Deb Owen, founder of Percorso (it's Italian, meaning 'The Way')
Here's the deal. After 25 years in corporate and career life, I believe there is no better time for you to create your own status quo - in your life and in your business. Being the intelligent entrepreneur that you are, you know much of creating your life and business of your dreams comes down to your marketing. It comes down to authentic marketing. That means opening yourself up, being vulnerable, having some faith, and letting who you are shine through your work. How can I help? I spent half my corporate life in learning & development, including designing and delivering a year long program based on the Toyota Production System. So I know how to design programs that work. I was tapped by Carolyn Kepcher, formerly of the Trump Organization and the board room of the Apprentice, to write for her project called 'Work Her Way' alongside the likes of Bobbi Brown, of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and Cathie Black, CEO of Hearst Publications that publishes 'O' Magazine. I've coached C-level executives -- and entrepreneurs. I've also embarked on my own creative entrepreneurial endeavors. Some worked. Some taught me lessons the hard way. I've spent another portion of my work life in marketing communications, where I landed a gig working for a Lieutenant Governor. I've done marketing and communications work that involved military and civilian leaders in the Army & Navy, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, and a slew of others in state and national-level government, Chairmen (and women) of Boards of multi-million dollar corporations, and a frighteningly large number of entrepreneurs and small business owners. (They say you attract what you are, right?) I am devoted to being a catalyst that helps women be a rockstar in their work and life by enlightening, equipping and empowering them to express the best of themselves, to be leaders in their work, their business, and their life. This is about finding your voice, standing in your strength, and being a rockstar in your business and in your life. It’s about connecting to build strong teams around you that take you beyond all you dare ask for or imagine and translating that into real life. It’s about forging your own path. This is where trajectory meets velocity. It’s one part creativity. One part wisdom. It's one part strategy. And one part courage.
What Informs & Inspires Me
I get kudos, frequently, for being a woman who gets things done. Some might call it being a go-getter. I've been called creative. A lot. People who have known me for quite a long time refer to me as an explorer, always searching for more, looking for adventure, seeking an expanded outlook. One of the greatest compliments I ever received came from an entrepreneur/friend. Driving along one sunshine-filled day, she suddenly remarked, "You are powerful. You're a powerful woman, but humble.” Let me tell you that statement....well...humbled me. My go-getting and willingness to take risks led me places. I pushed and prodded and pretty much forced my way wherever it was I thought I wanted to go. I was on fire. Then I crashed and burned. (Now that is humbling.) I couldn't keep it up anymore. I ran out of steam. Some people call it a breakdown. Some people call it a spiritual experience. I freely admit. I was broken. What I found there, though, was freedom. And true power. True power is benevolent, generous, humble, full of grace, and full of love. It is also boundless, limitless, and abundant. It turned out, there was another way. I began again. Just like the Phoenix and the ashes, I rose up better than before. (Did I mention I am intimately acquainted with resilience?) I discovered that we live from the heart. All of the organizing principles of our lives begin there. If we desire to live in freedom, as fully and authentically as we're meant to live, that's where we have to begin. If we are to lead, to create, to be a light to the world, it begins with the heart. It is to live, as Brene Brown calls it, whole-heartedly. I studied all the components of the self, and how to meet grace and receive power to change. And then I began researching how all of that intersects with entrepreneurship. Most of us have it upside-down. It begins with the heart. Don't get me wrong, I do love action. I'm a natural strategic-thinker. I'm hard-wired that way. I still seek actionable strategies that translate to real-world, real-life experience. Theory alone has never worked for me. I need more than faith, I need a faith that works. I am at the core.....a heart-renovator. I'm here to renovate yours and help you unleash the rockstar in you who turns the world upside down, and creates a new status quo.
The Family Business
I am, as Anne Lamott says, “Jesus-y.” I am a preacher’s kid, preacher’s grand-daughter, preacher’s niece....they’re all preachers. I went to Bible college. I studied apologetics and know my theology. But I left all that, spending years (over a decade) in what I call my “unchurched-of-the-world” years. During that time, I developed addictions -- to shopping, to toxic relationships, to food, to busy-ness and activity, all sorts of things. Most people don’t like to think of themselves as addicted. But we are. It’s our attempt to fill the hole inside that says we’re not good enough, not worthy, and we look outside ourselves to make us feel okay -- to numb the pain. Some people are addicted to approval, to what people think, worrying constantly about what people are saying about them. Or seeking the approval of whatever group or person has been deemed as having something we think we need to be ‘good enough’...to be whole. In today’s society, most of us are addicted to being busy. If we’re busy, we must be needed, necessary, important. Plus, if we keep busy, we stay on a rush (a high) of adrenaline running to thirteen-thousand different places that we absolutely must be to get it all done while checking our email, Twitter, and Facebook pages on our iPhone. These are just socially acceptable forms of addiction. (There are more.) I sought fulfillment (aka, love) through money, achievement, titles, being with the right crowd, hanging with the wrong one, you name it. I was seeking....in all the wrong people, places, and things. And then I found what I’d been looking for all along. I will refer to my faith here. If you have a different worldview, that's okay. The analogies will still translate. And all are welcome here. As for the preaching, as much as I try, it still seems to seep through. Whether it's about faith, philosophy, leadership, entrepreneurship, creativity, or organizational success, I still somehow end up preaching. It’s in my blood. It comes naturally. It comes from love. I've decided to embrace it.
Other Stuff About Me
Beyond the 25 years I've split between marketing and corporate learning & development background, the education and other things you’d typically find on a resume, here’s some other stuff about me: 1) I’m a photographer who has worked with Tony-award winning dancers, Grammy-nominated singers and Grammy-winning composers. And I’ve been published internationally, including places like Uruguay. 2) I’m a voracious reader. Voracious. I couldn’t possibly count the number of books I’ve studied over 20 years on personal development, spiritual development, leadership, team-building, business, and creativity. And that’s not counting the fiction. 3) I have moved 17 times in my life. (That includes first moving to an apartment in a city and then to a house at times.) I'm a preachers kid. (See 'Why I Can Preach' tab.) 4) My favorite book of the Bible is James. I'm convinced James came from New England. He tells it like it is. I'm currently memorizing the whole book. Just for something else to do. 5) I love musical theater, and grew up studying it. I know every word to Les Mis and the Sound of Music, right down to the 2nd alto part in the nuns chorus at the beginning. As a music lover, my favorites range from Beethoven to the Beatles, from Celtic Woman to Abba. One could say my tastes are diverse. 6) I'm a Monty Python fan. I gleefully recite Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition. I don't think Life of Brian is blasphemous. Heretical, maybe. But not blasphemous. 7) I’m a singer. I started singing in the womb. Currently, I sing with the chorus of the local Pops orchestra, serve as a vocalist on a praise team....and I've sung in front of 4500 people with the London Royal Philharmonic. 8) I'm crazy in love with my dog Sam. Sam is short for Samantha, named for the character in Sex in the City. I didn't name her. The Humane Society did.
One Other Thing:
10% of all fees, programs purchased, any work I do goes to the A21 Campaign fighting to end human trafficking. (Talk about freedom.)