3 min read

DEI Initiatives - The Independent Consultant

I help small and medium-sized businesses integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI) initiatives in the workplace and among their customer base.
DEI Initiatives - The Independent Consultant

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ivy Summer, Founder of The Independent Consultant Inc., located in Greece.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I help small and medium-sized businesses integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI) initiatives in the workplace and among their customer base. I specialize in identifying areas of opportunity that hinder an organization’s potential for DEI and recommending how to establish best practices that stick. My mission is to empower organizations to benefit from unique contributions that stem from the diversity of their employees and customers.

Tell us about yourself

My "why" in general is personal and professional [and every other kind of] development. A process where the work is not easy (and not necessarily simple), developmental work that yields truly profound and lasting benefits, whose purpose is not to perfect but to persist and progress -  I love doing that for myself, and I love facilitating it for other people. My why is about creating a sense of communion with people around how we develop into better human beings.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment was creating 26 different bi-weekly DEI workshops that coincide with monthly heritage and awareness months for an organization that wanted to host a variety of events on a frequent basis to improve its staff, leadership, and membership DEI awareness and related practical and interpersonal skills both in and outside of the organization.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things about being a business owner is making sure that all stakeholders of a new contract are on board, understand the value of the deliverables, and follow through on the recommendations with an implementation plan that is a match for the resources (including time, money, and energy) the members of the organization have.

DEI is one of the first things to be cut from the budget, so it's important to lay out a roadmap that is sustainable for both the client and the consultant over the course of the contract. Additionally, it takes patience and intention to court a client before they sign the contract (courtship usually takes anywhere from 3 to 9 months!), so being persistent and connected with the client in the way that makes the most sense for them and in a way that provides value can also take a lot of time leading up to the closing of the contract.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Track how much time it takes to complete your tasks–from proposal writing and content development to preparation to a variety of deliverables – so that you can properly estimate and translate the value of that time into the cost of business.
  2. Delegation: Understand that some parts of your business can be automated, save you a lot of time and energy, and then delegate accordingly.
  3. Set your boundaries and write them clearly into the terms of your contract so that you can maintain the type of work-life balance that works best for you. This includes doing an analysis of when you will work, how much time you need to dedicate to building your business, and what kind of partnerships make sense for you and your business to maintain the work-life balance you want.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Networking is a very important part of maintaining a business because it can feed you referrals, ideas, and business processes/systems that make owning a business much easier, relevant, and sustainable.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.thatplace.rocks/services
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pocketfulofawesome/

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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