Meet MogulMoxie® Maven: Donna Miller
Donna Miller is a self-taught entrepreneur, student for life, and the President of her company, C3Workplace.
Becoming a self-taught entrepreneur requires serious motivation. What motivates you?
“Knowing I will reach the end of my life feeling I achieved my potential, raised up leaders, and left the world a better place to glorify God.”
Awesome! We have noticed a pattern where the term ‘motivation’ receives a more positive reaction than the term ‘ambition’, especially when applied to businesswomen. What does ambition mean to you?
“Ambition can sound a little dirty but it shouldn’t. To me, ambition means setting the bar high for myself and for everyone around me. It means striving to do better every day.”
Great. Speaking of daily practices, tell us about a typical day in your work life.
“I now operate four locations with a staff of 12, so my calendar is pretty full. That’s how I manage my priorities. My day consists of team meetings, strategy sessions, and business development initiatives. Every day is creative. Every day is different. Every day I get to interact with different people running diverse businesses. It’s a big cup of crazy that I adore.”
A cup of crazy that you adore! We love that. Tell us more about C3Workplace.
“I founded C3Workplace in 1994 with the goal of making a solid living while being a mom and controlling my own destiny. We help companies start and grow by providing office and meeting spaces, administrative support, marketing execution, bookkeeping, and educational programs. We help business owners and professionals stay focused on what drives their company forward by providing the back-office infrastructure they need.
I started this business after working for a similar business for seven years. I took that position by chance after responding to an ad because I was intrigued by the concept. It turned out to be exactly what I am meant to do.”
Have you ever struggled with confidence in your career? Tell us about it and how you’ve overcome the struggle.
“Of course – who hasn’t! First, I surround myself with like-valued people who can raise me up and carry the ball when I can’t. I take regular breaks and vacations because being rested keeps me sharp. Staying sharp eliminates insecurities of “what ifs.” But most of all, just do it! In my experience, it is rarely as awful as we think it will be.”
Regular breaks to stay sharp are so important! It can be hard, especially when first starting your career, to make time for breaks, but thanks for sharing with our audience how necessary they are for consistent productivity. Tell us about one of the toughest things you have had to do in business and what you have learned from it.
“Firing people – I don’t think anyone ever really likes doing this. I have even had to let family members go – ouch! It has gotten easier because I start having the “this isn’t going as it should” conversations long before letting someone go. It becomes a planning session. We plan to improve or we plan to make a change. I have learned to communicate directly with compassion. I have also learned not to take it personally. I can be compassionate and still accountable to the team and the bottom line.”
Right, and meeting the bottom line is, of course, essential to the success of any business. What has been helpful to you in increasing and managing your cashflow?
“Having a budget and sticking to it. Borrowing wisely, managing debt. Being clear on what my most profitable services are and marketing them. And, most of all, not apologizing for my rates and charging what we are worth.”
Do you consider yourself unusual or pretty normal?
“I’d like to think that I am a wonderful blend of crazy – highly creative, fun, smart, inspiring. Besides, isn’t normal completely overrated?”
It certainly can be, if it forces you to repress the parts of yourself that make you feel like the most honest version of yourself! What have you accomplished, created, or built that makes you the proudest or brings you the most joy?
“I am raising up values-driven leaders and fellow business owners. I teach a program called Earn More that helps business owners to focus on what will bring them the best results. It works! Alumni are radically improving what they do and substantially increasing our profits. I am very proud that I can help others achieve what I have achieved.”
“I have many awards, but the one I am the proudest of is my granddaughter naming me her ‘Famous Hero.’ She had to do an essay a few years ago and she told me she was writing about me. I thought it was because she’s seen me in magazines and in various videos, but it turns out the focus of her essay was the volunteer work I do for the Salvation Army. That defined ‘hero’ to her. How lucky am I?”
Very lucky indeed! What’s coming up that you want our readers to know about?
“In July I will be launching an internet TV show and I will be taking my Earn More Program to a blend of virtual, live, and in-person platforms so that I can radically expand my audience.”
Awesome! How can our readers keep up with you?
This was yet another awesome interview with an inspirational woman with moxie. Here are a few key lessons that you can implement into your personal and professional life, starting today:
• Donna recommends regular breaks to stay sharp while working, and that the power of action can push past insecurities.
• Direct, compassionate communication is an effective tool for navigating difficult conversations with employees. Donna says she turns these discussions into planning sessions, where, “we plan to improve or we plan to make a change”