Michelle Burkhead was always fascinated by the world of business – from marketing to operations to growth and tech. For years she toyed around with the idea of starting her own business but wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like. Until she had her lightbulb moment – she would get into the business of helping other people start their businesses. And thus Dynamic Foundation Institute was born. Today the Plano, Texas-based entrepreneur is helping clients strategically grow their ideas into businesses putting them on the path to success.
Burkhead’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I used to work for a Fortune 100 company assisting with the establishment of manufacturing plants, both domestically and internationally. This job was fantastic, but I began to wonder if there is more to life. I had a great job, but I did not have an opportunity to help others grow in a meaningful way. I have always wanted to “dabble” in entrepreneurship, but I didn’t know what type of business I wanted. Even more so, I didn’t think I had the skills to start a business. I just knew I wanted my life to be about helping others. It took me several years and a breaking point, which led to an epiphany, to decide to create a business around assisting small businesses.
Really, I started Dynamic Foundations Institute when I found my purpose in life. I have always been captivated by the concept of business. I like seeing people take a small idea and turn it into a profitable company. I also like seeing how all the various aspects of business function – such as marketing, accounting, technology, etc. and how they all come together to create a business construct. Now I have a great career doing this very thing.
[Related: Becoming a Leader]
I remember sitting in a seminar after having several tough weeks, feeling like something had to change when a speaker at a conference shared her story. It was eerie because her story was similar to mine. As she described her motivation to start her business, I was inspired. At that moment, I knew what my path forward was. I remembered seeing the courageousness of people in other countries engaging in entrepreneurship out of necessity and decided I wanted to help all entrepreneurs, domestically, and eventually internationally. The conference and my fond memories of hard-working entrepreneurs led me to create Dynamic Foundations Institute.
Success to me means waking up every day, taking that first breath, and knowing that I will walk in my purpose. Knowing that everything that I do that day will be to fulfil my purpose on Earth of helping others achieve their dreams. If at the end of my life, I can say I have helped make the dreams of at least one person come to fruition, then I will have achieved success and completed my mission in life.
My biggest success thus far is starting Dynamic Foundations Institute. This company has been a labor of love and years in the making. I look forward to helping many entrepreneurs. The thing that has hampered me the most though, is dealing with self-doubt. It took me years to start Dynamic Foundations Institute because I created so many reasons why I was not capable of being an entrepreneur. After addressing these issues within, I was able to remove these barriers and start the company.
My top challenge has been finding my target customers. The best way to address this challenge was to conducted marketing research until we found our niche customers. Our customers are motivated, hard-working, 9-to-5 employees that are ready to dive headfirst into entrepreneurship.
My parents are my role models. They are both down-to-earth, hard-working people who live to help others. It rubbed off on me. Like parents, like daughter.