When it comes to your business, what do you bring to the table? What do you offer that no one else does? Local entrepreneur and expert, Dawn Nicole, can help you figure it out. It's what she calls your "Secret Sauce," and as the Secret Sauce Growth Strategist at her company, GrowGetter, she's here to help local entrepreneurs discover the personal strengths that will help them grow their business.
Born in Springfield, MA, Dawn Nicole grew up with a mother who wasn't afraid to explore, which allowed her and her three brothers the opportunity to meet a variety of unique people from the east to the west coast. Years later, in 2012, her career moved her to Charlotte. At that time, she was focused on securing a role as a Manager Consultant, before making the ultimate decision to take the leap and become a full-time business owner.
Keep reading to learn more!
CBRbiz.com: There was a time where you felt like you were living a double life. We imagine that a lot of our entrepreneurs feel this way. Can you tell us more about that and how you overcame it?
Dawn Nicole: Yes. I really felt this way during my corporate career days because I'd work closely with my project team by day only to trade it for the creative community by night. Many days, I'd be in the board room fantasizing about my next script for the next stage play. Equally, there were many late days during dress rehearsal, I’d be panic-stricken over a work deliverable that needed to be turned in. My ambitious livelihood was in constant conflict.
CBRbiz.com: Have you always been drawn to entrepreneurship? Tell us about your earliest entrepreneurial endeavor.
Dawn Nicole: Yes. My earliest memory of being an entrepreneur was age 10 when I sold singing lessons for 25 cents!
CBRbiz.com: Your company, GrowGetter, focuses on the question, What’s your secret sauce? Can you tell us more about this and what it means for local businesses?
Dawn Nicole: We define Secret Sauce as your special personal talent/passion that can’t be bought, taught or duplicated. When combined with professional strengths, this creates a potent brand value that differentiates you from competition.
CBRbiz.com: When you transitioned from the corporate world to entrepreneurship, what were some of the greatest challenges you faced? Did you turn to any local resources for help?
Dawn Nicole: I knew my why, but I didn't know my what. This means I had so much to offer, that I didn't know where to start first. I wrote a book called Grow for It, which describes more. I enrolled in The Woman’s Advantage® Forum by Mary Cantando and led by Lori Dvorak; it provides group round-table coaching for businesses.
CBRbiz.com: How have your past experiences helped in your current role?
Dawn Nicole: I've been able to leverage my corporate talents as an advantage in my own business.
CBRbiz.com: Since starting GrowGetter, what has been your proudest moment to date?
Dawn Nicole: Well, although there was my official launch party where hundreds showed up on a Thursday night to support my business, I’ll have to say it’s when my 9-year-old daughter (at the time) painted a picture of me finishing my book before I was finished. I was so busy and tired and thought that I’d give up on writing it. But she showed me a picture of what it would look like completed. She was letting me know that she was rooting for me! She has these subtle moments where she lets me know that she’s watching. Like after an intense call where I might be negotiating, when I am finished, she walks up and hugs me and says, "Good job, Mommy.” Her name is Zahria. She has no idea really what I am doing, but she knows that I am changing the world, one strategy at a time.
CBRbiz.com: What advice would you give to an entrepreneur still trying to discover his or her own Secret Sauce?
Dawn Nicole: When who you are and what you do officially start dating, you'll find your secret sauce! Feel free to take my 10 question Secret Sauce Discovery Assessment at www.whatsyoursecretsauce.com.
CBRbiz.com: What has surprised you most about being an entrepreneur?
Dawn Nicole: How easy it is to get off track, lose your focus and get distracted if you aren't careful. Focus, progress and productivity only come from being intentional. Sometimes a plan isn't for long-term growth, but instead for day-to day-discipline. You can't know who you need until you know who you want.
CBRbiz.com: Anything you’d like to add?
Dawn Nicole: Not every spot on your calendar needs to be filled in order to prove that you're productive, and some of the most amazing moments will never be scheduled. A leisurely stroll to a corner bakery to steal away a quiet moment and a banana nut muffin doesn't make you lazy, and if you can't take the day off to chaperone your daughter's field trip without your business tanking, then it's probably already doomed. Your success is not evidenced by the size of the next deal but by the size of a smile you helped to create. If you trade ledgers over life lessons and invoices over individual moments that matter, one day they, too, will be but a memory. Work smart, but love harder. Create memories, don't miss out on them.
Dawn Nicole, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. We loved learning about you and GrowGetter, and you offered some crucial advice that we know will help our Charlotte entrepreneurs! Readers, to learn more about Dawn Nicole and to discover your secret sauce, visit her online!