Do you have a plan?
Nanette shares her journey as a lawyer turned entrepreneur, teaching the importance of being specific and clear with your mission, vision, and ideas AND the importance of having a plan. As an entrepreneur, you cannot do everything on your own, but don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Also, be generous and build genuine relationships.
Bonus – Need capital for your business? Nanette shares valuable tips and suggestions on how to get capital.
Nanette Fridman is a strategist and coach for values-driven organizations and leaders. Her work focuses on governance, fundraising, strategic planning, and leadership and team development. Nanette’s clients range from small start-ups to large international organizations.
Known for her good humor and high energy, Nanette speaks across North America about collaboration, governance, philanthropy and leadership. She is the author of On Board: What Every Board Member Must Know about Nonprofits & Board Service and Holding the Gavel: What Nonprofit Board Leaders Need to Know.
1. Be specific and patient. When I started out I offered “nonprofit consulting services to help organizations maximize their impact”.
What did that mean? People would call me to plan big fundraising events for their nonprofit or to do financial analysis. I can do both of those thing, but I didn’t enjoy it. They aren’t my sweet spots. I realized it was my fault for not being specific enough AND for jumping to do anything anyone asked me.
Now I say that I do 4 things: consulting, training, coaching and speaking for mission driven organizations in the areas of governance, fundraising, strategic planning and talent development. And people can ask about the area of interest to them! When people ask me to do something outside my specialties, I have a network of trusted colleagues to refer them .
2. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. When I started my own consulting business, I tried to do it all – business development, delivery of consulting services, speeches and training; website and social media; manage a blog; billing etc.
I was so overwhelmed and pulled in so many directions and my materials looked homemade (it was also 2006). Invest in help. Maximize your time. It makes more sense for me to do business development and the core work and not the marketing or back end which I contract out.
3. Be generous and build relationships . I have had 1,000s of cups of coffee with people who are looking to work in the nonprofit or joining a nonprofit board or taking the helm as board chair or have a particular challenge they want to discuss.
I have a brilliant colleague who tells me this is not a good use of time and in fact that I shouldn’t even email people back until they try twice. I 100% disagree. The best use of time is building relationships no matter your business. I would rather have a cup of coffee one on one than go to a networking event. And I believe in karma and positive energy.
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