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Elena Volnova was always an entrepreneur with a love of learning—but she needed to align her purpose with her work. Learn how a Why Discovery with Cesar Quintero helped her chart a new way forward
Elena Volnova had taken many impressive strides before hitting the “Why wall.” The co-founder and CEO of PetStore.Direct—a manufacturing and distribution company for the pet grooming industry—she also achieved three Master’s degrees (one in positive psychology).
Elena had always been a passionate student and solution seeker. “Love of learning is one of my top strengths,” she explains, “and I believe in the power of facilitating; helping people arrive at different conclusions.” But like every entrepreneur, she had numerous ups and downs on her journey—and uncovering her personal Why and applying it to what she did for a living was one of her toughest tasks.I’m not someone who knew from an early age exactly what the Why was in life. I struggled in achieving 100 percent clarity. I was always fascinated with the concept and believed in it for sure, but there was frustration in being unable to uncover it for myself.”
Her search would eventually succeed when Cesar Quintero and a Why Discovery helped Elena realize what motivated her, revitalize her business, and begin a new career as an EOS Implementer™.
Starting the search for change
“An entrepreneurial journey is a very lonely one,” Elena says. “It’s a lot of work and waiting for things to turn around.” The hard lessons of trial and error were costing her in time and confidence. And despite having a background in psychology, being familiar with Simon Sinek’s concepts, and having read his best-selling Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, she was having trouble realizing her purpose.
“I bought the book and went through it step by step, hoping that finally I’d get help in discovering my Why,” recalls Elena. “At the end, I didn’t feel like I had any more clarity than before, which frustrated me.”
Elena began to look for help.
“I always say that if it were easy, we all would be doing it on our own, right?”
Working with Cesar Quintero and Advantages
Elena had heard about the coaching workshops offered by Cesar and decided she had nothing to lose. “I knew him through the Entrepreneurs Organization but wasn’t as familiar with his work as an EOS Implementer and Why Discovery Activator.” She soon found herself signing up for the Why Discovery process.
Elena’s group worked with Cesar and Fran Biderman-Gross, a NY based strategista, the CEO of Advantages Marketing Agency, and a previous colleague of Sinek. “We had the best of two worlds,” Elena says. “We had Cesar and we had her.” The team helped assess which of Elena’s strengths were most constant and true to who she was before distilling the process into a single, self-defining sentence.
Elena remembers: “At the end, my sentence was, ‘My Why is to inspire others to learn and grow so that they have more opportunities.’ My reaction was, ‘Wow. This is me.’ It was such a huge relief.”
“Why?” was a powerful enough question to answer in its own right. But Cesar had another.
How Elena’s Why and EOS combined for a new direction
Cesar recognized the spark of a love of learning and helping others in Elena and asked her if she had ever thought of becoming an EOS Implementer. “He made me consider something: if I wasn’t running my business, what else would I be doing?”
And he did it despite the fact that bringing a new Implementer into the profession could naturally create a competitor. “The last thing he needed to do is to say ‘Hey, let’s have more EOS Implementers around me’—except that of course, he is successful and secure enough that he saw potential in me and said, ‘I think you should do what I’m doing.’ It takes a special person and a secure person to lift others up without feeling like he’s going to give anything away in a negative way.”
This was the first step in a productive transition. Elena soon became an EOS Implementer; a role made for someone with her passion for learning. “When you’re doing something that you’re meant to, it feels amazing.”
Elena also channeled both her Why and her skills as an EOS implementer toward healing a disconnect in her business. “I’m in the pet industry. I work with pet groomers, but I’m not a groomer. I’m an entrepreneur; a businessperson.”
Elena coupled her Why with her natural love of learning and introduced more educational elements into her business. She started organizing monthly seminars that provide useful information to customers—fulfilling her love of inspiring others to learn—and applied new diligence to becoming a better leader who can provide opportunities and lead by example. And her business? “We’re experiencing tremendous growth and I’m scaling it up rapidly,” she says.
Elena’s effect on her clients’ lives
One of the major benefits of EOS and the process of working with an Implementer is uncovering inefficiencies that an owner wouldn’t otherwise find. Elena began working with Joel Gandara, CEO of Morro Capital, LLC to implement the system.
“As an entrepreneur, we sometime fail to realize that we could use a little bit of help. We think we can do everything on our own,” says Joel. “For example, I’m not a golfer. … I’d probably need to hire a golf pro who can see everything from the outside. And that’s what Elena has provided us. It’s an outside perspective. First of all, asking us the right questions and directing us in a way that goes with our business and our own style.”
While outlining EOS and looking at the business’s processes, Elena’s client soon discovered a significant inventory issue and devised a solution to solve the problem. The impact? Over the next 12-18 months, Joel says that this change “will result in an increase of a million dollars, top-line.”
“If Elena wouldn’t have challenged us and put us through a mild ringer, we wouldn’t have found that,” explains Joel.
Call it “Paying it Forward,” “the Butterfly Effect,” “Synchronicity,” or whatever you’d like—but the ripples spreading outward from a successful Why Discovery are powerful. Cesar and Fran helped Elena uncovered her Why. Elena applied her purpose to a new career as an EOS Implementer. And through this focus, she educated other entrepreneurs and helped vastly improve their business to live their life by design … which happens to line up with Cesar’s Why.
When powerful purpose enters into the business equation, amazing things happen.
What is your Why?
Elena’s sense of purpose resulted in more engagement and success in her current business and launched a new, rewarding career. As an EOS implementer, she enjoys working with a system that can apply to both big corporations and businesses with only a few employees, and she especially loves helping small business owners. “I’m in my element. Just seeing how I can help is very rewarding.”
Ask Elena, and she’ll tell you that taking that first Why Discovery step was worth every penny. This investment is paying off to this day not only for her, but for her business and the coaching clients she helps find their own unique paths forward.
“The biggest thing that came out of my Why Discovery was becoming an EOS Implementer. It brought me to the next level as an entrepreneur and allowed me to start helping other entrepreneurs to learn and grow. Becoming an EOS Implementer turned out to be my next step to future ventures, whatever they turn out to be.”
What’s your Why? And what can it do for you? Answering these questions may take your career, business, and life to a new level.
Are you ready to uncover your Why? Schedule a meeting with Cesar today to start living your life by design.