Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dali Rivera, Founder, and CEO of DaliTalks, located in Moreno Valley, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I created the Diversity & Anti-Bullying Academy (#DABA), a series of bullying awareness and prevention education online workshops and courses for parents and educators. I offer in-person workshops to organizations (i.e., schools, universities, and private businesses). I also offer consulting sessions and coaching to parents and educators.
Tell us about yourself
When my eldest child was five-years-old, she was bullied on the school bus. Naturally, as any other parent would, I reported it to the bus driver because it was happening on the bus and at the bus stop. The bus driver was not able to do anything, so I reported it to the school principal, only to be told that nothing could be done because the bullying behaviors had not happened on school grounds.
My child and others continued to be bullied on the bus and at school, and each time I reported it, I was told that policies and procedures had to be followed. However, they were preventing the school administration from implementing a realistic and immediate solution. That's when I began doing research on bullying and school policies.
I was so upset that the school system was so slow to respond to bullying behaviors that I began sharing the information I found. It was shocking to learn how costly bullying becomes to families and to our economy.
To top it all, kids who are bullied can experience long-lasting negative mental health impacts because we live in a culture that refuses to acknowledge that bullying is a social problem in dire need of resolution. No Seeing the relief on parents' faces when I'd share what I had learned felt amazing, and I saw a need to share it even more.
When parents began to tell me that the information I provided them had actually helped, I was excited to have been of help with something so important as a child's safety.
Many years later, I decided to create DaliTalks, L.L.C., and began offering DABA to schools. That was in 2019. I love being a valuable resource to so many families.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Getting out of my own way has definitely been my biggest accomplishment. There have been so many things that I have been afraid of doing or learning that held me back, and it all stemmed from fear of the unknown. I still hold myself back now and again, but what I've done to release myself from that block is I go to my supportive friends and family members. That goes such a long way!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You see, being a business owner is not easy, regardless of what one's product or service is. So many school leaders and business owners that provide resources to families praise me for taking on bullying.
They say things like, "this is such an important problem to tackle," but when it comes to investing in bullying awareness and prevention for their communities, they can't seem to have money or time. That can really get anyone down and even make them quit.
But, I have been able to overcome that and focus on all those who say YES to me. I constantly remind myself that what I have to offer is very valuable and that the right people have and will say yes.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The top three tips I'd give someone starting a business would be, first, to aim for a goal at least three times bigger than what you already have. I learned that most of us who start businesses are either afraid and/or short-sighted, that we actually limit ourselves.
I'd also tell them to surround themselves with people who are on the same journey. Some of these people should be a bit ahead, some a bit behind, and others on a similar track to yours. This way, you are always learning from those who know more than you, getting support from those who are experiencing something similar to what you're dealing with, and you will be able to be a guide to those who are right behind you. Believe me; this makes the journey a lot richer and more exciting.
Lastly, I'd tell them to practice visualizing their goals and journaling about them as much as possible. It might sound crazy, but there is so much power in imagining yourself having accomplished your goals. When you journal about what you want, something awakens in you. You'll feel silly at first, and it'll be hard to write it out because you will feel that your goals are just absurd wishes. But, believe me, if you're consistent about visualizing and journaling your goals, you'll start noticing that you're making bolder moves that are getting you closer and closer to your goals.
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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