Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Elizabeth McCourt, Founder and President at McCourt Leadership Group:
What does your company do?
My company provides global leadership development support through executive coaching, speaking and writing. As a solo-preneur, I've strategically partnered with organizations such as INSEAD, the World Economic Forum, Betterup and the HCN (Humanitarian Coaching Network) to contribute my coaching expertise to their US based clients. When speaking to a group, hosting and event or workshop facilitation, I strive to present something actionable and hopefully inspired. I write in the non-fiction leadership space and I've also written a novel Sin in The Big Easy (Post Hill Press, March 2018) because I believe that creative exploration is the essential balance to right brain strategic thinking. Leadership development through authentic connection leads to the opportunity to have a unique and holistic approach in all that I do.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
As the founder and president of my company, I love being able to choose what I do and who I work with. The choice to be able to work with "good" people is something I take very seriously and you'll find I look for that in both a client and partner no matter what the engagement. To be able to have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world is what I'm able to do in a variety of mediums. Embracing positivity with a resilient mindset is a thread through all that I do. Leadership development through authentic connection enables me to have a unique and holistic approach that those I work with find refreshing!
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
My biggest challenge is working on scalability without losing the personal touch of what I do. I've partnered with several interesting people and I'd like to leverage this expertise to pitch this to new clients who are interested in a holistic approach to strategic development. Having worked in finance for many years, I've found that there is a new way of thinking that goes beyond 'how to make more money' to 'how to be a better leader' which in turn leads to better businesses, teams and ultimately more financial success. Getting the right team together and pitching that is a goal and challenge.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
To my younger rule-following self I'd say, listen to your dad but push yourself to take more risks. He was right to tell you the reality that not everything you did was going to work out, but don't think that means you are less than anyone else. Your scrappiness is going to get you far and you're going to do great things, but don't let that undermine your confidence.
The way you've respected people and cared about them won't go unnoticed and you'll be able to use this as a leader. However, you've got to learn to 'give less f*cks’ about what people think about you. When you do the right thing, not everyone is going to like you and not only is that okay, but it will make you a respected leader. People will respect your tenacity and resilience and this will carry you far.