Top tips from Naomi Ballantyne.
1. Delegate without a doubt.
Yeah, a lot of people ask me, you know, small business owners, you know, how do I grow my business, etc, but they don’t want to borrow any money, and they don’t want to have other investors come in and own some of the business. And then I want to pay someone, you know, to support them. And even in our industry, you know, advisors who won’t pay for it, EA. So they do the admin themselves. So the sales people, you know, people people are terrible, and admins as the worst possible outcome, they are costing themselves far more in doing that than they ever would by paying someone a salary, but they can’t see it like so that says, there’s no business set.
2. Make sure you got a plan.
Part of a business is having a business plan and then demonstrating that you know, what the numbers are going to look like that you’ve got reasonableness around what the expectations of what you can achieve in terms of sales, for example, costs, etc. And then how much money you need to get to the scale that you need.
3. Get passionate.
So there’s an awful lot of people who think passion and happiness happen to you. They don’t happen to you, you decide them. Because passion for something gets you up in the morning, it keeps you up at night, when it’s what’s needed. It it it, it gives you the reason to get out of bed in the morning, because you know the thing you’re going to do something you really want to go to. Right.
people, business, life, industry, company, staff, money, pay, running, leadership team, terms, years, organization, decision, understand, home, plan, passionate, customers, part
Naomi Ballantyne 00:00
Get passionate, right? So there’s an awful lot of people who think passion and happiness happen to you. They don’t happen to you, you decide them. Because passion for something gets you up in the morning, it keeps you up at night when that’s what’s needed. It, it, it, it gives you the reason to get out of bed in the morning because you know, the thing you got into something you really want to go to. Right. And it might be hard. I’m not saying it’s always easy, but it’s still something you’re passionate about solving or getting over, etc.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 00:33
So good morning, and welcome to another episode of Better Business Better Life. Today I’m pretty excited because Naomi Ballantyne is here, who is not only the founder of Partner’s Life but also my husband’s boss. Exciting to have her in the room. Welcome to the show Naomi.
Naomi Ballantyne 00:46
Thanks. lovely to have you here.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 00:49
Hey, we’re just having a quick chat before we started, the cameras rolling. And you’re a little bit about your history in the whole insurance industry. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind sharing that. And also sharing a bit about what you’re most proud of both professionally and personally.
Naomi Ballantyne 01:00
Yeah, I fell into the industry by accident. I needed a job that was at university doing marine biology as you do, you’re going to find it. And but I needed to I need to work. And you know, I come from a poor background, I didn’t have any idea of anything to do with money. Because we didn’t have any issue or a symptom. Talk about it. So I saw the job advertised it said management trainee life insurance. And I thought management trainee sounds like the idea what life insurance is. I’m sure I’ll learn. I’ll give it a go. Yeah. And, and fell into it in that way. And very quickly found out it was an awful structure of an industry theory, old school old fashioned sort of are You Being Served OpenStack Mr. Grace kind of idea where you can go up one step one grade each year, if you go and mail and, you know, in the girls were when they get married and have kids. And you know, customer really didn’t even come into the conversation that we’re in an industry. They pay out money in the end, when people died to the surviving family. So the purpose of the industry and tricked me about the structure of the industry was just awful. But it’s it’s how I got my staff. And I guess, you know, what’s kept me there is the feedback from the customers. You know, when they bought a product, they didn’t want to think they needed to don’t want to pay for thoughts way too expensive. And then you pay out money at the worst possible time in their lives that changes their life. It just removes that stress, which is enormous. Yes, yeah. And in there so desperately grateful. That keeps you coming back for more.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 02:36
I love it. And so this isn’t your first time there was immediate partners life is the second bite of the cake, if you like, tell me little bit about the first company that you started, I started a company called Club Life, I had been a founding employee of sovereign back in the establishment. So I had effectively booked all of the through operational structures for sovereign over the 13 years that I was there. So I knew I had the experience, and probably one of the only people who had the experience to actually build a life insurance company from scratch. But I had never raised funds for it boundary insurance for done the financial side of it. But having a sovereign when ASB bought it, I figured they would change it and set up an opportunity with the distribution force and customer base for another software, you know, a modern, forward looking innovative company. So I thought, well,
Naomi Ballantyne 03:29
If anyone can I can and I’m sure I can learn that. But so, And so, you know, I started Club Life, which I later sold to IMG minute design to life for a large number of years. Before I leave just as ANZ Bank portraits, you can see this change the banks.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 03:51
Are great places to work.
