Yvonne DiVita brings more than 20 years of business and communication experience to The Lipsticking Society. My passion is in the effective use of words for speaking, writing, or presenting. Words matter far more than most people understand. From my former successful publishing business to my blog consulting and my pet blogger community and media company (now owned by PetSmart), I have remained true to writing and speaking – and the power of a woman’s voice! Yes, we are “the real architects of society” as Harriet Beecher Stowe once said. Read our interview with Yvonne below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
As many others who become entrepreneurs, I did so because I saw something missing in the marketplace. It was the power of a woman’s voice. My original business helped women write books and we published them. We also did blog consulting. When I moved on to my pet community and created a conference and a media company, it fit well into my desire to help people write and speak better. I am now full circle, back to working with women (and men) writers to help them become successful authors.
Tell us about your business.
The Lipsticking Society is a trusted place for women, and the men who love them, to gather and share, learn, and get unstuck when life is throwing chaos at them. My husband, Tom, and I created it to build a community of voices that value the power of words and actions. Within the community, we offer our services. I work with budding or established writers to help them become authors. Tom works with anyone who is stuck in a rut – his Old Dog Learning helps them get unstuck. Together, we offer retreats at our charming home in Colorado. Retreats for renewal or for writing or for the positive exchange of ideas. We have declared this year, 2017, the Year of the Phenomenal Woman and we are eager to work with women on their hopes and dreams… to share their phenomenal stories with the whole world.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I am currently offering a free half hour consulting to help women discover the what of their phenomenal story, the why of it, and the where of it. In other words, what is the real story of you? Why should you tell it to the world? Where should it sit – on your website’s about page? In a presentation or blog post? Or, in a book you create for the whole world to read?
- In 2015 I was awarded the title of Woman of the Year in the Women in the Pet Industry Network
- My previous blog was listed in Forbes as one of the 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women
- In 2011 I was one of Lee Odden’s 25 Women who rock social media
- I speak at many conferences on social media and women’s issues, including but not limited to BlogHer, Women in the Pet Industry Network, Women’s Summit/Toronto, RIT and other business conference/summits
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
We created the ‘brand’. It was a continuation of our previous work with Lipsticking.com, so the colors were easy. But, creating the online site continues to be a work in progress. As we grow, we find ourselves focused on the needs of the women and men who come to us for help. Our business is a living thing, flexible and agile, to keep up with technology and the desires we find in so many women who are eager to be entrepreneurs and authors today.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
We use social media a good bit. But, by far the most effective way to find new clients is in face-to-face networking. Nothing is as powerful as that true connection you make when you sit across a table from someone and can reach out and touch them. When you’re face-to-face you absorb the reality of their deepest desires and they share stories they don’t even know they are sharing, just in a glance.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
We are still educating the market on our services. Many people think writing a book or working with a business coach is simple, easy, and shouldn’t dent their budget much. We bring over 20 years of education and business success to our services and we don’t scrimp on the time, energy, and effort we put into our work. As Tom says, we will never be the low-cost provider.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We are creating some DIY products to help people get started on making their dreams a reality. There is no doubt they will soon realize the value of working with us on that one-on-one basis. But, in the meantime, we want to make sure they are at least on the right path! DIY products, as a reasonable price, can direct them properly. And, it offers those who truly don’t have a budget, a way to begin.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I remember life as a child. I remember those tough times. No, I didn’t eat dirt, but we weren’t well off and we moved a lot. I was shy but always out there standing up to bullies. I had such low self-esteem, I never expected to even get married and have children! When I compare the wonderful life I have now, no matter how challenging, to those dark days, I laugh. Life is what you make of it. Rejoice in every day and, as my business coach says, everything will come easy to you.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We’re full service. Personal service. With a history of working in this industry (communications). And, we bring a broad, amazing network of professionals who can take over where we leave off, if that’s necessary. We are small enough to be effective and big enough to make grand things happen!
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Our business coach advised us to create “buckets of biz”. We had never separated our services into “buckets” but as we thought about it, that was exactly what was missing!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Dear Entrepreneur! How exciting! You are beginning a journey that will last a lifetime. As I look back on my beginning, I was so afraid and so worried, I lost time and energy I should not have lost! I wasted it! Don’t waste time worrying. Always DO something. Write a blog post. Call a friend or former client. Take your dog for a walk. Reread your mission/vision statement. Take charge. And dance. I wish I had danced more. I wish I had grabbed the world by the lapels and swung it around in a circle and danced to music only I could hear. Because when you dance, you release that worry and the energy you create inspires you to success.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Zoom. It allows me to create fantastic videos that I can share everywhere, and the free version is very robust!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“How Remarkable Women Lead” by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am always eager to learn more about how to create product for sale online. We enjoy devouring new ideas about this – creating and marketing product online, as this is the most successful way to do business today!
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
In the next few months we are opening our full-on retreat space to the world! So excited about that! The goal is to give writers and entrepreneurs a safe, quiet, awesome space to think, work, write, and get their life back in order. The retreat includes most meals, overnight accommodations, and a beautiful view of the mountains! This space will come with our high-end services, but also be open to those who are seeking a quiet reprieve from life. We will be sharing and marketing this via social media and in-person networking across Colorado, and beyond!
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