Don’t be afraid to fail, it is a given that you will fail at some point. Go all in, that is the only way to know long lasting success. When you fail, see it as a positive. The Universe is redirecting you back onto the right path.
Leanna DeBellevue is the owner of a global marketing consulting company, social media strategist and co-author of the Amazon International bestseller Light At The End Of The Funnel, a practical guide for business owners who are ready to step into success.
She has helped clients from over 19 countries generate millions of dollars in sales using social media to connect and engage with their target markets. The companies she has worked with range from global conglomerates to real estate moguls and individual business owners looking to reach new untapped markets.
Leanna has spoken in front of thousands of entrepreneurs, business leaders and decision-makers from over 13 countries on topics ranging from overcoming success blockers to implementing social media strategies and business growth hacks. She has written for HuffPost and was a guest speaker on podcasts by Iheartradio, Real Estate, and Health Coach Academy among several others.
Her Master’s Degree in Psychology is one of her secrets to success, allowing her to understand the human psyche in order to connect buyers and sellers in a natural and authentic way. Leanna currently lives in Colorado with her husband and their five children.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Actually, it is still a relatively new name for us, we just rebranded last year. We were originally Out of the Box Marketing but as we evolved as a company so did our need for a more personalized brand. Since I speak as part of our services it made a natural progression for us to up level our services including our name. We service clients all over the world, hence the ‘global’ and even with the speaking aspects of the business we will always be a marketing agency. I think it just made us much clearer in who we are and what we do.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The day always starts off the same way, in meditation and gratitude. I write daily 5 things I am grateful for; these can be as simple as a cup of coffee or as complex as a breakthrough in a previously stalled goal. Then I get up, get the kids off to school and start my business day. The first hour or so is spent responding to emails and key tasks that my team needs. Client creation, client calls and strategy sessions take up a majority of my morning. The afternoon is spent responding to media inquiries and focused on growing the speaking side of the business. My day usually ends around 5:30 when my husband comes home, and we make dinner together and the rest of the evening is reserved for family time. The only exception is that I am often interviewed on podcasts in different parts of the world, so occasionally I will take a light night interview to accommodate for time zone differences.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The ideas come to life as a result of listening to our client tell us two key pieces of information. The first is understanding their bigger “why” as a company. The second is understanding what problem they solve for their clients and their process behind their solution. Once we clearly understand these two components, we create content around those things specifically. That is where the magic happens. The business becomes relatable through authenticity, and the clients feel connected because we talk to not only the pain points but how they will feel once their problem is solved.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Businesses are beginning to become more transparent with their products, services and systems. I love this “trend”. When we first started our clients wanted us to paint them perfectly, they were always concerned about coming across as being the only answer to their clients needs. This proposed a challenge when building brand loyalty, there was often a disconnect because no business, person, or service is perfect. Now we are having real conversations with our clients and how they want to show several sides of their business in a way that allows potential customers to connect in a real and sustainable way. We are doing more behind the scenes videos, talking about the peaks and valleys within a business and why those valleys provide their clients with a unique ability to problem solve differently than if they were trying to appear perfect.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Without a doubt it is the way I am intentional about the way I start my day. It is a non-negotiable. If for some reason something happens that pulls me away from my routine, I find that I am only have a fraction of the focus and dedication that I do when I follow this practice.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I wish I had known earlier was to go all in. Take the risks, if you win you win big, if you fail, you learned! Looking at failure as a redirection back to success has been a game changer for me. I wish I had known that when I first started out.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There is no such thing as an overnight success. People will show you “proof” that they had overnight success but scratch the surface and you will see that there is a lot more to the story. Any lasting success comes only after a journey. There may be a few exceptions but in general nothing worth having happens overnight.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I write down goals. Daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Most people do it quarterly or annually, but it is in the daily habits that you make the most progress. I make my annual goals, then I break that down into small chunks until I have my daily tasks. I don’t want my success to be something that I only focus on a few times a year. I want to know that the steps I take daily are taking me down the right path.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
So, this strategy may not be one you would consider “typical”. Find a network of other forward thinking, entrepreneurs who are not afraid to dream a bigger dream. As you become more involved in your business you need other people in the same arena who can truly celebrate your successes with you and when you are down champion around you, encourage you and provide solid advice. If the people around you are not similar and fighting the same fight, they often miss key points in knowing how to support you on this journey. I would have made a lot more unnecessary mistakes had I not had that support system telling me pitfalls to watch for or sharing from their experiences.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had that was the hardest to recover from, ended up being the biggest catapult into success. In the summer of 2018, I made a bad hire. I needed someone to help take the reins so I could take a breather. I had been going non-stop since 2011 and I knew I could no longer sustain the momentum alone. The person I hired said all of the right things but did all of the wrong things. Because it is my company, I was the one who ultimately had to answer for our choices. It was a painful lesson. I lost business, I lost credibility, and I lost trust. It took me a few months, but I now know that the failure we experience help me pivot our message, our systems and our processes so that the mistakes we made once could never be repeated. I also began to have real conversations with other business owners and that launched the addition of my speaking to people all over the world about having the courage to fail. We grew more in the last year than we ever had before, and we had some phenomenal years previously.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you are great at organizing, learn different systems that can help business owners and start a business organization company. So many businesses would thrive if they could get organized, but it can often feel overwhelming. There is a lot of potential money if you can walk into a company, see what systems need to be put in place and create an organization system that works. It is the one thing I hear consistently from business owners; they wish they had someone to come in and help them get organized.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Best $100 recently spent was to get my husband a plane ticket so he could accompany me to an event I am speaking at in Arizona. He has seen videos of me speaking and watched virtually to live online events, but this will be the first time our schedules will allow for him to be in the audience.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use a program called Smartsheet. It helps our team stay organized and allows us to share projects with our clients in an easy and confidential way. It allows feedback between the entire team and is a great way to maintain a variety of projects. We can set deadlines, give feedback, see progress and collaborate easily with this program.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
You are a badass, any of the series by Jen Sincero. We are our own biggest critic and can often get in our own way. This book helped me understand how I could identify when I was self-sabotaging my potential and gave me tools to redirect my previous habits into more productive ones.
What is your favorite quote?
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Teddy Roosevelt
• Find gratitude in your life daily. Make it a non-negatable habit to begin your day appreciating the things life has provided for you. Write them down, focus on the positive, and honor the way these things make a great impact in your life. Watch how many more wonderful things will come flooding into your life.
• Don’t be afraid to fail, it is a given that you will fail at some point. Go all in, that is the only way to know long lasting success. When you fail, see it as a positive. The Universe is redirecting you back onto the right path. Be thankful that you were turned back around and not allowed to continue down the wrong road any longer.
• Your daily habits are directionally proportionate to your success. Intentional living equates to intentional success. Read, connect, grow, learn, do all the things you know it will take to reach your goals. Daily. As Rachel Hollis says “Hope is not a strategy”.
• Find resources that support your bigger vision. That can be a support team of fellow business owners who are in the same arena fighting the same fight, or it can be a collection of systems that make your processes flawless, more than likely it is a combination of things. Whatever it is, make sure you are finding support in all aspects of your life.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.