Naomi Ballantyne 03:52
I just don’t think they understand the long term units and the impact of life insurance. It’s not transactional banking. Yeah. And if you apply transactional banking management technique to your breakup, and that’s what I mean, it’s not that banks aren’t good at what they do. But insurance is their core competency. Yeah. Fantastic. Okay. So personal professional, best, what are you most proud of in your life so far? Personally, what I’m most proud of is the magnificent person that my son has grown into. And I’ll give a little bit of background on men everybody wants to say that about their kids, but But you know, when I had Chris straight back to work when he was six months old, and everybody told me that that was a terrible thing to do, other than my mother, who by the way, being a stay at home mom. But she was and she helped me by looking after him and I paid her to do that. But so she facilitated that to me that everybody had an opinion about what a terrible mother I was and how damaged my child was going to be and and now spoil my child was going to be an order those sorts of things and he is 33 year old, married to the best daughter and or just the best person. I’m so happy and successful and driven, and he loves his mom. And I go, Wow, thanks for all your feedback, but I went, Yeah. And so to know that, you know, I’ve played a part in another person’s happiness, in that way, is just just the joy of my life. And, you know, I keep pinching myself that I get to call those two my kids. So that I’m sure they don’t mind me calling them kids but. And professionally, it’s, it’s interesting, I’m so proud of those companies that I’ve built, but their companies are not what I consider to be a legacy. Actually, the legacy I think, is the changing of the industry that comes from making competitors compete. And in the earlier days, it was those old state Are You Being Served male dominated, who cares about the customer on boys clubs, that festival, poo pooed me and then suddenly had to compete with me and and then needing to compete, because the products are better and the service was better. And then the relationship with the distributors are better at stuff allotted to work, you know, and suddenly, you have to change myth that they needed to change the mindset of people that were running those businesses in order to be able to compete. Effectively, the whole industry shifted as a result of that, and is so much better now than it ever was, and you just need to look at the comparison between Australia, New Zealand, Australia, Royal Commission, Australia was still terrible, right up until not many years ago, whereas New Zealand not but it was there was still a lot of stuff. That wasn’t great. But it certainly wasn’t Australia like and you’d have to say that because much more competitive market and nobody could get away with it. And I was a part of that. And I feel incredibly proud for New Zealand, that maybe I short-circuited that in some way? I certainly did, I can see that.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 06:58
I know that Steve often comes home, he tells me about the great things that happens at Partners life. And you know, you’ve got your Friday morning sessions with the team, you’ve got great team building events. But tell me about your critique. You’re right that people can make a huge difference. How do you treat people differently? Do you think than others?
