ll archives: Serial Entrepreneur Lynne Dominick
I had the pleasure of providing graphic and web design work for Lynne and her business partners this past summer and found myself inspired by her tenacity and dedication to numerous projects. I asked Lynne to share her story with us at Ladypreneur League because I felt that if I could be inspired by simply working with her, hearing her whole entrepreneurial story could do all of us some good! I'm excited to share Lynne's interview with you all today. Read and be inspired! - PT
Name: Lynne Dominick
Current location: New York City & Madison, CT
Where are you from? Chicago, IL
Businesses & Formal Titles: Co Founder, The Roxy Grace Company, Co Founder, Black Swan Wellness, Consultant for Beautycounter
How many businesses do you currently own? I am currently co founder and managing partner in two companies:
The Roxy Grace Company, a business that produces Do it Yourself Lip Balm, Body Scrub and Bath Fizzy Kits for young girls. The brand allows them to exercise their creativity and encourages the regular practice of gratitude to help reduce the incidence of bullying and help build self-esteem.
Black Swan Wellness, a website dedicated to living your life with a positive attitude and a natural approach to wellness. It provides information about healing alternatives and counters the increasingly alarming propensity to live your life on prescription drugs.
I am also a consultant for Beautycounter, a skincare and cosmetics company launched in 2013 with a mission to put safe products into the hands of consumers everywhere. I believe very strongly in the mission, the products and the incredible management team of this company.
Tell us how they came to be and your mission.
I have been working in the beauty industry in one capacity or another on and off for 25 years and truly have a passion for the products and the business. However, as there has not been a law regulating the ingredients used in the manufacturing of skincare and cosmetics that has been passed in the United States since 1938, I am rightfully concerned that we continue to produce products that contain many potentially harmful ingredients, especially with repeated use.
My partners and I came up with the idea for The Roxy Grace Company as a way to introduce young girls to the benefits of using natural products by way of do it yourself projects. Within the structure of the business we’ve created a platform to help instill positive values among our target audience during one of their most formative age brackets by encouraging the regular practice of gratitude, which studies show to be a remarkably effective way to reduce combat bullying and build self esteem. It’s a win win!
Black Swan Wellness
I have always been a firm believer in the benefits of positive thinking and an advocate of alternative medicine. I started doing simple yoga postures when I was 12, got interested in Pilates decades before most people had even heard of it, began meditating in the 1990’s and have had an Asian healer for many years. As a result, starting a wellness site to share the information that I personally know to have incredible value was very natural for me and something I felt motivated to do.
What are some of the things you experienced launching multiple businesses, both good and bad? Before I answer your question as it relates to my personal experience, as a general principle, you have to begin any entrepreneurial experience by finding your passion. It will lead you to your truth. If you don’t want to pour 100% of your heart and soul into your idea, then it has less likelihood of success and you may not have the necessary enthusiasm and wherewithal to get you through the journey.
An amazing team. I am blessed with great partners. The opportunity to divide and conquer certainly helps. My husband has also been incredibly supportive throughout, and that has been immeasurably beneficial.
Focus! Focus! Focus! If you don’t learn how to stay on track you will fail. There are just not enough hours in the day to support anything else.
Drawing upon past experience. For many years I was on the corporate side and had to juggle multiple clients. When I elected to make the switch over to the entrepreneurial side, I approached each entity as a separate client. As a result, I was more prepared to operate my businesses simultaneously than I originally imagined.
Time management and plain old discipline. I discovered that I loved working from home. I realized that I could easily increase my productivity and concentration just by eliminating travel time, trips to the cafeteria and chatting with coworkers. Nevertheless, being at home has it’s own distractions. Make the most of the benefits, minimize the opportunities to lose your concentration.
The bad: You need to set priorities, adhere to a schedule and be aware of taking on too much. Focus and be clear. Nevertheless, you may still experience deadlines that coincide, or projects that take much more time that you imagined. Have a posse that you can call on to help get you through these kinds of situations. There are many fantastic freelance helpers out there that have thriving businesses of their own to assist budding entrepreneurs. Identify them upfront and they’ll be there when you need them.
Have a cash reserve. Expect unexpected costs to consistently pop up. Be prepared or make the decision to keep your day job.
How did you overcome the bad? I learned from my failures and used the lessons to create success. We have a great reserve team that I can call on if we need help. I have a very good investment advisor.
Tell us what it felt like to launch your first business. I have had some great jobs and I love working, but one thing I need is a creative outlet in my work. I always knew that I would move to the entrepreneurial side and once I found my creativity was being smothered, I knew the time was right.
I jotted down all my ideas and began to vet them one by one. I also networked like crazy – no one gets through this alone. If they say they did, they are just not being truthful. Through the process I was also able to identify my true passion.
Once I zeroed in on the idea, I found that being free to make decisions that were always made for me was very liberating. Although I had partners, I still felt I very much in control - a very different feeling than the one you experience on the corporate side. Suddenly working 7 days a week was fun.
