Rising Star: Cate Richards’ 2 tracks, 2 businesses, 1 love

Cate-RichardsWe are very proud to feature our Wonderful Web Radio Rising Star interview. In this segment, we speak with Cate Richards.

Cate Richards – founder of True Entrepreneur.  Cate is a Strategist for Entrepreneurs.  She works with “Know How” entrepreneurs to find clarity, develop their brands and signature systems, choose a business model and create products. Cate has been an entrepreneur for 10 years following a 20 year corporate career as a strategic marketer working with billion dollar brands.  Cate started True Entrepreneur as a “side project” because she discovered how much she loved helping her entrepreneur friends with brand and marketing strategy. You can find Cate at www.trueentrepreneur.com.  Her current giveaway is “”The One Page Brand”” mini course.


Transcript of the Interview

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Announcement: Welcome to Rising Stars Radio, where we share the stories of ordinary people taking action to create extraordinary changes in their businesses. They are the true rising stars to watch. Get ready to take notes around no fluff, cutting to the chase, 20 minute interview.

Janet: Hello, and welcome everybody to Rising Stars Radio. This is Janet Beckers here; and I’m very excited to bring to you today a lovely friend of mine who’s been part of the wonderful web community for quite a few years, Cate Richards.

Hi Cate! It’s wonderful to welcome you here.

Cate: It’s wonderful to be here, Janet. I’m very excited about our conversation today and hoping that my story will resonate with some other people who are somewhere along this wonderful path of entrepreneurship.

Janet: The thing that I’m really excited about sharing with Cate’s story is this beautiful journey of Cate has one business, called Team Bonding, which is an exciting business. The business that she’s built and it’s grown strongly. We’ll talk about that; but she also has another business which is around the True Entrepreneur, which is what we’re going to be a lot about, how has she has those two businesses and how does it fit in with her progress as an entrepreneur?

To make this really easy. Our plan today is to try to give you the maximum value that we can in 20 minutes. We’ll be cutting straight the chase. It’s also our intention to give you some really clear points that you can implement this week. Some action steps from Cate’s journey, things that she has found that’s worked really well for her that you will be able to use straight away. We’ll be sharing that with you today well on the course.

Let’s get stuck straight in. Instead of me reading out Cate’s bio, let’s hear it straight from her. Cate can you please share with us who it is that you helped and how do you do that?

Cate: With True Entrepreneur, which is my new business, I helped what I call know-how entrepreneurs. Those are people that I guess they know something, they’ve experienced something and they have something to share or teach or guide and pass on to others; but there’s a gap between having that knowledge and I guess packaging it and selling it to the market. I helped them with all of their strategy and their branding and everything in the way to package their product, everything they need to do before they really have an offer that they can take to the market. It’s kind of my tradition for that business.

Janet: Right.

Cate: I also have another business which is nine years old, which is called Team Bonding, as you mentioned it just then. That is a business that creates events for the corporate market. In that business, I no longer am involved in day to day. I’m kind of the creative target now in that business. I just work on … I just square projects squaring the business and creating new products and things like that. I’ve kind of finally worked my way into quite an ideal well. Just been quite a journey.

Janet: Yeah, absolutely; and I’ll let you what. Even that the holy grail when it comes to building a business is you want to be able to … Theoretically, that you had a couple of ways that you can run a business. You can have it so that, you know, it’s a business that runs on its own; so you get to have a lovely well all machine that you get to be the director of. That’s one way. Then the other way is doing something that you love so much that you don’t want to be hands off. You’re kind of immersed in that and working very closely. You seem to have got the best of both worlds here Cate.

Cate: Well, I do Janet. I also got to move out of Sydney. I’ve got to move down the coasted way. I know you live up the coasted way. I live about an equivalent distance down the coasted way. I live on a beach now and a park and I get to stay out of all the traffic and all the general mayhem and I live in a place where people don’t know me very well and I can be calm and content. It sounds so ideal but I will not lie. It’s taken a great many years and a great deal of work to get here. I was going to tell a story Janet. The first time we ever met, I’m not sure, we probably exchanged many words. It was in Las Vegas in 2009 at Ali Brown’s conference and I was sitting with Valerie, our mutual friend. Right at the start, we did a sort of an exercise on the values, and putting the values into business and I started to cry. I was sitting at the back and I started to cry.