Naomi Ballantyne 07:14
Oh, that’s a multifaceted thing. But in the first instance, is who you choose to have around you. But who do you choose to recruit? And the industry and the recruitment industry is notorious for saying what kind of experience do you need to have, or you need 10 years of experience in this particular discipline? So it cuts out anybody that’s different, that’s come from a different background that has a different perspective, that is a different sex, or ethnicity or because 10 years ago, that’s what everybody looked at look like. And like, people only recruited people just like themselves. Yes. So if you don’t consciously break that mold, then you will continue that trend. And, and monogamy and monogamous have, you know, an employee base is the thing that keeps you stuck in one place, right, the thing that moves you forward is different ideas. And so one has been free to say that that stuff doesn’t matter. What I’m looking for is attitude, aptitude, intellect, and difference. So I don’t want two people to same. I want you know, that person to be different from the next person you recruit and so on. Part of it as conscious part of it as unconscious. I don’t have a degree. I’m not a white male. I’m actually Pacifica in more and more Pacifica, even in my thinking than I am and my next Virginia Tech. Yeah, and certainly the way I look right, so. So you know, that kind of difference, I think you attract it, because you’re not rejecting it. And as a result of that, you get a much more challenging, but also innovative environment. So that’s one thing. I think being it is understanding your role. So I surround myself with people who didn’t meet my executive team, the team underneath them. They’re all super, super, super good at what they do. I know what they do, I know what I expect them to do. And I can ask questions, I know enough about every part of my business. And that’s what you have to do when you’re a founder to to know how to challenge them. But I also know that they are better than me, my job is to, is to lead them. And to and to get them to want to follow me to a place they wouldn’t have gone by themselves. Yeah, to give them the confidence that we collectively can do that. And that the people, all the people around them collectively, will make the best decision, not one person because you’re the expert at that. You are the expert there. So no one can sort of challenge you on that. You’re safe in that knowledge. So why not let everybody else had to have a point of view as well on the on your thing? Because ultimately, something might spark you to go. It’s not quite right, but that’s a good idea. Let me go when you think about that. So as an executive team, we have always I’ve always run it that we talk about it everything right but every topic, every problem, every opportunity in every area of the company collectively, and then we make a collective decision. And if we can’t decide, I decide, that’s your role, right? And then that’s our decision. And then we collectively support that. That’s how it’s always been, does a couple of things because you the best answers, you get the best ideas. It gives everyone buy in. So you will know why you’re doing things, you know what’s happening, you know, you’ve had an input, so there’s nobody going out, okay, I didn’t talk to you about and you get politics in an organization. And it teaches everybody stuff. Everybody around that table, every time we have a discussion about a topic learns more about something they are not experts at to become an expert, so they can do my job, right. So if I fall over by a bus, everybody knows exactly what I know. And I think that that has worked really well for us. And it’s not what everyone does, but it’s certainly what I do.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 10:54
It sounds like we don’t Eos, we basically have a leadership team that is involved in every decision. And like to there’s one person who ultimately holds the casting vote if required, but in general, you’re actually asking for diversity of the leadership team to to come with the best possible solution. And in fact, we encourage them to first of all, make sure they’ve really identified the real issue, and then discuss all the possible solutions. It’s surprising, sometimes the answers come from somebody who you least expect it to, for example, on the company I was working with, they had a cash flow issue, and it was a company produce food. And it was actually the chef that came up with the answer in terms of saving money. Now, if that discussion only been had at the financial table, we may not have got that. Yeah. 100% agree with it. And how did that shift feel after that? Yeah, amazing. Because he’s actually contributing, as you said, you’ve got the buy in, he’s contributed to actually making the decision, he understands why it has to be made. Because I think sometimes, particularly, I mean, I’ve worked for Tom for a long time, those kind of hierarchical organizations, when an order comes down from above, you just do it, because you’re told to without truly understanding it, which means you’ve not really bought into it. And so at every opportunity, you might find a way to bend the rules where actually, if you’re involved in decision from the beginning, you can go okay, I understand why that has to be done. I’m happy to take that on board.
Naomi Ballantyne 12:05
Yeah. And I think the other half of it too, is out of the executive team needs to come communication to the wider organization about what we discussed and why we discussed it. And what we’ve decided, yeah, and also to give staff who’ve contributed to that executives, opinion, you know, the comfort that their opinion has countered, and it’s been heard, and it’s been fed through, right. So. So the communication is an enormously important part of the organization’s by and like you said, just do this, because is the is the first step to everybody going on, work to roll. You know, they’re kind of and I hate this company, and they don’t listen to me. And we hear that all over the place. And largely, it’s not necessarily true, but it feels that way. Because there isn’t this communication channel. So you talked about Friday feedback? Yes, yeah, it’s exactly like, this is what we decided this is what we’ve been struggling with this week. This is why we do it. What happens when you build up that kind of trust, when people go, I get why we’re doing this is when they don’t get why you’re doing something like COVID hits, for example, or economic stress hits, and you have to make structural decisions about the company, you have to start cutting back on staff, for example, when you obviously can’t go into details about stuff like that. Yeah, with every staff member, they trust you.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 13:21
Naomi Ballantyne 13:23
And they, they they want a guide. Okay. I don’t understand why we’re doing this. But I trust that you do. And when you can you tell me about it. And there has there has delivered some good outcomes.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 13:37
So I’m really interested because obviously, in a partner’s, like how many staff have you got now?
