I’m a list maker. When I get ideas, I write them down. When I don’t, I regret it. Those sparks of genius/insight don’t last long many times without being codified on paper.
Celebrating over 13 years in business, award-winning executive/business coach and performance improvement consultant, Loretta Love Huff, The Dream Leader for Business™, helps people and teams EXCEED their dreams!
Loretta has made several appearances on the local Fox10 Morning News show, radio shows across the country and has been featured in business publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Arizona Republic, Black Enterprise, The Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona Woman, and Working Mother.
She is the author of two books, Leadership without Limits: Inspiring the Best in Yourself, Your People and Your Organization and 6 Keys for Dissolving Disputes: When ‘Off with Their Heads!’ Won’t Work. She is also the creator of Sleep, Leap, Reap: The Bamboo Approach to Bountiful Business Growth, a consulting process that generates new revenue sources and increases profit margins for professional service firms and service-based businesses.
Loretta is Past President of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Phoenix Chapter. Her company is a two-time winner of the Grand Canyon Minority Supplier Development Council’s Class I MBE of the Year. She is also a Phoenix Business Journal Top Women in Business honoree.
Loretta is a certified facilitator of the highly acclaimed coaching program Get Clients Now!® and a certified partner of The Whale Hunters, a strategic sales coaching and training company.
Prior to starting her consulting company, Loretta worked at Fortune 500 companies such as Apple Computer, Sega of America, Bank of America, Sears and Kraft Foods. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Howard University and an M.B.A in Finance from the University of Chicago.
Where did the idea for Emerald Harvest Consulting come from?
The name Emerald Harvest arose from a strategic planning session with a woman I was planning to partner with to deliver seminars for women and their careers. The name we came up with was Emerald Heart, but never actually formed the company. She went in a different direction and said I could keep all the formulation work we had done. I was living in the Silicon Valley at the time and while there were plenty of women there, I knew I’d be working primarily with male engineers and recognized they wouldn’t be impressed by Emerald Heart.
The emerald is my birthstone and I believe it connotes prosperity and wealth. The word Harvest came from a search through the dictionary and was selected because my focus is on productivity and profitability. I thought ‘harvest’ represented the manifestation of productivity and in combination with ‘emerald’, implied reaping riches (and not just of money)
What does your typical day look like?
I start with meditation and prayer to create a positive context for the day. A protein shake for breakfast then I work out to some exercise DVDs in the morning in my family room. A quick review of my calendar and to-do lists, then on to projects (writing, product creation, speaking topic development and phone calls to prospects and clients. Often I am a participant on an educational webinar or teleseminar with my coach or some other mentor.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I schedule time on my calendar and then start working. Sometimes, I’ll talk with people I think might be interested in the subject to get their input on what they’re struggling with and what would be most useful for them to know.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
A couple of things excite me. The proliferation of mobile devices has me considering what kind mobile app I might create to support my clients more and how I might reach out to and build relationships with new people who aren’t aware of me yet.
The other trend is the acknowledgement, by many people, of the importance of spirituality in their lives. More people seem to be seeking lives of significance, personal fulfillment and a deeper connection with ‘Source’ and each other. This excites me because I believe it’s critical for people to consciously live out their life’s purpose. And that as more people do that, the world we live in will become more.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m a list maker. When I get ideas, I write them down. When I don’t, I regret it. Those sparks of genius/insight don’t last long many times without being codified on paper. Then I constantly review the list, deciding which ones if implemented, would have the biggest impact.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
It wasn’t the job that was so bad, it was the company, which shall go unnamed. I was excited when I accepted the position, then realized that the environment was completely different than I expected. It was just a bad match for me. I confirmed that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I learned that.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’m not entirely sure. I love what I do. If I had to pick something, it would be to leverage my Silicon Valley corporate background even more by targeting owners and executives in technology companies once I moved to Phoenix.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Plan my day in advance. And when I’m really ‘on’, I’ve planned my day the night before.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Speaking to groups and associations made up of my target audience. That has helped me build credibility in my local market and even in locations across North America. When you speak, you gain visibility and credibility that are hard to get sitting in your office or even networking extensively. You have to do it right in order for it to pay off, but speaking is my #1 marketing strategy.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Investing in someone else’s dream was probably the worst financial decision I made. I did it for love (for my at-the-time husband) and didn’t listen to my inner guidance which was screaming “Just say ‘No!’. While we ran the business, I learned valuable lessons about how to market as well has how to weather the storms of entrepreneurship, but had I listened to the quietly screaming voices, I would have learned those lessons without forfeiting so much of my savings.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The shift to mobile technology is rife for exploitation. If you’re technical, start offering services that help traditionally offline business owners (spas, small retailers, dentists and other service providers) get found online and build/extend their customer base. If you’re not technical, find people who are and act as a project manager doing the same thing.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I was adopted as an infant. I talk about it more now, but while I was growing up, it was a source of pain for me. I’ve written about it now. If you’re interested in the story, go to http://adoption.about.com/od/reunions/a/happyreunion.htm
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use several services:
a) http://www.Infusionsoft.com for email marketing, online sales and automation of client development and nurturing. It helps me stay in contact, without having to personally stay in contact. It’s a little intense so if you’re just getting started online www.1Shoppingcart.com is a little more affordable and easier to use
b) http://www.TimeTrade.com for easy appointment scheduling eliminating the constant back and forth of emails. I post specific times I’m available and people can just go to my calendar and pick the appointment that works for them. It sends confirmations and reminders to both of us and it’s free.
c) http://www.AudioAcrobat.com for hosting and sharing audio and video content. It’s easy to use and an affordable way to record content and make it available to others. I use it for videos for my ezine (online newsletter) and audio training for recorded ‘products’ I create.
d) ACT! (by Sage) for contact and calendar management. My life in one place. I can keep all my appointments in one place and connect them to the people I have the appointments with including notes of our conversations, schedule time for project work and personal activities.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Michael Gerber’s The e-Myth Revisited. It explains the plight of the solo-preneur and small business owner and lays out a simple process for growing your business while maintaining your sanity.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Coaches I’ve studied with and learned an immense amount from:
Lisa Sasevich: http://www.LisaSasevich.com
Kendall Summerhawk: http://www.KendallSummerhawk.com
Christian Mickelsen: http://www.coacheswithclients.com
Bill Baren: http://www.BillBaren.com
Milana Leshinsky: http://www.coachingmillions.com
Loretta Love Huff’s Blog: http://www.lorettalovehuff.com/
Emerald Harvest Consulting on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmeraldHarvestLove
Loretta Love Huff on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lorettalovehuff