Today’s Outside of the Box Entrepreneur Series is truly excited to introduce you to Deanna Andrade. Likely one of the most attractive qualities about Deanna is her ability to be real with her audience. There’s no doubt in the quality she produces for her business partners and clients – but her ability to do so with such transparency is remarkable (and likely what drew me to her in the first place). Juggling many hats from mother, to wife, to business woman – she gets it done. Deanna is well respected in the entrepreneurial field and has earned that ten fold.
When I first approached Deanna about this interview – she was incredibly welcoming, and gosh did she over deliver, this of course didn’t surprise me in the slightest. Get comfortable, get a pen and paper ready – because the value in this interview will blow you away.
What sparked your drive to become an entrepreneur?
I was tired of chasing the college dream and feeling like I had to conform to taking out an insanely large amount of debt just to get a decent paying job. After being accepted to a Registered Nursing program, I took the chance to stop midway, obtain my license, and ultimately ended up going back to corporate America when I realized the nursing arena was no more plentiful in jobs or secure than other positions. Additionally, it paid less and was three times more stressful!
I was eager to work and landed a position back in corporate media as a Sales Analyst and Executive Assistant to the VP of Finance. For once, my boss was literally the most amazing person EVER but not even HE could defy the politics.
You’ve been selected as an “out of the box entrepreneur” would you agree with this statement?
Sure. I tend to believe almost all of us TRUE and successful entrepreneurs are out of the box in every aspect of life. All of us also wanted OUT of the box and, therefore, routinely think “out of the box” to give us an edge and get us where we need to be. 😉
If you could have given yourself a piece of knowledge or advice when you started what would that be?
LASER FOCUS. It seems like a really simple advice and I am good at focusing but you have to become ROCK SOLID in your focus because there will ALWAYS be a consistent flow of other entrepreneurs, salespeople and/or opportunists pitching you and coming at you in a million different “creative” ways trying to get you to look at THEIR vision and their path.
You are going to deal with a LOT of “fear of loss” pitches. Around 99% of the time, you’re not missing out on anything. But regardless, you have to choose something and stay with it or you’ll never be able to create the success you’ve dreamed of.
The truth is, there will always be amazing opportunities. You ARE routinely going to have to turn down and reject MANY amazing opportunities that make sense but until you become an expert in what you’re doing and have it on a 5-figure per month income, autopilot, you’re setting yourself up for failure hopping into another business.
There’s a reason why 97% of entrepreneurs fail. One of the HUGE ones is lack of focus.
Be prepared that you WILL be tempted. We’re human, right? Also be prepared with the fact that as you get better at what you do, the pitches and approaches will increase drastically in amount and intensity.
You are going to have to learn how to say “No” REALLY firmly. You are going to have to have your go-to line prepared and basically learn how to blow off people in a nice way. Then you’re going to have to learn to blow them off in a NOT nice way because there WILL be plenty who don’t get the hint or don’t WANT to get the hint and continue to hover over you all day long and, in my mind, that’s when it crosses over into being disrespectful.
When you don’t have enough respect to back off when a person has made it clear that they’re not interested, you just start being archived in my inbox, completely ignored, then blocked.
LASER FOCUS means you’re not going to do ANY people pleasing…no matter how well you know the person. It means you aren’t going to so much click on ANY link, “give your opinion” on ANY video or presentation or entertain ANYTHING outside of your business or that is not actively creating YOU traction and profit within your business.
People will find a million tricky ways to get you to look at what they have or pull your focus from what you’re doing. We’re in sales. We have a lot of aggressive and creative individuals. As you deal with more and more of them, you’ll be able to identify them all in 3 seconds flat and close down their pitch before it’s even a thought in their mind or a “Hey, how are you doing?”
You’ll become pretty creative yourself. One thing I learned that helps is NOT explaining yourself. Have a one-liner ready if you’re the kind of person who is uncomfortable saying “no” and working on getting there.. “Hey, so and so, I’m actually on a 365 day challenge to NOT look at a SINGLE thing outside of MY business until I hit 6-figures. That includes anything that has nothing to do with my business or profit and activity within my business. Thanks for thinking of me. I look forward to seeing your success. Take care!” (I NEVER am this nice..but I’m a hardened, bitter, mean sales professional…haha..just kidding..)
Then SHUT UP. Silence is powerful. If they ask questions or want an explanation–link to your opportunity. That’s all they get. “Hey, I’m really busy right now and gotta run. I’ll leave you with this link.. ” Shut them down before they waste more of your time and “ALWAYS BE BUSY”.
I have several creative ways of shutting people down on the spot, but I found that’s an easy and generic “softer” approach for people who are just learning to master this.
LASER FOCUS will take you SO far in life and so far in business. Look at all of the business millionaires out there. When 10 Sally Susy Qs call them up to “give their opinion on a company” she just joined, do you think they actually give it the time of day? NO.
You’re going to have to get TOUGH and let people know you mean business or they will destroy you once they interfere with your focus. Protect your laser focus the way you’d protect baby Jesus in the manger. 😉
To what do you attribute your success? What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?
1) FOCUS (See above … Definitely covers my thoughts on that!)
