This is “Featured Soloist,” a feature that is published on Tuesdays at The Solopreneur Life.
The purpose of “Featured Soloist” is to give all of us a glimpse at how other solopreneurs operate their small businesses. This week we meet Dr. Shannon Reece of Naples, Florida. If you would like to be the “Featured Soloist,” please send me an e-mail, Larry@TheSolopreneurLife.com.
Name of solopreneur:
Dr. Shannon Reece
Name of business and city:
Reece International LLC ; Naples, Florida
Web site address:
When did you officially go into business?
I have been a consultant since 1994.
Why did you start your own business?
To teach women how to launch a business and be competitive in a man’s business world. Whether she is looking for a kitchen table operation, or a larger enterprise, my goal is to get her get from zero to launch in a niche that maximizes her unique gifts.
Discovering and leveraging your inherent strengths is truly the only way to be successful. Most business training doesn’t guide women through the process of self-discovery to determine their greatest assets, which is vital to long term success and sustainability. My business fills that much-needed gap, and teaches women how to leverage their assets into championship form without sacrificing who they are in the process.
What was the best thing you did when you were starting up your business?
Understanding the importance of pursuing a career path that aligns with your core, as I was searching for my niche, I discovered a need in the business world for training up women entrepreneurs in a holistic sense. In the male-dominated world of business, women can often be left feeling as though they are somehow lacking because they are wired differently than men. I have built a business around teaching women how to leverage the very best of what makes them women, and training them to be elite competitors in business. Being successful is never about conforming to the status quo.
What is a mistake that you made that you have learned from?
I got caught up in a cycle of perfectionism when I first started out. I could have easily created a simple blog and worked on building an email list, while other work was being completed behind the scenes. Instead, I waited until every last detail was finished, and lost a lot of valuable time in the process. Fear can really get in the way of progress if you let it call the shots.
What is your biggest current challenge in the business and what are doing to try to solve it?
I am in the process of significantly upgrading my Refresh-Her Challenge program, that I launched for the first time in January of this year. There are so many additions I wish to make to the program, but must pace myself, and not bite off more than I can chew before the next launch in March. Patience is not one of my virtues, but sometimes it pays off to take small steps, that can still lead to big rewards. To rein myself in a bit, I developed a strict timeline, and mapped out my goals for the next launch. Having it down on paper keeps me on target, and also makes it clear that adding anything else to the equation would end up diminishing the quality of the upgrades to which I have committed.
I’m spreading the news on great deals for solopreneurs. Do you have a deal/sale/bargain/special on your product or service? Please send it to me: Larry@TheSolopreneurLife.com
Where do you want to be with the business in five years?
In the next five years, I want to be more significantly impacting the lives and businesses of the women with whom I work. It’s not just about helping them start-up, but teaching them how to grow their businesses to the next level without sacrificing themselves in the process. The best way to accomplish this goal is to keep asking and keep listening to my audience. Honing my products and services to meet the specific needs of the women I serve will enable me to assist them in reaching their long term goals much faster.
What are your main software programs?
I am a Mac girl, so I do a lot of creative work in Pages, Photoshop Elements, Keynote, and ScreenFlow. My favorite organizational tool is Evernote. It is honestly my second (and better) memory.
What are your strategies for staying competitive?
The best ways to maintain a competitive edge are to (1) leverage your natural gifts into championship form, minimizing the time you spend on your areas of weakness, and to (2) keep yourself from getting mired in your comfort zone. The best growth occurs when you are being challenged to the point of being a bit uncomfortable. Your comfort zone should only be a rest stop, and never a destination.
If your business should fail, what is your fall back position?
I am on a “no option to fail” mission, so there is no plan B. That is how I think solopreneurs need to approach their business–with 100% commitment. If you are not all in, how could you possibly expect to succeed?
If you could start your business all over again, what would you do differently? Why?
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, so there would be things I would do differently if I could go back with the knowledge I have now. Probably the biggest, would be to not be such a perfectionist when it came to what I wanted my website to be. I invested a lot of money in something that could have been scaled back considerably. But when you are new to the world of online business, you go with the best advice you have at the time. Now I am in a great position to share my lessons learned with my audience so they can avoid some of the mistakes I made.
What’s your advice for aspiring solopreneurs?
Really make sure that you are pursuing a business option that taps into your greatest strengths, and is not an area where you will be daily working to overcome your weaknesses. As a solopreneur, you will have to do it all for a while, and that will include tasks that are more difficult for you, or are not a part of your repertoire. Regardless, the core of your business should be designed around who you are, your values, interests and strengths, as well as, be a direction that will meet your income needs. Starting your own business can be a long, rough road, but when you are doing what you love, it is worth the effort.
Are you glad you became a solopreneur? Why or why not?
I couldn’t be happier being a solopreneur! I spent many years working hard for other people’s dreams. It took getting kicked out of my comfort zone to get me to finally pursue my own, and I haven’t looked back. Starting a business was very challenging, with a steep learning curve. And frankly, you never stop learning as you go. But there is a huge difference between labor for someone else, and a labor of love as you fulfill your purpose in life.