ABOUT | Dana Leavy-Detrick
Entrepreneurial wingwoman, career guru, artist, design junkie & illustrator. Proud Brooklynite, helping creative professionals build better businesses & careers.
People ask me all the time how I got started in my business.
Like many people who choose to work for themselves as small business owners, contractors, freelancers and independents, there’s a story of experience woven together by threads of different jobs, hard work, luck, bad bosses, bad clients, great clients, and amazing opportunities that opened doors. It’s a mix of unrelenting commitment, sheer enthusiasm, overcome fear and second-guessing. Your career is your personal story, and whether you’re writing a resume, attending an interview, or building your brand, it’s about communicating that story of your experiences and value with confidence, enthusiasm and a complete willingness to simply put yourself out there.
I’ve worked on the creative end of recruiting and HR (if there is such a thing), hired (and sometimes fired) hundreds of people, reviewed and written thousands of resumes. I’ve advised hundreds more folks in creative fields like advertising, marketing, design and technology on building lucrative careers and freelance-ships, and been in the driver’s seat of one of the top recruiting agencies in Boston. For the better part of my first decade out of college, I followed the “corporate” path of finding stable work within the confines of someone else’s organization, following someone else’s creative vision and achieving someone’s else’s financial goals. That was fun.
When the recruiting industry started to feel the pains of the recession around 2009, I decided it was time to make an exit and put my relationship building and business development chops to to work in a new area. I enthusiastically followed a
boyfriend creative calling to New York to start my own company as a career consultant, with an unrelenting passion for both helping people see & experience the truth that career satisfaction isn’t dead, and building and running the business that would allow me to get that message out there. It took a few part-time jobs to get to full time consultant status, but at the end of the day (or decade)… I got there.
After awhile, it was evident to me that people were looking beyond the paycheck and really re-thinking the concept of what meaningful work meant to them. Many people, just as I had experienced, had developed a conscious awareness that whatever career path they had chosen earlier in life was no longer working for them. A career had simply become a paycheck, and so-called “stability” was mildly attainable, but at the price of sacrificing many dreams, personal goals, and life-long creative endeavors. A new movement towards creative fulfillment and purpose was in place, and people were no longer willing to settle.
So it became about embracing this new norm of career sustainability, one which was clearly and heavily based upon the idea of doing work that honors not just one’s talents and training, but their values, passions and interests on a personal and creative level. People don’t just want to be paid for their work anymore – they want to know that their tireless efforts are contributing something to the greater good, having an impact on a socio-cultural level. From wanting to break out of the agency world and branch out into the freelance life, to quitting a decades-long career to start a small business, the needs of my clients were beginning to demand something different. And in late 2011, I pivoted the business to cater to an eager new crowd of aspiring entrepreneurs and thought leaders, strategizing, organizing, and sometimes sympathizing with folks who were ready to embark on the same personal, professional and financial challenge I had undertaken years earlier.
Let’s Do This!
The career consulting arm still exists - it’s over here now. And Aspyre Solutions now stands as a platform for all things related to the entrepreneurial journey, the creative dream, the intellectual, emotional, social and financial process of starting up a small business and “flying solo” in today’s innovative, yet unstable economy. As a New York City resident and member of the creative community, I’m on the cutting edge of it – the tools, the innovation, the ideas, the technology, and the movement away from a traditional economy of thought followers… to a new generation of thought leaders.
So Why Do People Want to Work With Me?
- I have nearly 10 years experience running and working for companies wherein I’ve specifically focused on helping creative professionals develop careers plans, understand their freelance market value, and find lucrative, enjoyable work.
- I do a lot of work specifically around transition, because it’s a separate strategy in its own. Whether you’re changing jobs, changing career fields, or changing tax status and starting your business, we do some heavy work around financial planning, transferrable skills, understanding and communicating your value, and a slew of other areas that are at the heart of making that transition a successful one.
- We work hard on planning and goal setting, but I also give you the hands-on tools to go out and execute those plans, and hit those goals! Tools I use in my every day business, and with my own small business and career clients. Effective tools like an Exit Strategy Budget Template, Competitive Analysis Worksheet, Target Market Analysis Tool, Profit & Loss Tracking Tool, and advice and resources for building a professional website presence for your personal or business brand.
- My unique 3-Tier coaching model looks individually at where you are professionally, and uses that gauge to shape the coaching program around your individual situation, needs, challenges and interests, whether you’re just starting out, actively in transition, or anticipating growth.
- As they say, “I’m not only the President…I’m also a member.” I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to work with creative folks. I’m a creative professional myself, navigating the trenches of every-day freelancer-dom as an illustrator and designer, in addition to a creative business and career consultant. Both my passions, both my talents, and both my purpose.
The Corporate Version
Creative Businesses. Creative Careers. Dana Leavy-Detrick founded Aspyre Solutions in 2009, focusing on small business development and career consulting. As an artist, illustrator and entrepreneur herself, Dana’s mission is about redefining the way career professionals, freelancers and solo-preneurs approach professional growth, by understanding brand building on a personal level as it relates to the monetizeable value that we each bring to the table. She specializes in working with creative professionals around career transition, personal branding and starting small businesses and freelance ventures.
Dana has helped hundreds of professionals in advertising, marketing, design, multimedia and other industries in creating the career plans, freelance ventures and small businesses that ultimately allow them to make a living doing the work they are passionate about. She has presented seminars on navigating careers, transition and work-life balance to several colleges and universities, and her advice has been featured on MSN Careers, Fox Business News, NewsDay, CareerBuilder.com, GlassDoor and About.com. She is the founder of New York City-based career consulting company Brooklyn Resume Studio.
Dana has a really expensive piece of paper denoting her academic dabbles in Communications and Visual Arts from a big little University in Boston. She is also an artist, freelance illustrator and proud Brooklynite.