We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana “Truly Inspired” Martin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana “Truly Inspired”, is there something you believe many others might not?
I have heard it said before, “We Can Worry About Money Later” when it comes to building a business or following your dreams. I disagree! A more befitting quote that I believe, was said by WU-Tang Clan in their song C.R.E.A.M: “cash rules everything around me” and this is the truth! We use the money to get money and we cycle it back around to eat, to live, to survive, and thrive. Although many businesses may not see an immediate profit, WE WILL STILL NEED MONEY. My advice on this mentality is to figure out a way to work on/in your dream while getting the cash flow to make it happen; even if that requires you to get a day job. My thought process is, by any means necessary and “pride” cannot be in the way of becoming successful. My alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, taught me to “find a way or make one” and that is the posture I carry into all my endeavors. The only time I will not be “worried” about money is when I have solidified enough wealth to set up my immediate family and the generations that follow.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the operations director and consultant under my company Truly HR Consulting, a subsidiary of Truly Inspired Consulting. We help small businesses implement, restructure, and run their HR processes such as sourcing, recruiting, on-boarding, HR implementation strategies, employee empowerment sessions, assessments, emotional intelligence training, recruiting new talent, project coordination, and light back-office support. I started consulting after realizing I had the transferable skills already embedded in me after working many years in the corporate arena serving fortune 100 and 500 companies. It all started with a thought, a conversation, some structural ideas from Connie and Dacia; two good friends of mine. BOOM, and then I did it! I am almost 2 years into full-time consulting and I have had months where I have made more than my past weekly salary in a couple of days. That was amazing to me! Was getting started easy? YES and NO. Yes, because it started with me just starting and laying the framework to just put myself out there and get to work. No, because there’s a lot of back-end things that need to be done before you can truly take off. Sometimes finding clientele to work with what is mostly a one-woman band on such major operations can be hard at times. But resilience and persistence will get you further than waiting on an opportunity to come to you. Being a serial entrepreneur, this was not the first business I have started, so I understood it would take grit. In 2015, I launched my first 501c3 non-profit organization called, Spoken 4 Causes, which focuses on helping to rehabilitate women in the system and those recovering from domestic violence situations to live a life of success on their terms. And then a couple of years later, I officially registered, Truly Inspired Martin LLC, a company for which I was already doing much work in the realm of professional speaking, products, coaching, and more. So I understood that trying to juggle many things at once was going to take real-time, prioritizing, systematizing, and consistency. Many parts of the business will require you to re-examine the structure, the team, and yourself. I found that out the hard way trying to operate a non-profit organization on my own, and it soon took a back burner to many other things and is now in the works of being revamped and we are bringing in a team to carry out the mission. I say all this to say, it is not a matter of if, but when challenges come and things happen to make you feel like you want to quit, what will be your next move? Will you fold under pressure or allow yourself to prove TO YOU, that you are built for this! If you can’t handle pressure and things being all out of wack more often than not then entrepreneurship and building a brand, may not be for you. One thing that EVERYONE that knows me can say about me is, I’ve been singing the same song consistently, but every level my notes just get better. To clarify, I stay consistent with my mission and let nothing stop me! Even when I want to quit, my why (my reason beyond money that keeps me going) is my push and what grounds me. YOU HAVE TO FIND YOUR WHY TOO! And this is why I am so passionate about helping women move from BS TO SUCCESS in their life and business because the only way you win is to get in the game!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whew! Interesting question! I used to be on the ball about knowing all the spots! But I still know a little something to make your time with me worthwhile, I am more of the “hidden gem” type of person these days, but let’s give it a shot! We would have to go eat at CAU sister, Pinky’s restaurant “Slutty Vegan” (they won’t believe its vegan anyway, because it’s that good), Ruthchris for the best steaks I have ever had, maybe for lunch one day stop at the Smooth n’ Groove food truck, if you want a loaded potato that is made with the soul of New Orleans flavor we have to go the “Chill Spud”, we will then hit up the famous Busy Bee’s by Clark Atlanta, grab some drinks from my Clark Atlanta family at Oak Atlanta, grab some seafood from the Juicy Crab, and for brunch time, The Atlanta Breakfast Club. Now that food and some drinks are handled, we have to visit the waterfall at the mills in Roswell. It’s outside the city but less than 30 minutes away, so it is doable. Then, of course, no Atlanta trip is complete without going to the GA aquarium and then seeing the city from the Ferris wheel or we can go to the top of the Sundial restaurant downtown and get some drinks where the circular platform below your feet moves in a 360 motion to show you breathtaking views of the city. We will want to go by the civil rights museum and ride down the famous Auburn avenue. And if my friends are looking to do an event here, work on a podcast, or create any type of content, we have to stop at my friends’ co-working space, The EComplex in Chamblee. And I love to shop, but small businesses are my jam! So I would pull up on some of my favorite brands such as SLEEP IS 4 SUCKERS, SNS LIVE LIFE, MANIFEST YOUR DREAMS, LIFE’S JOURNEY, LIVING BLESSED, GLOGIRL, GOD IS DOPE, FOR THE CULTURE, HANDS OF SAGE, BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS DOPE, & SO MANY MORE. Needless to say, you roll with me, you are covered!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The greatest thing with success for me is the part where I realize that so many amazing people have a hand in my journey. It is impossible to condense this list to a size feasible for this answer, but I will start here. I will always be grateful to my mother, Eliene, for allowing me to peel back the layers of myself and live in my truth, even if it was ugly. My family has always served as an excellent support system as well, through the good, bad, and the ugly. My cousin Nadine, my dad Ephraim, and many other cousins have aided on this road. Another key component is your tribe and those that are heavily invested in your environment like my sister-friends; such as Bianca, Ja’lisa, Chastaney, Michelle, Trevell, Dacia, Connie, Rosemary, Craig, and this list goes on and on. They are there to push me, hear me cry, laugh, and help each other win. My significant other, Roger, encourages my endeavors but also makes sure to not be my “yes man” and just agree with every wacky idea I throw out and for that I am grateful. Support is the backbone of truly being able to become the best version of you. But, I have to also pay homage to those that took a chance to help me become planted and grow into the international speaker, consultant, author, and serial entrepreneur that I am today and those people are: David Shands, Kendall Ficklin, Connie S. Falls, and many more. There are so many people I would love to give flowers to now and I will do my best to continue to highlight those people in a capacity like this or through other means, but all I am left with is gratitude and thanksgiving for whatever part you have played in my life! You all know who you are! I am truly inspired by you and thankful for you!
Instagram: @trulyinspiredmartin @trulyhrconsulting
Truly Chris Daniels Photography