Change and transformation are not on the horizon; they’re already here. In this episode, Ivy Slater, the CEO of Slater Success, joins Rodney Flowers as they talk about business and why you should be excited about where you are in this time of change. Get to know Ivy as she shares her journey from the printer industry to finding her purpose with Slater Success. Change is challenging, especially when you’re set in the old ways. Tune in as Ivy and Rodney explore this era of change and the importance of values and ethics for those companies that have risen to the challenge.
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Business In Times Of Change With Ivy Slater
I have the CEO of Slater Success with me, Ms. Ivy Slater. She works closely with C-Suite executives and upper–level managers to advise and create clear strategies that provide instant and long–term impact on business. From generating team synergy and launching new sales initiatives to holding masterminds, retreats and corporate training on communication, finances or strategic planning, Ivy is an expert at cultivating and facilitating relationships that are the hallmark of any successful business. Without further delay, let’s welcome Ivy Slater to the show.
Rodney, thank you so much for having me. It’s a delight to join you.
It’s a delight to have you here and open up a conversation about business, especially in the times that we are in now. There’s so much going on. There are so much change and transformation. What I’m finding is a lot of the old ways of doing business, thinking, facilitating teams and learning and communication, all of the things that you are an expert at are changing in this environment. It’s fascinating because I’m looking forward to some new ways of doing those things, but challenging because we‘ve been doing this for so long. It’s hard to let go of the old way of doing business, especially since it was working and something came along, smacked us and changed the way we do it. We’re forced to change.Ethics is non-negotiable. You have to know what and where right versus wrong stands. Click To Tweet
You know how change is. No one likes change. It’s interesting and challenging but exciting to be in business now. I would like to hear from you and your perspective as an expert on the field about what are some expectations? What are some things we should be doing? Why should we be excited about where we are now? First of all, I want to learn a little bit about you, Ivy. How did you get started? How did Slater Success come about? How are you doing in nowadays society yourself?
It’s great to jump in there. I’ve been a business owner for over 25 years. Slater Success started over a dozen years ago in January of 2008. It was birthed the year before in ‘07. In April ‘07, I turned 45 and it was a complete midlife crisis. I owned it. April was the anniversary of my father’s passing. He had been gone from our lives for one year. It was my birthday month and I remember waking up on April 1st saying, “Who am I? What am I leaving behind?” Before Slater Success, I was in the printing industry for over twenty years. I had a great ride and career. I built a great business. I said, “I’m not going to die a printer. There has to be more to me.“
My kids are starting to get into their teen years and I said, “In a blink of an eye, they’re going to be out of the house and then what? Who am I? Who is Ivy Slater? What have I left behind?” Hopefully, two great kids, of course, and some other wonderful things. I said, “There’s more to me than being a printer.” I was a dancer when I was young. I was highly ambitious. I never practiced because I was supposed to. I practiced because I wanted to get better. I made a great salary and business at a seven–figure company, but it wasn’t right for who I wanted to be next.
That was the birth of Slater Success. I was working out in a park in New York City with a friend of mine. I was crying my eyes out in April. She looked at me and went, “You ought to be a coach.” I said, “I can’t dance anymore. I had blown out my knee at 23 in an accident.” The doctor said, “You’ll never dance again.” I said, “I can’t plié. I can’t bend my legs that way. It’s not going to work.” She looked at me as if I was crazy and went, “No, there’s a whole other coaching industry. Don’t you know about it? Haven’t you heard about it?” I didn’t. I went home and hit Google. I said, “What is coaching?” It came up with tennis. I went a little further. I got soccer. I went to page three and it started talking about this whole new industry.
I‘m a huge believer and fan. That will bring us back to what we need to be doing as business leaders now of market research, understanding what’s going on in the marketplace. There’s a great way to do that and it’s simple. Phone and talk to people, meet them for coffee or have a Zoom conversation in this day and age. I did that and started learning and then I learned some more. In a blink of an eye, I was sitting down with my accountant and attorney in our annual meeting. I threw it out on the conference table. I was like, “I’m thinking of opening another business. I’m thinking of going to get certified and understanding more about this industry.”
