Have you ever wondered how some people manage to do twenty things at once, all while making it seem totally and completely effortless?
Dionda Fugitt is one of those people.
She is an author, speaker, business owner, mom, AND wife. Which begs the question, how can we all embrace our inner Dionda's and #getshitdone?! (Apparently, the answer lies somewhere between scheduling it in and prioritizing errrything.)
We hope you enjoy learning more about Dionda. We most definitely have. And if you have a girl between the ages of 6-16, make sure to check out her book, Adjust Your Crown.
As a self-described serial entrepreneur, can you talk a bit about your trajectory — how did you get started and where are you now?
When I was approximately 14 years old, I was handed my first set of tasks that would forever stick to my heart. I was hired as an event planner's assistant for Arlington County's Annual Fair. I instantly fell in love with what some people may call a headache. I was infatuated with the logistics and how it all played out into this huge and successful event that catered to over 2,000 people!
Once I was of age to get a real job, I landed a spot at BBC News in the DC bureau. I handled last minute, long term, and high profile travel arrangements, as well as the daily routine of the newsroom. I managed the chaos behind the scenes, before the stage lights were lit and microphones were powered on. Collectively, my choice of employment prepared me in ways I would've never guessed.
In 2012, I launched Charm THEM (The Host of Events and Meetings) and it seemed as if everything led up to that moment! I started out booking social events because that's what I enjoyed most. In 2014, I rebranded and ceased the social planning services and added corporate events, thanks to my employers who provided me everything I needed to know to run an event planning business.
I launched what turned into a string of networking event for local entrepreneurs, Networking In The City. The feedback was incredible after the first event, so I figured I was filling a void and I kept going!
Once I felt my business reached a climax, I decided to tap into another passion of mine since middle school: writing.
After having my daughters (who are the air I breathe, lol), I decided to dig deeper and face my fear of the unknown. I have written three books but only published one because I was afraid of so many different things... Mainly my own inner thoughts and self-doubts.
But here it is, Adjust Your Crown, written and published by me.
On November 1st, I released one of my biggest accomplishments to date via Amazon!
You published your first book, Adjust Your Crown, back in November. What was that process like and what doors has it opened for you?
Writing the book took a dedicated 3 months. I write when it flows, I never force it. My work has to come from a calm and "real" state of mind. For three months straight, June to August to be exact, I would write, talk-to-text and record myself talking on a daily basis. I remember there were times where I would be at a red light writing on the back of a receipt, bill envelope and/or napkins because my phone was about to die. I would read a chapter to my daughters. If they didn't laugh at a sentence that was meant to be funny, I would rewrite the entire chapter. Their opinions and insight mean the world to me; they are also my target market!
I announced my book's release via a Facebook video by my daughters and I. The response was absolutely amazing! The views were over 1,000 and the shares way more than expected!
Since releasing my book on November 1st, the feedback has been unbelievable! I have been asked to speak at various mentoring and girl groups as well as podcasts so far. I'm excited where it goes from here!
One of the things we love about your book, Adjust Your Crown, is the focus on confidence, affirmations, meditation, and living a fearfully fearlesss life (as you call it!) for little ladies between 6-16. Why are those topics important to you, and how do they apply to the bigger ladies?
I felt the need to touch these topics because they are sensitive and not covered enough. There have been plenty of times we may talk about having confidence, but how many times do we break it down? How often to we say "this is what confidence is and how we gain it"? Possibly, not often enough. I have witnessed affirmations' benefit with my own eyes. If we make a fun reminder of how cool, awesome, smart, positive and fearless we are, we will carry that with us all day. It's like setting a new day's resolution. We basically hang it in front of our face and use it as motivation for 24 hours (or more).
Meditation is not a subject in a lot of school systems. I feel it's important for young ladies (and even gentlemen) to learn to control their breathing as well as keep a cool, calm and collected persona. With high expectations, our youth is prone to have high levels of stress before they hit adulthood. I'm sure we can agree that adulthood is way more stressful than being in grade school. If children are learning to handle stress at a young age, it can definitely be beneficial as they get older.
Fearfully Fearlesss, oh how I love thee! This started while I was searching for a better me. I wanted to change a few things in my life but was far too afraid to just wake up and do it without preparing for it. I am great at changing my hair style or color and changing up my fashion influences, but major life changes were scary. This all changed once I started Bikram Yoga. In the book, I talk about how I found the "glitter lining" in every situation, which is how I conquer my fears and live "fearfully fearlesss".
If we can connect with our younger generation and give them the tools they need to succeed, we will watch them bloom into gracefully open-minded and spirited individuals. We will watch our little ladies rule the world flawlessly. They may end a war just by sharing their knowledge; who knows how far they will take it!
With all of the different hats you wear — author, speaker, business owner, mom, wife — how do you handle the constant pull on your time and attention?
Before anything else, I am mom. Mom takes priority and everything will stop when my little ladies need me. For everything else, let's give a standing ovation to Google Calendar! My business life is pretty much planned out for the next two weeks at the minimum. Family life with two active daughters is 90% planned out. I have calendars for almost everything, bills, activities, event planning, author events, etc.
There are times I prep my tea and burn the midnight oil and/or get up one hour earlier than my daughters and get some work done. I try, and I know it's easier said than done, to make a balance. I don't "find" balance. I make it. I make time to meditate, sip tea in peace or even take a bubble bath with soft jazz (or silence).
Little known fact, you are doing all of those things while ALSO working a full-time job. Can you say more about this balance and what it allows you to do?
YES! I am currently still at my full-time job to fund my dream of being a full-time author. I also love the benefits offered by my current employer! I use my down time at work to plan social media posts, schedule meetings, send emails, plan events, and budget. I don't use my entire day, but I will throw in a task here or there while eating my lunch.
Famous last words... What advice would you give to women (and girls) who want to encourage, inspire, and change the world?
Look your fears in the eye. When you think you can't handle it, remind yourself why you started, regroup your positive energy, and regain your ambition. We, as ladies, are empowered and are built to run the world! You got this!!