#225 – Own Your Amazing With Dr. Denise Moore Revel

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the episode today, we have Dr. Denise Moore revel. Dr. Denise, welcome. Thank you for having me, so glad to be here. It is my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Absolutely. Again, my name is Dr. Denise Moore Revel. I am a speech language pathologist by trade but also I am a business coach and a personal development coach but primarily for the last 26 years I’ve been a speech therapist, working primarily with children, helping them to communicate better. From the U. S. You know, born in Washington D. C. but I was raised in a very small town, so I like to tell people I am an urban bell, you know, I have the urban, you know, influence but also I’m deeply rooted in the south, you know, I love sweet tea on a hot day. But very family oriented, grew up in a large family, I’m the youngest of five and so family and community has always been what kept me rooted and grounded um in my professional life and definitely in my personal life.

Well thank you for that. In terms of your business career. If I was to say “Where does that begin?” What springs to mind? Well it began when I graduated from graduate school and got a job and was going about my life and then I was like oh I don’t know if this is what I really want to do right? And so one of my college friends, we decided to start a business together so we ventured out and said we’re gonna start a private practice together. Well about three months into the journey, she decided she didn’t want to do it anymore. So that was a lesson in picking business partners is that right? You Know, and so she was like I need to go get a job, I don’t think this entrepreneur journey is for me and I said I understand, because I knew at that point, I didn’t know even it was gonna be for me, but I was like, okay, let me give it a shot. And so I continued on, was able to try to get my company off the ground, but it didn’t go so well, you know, I was struggling trying to really, find my place in the market.

And so I decided to go and take a job myself, but I took the job with understanding that one day I’m gonna strike back out of my own, but I need to be better prepared for it, and so about 10 years into my career, I did it again. I launched out by myself this time. And so I’ve been self employed now for almost 17, 18 years. Wow, so regarding the first business, how did you determine what business that was going to be and what did the first few days look like for you? Well, the business is gonna be a speech therapy, speech pathology practice because that’s what I went to school for, and so it just made sense to do that, but I knew speech therapy, but I had no clue about business. None whatsoever, none whatsoever. Had not taken any kind of courses, didn’t understand what it means to market, none of those things.

So I think that’s why, you know, me and my business partner, we were just kind of swelling. We were just trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And so I learned the next time around before I launched my second practice, I got a business coach because I realized that there were um just basic business, you know strategies and business things that I had no idea about. And so I knew I needed to partner with someone not who knew my industry but who knew business. And so I got a business coach and he helped me to um later foundations that I needed for my business in terms of marketing and my, you know my tools, my target market and where do I, where am I gonna be located? How am I gonna reach these people? So he really helped me to um again get the foundations and I believe that’s why I’m still in existence today. My business is still thriving today because I got those fundamental business practices and foundations early on. Well um two things to know.

One first thing is like some people recommend actually going to get a job in that field before you start that business. So would you say you learn from going back into employment for to prepare you for your business? Well, in a sense of not not for speech speech therapy because I had learned that I knew that piece. Right? And so the reason why I took the job and the job that I took was very strategic, it was a management position because I said one day I want a company and I need to know how to run a team. So I the job I took was not just a job, it was a job with a purpose and the job was management. So the job I took was when I started the position, there were three people on my team And so they, you know, I inherit that team. So perfect. So I had to learn how to manage a team. And this particular school that I worked at, we also got student from these local universities to intern.

So I had to manage that. So at one point I was managing eight people, I had three staff members and then I had like four or five different interns at different points of the year. So again, because I knew I didn’t know how to manage people, I didn’t know how to to work a team, I didn’t know how to strategize how to how to sit down and just manage the budget. I was responsible for the budget of the department and I had to go to the leaders and talk about different aspects of the department cause I was the manager of the department. But but for me I knew I said this is my my little company, this is how I can learn those skills that I know I’m going to need once I run my own company and it worked and because I was able to draw those same skills years later and I still do learning how to run a team, learning how to motivate people, learn how to get things done, how to deal with conflict resolution, all those kind of things that you’re gonna need to know if you’re gonna be in business Well, um, I find it really beneficial to ask this question because um, if someone was in the exact same position that you were meaning they’ve just taken over a team new to management, what advice would you give them?

