17s):
And then that dries up and then they go over here, and now they're in this infinity loop where they constantly go between one and the other. That's when you call me, because I come in and I help 'em to scale this so they can build their authority and make an impact.
Mark Graban (27m 32s):
How, how do you build trust if you're the 11th thing to come in and help after, if they're worn out on, I, maybe they're thinking it's the 11th and you're my final hope, or what, what's, what's the line from Star Wars? You're your, you're my last hope.
Beate Chelette (27m 48s):
Yeah, exactly. You're the last hope. Well, the idea here is to say, you probably can use a lot of the stuff that you've already invested in. You just haven't built your strategy around the actual business strategy. You try to build a business strategy with things that you bought that doesn't work. So, you know, it's, it's, it's like, you know, going back to an example of a relationship, you need to get clear if you wanna be in a good relationship, what it is that you're looking for. You're looking for somebody who's active. You can ski with somebody who likes eating out, somebody who's liking to cook. You, you need compatibility.
Beate Chelette (28m 29s):
So if you, and, and you have tried many things, but it's not like you randomly go and meet people. I mean, that's why dating doesn't work. If you randomly go meet people and then you say, that could work. You know, maybe I can make that work. Or, oh, a brunette, alright, I c I can do a brunette, a blonde. All right, well, oh, she doesn, it's not active. Okay, well maybe, maybe beach vacations are not so bad. That just sounds weak and, and uninformed and, and confusing. But if I know what I like that I like to be, I like to ski, I like to be active, you know, I don't mind a nice vacation on the beach ever so often, then it's much easier for me to identify that partner.
Beate Chelette (29m 20s):
And so it's very much like that. It's like you need to have an overall strategy that is a business model that works for you. If the business model works for you, then we can reverse engineer. And we say, well, these things that you have already invested in, how can we use them now in the strategy that you don't have that I help you do to maximize your return on investment? Because you can't maximize your return unless you know where it fits.
Mark Graban (29m 51s):
So, I mean, there's, there's a, you make me think of, you know, there's an old entrepreneurship tip, you know, of not just focusing on what you can do and what you want to do and what customers need. You'd better make sure and test early on that there's a sustainable business model.
Beate Chelette (30m 13s):
A hundred percent. And I mean, that's why, you know, we have people that do what you do that do podcasts and get the message out to share the information. And if you are listening, please do us a favor. Go to wherever you pick up the show and subscribe to the show. Leave mark a five star review maybe with like one takeaway and share this particular episode with one other person that needs to hear what, what we are talking about.
Mark Graban (30m 42s):
Yeah. Oh, well thank you bate, that's very kind and, and giving of you. Appreciate that. I was about to point. Now it sounds like quid pro quo, but I was planning on sharing about your website. So for one, you can go to bate Chelette dot com and I'll put a link in the show notes. But, you know, there's one site and I went and I did this earlier, growth blocker quiz.com of answering some questions. It wasn't that involved, it wasn't that painful. I still need to go back into part two of the survey bate. 'cause it really does make you think of Trying to figure out, okay, for me, my business, what's my business growth blocker.
Mark Graban (31m 24s):
But you know, like I'm, I'm not trying to make it a coaching session about my business, but what are the most common blockers from let's say, people filling out the survey? Can you share, you know, a couple of the things that might really be holding someone back from growth and success?
Beate Chelette (31m 38s):
Well, I actually think it's probably really great for the audience if you make it a little bit of a coaching session, because then they go and they feel like they're behind the scenes listening into the real stuff happening in real time. So typically what happens is that there's three different pieces that people struggle with. Either they don't have a strategy, they don't have a system, or they dunno how to build their authority. You have to be number one right now in this market. An authority, an expert. And I'm not saying authoritative, I'm saying an authority, a leader, an expert in your particular industry. It's, I'm also not saying a celebrity, I'm also not saying you're gonna be measured by how many followers you have or on whether or not you're going viral.
Beate Chelette (32m 23s):
The only thing that goes viral really, if you really think about it, are cats that ski or really stupid stuff people do. None of which is in our category.
Mark Graban (32m 31s):
And that's not part of the business model.