Naomi Ballantyne 13:40
And we’ve now got just under 400, under for a while cautious.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 13:43
Grow so quickly as an attorney. So that’s been in 12 years, when you first started, it would have been you?
Naomi Ballantyne 13:47
Debra Chantry-Taylor 13:48
Three of you. And now you’ve got just under 400 people. So obviously communication becomes more and more difficult, the bigger the complexity of the organization, what have you done to try and sort of simplify that down and ensure that people do get to be involved?
Naomi Ballantyne 14:01
It’s a really good question. So we’ve always intended to communicate. And the hardest part is how you do it. So you use all staff, emails, and you do monthly town hall meetings where you get everyone on staff together. That’s what we used to do. Right? And it, it was okay, but it’s it’s not instant. It’s not fast enough. It’s not and then COVID hit, and everybody had to go work from home. And we decided that the best way to keep managing people feeling like they still belong to her teams, they can see each other on the screen, everybody and talk to them, you know, once a week online, hey, guess what? That’s a fantastic medium for communicating with people. So we keep doing it. And we still do it even if 90% of people are in the office, straight a feedback as online. And so you build all your techniques about the games that you play and the chat. You know, the way people use chat and all that sort of thing as if everyone was at home and online. And that was the only way they were consuming that and it has worked exceptionally well thank God for COVID Yes, for that, and for the workplace flexibility, because COVID forced us to go, everybody can work from home, if they want to, why not? And our will change completely as a result of that and has remained so and it’s been magnificent.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 15:18
It’s actually really interesting, I know of another insurance company that, um, during the lock downs actually wouldn’t allow video conferencing, because I think maybe their service couldn’t go, I don’t know what the reason was. But they tried to do everything online with any visual, any video, which is actually really, really tough because I don’t know about you, I love the fact that I can see somebody engage with somebody listening to somebody without seeing them would would just I would switch off completely.
Naomi Ballantyne 15:42
Yeah. And part of the charm of our Friday feedback sessions is they’re not formal. They don’t mean a suit, you know, reading a script that someone else wrote for me, as if the staff were a an audience from the outside. There, we’re a team, right? So I’m a bit of a goofball. And, you know, if it’s Friday, we have casual Fridays, and I don’t have any meetings, you know, I try to wear something that will amuse people, you know, you know, did videos from, you know, calls from home when we were in lockdown, and people can see all the audience I had on my shelf, because I didn’t put a background on it. Because you know, they’re at home, I’m at home, I want them to say I’m in the same boat. And so they will make funny comments about them as I try to move them around to see if anyone noticed. And you know, so you have to be you is what I’m saying? And mostly for me, that is for sure. Because you can see I’m very explicit my face, I smile a lot. And I want them to know, I’m smiling. Yeah. And, and I want to see them and they want to see each other. I don’t imagine that we would have gotten even close to, you know, the outcome that we’ve had, if people couldn’t say.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 16:49
I completely agree. So what’s been the biggest challenge for you? Because I mean, I know that you’ve had some great success, and well done on that. But there must have been some times when things were really tough. And you’re wondering why why you did it the second time round.