My accountant stood up at the table and started berating me, “Do you know how much money you’re making? Do you know what college is going to cost you? How irresponsible can you be?” My attorney looked at me and said, “I have an old client who I believe is doing that as a business. Do you want me to talk to him?“ The attorney is still my attorney. The accountant didn’t last a year. I am doing beautifully. I have built a business that is thriving, fits and compliments my life where it is now. That’s where the values piece comes in.
Values are something that you talk about. It’s one of the things that you drive home to your clients. In everything, values are extremely important. When it comes to business, it’s also important. What advice, suggestions or ideas do you have around values as it relates to business?
The first thing is to know your values. Sometimes we’re so busy running our businesses, moving up the corporate ladder and doing so many things that we forget to stop and be in touch with our values. That’s the first thing we must do is understand who we are, what our values are and make sure that we’re aligned in how we live our lives. We’re making our decisions and living our lives based on our values. Therefore, you’re leading your business based on your values.
Let’s talk about that a little bit, especially with the situations and circumstances that we’re facing. I believe values are purposeful. They’re like a compass. They’re like your true North. When everything is breaking down around you, you go to your compass. You go to your values because that dictates how you respond to all of those things. It’s the directors, leaders and guiders. Do you find that businesses are doing that now? Have people forgotten the values in this situation that we’re in? Are they responding properly, in your opinion, as an overview? What are your thoughts about that?
Early on when this started, people were thrown and they went into survival mode. Very often, when they go into survival mode, they don’t even think about their values. They‘re keeping their heads above water and trying to grab the next breath. We moved from that into, “We can do this. Let’s relook at strategy and put a strategy in place.” When people started relooking at strategy, they had the ability to then touch base with their values. All of a sudden, businesses‘ teams were scattered. If you want a solid team behind you in any small, medium or large business you’re building, you have to be connecting to them on a regular basis.
Great businesses were in touch with their values and people. They were doing thoughtful things. They were helping their people through the transitions that they were going on. All of a sudden, you’re a commuter. You went into the office. You had lunches and meetings. You traveled for business. All of your day–to–day shifted on a dime within a week in all reality. The companies that have risen and put their people first are the companies that are doing well because they’re value-based companies. They understand that part of their greatness is the culmination of who they pulled together with them.
What about ethics? Ethics is like the cousin of values. Given there’s a lot in the media around this topic, what are your thoughts about that?
Ethics is non-negotiable for me. It’s clear, simple and straightforward. We must live ethically. If we’re going to build this society forward, what can we learn based on living through a global pandemic? What we can learn is to be a whole society, look forward, support one another and care about one another. With that, you have to put in your ethics. You have to know what was right versus the wrong stance. When I‘m training in sales, for instance, I’ll always say, “Sales comes from being of service to others. If you’re so busy talking, you’re not listening so you could be of service to them. You’re selling them your agenda and not listening to theirs.” That’s, for me, unethical. Ethics go through business everywhere from the values and decisions you make in marketing, sales and finance. We’re seeing more and more social–impact companies that have a corporate responsibility arm. That’s ethics and values.
To pull the string on that a little bit, there’s a responsibility with the corporations in America not only as it relates to ethics but with diversity as well, leading the charge with diversity and inclusion, which is also another hot topic. When you talk about teams, it’s great to have a team that’s very diverse and inclusive, but then there’s this mindset that it can only consist of this type of people from this type of group with that type of background. For some reason, there’s the idea, “That’s the best group. You don’t need anything else.” I approach that a little bit differently.
From being a football player, there are different players on the team. Each player has a unique responsibility that requires a unique skillset. That skillset requires them to be focused on that skillset wholeheartedly. You’ve got to make the skillset in your life to be good and expert at it. That’s where background comes into play. It’s where this person comes from, how they’ve lived their life, the hours that they’ve put in, how they built this skillset and their passion for it. All of those things make them qualified to be in that position, yet it’s different from mine. I may not have the same background and the same upbringing because the way I came up, it prepared me for the position that I’m playing. I have something I’m bringing to the table as a result of that.
We lose that recognition for some reason when it comes to business. There’s an idea that only people from this background or that background are going to be the most qualified to do this position, but I feel like you can get the same people with the same background or way of thinking and being. You’re strong when it comes to, “You are the people when it comes to knowing this specific thing because you are all going to think the same and you have the same background.” To me, when challenges come, that play is called, “Because of your background and strength in that background, you guys may not be enough to handle the diversity and the level of complexity and sophistication that’s going on outside. You may need someone from the outside that has a different background, view, perspective, skillset or way of looking at things.”
