Ep 12: Season One rewind with Danyel Surrency Jones
Take a look back at key lessons from Season One.
Season One Rewind with Danyel Surrency Jones
Featuring: Small Business Owner Danyel Surrency Jones
On the Season Finale of This is Small Business, Andrea sits down with Danyel Surrency Jones, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of POWERHANDZ Inc., as they listen to highlights from previous episodes. Danyel Surrency Jones shares her valuable insights as a CEO/entrepreneur on how to start, build, and grow a company and discusses how each of these moments resonates with her and relates to her own journey with her company. Join Andrea as she goes over some of her favorite lessons and reviews the notes she jotted down in her business playbook this season.
[00:00:01] HOST: Hi I'm Andrea Marquez -- and This is Small Business – a podcast by Amazon. I can hardly believe it -- but we've reached the finale of our first season of This is Small Business. This show is all about learning how to start, build, and grow a small business. If you’re a regular listener, you’ll know… I’m new to this… or maybe I should say I was new to this. Through each episode I have been learning about what it takes to be successful at running a small business. All season long I’ve had fascinating conversations with small business owners and experts – and filing away the key lessons I learn into my “small business playbook”. Today – in honor of our season finale – I want to highlight some of the brightest ideas I’ve heard from some of our season one guests. To help me parse through some of these ideas – I’ve brought on a very special guest.
But before I introduce her, shout out to one of our listeners who said they “enjoy the [00:01:00] small business stories and the expert advice and tips it provides, as a small business owner myself. It sparks some questions and answers they didn’t even know they needed. Easy to listen to and easy to follow. It’s a great podcast for business owners in all stages, highly recommended. It will not disappoint!!!” Thank you so much! That’s why we do what we do on This is Small Business.
[00:01:28] HOST: Danyel Surrency Jones is a proven business strategist with over two decades of executive leadership experience in top Fortune 500 companies and global start-up ventures. In other words, Danyel is no stranger to starting something new. And this definitely isn’t her first rodeo. Danyel's last venture -- POWERHANDZ-- is “a sports and fitness product tech platform, that encourages skill development and human performance through innovative products, technology and services.” In 6 years, [00:02:00] its core athletic training products have been sold to consumers in more than 87 countries, and established a digital footprint with millions of youth and professional athletes, coaches and communities focused on everyday fitness goals. A serious success story and I’m excited for you to meet her!
[00:02:24] ANDREA: Danyel, thank you so much for being on This is Small Business today.
[00:02:28] DANYEL: I am excited to be here. Are you kidding? Thank you so much.
[00:02:30] ANDREA: As you know Danyel -- This is a special end-of-season episode. So what I thought we’d do today is this: I’m gonna share with you some of my favorite moments – the most powerful insights that stood out for me this season as I’ve been on a learning journey to understand small business. I’ve grouped these lessons into 3 categories: How to START a business, how to BUILD a business, and how to GROW. I’m hoping you can tell me how each of these moments [00:03:00] resonates with you – and share some relevant examples from your own journey with your company, POWERHANDZ. Or maybe just share some insights from your years of business strategy – whatever comes to mind first. Ready?
[00:03:14] DANYEL: I'm ready.
[00:03:15] ANDREA: So we're going to begin with "how to start a business." And the first episode I’ll look back at is going to be with Young King Hair Care, a company that makes hair care products for young black boys. So when it comes to starting out, one thing I've learned is that it's important to start with the why. Why does your business exist? What gaps are you filling in the market? And a way to do this is by thinking about the customer. You have to understand what their experiences are and why they will give your brand the time. Here's what one of the founders of Young King Hair Care, Stephan Miller, had to say.
[00:03:52] Stefan: It's such a great thing. And I think for the business, you've gotta know that why is stronger than anybody else, right? Like what's why is your motivation? [00:04:00] Why is it impactful to others? Because you've gotta, if you don't know that, then you're just another brand. You might have cool packaging, you know, your product may work, but it's the greatest brands create an emotional connection while still delivering on performance.
[00:04:16] ANDREA: So, Danyel, does this register with you? What does having a strong “why” mean to you?
