Leaving her cushioned corporate job was a pivotal moment for Dawn Sinkule. After 17 years, climbing the ladder of a Fortune 25 retail corporation, she made the leap into entrepreneurship. Dawn used her experience and knowledge to form a boutique agency that helps eCommerce lifestyle brands scale their business to the next level of profitability, and she hasn’t looked back.
“I think at one point I just sort of realized like, ‘Wow, I am working so hard for someone else. If I’m going to work that hard, I want to be doing it for me.’” - Dawn Sinkule
Dawn is no stranger to “doing all the things.” The first year and a half of being a solopreneur taught her that it’s necessary to delegate and build a team of like minded individuals that want to succeed. Her business began to grow and so did her knowledge of the digital space. She got to a point where she could narrow in on serving her ideal clients and rebranding her life and business.
Dawn Sinkule, is an MBA graduate, with more than 17 years in Corporate America managing Billion dollar budgets and teams of thousands. Dawn cleared all the grey suits out of her closet to create Digital Dawn Agency. Dawn has assembled the best of the best in marketing, operational strategy, design, Facebook and Instagram advertising and more to strategically support entrepreneurs as they expand their reach and their horizons. Digital Dawn's hands-on, personalized approach means that her clients won’t lose sleep over where their ad spend is going, or if they have the inventory to make it through a launch.
“In the virtual space, there is even more of an opportunity for people to design the life that they want.” - Dawn Sinkule
#marketingagency #digitalagency #scalemybusiness #corporatedropout #visionaries
Connect with our guest and other helpful resources mentioned in this episode:
- Check out Digital Dawn Agency's website
- Join Dawn on Facebook
- Join Dawn on Instagram
- Book a FREE strategy call with Dawn
- Commercial Campaigns for Entrepreneurs Discovery Call
- Join Dallin on Facebook
- Join Dallin on Instagram
- Join Dallin on YouTube
- Check out Content Supply virtual commercial services
Even just today, I was like outside gardening for an hour. It was like, you know, could you have done that in the middle of the day at your corporate job? No. Like I'm going to be done in a little bit and I'm going to go spend some time with my husband and I'm going to, you know, like just having the ability to be in a sweatshirt and be outside and be, you know, like those are the things that I value so much more now than I ever thought I was going to value. You know?
Welcome to Visionaries where we believe having a positive vision for the future and actually sharing it is the best way to build a brand, grow authority and live a meaningful life. This show will explore different stories and strategies of the most visionary people today and what they're doing to inspire and change the world.
Dawn, how are you doing? I'm good. How are you? Good. Uh, you know, I'm so excited you, I think you are the officially, the first repeat guest, uh, I've had on my podcast.
I feel so honored and thank you.
Yeah. Well, good. Good. Well, yeah, I mean, this is like, we were just talking about before we hit record, how, um, I don't know what iteration, this is. Like, I've changed the name a lot, but like to me right now, visionaries, as we're getting into it, this is like a month or two in, uh, this really speaks to me in a deeper way. Like, let's talk about life, let's talk about business and how to design that in a way that, you know, feeds into the vision we have for that. So, uh, for those, um, who are getting to, I want to drop some kind of a Dawn like pun, like a bright new Dawn a new day. Well, tell us a little about yourself.
Sure. Um, well, my name is Dawn, as he said, I run a marketing agency called Digital Dawn that has recently been rebranded from virtual point solutions, which it was before. Um, I'm a mom of two teenagers, a wife to one and former corporate executive. I worked for a major retailer for 17 years and started my own marketing agency. Uh, about six years ago this month.
What is it like stepping in from, um, years of experience working for larger corporations and consulting on that level coming into building your own business from home?
