What success could you achieve if you were fully in your flow?
Ten years ago, Rustica Lamb (on the right in the photo), New Zealand’s e-learning expert, was attempting to achieve success by investing in properties, but she was unhappy and struggling financially. However, everything changed when she decided to tap into her real passions: connecting with people and e-learning.
Here is how she did it:
FIND YOUR FLOW
In 2005, Rustica was in the property investment industry as she thought it was the best way for her to create wealth. Unfortunately, she was completely out of her flow, struggling to make profit, and constantly finding herself in debt. After meeting Roger James Hamilton, a social entrepreneur and futurist, she better understood her situation.
“My husband and I were investing in properties, and when we met Roger James Hamilton, we realised through our conversations that our cash flow was $8,000 per month in the red. We were trading properties to top up our negative cash flow, but when the market collapsed in 2008, there was no trading to be had, and we were stuck with this massive debt every month.”
Rustica turned to Roger for advice.
“You have to get out of property investment fast,” he told her. “It’s not your flow. You are a people’s person, and you’re doing nothing at all related to people. Yes, there are others investing in properties and still making money, but you can’t. You are the wrong person doing it the wrong way.”
Roger’s words resonated with Rustica. She sold a number of properties she owned, and she decided to pursue her passion for e-learning, predicting it was going to become a large and profitable industry. A curriculum designer by profession, Rustica contracted her services to several companies to write e-learning and training materials.
“Many companies and recruiters kept coming to me, asking me to work with them, but I was already booked and unavailable. So, I’d recommend other people in my network to these companies, they’d make money and I’d get nothing. I thought, ‘What could be the best way to monetise my network?’ Recruitment was the only answer I came up with.”
Rustica approached an IT recruiter, as she saw an opportunity to leverage their network for joint benefit . However, she didn’t want to be a recruiter. Roger remembered the conversation well.
“I told Rustica, ‘Why don’t you tell them that you want to work with them on a basis that allows you to follow your passion of e-learning?’ She wanted to establish herself in the e-learning market, and she could still do it by partnering with the recruitment company; she just had to focus on the e-learning industry.”
The recruitment company agreed, and Rustica established Bloom recruitment as a 50% partnership, which allowed her to immediately start connecting with people in the industry.
BECOME AN AUTHORITY
Rustica was happy with her progress, but she felt she wanted to be known in the e-learning industry not only as a recruiter but also as an authority figure. By that time, Roger had created Crystal Circle, a high-level mentoring group for entrepreneurs. Rustica was one of the first members to join. During a mentoring session, Roger advised her to create something that could be of value to the whole industry and to which people couldn’t say no.
At the time, there was no e-learning conference in New Zealand, but Rustica didn’t feel she had earned the right to start and run it.
“You don’t need the right to do it,” Roger said. “You can just do it on the basis that you’re discovering what would be of value to people and bring that value to them. Go and ask what e-learning experts they would like to see coming to New Zealand.”
Rustica got on with the job and in 2013 founded eLearnz, New Zealand's first national e-learning conference.
“I looked for the kind of international expert speakers that would really ‘wow’ the New Zealand e-learning community. Once I’d secured the top experts, I approached the biggest e-learning company in the country to sponsor us. Since I was leveraging off the brands of all these famous experts, they agreed immediately. The company paid us $10,000 to be a platinum sponsor. I made $600 profit on the first conference, $42,000 on the second, and the profits just kept doubling. I’m still connecting with amazing speakers from overseas and bringing them to New Zealand. This has helped to build my reputation, profile, and business. I realised that this strategy of leveraging other people’s brands to gain credibility and trust really works, and I still use it to this day.”
On the back of the eLearnz conference, Rustica continued to grow her company, and started to offer workshops and training alongside recruitment. Having become the New Zealand’s go-to person for e-learning, Rustica was able to grow the company nationally and expand her services further by providing e-learning management systems. Moreover, she was able to easily secure partnerships with renowned e-learning companies such as Docebo.
CREATE STRONG PARTNERSHIPS
Following her success in the e-learning industry, Rustica dreamt of bringing Bali’s famous Green School and its unique education style to New Zealand. She shared her vision with Angie Stead, another Crystal Circle member passionate about education and the owner of four child care centres and inhome childcare centres in New Zealand.
“We were having a farewell dinner after the Wealth Dynamics Master in Bali in 2015. I told Angie about my Green School dream, and she became really excited about it too. So, we decided to partner up. A volcano erupted the following day and we became stranded on the island. Instead of floating around in the pool, we called the people who ran the Green School and had designed its curriculum; we went to meet them. We were also going to search for property as soon as we returned to New Zealand.”
Angie and Rustica were a perfect team. Angie was naturally more in charge of developing ideas and overseeing the broader picture whilst Rustica was making those ideas happen and connecting with people. However, with both women running multiple business individually, the momentum to open Green School in New Zealand waned over the following year. Rustica easily recalled when Roger stepped in with his vision:
“Roger came up with Genius Schools, a combination of Green School thinking and e-learning. Again, we realised we could jump into a bigger flow, make a bigger difference, and be part of a bigger team.”
Genius Schools are part of GeniusU, which is the world's top entrepreneur education platform and the founder of Entrepreneur Movement. As part of this venture, Rustica and Angie will be developing micro-degrees and trainings that will impact thousands of young people as well as other educators.
Rustica and Angie linked their similar passions as well as purposes and joined Roger. Together, they are now set to revolutionise the way we learn.
Imagine flow as a river. When many rivers converge, they form an ocean. This is another way to understand the success and power of Angie, Rustica and Roger’s collaboration.
Have you discovered your flow? Who around you shares a similar mission and mutual passion? How could you work together to create more flow for each other?
Do you have a mentor guiding you to achieve your fullest potential as an entrepreneur?
How could you improve your current business model by moving certain services online?
With whom could you partner to take your business to the next level?
“The greatest wealth is health.” – Virgil
You can get the eBook "Fast Forward Entrepreneurs" featuring Rustica Lamb and 10 inspiring entrepreneur stories here: http://bit.ly/2rYhbYm