[00:04:23] DANYEL: Yeah, it registers with me. It's like literally what I think about every day. And the word "why" it's, it's so awesome because that word, right, is so synonymous with living life. It really is your purpose. So when you think about your "why" from a brand perspective, I mean, it should be the compass that really guides you in everything that you do. As a brand, when we're creating and we're ideating, we're breathing our own oxygen and that's cool. But what we're really trying to do is we're trying to create air [00:05:00] that we want everyone else to breathe, and that air is going to change life. It's going to breed something that does cause an emotional connection within your audience and your consumers and within communities. And once you do that, it really has more of a deeper meaning to you and really breeds a deeper meaning for your value card. I believe without a shadow of a doubt, that if you focus on your "why," and you allow that to be your guiding compass, the revenue will absolutely come, right? You know, starting a business is, is hard enough and, and you can get stuck just thinking about the money that you need to have to start the business. And if you can get past that and really say, "would I have any regrets if my idea is set on the shelf, versus lived in the community?" Then I really think that if you can answer that question, [00:06:00] very honestly with yourself and say, you know what, I want my idea to live in the community then definitely you should push forward.
[00:06:10] Secondly, I think that when you think about your brand and your why, I often think about the Dallas Cowboys and I make a joke about it in my home that they haven't won a championship since 1995. However, when you look at the American team, right, that is still the favorite franchise that brings in 7 billion of revenue every year, there is something behind that brand that keeps consumers coming year after year after year. And it is that emotional connection. So that's, that's huge when you think about what you want your "why" to mean to someone else.
[00:06:49] HOST: I enjoy that example, as a Texas girl myself. So what Danyel is saying is that, to get started, it’s important to think about your why because it’s the oil that keeps the engine running. [00:07:00] It’s your NorthStar. And it has to have some depth to it because it’s what will keep you going when things get tough. And customers will connect with that even more as well because they know that there’s meaning and value to what you’re offering.
[00:07:14] ANDREA: In keeping with the "starting your business" trajectory. I've learned that it's a good idea to bring in accounting and legal advice as early as possible to make sure that your plans are viable. And the second episode I want bring up is episode seven where we talk with a lawyer, Naveen Thomas, who's the director of the Business Transactions Clinic at the NYU School of Law. Here’s some of what he had to say.
[00:07:40] Naveen: So try to work with an attorney from the planning stages to identify potential legal issues. You know, this may sound like a shameless plug for my profession, but it's not, you shouldn't wait until you encounter some complex legal tasks that you can't handle on your own. You want to make sure that before [00:08:00] you start implementing your plan, that it's legally viable. For instance, if it turns out that your business plan requires you. To obtain expensive licenses in all 50 states. And you can't afford that process. You might need to change your plan. Similarly, if you're doing a more traditional business, you might find that it requires certain licenses from local and state governments. Those aren't laws that you wanna violate, and it helps to identify those requirements as early as possible. These are things that a lot of people would miss. If they're not working with an attorney from the outset.
[00:08:34] ANDREA: So Danyel, listening to that, what lessons come to mind that you've learned the hard way, maybe regarding getting good legal advice out of the gate?
[00:08:42] DANYEL: I am so thankful that we realized that we needed an attorney as part of our team from day one. Legal is order that you're establishing within your business from the very beginning, right? Just like there needs to be order in, you know, [00:09:00] your community and in your household. In your business and the structure of your business, that is super important because, um, one, it starts with how you're setting up your business. Is it gonna be an LLC? Is it going to be a C Corp? Is it gonna be an S Corp? Number two, in making a decision about that type of structure, how does that then impact your taxes? How does that then impact your employee structure with your full-time employees versus your part-time employees? All of those things are super important and then, like POWERHANDZ, if you add in the fact that from day one, we had, um, aspirations to have a 501c3. So then how do you add your foundation right into that layer of your business?
[00:9:45] HOST: For additional context, a 501c3 is the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations. Danyel is talking here about the non-profit wing of POWERHANDZ, called Power to Give, which is dedicated [00:10:00] to building character in youth through athletics and academics. More on that in a second!
