Today, we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Deborah “Dr. DJ” Johnson-Blake.
Dr. DJ, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I never intended to be an editor… adding entrepreneur to my menu of skillsets was not at the top of my goals list. My entrepreneurial journey started when I was nearing the end of my doctoral journey and counting the days until I earned my Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership degree. The task of writing every day was daunting as well as receiving the continual feedback from my doctoral committee. In hindsight, my writing journey was more successful than I could ever imagine. When my doctoral committee chair asked me to review other doctoral students’ dissertation proposals, I thought it was one of the best compliments ever, thereby, the birth of my business, The Writing Pad, LLC. Nine years later, I am not only still editing dissertations, but added other professional services to my brand including public speaking and workshop facilitation.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not! Smooth roads don’t always allow for the most significant growth. If we don’t encounter the valleys, we can’t climb to the peak based on life lessons. One of my biggest struggles along the way was the fear of public speaking, which ultimately impacted my leadership progress and business success as a mid-level leader. For a business to be successful, people need to know about who you are and what you offer. One of the most effective ways to do that is through public speaking. The more I learned about public speaking by participating in workshops and working with coaches, my confidence level slowly increased. I realized that only I knew what I was about to say. Today, I offer no excuses and just keep communicating! One of my mantras is to keep calm and keep talking!
The result of my personal and professional self-development led me to become a more confident leader and speaker. I am sure some of your readers who serve in low to mid-level leadership positions may have similar experiences. I continue to speak publicly on Time Management, Public Speaking and Effective Communication which has garnered more exposure for my brand and business. It has opened doors that range from serving in leadership positions on local, regional, and national associations as well as being involved in Chambers of Commerce, higher education, and other organizations. Because of my tenacity and eagerness to grow, my fear of public speaking has served as the foundation and roadmap to many successes including my latest accomplishment as co-author of the book, Women Everywhere Level up and Lead. I wrote this book to help women learn how the challenges of others could impact their leadership success. I believe that by investing in one’s self and career objectives as well as recognizing that challenges are opportunities to excel, leaders can better understand the journey. Just as a quilt represents and symbolizes the many facets and paths of lives, the leadership journey gives us the chance to discover and learn how to lead better. Learn more at www.deborahjohnsonblake.com
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Writing Pad – what should we know?
The Writing Pad, LLC is a writing, editing and consulting firm focusing on proofreading, editing, and customized writing. I help leaders sound smarter than a 5th grader! I am the consummate authority on wordsmithery and am on autopilot to read and edit the work of others. I specialize in editing doctoral dissertations, bios, and resumes as well as designing PowerPoint presentations and marketing materials. An extension of my business involves corporate training and speaking, which allows me to help clients improve relations and achieve personal and professional goals in the workplace and beyond. As the author of Managing Time on Purpose and being an entrepreneur and educator, I am most proud of being able to provide best practices in time management that help people become more time management efficient. What sets me apart from others is that I am a three-time book author, hold an earned doctoral degree, and serve on doctoral dissertation committees, unlike most editors. I provide my clients with expert advice on how to present their work. I have the privilege of serving clients from the “back of the house and front of the house” perspectives.
Any shout outs? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First and foremost, I thank God! He deserves the most credit as He continues to give me the wisdom and grace to say and do the right thing at the appropriate time. Otherwise, there are so many family members, friends, colleagues, mentors, supporters, coaches, cheerleaders, advocates, clients and teammates who have played and continue to play a big role in my success. They know who they are and how much I appreciate their continued support. I just want to thank everyone who has sowed seeds in me as I continue to journey through my personal and professional growth and development.
- Website: www.deborahjohnsonblake.org
- Phone: 770-648-3895
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/djohnsonblake
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/djohnsonblake
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/djohnsonblake
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/djohnsonblake/
Deodrick Jackson, Krisden Ingram