Naomi Ballantyne 17:02
Yeah. The biggest challenges.These are not a biggest challenge. When challenges can they always pick, you know, when you’re running a financial services business that’s regulated, the job that we do in people’s lives is enormously important. You’re dealing with huge amounts of money. And you’ve got huge numbers of staff, you know, who’ve come on a startup journey with you. So you know, they’ve risked a lot to cut to come along with you, then every hurdle that you heard is potential risk to where you can go to survive this, right. Yeah. And so when you have those moments, that’s when it feel you feel most alone. Yeah, because in the end, and the crisis, that’s another debate, right, that’s when people need someone to trust. And so you can’t burden them with how scared you are, you need to give them confidence, we’ve got this, you know, so all of your panic is your own. And you have to be able to deal with it. And so the way I deal with those moments, and there’s lots of them, and there’ll be less of them now that we have all of the financial support of a global Japanese so that that capital raising and all of that, that’s that’s not an issue anymore, you still have the same challenge of regulators and conduct and do the right thing by customers and all of those challenges, but at least the money part for a startup business is such a big part of that. That for me, I you know, I need to have a circuit breaker to stop my brain from thinking. So a couple of things I ran I hate long distance running. Because I’m not good. I’m cut out to be a sprinter. I love to solitude and I go into the bush, I take my two little dogs in the bush, you know, you’re worried about falling over the tree roads. Mountain slipping and so the breathing is not as much of an issue it’s beautiful. So you’re dead silent. And have you ever seen dogs run in the bush loss? Leisha detailsabsolute joy
Debra Chantry-Taylor 18:58
What dogs do you have?
Naomi Ballantyne 18:59
I’ve got a minute miniature pinscher yes and an shih tzu both literal yeah and my babies and
Debra Chantry-Taylor 19:08
You know we’ve got it and when we so Steve and I go into the forest on our bikes and they kind of chase long behind us and they just love it and stairs well
Naomi Ballantyne 19:16
Dogs need to stop start they can’t run continuous Yes, I need to stop but but the joy of it that because so it just completely clears your brain and you don’t know you’re not thinking you just don’t realize it but often I’d come out of the bush and a spark of an idea yes would have been there because the stress but even if it hadn’t at least I’d had that respite for long enough that you you can fill your tank and get going again.So that’s that’s one way in which I do it the other way is just by sort of breathing visualizing a point in time past problem when you’re through it and you’re looking back and laughing about how worried you were right so so almost like a relieving the pressure. Yes is long enough to look back and almost by doing that you’ve seen the pathway that you took to, to get past it as well. And usually I come out with at least the next tiny step, and momentum gets you there, taking a step leads to the next step. And the next step, being frozen in that place and not moving is the worst possible thing that can happen to you. So you have to find a way to relieve the panic, because you’ve got to feel, because you’ve got so much at stake. But and the more you, you get through, the more you build, yeah, 100%. And the more confidence you’ve got, like, like, I have encountered this before, but I’m sure I can figure it out. You’re not alone, and you’ve still got an experience of everybody else that’s feed into you behind you. But in that moment, they pretty much only you with, with the scale and the size of the, you know, the problem? Yeah.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 20:50
Do you have any sort of peer groups or things that you’re a part of? I mean, how do you get your, your support? And obviously, your leadership team is there to support you. But beyond that, what else do you have?