[00:10:05] DANYEL: Let's not forget: protecting your business from day one, we have three patents that are part of POWERHANDZ, and day one, we knew that when we created our first emerging technology, which was our anti grip, weighted basketball gloves, there was nothing like that out there in the market. So we wanted to make sure that we were not only the first, but we also had that finalized from a legal perspective. So we do have a design and utility patent that is associated with that particular product, as well as our name POWERHANDZ from a trademark perspective and our tagline "train with purpose." So for us, because we had a lawyer in the very beginning who focused on business law as well as intellectual property. That is very important.
[00:10:57] ANDREA: So when thinking about protecting your brand, and yourself, [00:11:00] it’s important to consider who you go into partnership with early on. I learned that it's very important to have the difficult conversations first. We talked to Rod Johnson who is co-founder of Black and Bold Coffee. His co-founder, Pernell Cezar and him are longtime friends. And Rod talks about why it was important to have these conversations, regardless of the fact that they had been friends forever. Here’s what he had to say.
[00:11:30] ROD: So we just had some very honest conversations and because we had that 20 year foundation, it made it a little easier for us to discuss some of those challenging topics. Like you mentioned, Hey, what happens if one of us dies, which is pretty morbid, you know, when you think about it, but it's, it's an inevitable, right? It's something that. It is bound to happen or, you know, what happens if you don't wanna do this anymore after five years and you want to exit, right? What are we building this for? So we were just having [00:12:00] those conversations and we figured that it would be best to do it early on while we were still friends. Right. It's like, let's talk about this while we still like each other, because if there's a point of contention down the line, it may be difficult to navigate those conversations at that time. And very early on, we had an operating agreement that was our north star if you will.
[00:12:22] ANDREA: Danyel I know you co-founded the nonprofit side of POWERHANDZ, the Power to Give Foundation. And its mission is to provide athletic and academic programs to youth in underserved communities. What has that co-founding experience taught you about starting an important endeavor with another person and the kinds of upfront conversations that you need to have?
[00:12:43] DANYEL: I have always been an advocate of, "let's talk about the black elephant in the room." I like being different. So instead of white elephant, well, let's call it the black elephant in the room, right? Those courageous conversations really allow you to think about [00:13:00] what are the mistakes that you could make, ahead of time. And really plan out: "what if this happens," right? This is not speaking into the universe that this is going to happen, but this is saying "it's okay if it does happen, because we are starting a business." With starting POWERHANDZ. I started it with my husband. That's huge. You can look at the statistics on how many couples start businesses together. And I really established a thought process and a rule very early on that we have to remember the reason why we chose each other day one. And that means why we chose each other as business partners, because our skillsets complimented each other for that phase in our business, and why we chose each other as husband and wife. And you separate those two. So that was one of the first things I learned about [00:14:00] having a conversation about the black elephant in the room is with my husband. Let's establish boundaries as to what are you good at? What am I good at? How are those things are gonna complement each other?
[00:14:13] The other thing that was super important to us as brown founders, is, we set around our board and we said, not only are we gonna create POWERHANDZ from a profit standpoint, but we're also gonna do good in the community. That was a tough conversation because we're sitting around the table with investors, talking about how we're going to sell units, to get revenue, to have a positive P and L and oh, by the way, each year, we're gonna take a percentage of that and pour back into the community so that kids can learn from the lifelong lessons that you can get from playing sports. And unapologetically, that's what we're gonna do. And I'll never forget. One of our board members turned and said, we're gonna talk about giving away money before we make money? And I said, absolutely we are. [00:15:00] Because when we do good in the community, that's gonna come full circle from a brand perspective, and we're gonna capture more mind share and make more impact along the way. So those tough conversations are super important to have.
[00:15:15] ANDREA: I think that's incredibly powerful.
[00:15:17] DANYEL: Well thank you.
[00:15:20] HOST: MIDPOINT REBRAND: You're listening to This is Small Business, brought to you by Amazon. I’m your host, Andrea Marquez -- and I'm in conversation with an amazing entrepreneur -- Danyel Surrency Jones of POWERHANDZ, and The Power to Give Foundation. What we're doing today is listening. Listening to the lessons that small business owners have been generously sharing with me all season long – and to get Danyel's impressions and tap into her experience. I recommend you to go back and check out some of these episodes in full if you haven’t already -- they are full of dreams, drama, and great ideas for how to grow your business.
