Face your fears and take action with Deana Jean
On this episode of our productivity podcast, Get More Done, we explore how to overcome our fears, find our gifts, and share them with the world. Learn what strategies Deana used to build a six-figure business in just one year.
The YouCanBookMe team
If you are ready to get inspired to take action, Deana Jean is the person you’ve been looking for.
She’s an entrepreneur, consultant, speaker, tribe builder, mother of three, and cancer survivor who is dedicated to helping diverse women build and scale their businesses.
Deana’s goal is to teach us how to finally get out of our own heads and start doing. Instead of focusing on the limits of our gaps, she shows us how to build and use a success tribe as a superpower for those very gaps we’re so afraid of.
Tune in (or read below) to learn how to find and lean into your gifts, why it’s often harder to set personal goals than professional ones, and to always lead with support first.
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Listen to episode 20
In the episode “Face your fears and take action,” we discuss
- How Deana moved from a career in sales to starting her own consulting business
- A deep dive into what the Ready, Fire, Aim strategy is all about
- How to take action, even in the mindset of fear
- How Deana juggles being a speaker, entrepreneur, and mom of three
- The steps to building your own success tribe
- Why it’s important to clearly and honestly identify your goals, gifts, and gaps
- The processes that save Deana time: intentional scheduling, planning, and auditing her life
- How to set goals with “whys” that are stronger than your fears
- The value of leaning into your gift as not just a gift for you, but a gift to the world
- Why surrounding yourself with action takers is the fastest way to get where you want to go
- What’s next for Deana: working on her business and collaboration container, spreading her strategies through speaking engagements, and spending time with her family
“If there's an idea in your head, whether it is that you want to run an event, whether it is that you want to start a business, whether it is that you want to go for a promotion, the fact that idea is already in your head actually means that you are already ready to take that idea on.” - Deana Jean
“A big part of the reason that the fear takes over is because the ideas in our head as to why we can't be successful usually prevent us from moving forward. But the crazy part about it is that these things typically only exist in our head. So when you take the opportunity now to get it out of your head and actually try the thing, you realize that a lot of the things that you had fear about, that a lot of the things that you thought were going to make it so that you would not be successful, are actually not true.” - Deana Jean
“Look at the things that you don't do well or that you don't want to do, or that it doesn't pay for you to do, because you could be doing something else that is a better return on investment of time, resources, or money. Then you find the best and the brightest in those areas and you give those people an opportunity to act in their zone of genius.” - Deana Jean
“The key with that process is making sure that we are helping them to identify goals that have whys that are stronger than their fear. It's easy to come up with a goal and say, ‘Hey, I want to make a million dollars.’ But the reason that a lot of people don't make a million dollars is because their fear of failure is stronger than the idea of making a million dollars. But if I were to say, with that million dollars, I want to be able to launch a nonprofit that's going to create thousands of jobs within my community. For me, that's a why that's stronger than my fear of failure.” - Deana Jean
“Think about where we would be if Martin Luther King had not used his gift of being an amazing orator and being a tribe builder himself, being able to lean across both sides of an aisle and to bring people together for a common cause. Think about where we would be as a society if Steve Jobs didn't lean into his gift for innovation and that hard work ethic of just getting it right. Perfect, some would say, like that perfection idea. Think about all the different people and how they've contributed to society and to the world, and think about if they would've been shy about their gift and the type of world we would be living in today. You are no less than any of those folks. So lean into your gift.” - Deana Jean
Meet today’s guest, Deana Jean
Deana Jean is a Professional Speaker, Master Connector, and Tribe Builder who prioritizes elevating the voices and businesses of diverse women.
She’s also a proud Breast Cancer Survivor, Brooklyn native, and holds degrees in International Business, Finance, and Spanish from The George Washington University.
After spending over 15 years serving in Sales Leadership and Training roles, Deana decided it was time to truly lean into her gift of connection and launch a business that aligns to her core values of service, success, and integrity.
Through Intentional Excellence Consulting LLC, she has partnered with women entrepreneurs and enterprise organizations across 20 states and 4 continents as an event Emcee, Keynote Speaker, Consultant, and Coach, with a focus on building intentional connections and celebrating each participant’s unique Gifts.
