The rise in young entrepreneurs and the sheer accessibility of an entire world of information that just hadn’t been available before excites me. I want more young people to become entrepreneurs and really reach for the stars.
Tiffany Delmore is the founder of SchoolsSafe.org, a platform offering school safety programs. As school safety has become more complex, Delmore and her team have aimed to create programs to help school districts better manage their compliance needs and prevent safety incidents across their campuses. Offering information for parents, teachers, and students alike, the organization aims to cater to every person who values safety in schools.
Prior to SchoolsSafe.org, Delmore worked as a writer and editor, writing for outlets from Forbes to The Business Journals. As part of the editorial team at The Business Journals, she examined entrepreneurial efforts from across the nation, as well as specifically in the Nashville area, to produce content that shed light on business insights and developments. She holds a master’s in marketing from Vanderbilt University.
Where did the idea for SchoolsSafe.org come from?
I came up with the idea for SchoolsSafe.org because I’ve always had a firm belief in the importance of our kids’ safety. Though I don’t have any of my own (yet), I wanted to create a management system to help prevent critical incidents across campuses. I’m just proud of the difference we’re making.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
Every day starts with a run. Exercise is absolutely key to my productivity; it gets my endorphins pumping and jump-starts the day! My typical day usually involves meetings with current school district leads and identifying what we need, what future needs will include, what product tweaks are needed, and everything in between.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I try to visualize my goals, whether that’s mentally or on my idea board. Making concrete goals is very important to me. I write out everything, from weekly points to plans years in advance. By visualizing the future and planning now, I can position myself to truly achieve those goals.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The rise in young entrepreneurs and the sheer accessibility of an entire world of information that just hadn’t been available before excites me. I want more young people to become entrepreneurs and really reach for the stars. While there may have been limitations on them in the past, there aren’t many barriers today as long as they have an internet connection and an idea.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As a kid, I learned the invaluable lesson of using a planner to write everything down. I carried that Trapper Keeper planner everywhere, and the habit stuck. I not only know what my upcoming week looks like, but if something ever slips through the cracks, I can look back through previous planners to know exactly when, where, and how to start.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Your hard work will all pay off someday. But seriously, don’t kill yourself off. Getting to the goalposts isn’t worth it if you aren’t in any condition to enjoy it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I know this isn’t new advice, but exercise absolutely makes a difference. If I’m ever stuck, feeling the sting of failure, or downright brain freezing, I go rock climbing. The crisp, cool air in my lungs gives me perspective. A lot of times, feeling “stuck” is a result of cycling through the same thoughts and not giving my brain itself a chance to breathe.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Just going for it! Seriously, y’all would be surprised how many doors open when you ask nicely. Asking for what you want is more than half the battle. If it’s a great concept that the world needs, people will move mountains to help you make it happen.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Right out of school, I had big plans that I would open my own climbing shop. Sometimes, plans work out, and other times, you suck a whole lot of lemons. This was one of those lemon times. I lost everything I had saved, but I wouldn’t change a thing. By being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I was also in the right place at the right time. I found my co-founder, the best partner in crime a gal could ask for, and the rest is history.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One thing I’ve learned in working with parents, children, and schools is that every parent wants to know the best class to sign his or her child up for. They also want to know about their kids’ activities. There are a million things going on in parents’ lives, and nobody has the time to look up everything. Make a social network for kids’ activities and school reminders so parents can not only know all the activities/camps/sports options available in the area and sign up for them, but they can also sign up their kids in the same activities as their friends.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
My team uses Asana — it’s amazing how easily you can lose track of a project if details aren’t written down. Asana helps keep us all on task, manages expectations on the length of projects, puts everything together in one place, and reminds you so nothing slips through the cracks.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
“Contagious” by Jonah Berger. It gives what Berger believes to be the 6 STEPPS of virality, addressing what makes people want to buy and what makes something go viral. I’ve used some of those techniques in my own work, and they’ve vastly improved my reach.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” — Henry David Thoreau
- Start every day with a run. It will help, both mentally and physically.
- Visualize and plan your goals.
- Be kind, but ask for what you want — you’ll achieve more than you think.
- You may think you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time now, but looking back, you might realize you were actually in the right place at the right time and just didn’t know it yet.
- Success comes with hard work. Focus on the work, and the rest will come naturally.
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