Anna Forbes is the Founder of Smooth Consulting Services, a company specialized in supporting business owners to grow and thrive. Anna talks to The Industry Leaders about how she's managed her own transition from a corporate career to entrepreneurship and why her husband's outlook on life inspires her.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Having built and led high-performing, diverse teams in quick scaling, fast-paced organizations, and now in my own business, I know first hand what it takes to ditch "hustle mode" and truly thrive both in life and in business.
I successfully overcame my own obstacles, and I leverage the skills, knowledge and experience I've gained to help others realize their true personal and professional vision in their business too.
What kind of work does your role involve?
My programs are a hybrid of coaching and consulting, looking at everything from mindset, defining vision and values, strategic growth opportunities, offer positioning, strategic planning, financial forecasting, team planning and hiring support, change management, leadership development.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Technology has enabled us to do business differently and is challenging the status quo of traditional work environments. This has created more opportunities and possibilities for those willing to put in the effort. Even more so, it has given marginalized groups a chance to break the glass ceiling for themselves. My mission is to help those brave enough to create their own opportunities achieve their version of success!
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Advice is often timely and situational, so something that's stood the test of time is to invest in yourself. That's the best ROI you'll ever get.
What, or who inspires you?
My husband - our lived experiences are quite different.
I'm born and raised in Canada as a first-generation Italian-Canadian, whereas he was born and raised in The Bahamas and moved to Canada only a short while ago. His view of people and the world is kind and uplifting, and he goes with the flow a lot easier than I do - partly because of the cultural norms but more so because of his own beliefs and influences. I often seek his opinion when I need a fresh perspective and continue to be impressed by his responses to challenging situations. I am very grateful for his support.
I also find inspiration from clients and savvy business leaders I have the privilege of connecting with almost every day. I am amazed at the level of creativity, resourcefulness, resilience, positivity, and inventiveness around me!
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I am a lifelong learner and learned a long time ago never to stay in a bubble for too long. I pride myself on breadth more than depth when it comes to learning...unless a topic intrigues me enough to dive deep.
My personal library is full of business and leadership books. I have also signed up for a lot of newsletters in a variety of industries and topics.
I'm quite active on social media, especially LinkedIn, but more because I speak with people. I learn through them and their experiences, and I'm fortunate to have a network that spans across the globe and in many sectors.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
Becoming an entrepreneur. After working as an employee for most of my life, the transition was more challenging than I'd anticipated. Not only does it require expertise and skill, but it also requires a level of mental fortitude that challenges me every day.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Pack a bag! Travel somewhere warm and close to water while growing my businesses! I'd also do more in a philanthropic capacity and invest in my family's future.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I don't! As an entrepreneur, I'm always coming up with new ideas and new ways of working or new opportunities.
I've had to redefine what "work" is for me because it's not easy to turn it off. When I'm away from my computer, I like to relax by indulging my creativity and playfulness with things like painting or drawing, dancing to upbeat music, working out, and getting in touch with nature by going for long walks around the local parks.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
That we create a better ecosystem where all people can thrive in work and play.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
The Juicy CEO - Monique Bryan
Momentum for the Entrepreneurial Personality Type - Alex Charfen
The Mind Your Business - James Wedmore
On Purpose - Jay Shetty
Shakti Leadership: Embracing Feminine and Masculine Power in Business - Nilima Bhat & Raj Sisodia
Dare to Lead: Brave Work - Brene Brown
How should people connect with you?
The easiest way is a DM on LinkedIn or Instagram!
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