Naomi Ballantyne 21:00
Well, I have, you know, my husband, interestingly, not from an industry point. He’s been in the industry, but not only similar kind of roles, but from that I can scream and rant. Tell him that all the terrible people I’ve had to deal with, in organizations or whatever, it doesn’t know any of them. But he’s like cheerleader number one. And not in a super affiliate silliest way, but just don’t know you, you’ve got this, it’s okay, you’re gonna be fine. You know, you’ve done this before, you know that, that kind of stuff. Always 100% on your side. And that’s been an enormously important role for me for 40 years, right, we are so lucky to have a husband that’s not trying to compete with me and the job brand, that he can be here for me, not not not seeing each weakness as well, I’m better at what I do. But as we did, we’re in this together. Because what you do is, is effectively what we do. So there’s that, in the midst of my son who, who is a doesn’t know the industry incredibly smart and thinks differently, from me, at least emotional, much more analytic people go and research a million things before you force an opinion on it, you know, they will form an opinion. And so just another perspective on things, is another way of doing it. And he’s been capable of doing that since he was a young teenager. So I kind of feel like I’ve had two adults in my life, where I can bounce on things, but who aren’t telling me what to do? And I haven’t,
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:32
That’s really good. Yeah,
Naomi Ballantyne 22:33
I haven’t really felt that I’ve needed any more than that.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:36
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So going back to um, so one of the things you talked about was obviously going off into the forest. And we call those clarity breaks. And I think when leaders often don’t understand that, when you’re so busy fighting the fires, you’ve got all that stress going on, you either aren’t capable of making decisions, or you make the wrong decisions, because you’re making it under a huge amount of pressure. So for you, it’s going off into the forest. For other people, it could just be just getting away, getting away from technology, just doing something that actually gets you out of the everyday environment and just allowing yourself to breathe and to, to have that clarity of thought, yeah, for me, the busyness of running is stops me from thinking because what I need to do is stop thinking don’t want go to another place where I’ve got plenty of time to think and it’s not helping me because all I do as you get to the end of it go, I don’t know what just happened. I think I think you’re right, next to two. So I think the cycling is the same for us. Because when you’re cycling, even though a lot of it is kind of intuitive versus running, you’re still always looking out, you’re still looking around, you’re not able to do an awful lot of thinking while you’re doing it. So I guess that clarity of thought, yeah. Okay, interesting. In terms of your leadership team, how often do you meet with them? And how do you get their input into the business decisions and things that you’ve talked about?
Naomi Ballantyne 23:54
We sit together, and when we physically because suddenly we’re working from home, but when we physically and together we have a community we can have always been open plan means you’ve had an office, right? So we sit within the facility, there’s a couple of reasons for that means you can shout something at someone about something confidential and not worry that the whole office is right. So you can you know, have these conversations. But it’s amazing how often you get up and just go chat to someone who’s sitting next to you, right? Or three doors down about a small thing, which ultimately might lead to input into a big thing. So that kind of neighborhood really well, yeah, we meet once a week. And that’s, you know, both online and in person who does in person gets together in a room and we’re all on our laptops, so everybody can see everybody’s faces, you know, not a room with a whole bunch of people and then three people on a big screen. That’s awful, and we it’s not quite so. So we meet once a week quickly and every fortnight long and you know, a couple of months we do a whole exec off-site. To really drill down into all of the individual issues. We also do strategy planning each year and and you know, and we do an actual offsite rotating away for, you know, a couple of days and then bring your families and for the for a couple of days after that to just give that team opportunity, a chance to get to know people outside of just the things that we’re dealing with as well. So it’s a very strong team can see that.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 25:24
And you’ve just as you said, you just recently had some investment from the whats an update at life. Yeah. And that’s a big companies company has a global organization. How did that come about? And what was the driving force for that for you?
