Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Debra Dean, CEO of Dean Enterprise, LLC, located in La Grange, KY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Dean Enterprise is the name of the company. There are three legs to this organization. First is His Kingdom Matters, where we help Christians in America live out their faith at work, at home, and everywhere else. We help them prepare for revival and practically live a holy lifestyle. In this leg of the organization, I am about to publish a book titled Jesus Come Revive America: Forgive Us for We Have Sinned. The second part of Dean Enterprise is Dean Business Consulting, where we have lots of research, writing, training, publishing, and public speaking to elevate human potential, improve employee engagement, cultivate a culture of spirituality where the whole person (body, heart, mind, and soul) are encouraged to show up to work each day, and learn to respect each other for the sake of human dignity. In this leg of the company, I have enjoyed sharing about diversity, equity, and inclusion with TedX and DisruptHR talks. The final segment of the company is Soar with Purpose, where I work with individuals and groups to use their God-given skills, life experience, and education in a way that improves the world and monetizes their hard work. It is challenging for a person to feel like they are only using part of their talent to honor and glorify God. Soar with Purpose helps them see where they are gifted and elevates their daily work to fulfilling their purpose and calling.
Tell us about yourself
I worked in corporate America for 25 years and had every intention of staying there. However, in 2018, I was reminded that life is short and God had a plan for my life. I left my corporate job in November 2018 and started my own business, eventually starting a ministry too. I love helping other people flourish. When I get to work with a client and see them go from stuck in a rut to passionate about their future, I just love it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is helping a client live her best life. It is interesting to see where our conversations will take us. I was helping a client with her dissertation, and she confided in me about suicidal thoughts. We shifted our focus from her academic work and prayed through her situation. This was not something I expected to do that day, but I am so happy that God placed her in my life. Eventually, she accomplished her doctoral degree. I just love when my clients graduate. For many of them, there is an obstacle in the way that they can't see, but it is very real. We work through that.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me has been to find clients. I know I have good services that are in high demand; however, it is hard to find them. Most of my business has been through word-of-mouth.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, I want to advise them to get started. Personally, I wish I had done more to prepare before leaving corporate, but nevertheless, I started. I also want to advise them to get a team of trusted advisors. I quickly learned that I needed a prayer team first. Finally, I want to warn others of the wolves that are out there trying to take advantage of new business owners. I was somewhat protected in my corporate job from people trying to convince me to buy their products and services. However, they quickly showed up and wanted me to buy from them. I have been shocked to see how many are scams. Be careful with your finances, influence, skills, and time. Use them wisely. Having a team or semi-formal board of advisors can help you run these "opportunities" by them to see if they pick up on warning signs.
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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