Wow. It’s interesting before I took the position, I remember calling my dad because he had worked so many years, but he was also a team leader at the company that he worked in. And so I asked him, so my advice to other people, like get advice to people who have done it, who’ve been there done that. And one of the things about, he taught me several things, but one of the things that really stuck out for me that my dad shared, he said, take care of your team, he said take care of the people that you’re responsible for. And he was like, go to bat for them when you can, when it’s appropriate, you know what I mean? He said, but take care of your people, make sure that um, you’re giving them what they need to get the job done. And so I went in with that, you know, and some other things were, uh, just again, I think it’s important to get wisdom and understanding and, and information from people who have done it, who have done it well, you know, and so that’s why I hired a business coach is why wouldn’t talk to my father like you’ve done this for years, you’ve managed teams, how do I do this? And here’s the other caveat for that story was um, I was younger than everyone on my team.

I mean, except for the interns of course, but the three staff members, they were older than I was and so I was afraid they’re not gonna listen to me. I’m younger than them. I’m this young gun, think I’m coming in, don’t, you know, you know, so he was, you know, I communicated that to my father. He said, just be respectful, be respectful to them and they’ll be respectful to you. He was like, remember you all on the same team trying to get a job done and so just so many little things. But the biggest thing was I knew I needed to go get someone who knew a little bit more than I did about how to run a team look after your team and be respectful. I like that regarding the second thing I referenced earlier, you said that the second time around, you got a business coach and the business coach helped you with some fundamentals of that you still use today. Would you mind sharing what they are? Sure. So before I met with the business coaching and I was listening to different people reading up and you know about business, right?

And everyone said write a business plan, make sure you have your business plan. Yeah, I was like, oh my God, So when I went to my business coach um he said the first thing we’re gonna work on is your marketing plan. I was like no, no, no, no, no, I need a business plan, I need to have all these things mapped out. He was like that’s great. He said we’ll get to that, he said, but I want us to focus on you and your, he said what is your marketing plan? He said what good is it, what good is it to have a business and nobody knows that you even exist and you’re open for business. And I was like, he said, he looked at me, he said it looks pretty great, it looks good, he said, but I don’t see where you have a robust marketing player, how are people gonna know that you’re open for business? And I was like, oh my goodness! So the first thing we did was develop my marketing plan, he was like who’s your target market and how are you going to reach these people? So that was the main thing we focused on for many years and I can even say to this day, some of the things that we put in place in my marketing plan, I am still getting the residuals from those things.

I spent a lot put a lot of energy in the beginning with the marketing plan. But years later I am still getting calls and references. I get business still to this day based on some things that I did many moons ago with him. In terms of marketing. That’s interesting because immediately I was going to ask you because plans aren’t always the theory. And then when when you actually go and do it, they don’t always match up. Would you say your marketing plan was very, very accurate. It was accurate in the sense of he told me to make sure that I understood who my target market was. You know what I mean? And really worked on um getting in front of those people. So in my mind, this is what I was thinking like, oh, I’m a speech therapist. I need to let other speech therapist. No, I’m in business and I need to join these groups and these associations. And he was like, but the people you are gonna serve aren’t there? He was like, they’re not there. Who’s your market? I was like at that point, I was, you know, primarily working with Children.

And he said, well, Children have parents. Hopefully. He was like, what about parent groups? What about daycare facilities? What about schools that have Children? You need to get in front of those people to let them know that you can help their Children And lo and behold I did, I I mean I cold call like 20 different daycare facilities and asked them to let them know I was in business and that I could do free screenings for their kids in terms of speech and language And it was like, well of course I probably got about 10 of those, right? And from those, I was able to identify some Children he needed services and I still do that from time to time. I still have a partnership with a few facilities in the area where maybe once a year, once every other year I’ll come in and screen their Children. And that was something I did years ago, but I still get business from just doing that one particular strategy. It’s great advice because it reminds me a little bit of sometimes the social conversation I have so kind of like where your customers are and people should we say put a lot of effort into a platform where none of their customers are, which is kind of like what you what you mentioned regarding the first business, when did you know that you you wanted to, should we say shut it down and move on.

I probably, I try to stick in probably about a year and I realized um financially it wasn’t working. I had bills like um I’m not bringing in the this is not sustainable. I can’t live off of this, but I also knew that I didn’t have the skill set to really um, again, I, I knew managing people, running a budget. I knew all of those things were gonna be very necessary for running the company and I knew I needed to learn it, but I also knew that learning that it was a big learning curve of course was anything new like that. But I couldn’t learn if I’m, if I’m thinking about how I’m gonna keep the lights on, how am I gonna pay my bills. And so, um, once I was able to say, let me just get a job. I know I have some steady money coming in now now I can focus on getting the skill sets that I need. So when I launch again that I’m not trying to learn something new and you know, make money.