Yeah. You know, boy, if you'd asked me that when I was in corporate versus where I'm at now, I think the answer I would've given you would have been so very different, but you know, when I started in corporate America, I think for me, the whole thing was about like getting as high up on the ladder as you possibly could. Right? Like working as hard as you possibly could doing as much as you could putting in the hours. And I think at one point I just sort of realized like,
Wow, I am working so hard for someone else. If I'm going to work that hard, I want to be doing it for me. Right. And not that the hours are any, um, less, maybe in your own business, but at least they're hours that are dedicated totally to me. Right. And, and to my business and growing my business. And I think, um, you know, there's so much transition that happens between going from a corporate to a solo preneur, to where I'm at now, where actually I have a team of people. It's, it's just, it's incredible. I can't even tell you how different it is. But I think, you know, one of the biggest challenges that I think of right off the bat is like, when you're in corporate, you have so many resources available to you. So many people available, so many technical resources, so many, like when your computer breaks, right.
You can just, Hey guy, can you come or gal, can you come fix my stuff? And if something like that happens in your own business, like who do you call? Who do you, who do you have to help you? And just simple things like that, as you start off, you don't even realize like, Oh my gosh, I was so spoiled with all of these resources and now I've got to get scrappy or find somebody or pay somebody, um, or figure out how to do it yourself. And so for me, it was just like this big aha moment of like, wow, I'm like kind of all by myself. Right.
Especially that first step into what you're doing. Well, how, how long did it take for you to begin to build that, that team that helped at least solve?
Yeah. You know, the first, I would say the first year was really sort of like a discovery year for me, trying to figure out what I really wanted to do when I like figured this business out.
It was kind of like, what do you want to do when you grow up? Sort of thing. I mean, I think I had an idea, um, and it seemed really exciting of all of the things that people talked about. Like, Oh, I get to work from home. I'm in my yoga pants all day. I get to like do all this stuff. But for the first year I was really kind of exploring like really what sort of things did I enjoy? What sort of things did I really like doing? And I didn't really bring a team on until after probably 18 months of, of kind of being by myself. And I dabbled in a lot of different things that I'm not doing now. Um, but once I started sort of like, wow, I really like this stuff. Or this is where I really feel like I can be of service to people. Then I started realizing, okay, I can't do this by myself. And I, I started slowly bringing people onto the team to really help support me.
Yeah. I mean, and that totally resonates with me. And I know many people who are building their own thing and it's, it's fascinating. You've mentioned something early on with like, uh, looking at doing your own thing, building your own business, not working for someone else. Yeah. I'm asking this partially. Cause like, I think I've felt this way from time to time, But is there ever a point now in operating your own business and like from step one, when you quit Mmm. That you have in a way still, you're still working for someone else. If that makes sense, like a yes. It's your own business, but yet you are. And sometimes yeah. That feeling of working for someone else.
Well, you know, that's interesting because you have a similar experience, right? You, you went from your corporate job to your own and you know, I think I kind of depends on what you're building in your online space. Like what kind of world, or what kind of business you're creating for yourself where my business is very focused on serving other business owners. I don't sell a particular product for myself. Right. So there's not like a lot of, although that may change over time, but there's not a lot of like passive income.
I'm not selling a course. I'm not selling a particular product. I'm not selling a particular thing. What I'm selling is more of a, B2B type service where I'm servicing other business owners. And so it's very reliant on other people to kind of drive my own business. Right. If that makes sense. So your third question, like, are you, do you ever feel like you're kind of working for somebody else? Well, yeah, kind of in some ways, cause I serve my clients. Right. And so I work for them, but the way in which I get to do it or how I get to do it and the skills that I can bring to the table are a lot different than maybe what I would have been able to do in a corporate position. So I don't really feel like I'm like dictated by other people or that I'm working for other people.
I feel like I get to serve other people versus I'm working for them. So to speak, if that makes sense.
That's a really good perspective to have on it. And I think like for those listening or watching, I mean, I think that's a good way to break it down to right. Where Mmm. Yeah. There's like the idea of having more responsibility because it's your own thing. Will still exist no matter what, but there's still that freeing aspect that like, I feel like you can okay. Re, reprogram how you look at what you're doing. You know, in a way you're serving this larger company. Like I loved my previous employer. I worked for, it was a great brand. Uh, and so there's, it was bittersweet for me to quit. Yet what I was able to do then is like, well, if I'm serving this one kind of person of a brand, why not be able to serve many more and expand that reach. Yeah. Um, and there's that flexibility, whether it's an agency format where you're selling products of any kind. Mmm. There's always, you're always going to have to have customers as a business owner, obviously. So there's always someone you are obligated to in some form, but they don't have to be a boss to you Um, because you still Have the control as a, as a business owner.
