Diane Helbig is an international business and leadership development advisor, author, award-winning speaker, podcast host, trainer and workshop facilitator. As president of Helbig Enterprises, Diane helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably. She evaluates, encourages, and guides her clients.
Diane works with her clients to create, implement, and monitor individualized strategies that result in better communication, increased performance, and greater results. Diane serves as a trusted advisor and guide, helping her clients see the value in changing their behavior. Diane’s clients find themselves achieving incredible successes – many beyond what they had previously believed were possible. She brings over 20 years of small business management and sales experience to her business.
Diane believes that each business professional is an individual. They bring their own dreams, challenges, and beliefs with them to their role. This is why the strategies they create are specific to them. Business is business. And leadership is leadership. How each person approaches their growth is individual. No canned systems here! Diane’s work is uniquely developed for each client.
Diane’s book Succeed Without Selling provides readers with permission and encouragement to stop selling. This book helps sales professionals and small business owners focus on relationship building and curiosity instead of convincing, persuading, and cajoling.
In her book, Lemonade Stand Selling, Diane offers a straightforward, common sense and clear guide to the sales process. She reminds her readers that selling is as easy as when you had that lemonade stand as a child.
Through her podcast, Accelerate Your Business Growth, Diane brings valuable, actionable information to her listeners. Her book, Expert Insights includes details of ten of the most listened to episodes.
From strategic planning to sales training to communication, Diane provides expertise based on over 20 years of business leadership and sales experience. Diane’s no nonsense, straightforward approach cuts through the noise and allows clients and training participants opportunities to realistically and enthusiastically implement the plans they devise.
Diane has been presenting and teaching for over 10 years. She is considered an expert on the subjects of sales, leadership, time management, customer service, and is often contacted to provide her expertise.
As a speaker and workshop facilitator Diane merges energy and enthusiasm with rich content. Her goal is to leave her audience with actionable steps as well as the excitement to implement those steps. Diane has expertise in small business, sales, social media, networking, and leadership.
Diane is the recipient of the 2020 Achievements in Excellence Award from NSME and the 2016 Corporate Events Speaker of the Year Award from CCA.
Where did the idea for Helbig Enterprises come from?
When my father passed away in 2005 I found myself searching for something I could do that would have more of an impact on the world. My sister suggested I become a marriage counselor because of the way I communicate. My best friend said I should be a life coach because I like to tell people what to do. I did my research and realized that I should take all of my business leadership and sales experience, and become a business coach. So, I took a class in the evening, got my certification, and launched my practice in early 2006.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Typically I start working at 8am regardless of what’s on the calendar. Some days I start with leading one of my Business Opportunity Network meetings. Most days I am recording podcast sessions, working with clients, and creating content. Before the pandemic I would also speak or conduct trainings several times a month.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Whenever I have a spark of an idea I scribble it out in a notebook. I give myself time to open-think and often draw myself a diagram or picture of what it will look like. I’m a visual learner so I like to see ideas drawn out. Ideas develop over time and I know that I have to make sure I don’t jump from one thing to the next. So, many ideas go into my parking lot silo to be further fleshed out at a later date.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m pretty excited about the increased use of video in a variety of business areas. I’m finding that video is valuable as a marketing tool as well as a teaching tool. It’s also really valuable as a communication tool to stay connected to people.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit that keeps me productive is not opening my email until I’ve accomplished three things. Email can be a trap and usually isn’t critical. By not opening my email I can focus on the things I want to be sure to accomplish and then comfortably deal with my email in a focused way.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to be patient. It’s not enough for me to know I’m good at what I do. Other people need to learn to trust me and that takes time. This was tough for me to learn. After all, I knew how good I was! That’s just not enough to get people to hire you or pay you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There’s no such thing as a 30 second pitch or commercial. It’s really a conversation starter, an introduction. Unfortunately, most people still think they need to be pitching when they first meet someone. And even though they don’t listen when someone else shares their pitch, the salesperson still thinks it’s valuable to pitch, or give a commercial for their business.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I put my action steps on the calendar as appointments. As entrepreneurs we are busy. We wear many hats. Keeping a to-do list just doesn’t cut it. Carving out small pieces of time and putting my action steps on the calendar allows me to be sure I get them done. It helps me organize my time and stick to a plan. In my opinion it’s the best way to ensure I move forward with my initiatives.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Networking has been instrumental in helping me grow my business. It’s important to build a community around your business. Networking isn’t about gaining a sale. It’s about getting to know people and allowing them to get to know you. When I network I do it with a totally open mind. I realize I don’t know how the person I’m meeting will have an impact on my business. Doing the discovery will help me figure that out. I network with the belief that no one there needs what I have to sell. That way I can be totally focused on learning about the other person and figuring out how I can connect them to resources. The more you give, and show up, the more others will not only trust you but want to work with you, or refer you.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I made the mistake of partnering with someone who I didn’t know very well. I got caught up in the idea and didn’t take the time to learn who he was, how he worked, how he communicated or problem solved. We were consistently at odds. Not only did the initiative struggle but so much time and attention was taken away from my core business that I felt like nothing was working. On top of that we launched the initiative in my neighborhood. I was tacitly endorsing my partner and his business practices. Unfortunately, his way of doing business was very different from mine. I finally had to make the decision that the relationship was broken beyond repair and I had to remove myself. I wrote down everything I was thinking along with an preliminary plan for dissolving the partnership and presented both to my partner. We talked about it and agreed to move forward with the dissolution. The relief I felt let me know I had made the right decision. Once I was out of the partnership I had a renewed energy in and around my core business. It bounced back rather quickly.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A business idea I would offer is a Family Medical Archive. As generations die off so does the family medical history. However, the more we learn, the more we realize that family history is critically important. This would be an online database somewhat like Ancestry. A family member would start the file and add in as much medical history as they can. Then other family members would add to it so there was an accurate, ongoing database of the family’s medical history. Any family member could then print a report to take with them to the doctor.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I just bought a second monitor for my office. I learned that in order to do effective remote training I need two monitors – one for the presentation and one to be able to engage with the attendees.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Waveapps for my accounting. I can set up recurring invoices for those clients who are on retainers. I can also add my expenses into the program and run reports easily.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’d like to offer two books. The first is Dale Carnegie’s ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People.’ It is still tremendously relevant in today’s business community. The second is my new book, Succeed Without Selling, The More You Think About Selling The Less You Will Sell.
What is your favorite quote?
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare
- You’re never too old to start something new
- Stop pitching and start communicating
- Don’t enter into a business partnership with someone you don’t know
- Networking is about building relationships with people who may, or may not, need what you have to sell.
- Follow your heart, not what other people think you should be doing. You know you best.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.