In addition to serving on several boards, Deana’s passions include: mentorship, economic empowerment, equity in education, special needs advocacy, faith, and loving on her tremendous village; including her amazingly supportive 3 children and husband.
Productivity resources to explore
- Intentional Excellence Consulting
- Ready, Fire, Aim
- Intentional Success! Tribe Facebook group
- Deana Jean’s LinkedIn
- Intentional Success! Tribe Instagram
- Get More Done podcast
“Face Your Fears and Take Action” full transcript
This transcript has been slightly edited for clarity and readability.
This is Get More Done, YouCanBook.me podcast and I'm your host Ben Dlugiewicz. Each month YouCanBook.me saves millions of people time by automating scheduling. You can be so much more productive, not worrying about the back and forth to find the time, and rest assured that the system has your back. Because of this time savings, we wanted to explore other aspects of productivity. On each episode of Get More Done, we will talk with entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, consultants, and coaches on how they're doing more with less and helping their teams and clients level up.
On this episode, I got inspired talking with Deana Jean. Deana is a mother of three, entrepreneur, consultant, speaker, tribe builder, and is a cancer survivor. She shares the framework she uses to help our clients lean into their gifts and gives everyone techniques to build a success tribe around themselves. She explains how you need to get a "why" that is stronger than your fear and use accountability to get momentum and action. Enjoy.
Excellent, welcome back to the Get More Done podcast where we talk about all things productivity and crushing goals. On today's episode, I'm sitting down with Deana Jean, the professional speaker, master connector, tribe builder, and founder of Intentional Excellence Consulting. So Deana, welcome to Get More Done.
Hey Ben, I'm so glad to be here. Thank you so much for the warm welcome.
Yeah. Super excited to talk with you and just learn everything that you're doing and how you're helping your clients grow and succeed. When we start these conversations, we start with an icebreaker question. So the one for you is, if you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
This is a good one. So I think for me, I'd love to be able to be in more than one place at a time. That's super helpful as a mom, as a spouse, as an entrepreneur, as a leader. Being able to kind of duplicate myself and be in more than one place at once is always super helpful. So I would say it probably seems pretty cliche, but definitely duplicating myself to be in more than one place at a time.
Yeah. That's probably the first time I've ever heard that answer, but it makes total sense, and I kind of want that too.
Yeah. Well see, I thought it was generic, but that's awesome.
No, that's very unique, but it makes sense because having the ability to be in multiple places at one time, because as we'll get to, you have a lot going on, and you have that need to maybe be in multiple places. My answer is always either telekinesis or teleportation. Moving things with my mind or just being able to zip-zap around.
Zip-zap around. Teleportation is probably the second one for me.
I feel like just being able to snap my fingers and be at the basketball game or at the conference or at the summit.
Yeah, just fast forward all the commuting and all that stuff in between. Exactly.
Get it done. I live in New York City. So being able to avoid the traffic is always definitely a plus.
Always a plus for sure. Awesome. So, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started your consulting business?
Wow. That's a long story. I'll give you the short version though. I'll give you the short version. So, as you mentioned, I am a mom. I am a mom of three. I'm a wife, I'm a tribe builder, and I am an entrepreneur. I'm a first-generation entrepreneur. A little over two years ago, I decided that I wanted to launch my own consultancy that was focused on helping folks to be able to really understand how they could achieve maximum success with the things that were currently embedded inside of them, their unique skills. My background is sales, so I have held every role in sales from frontline sales all the way up through to my most recent role in sales before I moved on and I had my own business. I was actually a person that would come in and help companies that were preparing for mergers or acquisitions to prepare their sales force for those situations. To optimize their client-facing teams.
Love that work. The thing that I loved most about it was having the opportunity to actually coach and consult with folks and help them to really take a strength-based approach to achieving success. Been running that business since the end of 2019, not knowing that a pandemic was on the way, but ultimately for us, it ended up being such a tremendous gift and something that, if I had not done it at that specific point in time, I might have never done. So, that's work that I do, and I get excited about it every single day.