To me, to build the strongest team, you need a plethora of those types of players on your team. The idea is to be able to communicate with one another and facilitate the conversations that may be different coming from each person in order to get to a solution. That’s where the struggle is. It’s being able to work together with all of the differences that are within the team in order to get to the best decision for the team. That’s what a lot of businesses find challenging and therefore want to avoid having those types of conversations because it’s easier. We don’t have to do that if everyone looks the same and comes from the same place. We can build those types of teams. We can avoid those types of conversations because it causes too much conflict.
If you go back to my background as being a printer, I got into the industry in my late twenties. I’m a fairly petite woman, 5’2″. Picture a manufacturing plant in the late 1980s, early 1990s. The manufacturing plant, as in any manufacturing plant, if it was printing or otherwise, was big guys around the presses. You had calendars with a lot of pictures that might have been a little offensive to some people if you’re following my drift. Here’s this little woman who shows up in her business suit with her clients that are fashion magazines and things like that and saying, “I want to get in there, be vocal and have my opinion heard.” It was not easy.
I got pushed aside many times. I got pushed aside when I was looking for clients and they didn’t want the woman printer. They wanted the guys who are going to sit down and have steak. They wanted those vendors and not me. I went to the other side of the plants, they didn’t want me there, either. I did not fit in. I couldn’t be one of the guys there. Instead of becoming them, I worked hard to gain knowledge and respect for my own thoughts. I worked hard on my communication and being very clear on it. There were times that I was not a yeller and screamer. I wasn’t going to compete with how loud they could be in any direction, but I kept showing up with more knowledge until the day was like, “Ivy, what do you think?“
It was a commitment to education, being who I am and being strong in who I am. I was standing for myself and every other woman at that time. We must have diversity because when I looked at a flesh tone, if we were to print as printers, a hair changes its color on a printing press. My opinion on how a woman was perceived mattered. They got that. If we were looking at lipstick, they would turn to me. It was a matter of, “I never believed in becoming who I was not, trying to be somebody I wasn’t or conforming to who they were. It was building my inner confidence, knowledge and education, sharing my beliefs and being vocal about who I am.“Sales comes from being of service to others. If you're so busy talking and not listening, you're selling them your agenda. Click To Tweet
I truly see this whole diversity thing. I see it through my kids’ eyes. My kids are grown. They’re in the workforce. When I look at my children having bosses of different genders, backgrounds, ethnicities from different parts of the world and cultures, I said, “It was because my kids were raised by a mom who was used to it. It was part of our home environment.” They look at it and are like, “This is a norm.” I believe we have a lot of work to do in the diversity area. I have huge hope that our generation coming up is going to be a powerful generation.
You said something interesting. I want to pull a line about your kids and how they were brought up in a home where they were exposed to different ethnicities and it allowed the comfort whenever they got out of the house to deal with those types of situations. In many cases, that is not the case, which may be part of the issue where people haven’t been exposed to people who are different from them. They may not even value the thoughts of certain people who are different.
This is where we have a breakdown. In the real-world work environment, you have that responsibility to do so when it doesn’t happen. We have a breakdown in the communication and the team isn’t functional. As a matter of fact, it’s dysfunctional. How do we fix that in your opinion? What’s the responsibility of the corporation? I don’t know if we could change how people raise their kids and how they bring people up. Is there something a corporation can do when someone is brought into the organization who has that experience? I don’t know if training is enough. The first thing that comes to my mind is the training, but I’m not even sure that’s enough. I have reasons for that as well.
We probably both do. I agree with you. My first thoughts went right to, “How do we train and educate?” A large part of it is the hand–in–hand of training and education. The top–tier leadership has to reach the lowest of the lowest new coming in, the young people coming in. The younger minds have the ability to expand more than older minds. We have longer lives and tunnel vision. It breaks my heart. It doesn’t mean we can’t change and educate. It’s just going to take more time. If we enlighten the top–tier management and then we start trickling it in from the bottom up. If we’re starting from the top and then moving from the bottom, we’re going to meet in the middle at some point.
