Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only organization for successful leading business and career coaches. In this spotlight series, we profile our incredible members and share their advice with you. This week: Heather Pinay.

Heather Pinay has been working in the marketing industry since 2010, first as a designer and content strategist. Now, a savvy business owner and consultant, she helps empower teams to make a difference while saving money. Focused on inspiring change, Heather founded Authentically in 2016 to help business owners, not-for-profit organizations, and companies with fiscally responsible budgets make an impact like a private sector company. Heather is passionate about seeing entrepreneurs succeed, and enjoys the fierceness of their individuality. Follow her on Twitter @heatherpinay.

What inspired you to become a business consultant?

I became a business consultant because of my drive to make an impact in business. I’m motivated by making waves and helping others. I become laser-focused on a principle until I learn it; once it becomes second nature to me, I teach others to do the same.

I owned my first business at age 15. I put myself through university — studying fine art and education — working and with earnings from another business I owned. My formal training is in arts education, but my pull was to the business stage. I worked independently for five years before joining a marketing agency as the content strategist. Near the end of my time there, my passion for small business owners and startups led me to develop programs to help them. This was not a fit for the agency model, and my vision to empower “the underdog” grew. We parted ways and I founded Authentically: Business & Life Solutions.

Authentically is a marketing collective and consultancy with a focus on empowering clients to do their best in their marketing, positioning and storytelling to make an impact in their markets. In addition to providing services, we also provide a number of workshops and consulting to achieve measurable results.

What one piece of advice do you find yourself relying on most? Why?

Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, seared into my mind so deeply it became a foundational part of Authentically’s DNA. Our “why” is “creating impact, connecting people, and inspiring change.” Authentically is where business and life converge. The year 2016 is a year of yearning for real connections; by being ourselves, and focusing on our “why,” we have attracted a far larger local audience than I ever could have imagined. When we start with “why,” marketing becomes conversational and allows authentic connection with our prospects. This model helps us to determine which clients to work with, how to position the company for growth, and which marketing channels to focus on. We have crafted our own marketing philosophy from out of this idea.

We have crafted our own marketing philosophy from out of this idea. We start with “why,” then move to “who.” Audiences are a primary focus in making connection. Only when this is defined, we move into “what”: the deliverables, the marketing channels to focus on, the products to develop. This simple approach has positioned us for success, and we have in return seen greater success for our clients. Start With Why has become integral to the foundation of Authentically.

What is the biggest hurdle your clients face? What advice would you give others struggling with this issue?

My clients have the common thread of being on the precipice of a major change — and the major hurdle is seeing clearly with the impending risk that ensues. Whether that is leaving a secure corporate job to establish a business they’ve been planning, or if they have decided to take their business a step further and make a deeper impact, they are all putting security on the line to try something new.

In this case, it is important to clearly define “why” they want to go into business and “who” they want to go into business for. In addition, it is important to take educated risks and surround yourself with trusted advisors. It will give you peace of mind and fuel your tank when you are working long hours to pioneer your business.

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LOCATION

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Boston, MA 02110

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