Success Coach Antoinette Sykes, Encourages Women in Business to Stand Tall and Achieve
My first encounter with business coach extraordinaire, Antoinette Sykes was at the 2012 Stiletto Woman in Business Awards (#SWIBA). She was one of the featured speakers with an extremely powerful message and memorable story. Antoinette shared her tale of a corporate lay-off that left her with lots of education and skills but no paycheck. She also shared some very personal relationship heartbreaks that had her life all upside down. But through all the struggle and hardship, Antoinette decided that she was going to use the skills she acquired in the corporate world to “stand tall” and live out her ultimate purpose. With a new fire ignited from within, Antoinette created the Standing Tall Revolution , a movement in both business and life. She helps professional women and entrepreneurs become more wealthy, healthy, and successful. Looking to succeed in both business and life? Join her for her 14 week live tele-workshop MissThinkandGrowRich.com beginning November 1st.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what lead you to starting your own business
I’m a former corporate gal who navigated the seas of “entrepreneurship” by being laid off. It’s always been a dream of mine, however, I thought I’d make the decision. NOT. While in Corporate America and post completing my MBA, I started a business while still a FT employee. However, like most; when you’re collecting a comfortable salary, the less you are focused on your business. The lay off forced me to do so...start my own business.
What resources did you use to start your own business?
At the time, I used a lot of outside mentors in my circle. Those that I could trust for advice, leaderhship and guidance. In doing so, I had a place to bounce ideas off of and nurture the concepts until ready to produce. Next, I tapped into what I thought I was good at. During that time, I was a Director of IT and naturally I’m a motivator, leader and creative is some ways. For me, that looked like a Marketing Company for folks in the IT arena. In addition to the Internet for massive research, I read a lot of business books and magazines. But mostly, to be frank; I took a huge leap of faith to rely on my personal power, knowledge and expertise. It was certainly a bootstrap effort and it helped that I was a FT employee at the time to have cash flow to pay for things like a website, business cards, design…etc.
When you first launched did you experience ‘naysayers’ or ‘haters’ that said your idea was crazy or it would never sell? If so how did you handle their negativity?
I don’t recall experiencing that directly. However, I did notice some associates afterwards making remarks like “I cannot believe you did this; how are you going to do both?” “Where did you learn how to do all of this…aren’t you scared”. I quickly learned to keep my news to myself and/or share it with those that are truly going to lift me higher. It hurts; for certain it does. But, when you are up to something “big” in your life, it actually shines a light on what others are not doing in their life. So, while their questions may have been from a good place; it does also offer a chance to see how maybe they could be doing something different or more than they currently are. So it goes.
How does social media impact the way that you do business? Which social media platforms do you prefer?
Coming from an IT background, I LOVE social media. Social media is a tool that allows me to work all of the world, internationally. Social media in short is the great multiplier. We are no longer constrained to do business via phone calls for high rates or only in person. With social media, business opportunities are at our fingertips and any thirteen inch screen. I love Twitter, Facebook, SKYPE
Where and how do you network offline?
Indeed networking offline is paramount to any social media and marketing plan. Nothing will ever replace live face to face interaction. I belong to various professional organziations and industry groups. I attend live meetings, events, seminars and dinner outings. In addition, these groups are the same groups I target as a speaker. Since I “know” them and the audience, it’s a natural fit.
What is the toughest part about running your own business?
The toughest part I’d say is indeed keeping up with ALL of the technology that is available for us today. While I love it, technology is constantly changing, so it takes having a very informed and astute tech person on your team to ensure you are always ahead of the curve.
Join success coach, Antoinette Sykes for her 14 week LIVE tele-Workshop, MissThinkandGrowRich.com for the prospering and manifesting woman who is deeply committed to playing a bigger game and no longer settling for life as she knows it.
What is the best thing about being a small business owner?
The best thing about being a small business owners is the flexibility and the power of responsibility. What I mean by the latter is, when you realize there are no blocks to your success (aside from the self-imposed blocks), you really do see the sky is the limit. You are in control of that. I love that freedom and walking in those possibilities.
Do you have a business plan? If so, how did you go about gathering the information contained it and how do you use your plan?
Yes, I have a business plan. This is one of the areas that halt people. A business plan is needed as a guidebook for where you are going. I use a “one page business plan” which outlines my mission, marketing, sales quotas and the actual strategic plan. I have a six month and a twelve month. Since I didn’t require cash flow from outside investors or a loan, the behemoth of a business plan that a lot of folks speak of; was not for me.
If you were granted $100,000 for your business, how would you use the money?
Wow, great question. Today, I’d save 30% of the money, buy new computers, pay/lease one office location (paid in full for two years), hire a tech person and a sales person.
What three adjectives accurately describe your experience as a small business owner?
Blessed. Ever changing. Purpose-driven.
Are you/Standing Tall Revolution directly involved with any charitable giving or events?
Indeed. We donate business suits to Suited for Change, we sponsor a charitable walk/run each year and we alwasy provide random acts of kindess…just because.
What is in the future for the Standing Tall Revolution brand?
Wow, the future of our brand is in transition. Lots of newness to come that is aligned totally with mindset, success and abundance. Stay tuned!It’s indeed a great time to StandTall and see the manifestation of something wonderful be birthed.
Please share a small biz diamond that you would like to pass on to other entrepreneurs and small business owners?
Stay in faith whenever the winds roar and the waves toss to-and-fro. You must remember that you are the captain of your business boat. Use your peaceful and powerful mind to bend the situation to your favor!
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