MEET BRANDY ADAMSON: Equipped with more than 13 years of combined professional experience in the telecommunications, education and oil and gas industries, Brandy Adamson knows what it takes to succeed in the business sector. As the founder and owner of The Savane Group, Adamson works with companies to help them achieve financial success and economic sustainability. Specific services provided through the Savane Group include philanthropic consulting, management services and fundraising initiatives. As if managing The Savane Group is not enough, Adamson also publishes the award winning Alive Magazine. Adamson’s client-focused companies are online at www.alive-mag.com and www.brandyadamson.com
WMI: Your business career started in the male dominated oil and gas industries. What lessons did you learn during your early career that can help women and men small business owners who may feel, for one reason or another, that they’re working against the odds?
BA: The generational differences I experienced while working in the oil and gas industries had a huge impact on what I learned as well as on my ability to work with diverse individuals and groups. I learned to listen first and that everything does not require a response or reaction. I also learned to appreciate the fact that “focusing on being right” doesn’t always get you the result you desire.
WMI: When did you make the shift from the oil and gas industries to publishing, and what was that experience like?
BA: The shift included a few stops along the way – including telecommunications, education and the manufacturing sectors. All of these experiences continued to allow me to meet great people, gain mentors that provided great guidance and learn much from executives at various levels on leadership, coaching and managing diverse teams.
WMI: Have you always wanted to own a magazine?
BA: Yes, I have. However, rather than immediately launch the magazine, I initially created and managed a newsletter. As I continued to publish the newsletter, it became more apparent that the magazine is what I was supposed to be doing.
WMI: What was the initial financial investment required to start Alive Magazine, and where did you pool or get resources to meet this investment requirement?
BA: Since I started the magazine with the intent of it being free to our readers, I used personal resources to cover the necessary expenses. I also took on additional client projects and earmarked those funds specifically for expenses related to the publication.
WMI: Brandy, you’ve managed to continue to move forward in an industry (magazine/newspaper publishing) that has seen its share of downsizing. What’s your secret? What do you do to ensure you remain at the front of trends, fads, changes, etc. in the industry?
BA: My secret…. I really don’t have a secret. As in my coaching practice, I remind everyone to explore and define their purpose and master that. You also have to take ownership of your purpose and the projects you launch relative to your purpose. As far as remaining in front of the trends, fads and changes – we have tried to add various topics to our publication and their inclusion didn’t yield the desired outcome. We had to ‘go back to basics,’ remembering our niche; executive women, entrepreneurs. We keep our readers in mind – what is it they expect to read when they open ALIVE – it is to those things that we remain true and constant.
WMI: How do you leverage the Internet to expand your magazine’s readership?
BA: We use social media, strategic partnerships and our web presence to increase readership.
WMI: You also own a consulting firm called the Savane Group. When did you start The Savane Group and what services do you offer clients through the company?
BA: Established in 2008, The Savane Group, is a leading business consulting firm. Serving clients across the nation and abroad, The Savane Group believes that its success is directly correlated to not only the financial success of its clients but also their economic sustainability. Working with clients in the private, public and charitable sectors, The Savane Group works with organizations as a whole – building true economic development in communities. Not only providing consulting services but also offering administrative support, The Savane Group strategically works with clients to build an organization with a diverse yet calculated asset based.
The Savane Group also engenders an increased spirit of successful philanthropy. With clients in the sports, entertainment and business sectors The Savane Group has designed and implemented initiatives relative to education, health, literacy and entrepreneurship. The Savane Group also provides a wide range of philanthropic consulting and management services.
We serve most of our clients in the areas of business formation, business development, procurement, resource and capital development, coaching and philanthropic initiatives – program and curriculum development, management of foundations and charitable organizations and fund raising as well as program development and event management.
WMI: What is the greatest challenge you have faced to date as a business owner? What steps did you take to over this challenge?
BA: I would say that personally – my greatest challenges have been delegating and successfully managing work/life balance.
WMI: Tell us about three key differences you’ve discovered thru personal experiences between working for someone else as an employee and working for yourself?
BA: The mindset of an employee is totally different from the mindset of an entrepreneur. Those possessing a mindset of an entrepreneur work their ‘job’ like a ‘business. That is of benefit to the employer, but at times, stifles the entrepreneur from moving into his/her purpose. Working for someone else, the environment is typically one of ‘follow the process’ rather than allowing employees to bring their expertise and value to the team to provide astonishing results to the company as a whole.
WMI: If someone was thinking about starting a magazine today, what advice would you give them that could increase their chances of achieving ongoing success?
BA: Research, identify your niche and remember – stay true to your purpose.
WMI: You recently became a mom. What has your daughter taught you about life that’s helped you as a person and as a creative business leader?
BA: Yes, I recently became a Mommy and I absolutely love it and love her! She has taught me much about being a better person. I have learned:
- BE in the moment.
- The most successful leaders willingly delegate.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff; everything is not a life and death matter.
WMI: Where do you see yourself, Alive Magazine and The Savane Group two to three years from now?
BA: From a professional standpoint, I am currently working on publishing my first book and completing my second. I want to further develop my coaching practice and provide more education and lectures on entrepreneurship and business through The Savane Group. Regarding the publication, I want to maximize our voice and create a secondary publication for Teenpreneurs.
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