Yeah. There's never a right time to do that. You just have to go in and dive straight in, but it's awesome that your work in the sales side of coaching and stuff, that sparked that fire and then you brought it into your consulting business. Now, one thing that you talk about within that is this Ready, Fire, Aim framework that helps folks take action. Especially with now the start of the new year, everybody's setting up the resolutions and everything. So how do you help folks avoid that fear and uncertainty? What are the steps around that?
Yeah. So Ready, Fire, Aim is just a tremendous strategy. I'm sure we've kind of heard of it in different veins, but the idea behind Ready, Fire, Aim with me is that I work primarily with women who are entrepreneurs. So whether they're new entrepreneurs, they're accomplished entrepreneurs. Typically, if they're new entrepreneurs, they're really accomplished in their career. So in the C-suite or they're in kind of higher-level management and they're looking to pivot into entrepreneurship. What these women tend to have in common is that oftentimes it is so much easier for them to execute on things for others, but when it comes to themselves, we get in our heads a lot.
I know that because I am that woman, or I was that woman. It's a balancing act every single day. So the idea behind Ready, Fire, Aim is that I help these folks to be able to understand that if they're thinking about an idea, if there's an idea in your head, whether it is that you want to run an event, whether it is that you want to start a business, whether it is that you want to go for a promotion, the fact that idea is already in your head actually means that you are already ready to take that idea on or that project on. But what we focus on is how to make you feel ready. Because when you feel ready, it's easier to execute. So we talk about the idea that you have to start with really ensuring that you're committing to some processes and some adages that give you permission to take action.
We talk about things like committing to the idea that done is better than perfect. We talk about things like understanding and agreeing that you cannot make progress in a process that you don't participate in. Then we also talk about giving yourself grace, because those are the three things you need to do to get ready to take action. Then once you do that, what we do is we create processes and we create strategies that allow you to take action, even in the midst of the fear. So we talk about things like creating a success tribe, which is a huge part of the strategy that I've used in my life, my career, and personal things as well.
We also talk about the idea of leaning into your gifts and not feeling limiting beliefs around your gaps, and actually using your success tribe as a superpower for your gaps. Then we talk about the idea of firing often, constantly doing. A big part of the reason that the fear takes over is because the ideas in our head as to why we can't be successful usually prevent us from moving forward. But the crazy part about it is that these things typically only exist in our head. So when you take the opportunity now to get it out of your head and actually try the thing, you realize that a lot of the things that you had fear about, that a lot of the things that you thought were going to make it so that you would not be successful, are actually not true.
The more that you have those data points to show that you are ready for the success, to show that you can be successful, the more that you fire and you give yourself permission to do it often so that you can iterate and improve every single time. It's so much easier for you to take action. So that is Ready, Fire, Aim in a nutshell.
Yeah, you are saying get out of your head. You are living in this lack mentality or living in the gap, like you mentioned, and then surrounding yourself or insulating yourself with a success tribe or support system. I think it's great. Then always getting action, always iterating and being okay when it's not perfect, because there's no such thing as perfect. You have to just do it and get it done.
That makes total sense. So we talked a little bit earlier about you personally with being a mom of three kids and being a speaker and running your consulting business and you're on several boards. How do you do all this? How do you manage all this?
It comes down to that success tribe idea again. So all the strategies that I coach, that I consult, that I talk to people about, Ben, are things that I have lived. I don't coach anything that I haven't lived because I think it's really important for you to come to these ideas and these conversations and these projects and these relationships with the sense of authenticity that can only come from lived experience. So for me, when I think about the times when as a sales executive, I had a 10 day a month travel schedule and three young kids with a husband, who's a military service member, who actually just recently retired, but at the time wasn't even living in the same state where I and our children lived. I think about how I was able to push through and move forward and thrive.
