Creating, Chilling and Leading with Kindness with Danielle & Creator Series
Welcome to our new series Creator’s Creations!
We are sharing highlights from transformation stories and how we are creating FIT Life Creation and the community. In this feature, we are talking creating, chilling and leading with kindness with Danielle,
Highlights of Story and Creations:
By learning to listen and speak vision, I have created, chilled and lead with kindness.
My name is Danielle Erickson and I am Business Strategist and the owner of Big Chill Mobile Cooler & Freezer rentals, and follow a Lead with Kindness attitude. I help women who are struggling with challenges in their business to overcome them by assisting in clearly mapping out their vision. Most of all, I am a cheerleader!
I have been blessed with a pretty amazing life! I’ve traveled around the world. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 25 years and we have 3 incredible children. I also live in my dream house on 80 acres. But like everyone else, challenges came up along the way that took me off course and left me staring at a rocky road. I had no choice but to learn some things the hard way.
I started my family when I was 19 years old. My career had to wait for a long time! I would work random jobs here and there between my pregnancies but at the end of the day, raising my family was and still is the most important thing in my life.
When I was 33 (and done having kids), I started at an organization at the entry-level position. The industry is comprised of older males and I was a new young female that decided to jump into it! I had to work twice as hard as anyone else to prove that I should be there. After 3 years I worked my way up to an Assistant Manager position and 2 years later received a Director position.
When I was promoted there were very few, if any female directors out of 39 available positions! Thank goodness that has now changed! Being a new director of 150 employees came with a lot of issues and responsibilities. I inherited a negative, and at times hostile work environment that I was determined to transform.
Here I was, the only woman in upper management, without a lot of experience, trying to promote positive change! But I had a vision, and knew exactly what the department needed to become. Numerous changes and tough decisions were required which tested my resolve. I knew these decisions would be tough and not everyone would always agree with my vision.
But the department would benefit from the changes, and time would prove this. I have learned many things in my career, and accomplished more than expected. But some help and guidance along the way sure would have made things easier. Without management or HR experience, the thought of having to fire or discipline someone never even crossed my mind. I wish I had had someone to confide in, or discuss things with when it seemed like no one believed in me.
During these years I realized what my biggest strengths were:
● The ability to have conversations with people.
● Listening, and I mean really listening to them.
● And making a vision come to life.
Crash and Burn
On Feb 18th 2019, I crashed. After working 14 hour days for the last several years my body finally gave up on me. I was diagnosed with severe work burnout and was taken off of work for 2.5 months. My doctor told me it was the worst case of burn out she has ever seen.
At that point I realized that maybe things needed to change. About 3 months prior to my burnout I could feel myself changing, it felt like I was being pulled in a different direction. I was always exhausted, I didn't want to do anything and was really sad.
While I was off of work, I did some major soul searching. Asked myself some tough questions, started to meditate and journal. Started to see a therapist, and realized that my life needed to change.
If I continued down this path, the chances of having a heart attack (like the 2 previous directors) would be very high, I knew my life was too amazing to be doing something that was killing me.
Don’t get me wrong....I LOVED certain parts of my job, I love problem solving, strategic planning and working with my team. But the long hours and the demands were obviously getting to me.
And that is when I realized that I could help other women to overcome the obstacles that get in the way of their dreams. I could help them to hone in on their vision they have, and give them a clear plan to make that vision a reality. That is when I became a Business coach/consultant, specializing in strategic planning.
Chilling Big with New Opportunities
In January 2019, around that same time my In my life, my husband and I were trying to find a large cooler that we could rent for our daughter's wedding that was taking place in our yard the following year. We needed something that was big enough that it could hold lots of beer and food for her 300 guests.
We looked around where we lived and couldn’t find anything that would work. The only company we found never answered our calls or emails and if we were to rent their coolers we would have to pay an electrician to rewire our house in order for it to run!
This really bothered us so we looked online to see if there was anything out there that maybe we could buy just to use once and resell it. We found EXACTLY what we needed online but, it was in another province
Fast forward a couple of months...
● I wrote a business plan
● LOTS of market research
● Picked out a business name
● Secured a business loan
● Bought 5 Cooler/Freezer units
● Shipped them here from another province
● Did LOTS of strategic & quarterly planning
● Completed income & expense projections
● Design my logo, website and branding
● Created a Facebook page and an IG account
● Opened for business in May 2019!
Just like that, I was a business owner!!
I am VERY excited to share that I made a PROFIT in my first year--which, if you know anything about business, just doesn’t happen very often!
This is why I am a Business Strategy Specialist!
I have started and made a PROFIT on two businesses that are both only a year old. My 13 years of experience in the corporate world has paid off big time because I know how to strategically plan and that equals making MONEY.
This entire year has been filled with so many highs and a lot of lows. When I first crashed last year I was so upset with myself. I thought that there was nothing else I could do, that the job I was doing was it, that there was nothing more for me. Sadly, that position became my identity.
Little did I know that life was happening for me, not too me, and there was a bigger plan ahead!
On one of my lowest days last year, I was sitting in my car with my best friend crying, feeling so hopeless and down about my life.
At one point she took my hand and looked me in my eyes and said “next year at this time you will see why this is all happening and you will understand”. Man was she right!
What has been the biggest success factors?
In January we had a booth at a trade show called “The Wonderful Wedding Show." There were around 10,000 people in attendance! I can’t tell you how proud I was to be there with my husband and my two girls!
We were all so excited to tell everyone about our company and how we FILLED A GAP in the market!
We know who our ideal clients are and we know how our product will SOLVE our client's problems.
When you are starting a business it is critical that you know who your TARGET AUDIENCE is and what their pain points are.
The Wedding Show was a complete SUCCESS for us! We know we will be even busier this year and will probably be purchasing more cooler units as needed.