So when I launched again, I had the skill set. So all I needed to do was okay, find the right contracts again, get in front of people and I was able to do that. And again, it’s been 17, 18 years later and I’m still going, well, congratulations on that. Um, have you got any thoughts on perhaps someone who might be in the same position? So let’s say they’re a year in and they’re having some doubts and they’re struggling. What, what kind of advice would you give that person? Um, I would say that, you know, doubts are gonna always be there. I still doubt sometimes is this gonna work. But I tell people, no matter what you have to better yourself. Um you just have to be fully aware of your capacity and what you as a person can handle. Right? I knew that. Okay, I can handle. I remember I was like, I can handle eating, you know, tuna fish for all week. I can handle that because I knew I needed to reserve my money to maybe so I can do things I need to do business wise. So I just say you have to be aware of what your capacity is and what you can handle.

Some people can handle. Like, hey, I can move back home with my parents and do this thing. Okay, well some people like I can’t handle that. I need a job. I need to make my own money. I need to make sure I can take care of myself. So I just think self awareness and understanding your capacity, it’s important for how you move forward. So my answer is not 11 thing that fit everybody. I can’t say that, but I believe the answer is you have to be aware of what you can handle and what you can manage. Um and how and just manage yourself doubt as much as you can. Um as I launched new things now, I still wonder like who is gonna work and I do it. But I know enough to say, I always tell myself I’m gonna bet on me, I’m gonna give me a shot. I always say if it doesn’t work, I can always go get a job, jobs are plentiful, you know? But I’m gonna give myself a chance to see if I can make this work and and do the things that I need to do. So I hope to answer your question, but uh self doubt is gonna be there. It’s you to decide how you’re gonna manage it for yourself.

Always surround myself with good people who keep me encouraged as well and who can believe in me and see it sometimes when I don’t see it for myself. I am very fortunate and blessed to have family and friends that especially in the beginning, they were like, oh yeah, you can do it, we got you whatever you need to do, we’ll be here to support you, you know, and so just make sure you have a strong support team, friends, family colleagues, whomever that can help you through those rough patches as well. Um I do think that there is universal advice out there, that’s often to say shared, this is a good point to say that, you know, it is subjective. So, one advice might be good for someone may not be good for someone else. Um I did think you were gonna say get yourself a business coach. I did think you’d say that, but regarding the second business, how did you know that you you were ready for the second business the second time around. I remember I was still, I was working the job that had gotten as the manager and at this particular facility, it was a school, right?

And I was talking with the person who did the billing for the school. We were, you know, just having a random conversation and she would say, do you know, your department generates the most money for the school. I said, really? Is that so? And so and at that time, I was thinking about going to ask for a raise anyway, because I knew myself and my team, we were doing a great job. And she just confirmed that for me. And so I just thought about it one day and I said, well, if I can do such a great job for them, what could I do for myself? And at that point, that’s when I said, I’m gonna start my own business again, I’m gonna give it a shot. And I said, well, if, if it doesn’t work, I can always come back to this job, I won’t like it. So that was what I did. I made a decision like, okay, okay, I can do this, I’m gonna at least try. And I think that a lot of times we count ourselves out, we put so much trust and faith in other people that we don’t always put it in ourselves.

And so I believe to be successful in business is that you have to believe in yourself. You have to bet on you, you have to believe, um I have what it takes to make it. If I, if I don’t know something, look, I can go learn about it, I can go read about, I can go ask somebody about it, but I just think sometimes we just discount ourselves and don’t give ourselves a chance to um to go for it, you know? Um I think we’re afraid of failure, but it’s okay, you know, we all fail. We all make mistakes, but the point is, you can get back up, you can try it again and keep moving forward. So I made a decision that I was gonna give myself a shot, because here’s the other thing too. I saw other people doing it and I said, well, hmm, if they can do that and they’re being successful at it, why can’t I? And again, we have to ask ourselves empowering question, why can’t I do it? Well, can I do it? Yeah. You know, just really feeling empowered that you can do it. I mean, you, if no one else believes in you, you have to believe in yourself in order to keep pushing forward great answer.

