Monday, 8 October 2012

BUSINESS PROFILE: USHA PENUMUCHI, INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER & FOUNDER OF DARE TO DREAM

Anyone who attended the 2 Inspire Ladies Day in August will not forget the remarkable Usha who was the Master of Ceremony at the event and whose straight talking approach was both entertaining and inspiring .  Usha's Company Dare to Dream was the official sponsor of the Award of Excellence which was awarded to exhibitor Lerie LeBlanc based on the votes of the other exhibitors at the event. Learn more about Usha and her company Dare to Dream in our business profile below:



CEO of Dare to Dream, Usha Penumuchi, acts as a mentor and transformational coach, working with people via the media of tailor-made training programmes and workshops to build their confidence and self-esteem, inviting them to consider novel and productive methods of addressing personal and corporate challenges, and encouraging them to create and chart their own personal development strategies.

Please describe a typical business day for you
Well , I have a business and a charity and also work full time for the moment so I have a lot to juggle in one day.  Dare to dream is my real love and my passion. As a part of Dare to Dream I do inspirational talks, training and development in confidence, public speaking and presentation skills.  A typical day is filled with ideas, consultations, mastermind sessions, networking and promotion of Dare to dream.  I am always working and looking at ways of making Dare to dream a creative and a distinct brand.  I am passionate about my business and so sometimes I get an idea at 3am in the morning which I will run with once I have thought of a plan to make it work .  I meet a lot of people in my business, as a coach and a mentor but also as a mentee, I am constantly learning new things every day from those I network with and have found that you can never know too much.


What made you start the business and what steps did you start?
In 2008 I came to a crossroads in my career , at the time I was managing private prisons but I  moved over to work for the training and development department.  The first time I did a talk at one of the away days, I got fantastic feedback.  The evaluation forms had comments like: “I can listen to her all day”, “she has a fantastic way of speaking and her delivery is excellent”, It was only after speaking at a second event at which I got even better accolades that it dawned on me that I could utilise this skill in my own business.  At that time I was part of the women’s issues network at the Ministry of Justice and went for a Winning Women’s conference, one of the jet banners had Dare to Dream below its caption – I walked out of there and knew instantly that the slogan was a message to me and it was the start of my dream to start my own business.  I soon attended  an event ran by a company called Partner Potential at the Charing Cross Hotel and the speaker spoke about perceptions,  his name is Kojo Gottfried, and when I walked out of there, there was a paradigm shift within me and I realised my perception of myself was different to people’s perception of me.  I began my journal and wrote down that I want to be a motivational speaker to influence people with my words.  I took my redundancy in 2009 and in October 2009, Dare to Dream was born and I have never looked back.  I built myself and the business by networking,  engaging in training and guest speaking at numerous events and by June 2012 I felt finally ready to formally launch Dare to Dream at the prestigious hotel Park Plaza.

What have been your greatest accomplishment in business world so far?
Seeing people tangibly change through my talks.  I want my words to empower people to reach where they want to go, I call Dare to Dream a runway to success and it is.  A lot of testimonies  I receive blow me away, I get told by so many that hear me speak that I have made something change in them and  that the passion and the words I deliver have not only taken them to where they want to be, but actually over and above.  When I see how some peoples  lives have changed  as a result of my talks or coaching I get the greatest feeling of accomplishment ever, as that is why I do what I do – I dared to dream and I want others to reach out for the stars and live their dream also.


What has been your biggest challenge so far
Finance.  Money is needed to start  a business but being a single mum getting my ‘House in order’ is a priority. I have had to look for external funding for my events in the form of sponsors etc to help to get the business to take off.

What are the future business plans for your business?
Wow, it really is such exciting times.  I want to be able to do more talks, work with associations and speak with integrity and passion to as many people as I can.  I want to start a training academy not only in this country but overseas and make Dare to Dream a reality for people. I also want to raise awareness of  the charity which I run www.wowministries.co.uk .  I want to be a voice of the voiceless, to empower men and women to reach their God given destiny and to leave an indelible mark and legacy for the generations to come, through my inspirational talks and via my training and coaching.

If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently?
Have financial security. I would have made sure I got investors, sponsors and partners on board from the onset.

What is the biggest accomplishments you receive in business?
As I alluded to earlier, watching peoples lives change and their business take off really warms my heart.  I started Dare to Dream so my words would encourage, empower, build restore and people to regain their purpose and destiny of their lives. Seeing that happen as a result of my talks and coaching – is so warming and rewarding.  My passion is my genuine love for  people and those who know me know that all I want is to build not tear down people’s self esteem and help them see themselves as a valued precious and gifted human being , if this happens then it’s a job well done.  One soul at a time I tell myself .
                                                   
What advice would you give somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
When I first started reaching out to networks and businesses and telling them about Dare to Dream, there was alot of come back – people  were saying things like “ there are hundred’s of motivational speakers what makes you different?”.  I told them I am an inspirational speaker who has come out of a bad situation fighting and my story and journey of success should empower people to build their lives.  I would advise people who want to do what I do, to know who THEY ARE – to value themselves, and to be authentic and have integrity when they speak. It is also important to have new material, to be different in delivery, have values and most importantly to ensure that their character matches their gifting and skills.  I work at mine every day.

What and who inspires you in business and why?
John C Maxwell. A leadership expert, powerful speaker whose authenticity appeals to me and I love his integrity and his love for God.  He does what he loves best and in that helps hundred’s of people.  On my vision board I have my picture next to powerful entrepreneurs and leaders such as him who I want to share a platform with .  His books inspire me, his passion is truly an inspiration.  He is my icon.
Other people that inspire me and whom I look up to are Steven Covey and  Joyce Meyer , who I think is a great evangelist and a powerful teacher whose teaching has changed my thinking and ways of doing things.  Another great icon is Bishop TD Jakes, he has such a way with words and I love words, I love listening to how he makes words come alive and resonate with my way of thinking.  Nick Vujicic whose love for life despite having no arms and legs really inspires me,  I use his videos in my talks to show people that nothing should stop them from achieving and to use whatever their best skills and features  are to be best they can.  He has a powerful quote: “ I have no arms no legs but look at my eyes they are my best feature, I am handsome aren’t I? - that is inspirational!

What are your favourite inspirational quotes?

  •  There is a tide in the affairs of men- which taken in the flood leads on to fortune.
  •  Follow knowledge like a sinking star like a sinking star beyond the utmost bounds of human thought is the be all and end of of life.
  •  The moving finger writes and have writ moves on
  •  We pass this life but once, there if there is any good we can , any love we can show and kindness given, let us not deter for giving sharing loving as we shall not pass this way again
  •  Watch your thoughts they become your words, watch your words they become your actions, watch your actions they become your habits, watch your habits they become your character and watch your character it becomes your destiny.
I dared to dream and that is what I want for every person.
Dare to Dream – where your inspiration meets your aspirations.


More information can be found out about Usha and Dare to Dream at:

Website: www.dtod.co.uk
Facebook: DaretoDreamLtd
Twitter:@penumuchi

Usha will be hosting the following event on the 3rd November 2012, for more information: www.daretodreamkeystosuccess.eventbrite.co.uk




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