So where did the name “Next Right Thing” come from? Let me tell you a story…

Several years ago, I helped start a company – one of three I’ve had the privilege of launching so far in my career. EnergyPrint ( is like no other company I had been involved in previously. It started from ideas on a legal pad and grew into something amazing in a short period of time. It was in an industry that was new to me, doing work that was new to me – it was the ultimate challenge (and a fun opportunity). There was only one problem, and it became a snowball that ultimately taught me the most significant lesson of my career.

For any startup, you need three things: A good idea, a solid team and money (lots of money). EnergyPrint had the first two but lacked the third. Not only did we not have an appropriate level of funding when we got started, but we launched the company into the teeth of the worst recession in our lifetimes (and I’m talking about 2008 … remember the decimation of the commercial and residential real estate markets … that one). As with other challenges I’d faced in my career, I believed we could overcome through hard work, determination and a little luck. Hard work and determination were found in great quantities, luck was more challenging to come by – and yet we carried on.

A few years into this start-up battle, the list of challenges was growing longer and longer. By this time my ability to face new challenges with anything but frustration and fear had suffered a severe blow. Not one to give up, my husband and I turned to friends of ours who had proven to be wise guides. They had faced their own challenges in life – both business and family – and had the gray hair to prove it. So over dinner at their home, I spilled my guts sharing my frustrations and failures, looking for my guru mentors to give me the key to solve all my problems.

And then it came … he said, “Priscilla, just do the next right thing. And when you finish that, then do the next right thing.” I sat there stunned at the simplicity of this wisdom, and yet overwhelmed by the complexity of taking my never-ending list of serious to-do’s and breaking them down into individual items that I would start and finish … one at a time. That wisdom of shutting off the noise and focusing on the next most important, most impactful, most completable thing changed me professionally and personally. And its wisdom I strive to share in both my professional efforts, as well as with my students in the classroom who have such a great opportunity ahead.

Doing the next right thing is not a guarantee of success. In fact, doing the next right thing is not about succeeding or failing. It’s a way of thinking and moving forward regardless of the outcome.

It’s been proven that most start-up companies fail, and most successful entrepreneurs have the scars of multiple efforts to share. I was blessed last year to move on from my role as CEO at EnergyPrint after 10 years, and to leave the company in the capable hands of its next leader. That too was the “Next-Right-Thing.”

During the past nine months I have had the opportunity to work with four small businesses doing amazing things, and to teach three classes at North Central University in Minneapolis. As I’ve moved from being the leader in a small company, to working in support of leaders and developing our next generation of leaders, this mantra of doing the next right thing is even more significant to me.

And as I go about pursuing my passion to help others develop their businesses and careers, I look forward to sharing stories of how doing the next right thing makes a difference.

About Priscilla Koeckeritz information

Priscilla Koeckeritz is a fractional executive with 20+ years of experience in marketing, communication, management and business development.

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