Marlene Chism founded Stop Your Drama in 2003 in Springfield, Missouri.
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Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I founded Stop Your Drama in 2003. The Stop Your Drama Methodology is an 8-part empowerment process to increase clarity and improve productivity and personal effectiveness. The Stop Your Drama programs are based on universal principles of personal responsibility, conscious choice, character, and aligns with the universal laws, including the law of attraction. My extensive research revealed what I already knew from over 20 years experience in the factory: Workplace drama hampers productivity and negatively effects the bottom line.
The Stop Your Drama Tips are short monthly tips to help increase emotional intelligence, relieve stress and make conscious responsible choices at home and at work. Currently I facilitate private mastermind groups for business owners and entrepreneurs, teaching them the SYD Signature Process.
How did you come up with your business idea?
The Stop Your Drama programs evolved as a training program for managers who needed to learn how to manage themselves and others in the midst of rapid change. The program is based on the belief that no man is fit to master another who cannot master himself. (William Penn.) After completing a masters degree in the study of Human Resources Development I founded Stop Your Drama.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I know first hand what it means to reinvent. Ten years ago I was working on the lines of the factory at Kraft foods before quitting my 20-year blue-collar job to build a business and become a professional speaker.
Who did you hire to help you?
I hired a business coach who had the knowledge I lacked. I highly suggest that everyone do this!
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur?
Get a good coach who has the knowledge you lack, and remember that cash flow is the life-blood of your business. I see too many entrepreneurs and young business owners being so idealistic that they don't necessarily "identify the gap" of where they are versus where they want to be. They get lost in building a product, or making the website just a little better, or spending money on a promotional piece and they get in way over their head instead of doing the research. My big advice to anyone starting a business is to remember that, assuming that you have identified your target market, and your product is exceptional it's all about marketing and sales.
With the current economy in a slump, what cost saving tips would you have for a new entrepreneur?
Get clear on what is required before you jump. I see people take on way more than they can handle and then they get into a cash flow or resource crunch.
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Social marketing is an amazing resource. I utilize blogs, twitter, facebook, among others. In facebook I have a group, Attitude Builders Community [ABC] that is used as a forum for sharing ideas relating to business, leadership, management, etc. And a facebook fan page for my sister company, Attitude Builders, a simple membership where you get a "Virtual Workshop," conducted as a monthly teleconference introducing cutting edge content in the exciting areas of personal and professional development. Ultimately, social marketing is great for small businesses as it easily allows for a continuing dialogue with customers and for generating new business. It is also excellent for word-of-mouth marketing!
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
That it is never too late to reinvent yourself and live the life you dreamed of. Starting a business empowers an individual because in order to succeed you have to become fully responsible and stop any drama that keeps you stuck. You may not know this until you start the business but it doesn't take long to figure out that blame and justification is just drama, distraction and a waste of time, and does nothing to increase your bottom line, customer base, or level of success.
This is great advice for all entrepreneurs. Thank you Marlene!