Inspirational Biz Owner Spotlight : Daria Williamson
I met Daria through The Auckland Executive Club and have always admired her energy and passion for what she does and how she lives her life.
She's written a book 'Unleash Your Awesome' and created a process called The Strengths Deck to help people identify and implement their strengths at work so they can be more fulfilled and more productive.
The book is a great how-to to discover your strengths and with using The Strengths Deck cards and Matrix do some self-coaching, or you can book time with Daria to really unlock your potential.
Check out her website and get in touch with Daria when you're ready to Unleash Your Awesome!
What inspired you to start your own business?
I took a career break in 2013 to run away to Italy to brush up on my Italian, then returned home to complete my Master of Management (Human Resources Management) at Massey. After completing my thesis, I knew I needed to get back to my career, but I wasn’t feeling overly inspired about going back to being an employee – I’d enjoyed my 18 months of freedom far too much!
Out of the blue, an old friend called and asked what I was up to in the work sphere – we had a coffee, and two hours later, I was shaking the hand of the GM of his major customer, agreeing to a one-year contract. So I set up my own business, and the rest is history! My focus has evolved and shifted over the years, but I’ve never looked back.
What challenges or obstacles do you face with running your own business, and how do you overcome them?
No matter what job we have, there are always bits of it that we don’t love. For me, that’s admin and accounting. Right from the start, I got a brilliant accountant who is happy to answer any questions I have and fix the mistakes that I inevitably make. I’ve just recently started working with a VA, and while we’re still in the early stages, I can see that it can be a game-changer for me (if I let it). The longer I’m in business, the more I’m realising the value of paying an expert to do – brilliantly – in a few hours what would take me dozens of hours and a fair bit of frustration for an inferior result!
What have been the most effective marketing and promotional strategies for your business?
I’ve posted regularly on LinkedIn for a few years now, and it’s becoming increasingly common to meet people at networking events and have them say “Oh, I love your stuff”. So that’s definitely helped with know, like, trust. I’ve accepted every podcast invitation I’ve received, and that’s been both fun, and good for brand awareness. Creating The Strengths Deck and publishing Unleash Your Awesome have been great too – I just need to remember to tell people about them! And nothing beats in-person networking – getting to know people, building strong, supportive relationships, and making referrals where there’s a good fit.
What advice would you give to business owners who are wanting to move their business to the next level?
Trust yourself, and believe in your special brand of magic. Even if other people are doing the same thing as you, no one can do it quite like you can. So be your unique, awesome self, and you’ll attract the right kind of clients. Also, build systems before you need them, and stay active in your networking and personal branding. This is definitely a long game, so build in time for rest, relaxation, upskilling, and staying connected to the people who are important to you.
What are your future plans and goals for your business?
I’m getting the research underway for book number two, which I’m super-excited about. I’m not really one for setting big targets and goals – instead, I’m going to keep pursuing the types of work and clients who resonate with my values and approach, and for whom I can deliver superb results. One of my key values is contribution, so whatever I’m doing, I want to create positive ripples – and if I’m doing that, then I’ll consider my business a roaring success.
To find out more and connect with Daria Williamson