In those situations, it came down to leveraging my success tribe. When I think about when I decided that I wanted to launch this business, I literally decided within a three-week period of time. It was three weeks from the time that I said, "I'm going to launch a business," to the time when I gave notice to the company that I was working with and actually pivoted my W2 role there into a consultancy that paid for my consulting business. That really came down to leveraging my tribe which helped to move me forward.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, five and a half months pregnant with my daughter, I ended up getting a breast cancer diagnosis in the midst of my pregnancy, and had to figure out how we were going to move forward, not just with the pregnancy, but with chemo treatments while pregnant. With all of the things that came after delivering the baby, with all of the nuances and the intricacies of that really challenging situation, it came down to leveraging my success tribe. So that for me is the key to everything. Finding the people that can fill in the gaps for you and that free you up to do the things that are most important for you to do so that you can move forward.
Yeah. That is a lot to take on and just having that group of people. So how does somebody attract that success tribe or find their own success tribe?
That's a great question. That's a question that so many people ask, they say, "Deana, I'm surrounded by so many different people, but the reason that I don't collaborate or the reason that I don't ask people to help is because when I ask people to help, they don't help. When I ask people to do things, they don't do them as well as I would do them." All those things. So there are a few different elements. The first is that you have to be clear about your own strengths and your own challenges. So we have a strategy at Intentional Excellence called goals, gifts, and gaps. This is the strategy that we use to be able to identify how to find our success tribe.
The first thing that we do is we look at the things that we're gifted in, the things that we are super skilled at, and that we love to do. Those are our gifts. Ben, sometimes those are the things that we take for granted most, our gifts. We diminish them. We say, "Oh, well I'm just a baker," or "I'm just a speaker. It's easy for me." But just because it's easy for you, you have to realize that's gold for some people. So the first thing is that you have to identify your gift. You have to identify your goal. You have to identify what it is that you want to be able to accomplish, whether it be a project, whether it be something personal. You have to identify what it is that you want to be able to do and why it's important to you. Then it's the hard part. You have to think about what you want to do. You have to think about your gift and then the gap.
What are the things that you need to be able to do in order to accomplish that goal that maybe you're not proficient in, that maybe you don't like to do, that maybe you don't have the bandwidth for? That is where you find your gaps. Usually, what happens, Ben, is that when we are presented with the situation, let's say we want to launch a business. We focus on the gap. We don't focus on the gift. We want to focus on the goal. The gap is the thing that's most pronounced in our head because that is the thing that is preventing us from moving forward. So what I say is, I say flip that. Go into the goal. Go into the gift. Then when you see the gap, actually embrace it. Why do you embrace the gap? Because that is the thing that is going to allow you to be as powerful as possible. It's going to be the thing that's going to allow you to act in your superpower. But most importantly, it is a thing that's going to help you identify your question, how to find the folks in your success tribe.
So if I know that I have a gap as an entrepreneur, as a potential entrepreneur, of not understanding accounting, I could do one of two things. I could say, "I can't run my own business without knowing how to do accounting. I'm not even going to think about pursuing this." Or I could say, "I'm very good at speaking. I'm very good at galvanizing people and bringing them together. Accounting, not so much, but do you know what I need to do? I need to actually find the best possible accountant that I can, either in my network or in an extended part of my network." First or second or third line of defense.
Then I need to actually give that person the power, empower them to act in their zone of genius. Now, what am I doing? I am freeing myself up for not having to worry about that, think about that. But now I've taken the first step to creating the success tribe of people who are specialists in all of the different areas that they're gifted in. What an amazing gift to give someone the opportunity to actually act in the thing that they want to do and the thing that they specialize in? So, that's how you find your success tribe. Look at the things that you don't do well or that you don't want to do, or that it doesn't pay for you to do, because you could be doing something else that is a better return on investment of time, resources, or money. Then you find the best and the brightest in those areas and you give those people an opportunity to act in their zone of genius in their zone of optimization there.
Wow. Yeah. Just plugging in your gaps with superheroes, like you just mentioned, and just bolstering your team. That's really, really awesome. I think people may be reluctant to do that because you have to be pretty vulnerable to say, "Hey, this is something I can't take on." Or, "This is something I do need help with." It's all that head game that we talked about, of just getting that out and breaking free of that, for sure.
