Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.
This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences.
Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!
In this Mindshift Interview, I have Darryl of BellamyInspires. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more. This interview was so much fun. Darryl's smile and infectious personality can light up any room. Here, He gets candid and shares his journey from corporate America to becoming an entrepreneur. And all the fears he has conquered along the way!
Behind the Person.
Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do.
In college, I was always very involved and participated in numerous student leadership events. These experiences sparked my passion for freshmen and student leader success! So much so, I decided to open my first business right after graduating called, Kollege Koncierge. All I needed was for 100 students to sign up. I got one. Yes, one. Needless to say, I got a corporate job.
But my passion never altered, I knew the day would come, where I would have my own. As of May I have been able to leave corporate America and run BellamyInspires full time.
What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.
When there are moments that require me to step outside of my comfort zone or venture into something new, I know if I look to the past it's reassuring that the dots will connect.
What’s one habit that has impacted you on your journey toward success?
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod was a game changer for me. My morning routine consists of the following:
- Gratitude. Mediation. Motivation. Visualization. Reading and writing my goals. Gym.
I usually awakened around 4:30-5:00 AM by the sound of my TV automatically turning on and the light next to my bed doing the same. I quickly grab my phone, open up my YouTube app and type “motivational video.” Using my google Chromecast I send that quick video to my TV and watch while awakening fully. This is generally how my morning starts. It's how I set the tone for my day.
What are two books that have impacted your journey toward success?
Go for No! is actually meant for sales personnel, but I think the lessons written can be applied in anyone's life. It teaches: Everything is a numbers game. One No is one step closer to Yes.
All things Business
How did Bellamy Inspires come to form? What was the idea that started it all?
I had gotten to a point in my life where I needed a change. So, I hired a life/business coach. I began to tell her of my frustrations. She asked me general questions such as, what do you like to do? I began to go down the list until she stopped me.
"Speaking, there's something there! Your whole face and energy changed when you mentioned it. Let's explore it further." - Coach
Fortunately, my coach was also a speaker, and she invited me to a National Speakers Association meeting. Here, I realized I could do it too.
What does Bellamy Inspires do? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through Bellamy Inspires?
My goal is for my audience to embrace fear and achieve.
There are a lot of misconceptions about running a small business or being an entrepreneur, like lack of freedom or difficulty growing income. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?
It's not hard to start a business, it only requires one step. Become fearless in your pursuit, and continue building one step at a time.
What tools or systems is a necessity for running your business smoothly?
This customer relationship management software (CRM) handles all my emails, tasks, etc. It's highly beneficial to my everyday operations. Insightly takes the guessing game out of follow-up tasks and relationship management.
A whiteboard lets me see my thoughts visually and I am able to see the connections or work through a process better. When using only pen and paper, I feel limited and restricted. A whiteboard is simply more freeing. Try it! Lowes and Home Depot have huge panels you can buy and they can cut down for free for about $12.
In order for a business to thrive there must be clientele. What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?
- Word of mouth is huge for my business.
- Social Media has allowed me to connect and be on the radar of thousands. I make sure to use these platforms to consistently share my overall message.
- Cold Calling. I am constantly reaching out to people and following up. I’ve made 60 calls in one week before, I believe in putting in the work to get the results!
- Grind it out!- ask yourself how bad do you want it?
Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?
I aim to go above the necessary requirements. For example:
- I send my clients a video to use to introduce their audience to me ahead of my arrival.
- I aim to be pretty easy going, speakers can get a representation of being difficult to work with requiring certain types of waters,etc. I try to avoid putting on any airs with my clients.
I aim to over-deliver and connect with as many as possible when I’m on-site.
- Follow up. I like to randomly send gifts to past clients. This helps build and maintain a personal connection.
What are some current pain points or frustrations you are working to overcome in your business?
I have to exercise patience. Our generation is used to being able to have everything within a matter of seconds. Technology has really changed the game. However, when it comes to building a business for longevity, I realize it's going to take time.
Influencing the Future
What are some accomplishments of Bellamy Inspires? And where do you see its future?
Being able to leave my corporate job and pursue my business full time has been huge.
Last year I booked my largest corporate gig as well. Not only did I get paid for speaking, but the company also purchased over a hundred of my books for their employees.
I was mentioned in an interview, a guy was asked to name a few ways he stay motivated and he mentioned BellamyInspires instragram page. This was such a humbling moment, to see the impact and reach of my message.
I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?
My Mindshift moment occurred one summer working for an internship. I was so excited to be making roughly fifteen dollars an hour. I had mentioned to my manager of a trip I was looking forward to attending later in the summer, and would need three days off. According to the rules for interns, the maximum about of days allowed off was set at two. I was told the rule would still stand, and my request for three days off would not be honored.
As time grew closer, I mentioned to my manager that my flight was being taken care of for me, and if I did not attend than I would be held responsible for the reimbursement of the ticket costs. The company said my request for three days off had been denied. No exceptions could be made. Needless to say, I attended my trip. Upon my arrival back to the office, all my things were waiting for me in a cardboard box. I had been fired from the program.
This experience made me realize that I never wanted a company to have total control over my life. This experience could not happen again. Thus, I'm an entrepreneur.
What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?
Be cautious to everything. Be mindful of the things you watch and the things you hear, these influences have the ability to impact our minds on a subconscious level. It is crucial to surround yourself with like minded individuals. Create a mastermind group with individuals who are constantly pushing you to achieve your better. Know what friends you can call for motivation or where your source of inspiration comes from. When you’re down an out go to those sources.
Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.
My ideal situation would be the ability to work from anywhere, money never being of concern, creating generational wealth, giving abundantly to organizations and communities, and being able to impact as many lives as possible.
Additional Gems from Darryl:
Seek Advice. Fail forward. Nature your Mindset.
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