It starts with a lot of education. Whether you want to look at training or groups, it’s a matter of bringing people together for a common cause, learning about one another and embracing their differences. My daughter at the workforce was excited to tell me about a colleague of hers. She was like, “My good friend from work, we both got engaged.“ She was talking about that they were both engaged from completely different cultures. She was so excited about learning her friend‘s process versus her process.
Even in the workplace, we have the ability to expand our minds. We’re constantly in the work environment being pushed to expand our minds and thinking, “How could we grow something? How could we contribute?” It’s taking that mindset of business and adding in, “How can we contribute and expand our minds as human beings?“ When we have businesses looking at the whole being and when you help them expand their mind and education further, everybody wins. Culturally, we win. As people, we win. As businesses, we win.
What are your thoughts about unconscious bias training? That’s where my mind went. For the scenario you brought up, someone comes up and they haven’t been exposed to many different ethnicities. That could cost this person to have an unconscious bias against whatever or whomever. This is real life. I’ve experienced this and you probably have, too. They will be doing this. They’re oblivious to the fact that they have this. That’s why you call it unconscious bias. For them, everything is right. There’s nothing wrong. This is a challenge. How do we get that person to first realize that there is an issue? How do we go about correcting it in your opinion?
You can’t correct what people don’t know. You have to address first all the things that we don’t know. Unconscious bias comes across ethnicity, race, background, as well as intellectual disabilities and assumptions there. It brings to mind in a crazy way as far as comp. Everybody thought he couldn’t do and he did. This is where I wish I had a solution. I wish I can go into so many people’s homes, sit down with their kids, bring a diverse group of kids together, open conversations, hold up like Winnie–the–Pooh and say, “What is it? Inside of it, it all has the same stuffing. Pooh bear might have a bandage or might look a little different, but it’s still Winnie–the–Pooh. It’s not race, religion, ethnicity or culture. It’s Winnie–the–Pooh.” Let’s all talk about a great story and start at this ground–zero basis.
As much as we’re educating adults, we have to be working with all levels. We have to be working in the school systems, in unconscious bias and understanding that, “When we all have a cut, it’s going to bleed red. The little stuff in a Band-Aid is going to help it. It doesn’t matter which Band-Aid you pick out at the drug store. It’s going to help. How do you all heal from there? You heal and educate by conversation.“ The conversations have to be starting in the schools big time, communities, religious organizations and every way you can because there’s some kid in every classroom who’s different somehow.
Do you think there’s too much separation in society and schools? You can look at school systems, for example, the financial disparity. You have some kids going to schools who are wealthy and they go to this school. There are kids who are maybe not as wealthy and they’re going to different schools, but it’s a different culture. Everything is different. That separation carries over when these people get into the workforce. This is common. You went to those separate schools. You want an equal playing field. When you’re in the workforce where you crossed paths, you’re forced to communicate and interact with each other, but the disparity from back then is causing some conflict and friction.
That’s part of the problem. I don’t know how to solve it at this point. I’m thinking about it. It’s the coming together that’s lacking and missing. If we can come together especially at a younger age and then sustain that connectedness throughout or at least for a very long period of time, there are things that happen in that integration. Barriers are broken down. There’s someone who’s not even able to come up because there’s no space for that because we’re together. Not only together, but then there’s a dependency upon each other in order to thrive and win. That’s necessary for our schools and without a doubt in the workforce.
Especially in a lot of the big companies, they have training programs when you get started. They have orientations, training programs, recruitment, etc. That’s a great place for it to start, looking at the young, nimble minds there and everybody learning about one another. More than ever in leadership, companies, boardrooms and C-Suites, we need diversity. We need different points of view because we’re in a global marketplace. We’ve been living through this global pandemic. The one thing we learned during it is we’re in a global marketplace. I could be on a Zoom or Teams call with somebody anywhere in the world doing business everywhere and anywhere. I’m talking to some old teammates and colleagues in Italy, Copenhagen, Nigeria and various places.
The conversation starts the same wherever this conversation is. It’s, “How are things over there? How is your family doing?” If it’s school–aged kids or senior parents, all the conversations are the same. The cultures are a little different, yet all the groundedness comes from it. This is what we’re learning. That goes back to values, “How are you? How is your family? How is your health? How are your kids doing? What is school looking like? You’re seeing your parents. Are they safe? How are you keeping them safe?” It doesn’t matter where you touch with any culture in the world. It’s the conversation at bay.