Beate Chelette (32m 34s):
It isn't, you know, the only post I've ever had that went viral on LinkedIn with over 1.2 million views was a post that I did. And it said LinkedIn is not a dating website. It did nothing for my business. Sure. It was an exasperation on, on my part. And so
Mark Graban (32m 52s):
Men, men being creeps on LinkedIn, I I men being
Beate Chelette (32m 55s):
A lot of
Mark Graban (32m 55s):
Professional women who have been subjected to that, it's completely inappropriate. Yeah,
Beate Chelette (33m 2s):
Exactly. So, so the, if you are an authority, you have a unique value proposition, you have a way to talk about why you are the logical go-to person. That's where we wanna start. You need to have a system, a, we call it a signature growth system, which is your unique method to do business. That is a complete client transformation journey where people have different entry points, they can self-identify where they fall in your system. And that allows you to help more people at different entry points. But you're preceding all the other pieces. Because if somebody starts at step three, it's still step four and five.
Beate Chelette (33m 43s):
If some somebody starts at step one, they at least know that there's four more steps after this. And it's a, it's a much more satisfying experience. And then finally, you need an overall strategy. What is the business model? What's the revenue model? What's the recurring revenue model? And how do you, how do you set this up? And how does everything that you've ever done fit into this? So you have a consistent strategy that's aligned with who you are and what you do and how you wanna work.
Mark Graban (34m 7s):
Yeah. Yeah. So it's funny. Yeah, it's interesting you talk about the likes and the followers and some of these things that, that can be measured or counted. There's a phrase that I love from the Lean startup methodology where Eric Reese refers to these as vanity metrics. Even the number of people visiting your website, if they are not converting into leads and clients, the number of people on your website, I think he nails it with that term vanity metric. You might feel good about it, you might brag about it. That's not a business model.
Beate Chelette (34m 40s):
Yes. And to your point, I think the further down in our career we go, or the better you are at what, the better you get at what you do, the more you reduce in the beginning when you have to justify your right to exist and you wanna talk about how great you are and all the things that you do. And the further down you go, the more you go, don't eat that, don't eat that. Don't want that. Not doing that too much work too complicated. And you just start reducing, reducing, reducing
Mark Graban (35m 12s):
Instead of taking on more. Trying to do it all. And, and I think that comes back to the question of strategy. Yes. So, okay, I will make it, I'll accept your invitation to make it about me and my business a little bit here. You know, I went through
Beate Chelette (35m 24s):
Mark Graban (35m 25s):
Oh, I went through and did that survey. It said the, you know, the thing holding me back is your strategy, my strategy. And you know, what you were talking about a couple of minutes ago, I mean, I, I like to think I have, if you will, a constancy of purpose that said, you said when the world's changing and you're doing new things and trying to go into different markets, and I'm writing different books and I'm starting this podcast and, you know, does that, does that create a risk now of, of confusion of, well what, what does Mark really do? What, who does he serve? What, what, you know, before they even get to this question of what's the system, how could he help? I mean, you are making me reflect and I'm sure there's opportunities to dig deeper into creating clarity around,
Beate Chelette (36m 10s):
Well, let's do it, let's do it. I'll, I'll take, I'll take you through it. So, so the first thing then, you know, when, this is what I look for when somebody says to me, you know, I have, I have a podcast, I have an online course, I do coaching, I have a mastermind, I have these things. And I help people with actually not this one thing, I just had a podcast with somebody. All he does is like reminders for meetings. It's not a calendar software, it's just, he just figured out how to do the reminders for meetings. That's it. Right? That's a SaaS product. That's one solution. That's it. But for a lot of consultants or experts, what happening is that the market has been in such a whiplash over the last couple years that every time you figured, you know, something out from, from, from, from surviving to, to frugal methods to, oh my gosh, all hands on, on deck fire leadership training to just kidding, we just laying everybody off to, we have more business than we can handle to, we are in a recession.
Beate Chelette (37m 19s):
What are we gonna do now? I mean, it's been so intense that you naturally have to develop all these different pieces that help to do your offer. So the first thing we wanna look at, we wanna say, okay, so what is the transformation of the client that they go through when they come to you? So in our world with the five star success blueprint, we help people to really figure out where the misalignment, what's missing, right? And then we build the strategy and we fill in on these pieces, but it's all around how do we create scalable systems, workflows, processes, and things like that.
