Prepare for a Sea Change: Dominique’s Story

Where would we be without our goals and dreams?

It’s a fair question, and it’s a hard one to answer. We won’t get far without them, but they don’t always turn out exactly as we envision.

When still in high school Dominique dreamed of owning a gourmet seafood restaurant called, appropriately, Dominique’s.

“But,” she remembers, “that didn’t happen. Instead, I went to college.”

For several years afterwards she built a successful career working in sales for a pharmaceutical company in Chicago.

When she moved back to the Cedar Valley, however, something clicked.

“I saw that the Cedar Valley didn’t have many options for seafood,” she explained. “And I felt like we deserved it.”

A wave of opportunity rose before her, if only she could figure out how to ride it.

“I started Domonique’s Seafood with $500, a goal, Google and God.”

“I started Dominique’s Seafood with $500, a goal, Google and God,” she says. “But the only thing I knew about starting a business I had learned as a territory manager and pharmaceutical sales rep.”

An important part of her business development came when she participated in a business accelerator program. She absorbed the basics of owning a business. She got her financials in order.

“At first I thought a 40% profit was pretty good, until (my adviser) ReShonda asked me what I was paying myself,” she remembers.  

They came up with an hourly rate that compensated Dominique for her time and skills.

“I realized I was providing a premium product, and I am worth that per hour,” she explains. “You don’t want to allow life to happen to you, and then look at your bank account and there’s nothing.”

Her next opportunity is to make her business mobile. “I’ve been saving very aggressively for a food truck, and I know once I have it my business will really take off,” she says with conviction.

So while her early dreams of a gourmet restaurant have been transformed into something new, she’s been able to see and sieze opportunity where she found it. To make it all work, she’s increased her financial knowledge on both a personal and a business level.

“You have to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your finances.”

“You have to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your finances.” And, in Dominique’s case, in the driver’s seat of a new Dominique’s Seafood truck.

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