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Top 10 Most Inspiring Women 2016

Dr. Robyn Odegaard

Champion Performance Development | Founder | Visit Website 

Jane Clark, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Brandswan, a Delaware web design agency

Why We Chose Dr. Robyn Odegaard

“When I first met Robyn at a Wonder Women Tea, she intimidated me. Before me stood a goddess — tall and blonde. She was totally present and owned her space. “What a pro!” I thought. I tried to pretend that my tiger-striped tights and long dangling earrings didn’t pale in comparison to her super-put-together look (which I later found to be her personal brand). I continued to run into her at various networking events and at some point we connected more personally on Facebook and shared various phone calls. WOW! What a pleasure. Robyn is not only kind and caring, but she wears herself on her sleeve and has no problem sharing her amazing life stories. I highly recommend you get to know this super smart gal who I’ve had honor of meeting. Oh — and she’s really good at what she does. :) Read on.”

Jane Clark, Co-Founder of BrandSwan

Dr. Robyn Odegaard

Champion Performance Development | Founder | Visit Website

 

The Story

Tell us how it all started. Why? What’s the story?

I didn’t have an opportunity to go to college right out of high school so I got a job working in the back office of a bank. I was always that person who people came to to share their stories and get advice. I used to joke and that I didn’t even get paid five cents (Peanuts joke).

In my early 30’s a manager from another department came into my office with an employee who was crying so hard she couldn’t breathe. He said, “Can you talk to her? Her boyfriend just held a gun to her head for two hours” and walked out of my office. I did talk to her. I went with her to the apartment, hid the guns, grabbed as much of her stuff as we could and got her out of there.

That event had a profound effect on me. I realized I was wasting my talent for helping people by having a job (not a career) in technology. I quit my job, sold my house and my second car and went to college for the first time. I got my undergrad, masters and doctorate in six and half years. I started Champion Performance Development the semester before I graduated.

Biggest Success

What is your biggest success so far?

That’s a tough one. I’m really proud of being the author of two books and being a keynote speaker where I get to share my knowledge with hundreds of people. And being the speaker coach of multiple TEDx speakers and people doing speaking competitions has been extremely rewarding. But perhaps my biggest success is quite simply just being successful at making this a business. I had no idea what I was doing when I started. There were too many times to count when people who were supposed to be helping me told me to quit and get a job. I powered through that. My resilience, or stubbornness depending on how you look it, has allowed me to touch a lot of lives in a positive way. That might be my biggest success.

Biggest Challenge

What is the biggest challenge in your industry? What are you doing to deal with that?

The biggest challenge in this industry is anyone can call themselves a “coach.” There is no regulation for certification or training. If someone asks what I do and I say anything in the first sentence about being a “coach” people tune out. They know fifty “coaches.” I deal with it by calling myself a “Success Liaison” and explaining that I work in the space where sport psychology and emotional intelligence come together to create elite success. Think speaker coach, executive coach or corporate trainer on rocket fuel. That tends to set me apart from the crowd.

Advice

What advice would you give to a business owner starting out in your industry that you wish you would have known going in?

You might be really, really good at what you do but no one is going to hire you just because you have credentials and put out a shingle. People with no credentials, doing a lousy job will make way more money than you because they are willing to sell a promise they can’t keep. The more qualified you are to coach or train others the more honest you will be about the limitations of coaching. You can’t promise someone change. You can only promise to give them to tools to create change for themselves.

Don’t let that discourage you. Other people will give coaching a bad name. That’s not on you. Do what you do with integrity and stick with it. This is not a get-rich-quick industry when you’re doing it right. It takes time, effort, failure and fortitude.

Lastly, always remember to take care of you. You cannot support the success of others if you’re not first supporting yourself.

Surprise Tidbit

What don’t most people realize about you or your company?

Most people don’t realize how much life success comes under the umbrella of “performance” and how sport psychology and emotional intelligence skills make a huge difference in feeling fulfilled and successful overall. Because of that there are many facets of my business on a variety of high performance topics that people don’t know I do. But most importantly, I’m down to earth and know my limitations. I’m always happy to talk with someone about what I do and what I don’t do. If they need something outside my expertise, I’ll recommend someone else. If someone is interested in possibly working with me they should just call and chat. I don’t do high pressure sales and I don’t say I can do something and figure it out as I go. Real credentials. Real skills. Real results. No rah-rah. When you’re ready to roll I’m ready to help. That simple.

