Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
A: To put it simply: I am a motivational keynote speaker who presents a powerful, inspiring message for people trying to overcome fears, adversity, or obstacles in their professional or personal life. Through poignant anecdotes, my message offers valuable advice and impactful insights for overcoming barriers to successful living. My presentation reveals the real-life struggles and victory of my journey after a tragic, devastating injury that transformed my life into a story of triumph.
Keynote SpeakerAddress: 1216 Waltham Lane, Bartlett, IL 60103
Year Company started: 2011
Contact information: www.dalespencer.com, www.facebook.com/DaleJSpencer, http://twitter.com/dale_spencer1
Q: What made you start this business?
A: Above and beyond my career in real estate, I have devoted much of my time to injury prevention speaking, representing ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation (since 1994). Primarily, I have spoken to middle school and high school students conveying the message of injury prevention by making sound choices. The program is highly impactful, and my goal is educating our impressionable youth to help them follow a positive path to adulthood.
In February, 2011, while downhill skiing in Park City, Utah, I had a profound epiphany. What is stopping me from expanding my powerful message to larger audiences? The answer: only myself and my self-imposed limitations. Well, that does not work in my world! With a passion to educate, I felt it was time to expand my dream to help even more people.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: Making the decision to start a career as a keynote speaker couldn't happen overnight, so I'm continuing with my real estate profession at the same time. I have been balancing two careers since I made that pivotal decision. In order to progress successfully, I have relied on my perseverance and the important concept of time management. Some may say it is difficult, maybe improbable, to "juggle" two careers. In my opinion, if you have the drive to be happy in every aspect of your life, then you must take the appropriate steps to achieve these goals.
Q: What do you most enjoy about operating your business?
A: I really enjoy networking and interacting with people and their various business organizations. I'm inspired by their stories about challenges they encounter in their respective fields. I enjoy talking about the challenges we all face, and that it's how we approach obstacles that defines success or failure. I feel that these interactions with people are always 'teachable' moments. The way I live my life can be an example to others who strive for success. I have been following that philosophy since I became paralyzed, and it is a bonus that I can be compensated for what truly motivates me on a daily basis.
Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be anything from a professional baseball player to a stuntman on film (yes, I had been a risk taker, at times.)
Q: What keep you up at night?
A: Honestly, my wheels spin (figuratively & literally) about many things. Lately, it has been how to exercise the many avenues that will enhance my keynote speaking visibility locally and nationally. I am in the embryonic stages of writing my first book. Oh, and getting myself into some marathons and triathlons.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Keep your eye on the prize, no matter what it is. There is always a means to an end. For those of us who want the results tomorrow, you may be disappointed. Through conviction comes dedication. We all have major goals that we want to accomplish with our businesses. Within these long term goals also come the monthly, weekly, and daily goals. These can span from constructing a marketing piece or blogging on your website and all the way to sending an email reply to a business inquiry. Even the most mundane of tasks are important building blocks to a solid business foundation. Keeping track of the "devil's in the details" philosophy comes from integral points including time management, following up, and working smart as well as working hard.
• Kim Mikus, Daily Herald Business Ledger editor, highlights a small suburban business every Monday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.