Naomi Ballantyne 25:37
That’s, that’s a really interesting one. When I started the company, there’s two ways that a company exits or gets enough cash over time to become a through the company. One is IPO. So listing on the stock exchange, and the other is trade sale. And in my head, the best trades are only for partners like right since the day that we started would be day to life. And the reason for that is daily life. had bought town. In Australia, town, Australia life, okay. Not long after partner’s life status. And towns trajectory since then, had been phenomenal, though another team in the Australian market, the number one in 10 years, right. So now, and that was with Tai Chi life behind them. I know, Brent Clark, who’s managing director of town, a reasonably about I met him a couple of times as partners life to just explore some of the neat things they were doing in Australia and some of the stuff that we were doing. And all of my experience is when they were running tell exactly the way they wanted to run, tell with full support of dates. Yeah. And that’s interesting. So to me, that was the dream. We’ve got, and I’ve watched other companies be bought by other global organizations who basically destroyed us.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 26:53
But what made them do things the way they did,
Naomi Ballantyne 26:55
As opposed to keeping their culture, that’s Australia, because it was synergies in it and New Zealand, you’ve got to look at it, right. And that was the worst outcome that I could see. And along the way, we’d raise capital, we at private equity shareholders, and ultimately, now we’re going to need an exit strategy. So you know, at some point, you’re going to try to sell or IPO you have to, because that’s your exit strategy. And we’re probably right at that timeframe now. But markets are terrible for IPOs at the moment. And so, you know, our shareholders are going on and I’m okay, we’re probably going to have to hold on a bit longer. It’s okay. And you’re going, Okay, it’s not really shareholders, because, you know, I might need more capital to do something and then gain more. But you know, I’m just sitting here till I can get out. There’s, there’s an a fantastic answer. Yes. So, um, but it was just, and we were in the middle of the Beansie transaction. So my head’s going we need to finish that sentence. I think we need to think about what happens next. Right. And he approached us,
Debra Chantry-Taylor 27:53
Naomi Ballantyne 27:54
And so it’s kind of like a storybook outcome. So yeah, we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 28:01
Wonderful. Hey, just in terms of this, this podcast is designed to actually help people who are on the journey themselves in terms of building their own private business, have you got any tips that you can share with them? So you just want one or two, three tips that you can just share? Around, you know, what you can do? If you’re, I suppose there’s number of things, if you’re growing quite quickly, if you’re looking to get more capital into the business, or just from a personal point of view, you know, what, you chair?
Naomi Ballantyne 28:25
Yeah, a lot of people ask me, you know, small business owners, you know, how do I grow my business, etc, but they don’t want to borrow any money, and they don’t want to have other investors come in and own some of the business. And then I want to pay someone, you know, to support them. And even in our industry, you know, advisors who won’t pay for it, EA. So they do the admin themselves. So the sales people, you know, people people are terrible, and admins as the worst possible outcome, they are costing themselves far more in doing that than they ever would by paying someone a salary, but they can’t see it like so that says, there’s no business set. I also get people who talk about they love the business that they’re in, they’re passionate about the people and they make no money. You haven’t got a business thing. And I love what I do, because of what we do for people, but I’m ruthless about, we have to make profit
Debra Chantry-Taylor 29:14
Naomi Ballantyne 29:16
Business you can’t, you know, if you can’t make payroll, or you’re worried that you can’t make payroll, you haven’t got to even go to business, right? So understand what a business is. Don’t be ashamed to want to make money. And even if you want to do good, right, make the money use the money to do good.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 29:32
Naomi Ballantyne 29:33
Because a sustainable business or that it can even carry on doing in the long term as opposed to as opposed to not so I think that’s a really important part. Part of a business is having a business plan and then demonstrating that you know, what the numbers are going to look like that you’ve got reasonableness around what the expectations of what you can achieve in terms of sales, for example, costs, etc. And then how much money you need to get to the scale that you need. So if you want to go talk to an investor and raise money. It’s effectively a lack of perspective. They know what they’re investing in. You know, and in so many people don’t have a business plan, they say things to me and I don’t we just start you get, what you write up, what purpose? What business are you in? What’s your why you and not someone else? And why would someone want your product or your service compared to someone else’s? So who should competition? And how are you going to stand out? You’re going to do the same as them just cheaper? Or you’re going to do different thing than the and how are you going to tell the people about you? You know, I’ve had so many people comes out built this fantastic system. Now, I may have to get it out there. I got what you you’ve decided to be a software developer. Do you know how much it cost of the year? You know, just to continue to support software? Once you’ve got it out there? And people are licensing it paying for it? We’ve got an obligation, right. And you’ve got your service standards and and cybersecurity assistance? Oh, yeah. You know, so,
Debra Chantry-Taylor 31:01
I used to work at the Ice House. And so I’ve had a lot of that sort of stuff where they come in, we’ve got this amazing product spent $200,000 building it. And you know, so how much are you spending on money, oh, and word of mouth marketing, then you don’t, you’re not going to have a business. Because just because you build it doesn’t mean you’ll get customers and understanding also what the customer actually really wants. And what you’ve built might sound like a great idea, but is it actually genuinely meeting their pain points?
