Care For Your Relationships

Care For Your Relationships

Bruno Cignacco

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey

Podcast for Entrepreneurs

11/3/2020

Care For Your Relationships

Care for your relationships. This is the most important thing. you can not achieve profit without the help of others. We can not achieve profit without the help of employees. They care for our company and pursue our mission.


The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

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for your relationships so this is the most important thing so you cannot achieve profit without the help of others we cannot achieve profit without the help of employees that are satisfied and they care for our company and they pursue our mission [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that has built several businesses into seven and eight figure companies as well as the ceo and founder of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and today we have another great guest on the episode bruno and i'm probably going to kill your slaughter your last name signatio that's significant signaco all right um so and we'll just stick with bruto because i can at least put out bruno all right but bruno was a consultant for a period of time for different companies he'll get into did some training with those companies and work kind of what would be the traditional business model over a spirit of about 20 years or so and then kind of decided he wanted to switch over to be more of a compassionate model to where he was transitioning to modeling and consulting and looking at that compassionate model and how to implement that and so he'll dive into a bit more of how his journey was from the traditional to the less traditional and how we've made that as a focus for them so with that welcome on to the podcast bruno thank you for your invite i feel very honored and i want to talk about my journey first up i want to introduce myself i i'm a consultant for more than 20 years as you said i have been advising companies on international marketing activities more specifically on import and export activities and also international marketing strategies for example how to enter new countries how to develop for example intercultural strategies how to adapt the product to different cultural and economic environments and also international market research also international negotiation with different buyers and importers abroad but also i was accompanying companies for example to trade shows and fairs worldwide and this was very profitable very enjoyable and i did most of my life this is was the traditional part of my business journey i was about 40 now before because you've lost over 20 years of a whole bunch of uh of your journey so let's dive into that just a bit more so you did consulting for 20 years with other companies during your consulting and how to do the international and sales and you know major for companies enter into different company countries um how did that journey start for you meaning did you yeah you graduated from high school and you simply wanted to you know go into that or okay good good good well i'm an accountant i have a degree in accounting and also a master's degree in international trade so when i did my master's degree i thought that this was a very good field with potential to advise companies i started with few small medium and size companies very small companies i remember one of these companies didn't even have a website and this company wanted to export charcoal to europe from latin america to europe and i have to advise this company on everything since the development of the website until for example how to modify the packaging according to this was exported to greece to to greek regulations and so this was very interesting because we observed that companies with no knowledge about export activities infrared productivity can be developing an international journey from scratch i felt very fulfilled with this and also then i introduce other companies to my consultancy organization much more medium-sized companies that implies a bigger scale and companies that have other challenges for example because they have bigger scale they have some problems with quality and we also advise this company some for example international certification like iso 9000 and 14 000 at that moment quality certification and quality certificates with base also in on documentation to be used on international marketing activities this was very professional too and very enjoyable because we have a team of people that were helping us and also when in in that moment also i was training companies on import and export activities i was doing in-house training for example i remember an experience of a company that was already an exposure and they wanted to know more how to introduce their goods in the african market we developed an in-house training for these companies and was three-day training and these companies also all the people that were working for the company like the export director and also the administrative department people were attending this training this was very interesting and also i'm also specialized in marketing so i delivered at that moment a lot of training on sales techniques say technique they traditionally say techniques maybe dive in so you know jumping back just a little bit you did you did accounting so how did you get into consulting meaning did you yeah this was transition so i did five years accounting and with some family members and then the transition was in parallel so i started with an accounting advisory but then in parallel i because i studied the master degree i started advising a couple of company let me let me dive in just a little bit just uh tease that out a little bit so you have you did accounting for five years and you said okay i'm gonna do that what made you switch over to doing more of the consulting role meaning did you say hey okay okay because i thought that consultancy has much more potential from the economic perspective because accounting you are paid a fixed fee so for your advisory he said consultancy in my case in the case of international trade i was paid on based on results but this was if the results were bigger my fees were bigger so this was the commission result and this was very profitable it's not the same if you export one container that you export 10 containers so this will have much more potential for growth and this was very interesting but at the same time yeah so you were doing accounting and said hey i have this opportunity one in the sense that i can do accounting it's a it's a fixed fee i only can have you know a cap on really how much i can make or grow to but maybe consulting it's going to be more profitable i can have a bigger a better piece of the pie and a bigger career so you moved into consulting for a period of time and so then you do consulting and he did that training and training he did consulting and training and he did that for a period of i think you said it was nearly nearly 20 years nearly 20 years and and so at the same time also i was training a company for example in-house and also was teaching at university i have been teaching at university for nearly 30 years but very part-time and so and well over the last 10 years i have been researching on companies