Sue Styles, founder of the online Entrepreneurs School of Business, host of the Mind Your Own Business podcast and Like A Boss! online reality TV series shares her secrets to success.
What were you born to do?
Entrepreneurs, who are asked this age old question, have been inspired to create amazing businesses.
Sue Styles is one of those entrepreneurs.
She was born to teach. Some may say, preach.
If you get the chance to hear her speak at a conference, you will surely agree. When it comes to business savvy and acumen, she jolts listeners out of the ‘same old, same old’ mindset and offers practical and tactical bite-sized principles to chew on.
One roadblock Styles sees too often is the lack of formal education for entrepreneurs. That is one reason why, after going through the school of hard knocks herself, Styles now helps others.
What she found, and many have experienced, is that hopeful business owners take some ‘schooling’, get licensed and then go to work on Monday morning (in their home office) and then ask themselves, “what the heck am I supposed to do?”
Disappointingly, getting licensed, (for example, as a mortgage broker, insurance agent, massage therapist, hairdresser, real estate agent, lawyer, dentist, etc.) does not set a person up for business success.
Too many new business owners know this fact firsthand.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) says, Canada consistently ranks in the top three countries for being the most entrepreneurial and Alberta’s rate of solo business ownership is 50% higher than the national average. GEM reported that Alberta was Canada’s most entrepreneurial province; this is where Styles lives, works, and helps others build their businesses.
Even though Canada is one of the most enterprising nations in the world, still, one third of all new businesses fail within five years, and only one out of two companies are still open after 10 years. Those are frightening numbers. (BDC Stats Report)
Styles’ response to these troubling statistics has resulted in her thoughtful creation of an online business school, a podcast, Mind Your Own Business, and her recent reality series, Like A Boss!
She takes business owners and leads them to a solid foundation of best practices.
Forget the school of hard knocks! Opportunity knocks when Styles puts her business practicality to use and sits down with entrepreneurs to help them overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
Touting the benefits of how Tabasco® has very wisely maintained their market share for 150 years, and using other relevant stories to bring home exact lessons that business owners need to hear, is what Styles does best.
It is evident that she is not new to teaching.
She started 30 years ago as a Vancouver childbirth educator after the birth of her first child. That cemented her love of teaching adults. Her UBC training laid the groundwork for what was to come.
Years later, while raising four children in the Okanagan, her 13-year marriage disintegrated, so she pulled up those BC roots and moved to where she was born, Calgary, Alberta.
The harsh reality of divorce and bankruptcy resulted in one of the strongest lessons that Styles learned. She teaches others, “You’ve got to find a way and keep trying UNTIL…”
She did what many people in crisis do – she took any job she could find to bring in enough money to feed her family, sometimes working two or three jobs to make ends meet. She eventually became immersed in the real estate industry, assisting REALTORS® during several waves of frenzied activity for over a decade.
After taking the real estate licensing course herself to become an agent on the team she was working with, Styles discovered that the course lacked business education – an education she had just spent years learning by trial and error – yes, the school of hard knocks.
So instead of becoming an agent, she became a Certified Business Coach and studied Adult Education at Mount Royal University. Styles then went through Train The Trainer certification with Langevin Learning Services. She started helping agents run their businesses properly, teaching the best habits that were absent from the current licensing course.
After working with three of the most reputable, high producing teams in the city, she gained a reputation for organizing delinquent tasks and setting up systems for success.
Styles built her own consulting business and has spoken at real estate conferences all across Canada, including the largest industry gathering in Toronto two years in a row.
Since then, she has written two books, managed her own list of business clients and been interviewed in FORBES twice.
“There is a natural progression in any business model,” she says, “there is always something else that can be implemented or at least experimented with. You can never take your hands off the wheel or your foot off the gas. Don’t coast – when you coast you are going downhill.”
During the pandemic, many of her real estate clients saw their businesses boom, but the endeavors of other unfortunate entrepreneurs came to a screeching halt. She tackles these opposing challenges head on.
How can Sue Styles help you? Here are five tools for your business success.
- Love Reality TV? She just directed, produced and hosted, Like A Boss! This online reality show is for those who love being CEOs of their own businesses.
- Do you listen to podcasts while travelling? Styles is just releasing her fourth season of the Mind Your Own Business podcast featuring true success stories.
- What is the biggest mistake business owners make? In her keynote presentations, Styles talks about five mistakes. The most common one she sees repeatedly is the inability for new business owners to build their brand effectively. This is next to impossible to do on your own, therefore many newbies don’t do it right.
- Biggest Accomplishment – She jokingly says “Keeping my children alive.” The journey had some hard days, some raw emotions, but the privilege of enjoying her (now adult) childrens company brings rewards worth fighting for. To her, family is what it’s all about.”
- One piece of advice: Styles says, “Use your brain and trust your gut. Step back before making decisions and judgments. Take a breath as you consider your options. Don’t allow fear and anxiety to keep your wheels spinning.”
Styles talks about creating her own successful balance while working full time, starting a business and being a single parent. Her heart goes out to other parents who are compelled to initiate their passions and create their own businesses. She knows the priority of focus and discipline that it takes.
“Of course it’s hard, you make sacrifices,” she says, “but all you can do is make the smartest decisions as you step forward each day and ask for guidance.”
“I still have to pick up the phone and call potential clients or conference planners.” Styles says, “I also have to manage my database, assign my bookkeeping, learn about e-commerce, post on social media, create new products, just like my clients do – that’s why they always say that I practice what I preach.”