Did you know that more than half of the products sold in the Amazon store [00:16:00] come from small-and-medium sized businesses? The small business guests that you’ve heard from on This is Small Business are part of the many small businesses selling in the Amazon store who have tapped into some of the tools and resources offered to help them succeed and grow. Learn more about them in our show notes on our website ThisisSmallBusinesspodcast.com.
And since this is our season finale, I’d like to give a shout out to all our guests on the show, as well as you! Our listeners. We’re excited to see that the This is Small Business community has continued to grow over episodes and we are listening to your feedback through comments on Apple Podcasts, as well as through our website.
Next up – Danyel talks me through the building and growth stages of her company – with help from some more show highlights from earlier in the season. Get ready for more great tips coming!
[00:17:00] ANDREA: So moving to "how to build a business,"
[00:17:02] DANYEL: Yes.
[00:17:04] ANDREA: That brings me to my next question, which is building a team. Apart from your co-founders or your core team. This is about employees. This is about other people that are part of the journey of your business. And we talked to Kyle Goguen the founder of Pawstruck a company that provides pets with healthy treats and food. Here he tells us about his process for finding his super team.
[00:17:26] KYLE: So the whole goal is to get the right people and as many of those potential right people into the funnel as possible. And so we put every single applicant through a pretty significant application process and also a second assessment. Which assesses their skills. And that gives us a way to really compare people, head-to-head outside of just a resume. I have, you know, very mixed feelings about resumes. Like resumes can be really misleading and really not give you an idea of someone's true experience, level and skills. [00:18:00] So I think the assessment does a really good job of cutting through the noise for us. So we're weeding out people that won't fit for our culture. And if they pass that test, then we move them onto the final one-on-one round, which is kind of bringing it all together, them proving that they have the skills and the culture fit that we think they do based on the previous stuff.
[00:18:24] ANDREA: Danyel, hearing this, and in your experience building a team for your business, what are the things you look out for in order to make sure that you're bringing the right people on board?
[00:18:35] DANYEL: Excellent question. Because you can't build a company by yourself. A team and your people really build your company. So it, it really starts with a day that you establish your "why" --you really look at your mission, vision and values. When you are either working with a recruiter or you're telling your friend or someone in the industry [00:19:00] that you are looking to fill these positions, in order to help your small business grow, right, they need to be able to communicate: here's what the culture of this organization is about. Here's when you look at their value system, this is what's important to them. For the first time, four years ago, we added to our value system that we are faith based. People need to understand that that is very important to the way in which we operate and the way in which we look at serving. So we added that. So that cultural explanation of who you are. That represents your why needs to be very clear because then that will transition to when you and or your team are looking for the right people to join.
[00:19:48] I think it was Bill Gates that said when he's looking for people to add to his team, that he looks at intelligence, energy and integrity. I couldn't agree with him more. [00:20:00] I also look at will. Because when you're hiring individuals, especially when you're a small business, I am going to be completely transparent with you, your budget for hiring FTE's as a small business, will not look like the budget of a fortune 100 and 500 company. So the individual that you're gonna hire may have really great integrity and an amazing passion and will to get the job done and to come in and increase their learning curve and help the company grow. But they may not have all the experience that a fortune 100 or fortune 500 budget can afford. So you need to make sure that you're very clear with yourself and your team as to here are the individuals that you wanna bring into the organization that have that entrepreneurial mindset and have that will, and that passion and that intelligence to think strategically [00:21:00] as well as to roll up your sleeves and be an implementer and an executor. That is super important.
[00:21:07] ANDREA: I really appreciate that. You mentioned that as a small business, you may not be able to afford a head hunter and going after super, super expensive talent. So it really is sometimes about sitting down and evaluating beyond just what's on paper. As a young professional, I appreciate when people say that because when I was starting out my career, I remember thinking I may not have a lot of experience, but I have a lot of will. I will work hard and I am ready and open to learn. And I’ve learned that there’s value in that too.
[00:21:43] DANYEL: Yeah, there is absolutely value in hiring someone that has the will and the passion without having all of the experience and talent, in order to fulfill that job. I will take that person any day.
