Beyoncé said it best when she asked “who run the world?” and at SPPR we never underestimate the magic of girl power. In honor of all the strong female role models in our lives, we are excited to kick off a new series “5 Questions with SPPR: Girl Boss Edition” to find out what it really takes to be a woman in charge. This week we’re starting with Soda Pop PR’s own fearless leader Dyan Dolfi-Offutt as she gets real about breaking the rules, staying feisty and why she loves Amy Poehler.
I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb thinking like a boss. I got the leadership gene from my mother, who was one hell of a boss. I worked for her during high school and college and learned firsthand how to earn respect by working hard, setting boundaries and creating a culture that cultivates respect, understanding and fun.
Bending the rules is the most fun and it’s hard to be successful playing it safe. The best work comes from risk, trying new things and having the gumption to follow your gut. I took a big risk opening Soda Pop. At the time, I had one client who put their trust in me with a sizeable amount of business. I didn’t have time to second guess my decision because there was work to be done. I used LegalZoom to become a legit business, got insurance, met with an accountant…a month later, Soda Pop was born. A few months later I hired my first two employees, made a trip to Ikea, and opened up shop. We’re going into our 5th year of business and I still get a bit of nervous stomach thinking back on what a whirlwind it was but eternally grateful for how it all worked out.
I learn lessons daily. It’s one of the humbling and motivating aspects of owning a business. These are a few of the biggies.
It’s okay to freak out! – Any small business owner that tells you it’s easy, breezy is straight up lying to you. You will second guess yourself and think it will all come crashing down around you, especially in the first few years. But then this beautiful thing happens, you start to build a reputation for doing great work and your confidence grows. You’ll still have your “moments” but they will be more about protecting your team and what you’ve worked so hard for than fear-based.
Under promise and over deliver – Anyone who knows me would say I like to “keep it real” and that translates to my business. I’m not a flashy person and winning business by name-dropping or over promising is not my style. I’d like to think our clients continue to work with us because we’re constantly hustling to exceed expectations.
Be smart with your money – Hire a good accountant and bookkeeper. I’m still learning how it all works from the business side of things but I hired a bookkeeper last year and it’s been such a help. Spend smart! Invest in your team and put money back into your company.
There are a number of kickass women that inspire me but one that I have a major boss lady crush on is Amy Poehler. I’ve been a fan since her SNL days and have my Leslie Knope moments but it’s what she’s doing with Smart Girls that inspires me most. Smart Girls is all about being real and digging deeper. They are teaching young people that it’s okay to be yourself, that being weird is cool and intelligence is the true currency. Knowing there is an organization like Smart Girls out there motivates me to be better and do better.
Hands-on, Supportive, Decisive, Feisty, and Fun!