Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Yolanda M. Smith, Chief Branding Officer of Branding 4 Success, LLC, located in Indianapolis, IN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Branding 4 Success, LLC (B4S) is a business consulting, coaching and professional development company specializing in branding and strategic services for organizations, corporate professionals, and entrepreneurs. We empower teams and individuals to develop a powerful brand for business growth and career advancement. B4S collaborates with organizations to ignite employee engagement through professional development and assist teams in creating a strong brand identity to influence cross-functionally and deliver positive results. Through our replicable system, you create a powerful Brand Signature to articulate your value and stand out for visibility and recognition to achieve optimal results.
Tell us about yourself
I am a parallel-preneur who runs my own business and works in corporate America leading a team of communicators supporting employee engagement and culture. I have extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, yet it wasn't until I was mid-career that I had a mentor, sponsor, or coach. I didn't know I needed these things in my career, and no one told me. When I discovered the power of having the guidance of a mentor, sponsor, and coach, I was able to go further faster.
From that point, I wanted to share my knowledge, experiences, and skills with others. I believe we often do not know what we do not know, but if someone else does, we are disadvantaged. My goal is to engage, educate, and empower individuals and organizations to develop a powerful brand, own their careers, and ignite engagement within teams to drive meaningful results personally and professionally. With extensive experience in the healthcare industry, from sales and marketing to external/customer relations and communications, my diverse set of skills enabled me to align to my ownable assets versus a job title.
These experiences had a few things in common – building relationships and being strategic. My strong suit is being a strategic coach and partner, helping others to discover their vision and prominent skills, understanding the current state, and identifying the gaps they need to solve to achieve that vision. It's the foundational work that allows them to have a solid structure to sustain and replicate for success.
From the branding perspective, this is where my passion is fueled. I am a certified brand analyst. I love helping others through the brand discovery process to uncover their superpowers, purpose, and passion and develop a 'Brand Signature' statement that they can share with confidence with the world. With connection being the new currency - it's not about what you know, very little about who you know, but a lot about who knows you!
As the chair of a non-profit board working with young girls in 2013, I discovered personal branding. There, I found much fascination with storytelling and helping others achieve their personal best. My workshops were broadly attended, not only by the young ladies it was intended to support but also by their parents. It was based on the parent's feedback that I realized this was something that could be applicable to adults. Especially corporate professionals and entrepreneurs. So, I pivoted, and Branding 4 Success was founded in 2018 from the desire to help others share their voice and tell their story for visibility and recognition, positioning them to achieve the rewards they desired.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have accomplished several achievements and recognitions, but what is most gratifying is watching others accelerate their careers and business as a result of working with me. I have impacted thousands, and hearing about their success and milestones is food to my soul and allows me to fulfill my purpose.
My vision is to be a premier Branding and Career Coaching company, helping people worldwide discover their passion and purpose to reach their highest potential. This allows individuals to take control of their destiny and create the life they desire. I am excited to secure my first international speaking opportunity in March 2023 in Paris, France. My vision of being global is coming to fruition.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Finding good systems and support people to help advance the business. A lot of people claim expertise in many things, and you can spend thousands of dollars and not achieve the intended result. It's sifting through the noise and clutter to find someone you can trust who can produce the results you desire.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know Your "Why" - a business is more than chasing a dollar; it must be fulfilling your passion and purpose.
- Action and Consistency - overnight success is rare, but if you remain consistent and stay in action, the results will come.
- Do not go it alone - there are two ways to success - trial and error; you make the mistakes until you get it right, or you align yourself with coaches and mentors that have been where you are going, and they can guide you to avoid some of the pitfalls and help to go further faster.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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