Beate Chelette (37m 60s):
So when somebody comes to you, so what do people come to you most, most frequently for?
Mark Graban (38m 7s):
They come for, you know, advice and help around, you know, working with en engaging their people in continuous improvement, solving business problems. And when I say business problems, a lot of that has been in healthcare primarily for me since 2005. People reach out wanting speaking engagements of different lengths. Those are probably the main things, right? And when they say they want speaking, they're also trying to solve a problem. And that problem is we have, the problem is not we have a hole in the agenda, we need to fill it. They're looking for value from me as a speaker. You know, So, I recognize that. Exactly. And try to make sure I draw that out when somebody says, we, we'd like you to come speak.
Mark Graban (38m 50s):
I, I try to make sure the focus is not so much on what do you want me to talk about, but more on what are you trying to accomplish and what would a successful talk or workshop mean? What would that mean to you in the organization to make sure that we're aligned? 'cause there are times where I might say, you know, I, you seem like nice people and I would love to work with you, but this is probably not work for me. Let me introduce you to someone else.
Beate Chelette (39m 16s):
Yeah. I mean, first of all, you know, congratulations that you are in front of the audience because that is number one very important thing to get the lead generation in place. And then, and then, you know, we'd look into that And, he said, well, okay, so how does, how does all of this, how does all of this fit together? Like what is the common theme of all the things that you do? And then we'll go in and we say, okay, so if the common theme is to help people articulate how to maximize, improve con you know, existing processes because they're not at a point where they can't just say, okay, scratch it all, let's, let's, let's redo it. That to me, you know, what I'm hearing is a maximizer.
Beate Chelette (39m 56s):
And I am not a, you know, I'm, I'm a person, I'm a, I'm a creator. So I can help, you know, build these things. But I always have a maximizer on my team because that's, that's a different skillset. So then you would, would go in and let's say we would say it's the business maximizer and we for, you know, X companies and then we identify what's their problem. Well, what does a maximizer do? Maximize or finds redundancies and, and cleans out, you know, cuts the fat, you know, gets everybody back on, you know, on the same, on the same assembly line. So think handoffs, my God, if I can, we, we could probably talk five hours over just handoffs, between right, between departments.
Beate Chelette (40m 42s):
Mark Graban (40m 42s):
That's quite often where the problem is. Yes.
Beate Chelette (40m 44s):
That's most of the time where the problem is because they're trained to not talk to each other and they're trained to hate each other. So, so, so, so then, you know, we built the maximize a system about saying, you know, if, if there's consistent breakdowns or it appears to you that thing, there are breakdowns. So things fall into the black hole, here are the solutions that we are offering, and then we take everything, we put it under one umbrella. Let's say it's the business maximizer who identifies, you know, the black holes. I mean, you obviously would give it way better language and a symbol and a graphic and, and Right. This
Mark Graban (41m 21s):
Is a rough draft. It's okay.
Beate Chelette (41m 22s):
And, and, and steps and everything. Yeah. But then, then what we would say, well, in step number one are companies that are at the point where they go, we have hostility between teams and for some reason I don't wanna collaborate. That's the workshop. Yeah. Then we have teams that are absolutely exhausted that have been doing everything. They're just begging for mercy because it's been so intense and they need, we need to create a picture of hope and continuous improvement for them so that they feel that their right spot, which is only like everybody in healthcare right now. Yeah. Right? Right. So for that, that is your six months program where you go in and you do two things.
Beate Chelette (42m 3s):
You do, you deal with the team and you deal with the operations people, maybe three things, and you deal with the handoffs. Just fixing the handoffs will probably solve 50% of the problem. Sure. And then, and then what's the next step? Well, now we have, you know, done this. Now we need to go into leadership and we need to help leadership to identify language between, so that the, so that they're not playing telephone, right? Where they think they said that I think we see this with Elon Musk. Now, he's like the best example, what he thinks he's saying and what everybody hears, he's saying, yeah. Including all his users on Twitter are like 600,000 different things.