that were traditionally successful and what i observed is and also from my experience that companies that are traditionally successful tend to be much more human oriented not all of them but many companies so i wrote few business books before some books based on international marketing from the traditional perspective international marketing with the techniques that are used by most sellers and these were successful books because they were translated into different languages but then 10 years ago i observed that i felt that all these techniques this selling techniques this marketing strategy the traditional ones were a bit outdated where the old generation of techniques and started exploring and researching on companies that are successful but at the same time have a social orientation this brought the idea of developing a full-scale research on companies that are human oriented what do i mean by human human oriented i imply that companies that can be profitable successful economically speaking but also they can focus on the triple bots online this means caring for profit caring for people and caring for the planet so and and start transitioning from companies that were traditional to companies that are much more conscious what we call conscious or responsible business am i clear yeah i think that makes sense but one question i have so you were doing what would be like in traditional consulting for 20 years doing that for a long period of time and you know for anybody or anybody's standards and what was the reason or that you you know because then you say i moved over to compassionate i moved over to wanting to do it a bit different what was the motivation or what you know yes this is a this is a very good question the reason there is not only one reason but one reason that they remember perfectly is an article that i read in one business magazine that was called the human moments at work and in this article they highlighted the author highlighted the importance of human connection i felt surprised because i haven't read anything like this before this was published in harvard business review and i haven't read anything like this the article is titled human moments of work and the author observed is also a consultant that in consultancy and in business many companies focus only on profits on the economic result what we call key performance indicators but they dismiss their relationships and and i thought about this idea this idea is a bit intuitive but in some cases counter-intuitive because business is about relationship and i saw over 20 years many companies that were focused only on economic results without caring for the relationship so this brought the idea of taking up a full-scale research on what was all going on with companies that are much more consciously consciously focused on business and can be profitable but also socially oriented and i saw some companies in the past that were socially responsible but they were taking this as a separate set of activities they were not their mission wasn't socially responsible were only few activities for example donating some money to a specific charities let me dive in just real quick just because part of the thing i'm maybe trying to dive into is you know so you read the magazine you kind of have this realization was it hey the next day that i i i'm going to change my business model and i'm going to do this was it an evolution or how did you kind of decide to make that transition as far as i'm doing it the traditional way versus now i'm going to do it a different way and you know because it's an adjustment in a business model right you're doing it a different way you're going to approach it so how did you make that transition or say the transition the transition was very gravel very progressive it was an intense tenuous transition like jumping from traditional business to human oriented business but was took many years and also over time i was still taking the traditional clients the traditional companies that were using traditional marketing techniques but i was researching on this in parallel a solid transition transition and generally not instantaneous but take time and but at the same time i was exploring companies that were much more conscious and a conscious responsible business and i was observing that companies can be because i try to convince myself before taking up this type of company that company can be both human oriented i can be profitable this i can i can take into account that this was a transition of three years of deciding what business model to use of the old model that was only focused on profits or the new model that can be focused both on profits and the human relationships and so but this also was part of my research because it wasn't for my research process that this was coronated by my new book the art of compassionate business was impossible for me to understand the the possibility the potential that companies have to develop both at the same time being profitable and human oriented and and also was my transition was part of self-reflection this mean that i was understanding that business is about relationship and the main brick of any business activity is relationship if we don't care for this relationship all the other parameters cannot be achieved successfully because you need people to support you another important a business author and guru management guru stephen covey also oriented me through through this transition because steven covey as many of the listeners will know he was one of the first ones to observe the interdependence in business he observed that no company can try on their own because they need the support from other suppliers customer community members and employees this many thing also that many companies are disconnected from this interdependent by focusing only on profits and you observe many companies in the past i give you an example when i was in the previous period that the companies were trying to get the price as competitive as possible but then they were in some cases exploiting employees so there were winning on one side this means getting competitive international market but they were paying pennies to employees and then the employees were leaving the company because they were not certified economically maybe diving in if i can just a little bit um so now we make this realization and make this transition you start to take it in a different direction so now bringing us forward to today having done this training i know that you mentioned at some point you've done books you've done speaking tours you've done uh you've been a lecturer for undergraduates and then other things so how did you you know you make the you want to do it as a the kind of the compassionate business model and while also being profitable how have you built a business around that or how he actually made this into a profitable living as opposed to just a lofty idea type of thing yes yes this is i'm still advising companies on international marketing but i'm very selective with companies that i choose now to go abroad so and also and continue with international marketing activities if i try to provide this company with a training on a compassionate business on how to build a relationship with international suppliers and buyers people but also they said yes at the same time and training