2) PERSISTENCE/CONSISTENCE (You’re going to feel drained, frustrated, confused, overwhelmed, extremely uncomfortable and like a failure MORE than once and you’re going to have to get over it and get back up..10 times..50 times..100 times..500 times..and I mean LITERALLY that amount of times. You’ll also have to be persistent in your business and not just do busy work and go through the motions and wonder why you’re not having success. Show up EVERY SINGLE DAY and pick ONE thing that you like (that someone with success has used and had results with) and do that thing EVERY day to build your business. If it’s not building your business or getting you rejections, you need to change that thing you’re doing. Persistence can be showing ONE person per day your business (if you’re doing this part-time) or 5 people per day your business if you’ve got all day. EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail. NO EXCUSES.
3) FOLLOW UP: This simultaneously falls under persistence. But, Dear God, I cannot tell you how horrid people are doing this and why it’s no surprise to me 97% FAIL miserably in business. I also cannot tell you how many sales and “closes” I’ve made on the 2nd and 3rd attempts, alone. Follow up until you receive an answer and if it’s a NO, ask if you can follow up again in a set amount of time. I have had SO many people I’ve been ready to EASILY buy from or sign up with NEVER get back to me. It’s highly unprofessional and amateur. You will never survive in the entrepreneurial industry if you fail to follow up SEVERAL times in a row. Don’t be a jackass–just get a red or green light.
4) STOP TRYING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL & GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY— I’ve seen SO many people do this it astounds me. You’ll have the success they want and literally hand them the blueprint, but they’d prefer to advertently, or inadvertently, be a know-it-all and “add just one thing” or “create their own group” when they’ve yet to experience the success and then come back weeks and months later with little to no success. You’re inability to follow a proven system makes you completely uncoachable and there isn’t a single successful person out there who will have the desire to mentor you when you cannot humble yourself enough to follow the basics at first. If you knew everything, you’d already be a 6-figure earner. The fact is–you don’t. When you first show up on the scene, your way isn’t the 6-figure way. It probably isn’t even the 2-figure way. We all start at ZERO and we all learn somewhere. Being hardheaded and getting in your own way will get you nowhere real fast.
5) Have a STRONG WHY: Yep, this one seems so cliche..but you’re going to feel frustrated and have a nagging voice in the back of your head to “give up” more than once. Entrepreneurship hits you in the core of your soul in the absolute best and most difficult ways. If you don’t have an extremely STRONG drive/motivator as to why you want this so bad you can taste it and feel the BURNING desire and ache to reach your goals “no matter what it takes”. YES–your “WHY” should make you cry. The way an Olympic finalist is DYING to get that gold medal is the way you should feel about making it happen in your business, regardless if it takes 1, 2, 5 or 8 years! It may be that your soul rots at a 9-5 and you KNOW you cannot go back or it may be that you absolutely cannot look at your children knowing you aren’t providing them the best life possible..and admitting to yourself that you are capable of much more and owe it to them. It may be paying off a monstrous debt, being able to hire a caregiver for your elderly parent to make sure they’re taken care of the way they cared for you or it may be retiring your spouse and living the life of your dreams traveling the world because time is limited and you only live life ONCE. Whatever it is, it should BURN in your heart and deep into your stomach when you think about how bad you want it. Now write it down–in detail–and explain how it will make you feel when you have it and look at that every time you feel down. If you can look at it and give up, then your why is NOT strong enough. Keep adding to it until you get a knee-jerk reaction reading it every time you want to give up.
Who has been your greatest inspiration and why?
A lot of “regular” people, actually. When I see someone who has cancer doing 5x more in their business than myself or others who are failing or when I see a single mom of 3 going from foodstamps to 6-figures in a year, it’s an AMAZING reminder to get the hell over myself (when I’m having ANY kind of moment) and GET ON with business.
A person doesn’t even need to be a 6-figure success to inspire me. Many times, I’m renewed in my inspiration seeing an entrepreneur who’s new on the scene not knowing what they’re doing but being on fire and making it happen anyway. Many times, we get in our way and lack humility as we become more “experienced” in entrepreneurship. We become “too smart” for our own good, so seeing newbies is a great inspiration for me to remind myself where I came from and how I was getting results in the first place. Sometimes, you need to go back to that place of being that innocent/naive “ignorance on fire”.
When the readers would like to get in touch with you, what is the best way for them to do so?
My blog or a landing page for what I’m currently working on is generally up and from there, they’ll be on my email list and have more access to my direct information.
Otherwise, they’re welcome to add me on Facebook –but it’s not guaranteed that I’ll always be on there.
How real was that? I’m sure you gained as much value and even as much insight into the reality of entrepreneurship through this small snippet of what was shared through this interview with today’s “outside of the box entrepreneur”. Comments and Feedback always welcome – either by signing in below, or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The entrepreneurs who have participated throughout this series, have done so in donating their time. Always serving, endless value, leading from the front.
When I began this series of interviews, reaching out to successful, full time, entrepreneurs, I had one purpose – for this information to touch someone, somewhere who might be thinking of giving up. Reaching someone who needed to know that entrepreneurship isn’t always rainbows and awesome sauce – but there’s a real hustle, a real grind. Know that if you put in the work, success is inevitable.
Thank you for reading xo