Anza Goodbar, Founder & CEO, Bankable Events LLC
Anza Goodar, Founder & CEO of Bankable Events LLC
For those who don't know anything about you or your work, can you provide a bit of background?
Many entrepreneurs have had their fair share of twists and turns in their careers, and I am no exception. My journey, spanning over four decades, has led me from the event and hospitality industry to mortgage brokerage, and finally, to the creation of my own consulting agency focused on helping other entrepreneurs achieve success. Here's how my experiences have culminated in the founding of Bankable Events, a leading consulting agency for businesses looking to incorporate live events into their growth models.
For nearly 20 years, I thrived in the event and hospitality industry, finding immense satisfaction in creating unforgettable experiences for clients. It was during this time that I honed my skills in planning, organizing, and executing events, which would prove invaluable later in my career.
In an exciting turn, I opened a mortgage brokerage firm, catering to clients with less-than-perfect credit. 2008 dealt a devastating blow, forcing me to reassess my path. Rather than wallowing in the aftermath of the crash, I channeled my energy into creating an online consulting agency that has grown into what Bankable Events is today.
My journey has been far from conventional, but it has provided me with invaluable insights and experiences that have shaped my approach to business and entrepreneurship. Bankable Events is the culmination of my passions and expertise, and I am proud to help other entrepreneurs realize their dreams by harnessing the power of live events.
What does an average day look like for you?
In the world of event consulting and entrepreneurship, there's no such thing as an "average" day. The excitement lies in the diversity of businesses, goals, and desired outcomes we encounter on a daily basis. At our consulting agency, we pride ourselves on offering personalized strategies for each client, whether it's monetizing an event or transforming content into a transformative retreat experience.
Our flexible approach means we can work with clients face-to-face or remotely, depending on their preferences and needs. This allows us to craft tailored strategies for monetizing events, creating engaging content, and fostering growth in a way that best suits each individual business.
How do you balance the needs of your business with the needs of your personal life?
Work-life balance is essential for maintaining overall well-being and preventing burnout. As a single mom, the importance of finding a balance between business and personal life has always been a priority.
For me, it's about prioritizing family time. I make sure to calendar important family events so I don't miss them. I block out time for family travel and hangouts.
I schedule regular times for self-care. That could be anything from grabbing lunch with a friend, to taking a hike in the mountains, to a night of ballroom dancing. My self-care routine changes with the seasons, but I always commit time for reading and journaling.
I set up my annual calendar in the fourth quarter of each year so I can be intentional about how I spend my time. I take a look at conferences I want to attend, classes I will teach, and speaking engagements, and I build my working hours around that.
Work-life balance is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It's essential to discover your personal rhythm and create a balance that works best for you. This may involve trial and error, but ultimately, it's about making time for the things that matter most in your life.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
The best advice often comes from unexpected sources, and in my case, it came from my father while working in our family-owned appliance store. His simple yet profound advice - know your customers and help them solve their problems - has guided me through my entrepreneurial journey and enabled me to adapt and thrive in changing circumstances. In this article, I'll share how this invaluable lesson has informed my approach to business and allowed me to seize opportunities as they arise.
As a small appliance store competing against discount chain stores, we had to find a way to set ourselves apart. We did this by offering a repair service to handle breakdowns and maintenance issues, providing value to our customers beyond the sale of new products.
When microwave ovens were introduced to the market, we saw an opportunity to further differentiate our business by hosting live cooking classes. This not only showcased our product offerings but also created a sense of community and loyalty among our customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shut down, but my experience from the mortgage industry crash allowed me to help others pivot and adapt. I used my knowledge to teach women how to transfer their skills into home-based businesses, turning a seemingly dire situation into an opportunity for growth and reinvention.
The wisdom imparted by my father in our family business has proven to be the cornerstone of my success as an entrepreneur. By truly understanding my customers and helping them solve their problems, I've been able to adapt, innovate, and seize opportunities in even the most challenging circumstances. As the world continues to change and evolve, this lesson will remain a guiding principle in my approach to business and entrepreneurship.
What's been the hardest part about the path you've taken and how would you advise someone facing a similar situation to overcome it?
One of the most significant hurdles I faced on my journey was learning to write compelling sales copy that captures the interest of potential clients. In the early years of my consulting business, I spent thousands of dollars on ads that didn't convert because I didn't understand how to structure an offer properly or use the correct sales language. I had an aversion to being "sold to" and I didn't want to make my potential customers feel that way.
As social media transitioned from a tool for connecting with family and friends to a powerful business-building platform, I had to adapt and develop new skills. Writing effective sales copy proved to be a steep learning curve that took many years to master.