So how about processes for you, since you are running your own business and everything. Do you have any processes that are in place that save you a ton of time?
Sure. There are so many different things, but for me again, remember the strategies that I coach and I consult around are the things that apply to my life. So when I think about the processes for finding my success tribe, it comes down to me constantly auditing where I am, what needs to happen within my business, what needs to happen in other aspects of my life. Some of the processes that are super helpful to me as an entrepreneur is that my week is segmented between client-facing and non-client-facing time. Because when I'm engaging with my clients, they have all of me. But as an entrepreneur, the goal is to be working on your business versus working in your business. So I have bookend times during the week to work on the business.
Some people hold little CEO days. For me, intentional scheduling and planning are really the way that I'm able to get as much done as possible because everything has a place to be plugged into. So I would say, start with figuring out from a daily perspective, what things you want to get done on certain days, and then break that into even the ideal time for you to be working on things in the time of day. For me, it is most helpful for me to be able to do any type of non-client facing activity as early in the morning as possible. So that's when I schedule those things. I don't schedule client-facing stuff for super, super early in the morning. It's also easier for me to do that stuff later in the evening when my kids aren't around. So my client-facing stuff goes into this little bucket, and I know that I'm optimizing the time that I'm working on that.
Yeah. I don't think that can be understated because it's like having that structure of your day and maybe planning that out in advance of saying, this is the chunk I'm devoting to this and just diving headfirst. That I think is very, very, very interesting, and that's what everybody should be doing. So if you're listening to this, block your day off, block your time off, do it in advance, and then just stick to that, for sure. So in one of your processes or in your actual consulting group, there's one thing that you are striving to do and align people with their passion. So how are you helping your clients do that? How are you helping them just bring that passion and process to every aspect of their lives?
Yeah. Great question. Thank you for asking that. So it comes down to kind of those goals, gifts, and gaps again. We start off with really identifying for you, what are your gifts? That's an exercise, Ben, that you'd be surprised. I have clients who have been working or super successful, been working for 30, 40 years, 20 years, 15 years, however long, and have never actually done an audit of their gifts. They can tell you what their job description is. They can tell you what they're known for, but when you ask them about their gifts, it's like, huh. It's interesting. So one of the first things that we do is we do an audit of your gifts and then we also take a look at the goals that you have. What I found is that it's super easy for successful people, specifically the clients that I work with, to set professional goals. Much harder, though, for them to set personal goals. Much, much harder.
So we take some time to identify what that looks like too. The key with that process is making sure that we are helping them to identify goals that have whys that are stronger than their fear. It's easy to come up with a goal and say, "Hey, I want to make a million dollars." But the reason that a lot of people don't make a million dollars is because their fear of failure is stronger than the idea of making a million dollars. But if I were to say, with that million dollars, I want to be able to launch a nonprofit that's going to create thousands of jobs within my community. For me, that's a why that's stronger than my fear of failure. Just making a million dollars isn't strong enough. So working with folks to be able to understand and to identify for them the why that is stronger than their fear, to me, that is probably one of the most important elements of the work that I do that allows me to be able to help folks to get aligned to their passions and to create processes that align to those things.
So a good goal is one that has a strong why in it, and it pulls you from that fear of taking action. It's like, you're pulled towards that why?
Yeah. So your why has to be stronger than your fear. You'll ask people and they'll have the why, but it's usually a surface why. It's the why that we hear on social media. It's the why that we hear in commercials. It's the why that is the instant answer. You ever talk to someone and you say, "Hey, how are you?" And they immediately say "fine," or, "Well, how are you?" Without even actually listening to the question. Sometimes that's the knee-jerk why that we give. To do better for my family so that I can pay for my kids to go to school and have a better life for my kids. You have to go a few layers deeper to be able to really identify something that, no matter how fearful you are, that thing is going to resonate.