Right. Right. And I think for me too, it's been really empowering being able to choose the type of business owners that I want to work with and the type of people that I want to work with. And that's been really, um, you know, kind of part of this journey is really figuring out who do I want to serve and who is it that I feel like I can serve the best in the space. And I've kind of, as many of us do sort of gone through a road of like figuring it out and kind of, yes, I like these clients or this type of business or this type of industry. And I think we all sort of, you know, go on that journey, but it's been really awesome to be able to like, serve so many different types of clients and then kind of narrow it down through the course of the last six years on who I really enjoy working with what type of business owner.
And it also is really empowering to be able to say like, I really don't want to work with you anymore. Or, you know, like I don't want to work with this kind of business owner and not feel like I absolutely have to work with them. Um, every time to where, you know, maybe in a corporate situation where you were assigned a team or you were given, you know, a particular type of client, maybe you just didn't have as much flexibility with being able to say, no, as you do with, you know, your own business as well,
Uh, there's a unique comparison to dating where you have, like with an employer, you don't have the opportunity to break up.
You know, you just kind of develop resentment towards maybe you don't want to work with, but then it is freeing to be able to say, Hey, I don't work. Like I can separate let be like, I'm going to break up with you guys. Cause you're not, you know, we're not compatible. Well, one thing that's curious cause, cause I've gone through obviously and we all do the same process of like, who are the people we feel called to serve? Who are the people who we connect with? Um, how have you found that you have figured that out? Like how do you identify the type of person you actually do want to work with?
You know, it's, that's a great question because I don't know that I have a formula per se, that I, I necessarily, you know, in the marketing world, they kind of say you should narrow it down and go through your ideal client or figure out who your ideal avatar is. And I think we sort of use that as a guide, but for me it's been a little bit of trial and error, right. So I thought maybe at the very beginning I wanted to work with client X, Y, and Z. And so I started working with them and I realized, you know, like that's not my zone of genius. Not that they aren't necessarily like a great person or their business. Isn't great, but it's like, where can I be the best for them? And how can I help, you know, them move forward? Or where do I get passion and excitement?
You know, how can I get motivated to help somebody? And so I've tried a lot different types of businesses and I've, I've worked with a variety of different stages is probably more, what I would say is, you know, startup businesses, people that are in growth and expansion, people that are established kind of gone through all sorts of different, you know, business owner types in that, in that way and sort of then narrowed it down to like, I really work fast with this type of business owner. Cause I get more excited about it. And when I get excited about it, they're excited about it. And then the results come and you know, a lot of our clients that, you know, I I've had clients now that have been with me for five years since the very beginning. And one, I think that says something about us, right.
My team in general. But then to also like you build a relationship with those people, right? You build a friendship. I mean, a lot of my clients I've been to their houses, I've met their children, I've built relationships, you know? And so I want to work with people. One that I know I can help, but two that I also like as, as a person that I would enjoy drinking a glass of wine with them and you know, that kind of thing too. So it's been a bit try it, you know, for me a bit of trial and error kind of going through this journey and seeing who and what I really get passionate about.
And, and that's, that's something like towards the end there, it really, it was like AH HA for me around like someone, you know, you want to have a glass of wine with, or just hang out with, spend time with. Right. And I feel like simply speaking, like, you know, dropping all the demographic research and like the customer research of like, who is my perfect customer, who I want to serve is obviously you've got to begin with, I see you got to figure out who you want to serve and what problem you're going to solve, but do you want to actually hang out with this person? No. At night. And that's something that I just, I mean, like I think of the friends I want to hang out with and like if they're ones I, you know, get along with may, there may be arguments sometimes, but usually the arguments over like worthwhile things, right. When you argue with your family members, hopefully that's okay. It's usually out of good intention and, and that's such a simple and good way I think. Mmm. And I don't, I don't think it's necessarily a formula. I just think it's like, do you, do you jive with someone? Well and what have you found? So now that you've, uh, you've rebranded Digital Dawn Agency.
