Aduke McCoy is a professional educational and business consultant who takes on a wide variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners as clients, including those starting childcare centers, tutoring agencies, and private schools. Originally hailing from Erlanger, Kentucky, Aduke McCoy earned her doctoral degree in Human and Social Services before entering the workforce and launching her consulting firm. In her free time, Aduke McCoy enjoys sewing clothes and exercising. She also routinely teaches instructional Zumba classes in her community.
Can you share a little about the early days of your company?
In the early days, I started working out of my home, consulting on the side for people that I already knew—neighbors, friends, colleagues, et cetera. From there, my business grew through word-of-mouth. Soon, it was no longer something I could honestly label as ‘on the side,’ and I had to make a choice to either embrace this new development and expand it or forget about it entirely. Being an enterprising individual, I chose the former. After that, I began to acquire larger clients, such as tutoring agencies, childcare centers, and even some private schools. Since that turning point, business has been brisk and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
How have you achieved success?
It’s all about my clients. Everything I do is oriented around serving them in the best manner possible. When I began my consultancy, I made a conscious decision to put the interests of my clients first, to the exclusion of everything else. That choice has paid off. So, in short, I achieve success through helping my clients reach their goals. When they’re prosperous and happy, I know that I did my job correctly and earned my fee. Conversely, this is also my marketing strategy. I don’t advertise. All my clients still find me entirely through referrals and word-of-mouth, and the only way that works is if I maintain my reputation for stellar, effective educational and business consulting.
What obstacles have you overcome in the process?
Although I hate to admit it, one obstacle that I’ve had to overcome in the past is being a bit disorganized. Because my firm began life as a small business based out of my home, I had to do everything myself at first: accounting, scheduling, billing—and that was on top of all of the actual consulting work! And in the beginning of my career, all the different organizational tools that are available today didn’t really exist. Luckily, as time passed, I was able to put this issue behind me through a great deal of dispassionate self-analysis and hard work. I’ve also benefited from the aid of software and apps specifically designed for busy small business owners. These days, I can say unequivocally that I’ve put my past history of disorganization firmly behind me.
What drives you to succeed?
I’m very committed to the community I live in, and in many ways, it serves as my inspiration. I believe that children are the future of not only my own community, but every community everywhere. And the best way to encourage them, enlighten them, and prepare them for what’s to come in life is by giving them a comprehensive and robust education. But sometimes the institutions people have created to provide children with education need some extra help, and that’s the specialty of my consulting firm. It’s my mission to help those who are best serving children, which will ultimately strengthen the community.
How has your definition of success changed over the years?
My definition of success hasn’t really changed over the years because building and supporting educational success has always been a core value of my organization. It’s the whole reason the business exists. I pride myself on having never lost sight of that.
What has success meant to you?
I base my success on helping my clients succeed and grow, and that means more to me than anything else in the world. As I mentioned in one of my previous answers, I view helping those that educate children as my way of making the community—and the world—a better place to live.
Do you have advice for others on how to be successful?
The best advice I can give for business success is to start locally and ascertain what the needs are in your immediate community. This applies to any business operating in any industry. Then, once you’ve figured out what your community needs most, think about how best to provide a workable solution and make that the core of your business. It could be a product or a service, but so long as you’ve effectively addressed a pressing need, success will inevitably follow, and setting up the rest of the business ought to be, if not easy, at least organic.
How do you feel success affects a person’s outlook?
Success can affect a person’s outlook in many different ways, but on balance, I would say it helps them have a more positive outlook on what they’re doing and who they’re serving. If nothing else, success breeds optimism for the future, and I think that is beneficial for everyone.