What Does Success Look Like to You? — Dawn Sykes

What Does Success Look Like to You? — Dawn Sykes

Dawn Sykes is a business owner and a strong advocate for uplifting her local community. Dawn’s career began in the medical field, where she spent twenty years working as a registered nurse. Driven by a passion for helping others, Dawn saw an opportunity in the business landscape. In 2006, she founded J&D Enterprises, LLC  – an organization that provides youth with the necessary life skills to secure employment and career opportunities. By providing access to a wide range of educational resources, Dawn continues to have a positive impact on the families of the inner-city Richmond, Virginia neighborhoods.

How have you achieved success?

I started my career as a nurse and while I most definitely enjoyed working in a hospital environment, I always had a desire to run my own business. My dad always used to tell me to never work for someone else if you can help it, so one day I made the decision to pursue my own venture. In 2006, I founded J&D Enterprises and I haven’t looked back since. I remain an active member of the Richmond community by helping individuals obtain employment opportunities. 

What obstacles have you overcome in the process?

When I first started in business, I had a difficult time hiring the right team of individuals. I consider myself a headstrong person but, I also try to see the best in people. I ended up trusting the wrong people and unfortunately, it had a negative impact on my business. However, trial and error is a significant part of my job. I always learn from my mistakes and continue forward with a new strategy. 

What drives you to succeed?

Regardless of the field I have been in, helping others has always been and will always be my number one priority. My organization helps underserved communities in the Richmond area, by providing them with a wide range of educational resources. I am a very solution-based individual so I enjoy navigating challenges. No day at work is ever the same, and I have been given the opportunity to meet and work with so many unique individuals. Being able to help them transform their lives is highly rewarding. 

How has your definition of success changed over the years?

When I first founded J&D Enterprises, success was finding enough resources to stay afloat. The first few years of any business are always the most difficult, but my staff and I persevered. Success now is helping as many people as I can on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. All of my experiences over the last fifteen years have only made me more compassionate towards others. 

What has success meant to you?

Every morning I wake up and I am eternally thankful that I am able to help someone navigate a challenging time in their life. We listen to understand their needs and then work diligently to strategize long-term solutions. We don’t want success to be temporary, we aim to provide tools that they can use for the rest of their lives. 

Do you have advice for others on how to be successful?

Do your best to believe in your own skills and talents. In business you will receive so many unwanted opinions on how you should and shouldn’t operate, but it’s best to trust your own instincts. Self-reflect and over time you will gain the confidence you need to make your own decisions. 


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Industry Minds – https://industry-minds.com/profile/?uid=dawnsykes

Twitter https://twitter.com/deesykes19

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXsTA3PN31n1aYLvnAk30MA