Courageous Conversations: How Leona Watson parked the perfectionism; decided what to ‘do, be and have’; and built a successful business

Every business owner, every leader and every professional needs to make tough decisions at some stage in their career. Business coach and inspirational speaker Leona Watson shares how that’s done by understanding your why, then working out what you need to do, be and have to get where you want to go.

What do you need to ‘do, be and have’ to take the next step in life – whether that’s in your career, your business, or in your personal life?

Speaker and business coach Leona Watson says those are the three areas you need to consider when it comes to making a major decision or change, but too often people focus on the to-do list and forget the rest.

As a successful entrepreneur who has made her fair share of tough decisions. Leona reflects the ‘be’ and ‘have’ are ‘where the gold is’, allowing you to remove emotion and take action.

And she should know.  In 2002, Leona founded events and team building company the Cheeky Food Events. She sold it a few months before before Covid hit.

In hindsight, that might seem like a lucky break, with the events industry hit hard by Covid lockdowns and social distancing.

But it was no easy decision to part with a company she had spent 17 years building from scratch.   

In this Courageous Conversation, Leona offers an insight into the tough decision making and mindset that allowed her to create a highly successful business, sell it when the time was right, and forge a new career as a business coach.

She discusses why business ownership is like any relationship, where there are moments when you couldn’t imagine being anywhere else and times where you ‘fall out of love’ with your business.

Deciding whether to stay or go then comes back to knowing your why, and working out what you need to do, be and have to get to where you want to go.

And in real estate, Leona says that’s particularly important in the present, where agents should be re-evaluating what they need to do, be and have to manage a market shift.

Leona also discusses the tough conversations business owners and leaders need to have with themselves, noting there are moments when you need to dial up and down elements of your personality to be the leader people want at the helm.

In a podcast that will resonate with business owners, leaders and real estate professionals at all stages of their career, Leona also discusses failure, the sweetness of success, and why agents need to build relationships with clients that customers will talk about with love.

“The Rupert Murdochs, the Bransons, the Trumps – all those people – they also get stuff that goes wrong too. Often humiliatingly, in public. They have husbands or wives who might leave them, daughters who put nude photos up on the internet, their best friend gets cancer. They go through all those same things. Their businesses go up and down. They hurt just as much, but they have the ability to get back up quicker.” – Leona Watson

Leona and Leanne also discuss:

  • How Leona built a highly successful business through networking, tenacity, and picking up the phone.
  • Why she knew the time was right to sell that business, how she came to the decision, and the lessons she learned along the way.
  • How Leona used the ‘what do I need to do, be and have?’ question to successfully negotiate that sale, and why that also applies to real estate.
  • Why, if you’re sacrificing kindness to yourself to be seen ‘doing, doing, doing’ to get a leadership role, then you need to reconsider, and how that involves a Courageous Conversation with yourself.
  • How to dial up and down the right personality traits at the right time, and why Jacinda Ahearn might just be a master in this space.
  • Why Leona disagrees with the current rhetoric around failure being the pathway to success and how it should be viewed through a different lens.
  • How to park the perfectionism, and why it’s important to learn to stop, enjoy a success, and then consider what could have been done better.
  • Leona’s personal advice for real estate agents when it comes to building great relationships that people remember, come back to, and speak about to their friends.

And much, much, more…

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Leanne Pilkington

Leanne Pilkington is Chief Executive Officer and Director of Laing+Simmons.


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