Creating Success And a Positive Impact with Bessi Graham

Like you, many business leaders want to make money and achieve financial freedom. At the same time, they also want to create a positive impact and change the world. Society often tells you that success comes when you focus on making a profit but disregard the impact your business has on the world. This idea is untrue — we can redefine success to include making the world a better place.

Bessi Graham tell us that we don't have to choose between a positive impact or money. She joins us in this episode of Seek Go Create to talk about how you can start thinking about your idea of success. She dives into the importance of reflection and finding clarity and alignment with your values. Bessi also shares her insights about the role of business leaders and how they can make an impact through their businesses. 

It's time to create a positive impact while being successful at business. Tune in to this episode to find out more.

3 Reasons to Listen:

  1. Learn to be grateful and enjoy the present while reaching for your bright future.
  2. Find out how your decisions as a leader and business owner can create a positive impact.
  3. Discover a richer sense of fulfillment when you stop looking at what society wants you to do and start returning to yourself.


About Bessi

Bessi Graham is a coach, podcaster, and award-winning entrepreneur. For over 20 years, she has worked with business owners, governments, and significant funding bodies to bring "doing good" and "making money" back together. She works with people who have reached what they think is a success but still search for fulfillment. With her help, leaders can stop living someone else's idea of success and find a fuller sense of who they are.

Bessi is the co-founder of Benefit Capital. She is also the host of the Both/And Podcast where she talks about tapping into what you need and living a life that is truly yours.

Learn more about Bessi and her work in leadership and business on her website.

Episode Highlights

[02:45] Bessi, a Thinking Partner in Business

  • Many people think they need to choose between doing good and making money. Bessi helps business leaders do both.
  • Leadership was the heart of her studies. Bessi wanted to understand the impact and influence of a leader. 
  • She worked with different organizations tackling significant issues in the world. She consciously chose to work with and understand the bigger system and its players.
  • Bessi is a learner. She sees the big picture and understands the system and the challenges of leading and running a business.
  • Tune in to the episode to learn more about Bessi and the journey that helped her find her definition of success.
[09:01] "If we want to have an impact in the world, part of what I want to understand is how do we influence?" - Click Here To Tweet This

[15:08] What Creates Positive Impact

  • People want to make the maximum impact. It's their inner want to do something and do it well.
  • It's essential to know how to measure and manage your impact. This way, you know if you're truly creating a change in the world.
  • Different people's influence, ideas, and support all contribute to making a positive impact.
  • You must be clear on what part of the impact you are contributing. 

[18:06] Enjoying the Seasons of Life

  • Sometimes there are seasons in your life when your choices lead to something unexpected.
  • Bessi remembers when her children were younger, and they drove in a camper van. Life may not seem appealing at that time, but she loved it. 
  • Back then, she would reflect and think that her future self would wish she was back in those days.
  • The ability to reflect on the seasons of life can help you have a broader view and enjoy what's in the present.
  • Bessi is an achiever. Achievers often have a whisper of discontent. However, she can be grateful for the present while looking forward to where she will be.
[19:02] "But because of the choices that you've made and the things that you're prioritizing in this season, life doesn't actually look like what you thought it would." - Click Here To Tweet This

[23:30] Gender in Leadership

  • It's up to you to have the wisdom and discernment to make good decisions regardless of gender.
  • Bessi has experienced discrimination due to her gender. While her male co-founder received praise, her co-workers told her that her work was unimportant.
  • People sometimes aren't aware of the double standards.
  • Avoid making assumptions about other people. Take the time to ask and understand their version of a successful and fulfilling life.
  • Bessi was the breadwinner in their family, and her husband was the primary caregiver. They learned that many struggles were role-based and not actually about gender.
[28:35] "I think we need to take the time to be curious and ask questions and understand someone's context and what their version of success or a fulfilling life is." - Click Here To Tweet This

[31:24] Living Your Success

  • Bessi works with business leaders who seem successful. However, they can feel disconnected and lost about the future.
  • It can be challenging for established leaders to talk publicly about their problems. There are no safe spaces where they can find support.
  • Leaders are typically driven and focused achievers. If they don't take time to reflect, they chase after what society says will bring satisfaction.
  • You won't find fulfillment by seeking more money or a higher position; external joy isn’t satisfying.
  • Instead, it's time to start thinking about what you're ultimately trying to create. Go back to a fuller sense of who you are to have both freedom and fulfillment.

[36:25] Moving Towards A Place of Impact

[36:27] "The reality is that it's about starting to think and not just being one-dimensional. But to come back to a fuller sense of who you are." - Click Here To Tweet This
  • Making a positive impact can be different for each individual. Avoid living someone else's idea of a successful life.
  • To do this, you must attempt to understand yourself and develop a richer sense of freedom and fulfillment as early as possible.
  • Ask questions that look internally instead of externally. Start breaking the mindset that you must choose between making money or doing good.
  • Whether you're still building your business or already well established, you can choose to bring good back into the business. 
  • Business leaders have significant effects on their businesses. The decisions they make and the responsibilities under their control can be an agent of change.
[41:47] "This is us taking responsibility for the things that are within our control and the decisions that we make." - Click Here To Tweet This

[45:48] Aspirational Values vs. Core Values

  • It's critical to think about the values you truly have. Just communicating that you have these values doesn't make it the truth.
  • Aspirational values are values you don't display yet but need to be present to succeed. Now, you must see what that looks like and work towards it.
  • On the other hand, core values are deeply rooted and already in your behavior. You can see it in how you behave and make decisions. These values can distinguish you.
  • At times, you may take these core values too far.
  • These values become a foundation you can return to when making decisions. With them, you can feel aligned with who you are and who you want to be.

[51:40] Hope in Today's Leaders

  • There's a lot of frustration and disappointment in leadership. These come from leaders who don't take responsibility and only do what's best within a short timeframe.
  • The role of a leader is someone who acts not for the position but to contribute to moving forward.
  • Fortunately, more and more leaders are starting to think about their realm of influence. They're asking what decisions they can make that can make a positive impact.
  • Additionally, more and more consumers are also demanding increasing awareness among businesses. 
  • All this is building up to encourage more people to start their journey of changing the world.

[56:56] The Both/And Aspect

  • The heart of Bessi's work is the idea that you can bring doing good and making money together.
  • Shift your mindset. Both/And encourages people to think differently.
  • The podcast inspires listeners to slow down and reflect. Taking your time can make you a more efficient leader and make better decisions.

[01:04:16] Clarity Through Seeking

  • Bessi’s preferred word is “seek” because it goes back to her experiences of seeking and awareness.
  • People need to be more reflective and clarify their values and vision.
  • You can do this by taking the time to reflect and seek.

Enjoy the Podcast?

Seek Go Create is for anyone seeking excellence, moving towards success, or creating something new. We share topics, stories, and conversations that allow us to rethink how we live, work, and lead. As stewards of God’s creation, let’s expand our definition of success to include a positive impact on the world.

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To growing and becoming all we are created to be,


About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create
Redefining Success in Leadership, Business & Ministry

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a faith driven executive coach and author with over 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and ministry. Through his personal journey of redefining success, he has gained valuable insights on how to align beliefs with work and lead with purpose. He is committed to helping others do the same, running a coaching business that helps leaders, leadership teams, business owners, and entrepreneurs to align their beliefs with their work and redefine success.

In addition to his coaching business, Tim is also the host of the SeekGoCreate podcast and author of the book Coach: A Story of Success Redefined, which provides guidance for those looking to redefine success and align their beliefs with their work. With his extensive background, unique perspective and strengths in strategic thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving, Tim is well-suited to help clients navigate through difficult times and achieve their goals.