Donna Leyens began her career as a Wall Street executive, and earned an MBA in Finance from NYU-Stern School of Business. But her dream was to become a business owner and in 2002 she launched her first successful business with a partner. Seven years later, she became a Certified Professional Coach, and melded her business and coaching skills to follow her true passion – helping entrepreneurs create their dream business and their dream life.
Donna is currently the President and co-founder of Provendus Group. She is on a mission to save small businesses from extinction, by providing business tools, strategy, training and support to business professionals who want to make a big impact by becoming small business growth strategists. This mighty team of strategists uses The Pumpkin Plan Action Guide, a business growth program she developed based on the methods in the book The Pumpkin Plan, written by her Co-founder Mike Michalowicz. Pumpkin Plan Strategists help small businesses to not just stay afloat, but to scale and grow in both profitability and size, while allowing the owner to have time for a life as well. At the end of the day Donna believes entrepreneurs make or break the economy. Her goal is to make sure they grow, thrive, and have the opportunity to create their own destiny.
- There’s a secret in The Pumpkin Plan, on Page 136, but so many people miss it!
- It’s the “gold” of Pumpkin Planning, and it makes such a huge impact.
- The things a business owner resists the most in The Pumpkin Plan may actually be the most impactful.
- Having support through this process is important for encouragement and to help interpret the information that you’re getting.
- The Wishlist interviews is the secret! Interviewing your top clients is the gold!
- Interacting with your clients on a regular basis is NOT the same. You cannot assume that you know what your clients are thinking.
- Dr. Sabrina shares how she also put off doing the Wishlist interviews. When she did, one client suggested she start doing the retreats. She discounted the idea at first, then decided to take a closer listen to what her other top clients were saying. She started paying attention to the themes, and that was the inspiration for starting the Breakthroughs on the Bayou Retreat.
- Dr. Sabrina discloses a scary moment concerning one of the Wishlist questions she asked her clients. They were looking for direction on how to hire great people and other hiring challenges, but she had no solution for them at the time. This was her path to writing How to Hire the Best, and it completely changed the trajectory of her business.
- Two things that Dr. Sabrina noticed that happened with the Wishlist interviews:
- 1) “I don’t know how I’ll ever fulfill these dreams, wishes, and needs that the clients have.”
- 2) “I knew that! I do that all the time, it’s no big deal.”
- This is actually some of the most powerful content in the Wishlist interviews, because what those clients are talking about are your strengths, and your team’s strengths, that you are doing day in and day out. They’re a byproduct of what you do and how you do life, that your top clients are appreciating.
- Donna lays out the Wishlist interview process:
- In the Pumpkin Plan process, before doing the Wishlist interviews, we do our Top Client Assessment.
- List all the clients, and go through a series of questions about those clients, and figure out who the very best 20% are.
- The top clients are the ones you want to interview because the information you get from your worst clients is not helpful to you.
- What your clients are telling you is what they notice about you; what is important to them. When you see a pattern, those are the things that are important to your top clients.
- It’s not what we think, it’s what our top clients think that matters.
- You can do marketplace analysis, and you can understand what the competition is, but no-one is going to have that deep understanding of your business and your unique area of differentiation like you will, when you’ve done these Wishlist interviews.
- Seeing the patterns of what your top clients are saying and connecting the pieces is the “gold”.
- The Wishlist interview questions are not your typical questions. They are interwoven with psychology that helps us get real answers and not just answers that are socially acceptable, or that they’re saying to be nice to us.
- Dr. Sabrina tells us her favorite question to ask, and why.
- Donna provides insight into listening between the lines at client feedback.
- Like attracts like. If we can take the language of our top clients telling us what they appreciate most about us and we incorporate that into our branding, marketing, messaging, now we are speaking the language of the people we want to attract.
- Dr. Sabrina gives examples of words and phrases that come out during Wishlist interviews, and that get used over and over on the Profit by Design podcast.
- Donna shares her favorite question to ask, and why.
- How the Leadership Bootcamp program evolved.
- The leader is actually the first follower, who becomes the leader and shows the other team members how to fall in line.
- The main reason why business owners don’t want to do the Wishlist interviews is because it involves talking to people, and they don’t want it to feel like an imposition. But, it’s all in the phrasing. Donna has tips!
- There’s another path to business growth besides growing your client base, and that’s serving your best clients better.
- The Pumpkin Plan is a FUN book to read.
- Your clients are the reason you’re in business in the first place! Build your best clients and find out what you can do to make them happy, and the clients who are making your life miserable can be let go.
Links and Resources:
FREE Download! Dr. Sabrina’s 5 Favorite Wishlist Interview Questions +
How to Make Your Time Worth $10,000 an Hour
Dr. Sabrina’s Favorite TED Talk on Leadership:
Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy
Register your A-Player team members for Tap the Potential’s Leadership Bootcamp:
Virtual Partner Advantage Pumpkin Planned their Business and hosted Dr. Sabrina and the Breakthroughs on the Bayou Retreat Participants for a tour of their company. Catch the behind the scenes in this video:
NEW! Facebook Group: Entrepreneurs Take Your Life Back! Upon joining, you’ll get access to exclusive, free, mini-trainings from Dr. Sabrina, including the Better Business, Better Life™ jumpstart, as well as the “How to Hire the Best” jumpstart! No charge to join! Let’s get to know each other!
BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON: How to Hire the Best: The Entrepreneur's Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top-Performing Team Members by Dr. Sabrina Starling PhD
How to Hire the Best Toolkit
COURSE: How to Hire the Best
Taking care of yourself is important now more than ever. Are you ready to take your life back from your business?
The FIRST STEP is taking our Assessment at:
NEXT, meet with our Success Team Lead to debrief your results.
THEN, join our Better Business, Better Life™ program.
Dr. Sabrina’s WEBSITE
Dr. Sabrina’s PODCAST – PLEASE RATE & REVIEW!
Profit by Design, a Tap the Potential production in collaboration with Small Business Consulting Group
For Resources & Tools from Sponsors – https://www.profitbydesignpodcast.com
Subscribe & Share Podcasts! – https://www.profitbydesignpodcast.com/podcasts/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProfitByDesign/
Books Frequently Mentioned:
The 4 Week Vacation by Dr. Sabrina Starling PhD – COMING OCTOBER 2021!
How to Hire the Best: The Entrepreneur's Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top-Performing Team Members by Dr. Sabrina Starling PhD
How to Hire the Best: The Rural Business Owner's Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Employees by Dr. Sabrina Starling PhD
How To Hire The Best: The Contractor’s Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Employees by Dr. Sabrina Starling PhD
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field by Mike Michalowicz
Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business by Mike Michalowicz