I realized that Team Bonding, the business I had, was not the business that was going to deliver to me, the kind of life that I wanted and particularly the kind of service that I wanted to be in the world. It really all started from there. The whole path to having I guess the two businesses and you know having one that’s kind of supporting me and supporting investment in the new business and a new one which I consider probably will be in my future from this point. That it’s been wonderful because I’ve been able to take a lot of time with it. I’ve been able to grow it the way I wanted and now I don’t have a huge amount of pressure on that business to make money straight away. I can really put some great long term relationships in place and kind of learn things as I need to without being rushed. It all taken quite a lot of time, but yes, it is quite ideal and I’m, basing like this, really quite proud of myself, Janet, if truth be told.

Janet: You should be. You should be, Cate. We might explore that a little bit further about … I know that there are people who will be listening to this recording that are in that point where they’re going you know what I’m transitioning. It might be that they’ve got one business and they’re transitioning to another. It might be that they’re employed and they’re looking at it going in their own business. They might have what’s happening in their life has changed, whether it’s going to be that they’ve just had children or they’ve got children flying the coop or they’ve just gone through a divorce and they find themselves in a very different social and financial situation. This idea of a transition from one thing that you’re doing over into building a business that you’re very passionate about. I’d really like to explore that a little bit further, how you’ve done that; because the nice part about you being part of the wonderful web community for a while is kind of being able to observe what you’ve been doing.

Cate: You have witnessed it all happened.

Janet: I have witnessed it all happened. I just love how you’re very, very open because you come on our inner circle call and you go to our private Facebook group and you asked really, really good questions and you’re very open about, “I’ve got the challenge at the moment of, I’ve got to do this while I’m now building this other thing”, and you’ve been very, very opened about that transition which has been really, really rewarding to watch from the outside and to have, you know, parts of those discussions with you to say it’s not as if you’ve been sort of hiding something and then all of a sudden, “Boom! Here’s Cate with a whole new business.” That transition has been very transparent.

Cate: It has. Thank you Janet. I appreciate you saying that. I guess that some of sort of a personal and emotional facet is that’s been … The hardest thing for me is just I felt such urgency to be doing my new work and I used to feel so much resentment I think when I was constantly being pulled back. I found that really difficult to manage from an emotional perspective but I think, partly, it’s part of the journey. You kind of traffic the timing and stuff of things.

I think sometimes you haven’t made quite managed your lessons but have to come back for a second time; but yeah, I worked my way into a good … I mean it almost started, as I said, it started in Las Vegas there. I think if you set that vision out, realize and really come to groups with the fact that, you know, if you look your life as a set of train tracks, you know, you’re on a set of tracks and if those tracks are heading in a direction that isn’t going to make you happy, you really do have to make that change in it. And it’s not instant. It’s not going to happen instantly. It’s like picking up the tracks and actually re-lane them out and point them in another direction, and I guess doing the work ahead to that direction. It’s not a one minute thing. It’s not, “I don’t like this. I’m going to find something I do like.”

There are a million small decisions there. You really do have to come to groups with that. There is something in your life that isn’t working for you and is not sustainable for you and you have to, like, as hard as that can be and often there’s fall out from that, you know, and it can be difficult to manage but you have to make that decision or otherwise you’re going to get what you’ve always got and if it’s not enough for you, you’re really making a decision not to have a great future.

I made that decision. I actually made a vision board to be truth for that. I stuffed it up on my wall for years and I literally sort of cut out a whole bunch of pictures in that and quite a strong idea about my future came to me. Then, I started to look at, I guess, the gap between where I was and where I needed to be. The major part of that gap was that I didn’t enjoy the day-to-day work of my other business. I was proud of it. It did great work in the world. It’s very big. It’s very successful. It’s driving a 40 employees. It’s a good business and it’s a big business and it’s a happy business and it does good thing in the world but I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the day-to-day; and more, I didn’t feel that my gift and the things that I could really bring to the world would be in means in that business and that was the biggest frustration to me.

I felt like I was sitting on all this knowledge and sort of learning that I could help other people with that I wasn’t able to cultivate in many ways. My initial idea was to sell that business. It actually has never happened, I’ve still got it at stand now but even the process of deciding to sell the business is incredibly good for a business because you have to be really get on top of everything you expect and you know somebody comes to you and you have to imagine answering any kind of question about it and knowing where every dollar spent and rationale for everything you do, having you’re book so clean, putting in systems, training other people and all of those kind of things which are, you know … Because I was trying to sell the business, it kept growing because I was doing every conceivable right thing you can do to have it grow.