Naomi Ballantyne 31:21
Yeah, our industry is really happy, I want to buy a product and I want to pay for it. a fundamental need for the product. So you know that, you know, we can get in front of you, we can show that, right? But it’s expensive to get in front of you and show you that. So we assume it’s going to be expensive to get in front of you and show you there. And we have to make money. Yeah, you know, from from being able to do that, right. And it’s huge amounts of money in our business. So but it applies big or small. You’ve got to know how you’re going to make money, how much money you expect to me. And then if the plan stop panning out, you could change something not wait. And then wait till you fail and then go Oh, it didn’t turn out like yeah, good.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 32:06
Final faster. Yeah, exactly. So okay, so this would be the first thing is, I mean, Delegate without a doubt, I’m not, I’m a big fan of this. Because at the end of the day, we shouldn’t be doing $25 An hour work. Anything that you’re not good at, or you don’t like should be given to somebody else and elevate yourself up to what you’re really, really good at, and what your unique abilities. Next thing is make sure you got a plan. And I think we’ve actually got things on a VTO to makeL just eight questions, you know, what are your core values? What’s your core focus? Who’s your target market? What are the things that you actually solve for them in terms of uniques? What’s your 10 year target? And then you know, how are you actually going to achieve that in terms of a plan? And the third thing will be the third thing. So delegate a little vague, get it get some plan, what were the first thing you would suggest
Naomi Ballantyne 32:46
Be passionate. Excellent. Let me change those words. Get passionate,
Debra Chantry-Taylor 32:49
Naomi Ballantyne 32:50
So there’s an awful lot of people who think passion and happiness happen to you. They don’t happen to you, you decide them. Because passion for something gets you up in the morning, it keeps you up at night, when it’s what’s needed. It it it, it gives you the reason to get out of bed in the morning, because you know the thing you’re going to do something you really want to go to. Right. And it might be hard. I’m not saying it’s always easy, but it’s still something you’re passionate about solving or getting over, etc. And if you really can’t get passionate about it, then you don’t do it. Just don’t do it. So. So like I said, for me, I learned there very early on, I’m passionate about the purpose of the industry. Yes, absolutely. include they’re very, very real. And that’s never changed. It’s always been a key driver for me what I do what I do. And I’ve seen lots of people who just do a job. Yep. And all they’re interested in is themselves and how they look in that job until the next job and they destroy companies. And in the end, they end up being I often they end up at a place where they’re questioning what the point in life it was. And it seems really said to me, I think you want to be content that you you were who you want it to be. Yeah, yeah. And passion about something is one of those things.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 34:04
I always say you need to do what you love with people you love. And I think it was sort of thing that maybe passion means they have to take their hobby and turn it into a thing, which is not true. I mean, Steve plays music, but that’s not his actual job. He loves his numbers. That’s what he actually really gets passionate about in his business. And the same thing with running a business. I think you’ve got to be passionate at what you do, but it doesn’t have to be your hobby.
Naomi Ballantyne 34:23
Your only love.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 34:24
Yes, that’s right. Yeah. But hopefully you got lots of other things as well. Yeah. Yeah, that’s fantastic. So delegate, and make sure to plan and, yeah, choose to be passionate. I mean, that’s the thing. I think you’re absolutely right. It is a choice. And if you really can’t choose to be passionate, then give it up and go do something else.
Naomi Ballantyne 34:41
How do you sell what you do to customers? If you’re not passionate.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 34:48
I get it. I’ll let someone have a hey, look, it’s an absolute pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much for coming into the studio lobby to kind of spend some real time with you. I’ve been fortunate to see you at various staff functions and things but nice to meet you. Have a really good chat about business I thank you for your time.
Naomi Ballantyne 35:02
Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner
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