Though I had a background in journalism and was proficient in editorial writing, sales copy presented a unique challenge. It wasn't until I discovered Jim Edwards' book "Copywriting Secrets" that I finally understood the nuances of crafting persuasive copy that drives results.
Many small businesses struggle with the copywriting aspect of social media marketing and sales, often leading to missed opportunities and stunted growth. By investing time and resources in mastering this skill, entrepreneurs can greatly improve their online presence and ultimately increase their revenue.
For those who can afford to do so, hiring a professional copywriter can be a game-changer. Having an expert craft your sales copy can help you stand out from the competition, attract more leads, and convert potential clients into loyal customers.
The ability to create compelling sales copy has transformed the way I market and sell online, positioning my business for greater success. If you're struggling with this aspect of your online business, consider investing in copywriting resources or hiring a professional to help you unlock the full potential of your marketing and sales efforts.
Are there any well-known Books, Podcasts, or Courses that you credit your current success to?
One of the key factors in my own journey has been becoming a certified leadership coach, trainer, and speaker with the John Maxwell Leadership Team. This experience has not only boosted my confidence but has also connected me with a community of like-minded professionals committed to excellence. This affiliation has had a huge impact on my success and it has helped me thrive in my zone of genius.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful business owner or executive to have?
Among the most important attributes shared by successful entrepreneurs is their commitment to learning, strong leadership skills, and excellent communication abilities.
Commitment to Learning:
Successful business owners recognize the importance of continuous learning and personal growth. They invest time in reading, listening to podcasts, attending classes, and seeking help from others. By constantly expanding their knowledge and skills, they are better equipped to serve their team and clients and stay ahead of industry trends.
Effective leaders listen to their team members and value their opinions. They understand that cultivating a supportive and inclusive environment fosters innovation and drives business growth. Successful entrepreneurs focus on developing leaders around them, and empowering others to reach their full potential.
Excellent Communication Skills:
The ability to communicate effectively is a hallmark of successful business owners. They encourage the sharing of ideas and foster open dialogue within their teams. These entrepreneurs are not afraid to engage in difficult conversations, as they recognize that addressing challenges head-on can lead to growth and improvement.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a business owner?
Starting a business can be both exciting and challenging. As an aspiring entrepreneur, it's crucial to have a solid foundation and a clear plan for navigating the entrepreneurial journey. There are two things that I believe are essential for a start-up:
Validate Your Business Idea:
Before diving headfirst into your business, take the time to validate your idea through market research, competitive analysis, and customer feedback. This will help you gauge demand, identify your target audience, and refine your product or service offering to meet their needs.
Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan:
A well-structured business plan is essential for guiding your decisions and securing funding. Be sure to include an executive summary, market analysis, company description, organizational structure, marketing and sales strategies, and financial projections.
What are the top three things you think are essential for business success?
Being a small business owner is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life. Here are three things I have found to be true for growing a sustainable business.
Network and Build Relationships: Establish connections with other entrepreneurs, industry experts, and potential partners. Networking can provide valuable insights, resources, and opportunities that can help propel your business forward.
Focus on Customer Satisfaction: Prioritize delivering exceptional customer experiences and continuously seek feedback to improve your products or services. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat clients, refer others, and contribute to your business's long-term success.
Be Adaptable and Embrace Change: In the ever-evolving world of business, flexibility is key. Be prepared to adapt your strategies and pivot when necessary, as this will enable you to seize new opportunities and overcome obstacles.
Do you think someone can be a great business owner without having many years of experience first?
Experience can be a valuable asset for any business owner, but it's not the only determinant of success. In fact, even those without years of experience can thrive in the world of entrepreneurship if they're willing to invest in themselves, seek guidance, and remain adaptable.
Aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit immensely from investing in their own growth and development. By attending workshops, taking courses, and reading up on industry trends, you can gain valuable skills and knowledge that will contribute to your business's success.
Working with a coach or consultant can help you identify blind spots, create effective strategies, and overcome challenges. These professionals can provide expert advice and guidance that can accelerate your progress and help you avoid common pitfalls.
In the dynamic world of business, adaptability is key. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to reassess their strategies, learn from their experiences, and make adjustments as needed to drive their businesses forward.
In general, do you think the world is producing better business owners in 2023 than it was fifty years ago?
The landscape of entrepreneurship has changed dramatically over the past 50 years, with advancements in technology and resources making it easier than ever to start and grow a business. Today, entrepreneurs can build global companies from the comfort of their own homes, breaking free from the limitations of geography that once constrained their ambitions.
Technology has accelerated the pace of innovation, enabling businesses to quickly adapt to market changes and customer needs. This agility allows entrepreneurs to stay competitive and seize new opportunities as they arise.
There are so many more options available to business owners now, that it would be virtually impossible for us not to be producing better businesses in today's world.