Looking forward to the next six years, like what, what do you envision, you're like the growth of what you're, you're working on and, and, uh, w what do you envision it blossomed into?
You know, I think the reason we rebranded, uh, from where I was at with virtual point solutions versus where I'm at today, you know, what I thought was going to happen in the six years, it was still very different. And I started off really thinking it was going to be, you know, gosh, I was going to do a corporate sort of consulting and all those different types of things. And it made sense at the time. And so when we rebranded this last year, it really was intended to help to kind of clarify the message of who we want to serve in the online space. And there's a lot of play on words with Dawn and new horizons, new beginnings, new, all that kind of stuff. But for me, it's really about, you know, how can I serve more people at a bigger level, right. With more impact, and how do I grow my team and my processes and, and my internal team to a point where I can pull out and serve more people.
And I really envision this growing into, you know, a large agency where we can serve more clients at a higher level with just as much personalized attention as you get. You know, if you were working with me, one-on-one now how I do that. There's still still some things to figure out with that. But, you know, I think all of us as business owners really want to try to make as big an impact as we possibly can for as many people as we possibly can. Of course, we want this to be profitable and we want to be able to make a living at this and all that kind of stuff. But for me, you know, I've kind of been there, done that in the corporate space. So for me now it's more about passion. It's more about purpose. It's more about serving people at a, at a higher, bigger level, and being able to really make an impact in people's businesses. And that's really what I'm looking forward to for the next five or six years, is being able to take sort of all of this that I've learned and be able to make it even bigger.
I love hearing that. Um, and it's inspiring to hear this too, cause I think it, when we hear people share like, you know, this is what I see in the future. Yeah. I think it is, it feels empowering. They're like, Hey, I can maybe do this too.
What would you say? So you mentioned like purpose and the passion. Mmm. What are, what are some specific ways that you would identify that for yourself, whether it's like in your personal life or in your business to be like, I have not necessarily I've arrived, but it's like, yes. I'm I have this purpose. Like I have this passion and I feel that fulfillment.
Yeah. That's a great question. It's kind of like, what's the meaning of life, right? Like, I don't know. I don't know that I have, right. I don't know. I mean, I think for me the thing, and you can relate to this as, as other business owners can relate as well as that, this is not an easy thing to do, right. Running a business, whether it's an agency or whether it's like solar, premier, or your product based business. I mean, this is hard is really, really hard. And you have to have the drive to get up every morning and go to your office and to do this stuff and to make the impact and to do the work that's required to be able to move things forward. And some people don't always have that passion. And I don't know if it's because they necessarily haven't found what they're passionate about if it's because you know, who knows the reason.
But for me, when I feel like I want to get up in the morning and I want to come into my office and I want to do what I'm doing, and I want to make a difference. I know that I'm on the right thing. I know that I'm on the right path. I know that I'm doing the right thing when I start to get bored or I start to not be excited about coming to work every day. Then I know I'm off track somewhere. Right. Or I know that I haven't, you know, maybe I maybe I've followed the shiny penny down a rabbit hole or, or I've gone off track somehow. And for me, it's really about making sure that every day I feel as excited about coming to work or doing what I'm doing as I did the day before. And that's how I know that I'm on the right thing or that I'm, that I'm passionate about what I'm doing. I also think it's very important that you, Like I said, work with people that, that you like, that you have people on your team that you like, that you feel passionate. I mean, I'm excited to come and talk to, you know, my, my people, right. I'm excited to come and like talk to my clients and it just kind of feels me. And I know that that's the right thing. Right. And I know that I'm doing what I should be doing. Cause I'm excited about it every day.
The, the, I mean, that's a great answer. I don't, I don't think there's a perfect answer to that. And like one thing that came to mind too, it's funny that you're like, it's like asking what the meaning or purpose of life is. You know, it's interesting to think about that. Cause like, when I first got into business, I didn't really think about how much it would impact my personal life. Yeah. Impact like, um, like my, the importance of how do you design my lifestyle around? Like, my business is a, how I first approached it versus like designing my business around my lifestyle. No, the reverse order. And there's that. And I think there's that aspect, but also it's like, um, and like, and this is something that I'm trying to work on. It's like, I don't like I've, I felt burnout. Like even after I quit my job two years ago now.
