Many of us have goals in life which we want to accomplish; for some it can be receiving a doctorate degree, for others it can be the launching of their dream start-up. Usually we stick to the one or two things we feel passionate about and want to put our energy into; slowly making our way up the ladder of success.
But that's not the case for Erica King, an Australian entrepreneur and business coach who has so far run 585 businesses around the world.
She is known to have increased the profit average of her clients by nearly half a million dollars per year, according to CEO magazine.
So who is this extraordinary woman?
Erica, born into an Australian family who owned a catering business, started peeling prawns as her first job. Having started her career young, a strong sense of work ethic was instilled in her and led her to launch her first company at the age of 21.
When asked how she makes it all work and come together, she nonchalantly replied with "It's like anything. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
With this ideology in mind, she has been working her way through all challenging situations in life; whether that is running 12 marathons in 12 months, traveling and discovering new environments or managing a successful career for 30 plus years in the corporate world.
She believes that "it's so helpful for business owners to get different perspectives and learn something new."
In an interview, she discussed about the time she lived with remote tribes in New Guinea in the 1980s.
"I was sleeping on a banana leaf with pigs in this hut – I grew up on the North Shore of Sydney! That's a hell of a shock to the system. A lot of the tribes I lived with had never seen a white woman, which was a bit freaky, but they were happy." She shared. "It was so isolated. Some tribes will never see each other because they're so isolated from each other."
The most important lesson she took away from the remote areas of New Guinea besides the experience and exposure was how "Their lives were happy, and they lived beautifully within this tribal set-up where seasons were important and roles and responsibilities of each person in the tribe were important," she says. "It was a wonderful immersion to actually experience that. Whether I'm conscious of that or not, I think every experience we all have has to have some kind of impact – whether that's a good or bad impact."
This lesson then became the framework of an ideal business model of her coaching empire.
More than three decades later, Erica has devoted her time to working with smaller businesses and increased their sale price which roughly averages around US$776,700.
"You have to think of a business as a big jigsaw puzzle," Erica explains. "You've got to have the right pieces in the right place to create the end outcome that you're looking for. "It's literally like tipping a thousand-piece puzzle onto a table with all those bits and thinking right, how is it all going to fit together?"
The business coach then goes onto explain how she views such protocols and procedures much like the marathons she runs; a race with a finish line.
"Businesses should be planning for an end – to sell it at some point, hand it to somebody, exit – because if it relies on one person, that's never a good scenario,"
She discusses the importance of the people who help run a business and the connection between the team and the one in charge.
"Talk with every single person in every part of your business," she explains. "You need to connect with the people who are working for you and with you, because I believe many leaders actually don't know what's going on in their business, or they're asking people in their business to do things that just don't work."
And along with the team comes the responsibility of a great leader who is able to guide them through thick and thin and here is what she had to say to those who are ready to take on that challenge.
"To be a good leader, you've got to continually evolve yourself and you have to walk the talk," Erica adds. "If I'm asking my team members to do something, then I'd pretty much be able to do it myself, and be able to emulate the behavior of what my values are that I'm saying are important to the company or to the business."
With 30 years of experience in hand, she has jumped into her newest conquest, Life Lessons with Erica King. The seasoned coach provides guidance and strategies to entrepreneurs found effective for brands worldwide, going back to her roots of health and lifestyle branding.
5 Tips from the seasoned business coach, Erica King:
1. Value Your People
"Step away from your desk and go and sit and talk with your team," Erica says. "Talk with every single person in every part of your business – it doesn't matter if it's 300 or 3,000. You need to connect."
2. Embrace Diversity
"You know what you know because of the experiences you've had, and those who have been in positive work environments understand the strengths of their team. Understand the different generational variants and make them work in a really great way, because we need all of that."
3. Experience New Things
"Each of those marathon experiences was its own little New Guinea adventure. You're going to another place in the world that possibly doesn't speak English, it's snowing, the Japanese are just so beautiful with these tea cozies on their heads and race refreshment stands had things that were unrecognizable for someone like me."
4. Being Comfortable Stops Success
"Don't get too comfortable. It's happens so easily without you even realizing it's happening. It's so helpful for business owners to just get some different perspectives, to learn something new."
5. Be courageous
"Really, you can't fail. Have an amazing adventure, meet some amazing people – where's the downside? Stop looking for all the things that are going to be terrible and look for the positives."