[00:22:00] ANDREA: My next two questions are about marketing. So one of the things I learned through the first episode with Max'is Creations is that you have to set aside at least one hour a week for marketing for your business, cuz it is that important. What do you think of this approach? How much time do you dedicate to marketing your own business and especially at the beginning of your business, when you're wearing many more hats than you are now?
[00:22:25] DANYEL: When you think about the time that you're spending to tell someone else about your story, right? Not about selling, but about your story, that should occupy a good portion of your week, not your day, but your week. Because if people don't understand your story, how do they connect and engage with you in order to feel that emotional connection about what it is that could possibly [00:23:00] change their life. And that's how I look at marketing. I can think of an idea a minute, right. But an idea is nothing without really having a connection to a consumer that says I have something that makes your life easier. I had a couple that was 80 years old when I was growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, and I asked them they had been married for 54 years. And I said, you know, what's the secret to you all being married for 54 years and you still just act like you get along. And they said, waking up every morning and thinking about how can I make your day better? And for me, that's marketing. A brand, a company should be looking at what they offer today and how the consumer behavior is changing and meet them where they are. [00:24:00] And that's what we do and have done with POWERHANDZ. This little old brand, right, that started with one influencer, started with one product and one vision. Because of our marketing, we have been able to scale, not only of course, into five different sports plus general fitness, but into 87 countries, because we now understand the behaviors of our customers and what it is that we can do to help them get better and perform better and change their overall statistics in health. So all of that was done because the core of marketing exists and that's marketing that we push. And that is also marketing that we pull from our customers and strategic partners.
[00:24:52] ANDREA: I'm going to bring up Filthy Food founded by Daniel Singer. One of the things he talks about is looking for compatibility [00:25:00] between your customer and your unboxing experience. Filthy Food makes fancy olives and drink mixes and things to make your cocktails pop. So here is what Daniel had to say about that.
[00:25:13] DANIEL: Where does the experience start? Does it start when the package arrives, is it a certain color that's gonna create an emotion? Is, does it have a certain shape or does it arrive when they've gone through the packaging? Cuz their motto and their ethos is about sustainability and less car and less packaging and less outer. So I think as an owner of a brand or somebody that's really trying to create an emotional connection with people, which is really what we all do. It's where does the vacation start? Where does the emotion start? So I think packaging's important based on meeting the expectation of the consumer. And if you don't, you're gonna disappoint them.
[00:25:53] ANDREA: This aligns with what you just said Danyel, about meeting customer expectations through your products. What else comes to mind in terms of [00:26:00] meeting the expectation of the consumer and how have you able to go after that with Powerhandz?
[00:26:05] DANYEL: So if you listen to what your consumers tell you. What it is they want and what it is that they're trying to achieve, that is your unboxing experience. I do believe that packaging is like everything. And when I talk about the packaging, I mean the complete experience. So from the colors that you choose, your branding guidelines, the font that you choose that tells a story on your experience. If you're modern, if you're strong, if you're bold, right. The DNA of your brand and who you are to when they unzip, right. What makes them feel connected? We are marketing of course to kids, we're marketing to a generation where they love flash. And we wanna make sure that it's something that they're proud to put on a court, proud to put on a field, proud to take into a gym. So all of those things [00:27:00] are so important, but I'll tell you the one thing that stands out for us about the unboxing experience: it's education. You cannot run from education on our brand. We really pride ourselves on how do we teach you to do what you do very well from an athletic perspective, blend our innovation with it, and then watch your performance excel. So in order to do that, you have to be motivated by seeing others doing the same thing by hearing from experts and trainers in the fields and strength and conditioning coach and coaches and fitness influencers, tell you how you go from level a to level B to level C and D. And that education for us is truly "the unboxing."
[00:27:55] HOST: I love this educational, experiential approach to the idea of "unboxing" -- [00:28:00] that it's not just about the packaging itself. It's about what the packaging is teaching you about the product. So for me, packaging is incredible, but education is invaluable.