What about the the decision to hand your notice in? Was it a nervous nervous, should we say time and did because you were breaking in a lot of money. Did they, were they very upset about you leaving? I remember I purposely wrote my letter of resignation um about two weeks before I gave it to my manager because I said you’re doing it, you’re leaving, right? I dated it and everything right? So um that day I had dated it, I I called her into my office and said I need to share something with you, and um I handed her the letter and and I had a great relationship with my manager. Very, very good relationship and she visibly became emotional. She was like, wow, I hate that you’re leaving and I said, you know, I’m leaving because I need to do this for me, it’s not I’m leaving because I hate working here and it’s not that at all I need to do this for me and and I’m gonna give it a shot and I and I hope I can have your support.

And she was like, absolutely so much. So I resigned and then they hired me as a consultant for a year, wow, that’s amazing. I must admit when I like to ask about those um those instances, because there, I think that’s very clear in in your mind about that moment, because like heightened emotion, but in most instances I think people do tend to leave on good terms, there’s not that many kind of slam my fist on the table type thing. It’s you know, it was a good relationship, you know, we left on good terms, it’s also not the first time I’ve heard that the job that you used to be at actually became a client. So it’s a great thing too, considering you, you’re new in business, new quotations and you have a client already, that’s kind of a positive thing, right? Yeah, absolutely. And I left with having a client and you know, I had a contract available ready, That’s why I had to leave.

I had another contract, that was great and I was like, I’m not gonna pass up this opportunity um to launch my business. So the story goes that some good friends of mine, they had started their company and they, so my friend called me one day was like, hey, we have this contract and we need somebody to do this piece of it and we thought about you and I was like, but I knew it was gonna require me to be there for a time, not, you know, part time or whatever, and I was like, okay, I’m gonna do it. And here’s the other thing about it. The contract required that I helped to staff the speech therapy department. So I had just, I’m working here, so it lined up because I had been working as a manager, understanding staffing, understanding team and they were like, we want to hire you to put together this team. That was my first contract for my for my business. So do you think you still would have gone anyway, even if you didn’t have that contract?

I think I would have because I would have figured it out, I would have gotten something to sustain me because I just felt like it was just time for me to go, you know, it was just time for me um to give it a shot. Um Yeah, I still think I would would have gone and I was just fortunate that it worked out the way it did. Like I said, I got the contract from the friend of mine whose companies they started their company. I had a contract with the company I was leaving and then I was able to get another contract to do some, some therapy work. So I had plenty of work when I left, which which but also people were, I was telling people, so my friend knew I wanted to start my company, right? So again letting people know what my intentions were. So he was like okay. And so he never told me that him and his friends are working on a company, you know what I mean? But because I had shared with him, I’m thinking about starting my own company. I want to leave. You know, he was like, okay, okay.

And so he said, as soon as we got our peace, he said, we thought about you, that’s great, that’s the marketing piece, right? Letting people know that I’m trying to open my doors and, and that’s how it opened. So, in terms of your biggest challenges for your business, what springs to mind there. Um I think currently it’s all of the just being able to ride the waves of business, the highs, the lows, um you know, a business plan on paper, like you said before, it looks great, okay, but when you live in it, things don’t always go as planned, you know, and just being able to navigate the highs, the lows, um the ins the outs, you know, there there are many contracts that I thought, hey, this wasn’t, I got this one, yes, you know, you know, did my pitch my proposal, I just knew it, you know, and then come back and didn’t get the contract, it’s like, well, what do I do now?

How do I recover from that? You know what I mean? And so that’s been the biggest journey I think for me is understanding how to, how to navigate the world of business and still keep your sense of self, your sense of positivity, you know, how to stay up when it’s down, You know, those are the things, so, um when I work out, like I said, I’m also a business coach, so I help people kind of get their business off the ground, and one of the biggest things we talked about his mindset, because I tell them it’s gonna be, this is gonna be a journey and you have to be able to um keep the right frame of mind because the highs and lows happened to everybody in business. I don’t know anybody who’s been in business and they hadn’t had some high high highs and some low low lose. But the ones who make it, the ones who survive are are the ones who understand how now, how to navigate that. The ones that thrive understand like okay this is part of it, what do I have in place to keep me until I hit my next high or until things bounce back and particularly for me um the pandemic was um definitely um one of those times where I had to really make sure my mindset was in the right place um because you know speech therapy is healthcare, you know, it’s like do I keep my doors open, do I close?