That thing's going to be super, super profound. When I was going through my breast cancer treatments while I was pregnant with my daughter, that was when I really realized how important it was to have, not just any kind of why. It had to be a why that was stronger than my fear. Why? Because there was so much to fear. So for me, the goal wasn't to identify the fear. That was going to show up on itself. What I had to identify was what is going to push me? What is going to move me forward? What is going to put me in a position where I will put one foot in one of the other, regardless of how scared I am? I had to identify what that thing was. That's when the light bulb went off of me and said, "Well, that's for me." Then I imagine other people are going through the same thing. I found exactly that.
Absolutely. I think drilling down into that and really getting to that substantial why, because if it's just a surface level thing, you're never going to accomplish it, because it doesn't mean anything to you. So we have to drill down into that. Kind of on the flip side to that, when we talk about the gifts, you said some folks kind of struggle with that. How should folks navigate that? Just writing down a list of all the things that they think they're good at? Ask people for advice? How should they figure that out?
You provided some great suggestions. So one of the things that I talk to people about is asking the folks who are closest to you. Asking folks that you respect the most, what am I really good at? If there were anything that I could teach you that I know, what would that thing be that you would say I stand for? But I have to be honest with you, Ben, as a black woman, oftentimes that conversation has to happen differently because we live in a society. We live in a world where black women are not always as valued as others, regardless of how valuable we are. And a lot of times, many of us have also been raised in an environment where we have been taught to not brag about our gifts to be of service to others.
Being braggadocious is the same as putting others down. I work with a lot of black women. I work with all types of folks, but I work with a lot of black women, super successful, Rhode scholar, ridiculously successful C-suite women. One of the things that we talk about initially, when we talk about this idea of kind of leaning into your gifts, is understanding that your gift is not just your gift to you, but it's your gift to the world. That the best way to be of service to others is really and truly to operate in the full experience of your gift. There are people on this earth that will be impacted and the trajectory of their life will be changed by your gift. But if you don't talk about it and if no one knows it exists, you are actually doing a disservice to the people who need you. So I say that is a conversation that I have with a lot of the black women that I work with.
But I say that goes across the board. If you're having challenges with understanding how you can put yourself in the position to really lean into your gift and to call it out and to talk about it and to brag about it, think about all the people that you can impact and that you can serve by making your gift public. Think about where we would be if Martin Luther King had not used his gift of being an amazing orator and being a tribe builder himself, being able to lean across both sides of an aisle and to bring people together for a common cause. Think about where we would be as a society if Steve Jobs didn't lean into his gift for innovation and that hard work ethic of just getting it right. Perfect, some would say, like that perfection idea. Think about all the different people and how they've contributed to society and to the world, and think about if they would've been shy about their gift and the type of world we would be living in today. You are no less than any of those folks. So lean into your gift.
Yes. I think it ties back to just overcoming the fear. Maybe not fear of what happened, but fear that you are going to make an impact and you're not maybe ready for that, but you have to lean into it. And like you mentioned, it's yours to give to the world and the world's waiting for that. That's awesome. I'm feeling motivated already.
There you go. Look, see. We've been talking for about 20 minutes.
Yeah. Now, what are some tips for folks looking to get action and start a new goal? How do you navigate that with your clients?
Sure. So getting into action, again, goes back to the success tribe. There are three different types of ways that folks work with me and that's evolved over time. It's always great to be in a position where you kind of can start to pull yourself away a little bit and actually start to infuse other things into your business. So there are three ways that folks work with me. The first way is that people hire me as a speaker and specifically as an MC for community type of conversations, helping people build a sense of community connection and collaboration. That can happen in a number of different ways.
The second way that folks work with me is entrepreneurs who are really looking to create and optimize their sales strategy, their marketing funnel, as well as their sales funnel for whatever it is that they're working on, a new offer, a new event, and things like that. Then the third way that folks work with me is I actually have a private collaboration container that is full of entrepreneurs, about 98% women, about 90% of those are black women. We don't discriminate. We prioritize working with black women. We center black women, but we welcome allies and we welcome people who want to sponsor and support that. That's a collaboration container that is meant to help those entrepreneurs do one of two things because there are two groups in there.