Janet: Isn’t that interesting?

Cate: It is. You know, like, I learned from you having a VA and I learned, you know, doing standard operating procedures in place and training people and some other people, you know, got help desk and I got a CRM and you know, keeping in touch with my clients and all kinds of ideas that … Because I just used to imagine all the time and I didn’t want any corners with dark cobwebs there where I had ignored things because I thought that will be the first thing they asked me about. I’ve really pushed myself to get that business so kind of spick-and-span. It is interesting like you’re building a house, you know, you’re going to put your washing basket and your boot and drive away when people come around to look around your house. It’s very similar but in that sort of quite a lot of duties revealed as well.

Janet: Quite a lot of stories to build?

Cate: Well beauty to quite a lot of really the good parts of what’s there because you take away the cut off and stuff. With that business, I always knew the next thing I wanted to do to make a big improvement. I always sort of had two checks running ahead, the small improvements that improve everyday and kind of the big improvements that would hopefully, you know, create a sort of 10% difference. The 1% differences and the 10% differences so that’s kind of how I’d run that business to what it is today. As I said, now I have a brilliant manager in place. The best thing is she really loves it, you know. She loves what I did not like at all. She loves the detail. She loves orchestrating it all and pulling it all together and she’s into her element which is awesome. Yeah, so, I don’t know I think …

Janet: In summary there, for people listening, there’s two things really … I mean, there were a lot of things there that were very important. I think two things that were really, really valuable is when we’re thinking about that transition from one situation, one business, over into something else that really lights your fire is number one is you have to do that exercise on really what do you want and what your values are? What is your life going to look like? Be honest with yourself. Are you heading down the right tracks? I think that was a really, really powerful exercise, Cate. Then, the other thing that you’ve said there which is, I love that you just said, you know, you didn’t say, “Well, okay. I’m just going to drop everything and go into it”, because a lot of times that’s what people think; or you know, “I’m not on the right path if I would stop whatever I’m doing.”

Cate: That’s what I wished. Yeah, that’s what I wished for.

Janet: Yeah.

Cate: If somebody hasn’t waved the one, that was what I would have chosen. You know what, now that I’ve done it all, I’m really glad that I’ve done it all and it gives me so much bit around with an entrepreneur and sort of potential coaching people and stuff to have built a business like that.

Janet: Yeah, absolutely.

Who wouldn’t want to be coached by somebody that’s got the expertise in branding but they can also show that you know I’ve been able to have another business that I’ve built to the point where I can just be you know, directing it rather than actually be in the running. You bring that really good street crate and the point that you made about you know, you started off because you were going to sell it and I can remember you making that decision about selling it and then the simple process of looking at your business as if you were selling it and then what would you have to do in place to make it look really good? That’s a really really good exercise. I do challenge people …

Cate: I think everybody should

Janet: Yes, it did. You’re existing business. As you’re building you new business, you should be thinking how am I going to be doing that?

Cate: Yeah, that’s right. If you run a business as if somebody else walk into it, which in some ways you always should in case anything happens to your health or any situation. If you run a business in such a way that somebody else could always get in and get up where it is. I’m thinking it couldn’t grow it. I don’t know if that’s a feasible thing to expect from somebody but certainly you can find somebody to manage it … You should be able to find somebody to sit in and manage it at the same level. It’s a really good way of having a really clean, well run business something.

Janet: Cate, now, let’s have a look at … I’m just aware of our time so I want to make sure that we’re going to give people … Well, we’ve already given an amazing time with what you’ve been already sharing. Let’s now look at the mixed tip which is you building your new business. This is your expertise. It’s the branding. If you can share with us the process that you went through to doing your own business around the branding and choosing the model that you’re using now for True Entrepreneur and then from that, we’ll look at some quick action tips that people can be taking … That they can be implementing into their own businesses that are growing.

Cate: The model I chose I guess I call it an authority platform which is the same model that you had, which is you know just having a container for a lot of new knowledge in the form I guess a blog and some great content and then offering more into it and you know more collaborate work in the form of different courses and workshops and things like that.