[00:28:13] ANDREA: So now, moving on to growth, the last two lessons I'm going to bring up are from the same small business, Back to the Roots, started by Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora. And I really enjoyed hearing about this first lesson because it’s tied to our learnings at Amazon, there’s even a building named after it which is: Day One. It’s about keeping your day one mentality and working as if you’re starting out because the moment you start thinking that it's day two, that's when you plateau.
[00:28:42] DANYEL: Oh wow!
[00:28:42] ANDREA: And this is what Nikhil had to say about that.
[00:28:46] NIKHIL: I think the mindset that Alex was speaking to is what helps us continue to grow every single day. I think Amazon is the best in class at this. We've been so inspired by just philosophy of day one and treating every day, like day one still. [00:29:00] And the moment you think you're a bigger business, the end is near so to speak. And every day thinking like, Hey, I'm still small bits of a startup. We've taken a lot of inspiration from the Amazon culture around just because, you know, revenues grow and a team's grown, we can't lose. Scrappiness. And I think the hustle and the, you know, the desire to take risks and make pivots sometimes. And, and we, we try to think about that a lot.
[00:29:23] ANDREA: All right. So listening to that Danyel, talk to me about your "day one" mentality and how it's holding up several years into running POWERHANDZ and what you have felt that the advantage of keeping that day one mentality has been.
[00:29:37] DANYEL: Man, that question gets me emotional. It's crazy. And the reason it does is because when you're an entrepreneur and you're building a business, your "day one" starts hit every idea and every new season. Um, when you're starting [00:30:00] your business, your thought process is how am I gonna take this idea that we have this exciting innovation that we know will change lives like we did with our first patented product in basketball and how are we gonna scale it to all of the youth to help them with the fundamentals? Fundamentals. And as you continue to grow and scale that whole thought process over, and you should never think that you have arrived. It is that mindset of being a grinder of being someone that has the resilience and the grit to get through each season that allows you to grow. And if you lose sight of that and start thinking that you have arrived or you're on day 15 and not on day one, [00:31:00] then you will definitely get, as my mother used to say too big for your britches.
[00:31:06] We at POWERHANDZ and, and I am so humbled by our team. We continue to stick to the basics. We continue to think about the fundamentals because that is not only the innovation that we're creating. That is the messaging that we are leaving with every single community. If you take care of the basics and you train with a purpose, then you will meet your goals. It's slow and steady that wins the race. And for me, for every entrepreneur, if you don't keep that mentality, something will happen in your business that will knock you back into that mentality. So it's either you do it on your own, or you gonna get forced to do it because that is just absolutely [00:32:00] how the universe works. Right? I did not know that that was part of Amazon's philosophy, but it explains their ability to scale into these different enterprises based on a silo mentality. They scale without having all the answers. They create without having the total structure and solution together. It is day one, we're gonna have grit. We're gonna have resilience. We're gonna have strategic planning and we're gonna figure it out. And that's exactly what we've done in POWERHANDZ
[00:32:38] ANDREA: Powerful! I love that. Danyel, one of my last questions for you is based on "zigging when others zag" as a way to stand out and keep growing. And you'll be hearing from the co-founder of Back to the Roots. So you heard from Nikhil already, and now you're gonna be hearing from Alejandro. This is what Alejandro had to say.
[00:33:00] ALEJANDRO: One thing that we try to hold present is to Zig when others zag, whatever space your small business is, there's a hundred other folks trying to do it better, bigger, cheaper than you are. I mean, this is a 24/7 job to be an entrepreneur and to compete and win in your category. And I think winning means trying to do things that really wow, the consumer and putting that consumer first. How can we do things different?
[00:33:26] ANDREA: So Danyel to stand out, especially in front of a customer, it's about thinking how you can be different while putting them first and meeting their needs as we've spoken about already, not just their wants. So what tips do you have for doing this? Because I feel like it takes some bravery to do things differently.