There's one group that is looking to grow to six figures in their business, whether it's a side hustle or a full-time business. Then there's another group that has actually grown to that group, that number already, and they want to scale now. They've done it, and they're like, "How do I keep doing it and how do I keep growing?" Because those are two different strategies. So how do I put processes and systems and all that together? The thing though that they have in common is that they are all prioritizing collaboration and community. So when you think about it, for people who are looking to get started on a goal, my primary suggestion always is to find a container, find a network, find a success tribe of people that are not doing what you are doing, but actually doing what you want to do.
So if you are a six-figure entrepreneur and you want to be a seven-figure entrepreneur, then you find a container of folks who have hit those seven figures already, or are really, really close. If you are right now in a leadership position and you decide that you want to start a side hustle, join a group of entrepreneurs. Surround yourself with the people that you want to emulate in the process because the closer you are to them, the closer you are to the learning. When you're close to the learning, you're able to really barrel over so many different obstacles and diminish your lead time and your learning curve to success. So when someone says, how do I get into action? Surround yourself with action takers. That is the fastest, most effective way that I have seen in my personal experience, that I've seen in the experience of my clients to get to where you want to go.
Yeah. That network of just being around the people that you want to be like or aspire to be like. That will just, by osmosis alone, probably just get into your DNA and make you into where you want to go. That makes total sense. Now, when you talk about a container or a tribe, do you envision it or is it a situation where you are just reaching out to these groups or you're actually building and bringing people into a group?
Great question. So really I think it works best when you, yourself, if you're looking to be able to move forward in kind of your career or entrepreneurship or whatever, is that you are...I think it goes both ways. For me, people are attracted to our container because they get the opportunity to engage with us in Facebook groups and an app called Clubhouse and things like that. But there are also people that I invite in based on connections and collaborations. A huge part of the work that I do in the way that I've structured my business is honestly having collaboration chats with people. I structured my business that way because that's what I love to do most. So I made it part of my business. I made it part of my business strategy to be able to make it worth it and a return on my time to have intentional conversations with folks that I want to bring closer into my network and that I also know that I can add value to.
I think that another important piece of this that we haven't really talked about yet is, when you're looking to create a success tribe, when you're looking to connect with others, when you are looking to accelerate your own progress, you have to lead with service. You have to lead with the way that you can also support others. It has to be mutually beneficial. So that's why it's so important for you to think about and lean into your gifts because that is ultimately the way that you are going to be able to cut through the noise of the folks who are in the DMs and selling in the DMs. Starting with service and starting by adding value is going to be a better hook and an easier way for you to attract the type of people that you want in your tribe.
Yep. Totally deposits into the bank before the withdrawal. That's an add value for sure.
Now, one thing when we're talking about goals and we're talking about achieving this and realizing potential, how important is accountability when it comes to achieving new goals?
Yeah. You're hitting on all my points here, Ben. It's like you've been all up in my container. So accountability is so important. That's a big part of the reason why folks join my container. One of the rules and one of the tenants when you work with me is that you are ready to take action and you're ready to be held accountable. Now I don't do it in a mean way. I don't do it in an intimidating way, but I do it in a way where you've already identified that it's something that you want to be able to accomplish and that you do. So the way that I hold folks accountable is by making connections for them. That's one of the primary ways.
So folks in my container, if they're saying, "Hey, I want to be a nationally renowned or internationally renowned speaker," then if they're part of my container, one of the first things I'm going to do is, when I have a conversation like this with you, Ben, at the end of this conversation, and we already talked about it, and I'm going to say, "Who else do you need? How many more speaker slots do you need to have filled?" Then I'm going to make that connection between you and those folks. Now there's accountability in there because now there's something that they have to complete, a loop that they have to close, and I'm propelling them into action through those connections and through those connection conversations.
That's why it's such a critical portion of my business and my business model that I'm constantly having collaboration conversations, not just for myself and building my own success tribe, which is important and happens organically, but also sponsoring and speaking on behalf of and making connections for my tribe.