All of that is sort of shortcomings and I’m only up to I guess having the content done at the moment and just a couple of fix away from having a couple of products or so. As i said, I didn’t have a huge … I mean, I’m very fortunate and I understand that. I wasn’t needing to have a product I have to sell from day one and so where I’ve concentrated my efforts. She sort of given me such extensive direction to it in creating brilliant content. I loved it. I’ve fallen in love with writing which has been fantastic for me. I guess as I mentioned before my focus is on all the things that you have to do before you create your offer and go to market. Everything sort of should be in placed before you start marketing.

What I could see was people being pushed into implementing tactics without kind of having I guess the train tracks. It’s the same thing I was talking about before. Whether having that plan later and that part later and getting really clear on, I guess, what it is you do, the value that you can bring to the world, and why … You know, what is going to excite you and energize you in months and years and even decades to come and identifying that and then building something around that that actually corresponds to a need or a demand in the market.

That’s kind of the stuff I helped people with. That’s sort of finding the sweet spot. Then also, of course, building the brand, identifying the topic brand you’re going to have and then building a brand that’s going to really resonate and magnetize your ideal client.

Yes, I’ve got loads of contents on them already, which I’m proud of.

Janet: One thing that you’ve said there, Cate, was around your brand, identifying your brand. Now, I’m really curious to how you define a brand because if you talk about branding depending on who it is that you’re talking to, that will interpret everything you’re saying from a particular point. For some people, the branding might be around, more about a feel or a mission statement. For other people, it’s going to be very, very much around wording. For other people, it’s around visuals. I’m really curious to see, when you say that you’ve been helped them develop the branding. What do you mean by that?

Cate: That’s interesting you say that, Janet. To me, it’s a very complete process. I actually take people to 12 distinct, sort of, segments. It starts right back with your ideal client. To me, it starts, who it’s going to be for?, and just developing a whole of insights about those people. It really starts very customer centered for me. Then I take you through how you want to be described, what do you want to be known for, your qualities in the market? I talked to your values, your mission and all the benefits of your solutions to your ideal client. We pull those together with your value proposition which is kind of a pivot.

Then we start to talk about what goes external. How you put your tone and personality into the market, how that translates into visuals, how you manage it all with guidelines, whether you’re going to have everything, value proposition and a positioning line or just one or the other. It’s kind of a very complete process to me. I don’t talk about, you know, what does your brand wear and who does it talk to? I mean, that’s one aspect and the same with the visual stuff.

It all should fall out of that process that goes way back to your strategy and sort of who you’re talking to and what you want to be known for in the market. I think you shouldn’t probably … Before you understand what you want to be known for, which I call you descriptive, which could be qualities. It could be things like premiums. It could be things like warm. It could be things like inclusive, everything, that could brand really live in the mind of prospects? They’re not so much what we control. They received, you know.

Janet: Good point.

Cate: What you wanted to knowing for is that the flawless recall? That’s what you want coming back from your ideal client about you. You know, you want people saying you’re very inclusive, you’re a very warm brand, your brand, Janet is very warm, very inclusive, quite colorful, quite … You have such a sense of joy disease that penates everything that you do. You’re resonating with people whom that is a really strong magnetizing force, you know. That’s what so important to kind of know them and know yourself before you build your brand.

Janet: It’s interesting that you say that Cate, I’ll just say this one point before we move on to some final summary point. I’m just aware of our time. What you’re talking about with my brand there has really been as a result of me going through a very similar process you’re talking about. It’s really getting very clear on what was the uniqueness that I brought and what was my values which are all … Really it sounds kind of corny for a lot of people but we really worked out that over the time that the core value that the whole business is built on is love and then how do I express love?

Cate: Yeah, and I can see that.

Janet: Hopefully you can. It should be.

Cate: Absolutely.

Janet: It should be coming through everything because as you’ve said, if you’ve gone through that process you know everything else should be reflecting on that.

Cate, let’s just to see … I mean I could talk to you about this for hours whenever we do get together. Let’s just have a look at very briefly, say two or three things that people can be doing this week that can help them to … Well, if we focus very much on branding and building up this new business that they could be moving over into whether it’s from a transition from an existing business or it’s a new one or any other, a new business that’s just start up, if we can, and have a look at a few of those things.

