My Entrepreneurship Journey
As with your entrepreneurship journey, mine isn’t a fairy tale or an overnight success story. Instead it’s a personal development journey, one with many ups and downs and as I keep learning and growing, my business keeps evolving, which is the best part of being an entrepreneur.
I’m an idea person, and I started my career path as a structural engineer. For many years I worked in the corporate world for industrial projects where I perfected my planning, productivity, management and problem-solving skills.
Despite the fact I was a successful engineer, I knew I was meant to do something different. I’ve always been a rebel and working in the corporate world felt confining. I couldn’t express myself, and I craved creativity. The idea of starting my own business was growing on me but I didn’t know where to begin.
Life’s too short to do something that doesn’t rock your world.
In 2012 when I moved to Australia I decided engineering wasn’t the right career for me anymore. I made the leap and enrolled in an interior design course to change career path. This looked like the smart move to make. With my background in Structural Engineering and a diploma in Interior Design I could create a pretty cool new career.
Studying interior design was fascinating, but my engineer brain was craving that practical and down-to-earth approach of doing things. I accidentally discovered the professional organiser career while reading an article in the local newspaper and the idea ignited my inner entrepreneur.
I began the adventure of finding my calling.
In 2013 I started my entrepreneurship journey as a professional organiser helping busy women organise their homes. It felt like the perfect fit.
All was working well except that, as many service-providers, I was charging an hourly rate and in so I was getting paid after the job was done. At the time I thought that due the nature of the decluttering and organising process we needed to finish the job to know how many hours it took, so I could send my clients an invoice.
It was stressful; chasing clients is not my thing. I was spending more hours on administrative tasks than helping clients, and the worse part was that I was feeling undervalued.
Running your own business should bring you joy and freedom, right?
It was clear that this model wasn’t working for me. I needed to find a better way to make my business work without the burnout. So, I read tons of books, attended conferences, and did a couple of courses. On the process, I discovered the power of packaging my services. It blew my mind. I loved the idea, it was an structured and creative way to present my services. I embraced it!
Packaging my services revolutionized my business.
I changed my business model, focused on helping busy women entrepreneurs organise their home-offices and be more productive, and created my first package. Everything started to work smoothly. I got paid before the job was done, my clients were thrilled with the results we achieved together, and I was earning more money for the same working hours.
Later when I moved my business from in-home hands-on-help to online coaching, I continued using packages to sell my services in a solution-focused way.
As my business was growing, I started getting requests from my clients and peers to “pick my brain” about their businesses’ challenges and how to implement strategies to take their business to the next level.
I found myself helping my clients nail their niche, package their services, confidently put themselves out there, and overcome fears. The sessions were great, clients were getting stunning results and I realized I loved it way more than being an organizing and productivity coach.
Transitions are always messy and this was no exception.
With this new realization, I decided to combine everything I was helping my clients with within one business. The problem was that my message and target market weren’t clear therefore I wasn’t getting the results I expected and I was losing my mojo.
I kept hearing other entrepreneurs talking about zone of genius and narrowing your niche. I was feeling confused. What’s my zone of genius? I thought I was already doing that, so I wondered why my business was such a mess? Why was I losing my enthusiasm?
I took action! I decided to work with a coach to fast-track my success and create a coaching business aligned with my passion and values. I also dedicated my free time to learning all about building a business aligned with your zone of genius and how to overcome the fears and blocks that come with it.
I discovered my true zone of genius – helping women entrepreneurs with a service-based business package up their services into their signature system; then get the confidence to share their talents with the world, change lives, and get well paid for it.
Everything fell into place.
My background as a structural engineer prepared me for my entrepreneurship journey with the skills of: leadership, time management, problem-solving, project management and analytic thinking.
My first business as professional organizer taught me how to package my services in a way that delivers great results for my clients and make me money without the stress and burnout.
All of that mixed with my natural talents as ENFJ: ability to see potential in others, supportive, and empathetic, also practical, focused and action-oriented. I found my sweet spot.
In July 2015, I closed my original business “The Creative Organiser” and launched my new coaching business denisedc.com, helping my clients nail their niche, package their services, and gain the confidence to put themselves out there as the leaders they want to be.
Soon after that, I enrolled in a coaching training and everything fell into place. I knew I was on the right path, it felt expansive and I started working on purpose.
I’d love to tell you that since then I’ve been earning 6-figure with my business every month but the story doesn’t end here. Once I discovered my zone of genius and started working with clients, the real challenge began – I needed to stop playing small and own my zone of genius with confidence.
The battle against shiny objects began.
As a rebel, I don’t like to follow the trends or look like everyone else, and building my own business presented the perfect opportunity to fully express myself and be different. So, instead of focusing on my zone of genius (that wasn’t easy to find in the first place), I spent time, money and energy complicating things in the name of being unique.
I changed my message and offers many times. Although some ideas blossomed many others flopped, chasing shiny objects was exhausting and disheartening. I was constantly feeling I was back to square one, my clients base wasn’t growing, and what once was creative and exciting became boring.
The worst part of this process was watching all the other entrepreneurs making it look so easy while I felt that it was so difficult. What could be wrong with me?
The cold truth hit me: my passion, my talents and my desire to help my clients weren’t enough. I had to step up, own my genius, focus and get out there playing in the arena.
At this point, I already had the tools, experience and business strategies to make my business work. It wasn’t my lack of knowledge or determination that was in my way but fear.
I knew I had to overcome this fear and I had to act fast! Because if my clients can’t find me, I can’t help them. Simple.
It was a journey, certainly not a smooth one. I had to work on my limiting beliefs and overcome some blocks. I studied the books, coached myself and worked with a powerful mentor (Sarah Liddle) to create a successful mindset and master my inner critic.
It totally paid off.
When I stepped up my game, focused on my zone of genius, owned my story, and started putting myself out there; I went from spinning my wheel to starting seeing results for my efforts including manifesting amazing things like winning a scholarship to study Certificate IV in Small Business and finishing it with a perfect score of 100%.
Now, I’m committed to only do work that’s aligned with my zone of genius, and help women entrepreneurs own theirs.
Owing your zone of genius is an act of bravery.
I’m not going to lie to you, the fear doesn’t go away and shiny object will always be tempting.
The secret is to put servicing your clients front and centre. When you focus on that and leave your ego out of the equation, being in business has a totally different meaning, it becomes easier and more fun.
But it takes bravery to do so,
- Bravery to find and own your zone of genius, and say no to everything outside of it.
- Bravery to build your business your way, cut through the hype and follow your instincts instead.
- Bravery to take action and make things happen.
- Bravery to keep going when things don’t go as planned.
- Bravery to be vulnerable and put yourself out there day in and day out without losing your enthusiasm.
- I speak Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- I’ve lived in 4 different countries and in total 11 different places, from big houses to small apartments.
- Yoga changed my life for good, and I try to practice it any time I can.
- As a good Aquarius I like to share my knowledge with others, this mean I love teaching and I love sending homework.
- I love traveling, learn from different cultures, make new friends and expand my world.
- I dance every time; I just can’t help it.
I’m looking forward to helping you own your expertise and put yourself out there with confidence.
Until we meet.