companies that are not keen on traditional business i try to convert them into what we call compassionate business companies that are very traditional and can be resistant to the new idea these companies are in some cases very engaged and they are very interested in knowing more they want to see results from results people do people come to you and say hey we want to hire you give let us know generally no consultancy well this is for listeners that might not know consultation generally go by a recommendation so word of mouth and also we don't publicize in the newspaper i'm offering my consultancy services probably people know this but this recommendation for example is an institution i train many many companies that are in the higher education sector and this company contacted me for example through linking or for example recommendation of other companies that i trained so it's word of mouth when you do the good good job the companies try to recommend you and this is like a positive word of mouth the opposite happens when you don't do a good job in my case i try to do the the job as responsibly as possible and also the result and the review from companies are good and companies not only they want to know about this new business model is not new but is not well known but companies want extensive training they don't want only a talk in some cases that to introduce the topic but they want to know how this is back with research what are the specific example of companies that have been successful and and and so on so i feel that is very fulfilling because it's kind to my heart a compassionate entrepreneur and i feel that companies many companies sooner or later will take up with this with this trend so the short answer of that uh the short answer is you do it by word of mouth meaning that you have you've been doing this for a long period of time people refer it over to you and they'll say hey we'd like to do this we'd like we need you we'd like to hire you as a consultant we heard about you from another individual it's really been an organic growth as opposed to doing a lot of marketing or otherwise outreach yes and another way that to promote myself is through books so because some of the ceos of company read my books they they are very keen to contact me because they like the ideas that are exposing the book so they can contact me because for example in my last book my my website is there so the idea that is easy for them to contact me so i feel that is interesting to i always tell my my clients that the promotion when possible especially in the case of professional services should be indirect shouldn't be direct should be like because if not could be a perceived as pressurized you know could be perceived as hard selling so compassionate business implies soft selling soft selling means being a being very humble with the with the promise being what we call under promise and then over the liver under promise and over deliver i like this come from a very important management guru that is tom peters anton peter said never boast about your service it never works about your product customer will know but then try to surprise surprise customers with some good product high quality product exceeding their expectation and because the trains that they deliver exceed the expectation of my clients they try to recommend to other companies okay no no and i appreciate that that's an interesting journey so now as as we start to wrap up towards the end of the the podcast so i always ask two questions at the end of the podcast and so maybe we'll jump to those now so the first question i always ask is so what was the worst business decision you ever made the worst business decision that i have ever made i don't regret any but i will say that i wish that i would have known these principles when i was younger and not when i'm much more mature there were no mistakes but i would say probably i wouldn't have taken in the past and a client that were a very little experience very very very very little experience but i have to help them and this took a lot of effort but i feel a fulfill of having helped them but probably i would have been much more selective at the beginning when i started and to take companies that have at least minimal minimal experience in international trade but i don't regret any of my decisions this is what i have to say but you in your the whole expanse of 30 years or 20 30 years of working you've never made one bad decision of all without all the business probably probably because i wasn't aware of this new business model of conscious business i could don't consider this as a mistake but probably was a not so evolved mindset when i was advising companies on traditional business i probably i think that i learned over time to improve my mindset to widen my view and also become more aware that is not only about profit but could be about other aspects like caring for relationships developing mutually profitable relationship so i won't call a mistake i don't like the word mistake i call feedback probably i got this feedback that was a very important feedback that made me improve over time so i always tell also my client that mistakes are always feedback if the mistakes help you improve well in my case this traditional vision that i use for a long time help me improve my vision and obviously if this can be called mistake i call feedback that made me evolve over time okay no fair enough so now we'll jump to the second question which is so talking to somebody that's getting into startups or small businesses what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them care for your relationship so this is the most important thing so you cannot achieve profit without the help of others we cannot achieve profit without the help of employees that are satisfied and they care for our company and they pursue our mission but also here yes this is a great care for others i i think that's a great point and i think that fits very well with your message so as we wrap up people want to get to know you better they want to reach out to you they want to learn about your books hires a consultant or anything or all the above what's the best way to connect with you yes my website is www.humanoriententerprise.com and my book is titled the art of compassionate business that you can find offline online worldwide awesome we'll certainly uh either go to human oriented enterprise.com and or the art of compassionate business i think those are two great ways to find out more and learn more about compassion and business well bruno it's been fun to have you on never have enough time always things are always more to talk about than ever have time to talk about it but thank you for coming on um now for those of you that are listeners um if you have your journey to tell and you'd love to be a guest on the podcast feel free to to apply to be a guest by going to inventivejourneyguest.com and if you're a listener make sure to click subscribe so you get a notification of all the new episodes and lastly if you ever need any help with patents or trademarks feel free to reach out to us at miller iplaw thank you again bruno it's been fun it's been a pleasure thank you thank you you English (auto-generated) All Related From Miller IP Law Recently uploaded

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