Meet Maggie O’Dea, Serial Entrepreneur

by Jerome Knyszewski
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Maggie O'Dea, serial entrepreneur, talks about how to take a company from good to great

Not only is Maggie O’Dea the founder of the Inspired Life Project, but she is also a “business mentor, entrepreneur, mom” and “author.” With her over 20 years of experience in the business world, she had seen with her own eyes how powerful forward-thinking founders and business owners hold in “creating success beyond what they ever dreamed of.”

The Inspired Life Project came out of Maggie O’Dea’s successful body-care company, which is called Devi Mukta, which she founded and ran “using the principles of Elemental Theory.” She started sharing her formula with others, who also found success for themselves. This success happened because of her belief that “when [we] create a business that is aligned with our passion and [we] support them with the clarity of systems and structures that allow for maximum profit—prosperity is infinite!”

With Inspired Life, Maggie O’Dea has shared her formula with many more people. The project also allows her to share “the resources [I] have developed to support [my] own success…with other purpose-driven entrepreneurs and business owners.” Among Inspired Life’s programs are an Elements of Business Course and one-on-one coaching sessions with Maggie herself. Through these programs, “you will uncover your inner power and turn your vision into reality.”

Check out more interviews with purpose-driven founders here.

Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Maggie O’Dea: I started my entrepreneurial journey in real estate. I bought an old Victorian style home built in 1895 and renovated it, then used the capital to buy land and build houses for sale.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Maggie O’Dea: When I started I had wanted to continue buying houses and renovating them but the market was very hot, everytime I would bid on a house I would get out bid and los the house. Then I decided to try building homes for speculation.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Maggie O’Dea: I learned that the experts don’t know all the answers. I wanted to try building with SIPs (structural integrated panels.) I was told by the designer it wasn’t a good idea and would never “work” in the marketplace. Later someone bought the lot next to mine and hired her to build them a house with SIPs, an architect themselves nonetheless.

Jerome Knyszewski: Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.

Maggie O’Dea:

1) Purpose — what is your why? How is your company conveying your passion. In building homes it’s the feeling you have when you live in the home, the passion of the builder comes through into your daily life by how it is designed.

2) Vision — How do you turn your vision into reality? You need practical actionable steps to make your company be successful. In building you need to hire an excellent team of designers, engineers, draftsman/woman, contractors to help you turn your vision into reality.

3) Performance — Do what needs to be done! In building this looks like keeping up with deadlines and coordinating a project where communication is clear and thorough.

4) Delivery — Ensure every detail is accounted for. When we were building one of the houses the framers realized that from the plans you would be able to stand up in the shower. A small detail on paper becomes a big problem in reality.

5) Profitability — Look at your margins. Always have an eye out for what your margins are. Hidden costs can creep in and eat away at your margins quickly. Try to think through the extras before you go to market, so you can price your goods or service accordingly.
Jerome Knyszewski: Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?

Maggie O’Dea: Having a social impact angle gives you relatability and allows people to connect directly to the mission behind the company. We all love to do good while also fulfilling a want or need.

Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?

Maggie O’Dea: Follow-up. If you have someone who is opening your emails, send them a message. Start a conversation with genuine interest. We all want to be seen and heard. Sales is really an emotional commitment to buy, not a logical decision many times.
Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

Maggie O’Dea: Keep showing up in social media and direct message people who comment on your posts. By showing genuine interest in your clients they will learn to like, know and trust you.

Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?

Maggie O’Dea: You can find me on:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

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