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 Mel DePaoli of Seattle. If you would like to be the “Featured Soloist,” please send me an e-mail, Larry@TheSolopreneurLife.com.
Name of solopreneur:
Name of business and city:
Type of business:
Speaker, consultant, author: Showing companies how to influence the perception of their brand leveraging their operations, employees, and marketing. Primarily working with the construction industry. Author of: “Contractors: Doing it Right Not Just Getting it Done,” “Hiring a Contractor,” and “Contagious Think Pad”
When did you officially go into business?
2002, then again in 2009
What was the best thing you did when you were starting up your business?
The second time around, I got help from mentors and coaches as well as being proactive about attending conferences to better myself and my business.
What is a mistake that you made that you have learned from?
I learned you can’t please everyone and when you try it only hurts you. Another big lesson was learning how to say “no” without burning bridges.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Land five paid speaking gigs (suggested topics: customer service, influencing brand perception, leadership, diversity programs), release a third book, and attend a conference.
What are your main software programs?
Microsoft Office, OneNote (if you do not use OneNote, you MUST look into it! It is the best tool out there.), Hoot Suite, and the Adobe Suite
What’s your advice for aspiring solopreneurs?
Always ask for HONEST feedback on how you can improve your business, your presentation, or your interviewing skills from people who are qualified to give it, and make sure you are prepared to hear the brutal honest truth.
What are your strategies for staying competitive?
Closely aligning myself to people who you would initially think are my competition. They make great referral sources and allow me to focus on projects I want to work on.