Vanessa Duplessie

Vanessa Duplessie

Effective Leadership and Coaching

Vanessa DuplessieIn her own words…

I’ve been working in sales, marketing and client services for a very long time. Pretty much for the last 30 years of my life – and yes, I’m over 30. I started when I was 8 years old working in my family’s retail shop. We were a true mom and pop garment store that my grandparents and mom started the year I was born. I was stocking shelves, helping customers and running the till by the time I was 8. I’d spend my time after school and on weekends at the shop helping out when I wasn’t playing sports. My grandparents who emigrated here from Central America taught me about the value of a strong work ethic at a young age. Determination, desire and a positive attitude were very important and went well alongside hard work. I took my first paying job at 14 and haven’t looked back since.

When I went to college in the early ’90’s most students didn’t know what entreprenuership meant. As a matter of fact, my degree is in Small Business Management/Entrepreneurship. When someone would ask, “What’s your Major?” most of us replied “Small Business Management” because the “E” word wasn’t really used and the status quo was to get a job and work for someone else, not start your own business.

Needless to say those of us in our major became close over the years because we were passionate about the same things: being creative and willing to take risks. I might remind you, during that time starting your own business was for people with money or who inherited it. (The Dot Com era was not in sight yet. There was no Yahoo or Google, which were both founded after I graduated college).

Fast forward to today. After a successful real estate career I moved on to the technology industry where between the two, 20 years of my life went by while I worked in various sales, marketing and customer service roles. I’ve been employed and self-employed at different times and I’ve always kept my entrepreneurial spirit alive with various side projects. I’ve made a lot of money and I’ve been on the downside as well.

Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. Your attitude plays a huge part in recovery when things fail.

I’ve learned a lot from my mentors and peers. I’ve learned techniques and skills pertinent to the positions I’ve had and I learned about working with people and building relationships. Relationships are the critical element to business. People do business with people they like and trust. It is an old adage but it is true. Although it is wonderful to have a good product, it is not all about your product, it is about you.

Now, as I am getting closer to 40, my focus is on the coming decade and what will come next. My entrepreneurial roots are showing again and the opportunities are knocking. I’ve got a few new ventures in play and I am excited.

Freedom and flexibility through entrepreneurship remain my goal. I don’t mind working hard and what I’m building now will allow me to spend as much time as possible with my husband, family and community.

My other goal is to help you be successful by sharing the knowledge and training I’ve had over the years – some of it formal training and some of it on the job.

Read, learn and grow – we’re all a work in progress.