Winning as an entrepreneur means THINKING DIFFERENTLY.
Heeding the call to inspire, educate and empower, our next featured entrepreneur on Diamond Legacy Group Spotlight Monday is passionate about helping others find their potential in order to achieve their dream life. As an education advocate Ms. Marie Deveaux is committed to excellence and dedicated to teaching high performance skills and competency to professionals around the country. As owner and founder of High Tides, a career coaching company. Marie is combining her love of speaking, personal development and finances to provide quality training and workshops to young professionals searching to not only change themselves but the world. Through career building skills, business strategies and tips on improving personal finances High Tides mission is to encourage positive change that would exceed the clients own expectations. High Tides provides quality training, workshops as well as career and legacy coaching. From this platform, Marie hopes to serve a large network of young professional to help them find their own wave to discover their best self.
As a third generation entrepreneur, Marie understands first hand, the journey to self discovery and what sacrifices are needed to achieve one's goal. Growing up in California Ms. Deveaux is multifaceted and has worked over 10 years in the industry. As a mom and wife she understands the balance and patience that comes with running a successful business and believes "the greatest gift you can give to the world is your best self." We are excited to share Ms. Marie Deveaux journey with you as she is highly committed in bringing forth the very best in each of her client's.
What made you get started in your industry?
I started working in education management in the early 2000s and it was largely because I was a caseworker in Prince Georges (PG) county Maryland. I had these kids on my caseload who hated going to school and so they got themselves into all sorts of trouble. And when I sat in their classrooms I could see why. These teachers, the grown ups didn't care, and they weren't trying. It was like if the adults are checked out, what do you expect to get out of these kids? Of course they're not going to be engaged or meet their potential. The adults just really had to do better, and unfortunately for the kids a lot of adults, don't know how. That year as a caseworker also showed me that a lot of being an adult is managing money (caseworkers don't make much), and what you don't know can hurt you. Most adults just aren't leveraging their resources to be their best selves.
After that experience I started working in education and was drawn to training others and really studying how to get the most out of adults. After doing that for three different companies I learned that 1) I love seeing an adult get an aha and be more than they thought they could be and 2) strong leadership is everything and I personally don't thrive under poor leaders - in fact it makes me extremely frustrated because I just want to coach them to be better! I couldn't keep giving my best talents away without getting any solid mentorship in return. That's when I really struck out on my own.
Walk us through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did?
I started consulting for other coaching companies about two years ago while still maintaining a 9 to 5. At the same time, I was educating myself about personal finance and started getting licensed in that field about five years ago. The combination of coaching executives for workplace performance, and my personal finance business helping people make the most of their earnings seemed like a good combo for an "adulting" coach. I help you get the job/promotion or start the business/side hustle and then can also advise you on what to do with the newfound revenue so you can stretch your resources. Those are the kinds of adults kids should be modeling.
Because I worked for a company with great professional development support I kept looking for classes that would help me grow. I took the Dale Carnegie course and became a certified public speaking coach while I was still working. That's also how I found ATD (Association for Training Development) and started tapping into a network of learning and performance professionals and resources to keep me surrounded in expertise in the field of human performance coaching.
I left my last 9 to 5 when I saw leadership at that organization start to wither in early 2016. I was also bored out of my mind. I started working on my plan to transition to coaching full time for myself. My husband is a Web designer so we started working on the site design and I started writing a lot about things I believe in. I also spoke to tons of coaches who were already doing amazing things and took what resonated with me into my brand and product offerings. So if I had to break it down 1) started working in the field part time 2) educated myself as much as I could 3) leveraged a network of trusted experts 4)began identifying my brand 5) kept talking to my network.
What do you consider your specialties?
Public speaking and interactive learning experiences are my thing. I love facilitation and can make any topic interactive and fun. I have a lot of energy and am great at getting people excited and ready to learn and try new things. I'm also very pragmatic, so if you have a technical mindset, we will probably get along great.
Do you see yourself making this full-time?
