Tind-All Creative Marketing Founder Deirdre Tindall spoke with Innovation Destination Hartford Website Curator Nan Price about her entrepreneurial journey and her experience recently launching her own woman-owned business.
NAN PRICE: Have you always been entrepreneurial?
DEIRDRE TINDALL: I come from a large family of entrepreneurs. My dad was an entrepreneur. There are 12 kids in my family and most of my brothers and sisters own their own companies. I grew up around that kind of spirit and drive. So, I’ve always known I needed to be working for myself and be an entrepreneur.
I think when you’re an entrepreneur and you have that drive, you’re not meant for a corporate environment. It’s just taken me all these years—I’ve always had a dream of doing my own thing but, as a female, sometimes you lack that confidence to go out on your own. I feel I’ve been living the “safe life” for some time as it relates to my professional career.
NAN: You’ve obviously had some built-in mentors. Have you connected to people outside of your family?
DEIRDRE: Yes absolutely! They’ve been my key to success. So many amazing people have invested in me, saw my talents, gave me opportunities, and continue to help me today.
NAN: Is this your first startup?
DEIRDRE: This is my second startup. I started a company a year and a half ago with a business partner. I probably should’ve trusted in myself and my abilities in the very beginning and known not go that route. I think there’s always that fear. Fear prevents you from doing a lot of things.
But I have to say, it wasn’t a negative thing because it gave me so much more confidence in who I am as a person—and I learned a ton. I believe everything happens for a reason, so I looked at it as something I needed to go through to become who I am today.
NAN: When did you branch out on your own?
DEIRDRE: September 2018. I left the other company and I started my own business within about two months. I’m doing the exact same thing I always had a vision for, but this time just by myself and for myself. I alone can control my destiny.
NAN: How did you develop the business concept?
DEIRDRE: It started organically. I was working full-time for other people and people saw value in my skillset and my work ethic. Over the years, through those connections, people started asking me if I could help with their public relations, business development, and marketing. I started consulting on the side from full-time work and found that doing that really inspired me to take this journey. I realized this is what I wanted to do. Fear is a powerful inhibitor. It stops you from doing many things. I was a single mother and felt it was selfish going from a full-time salaried job to starting my own business.
Off line, you and I were talking about how much we love that part of our jobs—making connections and helping others without expecting anything in return. The most powerful and impactful book I’ve ever read was The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. It underscored my philosophy that it’s better to give than receive. And, like you, that’s what fills my cup. I enjoyed working for other people but consulting on the side made me feel alive and filled that part of my life that I needed that at the moment.
A lot of things happened to get to the point where I said: I could die tomorrow. I’m not living my dream. I’m not living the authentic self.
So, I decided to take the jump and start my own company. I have been blessed with authentic relationships that have been developed over the years and it’s those relationships that are helping me be successful in my new endeavor.
NAN: Did you have prior business experience?
DEIRDRE: Yes. I don’t think it was hard to rebrand or relaunch because I’ve been in business for a very long time. I’ve learned to be resilient and get back up no matter what. I started working in my dad’s business at a very young age, which has shaped me. I learn best under fire. I’m not classically trained. Being forced to learn, you figure it out. You just do.
NAN: There’s no alternative.
DEIRDRE: Right. There’s nobody else to save you. So, I’ve basically taken my experiences over the last 16 years learning how to run businesses and working closely with business owners, especially what I learned from launching a startup with a partner, and just put in the same processes and procedures. Because, if your business has efficient processes and procedures in place, you don’t have to worry about all the excess. You can work smarter not harder.
I’m finding that, because of my experience, you put those processes in place and you’re up and running. I’m not going to say it’s easy. It’s not. But I also think as an entrepreneur you work all the time. That’s just the nature. And it’s awesome! Because you wake up and you’re doing what you love. And I’m doing something that fits around my son’s schedule.
NAN: How are you marketing and building your clientele?
DEIRDRE: I don’t ever worry about business. God plays an integral part in my success. In addition, I’ve spent my life and my career building real, lasting relationships. I’m involved in multiple chambers, which I’m a huge advocate of for any business.
I’m mainly involved with the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce in Glastonbury, which has had a huge impact on me personally and professionally. I was lucky that my gift is making connections and connecting the dots.
I also believe that it’s our responsibility to give back in the community and so I am on the board of two non-profits Carry My Brother and The Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries, which align with my philanthropic goals. I hope to someday make my company a social enterprise and continue and mentor young women who struggle to get into business.
NAN: Social responsibility is close to your heart.
DEIRDRE Yes. The concept of being a social enterprise is a key part of my philosophy—being able to make profit, but also being able to do good for the community and the environment. And I think it’s really awesome to work with clients that believe in the same philosophy as me. They’re also committed to giving back and volunteering.
NAN: Tell us a little about your experience with through mentorship.
DEIRDRE: I became involved with several different organizations. I worked with the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education through the MetroHartford Alliance. I became involved at some the local schools with their college readiness programs. You not only mentor in the classic sense, but you help with the college application process.
NAN: As a marketing company, what’s your differentiator?
DEIRDRE: A lot of times marketing companies just do marketing. I take a more holistic approach. It does no good to do marketing if your client’s house isn’t in order. I tell my clients: Don’t hire me to do marketing when your business isn’t in order because you won’t get the results you want.
I spend a lot of time at the beginning helping and guiding clients on processes from a strategic level, to put them in position to be successful from a marketing standpoint. I help clients understand who their target customer is—their buyer persona—and help them update their business development and relationships. For most businesses, it’s outdated. How am I going to do email marketing or send a newsletter if your information is outdated?
I refuse to take business for the sake of chasing dollars. I think when you don’t chase dollars and live your passion, the money always flows in the end. I think that’s a huge differentiator.
NAN: Are you a solopreneur or do you have a team?
DEIRDRE: I have two graphic designers and two web development team members. They’re independent contractors at this point although I would love to hire them full-time. That will happen in time.
NAN: How has that been, learning to manage people?
DEIRDRE: I’ve been in management positions in many positions I’ve been in. I always tell my son: Everybody has personality profiles. You can’t manage each person the same way. You have to find methods for dealing with each person individually to maximize their fullest potential, so they’re effective and work smarter. I don’t believe in micromanaging.
NAN: Who is your target clientele?
DEIRDRE: My current clients are small- to medium-sized businesses. A lot of firms won’t work with small businesses, but I love it.
NAN: What’s next?
DEIRDRE: I don’t really worry about it. I try to get the most out of living in the moment. I probably should have a 5- to 10-year vision for the business, but I don’t. I just want to continue doing what I’m doing because I love it. I wake up every day jazzed about what I do.
I want to continue to grow my skillset because you have to learn every day. Technology and marketing are changing, so I have to keep up with the trends. If I continue to do what I’m doing right now, in terms of the amount of revenue and clients coming in, I’ll be happy.
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