Yeah. That's great to hear of just that snowball of collaboration and just moving things towards achieving goals. I think that's imperative of just saying, "I want to do this," and no one's going to hold you accountable unless you put them in the positions to hold you accountable to say, "Now I've committed to this, so I have to go through with it because somebody's relying on me," or some other event of that nature. That's really, really awesome. I'm super pumped. I want to join your container and just soak in all of your energy and just learn everything I can. But what's next for you? What are you excited about? What's on the horizon for you?
Oh, there are so many amazing things, Ben. When I think about the fact that we launched this business legitimately December 1st, 2019, and that over the last and that first year, we hit six figures in revenue, in a pandemic, which is pretty impressive, right?
That is massively impressive. Yes.
Right. In 2021, we doubled that. But most importantly, for me, the impact that we've been able to have on the lives and the businesses of others. So for 2022, I am really focused on being able to spread this message and these strategies of collaboration, of intention, of Ready, Fire, Aim, of goals, gifts, and gaps to as many people as possible through speaking. So that is really where the focus for me is for 2022, as I am a professional MC. So being able to use all of these different tenants that I have been able to establish and acquire and to use, to pour that into organizations and businesses and groups who want to be able to build a stronger sense of community, who want to focus on collaboration and connection. So I have awesome events that are coming up for that, and I am booking MC events for 2022.
I'd love to chat with folks who might be interested in that to see if we might be a good fit. But in addition to that, the collaboration container is just taken off in a tremendous way. I think I'm even more excited about that because I'm seeing the impact that these relationships that folks are building within the container are having on their businesses, but most importantly are having on their lives. So incredibly important. So I love that. So I would say those are the two big things from a business perspective.
From a personal perspective, as I mentioned, my husband just very recently retired from the military after 23 years of service in the United States Coast Guard. This is going to be the first time that he's been home every day in the time that we've been together for almost 20 years. So, that's exciting. He just got accepted into film school. He just got accepted into the New York City Film Academy, which is awesome that he gets to, after having all these years of committing to the military, that he now gets to make films and documentaries. So doubling down on just pouring into our family and enjoying that ride too is super exciting. So those are the things that I'm most excited about this year so far, but it's only January, Ben. So there are a lot more things that can happen.
Absolutely. Yeah, no, that sounds like a jam-packed year already and really awesome that with your container of just the exponential collaboration that's going to happen off of that. That's really cool. So where can our listeners go to learn more about everything that you're working on?
Great. So I'm so glad that you asked. First of all, Ben, this has been awesome. Thank you again so much for having me. I want to give a special shout-out to one of my past colleagues, Denita, who connected us. So I'm super excited about that. Definitely super big shout-out to Denita. Thank you for the connection. People can stay connected to me in a few different ways. So the first is that, if anything that I've said has resonated with you and you are a small business entrepreneur that's looking to make connections with other entrepreneurs that could potentially lead to collaboration, join our Facebook group, the Intentional Success Tribe Facebook group. That's a great place to be able to meet other entrepreneurs.
If anything that I've said has resonated and you're interested in learning a little bit more about how I support organizations and groups, when it comes to MCing or helping them build community and collaboration into their summits, into their launch events or into their conferences, then you can connect with me on LinkedIn, under my name, Deana Jean. Then you can also follow me on Insta if you just want to see what's going on. You can get to learn a little bit more about me and my family and my tribe. And on Instagram, I am at Intentional Success Tribe as well.
Yeah. We'll put all of those links in the blog post on our site, too, just to give people all the resources, because just in this short conversation with you, I'm already pumped up. I can only imagine if you're in a room full of people, getting them all jacked up.
Getting ready to crush their goals.
Yes. I'm sure you know some people that will be excited about having me MC too, Ben, so we're going to be connecting about that.
Right. Absolutely. Never stop collaborating.
Never stop collaborating. Absolutely.
Deana, it's been a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you so much for being on Get More Done. I wish you all the success in 2022 and have a good rest of your day.
Thank you so much, Ben. It's been such a great pleasure. It's been awesome. Yeah, I'm excited to connect with some folks. If you watched this and you caught me here with Ben, make sure to let me know, shoot me a message.
Absolutely. All right, Deana, take care.
All right. You too. Bye.
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