[00:33:48] DANYEL: Oh, it takes a, a tremendous amount of courage. And one of my favorite quotes by someone I know that is my best friend, says that, "courage is being bold [00:34:00] enough to scale innovation outside the box because you realize the box was never designed for you." And that is Ms. Danyel Surrency Jones and when I wrote that quote and discovered that that was my DNA, that I should never be upset that I don't fit into a box, or I should never be upset about a no, because I absolutely know that in order for whatever I'm doing, that could be POWERHANDZ that could be Power to Give. That could be, um, any other entrepreneurial venture or project that I'm working on. My mindset has to be, how do I take my gifts and serve in a way that I am supposed to serve, not looking at what the competitors are doing but looking at [00:35:00] what my gifts are going to afford me to do with an incredible team that is going to then help me scale that idea and ability to serve. So I look at courage. I don't look at competition. I look at self, I don't look at what everyone else is doing.
[00:35:21] ANDREA: Is there anything else you would like to tell small business owners or entrepreneurs?
[00:35:26] DANYEL: I will tell you that it is a common place for the road that you travel to be tough. Do not ever look to the right or look to the left and think that someone has a better story than you do. Believe in the story that is written for you. Dream beyond your wildest dreams and know without a shadow of doubt, have that optimism that no one can take away anything that is meant for you. [00:36:00] And you will get there, cuz I am absolutely living proof that that story can come true.
[00:36:08] ANDREA: Danyel, thank you so much for everything you've given us today. All of the wise words, all of the lessons that I will definitely be putting away in my mental playbook that I'm creating. Thank you for being on This a Small Business.
[00:36:22] DANYEL: Thank you. Same. This has been amazing. And I applaud you and please continue to tell your story as well as tell all of these other small business stories. You don't know how much we need you, so we appreciate you.
[00:36:37] ANDREA: Thank you.
[00:36:39] DANYEL: You're welcome.
[00:36:42] HOST: That was such a great way to end our first season. Danyel Surrency Jones -- total force of nature. You can learn more about her and POWERHANDZ in our show notes. I am so honored by all the wisdom that was shared with me here on This is Small Business. As always, here are the key takeaways [00:37:00] I learned today with Danyel:
- When it comes to starting your business… start with the WHY. We’ve said it many times before but it must mean that it’s incredibly important because everything connects to it. It’s your NorthStar. So as you’re ideating and building, make sure to answer the most vital question if you haven’t already: Why are you doing this?
- Early on, you want to bring in legal advice. As Danyel said, legal is order that you're establishing within your business from the very beginning. Ask as many questions as you need to, and also connect with a lawyer that understands what type of legal advice you need. And legal advice is especially important when it comes to protecting your business and yourself. Which is why you need to “talk about the black elephant in the room." As Danyel mentioned, have the uncomfortable conversations with your partners at the beginning. It will help you plan out your future better, and prepare [00:38:00] for potential bumps in the road.
- When you’re ready to build, it’s important to bring the right people on board. So make sure that when you hire a super team, you’re able to articulate a clear why so that the people who join are aligned with your same mission and vision and are as passionate about the why as you are.
- On marketing, two important things: tell a story and listen to your customers. Marketing starts with telling a story because that’s what people remember the most. If people don't understand your story, they won’t know how to connect or engage. And you have to continuously connect with customers to learn what they need the most and how they need it.
- And on growing, keep that day one mentality that forces you to think scrappy and to continue being innovative, and of course, zig when others zag. Danyel saw it as not putting yourself in a box and focusing on your gifts and what you are able to give to others, [00:39:00] which is a big part of the brand ethos of PowerHandz.
[00:39:05] It is only our first season -- and I've already learned so much -- but I want you all to know -- we're striving to keep that "day one" mentality as we plan great things for our NEXT season. Be sure to keep a look out for new episodes, early next year. We’ve been listening to some of your feedback and This is Small Business will also be in video format in our next seasons, which is very exciting for us. Plus some other surprises that we’ll be adding based on your feedback. We’re listening! So make sure to let us know what you think by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our website at thisissmallbusinesspodcast.com. And in the meantime -- I hope today has encouraged you to go back and comb through some of the gems in our previous episodes this season.
Thank you so much for listening and for coming along this journey with me on This is Small Business!
Until next time – This is Small Business, I'm your host [00:40:00] Andrea Marquez -- Hasta luego -- and thanks for listening!
CREDITS: This is Small Business is brought to you by Amazon, with technical and story production by JAR Audio. [00:40:20]