Business is global. How to continue to learn from the various parts of the world, we want to know what different people are doing in navigating this. “What are you doing in your families? What are you doing in schooling? What are you doing in business?“ “That’s a good idea. I’m so glad I asked you.” It doesn’t matter what any of us look like. If it’s Winnie–the–Pooh or Star Wars, it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same. It’s a great story. That’s where we have the ability to learn more than ever. I truly believe we’re in a massive evolution going on out there. We‘re adding in an important conversation and the ability to make a change in the diversity and inclusion space during an evolution. If not now, when?
You expanded the conversation and I appreciate you doing that. We’ve had some instances in America with racial injustice and all of those things, but it’s a larger conversation. That’s a piece in it that’s happening here on our home field. We need to address it in our backyard, but then there’s this global need to accept, learn from and include different parts of the world. I remember reading myself articles about what China is doing to deal with this pandemic as the seasons change. We began to go through another winter. “What are they doing over there? What have they done? How are the numbers? What type of procedures have they put in place to let people back into the workplace?” I was reading that.
I wanted to know what they were doing and then stacking that up against what we were doing. I wouldn’t say, “They’ve got those types of results. This is the expectation. If we’re doing the same thing, maybe this is what we should expect.” I wanted to know what other countries were doing and to see what types of results they were getting. It goes beyond how we’re handling the pandemic. It goes to business rules. It’s manufacturing, distribution, hiring, management and leadership. It’s all of those things. We want to win. This is a bold statement. We compete too much versus working together because we all want the same thing. I feel like we have this mindset, “We’ve got to compete with each other in order to get it.” I don’t think that’s the way.You can't correct what people don't know. Click To Tweet
I don’t think the competition is each other. I think the competition is by default. It’s the opposition and resistance that we face in life. To me, we’re on the same team. As a human race, how can we all succeed? There’s this idea, “No one has to be the best. One has to win and the other has to lose.” I don’t agree with that philosophy. As a whole entire world, all countries included, we can all win. In order for us to win, we have to work together. We are only as strong as our weakest link or the weakest country. What can we do to help them? What can we learn from them?
Even though they may not be at the top per se by someone’s judgment, they may still have value to offer. We wouldn’t take it from them. No, we can just see what it is. We can help them find out what their need is. Maybe we have a solution to their need and they have a solution to ours, but we’re not even open up to a conversation. Sometimes when you open up a conversation, we feel like, “They’re too low on the totem pole. We don’t talk to those people. They don’t make enough money. They don’t look the same. Their country is this or that.“
It’s a great point you’re making. All of a sudden, when you look at the global picture, when you talk business, politics or anything else like New Zealand. It’s like there, but it’s quiet. It goes by its being. It’s quiet in the scheme of things, yet during this pandemic, their prime minister or leader has gotten huge notoriety because of the way she’s handling things, the decisions their country is making and how they’re navigating it. All of a sudden, there’s this buzz of, “Did you see what the prime minister of New Zealand said?” In 2019, nobody was discussing the prime minister in New Zealand and what he or she would be saying. This is the ability to look at the large and the small, the popular and the unpopular, all the facets because we have the ability to bring in such not new knowledge.
Part of this evolution is taking what we’ve had. Look at technology. We went into this remote work or virtual work environment in a span of a week. The week of March 16th, 2020 is the week we all went remote. It might have been Monday, Friday, Wednesday or whatever it was. The funny thing is technology was ready for us. The technology was already there. We weren’t ready for it, but it was ready for us. What else is ready for us that we could be having this evolution and expanding all?
You opened up this another conversation and it’s a good one. There were many companies that thought, “One hundred percent telework, was it possible? You could not express the same level of productivity in that type of environment. We’re not going to allow you to do it.” What they’re finding is they’re saving money because the overhead is a lot lower now because you don’t have people in buildings. Those people are more productive than they were when they would come to work every day. Now, they’re running with it. Microsoft Teams around very quickly. Zoom, GoToMeeting and all that stuff are already there. It was there for years. I have been using Zoom personally for several years ago.
Me too. We’re both paying the initial rates by all these processing. People are paying these much more than us monthly. I’ve traveled for business for years. If I had the ability to see somebody versus to hear them, I love people. I want to see you. Professionally, you don’t want to see their facial expressions. You don’t want them to hide. I’m like, “You’re going negative. Let’s look at the other side of that coin.“ I want to see people. I love to look into people’s eyes. I like to have real conversations. The readers now are reading this blog, but Rodney and I are smiling at each other. We‘re engaging. That’s the joy of being human and having this ability.