How does the feeling differ now that you’re a pro? I don’t think it’s wise for any entrepreneur to think of her or himself as a pro. You need to constantly be in learning mode or you will fail.
However, launching a business can be like buying a home. The first time can be scary, but once you have put yourself on the line, taken that risk and realize that you lived though it, your expectations are a little clearer and the next venture becomes a little less daunting.
Did you ever think you’d be a serial entrepreneur? Perhaps as a long-term goal, but it is not something that I set our purposely to do. I always had an idea that I would have a business, but I didn’t think I would be involved in multiple start-ups simultaneously.
Why or why not? I am not hesitant to take risks. I’ve always had a profound belief that I can succeed at anything that I do. Once I made the move to the entrepreneurial side I was all in and that included the belief that I would achieve my goal. Having partners that I could trust also made it easy for me.
How old is your longest running venture? All of my ventures are less than a year old.
What are some things ladypreneurs should take heed of in terms of growth? Have a specific goal. Put it on paper and l look at it all of the time AND DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CHANGE IT!!! One of the worst things you can do is get stuck with an idea that you want to work but quickly find that it is not likely to succeed in it’s original state. If this happens, you need to evolve it or abandon it as soon as possible.
Would you describe serial entrepreneurship as your “dream job”? My dream job involves a good deal of creativity. As an entrepreneur I find that you are able to tap into creative resources more readily. Another thing that sets you a part as an entrepreneur and allows you to realize your dream easier than most corporate jobs is the element of control. You can manage your destiny a lot easier when you are setting the goals, having the vision and moving things along. It’s your dream, not someone else’s dream.
What constitutes a dream job for you? For me a dream job is one where I can be creative, motivate, give back and see financial reward.
Tell us what a day-in-the-life of the Lynne Dominick is like. It’s busy! It’s frantic! It’s great! It’s filled with meetings, conference calls, social media posts and reading the trades.
What does your daily routine consist of? I am up by 5:30 and checking emails by 5:45. Next, I’ll go over to Facebook, read the news wire and then figure out what I am going to post on my business pages, which I usually do by 7:00 am.
My business partners and I always have a morning conference call from 7:45 – 8:10 but that’s only the beginning of our daily contact. We text, email and are on the phone numerous times throughout the day. I am of the belief that if you are not constantly connecting with your business partners, you won’t have a business.
After that, it’s a shower, get dressed and meditate for 15 minutes if at all possible. Then I get to the day’s business whether it’s a meeting, answering correspondence or reaching out to a perspective client.
Living in New York allows me to order in any meal I want so I save time by having that convenience. It also challenges my activity level so I try to get up and walk around the apartment as often as I can to keep from getting too sedentary.
After lunch I try to review my calendar for the next few days and schedule meetings and calls where necessary. Since we are still in our launch phase, it is important to reach out to as many contacts as possible.
Each day I allow myself some time for self-improvement. The Internet provides hundreds of resources that allow you to sharpen the skills of your choice any time you want.
Since I am an early riser, I try to end my business day at 8:00 pm and get to sleep by 10:30.
Entrepreneurs breathe their businesses. How do you balance work and life? Do you think that’s even possible? Ivaka Trump just did an article for Marie Claire where she said that it is impossible for a woman who owns her own business to separate work from life - everything pretty much just comes together. I would have to agree with her 100%. You just find a way to make it flow, rather than to consciously separate it.
What is your least favorite task to do as a serial entrepreneur? I am by nature a very positive person. It takes a lot for me to even remotely go down a negative road, but when you're steering the bus, it’s a necessity to be aware and realistic about the potential pitfalls.
I also hate spending money upfront!
How do you unwind from “business-lady-breakdowns”? You know, the days whenever you’re questioning ever becoming an entrepreneur! Meditate, visualize the successes and take lots of deep breaths!
What advice would you give to budding ladypreneurs looking to become serial entrepreneurs? Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes it is the only way to really learn.
Do your homework. Talk to other people who have gone though the ups and downs of multiple startups. Ask yourself if are you equipped financially to take the risk. Vet your idea – is it sound enough for a business. Are you fine with working 24/7 and even if you are, are your spouse/partner and/or family okay with it.
Tell us 3 of your cannot-live-without ladypreneur apps: Penultimate – I really love this for jotting things down or drawing with a stylus Notability – a great app for taking and organizing notes Steller – I just love visual storytelling HopStop – an essential app for a New Yorker who needs to get around town
In 5 years you’ll be: Richer! Spiritually and financially
Tell us your unfiltered thoughts about being a woman entrepreneur: I’m living the dream and I really love it. The risk taking is sometimes challenging but the rewards far outweigh the angst. I love being able to structure my day in the most advantageous way possible for ME – not anyone else. I also like the avenues that are opening up for women who elect to create their own businesses.
Anything else to add? Spill it: Put your dreams down on paper and begin to visualize a plan. It might take a while to manifest but if you are positive, believe strongly, work on your plan as much as possible and are open to allowing great things to happen in your life, sooner or later, they will!