by Stefany J.

“The stuff that I give away for free, people are able to take and make money from.”

“I’m a very family-oriented person. At the same time, I’m also a very driven and motivated person looking to fulfill my own personal goals, dreams, and aspirations while at the same time helping other people reach their goals and fulfill their own dreams and aspirations.”

This business savvy entrepreneur is not just leading the way for others to follow…

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SHE’S EQUIPPING THEM WITH THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO GET THE SAME JOB DONE FOR THEIR OWN LIVES & BUSINESSES…

My one on one with Vicki Irvin was everything I expected it to be and then some. This Springfield, MA born and now Maryland resident wife, mother, business owner, and entrepreneur mentor is making moves and strides of a very different kind. What you will learn from her are take-a-ways that will benefit any business owner at any level.

HMM: What was it like for you growing up and coming into your own?

VICKI: I was just your average person who went to school. My mother forced me to go to college. I had no aspirations to go to college. She actually filled out college applications for me and I finally went to school. When I graduated I moved to the Maryland/D.C. area really without a clue of what I wanted to do. I kind of fell into the field of Human Resources and worked for various companies in the capacity of a Human Resources assistant.

HMM: Is the life you have now the one you always dreamed about having?

VICKI: I was never the type of person who, like a lot of women, dreamed about the picket fence and the kids. I met my husband, dated, fell in love, got married and had my son. I had never even thought about did I want kids? Did I not? I was truly one of those people out traveling, enjoying my youth and just being young. When I met my husband all of that changed. I wanted to get married. Along comes my son so I’m thrown into this family life type of thing.

HMM: Your life seems pretty demanding, how do you manage your lifestyle?

“It affects the business if two people aren’t on board together.”

VICKI: Within the dynamic of my family and my lifestyle, I do live an extremely busy and hectic life between myself and my husband with what we have chosen to do as far as professions. We do not have a traditional family household and that has been from the time that I dated him. He’s never going to be that person who is home for dinner and I’ve always known that. He leaves the house at about 10:00 o’clock in the morning and doesn’t come home everyday until about 11:30 in the evening. It’s always been that way. We’ve been married almost 10 years. I have had to step in and be that person who takes care of everything at home from paying the bills, making sure my son has everything he needs, doing homework with him, getting him to his activities, cooking him dinner. That’s really the lifestyle that we live.

HMM: How do you make and take time out for family with so much going on in life and business?

VICKI: We have Sundays that I have designated as our family days because they truly are some of the only times that we all are able to be together, all three of us at one time. That’s very, very sacred time to me and very important to me. A lot of times when my husband is traveling it’s to the point where sometimes my son and I have to go just to have a mini vacation while he’s traveling and working. It’s not a traditional household but it works for what we do. It’s something I’m used to because again, by nature of what we both do and both of our desires to help other people accomplish their dreams, that comes with sacrifice. That’s something that we both accept.

HMM: It seems as if while non- traditional by perceived standards, family is ultimately very important.

VICKI: I am a very family-oriented person. Family is very, very important to me. I love my in-laws. They’re like another set of parents. All of our families get along beautifully. We spend holidays together. Basically family is at the forefront of everything that I do.

HMM: Speaking of relationship dynamics, what would you say to those couples who face challenges as a result of this type of lifestyle?

VICKI: Yeah, it’s very complicated, and I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been a person who has worked the traditional nine to five the majority of my life. I married a person who has been an entrepreneur all of his life. When we first got together those very two different mindsets and dynamics clashed. I always tell this story, that I didn’t understand what he was talking about; he didn’t understand being an employee, two different mindsets, very different. It caused a lot of friction and problems in our marriage initially.

It wasn’t until I got exposed to the world of entrepreneurship and became interested in it that we had some common ground and I kind of understood him better.

HMM: It is quite unfortunate when couples are together, yet not able to have a meeting of the minds when the approach to work are so varied.

VICKI: I’ve seen it on both sides of the fence. There has to be an understanding there because you can’t concentrate and do all you can do in your business if you’re not supported, if you’re not surrounded by people who help motivate you and push you to another level. I do spend a lot of time, believe it or not, helping to coach people through that obstacle.

HMM: You made the transition from corporate mindset to entrepreneur and found yourself embracing that whole ideology. What would you say to those who may be afraid to take that leap knowing they will no longer have the comfort of a steady paycheck and benefits? To me, I believe that’s the number one obstacle that people face, especially women, when deciding to transition from one to the other

VICKI: Right. I totally understand that fear because I had it as well. Having a bit of an inside track on things, having worked as a Human Resources executive, part of what I had to do was lay people off. Every company is always looking for ways to cut company costs. Being in Human Resources, I was always a part of that process of having to deliver devastating news to people that, “Hey yeah, I know you worked here 20 years but your job is going to be gone next week and retirement benefits are being eliminated or reduced,” or whatever the case. People’s lives were being destroyed.

Seeing this was my first eye opener, and I realized that I needed to figure out another way to secure my financial future because this happens all day every day. We’re brought up and raised that you go to school, you get a job and you stay there until you die basically. You get your benefits. If you look around we all know someone, if not ourselves or a close family member, whose lives have been devastated through being laid off especially in an economy like this.

People have to realize that what used to be, what other generations had as far as having the security of working and knowing that you could retire and live off of you pension and Social Security, that’s not a reality in this day and age anymore. The first thing I would tell people to do is understand that that’s a thing of the past. There is no security working for someone else. No matter how good you feel right now, how much you think your boss at your company likes you, it’s business. It’s never personal. They may like you but they’re also going to lay you off if they need to. First of all, we have to get rid of that mindset.

HMM: Can you expand a little bit in specifics, what your business actually does and what you’re able to offer? What types of benefits have you witnessed others experience as a result of your advice?

VICKI: I basically assist entrepreneurs regardless of what business they’re in. I help them work on elevating their business to a level to where it’s sustainable, that they don’t have to do it on the side, that it becomes a business that can support them in their lifestyle. I stress the importance of sales and marketing. I focus on showing people how to become a student of sales and marketing so that you can get clients consistently. You can stand out in the marketplace. You can attract people to you. That’s the core focus of my business. Again, it doesn’t matter what you do, these marketing strategies and this method of marketing that I teach, you can apply to whatever it is you do, whatever business that you have. I’ve worked with over 2,000 people on their businesses, increasing people’s net worth, putting their business structures together, etc..

I’m not about teaching fluff or motivation because you can be as motivated as you want; if you don’t have the skill sets you need to make your business work, it’s not going to get you anywhere.

HMM: What is the most rewarding part of this business for you?

VICKI: Little things that are life changing for other people that you’re directly involved with and you’re a part of making that happen for them—that’s what it’s all about. That’s what I like the most. I love to see other people achieve and reach their full potential.