To carry on, I still agree with you that there may be things out there that we’re not taking advantage of. Sometimes, seemingly, things have to happen in order to get us to take that step like the hotel work, Zoom, virtual meetings, virtual settings and all of that. All of this stuff was available before the pandemic. We’re going to evolve beyond this. One day, we’re going to look back at this. This is probably going to be the most trivial part of all of this at some point. It opens up your mind. If it hasn’t, it should. What you want to do is take a step back and open up your aperture to what’s possible in this environment. At a minimum, that’s what it has done for me.
As a speaker, for example, my focus was going out and getting on stages. I’m training to be on stages. I’m not training to do things virtually. Now that this has happened, I was like, “Why wasn’t I thinking about this earlier? Why wasn’t I offering virtual training or virtual coaching?” I was doing the virtual coaching, but not the virtual speaking per se. I do keynote and training from my home. I do coaching with my one-on-one clients. This is another avenue of my business that will never go away. I would always open that up. Even if I am on stage, people can listen in. If they’re not there physically, they can watch virtually. We’ll always have that from here on out. That’s not going away. What else is out there? What else is there that we may not be taking advantage of that could increase our business, communication and engagement with other people?
One of the things is we’re in an evolution. Hence, the marketplace is evolving. As marketplaces evolve, people’s needs are shifting, what they’re purchasing, what they’re not purchasing and why they’re needing certain things. Here’s a classic and this is what I’ll refer to as a crazy Ivy moment. I was doing my morning scroll through emails. Here was a beautiful department store that came into my email and they were highlighting a designer shoe slipper. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at Valentino’s, Chanel‘s or whatever. It doesn’t matter what level of a designer or the Louboutin‘s. It’s a designer. It’s high-end and they were advertising a slipper. Why?
It’s because people are at home.
I’m probably not going to buy an evening shoe to go out and go wherever, to an event. Also, I do a lot of speaking. I’m in a lot of stages. I probably will be doing most of my keynotes and trainings in a slipper. Here is somebody needing the marketplace. What I encourage people to do is to be identifying three questions that will gain insight for your business. Go out and ask your marketplace. Ask your existing customers and best customers what their biggest challenges are. If they could design anything in their wildest imagination that would be an asset to them, what would that look like?
They are very coachy and visionary questions, but it gets people thinking, you get the knowledge back and you know exactly how to meet your marketplace. Hence, you too can be buying designer slippers because there will be a marketplace. There will be people who are the buyers of that brand. Those are the brands that have nothing to buy and are living a much more at-home life that will purchase that. Ask your marketplace. Talk to your people.
When this all started, I ran a strategy meeting. One of my clients is their top–tier leadership. We used to meet in person every month for half a day. Now, that is all done virtually from everybody’s locations and we looked at strategy. In March 2020, they were like, “What do we do?” We put some strategies in place and then the CEO said, “Marketing is going to do this. This one is going to do this. What about me?” I said, “You’re going to start picking up the phone. You can reach out to every client you’ve touched this year. You’re going to ask them how they are, if they’re safe, if their family is safe, what their plans are and if they have any questions for you.“
She went, “There is no sale?“ I said, “There is no sale. This is people to people. We’re gaining information. Your people are knowing you’re there for them. You’re gaining insight into what’s going on in their world.” Our world is changing. We’ve both been talking about that. Pick up the phone every day, reach out to 1 to 2 people and see where their world is going next, what’s going on in their marketplace and how we could learn from others.
How can people connect with you if they wanted to work with you?You heal and you educate by conversation. Click To Tweet
Come and join me. Check out SlaterSuccess.com. On Slater Success, you could download a video. That’s the 7 Traits of Great Leaders. Also, we have a blog. We have our podcast, which is Her Success Story. Give us a listen. Most importantly, find something there that you can take action on. There are articles and information. You can have a phone call with me. You could book me to speak. There’s so much you can do. What I encourage you to do is find one thing that you can take action on. Keep it simple and take the action.