And like, I felt that like, I probably cried more than I ever, I didn't consider myself an emotional person, but I'm like the mood swings, emotions.
I love this. I hate this. I love this.
Yeah. Yeah. And, and it's, and it's so fascinating though. Cause it's like, I, um, for those who do quit a, an employer, you know, job, and you're doing your own thing, you know, you, you want to be that visionary. You have a vision for something you want to build. Okay. Like understanding what you're signing up for is really difficult. Initially. Like people can tell you, but until you experience it, you look through it. It's a whole new journey. And that's like, you spoke early on about like complacency or getting bored who was experiencing that cause. And I realized like I wasn't being challenged with my previous employer. I progressed it. Like I got to the corporate ladder. I couldn't like really get promoted much anymore. I was going to get in a very comfortable place that I'm like, yeah, I can float this for number more years. But I was like, I'm bored. Like what's next? You know? So, um, I think that ambition usually matches up with those who want to build and do their own thing.
I agree. I agree. And I, and I think, you know, I don't know about you, but there's very, very rarely a day where I'm in my own business where I go jeesh, I'm really bored. I don't have anything to do. You know? I mean, it very rarely happens. Right. And if that's the case, then there's always something to be doing. Right. And it's almost probably to the other side of things where you get too excited about too many things and you sort of lose focus on what you really should be doing. And I think that's kind of the serial entrepreneur trap that we all fall into. It's like, there's so many things we could be doing. And I think that's a bit of the journey that you go through as a business owner too, is finding what it is. Like I said, that you're really passionate about.
And sometimes you just have to have trial and error to be able to do that. And for those of us who came out of the corporate setting, there's kind of, you know, a one path or one, one road that you follow and you do these things and you go to the next level and you do this and you go to the next level and you know, on this journey, there's so many different ways that you could go with it that sometimes that's almost, it can be detrimental to you, but it's also a benefit. Right. Cause you get to design it. So...
It feels like it's kind of like, um, initially when you're trying to find your footing Mmm it's like a shifting target you're going towards because like you get, I definitely have shiny objects or I, I'm definitely an idea, man. Like I get inspired, I get creative. I'm like, Oh my gosh, all of these ideas would be worth a million or like actual. And I'm like, I want to do all of them right now. Um, but then like, you know, the, the term design really sticks out to me too is, is like, well, um, I think we start off with like, what is maybe imagining like a climactic scene in a movie of like, what seed do I want to see have happened at the end of like, not necessarily the end of my life. Like maybe it's an end of a milestone. Right? And like on the next five years, my business, like I want to be in my room, like enjoying my favorite food with my favorite clients and my favorite team members, you know, in the last five years, you know, and appreciating the journey. And I think it's like, how can we design our life and business to support that climactic scene to have happened.
And, uh, and so it's a, and I feel like with that mind, it's maybe easier to not have quite much of a shifting target. You still need to pivot now 20, 20.
Right, right, right, right.
Yeah. You know, it's, and this is something I'm trying to work on more is like how, Like I've, I've probably, I was working at comfortable with 40 hours a week, you know, the typical corporate job. And then I immediately, I started working 80 hours a week. Exactly. Right. It's my social life bedroom. Yeah. And then, uh, and then it's like, well actually this is something I'm trying to work on now. And I'm curious your thoughts on it is like, as far as designing the lifestyle I want and not, not getting, getting pulled into, like I have to make millions of dollars to have made it. Yeah. Right. I can still grow a business, grow team and I'm trying to read, work my schedule and design it in a way that I'm only working six hours a day, four days a week. Right. So that way I can actually have like hobbies and for sure. Right, right.
Yeah. You know what I think when I first started this, I kind of was driven more, um, I'm very focused on, you know, like goals or setting goals for myself and kind of milestones that I wanted to reach.
And at first when I did this, you know, I kind of had a lot of my old corporate friends and, and even some of my family members were like, you'll like, you'll never be able to do it. Not like discouraging me, but like you're a people person. You need to be around people coming into an office or doing those types of things or, you know, like, do you know, most small businesses fail and you know, just kind of all these things in the background that you kind of, so for me, it was more like, I just want to prove that I can do it. It wasn't even so much about like, I'm going to make all this money and I'm going to do, you know, it was more like, I just want to prove to myself that I can do this. And that was the milestone that I was trying to hit.