High Tides is definitely my full time thing right now. They say as soon as you draft a plan b you've given up on your plan a. I have no intentions of going backwards. Life is too short and too much fun to waste it not doing what you want.
What can we always expect from your company/brand?
Honesty and new ideas. I don't mince words and if there's a better way to do something, then that's how we should do it.
What was the best advice you every received and why?
Save 6 -8 months or more of expenses before you jump full time into entrepreneurship. Make sure you're ready mentally and financially for what being independent means. Everyone needs an FU fund, and not having to stress about the basics makes focusing on your business much easier and far less stressful.
What tips can you recommend that you’d would most likely only share with a close friend or comrade on success?
Don't take it all so seriously -- especially yourself. If you're side hustle is getting you frustrated, you're not doing this thing right. You have to relax into who you're supposed to be. Breathe. Life is supposed to be fun and feel great. If it doesn't, you're doing something wrong. You need to change something and, sooner is better than later, and now is better than soon.
Favorite online resources such as Evernote or Dropbox that you use for your business?
I use Google drive for cloud document storage and am especially fond of the "Sheets' spreadsheet application on my phone because it makes it easy for me to track upcoming workshops and payments when I am on the go. I use Evernote for note taking for the same reason - accessibility. I also love Hootsuite for managing my social channels and Canva for creating original artwork for social media. I use Deductr for bookkeeping and managing taxes. Another app that is nice, but I only use on occasion is Expenselt with Concur. Its a combo website and mobile application that is great for contractors because you can capture receipts on your phone and import them directly into an expense report or customer invoice. Very handy if you are service based. Deductr also as the receipt capture functionality for bookkeeping, but you still need to manually migrate the info into your invoice system. Also, Hubspot.com for tons of marketing resources including CRM and lead tracking software. I use the Hubspot extension on my Google business accounts to make it easy to track conversations in email
Can you recommend one or two books that has been influential in your life.
My go to book for business philosophy is Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Napoleon Hill. I've read it multiple times and is such an inspiration. I like the "Black Choice' edition because the anecdotes focus on the achievement of Black business people and its important to see role models that resemble your experience and background, not just your goals and aspirations when seeking mentorship. Another great read that really helps me when thinking about the relationships of business and personal life is The Only Thing that Matters by Neale Donald Walsch. It's part of the Conversations with Humanity series and goes deep into the nature of consciousness and how we all interact with the world.
What can we expect from you and your company/brand in the next 5 years?
I'm really looking forward to taking my workshops to more women's empowerment organizations. I had a great opportunity to coach at a minority women in communications event, and it was awesome. I've been doing a lot of writing in these early months both for the blog and drafting new workshop content, but by next year I'll be traveling a lot more and teaching my content as well as that of companies I respect, focusing on women in leadership. In five years, the brand will be mentoring and teaching other coaches on how to impact their communities, creating more entrepreneurs and more change agents. It would be awesome to license some of my workshop experiences so others could catch the bug outside the NY metro area as well.
What do you think will be the next big change or shift in your industry?
This industry is tough because it's so deregulated. There's no authority on coaching which is good because there are so many different flavors, and you want clients to find the person who resonates with them the best, regardless of how many letters are behind their name. This also means there are a lot of swindlers and sharks out there who don't care about people or making the world a better place . Unfortunately, the swindlers tend to have way better marketing than the legit coaching professionals who want to help people.
I think the industry may move towards some set standards for the profession. Already some associations are doing certificate programs but I think more of that across the board is going to take place in order to protect consumers and honestly also to protect the reputations of those of us who really love what we do helping others be their best.
If a young entrepreneur walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?
Work on your relationships. No one does this thing called life alone. And that's especially true of entrepreneurs. Your network is your golden ticket. Stay connected to your community and they will be the key to your success.
If you are looking for high-performance coaching or ways to improve your personal finances. You can contact Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org or try her website www.mariedeveaux.com look out for her on social media | Facebook page: /hightidesconsulting/ | Twitter: @ahightide | Instagram: @mariedeveaux
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