Thank you for offering that to us. I wanted to get into a statement that I’ve read about you that I find fascinating. It’s about your competitiveness. “I’m understanding you’re not very competitive with others, but you are extremely self-competitive.” Can you talk to us a little bit about that?
Absolutely. It’s interesting. I realized this when I was younger and I was a dancer. I was never competing to do anything better than anybody else. I was competing against myself. As a kid, in my teens, I remember coming home and asking my parents. I said, “Can I have a couple of one-on-one private lessons? I need to work on a triple pirouette.” They were like, “Triple pirouettes? I thought your class was on double pirouettes and you were doing this and that.“ I said, “Yes, I got the double. I’m getting okay on it. If I have that, then I have to be able to do the triple.” They were like, “Is anybody else doing it?” I was like, “That has nothing to do with this.” I would get worked up to them. I was like, “I don’t care.”
It was the same mindset of owning a printing company when women didn’t own printing businesses. Anything I did, I never cared what everybody else was doing. I cared about what I had the ability to do. I like to be the best at what I do. Years ago, I was in a group mastermind and they did a sales competition. “This day on Sunday, people are going to see you now and compete.“ I was like, “This is a stupid idea.” They were like, “How could you say that?“ I was like, “I don’t care how this one or that one is doing. I’m going to call my people because I’m going to call my people.“
It has nothing to do with anybody else. It has to do with who I am. I’m very staunch as you could read here. I truly think when we all strive to be our best and show up as our best self, we all have the ability and the ripple effect to create a massive change because we’re always striving to better ourselves, although we say, “When I’m done learning is the day I lie down and die.“ I always want to know more. I’m curious. My best competition is looking at myself in the mirror.
Thank you, Ivy, for stopping by and sharing your knowledge and experience. With that, I appreciate you.
Rodney, thank you for having me. It’s been a joy getting to know you.
Likewise, it’s been a great conversation. It’s been interesting. I‘m sure the audience will get a lot out of this conversation. There you have it, folks. It was another successful episode of the Game Changer Mentality show. This is another one you want to go back and read. There were a lot of good points made in this conversation. One of the takeaways for me is, first of all, competing with yourself. That’s huge. That’s the game–changer. When it comes to some of the other topics that we talked about, especially diversity and inclusion, we have to ask ourselves, “Are we being the best version of ourselves when it comes to leading those conversations?“
In order to implement diversity and inclusion at a mass level within our society, it’s going to take people like you who are willing to step up and be the best version of yourself as it relates to implementing those types of conversations, having those types of conversations and standing up when necessary. It takes a lot of courage. There’s going to be a lot of opposition that comes with that. We have to ask ourselves, “What can we do to facilitate those conversations to implement those types of changes?” What I love about now is the fact that the time is now for that. The soil is ready for us to plant the seeds of diversity and inclusion. It may be a while before we see the fruit from that work, but now is the time to play. Until next time, peace and love.
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About Ivy Slater
From generating team synergy and launching new sales initiatives, to holding mastermind retreats and corporate trainings on communication, finances, or strategic planning, Ivy is an expert at cultivating and facilitating relationships that are the hallmark of any successful business. Prior to founding Slater Success, Ivy owned and operated a successful 7-figure printing business, Slater Graphics, for over 20 years in New York City.
During these early days of business ownership, Ivy learned that it was her relationship-based growth strategies and niche customer targeting that positioned her to achieve financial success and work with some of the top names in the publishing industry, including W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, New York Magazine, Advertising Age, Town & Country and Men’s Health, to name a few.
Today, Ivy and her team of professional coaches and trainers are dedicated to helping women business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as leadership and organizational teams, leverage their relationships and achieve success on their own terms by creating the life they want to live alongside a business or career that supports that life. Apart from coaching and consulting, Ivy is the author of the international bestseller, “From the Barre to Boardroom: Choreographing Business Success Through Authentic Relationships” as well as “Conquering Your Fear of Money: A Woman’s Guide to Business Success,” an interactive resource offering actionable systems, tools, and strategies designed to mitigate the issues many businesswomen face.
She speaks all over the country at corporate conferences, seminars, and workshops on the topics of leadership, sustainable growth, and sales. She has hosted dozens of both live and recorded webinars, training and business challenge events for clients, as well as non-clients. You can also hear Ivy on her weekly podcast, Her Success Story, where she interviews gutsy businesswomen on their compelling journeys towards achieving success.
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