Meet Carol Dunlop The Body Transformation Diva and Owner of Optimum Body Sculpting
Tell us about your business.
I coach women to lose weight and keep it off through a consistent exercise program, proper diet and lasting lifestyle changes.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner means that I control my destiny. There is no template already set for me to follow, I am able to create, change and tweak as I move forward.
I have always had the need to make my own rules. When I was a child, I could never color “inside the lines.” I would always think to myself, why am I being limited?
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I actually have two people who have been huge influences in business for me. The first is my mother. She was an entrepreneur at heart and out of necessity. She grew up during the segregated times of the 60’s. Instead of allowing her environment to impose limitations on how she was able to care for her family, she took control and became the master of her destiny. She ran a successful daycare business out of her home and later on, became an “independent contractor,” before the actual word was even coined, for the largest hospital in our area for janitorial services. She was able to put three children through school and instill in each of us the drive to succeed at whatever we chose.
The second person is my husband, Alvin. He not only showed me that I was worth being an entrepreneur, he taught me how to be tough and compassionate to my market. He also taught me how to deliver the goods without apology for price, which is so important for us as women.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
My greatest professional accomplishment does not lie in the certifications that I hold, but in the experience that I have gained from helping women to achieve the goals they never thought possible. I have used my entrepreneurial drive together with my experience in corporate America to build and nourish relationships both in and outside of my industry. I used this knowledge to create vehicles for success such as my weekly radio show and video broadcast. Each week, women all over the world are able to tune in and listen to inspiring stories of successful weight loss experiences and also watch my 30 minute workout to help them craft their own successes.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
The best piece of advice that I can pass on to others is to research, research, research! You have to know what and who is out there before you can even compete. Then you must find out what they’re doing and how they stay on top. The only way to do that is to research. The best vehicle for research is by far the Internet.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
My most effective marketing program is building relationships. Although this is not the fastest way to build your business, for my industry—service, it’s the best, truest and most long-lasting. When it gets down to it, you are doing business with a person, whether they are a stay-at-home mom or a company executive. People do business with people they know, like and trust. And you can’t like or trust someone until you get to know them. My vehicles for relationship-building are my weekly newsletters, radio show, video broadcast, blog and involvement in several online communities and social networks.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
The one thing that I have learned that I remember always is to keep moving. You can’t stand still and succeed. My mantra in fitness is to just start moving, in business its keep moving. Moving means growing and learning about your industry and your market and how to consistently deliver what they are searching for.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
The resources that I use to keep moving and learning are as unique as my training principles, but I love to share. Here are the best of the bunch:
• One True Media (www.onetruemedia.com): allows you to create slideshows to portray on your website easily and quickly
• Facebook.com, Twitter.com, ryze.com and Ning.com: social media networks that allow me to build and stay in contact with colleagues, clients and prospects
• Meetup.com: Great service where you can set up and promote face-to-face meetings. Start a group and promote it on this platform, they have a couple million users already.
• Google.com: I use Google relentlessly for my internet searches
• Fitness, Shape and Self Magazines: Although I research the latest fitness moves in these magazines, I also use them to look for the hottest article titles so that I know what my audience wants to read about.
Then I write articles based around those titles.
• Industry-specific membership websites: Nothing can educate you more about your industry and your audience than these types of membership websites. They usually run around $20 per month, but the good ones are priceless.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
For fun and relaxation, I love to read, workout and also enjoy spa treatments. Reading makes me think, if I want to and helps me to relax when I need to. Working out is therapy for me and totally self-indulgent. My body is my craft or rather the evidence of my craft, so I have to keep it fine-tuned while still living in this world. That’s a definite balance act. I enjoy spa treatments because I can get lost in them and not have to do anything but enjoy. And finally, I am very active in my church. When things get crazy and diluted, I know that God is always there for me, no matter what.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
My number one goal to accomplish over this next year is to create a fitness cruise where women form all over can join in, workout, lose weight and have fun for a week.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Finally, I would like to say that running this business is my passion and it brings me so much joy and satisfaction. I wish for you all to find your passion and embrace it. Before I started this company, I worked a job and I hated punching the clock. Now I spring out of bed and rush to the studio or my office to see what the day will bring! It really is what life is all about.
In addition to your website, how else can our readers connect with you online?
OBS Fitness Blog: www.optimumbodysculpting.com/fitblog
Fit4Life Radio show: www.blogtalkradio.com/fit4life
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bodysculpter
Find me on FaceBook: www.tinyurl.com/OBSfacebook