During the year prior to selling my photo syndication business to Corbis (a company privately held by Bill Gates) I remember the many nights I sat until midnight or later working on my business plan and the organizational details.

It’s a HOW question

You want to always think, “HOW am I going to get there?” When you position your business as a leader in your industry, there are clearly-defined, sequential steps that you want to take. When you follow these steps you will be ready for explosive growth. That’s exactly what happened with my photography business.

Anytime you want to get a business loan or partner, take on a major client, or even sell your business, you will be asked, “What is your growth plan, and how are you getting there?” This is when you whip out your current and future organizational charts and be ready to explain that sexy business plan of yours. At that moment there is no more faking it. You either are ready or not for this game of poker. Facing the big wigs at Corbis, I pulled up my big-girl pants and pulled out all the tools that were in my tool-box.

The result was a multi-million dollar deal. Not a bad pay off.

Over the past weeks, I have had many conversations with business owners, especially women, who shared the obstacles they face in leading their organizations.

For the many of you who are just joining us—congratulations on making the commitment to grow as a business owner and leader!

In response, I rolled up my sleeves. We finished restructuring part one of my business and brought new people to the team. Please take a look at our revamped  Growth Architecture website featured at BeateChelette.com. It reflects my commitment to focus on what I am best at (as proven by my track record): to support you with growing, building, and scaling your business.

Learn from other’s mistakes (and a few of your own)

How do you know when you are at the tipping point that I described in my previous post? And how do we as business owners avoid making expensive mistakes that prohibit us from breaking through to the next level?

I will share with you what these mistakes are and how to avoid them. On the flipside, it’s like I said in one of my favorite interviews on the Unmistakable Creative: if you are not failing, you are a loser.

Wait, did I just say you shouldn’t make mistakes, but then that you should?

You got it right. Let me explain.

There are mistakes you can avoid easily, like by setting up an organizational structure the way it MUST be set up. Truly, this is a relatively easy thing to do once you map out how you will grow your business. Some of you have probably never given this much thought, and others have been too busy to get to this part. Maybe you don’t have enough people on board yet, or you feel it would be overkill at this stage. I started with one assistant and eventually had eight people on my team, plus a number of relationships that had to be managed. Over 30 distribution agreements covering 79 countries, to be exact. When the offer to acquire my business came in, we had everything neatly organized and documented so that my business could be integrated into Corbis in record time.

That is one of the ways that show that you determine what your organization is worth. Otherwise, how are you going to demonstrate to the bank, the investor, the angel investor, the big business partner, or the potential buyer HOW you will grown and WHY your asking fee is legitimate? Conversely, you eventually may want to get rid of a partner or renegotiate agreements. How can you do that if you are unclear about the value of your company and your personal investment and value?

Let’s be clear that that the value I am referring to is not about whether you do a good job or that your clients like you. Those are givens. What I am asking is how are you going to confidently tell the big boys what you and your business are worth in dollars and cents?

I will give these insights (and many more!) into the strategies that you need to know. How do you get to sit at the table with a Bill Gates company? (I know how.)

While my team and I are finalizing our launches for the upcoming program, live event, and year-long Mastermind, let’s continue the conversation we started last week.

Last week I asked you if you were IN. And many, many of you responded with an enthusiastic YES.

Today I’d like to ask you a simple question. What is the biggest obstacle in your business right now? (It could be time, people, lack of high-level thought leadership exchange, loneliness at the top, lack of funding, etc.)

It’s grow time.


At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”

Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.

If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.

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