You know, am I risking my own health in order to serve other people? And so all of those things, you know the numbers went down because people were afraid um to have their Children out, but right now I literally have a waiting list, a long waiting list of clients trying to get services, so again trying to navigate all of that and you know, not not to get burned out um and all those kind of good things, but you know, I have the speech practice, but I also do personal development, I have, I have clients that I coach and personal development and business, so just trying to keep my mind in the right place is I think it’s the biggest thing I could tell anyone in entrepreneurship, just make sure your mindset is, where it needs to be to navigate the journey. And when did you start um business coaching and why did you, why did you do that? I started about three, about three years ago because um I saw and would talk to different women who were working, you know, in their respective fields, education, career coaching, um nonprofits, all those kind of things and you know, they just kept saying I want to make a bigger impact, I want to do more and I feel like I can’t really do that at my, my my current job, I said then start your own, you these women are leaders and their companies, you know, and I was like, okay, well maybe it’s time for you to continue to do what you do, but in a different level and so, but a lot of them knew their respective industry like career coaching and um I have a friend of mine who is an attorney, but I helped her to launch her practice, so she knows law but but they’re like me, we, we knew, we know I respect the businesses but we don’t know business and so I would always share with them, I got a business coach who helped me to lay the foundation and I’m willing to do that for you so that you can really go about serving in the way that you want to serve and not let the business piece get in the way, so it’s helping people that were in your position essentially, pretty much great biggest wins for you.

The biggest wins for me have been the smallest wins, I tell people um a lot of times with me is me doing, it is to win, you know, um me still being in business is a win, me still showing up every day, is the win me not allowing fear and doubt to stop me. Those are my wins. You know, other people might count financials and all this kind of stuff, Those things are great. Um by the end of the day, you know, um Fear was a big thing that I had to contend with for many years. Um but I had determined that you know, I’m gonna win this time, I’m gonna I’m gonna keep moving forward, I’m gonna keep launching new ideas, new projects and whatever, and not let fear be the thing that stopped me. So my biggest wins is overcoming fear every time it comes up to stop me. So I, we talked about before the episode, I was going to ask you about this, what success, what does success mean to you?

Success means to me that I am showing up fully, that’s who I am. Um for me it’s not about making mistakes because I’m gonna make them, I made them, I am completely comfortable with my humanity and being imperfect. I’m okay with that piece. So, success for me is living fully and who I am and and being able to look at myself and say, you know, I’m growing, I’m involving, I’m learning, I’m putting myself in new situations, you know, I’m doing podcast interviews about my message that so things those things, making a bigger impact in the world to me is what success looks like. And for me, the biggest success would be just to make a greater impact in the world and really helping people to own who they are and live amazing lives based on that criteria. Would you say you’re a successful individual? I think so my goals are I laugh at that question I get asked that a lot, that’s like world domination taking over the world, right?

I hope everybody aspires to take over the world with goodness and and and to live fully. But my goals are just to serve more people, help more people to realize their dreams and whatever capacity that may be, whether it’s business coaching, personal development, speech therapy, whatever it may be. I just want to serve in a greater capacity and really help people to live better lives. But for me personally, it’s really about peace of mind, having fun, enjoying life, and really just making a bigger impact and enjoy my life, that’s what my goals are, and however that looks like, I’m not one of those persons who, I have some friends and family are very anal, it has to be exactly like this. I’m more of a free spirit, it’s kind of like, okay, let’s see what happens, let’s go forward, I’m open, I’m ready for the ride and just really enjoying my life at this point in my life and I’m doing the things that’s gonna make me happy, but also to make a greater impact.

Is there anything that I should have asked you about today? Oh, that’s a good question, I don’t think so. I liked all the questions you asked. Any closing thoughts? Again, I just want people to, if you’re entrepreneur thinking about going to business for yourself, my advice for you is to go for it, bet on you, give yourself a chance, believe that you can do it, because more likely you can. More likely you have what it takes to do it. And if people want to connect with you, where do they go? They can go to my website which is on youramazingnow.com, again on youramazingnow.com and reach out to me there. I’m on Facebook a lot too, where I share a weekly message of empowerment, they can join me there at Dr. Denise on you’re amazing, I’m on LinkedIn, Instagram, all those great places, but I always tell people just started my website again on youramazingnow.com. Dr. Denise, Thank you very much. Thank you.