What's that, can I stay afloat? Do I have to go back to a corporate job or do I have to go like, get a job, get a job sort of thing. And for me that was just the biggest motivation to start with was like, I just don't want to go back to where I was before. It wasn't the life that I had wanted or the design that I had wanted, you know, initially was financially great for me, but it wasn't like the life style that I had thought or design. So when I started this, it was more, I'm not going back to that. So whatever I have to do to like, keep this afloat or not do that was really my motivation. Now over for six years, it's really shifted a lot. So the, you know, like even just today, I was like outside gardening for an hour.
It was like, you know, could you have done that in the middle of the day at your corporate job? No. Like I'm going to be done in a little bit and I'm going to go spend some time with my husband and I'm going to, you know, like just having the ability to be in a sweatshirt and be outside and be, you know, like those are the things that I value so much more now than I ever thought I was going to value. It. It's like trading time for, for, you know, it just doesn't for me, it's not as important anymore. I just want to build that life, but I feel really good. And if, if the money's there that I can survive and do it, that's like awesome. But mostly it's around like the life that I want to live. Right. And the lifestyle that I choose to live.
Yeah. I love that. You said that too. And I mean, I think for those listening and keep in mind that like, you don't have to be the entrepreneur or business owner to make this happen. Reality, like there's employers as businesses you can work for and support their vision in a way that they, they want to have, they want you to have that, that, um, time totally right on schedule. And like, no matter if you're leading the business or are working in a business, um, you can design your schedule in a way that like you can do those things. And especially now in a virtual world.
That's what I was gonna say. Like now in the virtual space, this is even more like an opportunity for people to design the life that they want. And I have a team of people that work with me and I say with me, because I don't want them to, like, I want them to be part of this, not work for me. And I always found that to be so hard when I was at corporate, like you work for. And I'm like, no, I work with right. And there's a big distinction for me. And just even that little word and I want it to be a partnership, but I also want people who work with me to design the life that they want. They may not want to be business owners. They may not want to have their own, you know, business and do that, but they want to work for something. They want to work towards something. They want to work with someone. And so, you know, designing the life. I mean, we work really hard to try to have life balance. You know, I don't expect my team to work on the weekends. I don't, you know, if they need to be gone during the day or whatever, you know, we talk about that, obviously there's things that have to be done, but like, aren't we all doing this so that we can create, that's the whole point of having your own, you know, space or, or being an independent contractor or working for someone or working with someone or whatever. I mean, that's the whole purpose of it. So I think now more than ever in the virtual space and the online space, it's like the sky's the limit. Right. And what you can do and how I can design it. So
Yeah. Oh man. And that's what, like, you know, the, the horizons are, I I'm, I'm a dad, I've got a three year old. I, my, my, I learned a lot of dad puns from my dad. Yeah. And I could drop them, try to, at least they're terrible. My wife doesn't, she gives me courtesy laugh sometimes, but I know they're not authentic. Um, what, Hey, Dawn, I appreciate your time. Like, I, I'm always inspired when I interact with you. Like you have incredible experience, but yet at the same time, you're working on amazing things in your business. And, and I have a lot of respect for what you built. Like you've got a team that you work with, you know, you've got, you have a vision for what's, uh, what you're building and how you're serving. So I appreciate everything that you've shared.
Yeah, you too. I hats off to you for, for creating your vision and, and getting entrepreneurs on this podcast to talk about their stuff and how cool it is too. And you've really, you know, you're inspiring and creative and, and have built some amazing stuff. So I look forward to seeing where you go In the next several years. I'll be excited to watch yours.
Well, thanks, Dawn. I appreciate it. Thanks so much for listening. Once again, if you would like to learn more about how you can use your unique message to share with the world through video and create videos that actually are professional and perform bring you money and all of the results and influence that you want to make. Then I invite you to learn more by going to contentsupply.com. Thanks again for listening. And we'll talk to you very soon.