Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Albritton, Founder and CEO of Nineteen88 Strategies, LLC., located in Alexandria, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Nineteen88 Strategies is a Service Disabled Veteran and Minority-owned independent full-service consulting firm specializing in a wide range of management services from executive coaching and leadership development to strategic business, PR/Communications, and DEI consulting for corporations, government, nonprofits, small businesses, and highly motivated individuals and teams.
Tell us about yourself
I am a recognized and accomplished business leader, an International Coaching Federation-certified executive coach (ACC), motivational public speaker, and public relations/ Communications expert with more than 35 years of leadership experience across the government, corporate and nonprofit sectors. I am a native of Philadelphia, PA, and started off my career as an enlisted sailor before attending and graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy.
I then spent ten years as an officer in the U.S. Navy before transitioning into a variety of senior executive roles in Corporate Communications across the technology, automotive, aerospace & defense, retail, and nonprofit sectors at companies such as General Motors, Amazon Web Services, Exelis Inc., ITT Defense, Raytheon, Hewlett-Packard, Sears, Roebuck & Co. and United Way of America over the next 25 years. I am one of very few career public relations executives to transition to an operational role as the chief executive of a business division of a Fortune 25 company, in addition to being elected to a public company board of directors.
I served as the President of General Motors Defense, the GM division that provides advanced automotive technologies to the global aerospace, defense, and security markets. I currently serve as an independent director on the board of Embecta Corp., the Diabetes Care business of Becton, Dickinson and Company that spun off as an independent, publicly traded company in April 2022.
In 2021, I was honored by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations as the "Jack Koten Corporate Mentor of the Year," and I have previously also been honored by SAVOY Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America." As an executive coach and consultant, I offer executives and organizational leaders at all levels my decades of business experience, mentorship, and guidance to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to meet their career objectives on their terms.
I have always very much enjoyed mentoring and training and helping people maximize their potential, so my shift from a senior executive into coaching was a very natural transition for me. These days, that's what gets me out of bed every day since I get to directly see the impact I have on the lives and futures of my coaching clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I measure my success as an executive coach one client at a time. What I am enjoying the most is having satisfied coaching clients refer me to people they know so I can also become their coach, and so on. It's a strong validation that the work I'm doing is truly helping people move forward; for me, that's what matters.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
After 35 years in the military and corporate sectors where I had a "job" that provided certain opportunities, responsibilities, and amenities, being a small business owner is totally different since 100 percent of your success is a function of your ability to make it happen. When you start the business, you're starting with a clean canvas with little-to-no revenue coming in, and your charge is to start painting the beautiful image you want to create with your business.
That's a hard transition mentally and emotionally, but despite that fact, I've actually loved the challenge of building something I created. I also love the fact that now that I'm an executive coach, I never have to retire and can be a helpful career support element for my clients wherever I am around the world.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be sure to fully understand your financial wherewithal to sustain your lifestyle as you start and build your business. Have enough money to take care of your personal and/or family needs, but also have, find or borrow the amount of money you need to invest in your business to get it started.
- Network, network, network! Your business is only successful because of the relationships you create and sustain with your clients, so be sure to make that a top priority of your everyday existence as a business owner.
- Have fun! There is tremendous inherent freedom in building your own identity as a business owner, and plenty of other people are on a similar journey. Connect with them, share the ups and downs, and enjoy the journey. There's nothing else like it.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am passionate about helping leaders and teams at all levels with organizational presence, personal branding, communications, emotional intelligence, networking, work-life balance, career transitions, team effectiveness, time management, and/or stress challenges through action plans co-created to benefit themselves and their organizations.
My ideal coaching client is ready for change and is seeking a safe place to explore and address key issues and concerns for endless possibilities. It is my goal to provide the client with the tools, coping strategies, and resources needed to continue their growth when the coaching engagement is completed.
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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