Stay tuned for the next fabulous gal…

More 2016 Most Inspiring Women

Day 10: Jennifer McMillan — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 10: Jennifer McMillan — Inspiring Women 2016

[Jennifer] has made enormous leaps and bounds as a woman business owner. Just last month she was invited to Amazon headquarters in Seattle, WA by senior management. They chose several women-owned companies who have been successful on their site — and Jennifer was one of them. They also wanted to know more about the launch of her new brand, JennyGems. Wow! This girl knows how to market her products and I’m so thrilled and honored to be apart of the journey.

Day 9: Stefanie Roselle — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 9: Stefanie Roselle — Inspiring Women 2016

From her animal fostering, amazing new office design to the rockin’ women’s organization she co-founded along with Amber Shader, she motivates me to grow on both a personal and professional level. She has a killer team of fellow #ladybosses for her company Social Butterfly. On top of all of this, she’s amazing at what she does. I had the opportunity to sit with her on a social media panel… this girl knows her stuff! I love love love how she supports other local businesses — even competitors. Her collaborative and embracing real life and online persona makes her a joy to interact with.

Day 8: Angela Kovall — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 8: Angela Kovall — Inspiring Women 2016

Angela is a ray of sunshine. Always beaming, she makes it her mission to know and help the people she meets along the way. (Apparently we went to the same high school!) She is is the inspiration for changing how I approach marketing — think not what people can do for you but how you can people. She is an excellent teacher on spreading feelings of goodwill and increasing others self-esteem. Angela genuinely wants to see people succeed and I find that energy to be absolutely contagious. She is wonderful to have in your corner. I can’t say enough positive things about her. Simply, she makes you feel good.

Day 7: Anne Green — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 7: Anne Green — Inspiring Women 2016

What impresses me most about Anne is that she moved from Canada to Delaware and totally started what no one else has here in Newark: a very popular, resident-owned news page. With over 7,000 likes on Our Newark Delaware’s super active Facebook page, Anne has quickly become known for knowing what’s going on in our local hood. I first met her at a Wonder Women Tea event at the Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast, so we already had something in common. What I love most about her is that she builds people up. Always supportive of local businesses and meeting new people, she is a genuine joy to be around and I’m proud to know her. As a client, she is absolutely delightful to work with. Read on

Day 6: Vicki Lam — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 6: Vicki Lam — Inspiring Women 2016

[Vicki] is reliable, always professional, and present. Seriously, she is everywhere. Vicki is my go-to resource for new and awesome networking groups and events. I personally use Vicki for all my promotional products because she gives you awesome ideas and the best advice. She understands branding and so she is an awesome partner for me. I am also very proud to call her a friend.

Day 5: Nancy Dibert — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 5: Nancy Dibert — Inspiring Women 2016

Everyone on #netde knew her and looked to her as an authority in the twitter universe. If you’re an entrepreneur in Delaware, you have most likely seen Nancy’s diligent social media outreach on Google Plus, Twitter and even Facebook. Every post is thoughtful, relevant —and for me, enlightening. Every day I learn something new, which in the marketing industry is basically a necessity… Nancy is a true gem. I was humbled that someone as successful as her was building me up and took notice.

Day 3: Mona Liza Hamlin — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 3: Mona Liza Hamlin — Inspiring Women 2016

[Mona] has a very calming and warm presence. Yet at the same time, she is a gal who knows her stuff. As a mother of 1 bulldog and 2 cats, I’m often in awe of moms who have it all: running their own business and raising their children! Not only is she a lactation consultant, but also a pediatric nurse. That alone makes her an authority in her industry and increases my adoration of her 10 fold. I love that she uses a real, holistic approach with her customers and in her life.

Day 1: Jessica Barnak — Inspiring Women 2016

Day 1: Jessica Barnak — Inspiring Women 2016

[Jessica] is lovely, bubbly, inviting and always composed. She continued to impress and inspire me as managing director for the networking group Polka Dot Powerhouse. Her positive energy is absolutely contagious. The biggest reason Jessica is on my list — her brand is absolutely on point: the perfect amount of professional, modern, and as creative as her interior designs.