Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.
D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?
The goal, as a the CEO of a concierge service for people who are grieving, is simply to make as positive of an impact on the lives and experiences of our customers as possible. We know that the “death space” isn’t the most enjoyable topic to discuss, but having to deal with the death of a loved one is something we all go through at some point and it can be one of the most difficult times for people. Assisting people during those moments and knowing we made a difference is something we want to achieve. At this time we’ve successfully secured funding to help make this possible and are now building out partnerships and getting the word out there.
E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?
I went to the University of Michigan Ross School of Business where I studied entrepreneurship and international studies. There are a lot of experiences from my university years that I can recall as being monumental in creating the person that I am today, but I would have to say that the most important lesson I gained is simply learning how to learn from people I encounter. I love hearing about people’s interests, talking about what they know, and seeing how they approach challenges. A huge part of my day is speaking with people and learning more about the families we’re working with and the business we’re part of. The classes helped me get there.
R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?
Our team really represents the strength of our company because we all share a goal of being that helpful force in families’ lives and we all understand the obstacles that we have to overcome to get there. A lot of our members have experience at other companies. Personally I’ve grown business development teams for two companies and I think our combined insight and experience really allows our ideas to be rich and creative.
R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?
I can say that no one ever feels perfectly ready for any huge or ambitious undertaking when the time comes. But I feel ready enough. Around 6 months ago I saw a need and a way to help people, and that was enough for me. Our whole team is on board with this. We really understand the importance of what we’re doing and how big of a problem we’re tackling.
I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?
I would have to say Mark Lawrence, the CEO and co-founder of SpotHero. When you talk about entrepreneurship, you’re really talking about bringing out the best out of the people you work with and I think Mark did that better than anyone I’ve seen. Mark’s genuineness when it comes to interacting with others, whether it be co-workers, partners, customers, or strangers is a prime example of good leadership.
C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?
A lot of challenges have to do with how we get our foot in the door and communicate who we are to people. Many people lack awareness of the importance of closing accounts and filing the paperwork so it’s difficult to sell them on what we do. Many are only interested in Social Security or Veteran Affairs benefits but what we want them to know is that benefits is only the tip of the post-death iceberg that needs to be handled. A lot of what we have to struggle with is educating our customers on the importance of making sure that everything from credit bureaus to social media gets modified to help protect the identities and estates of their loved ones.
K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?
Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?
Don’t let a lack of results discourage you. Entrepreneurship is a slow and often hectic process and success relies on your ability to stay true to what you believe in. Your business will not be going full speed ahead all the time so surrounding yourself with driven people who care about the vision and always reminding yourself of why you do what you do will keep you moving through the tougher moments.
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