Remember to see how far you’ve come

A great reminder to look back at the journey

Today the finalists for the Manchester Evening News Business Awards were announced. I am so proud to be part of one of three companies shortlisted for the ‘One To Watch’ award, sponsored by Bolton School.

As a business owner, I find it really easy to just keep going. Always looking for the next client, the next contract or the next business venture. But sometimes I need to remember to look at the journey I and the team at Kan Do Ventures have made. And more importantly, to remind myself why we started the business.

Putting in an application for the MEN Business of the Year Awards was a spontaneous decision with lots of encouragement from the team and our network. With 2019 being Kan Do Ventures’ 5th birthday, it felt right to express what is so special about our business and celebrate our first five years. Reflecting on what we are trying to achieve, and why we are one to watch was a really positive experience, and one to repeat.

So why do I think we deserve to win?

Well I (and the team) think we are the happiest company in Manchester!

I love that the first item at our team meeting is health and well-being, not to tick a box, but because prioritising it makes us all happier. We all have personal challenges as part of our professional objectives, so we can support each other. My personal challenge for 2019 is to run two half-marathons (one done, one to go). And that was inspired by Amy who is always challenging herself to run further and faster, and sometimes comes to work with mud on her legs from cross-country! And Chun-Kit who has entered the amateur British Powerlifting Union qualifiers so he can prove he’s a strong old man – and why not? We love to promote and encourage all sorts of personal achievement.

The Kan Do Ventures influence

Perhaps the best example of our focus on health and wellbeing is Billy. He had 2 heart attacks aged 29, and after an initial weight loss, going back into the corporate world of 12-hour days in front of a computer wasn’t conducive to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He soon declined back into old, bad habits. Two years ago, when he joined Kan Do Ventures, Billy found taking a lunch break (or any break at all!) was really uncomfortable. But I and the team persevered, enforcing our company policy of a daily break out in the fresh air (more likely the Manchester rain!) to re-energise and go back to face the afternoon refreshed.

Fast forward to today, and when I phoned him, he was out for a lunchtime walk with his dog Rubble, in between client appointments. He’s also 5 stone 8lbs lighter and on a mission to maintain a lifestyle that means he will be around for his wife and children. And that mindset shift is down to the Kan Do Ventures health and wellbeing approach.

We all have a voice

I love that everyone in the team is empowered to contribute to running the company, as well as represent the business to clients. We are all different and can bring diverse perspectives which benefits our clients. And the differences can be challenging, but ultimately, we have a common goal, and so we actively encourage everyone to make their voices heard. This means that we end up with the best outcome for the business and our clients.

I really believe our positive environment and the way we celebrate and promote everyone’s individual merits, has led to the emergence of a wonderfully diverse team. We take the best aspects of our years of experience, our cultural diversity and our brilliant gender balance and bring these to clients to help them run better businesses.  

All summed up brilliantly by Carla from Carla Gilder Fitness. “Starting to work with you is literally the best thing my business has done. I have no doubt you could help so many businesses go to the next level and beyond!”

And it’s knowing that we are really making a difference that keeps us going. So watch this space…