Helping Women Entrepreneurs Grow Their Businesses with the EMP

By EMP Staff

Our EMP staff recently sat down with EMP Practitioner, Cindy Gordon of Business Rescue Coaching in Phoenix, Arizona, to discuss how she is helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses with the EMP. Just last month, Cindy was honored as a member of the Phoenix Business Journal‘s Outstanding Women in Business class of 2020.

EMP:  Thanks for this opportunity, Cindy! As a fairly new Certified Practitioner, you’ve used the instrument quite a bit in the last year. Tell us about how you’re using the EMP to help female business owners.

Gordon:  Having worked primarily with women entrepreneurs, the one thing I’ve noticed is that their own limiting beliefs about themselves are sometimes the biggest hurdle they have to overcome. They’re often highly competent professionals who have a lot to offer, but they haven’t fully accessed their potential. There is a lot of talk about women struggling to get capital for their business or trying to balance their business and personal responsibilities, but from my experience, the biggest challenge is managing the internal stories they tell about themselves. The EMP has been incredibly helpful, not only in building their self-awareness but also connecting their strengths to their overall strategy in building their businesses.

EMP:  How so?

Gordon:  Well, one example would be my MasterMind Group. This is a group of about eight small business owners who range in size from solopreneurs to having 6-8 employees. We meet monthly as a group to discuss various business challenges and provide a safe community of trusted advisors. I had a focus session with them where everyone took the EMP, and we discussed the results as a group. It was really very eye-opening as they shared their perceptions with each other. One thing that I noticed is that most of them weren’t necessarily surprised with the areas of strengths and weaknesses, but they were fascinated by the connection of the scales to the entrepreneurial mindset. Since the EMP gave them a different way of looking at themselves as actual entrepreneurs and as forward-thinking business builders, they were able to be more strategic in how they used their strengths and why they were struggling in certain areas of their business.

EMP:  Can you give us some examples of the insights they gained?

Gordon:  One woman scored extremely high on Need to Achieve. She is a relatively new business owner who was working very hard to get traction in her industry. She was hiring people quickly and “doing” a lot to where she hadn’t really stopped to create a strategic growth plan. After analyzing her results, she realized the steps she was taking weren’t necessarily the best steps and were mostly driven by her Need to Achieve. She realized that she was exhausted because of her non-stop attitude, and all of her hard work wasn’t providing the ROI she anticipated. The EMP results helped her to put things into perspective. She made a lot of positive changes based on the feedback, including firing her husband! That, of course, wasn’t the easiest decision, but it was the right business decision. In addition to the self-awareness she gained, the group members were able to help her create a strategic plan to connect to her target market and grow her business. Her days aren’t as frazzled now, she takes the weekends for personal time and she’s growing her business at a faster pace than ever before.

One of my participants commented, “The EMP helped to open my eyes to why I was struggling in my business. I was trying to be like my competitors, and I thought if it was working for them, it would work for me as well. The assessment helped me see that I was doing this because I had low self-confidence, and I struggle with idea generation. Surrounding myself with the right people to compensate for my weaker areas will make a huge difference. I’m grateful for this invaluable self-awareness.”

Another example of the importance of context in reviewing results is a client I had who was a credit analyst at a bank who scored relatively low in Risk Acceptance. Given the nature of his role and the context of his job, that particular score was an asset. He said, “If I didn’t score lower on that scale, I probably wouldn’t be doing my job well!” I also worked with a woman who was very proud of scoring a 5 on Self-Confidence. As we talked through how this high score has come into play in the past, she recalled one incident where her confidence in “knowing she was absolutely right” about a certain decision actually ended up being wrong and costing the company a lot of money. It helped her see that while it’s good to be confident, it can easily be overplayed and turn into stubbornness!

EMP:  How does the EMP Development Guide come into play in your work?

Gordon:  The Development Guide is a great additional resource for my clients if they choose to use it. Since I also coach the clients who take the EMP, the Guide is a duplication of some of the tools I offer. That’s why I got certified in the tool, but it offered a way to enhance my services by giving my clients a way to measure their abilities and consciously put them into action in the goal achievement process. What I love about the Development Guide is the additional reading if offers to help people build their strengths in certain areas.

EMP:  Many of our readers are curious about how independent consultants generate clients. You’ve done some creative things on LinkedIn. Any marketing suggestions for our Practitioners who are external coaches or consultants?

Gordon:  So much of my “marketing” is really about building relationships and networking with other consultants. I’m always looking for ways I can support the efforts of others, and offering the EMP as a resource to other business consultants is just one way. I try to post articles of interest on LinkedIn. For instance, at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I did a series called “14 Days of Business Isolation: Access Your Entrepreneurial Mindset” where each post corresponded to one of the 14 EMP scales and also gave a leadership directive for how to use that particular scale during the shutdown. I’ve taken a class on LinkedIn called Mastering LinkedIn Deep Dive Training which was excellent for learning tips on how to build your brand and become a thought leader. I also have presented on the EMP at events aimed at HR specialists. I believe this is an important tool, especially right now when innovation is so important to the success of a company.

EMP:  Thanks, Cindy, for your time today. We really appreciate how you’re using the EMP to help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® (EMP) [emindsetprofile.com] is an excellent way to get an in-depth view of the entrepreneurial mindset and see how your personality traits and skill sets compare to those of corporate managers and entrepreneurs. Available online, the EMP provides scores on 14 different scales including Risk Acceptance, Passion, Need to Achieve, Future Focus, Idea Generation and Persistence among others. The EMP Feedback Report comes with a Debrief Video and a comprehensive Development Guide for continuous improvement.

Want to learn more about EMP Certification and how you can use it in your organization? Email us at emindsetprofile@eckerd.edu or visit the Certification page of the EMP website to see how you can start using the EMP with your clients and students.