Beate Chelette (42m 47s):
But it's one message that he puts out and it's one message of confusion. So that's how we build. So first we look at sort of the system. So we pack it all in, then we go like, where's the podcast fit? Does the podcast need a slight adjustment? And suddenly you are a man who, a consultant who helps companies transform at the first sign of distress, which is clearly identified all the way to make sure that the leaders are now learning what, what went wrong in the process to avoid duplicating this mistake. So you almost reverse engineered, you know, and it's not a bottom down, but a top up approach, which is not a bad approach
Mark Graban (43m 32s):
Up, bottom up approach. Yes.
Beate Chelette (43m 33s):
Bottom up approach. Approach. Exactly. And then, and then with that, we say, well, what, what do you want? And then you say, well, I see myself as being the c e o of a company with 10 employees. Well, now when we have a system, the workshop's done by John, the, you know, the, the, the six months program has five different coaches and that, that go in for specific pieces of it. And then all you do is go in once a month and you do the, the debrief with the, with the leadership team and then talk to your team, and then they perform. So now you can scale your business. Now you can have your 10 people, you can be the c e O and you can do whatever you want.
Beate Chelette (44m 16s):
That's how you could set something like this up. Making a lot of assumptions here now, Of course in the process.
Mark Graban (44m 21s):
Sure. Well, that, that's, it's stop provoking. And you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna look into this more. I'm gonna go back and do part two of that quiz. I'm, I'm, I'm signed up for, you know, know your emails that you send out have been helpful. And you know, I encourage people to go take a look at what Beate is doing and, and, and, and what, what you're sharing. And, and you know, I think the final thought I'll add, and this is not the last thought, I'll think about all this. Doing a bunch of different things does not equal a strategy.
Beate Chelette (44m 49s):
Oh my god. No.
Mark Graban (44m 51s):
And I think I, there are times when I'm guilty of that. So there's opportunity there to fix things, to maximize things. There we
Beate Chelette (44m 59s):
Go. One, 100%. And I think, you know, so, so again, there's two things we are learning in this interview. Number one, you now identified a sweet spot that you could jump, jump in because one, you may be doing it in some areas of your life, but guess what? Your clients are all doing it. So if you can say, my identifying mark is people that change their, their, their objectives or strategies are main objectives every three months, you know, that, that doesn't work. Right? So, so that could be an identifier is if, if the, if the direction keeps changing. And number two, now that you've identified that, you may follow that mastermind.
Beate Chelette (45m 43s):
Sounds good. I'm gonna sign up for that. I'm gonna learn how to do a mastermind speaking from stage. Yes, that would be, would be, would be good. So, but the question is what's the strategy of the business on how you want to create it? How do we get the leads in, where are the leads? How are we gonna convert the leads? And then what are we gonna give the leads? What are the products and services? So once we have that, you're good to go and you probably can use 80%, 90% of everything you've already done. Yeah.
Mark Graban (46m 19s):
Well, I appreciate you sharing that bate and, and thank you for sharing, you know, your story. I know, like you said, there's, there's anguish and it's not always, it's not fun to look back. But I appreciate you sharing what you shared in, in the spirit of helping others and, and, and this advice of don't, don't get involved in a lawsuit. Don't be so stuck on proving yourself. Right. Even when you know you're, you're right. So, I, I really appreciate you sharing everything and, and about what you've done and in different settings. So I will put a link in the show notes to Bate's website. Again, our guest has been Beate Chelette social media profiles, the podcast, the Business Growth Architect show.
Mark Graban (47m 3s):
You can go find that wherever you're listening to this episode. So again, our guest has been Beate Chelette, growth architect and founder at the Women's Code. Really, really appreciate you being here, you know, for so many reasons here today. It's been great,
Beate Chelette (47m 18s):
Thank you so much for having me. Sure.
Mark Graban (47m 21s):
Well, thanks again to Beate for being here with us today. For more information about her, for links and more, look in the show notes or go to markgraban.com/mistake221. As always, I want to thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own Mistakes, how you can learn from 'em or turn them into a positive. I've had listeners tell me they started being more open and honest about Mistakes in their work, and they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me, MyFavoriteMistake firstname.lastname@example.org. And again, our website is MyFavoriteMistake podcast.com.