Cate: I think knowing the sweet spot is the key thing, I think, that’s going to help you really get fast. The way I define that, you can find that on the True Entrepreneur blog, trueentrepreneur.com, it’s the overlap of your ‘what’, so the stuff that you can do and your ‘why’, the stuff that you want to be doing, your future self, what inspires you, what you love and then, the third, it’s a Venn diagram, so the third circle is ‘who’, who you want to be doing that for? You can find in the overlap there some great alignment and great ability to offer people a transformation or experience and really do that work that’s been digging to yourself and to the kind of people that you want to work with; because you will be able to find just something soothing there, I’m sure, that can sort of really light your fire and give you a light at the end of tunnel. Even if you feel you’re a long way from it. Getting that picture of that person with that problem that you can help will really help you working towards it, I feel.

That would be my one thing. On the brand side, I guess … I think I should just said there Janet two things. I always say insight and values. If you can sat down and kind of pulled out your personal values that’s a hugely valuable thing to do because you can build around, you know, from the deepest part of yourself, you can build something that’s really very very special. Likewise, insight I think is the greatest opportunity for a small business person to differentiate. You may not be able to out-spin on people or out-market them but you can out-know your customers every time. You can know them better and know what makes them … What they’re struggling with, all of those things, so I think that’s another huge opportunity for people to dig into and do some work on.

Janet: I love that term. Out-know your customers. I love it. That’s really good. Cate, where can you propose …

Cate: Well, isn’t it so true, isn’t it? Like where can you differentiate? So hard. What makes you different? What can make you different if you can just know your people better than anybody else know?

Janet: Yes, yes. Absolutely. Yeah, I love it. That’s a really good term. A good term.

I really do encourage everybody to connect with Cate. As she was saying, she’s got some really great content that she’s been really focusing on over delivering on her website. Cate, where can people go to learn more from you and I’m sure being the great marketer that you are that you must have a fantastic free gifts to give people.

Cate: I do have a give away. It’s trueentrepreneur.com. There’s two Es. There’s an E after true and an E at the start of entrepreneur.com. Quite hard to spell but I’m sure lots of people know how to spell entrepreneur. My give away at the moment is a free training course for the one page brand and that goes through the level 12 segment that I eluded to quite quickly earlier. It’s quite a short course. I think it takes under 45 minutes and you can work along with it and you should be able to … Even if you can’t complete it in that time, you should be able to get a couple of areas where you might want to drove down a little bit further or you might be able to get all the way through it because you might know your brand so well and surprised you felt at how clear it already is. Once you’ve got it all there on the one page, that document then can be handed … Should be able to be handed around so that anybody can understand your brand, anybody who works with it, any designer, anything you want to do.

Yeah. It’s a great deal of exercise. I’m getting fantastic feedback from that which I’m very gratified about.

Janet: I love that idea of being able to just have a one sheet that you can hand to anybody that you work with and they understand your brand. That’s really powerful. I’m going to go over and have a look at that.

Cate: Good. I hope you do, Janet. Let me know what you think.

Janet: Yeah, I will. I will. Trueentrepreneur.com to connect with Cate. One of the nicest things that you can do. Cate has given some amazing value today and been very very transparent about her transition and the challenges and the wins have come from that. It’s incredible. A reward, to take time to do this, is if you can give her some feedback. The way that you can do that is where you’ll be listening to this interview, if you go to our website, which is risingstartsradio.com, you can find the interview there, and you might already be listening to it there or you’ve been reading the transcript, it will all be there for you, is leave a comment for Cate. Then when you go over to Cate’s website, prepare an email or go and find her own Facebook and just let her know some things that you learnt from our interview today. That’s just one of the best feedback that we can have. Take time to give back to Cate as well. I’d really encourage you to do that.
Cate, before we go, is there anything last things that you’d like to say?

Cate: I just think, you know, what we started with Janet, that the idea of really looking at your life and looking at what it is today and how that will play out if you don’t do anything to change it and just say, “Am I really satisfied with what’s coming or do I need to make some changes now?” That’s I guess, what I would challenge people with and hopefully inspire them to possibly, you know, make those changes because, you know, six years down the check they could end up in the same position as me and they could probably do it a lot sooner as well.
It’s been so lovely talking, Janet. Thank you so much for having me on.

Janet: It’s a pleasure as always, Cate. Thank you so much for the wonderful value you’ve given. Thank you everybody for trusting us with your time today. Our challenge to you now is to go out and take some action this week on the things that Cate has shared with you and see, you know, these little steps so they’re going to make it big change in your business. Thank you everybody for your time and thank you so much Cate. Bye.

Cate: Bye.

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