Deborah Shane is a career author, branding and a business consultant in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. who has been helping small business entrepreneurs and startups grow since 2007. “It begins with believing that you can be successful, then empowering your brand to do just that: SUCCEED.”
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching the business: In August 2006, I left a very secure, high-level management position after 23 years in broadcast radio sales and management in Miami because I knew the winds of change were about to blow the doors off the industry. I was also sure there was another part of my path and journey. I accepted an opportunity to go to the west coast of Florida, but an unexpected series of events occurred and it didn’t work out. In February 2007, I launched my consulting and training business out of my passion for creating and presenting training events, motivational speaking and insightful consulting. It was the right time and the right decision for me. Entrepreneurship for me felt like home.
Ideal customer: When it comes to the relentlessly changing business landscape, anyone who is in business or works in the business world needs to keep pace with new skills, approaches and information to be competitive and grow. We serve entrepreneurs with a customized approach for each person and business we work with. First customer: I joined two chambers and two professional organizations to get to know the business people in the community and let them get to know me. Membership has it rewards. Measuring success: By referrals and how people share the resources I provide. There is nothing more powerful than a testimonial relationship with a satisfied, relationship-driven customer and community.
Biggest struggle: Shifting from a local to a more regional and national focus. The first two years, I did really well but, in the fall of 2008, when the market collapsed, the SW Florida area was hit especially hard and was consistently in the top three foreclosure cities nationally. By the summer of 2010, I had to rethink the model and decided to move back to Miami/Ft Lauderdale the end of 2010.
Surprise!: How relentlessly focused, organized, innovative and collaborative you must be all the time. This is a WE world for business.
Promoting Sales: I consider myself an educator, master-marketer and communicator. Coming from a sales background gave me an edge because I understood about being a solution provider and presenting myself as someone who cares, can be trusted and can help people succeed.
What you wish you would have known: I come from an entrepreneurial mindset and background. Two things: make sure you and your business are up-to-date, relevant and work on your sales and marketing skills and pace yourself and be patient with growth and progress. Most successful entrepreneurs I know are 10-year overnight successes!
What keeps you up at night (business wise!)?: The same things that keep all of us at night. Staying healthy, growing business responsibly, taking care of our family, figuring out how I can give back and pay forward. Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job? I have had three or four moments over the past five years where I have thought “WTF” am I supposed to do next? Ultimately, a thought, call, email or inspiration brings me back to encourage me to keep persevering. I believe what I am doing is what I am supposed to be doing.
Biggest goal: I am going to continue to grow my regional and national footprint through writing, consulting, speaking, training events and my book — Career Transition/Make The Shift, available on Amazon.com and all major book sellers. I am also working on my second book for late 2012.
Pricing: Know what your market and your industry can bear. Consider competition, your expertise, niche and exclusivity to drive yourself as a premium. “Become a premium item in a generic market” (Tom Hopkins)
A few good tips: Become a master-marketer and networker. Blend and work both your online/virtual and in person connections and activities. Embrace the social media platforms as a bridge to enhance your reach.
Must-read online source in your industry: Smartbrief.com, trendwatching.com, smallbiztrends.com, careerealism.com, personalbrandingblog.com, entrepreneur.com.
The absolute best part of owning my business is: the freedom and autonomy I have to be as creative, innovative, generous and proactive in helping people become more successful in finding meaningful and prosperous careers.
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: “Believe in the value of who you are and what you do. It all matters and it counts.”