Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Deniedra Fontenette, President of Spirit Speech Consulting, located in Dallas, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Spirit Speech Consulting helps parents, educators, and caregivers with knowing the harmful effect of excessive media use as it relates to young children. We provide training and coaching by teaching our clients how to set digital boundaries, use healthy screen alternatives, employ language and communication strategies, and present parenting techniques.
Our signature coaching program, Unplug To Connect, helps parents learn the signs of screen obsession and gives them stress-free, practical parenting techniques to foster a healthy developmental environment for their children.
Tell us about yourself
I am a speech-language pathologist with over 25 years of experience working with children and parents. I’ve worked in hospitals, home health, rehab facilities, schools, and private practice. Over the years, I started noticing more and more children coming through my practice with speech and language delays secondary to autism or attention deficit disorders. Along with this realization came the observance that more and more children were on phones and tablets at a very young age.
I started educating and training my parents on screen limits, present parenting techniques, and language-building strategies, and my little clients started making tremendous progress! The parents grew more confident in their parenting abilities because they had the knowledge and skills to help their children at home and protect them from unknowing harm.
I saw there were no definitive programs to help parents navigate the ubiquitous demand of screens, and that’s when my passion to equip parents grew! Parents deserve better and need support more than ever as life gets busier and busier, and we become more plugged in as a society. The topic of screen use is a very sticky one, and I wanted parents to have a guilt-free approach to tackling screen time concerns.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is seeing lives changed, families being more connected, and children thriving in their childhood. I had a client who was totally lost on how to help her daughter communicate, reduce tantrums, and just how to bond with her because of the constant stress of behavior issues. After working with this parent for a short 3 months, her daughter was more talkative, made the honor roll at school for the first time, and the biggest win was there was more peace and calm in the home, paving the way to deeper intentional connection and bonding.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is there never appears to be an off switch. Everything can be turned into a business opportunity, so it creates a space where you’re always “on.” I have to make a conscious effort to turn off my business owner switch to enjoy time with family and friends.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Invest in the tools that will help you grow. As tempting as it is to do everything yourself, invest in tools and outsourcing so you won’t be overwhelmed with all of the details of running a business.
- Network with other business owners. Entrepreneurship can feel like an island at times, and you need encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to stay at a high level of productivity.
- Make a schedule and be intentional with your goals. It can be so easy to “wing it,” but that doesn’t get you anywhere. Professionals in any industry have goals and accountability because that is what you need to continue to move forward. Make quarterly goals and have an accountability partner to hold you to them. This has helped me make incremental gains to success.
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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